Wednesday, September 7, 2011

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.

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