Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Waiting to Exhale

It's been 7 days since we last saw our perinatal specialist and weren't given the best news. We had an appointment today. I woke up and I was at peace. My heart wasn't pounding like it had been, and my thoughts weren't going a mile a minute. My heart was calm. That was until around 1:30, when the appointment was looming closer. All day long I was in constant prayer. I went to my Word and poured over promises from God. I went over them again and again. My heart was now in my throat and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Each time I tried to breathe in I couldn't. Anxiety had set in.

When we arrived at the doctor the mood was stoic and the room was freezing. Keep in mind most women that come here do not have healthy pregnancies. It seemed like forever before they called my name. When they did, I made the journey down the long hallway into the ultrasound room. When the tech started, my heart was still pounding and it was still hard to breathe. She looked at their stomachs first and I was surprised. The difference in them didn't look nearly as great as it had a week before. She made the comment that yes, you could tell there was a difference but it wasn't big. It was getting a little easier to breathe. She continued on and we were able to get some beautiful shots of our precious girls. They were face to face, and Harper's little hand was draped "over" her sister, as if to say, "It's OK, I'm here." She measured their amniotic fluids are both were exactly the same. OK, now I could definitely breathe better.

Then it was time for the Doppler reading. Last week we got an abnormal reading followed by a normal one so we weren't sure what to expect. It too her FOREVER to get a good read. Now it was harder to breathe. Finally she was able too and just like that it was over. As you know, the tech isn't really supposed to tell you anything, and I knew better than to ask, so as she finished up her paperwork we waited patiently for the doctor to come in. She did within a few minutes and the first thing she said was, "Good, normal Doppler reading." I think for the first time in 30 minutes I exhaled. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest. She went on to say once again she saw no indication of twin to twin transfusion syndrome and it simply looked to be a case of twin discordance. She wants to see us back in two weeks and continue to keep an eye on things. But she was much more encouraging than the last time.

She told me to, of course continue the bed rest and I said I would and that this was my big day out, she laughed and said, "That's just sad!" As soon as she walked out all I could say was, "Thank you God!" And I did. Many times. We go back to Dr. Fanous tomorrow for a regular check up, if you consider any appointment I have "regular." Today brought encouraging news, and today we are grateful. We know that we still have a long journey ahead of us, but we continue to trust in Jesus, our Great Deliverer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's Almost Been a Week...

Since I went on strict bed rest. If you have notions that bed rest might be the best thing ever, you are so wrong. I feel so disconnected from everything. Seriously, what did people do before facebook, babycenter and Tyler was sweet enough to get me Netflix on the Wii (I know, we are the last people ever to have it) so I find myself watching an exorborant amount of series, documentaries and movies. Note to self: When you are on bed rest for a high risk multiple pregnacy, do not watch documentaries invloving anything related to childbirth. It will be tempting, but it will also scare the you know what out of you. It started simply enough with The Business of Being Born. Good movie, not to scary. But the thing with Netflix is that when you watch something they recommend other shows/ movies that are similar. This is where you can get into trouble. But I digress. For now, I'll just stick with Mad Men.

When you are on bed rest you also get excited about little things. For example, today I ordered Steak Express for lunch. I wasn't excited about the lunch part (ok, maybe a little) but I was more excited that for 45 seconds I would be able to get up and answer the door (yes, I am allowed to do that) The delivery guy must have thought I was out of my mind when I tried to carry on a conversation with him. He was more like, "Give me your money lady, so I can get out of here." My mother in law is bringing by dinner tonight, so that will be two visitors in one day! Woo hoo!

I can't brag enough about Tyler. If I thought I loved him before, I love him even more now. He has steped into the role of "Mommy" effortlessly. The kids come home, he gets them a snack, homework is checked, dinner is served, baths are given, teeth are brushed and they are tucked away in bed. He makes it look so easy. And here's the best part, he does it because he loves me and he doesn't complain. He even picks there clothes out (even though last night I noticed he layed out a 9 month outfit for P.J) The mornings have been no exception. He's got these kids functioning like a well oiled machine. I still wake up with them and even though I can't help, I just like to marvel at how smoothly things are going. He does it better than, dare I say...I do! I am able to sit in bed and fix Presley's hair, because let's face it, thats one thing I'll always be better at. We have many more weeks to go, and I'm sure there will be frustrations along the way, we for now he makes me so proud. He is still able to play guitar in the praise band,and I'm so happy he still gets to do something for himself. His brother is throwing him a diaper shower this weekend and I know he's looking forward to getting away for a few hours.He is amazing and I wouldn't want to go through this with anyone else. It' such a priveledge to carry his little girls.

With all that being said, it's time once again to ask for your help. We go back to the Perinatal specialist tomorrow to check the bloodflow from the placenta to the girls'. Last week we got an abnormal reading, following by a normal one. So that's what we are praying for. Normal. We won't be able to tell if sweet little Berkley has caught up to chunky monkey Harper just yet. To say I'm not anxious about tomorrow would be a lie, so would you also pray for me as well? I know the girls can feel stress, and the last thing I want is that stress coming from me. One more thing, to those who have called, brought meals, sent encouraging cards and texts. You will never know how much you are loved and appreciated. Tyler and I cannot wait to be able to return the love. I want to leave you with a verse I came across this morning. It was so spot on for what we are facing in our life right now that I read it over and over and it officially came my bed rest verse. I couldn't choose between which version I liked better, so I'm writing both. (NIV and The Message)

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we could ask or imagine. According to His Power that is at work within us."

Ephesians 3:20, NIV

" God can do anything,you know. Far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing us around, but by working within us."

Ephesians 3:20, The Message

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I will carry you

Written by me, with love for my precious girls, Berkley Beth & Harper Kate

An unexpected blessing, two brand new little lives.
A rush of emotions. Fear, delight and surprise.
All the nights spent worrying, restful nights were few.
Those little things don't matter.
I will carry you.

Not knowing what will come next or how we will make it through.
But we trust in our Creator.
I will carry you.

It doesn't matter how you get here or what tests and procedures they will do.
You are so very worth it.
I will carry you.

Here alone with my thoughts of how your days might be,
what will be your favorite color, will your eyes be brown or blue?
Until we know those things,
I will carry you.

I love being your temporary home, despite how tough things can seem
Seeing you move and feeling you kick can always make me beam.
Why did God pick me, to protect not one but two?
I consider it the greatest honor.
I will carry you.

Fashioned in God's imagine, perfect from the start.
even though so tiny, you already have our hearts.
I dream about holding you, breathing you in so delicate and new.
I know these things will come, but until then,
I will carry you.

As each hour passes I think about you more.
Too many thoughts cloud my head of what might be in store.
The fog is gently lifted and the words I hear are few.
I am here. You are not alone.
I will carry you.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Berkley & Harper Continued

Sorry for the continuation. Getting back to what I was saying. Many people have asked how they could help. I like to be specific.

Prayer is powerful. Pray for us. Pray specifically that:
* Berkley would "catch up" to her sister in terms of size
* Both amounts of fluid surrounding the girls remain stable
* No matter the outcome of our situation that God would be glorified
* Our doctors will be blessed by God & His guidance
* Those who will be helping us will be blessed as well
* Keller & Presley will be cooperative and understanding.

Encourage Tyler.
Now more than ever, we are putting the saying "in sickness & in health" to work. Tyler will take on the role of Mr. Mom and up to this point he has been incredible. If you see him,let him know what a great job he's doing,send him and e-mail or a text. He may not be carrying these babies, but he is definitely carrying a heavy

I just got off the phone with my doctor. Most of you are familiar with Dr. Fanous and know what a great man of faith he is. He told me something that really encouraged me. He said, " I know most doctors see things in terms of black & white, but I see things in gray. There are a lot of things that science can't explain, so you have this big gap, and that big gap is where my God comes in. I will be praying for you and your girls."

I was speechless. The tears came. How many doctors tell you they will pray for you? I have not doubted since day one, that I was in the right place. I want to leave you with a song that has become my cry to my Savior. Please take a few minutes to listen to this song. No matter what you are going through, Jesus really is all we need. He is my Healer, My Sovereign God. I trust in Him. Nothing is impossible for my God. He holds my world and my sweet girls in His hands.

Update on Berkley & Harper

To say the last two days have been rough, would be a huge understatement. My eyes are still puffy and buring, and my head is throbbing. My emotions are frayed, but my heart is calm. For the sake of explaining everything for the 30th time(literally) I thought I would let you all what exactly is going on. Let's start at the beginnning.

Yesterday we went in for a routine ultrasound and found some differences between the girls. It seemed that Baby A (Berkley)was measuring 11 days behind her sister, Harper. Harper was right where she was supposed to be, 20 weeks. While 11 days doesn't seem like much, it falls in the range of 30% which is what we don't really want. Both girls had beautiful heartbeats and were moving like crazy. So, those are positive things. So, why is the size difference a concern? When twins are identical they are at risk for Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. Simply put, one twin takes from the other and gets much bigger, while the other fails to thrive. It is very serious,and the outcome is not always great. So, when the doctor noticed this diffence, that is where we thought we were headed. I had an appointment with a perinatal specialist already schedueled for the next day, so we decided to see if his measurments matched up to the specialists. That brings us to today.

We saw the perinatal specialist this morning and she too confirmed what my OB/GYN had found. Berkley was in fact smaller than her sister. The ultrasound was extremely detailed and we were able to find out a lot more than what we learned yesterday. Both babies were anatomically perfect. Four chambers in their hearts, kidneys, bladders, and brains. All there and in working order. However, it was discovered that Berkley (the smaller one) has a single umbilical artery. "Normal" pregnancies will have two. While this isn't super common among singleton pregnancies, it is much more common in mutilple pregnancies. This very finding alone could be the cause of her smaller size. The outcome for babies with this condition is very encouraging. They are usually born a little earlier and have a smaller birth weight, but we were already expecting these things. Thisis however, no "cure" for this condition. Since they are identical, they also share a placenta. One baby may have attached to the placenta in a way that she has "more" where the other may have a smaller portion. This could also be the cause. We were also told that it could be a chromosonal issue, but since Harper is looking great, we are pretty certain it is not that. If one baby had a chromosonal issue, the other would also. Another cause could be a virus. If this is the cause, there are a few differnt therapies we could try.

Here is where is gets trciky though. At this point, the girls are not viable. Meaning they could not survive outside the womb. I'm not going to lie, hearing that there is really nothing they could do at this point is like a punch in the stomach and dagger to the heart. But as far as we are concerned our girls don't have an expiration date. Not one time did the doctor say this was the end. What is does mean is they will have to monitored extra close. We were already being monitored extra close, so now it's extra, extra close. Many people have already asked us what they could do to help us out. I believe in asking for help when you need it and this time is no exception. Now, more than ever we will need all the help we can get, espcially since my bed rest and restrictions haven't been lifted.