27 Weeks 4 Days
Kevin and I want to thank everyone for your continued support and prayers. We need your prayers more then ever right now. I really don’t know where to begin… As Kevin mentioned last week, we were admitted to the hospital at 26 weeks and 3 days. At that appointment, they told us delivery could be within the week due to the reverse flow of the umbilical artery. Well here we are one week later and still hanging on. These boys amaze me every day. They have such a will to live! The odd thing is that if you go by the textbook, it says that reverse flow will NOT improve and progression for the worse is imminent. Once again, our boys continue to deify the odds! At our appointments this week, no reversal flow was detected. The doctor said it could be because of the steroid shots but that is highly unlikely. Not having the reverse flow buys us more time, which is desperately needed at this point in the pregnancy.
In addition to the reverse flow, I have been having some very minor contractions. We have been monitoring these several times a day and they seem to be getting less frequent. I am staying very hydrated and that seems to be helping. We continue to be monitored twice a day in addition to ultra sounds and echocardiograms. The daily monitoring is very stressful. I dread this process because I am always afraid we are going to see something that will tell us today is the day.
Today we had a full ultrasound only to find out Ben has only grown three ounces in two weeks. Ben is now one pound five ounces and Jake is two pounds one ounce. Ben’s slow growth is very concerning to the doctors. It could indicate that his portion of the placenta is aging but again, only time will tell. On a positive note, both boys have great fluid and activity. Their heart rates also are very good.
So how do we decide when we should deliver? The doctor said today could be the day..or two weeks from now could be the day. It’s hard to determine how things will play out. Both of our UM docs said they expect to deliver these boys in about 1-2 weeks. We feel this is much better then 26 weeks when we were admitted to the hospital. They will look at the big picture…their fluid, activity, growth, heart rates, dopplers, etc. The day that all signs point to the fact that they would do better in the ICU then inside of me... will be the day we deliver.
Tonight we went on a tour of the NICU. This was very sobering. I have seen pictures of babies that small but to see it in person was very difficult. I saw a dad in there by himself and his little girl was holding onto his finger. He was smiling at her and glowing just as a new dad should. She was hooked up to millions of tubes and had translucent skin. I did everything in my power not to break down right then. It was so hard to see a stranger’s baby, I can’t imagine what it would be like to see my own. I hope I can be as strong as that dad was tonight.
We did see a 27 week old baby and a baby that was born at one pound five ounces, which is where Ben is right now. Again, it was very difficult but also very helpful. I think it’s important to become familiar with what lies ahead. I thought being on bed rest for 11 weeks was challenging….I think bed rest will be a piece of cake compared to the ICU journey.
How are we doing??? Well…as good as can be expected. Hospital bed rest is a lot more challenging then being on bed rest at home. Kevin might as well be on bed rest too. He refuses to go home. He sleeps on a chair that pulls out every night right next to my bed. We like to call our room “apartment four.” We have set up internet, a DVD player, and made it as homey as possible. We joke that we finally have a place of our own. Our days go pretty fast as we are swarmed with docs and nurses all day long. I really miss seeing my friends and family. It is so hard to have visitors when we have testing all day and we are exhausted by the end of the day. Each day is so unpredictable. I apologize for not keeping in contact with everyone. Thank you very much for your understanding. I look forward to the day when we can have friends over for dinner or I can meet a friend for lunch. One day soon we will enjoy those things again.
As far as the hospital stay goes, we feel we are in very good hands. Our nurses and doctors have been outstanding. The first few days we were here we were on 24 hour monitoring, which was extremely challenging. One nurse, Debra, practically slept in my bed with me holding the monitors on my stomach all night. She was so patient and nurturing. We feel like we are in the best place we can be. I have been getting really sore and achy from the hospital bed but fortunately my mother-in-law is a certified massage therapist. Boy did I hit the jackpot!!! Not only has Sue brought us several meals but has also given me daily massages. Ever since I have been getting the massages, I feel like a new woman!!! I am so grateful for her..she has made this experience much more tolerable.
With Kevin and I staying at the hospital full time, it has been really hard to get things done with our house. Fortunately, I have a great builder and amazing parents who have been taking care of a lot of house stuff for us. Every night my mom and dad lug up a bunch of granite and hardwood samples, as we need to make these decisions quickly if we want to finish this house. They have been meeting with our interior decorator and tying up loose ends. I don’t know how people get through times like this without a support system.
Its funny…despite being in this difficult situation I continue to feel lucky. I feel lucky to be blessed with these two boys. I appreciate my friends and family more then ever. I hope in five years I always remember how I feel now. I hope I remember how important it is not to stress about the little stuff. This time will always remind me of how precious life really is.
We are starting to plan for our big party on Sunday…WEEK 28!!! We are calling it “Fetal Appreciation Day.” We are not calling it a birthday…because we don’t want a birth! We are ordering pizzas for all the docs and nurses and having our own little celebration. Should be pretty wild and crazy!
Thanks for letting me talk. It has been a long time since I have been able to update the blog and had a lot to say. Now that we have an Internet connection, I hope to update more regularly. Hope all is well with everyone and we will be in touch soon!
PS) Did anyone get to see the special on primetime last night about TTTS? We were so disappointed with the ABC’s depiction of twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. They were inaccurate with many of their explanations, and especially discouraging to any parents that are currently battling this disease.