"To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art." - La Rochefoucauld

Saturday, September 02, 2006

28 Weeks 6 Days (3 months of bed rest)

We are in the process of planning FAD (Fetal Appreciation Day) #29!!! Yup, we made it one more week! We have been told that everyday we are pregnant is about five less days in the NICU. Our goal is to keep those babies cooking as long as possible, which I think is quite possible at this point. Our doctors have actually said they are perplexed by our case. Jake and Ben have a mind of their own and continue to defy the odds. As my doctor said, babies do not read the textbooks.

At our ultrasound yesterday, no reverse flow of the umbilical artery was detected. Ben actually had more amniotic fluid then Jake, which was a first. When a baby starts to decline and they are not getting the blood/oxygen/nutrients they need, they are unable to produce amniotic fluid. Ben’s fluid continues to be stable if not better, which doctors are happily surprised about.

Jake is doing so well. He continues to inspire his little brother to grow. Ben is holding out as long as he can to give Jake the best chance possible. I am so happy they have each other. They have already impressed me with their strong will.

The last three weeks we have become very close with this couple going through a very similar situation with their twin girls. They have mo mo twins, which means they have one placenta and one sac. As you may remember, we have one placenta and two sacs (di mo twins.) The outcome for an identical twin pregnancy depends on how many days after conception the egg splits. Read below to see the five variations of identical twins.
  • Dichorionic and diamniotic (DI DI): These types of identical twins develop 2 separate placentas and 2 separate amniotic sacs (similar to fraternal or non-identical twins). They generally occur if the fertilized egg splits before 3 days after conception.
  • Monochorionic and diamniotic (DI MO): JAKE & BEN ARE DI MO’s These identical twins share 1 placenta (monochorionic) but develop 2 separate fluid sacs (diamniotic). This is the most common type, accounting for around 75% of identical twin pregnancies and happens if the split occurs between days 3 and 8 after conception.
  • Monochorionic and monoamniotic (MO MO): OUR FRIEND’S BABIES These twins share 1 placenta (monochorionic) and 1 sac (monoamniotic). This is the rarest type of identical twins, occurring if the split does not occur until 8 to 13 days after conception. Monochorionic/monoamniotic twins are associated with more pregnancy complications for the babies.
  • Conjoined or Siamese twins: In very rare circumstances, the twins do not split until the 13th to 15th days after conception. This leads to the babies themselves being physically joined together to some degree, as well as sharing 1 placenta and 1 amniotic sac (monochorionic and monoamniotic). The joining may just involve the baby’s skin on some part of their body (being easy to surgically separate soon after birth), or it may involve the babies sharing vital organs such as their brain or heart (making surgical separation more involved or not possible). These babies need to be born by Caesarean, with any proposed surgical separation being performed at some stage after they are born.
  • Acardiac twins: This is a very rare type of twinning that is similar to conjoined twins, except the babies share one heart. Separation may be possible, but the second twin cannot survive. However, the condition itself is also life threatening for the first twin because of an overload on the heart trying to support both babies. This can lead to heart failure (in 50% of cases). Again, the babies need to be born by caesarean and any proposed surgical separation is performed at some stage after they are born.

The splitting of a developing baby to create twins is not possible once the pregnancy is more than 15 days after conception.

We have two different types of pregnancies, but have had very similar treatment and monitoring plans. They had to come in three times a day to be monitored so they would always stop by and chat. It has been quite a bonding experience.

Last night Kevin and I were coming back from a wheel chair stroll with some friends only to find out it was time for our friends with the mo mo twins to deliver. At 30 weeks they delivered two healthy three pound baby girls. We are so happy to report the girls are doing very well. This experience made things very real for Kevin and I. Seeing them head off to the OR for the big moment made us realize our day to be parents is right around the corner. A feeling of excitement came over us. With all of the hardship and constant worry, we have forgotten that the most amazing experience of our life is going to be here before we know it!!! We are so excited to meet Jake and Ben. However, we have told them we will wait as long as we need to!!

All in all Kevin and I are doing well. Our spirits are much better. We are very confident there will be a positive outcome. Other then sore backs and nasty hospital food, we are doing pretty well. We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and well wishes. I can say without a doubt the reason we are here today and doing well is because of the power of prayer.

Happy Labor Day!!


Samantha said...

Happy Labor Day!!
Sounds like things are going well! I did not know much about the different types of identical twins- that was very informative!! I hope things continue to go well for Ben and Jake. My thoughts are with you guys.

John said...

Hi Kevin & Danielle,

I am so glad the boys are doing well. I consider Brooke , our donor, my hero. She fought,like Ben is now, to keep her sister alive. After delivery, Rachel had all the common premie problems (bili lights for jaundice, and she needed a c-pap for four days because of apnea). Brooke had all the stress on the inside and just needed billi lights for a few days.
Hopefully "LABOR DAY" won't be for several weeks.

Alot of our Doctors said the same thing. TTTS was not a case that they see too often. We started to keep a journal of our journey.
We would write specific's down on a calender and transfer them into the journal once a week(with twins you kind of forget alot of things).
My wife continued up untill their first birthday so the blur of the first year can be remembered.
Life will get better, someday.
Keep up the good work.
You are defininitly an inspiration to your friends and family.

Praying for healthy babies,

Anonymous said...

Danielle and Kevin-

I hope you have a wonderful "non labor" Labor Day. Let's get our kids to have as close of birthdays as possible!!! Thanks for the update. I am also glad Sheri and her husband were able to deliver two healthy girls, great news!

You two take good care of yourselves and the boys. We will continue to send good prayers your way until those little boys are at home!

Jodi and Dave

jennifertttssurvivor said...

Congratulations on week 29 you two!! I am so very happy for you and your progress. As you know, creeping up week to week means so much to those little guys-- its been such a long road, and your defying all the odds, YEAH!!!!!!!!!This is why you listen to your heart and your intuition and not all those doctors! Us moms know best!!!hehe!! Keep up the good work!!! Jennifer (TTTS MOM)

Amanda B. said...

You guys continue to amaze me. More and more, I see little ones defy the odds. I guess they should start updating all these textbooks. I continue to pray for you and hope you hold those little ones in as long as need be. I can not wait to meet them.

Anonymous said...

Kevin and Danielle,

I'm so glad to hear that Ben & Jake are doing well. The nice thing is that twins that are born early tend to progress better than the singles. I know that this has been tremendously tough on you two, but you can celebrate each day that you are still pregnant. Nature's way is the best way, and each day makes a world of difference for Ben & Jake. We're all praying for a few more weeks and a smooth start to their lives.

-Mark & Debbie

Shauna said...

I think of you often...
Prayers are powerful!!!!
Much Love,

Shauna said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
jenny marie said...

Incredible! I'm so glad you've made it this far.

You didn't mention the babies' latest measurements so I was just wondering where they are at this point?

The longer gestation is the most important thing, so they will have that advantage now. Thirty weeks is almost like full-term to parents expecting to have preemies. I can fully appreciate that!!

Anonymous said...

Danielle and Kevin,
This is Mike's sister, Leanne. I continue to pray for you and your little ones daily. I wanted you to know that Cheri is a friend of mine from high school. I happened to run into her on Friday at Target. We started talking about her twins and managed to find out that you all had become friends. She thinks the world of both of you. Please send her my congratulations when you see her. What an inspiration for you to see that she delivered two healthy little girls. I wish you all the best.