Thursday, May 27, 2010

I had to post something. I was so sick of looking at my jumbo sized belly. I'll try to post pictures of Jack later tomorrow. The truth is he's always filthy and sticky and I don't want everyone to know exactly how much I neglect my son's hygiene. Not to mention his clothes that are usually mismatched.
Well I figure it's probably time we do an update on the babies. We saw my perinatologist this week and things are looking pretty good. No twin to twin transfusion which is more common with identical twins. That's where one baby starts growing bigger and taking more of the nutrients. They are both weighing around 3 lbs. Lucy is about 9% smaller than Hazel. They aren't usually worried until the discrepancy is over 20%. So we are good there. Their fluids are looking good. Hazel does have a little more fluid though. I'm going to this doctor every week now for the rest of my pregnancy.
I also went to my OB this week. No change in my cervix. Very good news. Right now I'm at a one and I really don't want to go on bed rest so I'm hoping I don't progress again for awhile.
This week we also had a meeting at the children's hospital that Lucy will be going to. It was really good they were able to answer a lot of questions we had. We found out that Lucy will be taken pretty much immediately after she is born and transported to the other hospital. Chuck will be going with her so I'm going to be left with Hazel at the other hospital. Hopefully my mom will be around. They might let me leave the hospital early to go visit her. If Lucy is born on time (at 38 weeks) she will probably be in the NICU for a little over a week before her first surgery depending on how she's doing. If she's born early she will need a little longer. The NICU is huge. They typically have 60-65 babies at a time. They gave us a tour after our meeting. It was so weird to think we were going to be there with our baby in a few weeks.
One thing I've been really worried about is that Lucy would also have some other chromosomal abnormalities. With her condition, there is also a high occurrence of Di George syndrome. The Neonatologist that was in our meeting seemed to think that because she is an identical twin, and her twin doesn't have the heart condition, that Lucy will probably not have any other chromosomal abnormalities. If she does Hazel will have them too. It's all very confusing to me. They will still test the girls after they are born.
Chuck has been studying for boards and I really hope he does okay. At least he should ace any questions on infant heart defects.
I'm so grateful for all the support we've received. My mom elected to have very painful surgery on her wrists so that she could heal faster and come out to help. My little brother offered to come live out here for awhile if I needed him to. My sisters have been taking time away from their families to help my mom recover. They've been so good to talk to. I wish were at home with them. My Dad has been so supportive and shown so much concern for our family right now. Both Chuck and my extended families have prayed and fasted for us and I know we have been strengthened because of them. I love our families.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

29 weeks and ready to burst

Mother here are some belly shots. Are you happy? Here is my massive body.
I got a little carried away during our photo shoot. Chuck dared me to post them all. here they are.

My personal favorite.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Plan of Attack

We sometimes think the grieving process is reserved only for those who've had someone close to them die. I know this can't be true or else I wouldn't be feeling this way. Whether or not we've ever had someone close to us die we've all felt grief. The checklist of emotions that come at us with such predictability it's almost embarrassing. Denial, anger, bargaining and finally acceptance. Depression is in there too, I think after bargaining. The grief process is important to go through but Satan wants us to stay there. He doesn't want us to get to the end. Right now I feel totally unexcited for the birth of my children. I know they are safe as long as they remain inside me. As soon as they are born the world will become a scary and painful place. The truth is I'm not only scared for Lucy but I'm scared for myself. I don't want to see my newborn daughter taken to another hospital, stuck with needles and sliced open. I don't want to give up the control that brings me so much pace of mind, but I have to. Throughout my life I have heard so many people ask, "why would a God that loved us let such bad things happen to people." I know he lets bad things happen to us because he loves us. He wants us to become like Him and without trial and pain we will never grow. It doesn't mean it doesn't cause Him pain.
I know I'm going to need to suck it up before they're born. I want their births to feel like a victory. I don't want to waste anytime being faithless or sad. I want to enjoy every moment I have with them. That is why I'm devising my plan of attack. Having something to do always seems to make me feel better. When we got home from the perinatologist after he told us there might be a problem with one of the babies, I ripped off all the tags on the clothes we had bought them. I threw away any receipts we had kept and I made their presence as permanent as I possibly could. It was my way of telling myself everything would be fine. When I found out on Monday that there was for sure a problem I started cleaning out there room and working on some small projects. This morning after having a discussion with Chuck, I realized these little things weren't going to be enough to get me out of this funk. I told Chuck I need to have something to do for the next 10 or so weeks, so I feel like I'm contributing in someway. What I really want is someone to sit me down and walk me through everything. The birth, the surgeries, and what I need to be doing to prepare for this. Chuck and I began step one of our plan of attack. We came up with a list of questions for my doctors that I'll be seeing next week. I normally hate asking questions so this is a big deal for me. I'm hoping those appointments will give me a little more insight into what we can expect. So far this plan of attack doesn't sound like much, but just wait, we're going to be ready for this.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Chuck and Jack!!!

I can't believe my little boy turned 2 this year! These are the only pictures we got of Chuck and Jack's birthday. I feel bad that we didn't get any of Chuck. I'll be the first to admit it was pretty lame this year. I didn't make a cake and Chuck made his own birthday dinner. He did get to try out his new BBQ which was fun though.
It was difficult to do much celebrating when we knew the next day was probably going to be so difficult, which it was.
Chuck and Jack have changed my life in ways I could have never imagined. They have given me purpose and incredible joy. I never knew being a mother would bring so much fullness to my life. Our family is so blessed.

I love his eyelashes.
He loves cows.

He's getting better at the unwrapping thing.
He loved this tricycle but it still way too small for it. I felt so bad.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Results

Chuck and I went to the pediatric cardiologist today. It was a difficult appointment. We sat in silence for an hour and a half while the doctor performed the fetal echocardiogram. This is basically done just like a normal ultrasound. Chuck tried to ask questions but the doctor said he'd rather explain things later. That was our first clue it wasn't going well. He looked at both babies but Lucy took about twice as long. That was our next clue. The doctor was very nice and explained to me the anatomy of a normal heart and then explained what was wrong with Lucy's heart. She basically has 4 things that are going wrong and they call it Tetralogy of Fallot. This was what we were thinking was wrong. After our appointment on Monday Chuck said that this is what he thought the doctor's were talking about. It was a huge comfort to already know a little about what we were dealing with. I'm so glad Chuck was perceptive enough to know what the doctor was talking about because all I understood was..."might be something wrong with Baby A's heart..." The doctor then explained the process for correcting this. Right after birth she will be given a drug through an IV that will help things temporarily. Then, because she has a severe case, she will be moved to Children's Mercy to have her first surgery. This part scares me a little. I didn't expect her first surgery to be so soon, they typically can wait several months until they're bigger. Depending on how she does with that surgery she will have a second surgery probably between 6-12 months after she is born.
We were supposed to move to Detroit in August. Chuck's school made an exception for us and gave us until October. I don't see how we could move in the next year. It's strange because we finally felt good about moving, and now we might not. We're praying everything falls into place where it needs to. We have felt so much love and support from our family and friends. There is nothing else in the world quite like it. Chuck and I have felt so much peace. I know this experience has definitely strengthened our faith. I know our Heavenly Father is aware of our little family and He's looking out for us.