Michelle’s Gestation & Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome
Michelle gave birth to identical twin boys Axel and Jaxon prematurely at the 27 week gestation mark which is towards the end of the second trimester. While in the womb, the twins had developed Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS). TTTS is a serious and rare condition where identical twins through sharing a placenta, abnormal blood vessel connections form in the placenta and allow blood to flow unevenly between the babies. One twin called the donor becomes dehydrated and the other called the recipient develops high blood pressure and produces too much urine and over fills the amniotic sac. Both situations made them very sick. Jaxon was in heart failure which triggered the premature birth. Axel was measured to weigh 1.9 lbs and Jaxon was 2.9 lbs at birth.
Additional Complications - Post Delivery
Due to the premature nature of their birth and TTTS, both Axel and Jaxon were put on immediate life support and were identified to have grade 4 brain bleeding. Jaxon was identified to have hydrocephalus causing a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid. Multiple surgeries were performed to place a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt in order to relieve pressure by draining the fluid and prevent his brain tissue from being crushed. The twins have required the need for multiple other surgeries and interventions like the placement of feeding tubes into their stomachs, eye surgery to prevent blindness resulting from premature birth, chronic lung disease, pneumonia, and have abnormal muscle tone from their brain injuries which could lead to potential movement and or motor disability long term.
Why Michelle recommends the Calypso To Go Pump Kit
To continue with the boys’ treatments, the family travels continually for 2-4 days per week to various specialists and appointments. They see physiotherapists, ophthalmologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, dietitians, pediatricians, neurosurgeons, feeding clinics, early Intervention development and many others. Many of these appointments are hours away, and Michelle finds it difficult to transport all of her gear in an organized way. Michelle has had issues with loud pumps in the past while travelling especially when the babies are sleeping. She has found other pumps to be slower in expressing milk and have found others to be painful after 15-20 minutes of pumping.
Ultra silent and gentle
"Quiet! I expected it to be, but it’s so quiet!" - Michelle
"Very comfortable - I love the silicone/gel inserts for the flanges. It was comfortable the whole time pumping, unlike with my other pumps where it starts to hurt after 15-20 minutes from the rubbing." - Michelle
Easily adjust vacuum and cycle setting
"Easy to use. I like how you can set the suction and cycle speeds separately (unlike on the Medela Symphony). Was easy to adjust and find the perfect setting for me after a few minutes of trying the different levels." - Michelle
Pump in half the time
"Fast - I got the same output that takes 45 mins on my Spectra in 30 mins on the Calypso! Definitely a fan of that!. The Calypso pump really helped me be able to pump at the hospital easier, and in my car on the way there" - Michelle
"I love that the pump can either be plugged in or used with batteries for portability! One example of this is when we have early (8am) appointments downtown. I get up at 4am, have to feed my twins via their tubes (this takes 1-1.5 hrs), load up their gear and then drive an hour in rush hour to get there on time. I usually pump for 45 mins to 1 hour in the mornings. So being able to have the portable little Calypso, I can pump in the car while I drive which saves a LOT of time and I get to sleep more." - Michelle
"Honestly the bag and accessories that came with the pump are amazing. Just having a nice travel bag that has spots for all the parts to fit in (kind of like a DSLR camera bag) is so convenient, and the square shaped cooler with strapped-in ice packs is amazing. Sounds silly to obsess over those things but it goes a LONG way when on the go with my twins. The bag and cooler made me really excited! Using a regular cooler is stressful because bottles can tip over and leak, but this one is secure so I know I won’t waste any precious milk!" - Michelle
"Overall I feel like a lot of thought went into this pump design and in ensuring comfort and all the accessories for making it actually convenient to use when out. My goal is to make it 15 months of pumping, and I have done 8 months now. Having this pump makes me confident I can reach that goal even with all the travelling we do!!" - Michelle