Monday, January 28, 2013

27 Weeks, 2 days & a good dose of Honesty!

Overall things are still going well with the boys. Baby A (the donor baby) appears to be “normal” and has shockingly defied all TTTS logic by catching up in size to his larger brother!  As of 1/24/13 both babies were measuring just over 2 lbs each! So much for being able to tell them apart based on size. All joking aside, Baby B (the recipient baby) on the other hand still has an enlarged/stressed heart.  It appears as though progress has reached its plateau and now doctors are telling us that we just need to be prepared that Baby B will likely have a longer stay in the NICU than his brother (meaning a few days longer).  They don’t seem too worried and say that most likely the problem will correct itself over the first 6 months to year of his life with little to any intervention.  Though I am not showing any signs of going into early labor at this time it was very sobering last week to hear my doctor enter the room saying, “Well the good news is we aren’t admitting you today…” Her goal is still for me to make it past 30 weeks.  My goal: As long as possible! Although full-term for twins is considered 37 weeks the average twin birth occurs at just over 35 weeks.  I’d love for that to happen for the sake of my boys. I believe it’s possible. Please pray with me that it is. 

I have now been on house arrest…ahem, I mean bedrest, for 8+weeks. As of today, I have not cooked a meal, shopped in a store, driven a car, gone for a walk, or gone anywhere outside of the house by myself in over 60 days.  People keep telling me “you’re doing a great job” and I know what they mean, I get the sentiment behind these words but all I can think is “a great job doing what?”  But I guess that’s it isn’t it. I’m doing a great job doing nothing; because that’s what my babies need right now.  Even that I’ve questioned though, I mean the surgery worked, at this point it’s just a waiting game- to see how long my cervix can hold strong, to see how much improvement Baby B’s heart can make on it’s own before birth.  I just keep reminding myself that bedrest: not only takes pressure off the cervix but also provides more oxygen and better blood flow to the babies (and a whole slew of other medical mumbo jumbo benefits that I’ve read). 

Ok, so truth is, when I hit the 7 week mark of bedrest I sucks! For those of you who are new to reading my blog, or who barely know me, yes, I said sucks.  If I’m really being honest, then you have to know that part of my hesitation to keep blogging lately has been the realization that hundreds, that’s right hundreds, of new people are viewing my blog.  If you go back to my very first post or even look at the title you’ll figure out I get a little (a lot) nervous about the thought of being misunderstood or misjudged by my words.  So I’ve been pretty intimidated by seeing the number of page views I was getting around the time of surgery.  The stories I have to tell, the words I want to share, are not simply those of a pregnant patient/guinea pig being poked and prodded by medical professionals while dealing with the very rare Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.  I’m getting back to blogging about, well, me, my life, and whatever is on my mind.  My upcoming posts may not be nearly as important, life altering, heart tugging, or inspiring as what we’ve had to share in recent weeks but for me that’s probably a good thing because it means life is finally settling down.  This blog has always been a cathartic outlet for me, when I stop worrying about whether or not I’m being graded for my words.  So here goes…Upcoming posts will include tales of our first ever home purchase, the discovery that no two door knobs in our house are alike and that every layer of wallpaper is covering and even more interesting décor choice underneath, the gender reveal parties for our families that occurred on Thanksgiving before things went nuts, the challenge of naming our miracle babies & the pressure from others to stop calling them Baby A & B, and the struggle to try and enjoy some sort of “normal” pregnancy traditions when absolutely NOTHING has been normal. 

So for now I’ll leave you with an embarrassingly badly posed photo of myself taken last Thursday at 26 weeks 5 days pregnant-officially measuring what a woman carrying one baby would be at 32 weeks!!! THANKS AGAIN for all the love and support so many of you are sending our way through cards, prayers, meals,and on & on. 

*Note* I have been battling bronchitis since Christmas! Miserable! I am on my second antibiotic now and still struggling.  Hence you’ll notice the smile in this photo isn’t exactly a toothy grin from ear to ear.Prayers in this area would be greatly appreciated as well!!!    

Monday, January 7, 2013

24 weeks 3 days & Good News!

Today marks 24 weeks and three days of pregnancy with our amazing fighters.  It’s been a while since we updated you and for that I apologize. Thank you for staying by our sides across the miles through prayer and encouragement.  I am so happy to share that we have good news! The past few weeks of doctors’ visits have been very positive and we feel safe sharing with you that things just keep improving with the boys! 

Baby B-the recipient baby, who you should remember was the most sick, has made miraculously quick improvements! We knew that doctors were hopeful that in 4-8 weeks after the surgery we would likely see improvements with decreased fluids and healing of his heart but that progress came much quicker than expected!  As of our weekly scan on Thursday, January 3 (our 4th wedding anniversary!) the fluid around his heart and in his abdomen is no longer visible!!  It’s gone!!! The most shocking news for us was hearing the fetal cardiologist say that his heart is no longer leaking!!!  His heart is still enlarged due to the stress that has been put on it.  As long as we can avoid preterm labor doctors are confident this will also improve. Please continue to pray for complete healing of his heart.  As for Baby A-the donor baby-the word is he looks completely normal and we even got to see hair growing on his little head in a recent ultrasound.  With every ultrasound, even the day of the surgery, the boys are extremely active to the point that it is common to hear doctors and staff say “you are going to have your hands full with these two!” The boys are even growing at a much more even rate now.  It is very rare for there to be a reversal of TTTS after surgery but of course it is a possibility so please don't stop praying now! We will praise God whether storms return, rage on, or clear up all together but we are so thankful for something to celebrate. 

In other news we are now homeowners and settling into our first home…no more apartment life for us!   Poor Jonny can finally come home from work in the evenings and relax at least a little thanks to the help from both my Mom, Jonny’s parents, and our friends Erin & Brian, who have come at different times to unpack and get us settled in.  It's a big job that I have hated it sit by and watch happen without me but I'm doing my best to follow doctors orders. Hopefully before long we can start showing you photos of our new house and scan in ultrasound pictures for you to see the grown of our little guys.  Obviously I’m not allowed to be acting as photographer-boo but as Jonny’s schedule settles down you’ll start to see more.  Also, to answer the most popular question lately, yes we are working on names so that you will know them as more than A & B! We’ll let you know when we’ve made a final decision.

As for my health, I have been battling bronchitis for almost two weeks. You would think with all the “rest” I get that I would recover more quickly but the truth is until a few days ago the miserable coughing was so bad that I wasn’t able to sleep much at all.  I’ve been put on more medications and am catching up on sleep. I of course will remain on bedrest and will be for the remainder of the pregnancy.  The rules are still-only up on my feet for trips to the bathroom, to eat meals at the table, grab a snack, etc…and only one set of stairs per day-that’s the hard one now that we live in a 2 story house! So far my greatest accomplishment has been watching the first 2 seasons of Downton Abbey in time for the start of season 3 last night. I’ve gotta celebrate the little things-right!?

Each Thursday brings new scans from doctors-we will keep you updated. Please continue to be in prayer for the improvement of Baby B’s heart, for me to kick this respiratory infection, for Jonny as he takes on all the worries of the world caring for us (meaning me, the boys, and our dog Tucker), and for many weeks to come with NO preterm labor! 

We can't thank you enough for the prayers, meals, cards, and even financial help! It is all so humbling and we will never be able to repay your kindness.