Friday, March 20, 2015

25 & 26 weeks with the Girls.

I'm writing this after my girls were born. There is a part of me that wishes I would have done this while I was still pregnant. But with all the doctor appointments and constant worrying I just couldn't do it. I needed to focus on something else.

At 25 weeks (february 12th). Our worlds got flipped upside down yet again. We went in and Laynie had persistent absent flow in her cord, we saw Dr. Zimmer and she decided to give us our first round of steroids. Adam and I were so scared because just 2 days before we had talked with Dr. Harry about how they didn't feel I needed the steroids yet and would only give them to me if they felt that delivery was imminent and soon.
Then  the next day we met with one of the neonatolgists that day...Dr. Lariosa. She didn't paint a very favorable picture but then again delivering babies at 25 weeks is less than ideal for everyone. But we signed our consents to treat the girls, and told them that we wanted to save both girls no matter what the neurological outcomes were. It's interesting to me how with just facial expressions how the doctors can express how they don't really agree with your decisions. But Adam and I firmly believe in not saving one child for the other and due to our circumstances it was so hard to make the right decision to save both when at any time Laynie could not survive.

On Tuesday February 17th, we had another ultrasound since their office was closed on the monday before, Dr. Harry peaked his head in and asked to have a growth scan, and we were at 580grams!!! I was so happy! It was such a great feeling to have gotten her over the 500 gram threshold! And our little perfect princess (Lorelai) was 2lbs!!! But the flow in Laynie's cord was showing reverse flow. So they decided they wanted to see us everyday to keep a closer eye on her. We also did a non stress test to get a baseline of their heart rates and Laynie was being stubborn and was hard to trace. Which is always a good sign that she's getting enough oxygen even with her bad cord blood flow. Dr. Heitt did tell us that gestational age plays more of a part than weight when it comes to survivability in the NICU.

We also had our Monogram Maternity meeting later that evening where we got to tour the OR, NICU and get a lot of our paperwork signed. It was a very surreal experience actually setting foot and viewing an OR. Even though I work here and see the NICU and things, it was the OR that really got to me. I had two babies vaginally, luckily with no problems, but the OR hit me like a ton of bricks! It felt so real and I got so scared after seeing that. But I think it was helpful too for me to process everything.

Then on Wednesday (February 18th, Ash Wednesday) Our worlds flipped yet again. She had reverse flow, absent flow and intermittent flow all within a few seconds of each other which isn't good. Also her ductus flow was showing almost absent flow. Which is an indication that the right side of her heart was starting to compensate for the bad blood flow through her cord. They wanted us to come back later in the day to see how things looked and told us that we might want to pack a bag and be prepared to be delivered. Adam and I went home, went to ash wednesday mass, then asked for one of the priests to give us a blessing. When we went back for the ultrasound not much had changed so we decided to be admitted which meant that we were being monitored a lot closer. We would continue to have daily ultrasounds, but also have non stress tests (basically they put monitors on the babies to monitor their heart rates) 3 times a day. With all of her blood flow issues, we were afraid that she would pass away and we were trying to avoid a still birth. At some point her portion of the placenta was going to give out on her and it wasn't going to be able to keep her alive and we just wanted to maximize her time in utero.

Then came Friday (February 20th...26 week 1 day) one of the scariest days yet. Along with her cord blood flow, they have been monitoring her MCAs (medial cerebral her brain) and her ductus venosus which is where blood flows to her liver. Well this day the flow was very low, almost absent. Dr. Heitt came  back to us with a new study that they were doing to try and determine when still births occur and it basically said that in the small study of only single babies, that when the ductus flow became absent that fetal death typically occurred within 3-11 days. She was at a 2.03 on this scale and neonatal death occurred around 2.07. Adam and I prayed and prayed and prayed. I also received my second round of steroids.  Luckily saturday things improved a little and then sunday she had the best flow she had ever had in all 3 areas. AND she was practice breathing! We were on such a high on sunday! I'm only sad I don't have a bump picture from this week.

But through it all we made it to 26 weeks...only 2 more weeks until our goal.

24 Weeks with the Girls

Week of February 5th 

How Far Along? 24...we've made it to viability!!!! yay!

Due Date:  May 28th

Total weight gain/loss: not a clue

Maternity Clothes? most certainly 

Stretch Marks? No new ones

Sleep?  It's been a really hard week. We were told at my u/s on Tuesday (I was 23 weeks 5 days) that Laynie's cord blood flow was absent. We had Dr. Conover which i've never been a huge fan of, bc he always seems like he's in a hurry to go somewhere else. But He told us that basically we are going to lose her, and there is a high probability that in doing so will kill her sister, due to the pressure changes in their placenta that come with that. Adam and I are so scared. We are begging for prayers. We also had an ultrasound today and there was no real change in the flow of her cord, and he seemed much more positive today about it...we saw the same be honest we are a little confused as to why he was so negative and then today he was so much more positive, but we've decided to take the good with the bad and focus on the good to get us through the weekend. I also had my glucose test and met with my OB. She is just so amazing and always makes me feel more at ease. She also put me on limited duty so I'll just be in the nursery instead of taking a patient load. they don't feel like being on bed rest or anything will do anything to help them.  But we were also officially diagnosed as IUGR with the added complication of AEDF (absent end diastolic flow). I'm praying so hard to just get these babies to 28 weeks. We were told today that even though they are "viable" that Laynie is just too small to intubate. She's only 380 grams and they usually need to be at least 500 to have the appropriate equipment to intubate them. And if we delivered now, Lorelai has a 60% chance of survival and will has a high probability of having some sort of brain damage. and Laynie only has a 10% chance of survival. So we need to pray we can get them bigger!

Best Moment of this Week?  I can't really say that there has been much good this week. I'm just grateful to still be pregnant. 

Movement? yes!  

Food cravings? no

Food aversions? nope

Gender? Girls

Labor Signs?  still the same. 

Belly Button In or Out? Still in 

What I miss? not feeling scared all the time. 

What I am looking forward to: Just continuing being pregnant. We've moved to twice weekly ultrasounds so we will get to see them more often. But this is all so nerve wracking. Overtime I don't feel them move for awhile I get scared that something has happened. But we have to put our faith in God and pray for them!

Size of the Baby:

Baby's now the size of a papaya!

Baby's skin is becoming more opaque as the fat starts to pack on. And, thanks to the formation of small capillaries, her newly thick skin is taking on a fresh pink glow.

23 weeks with the Twins

Week of January 29th 2015 
Sunday February 23
23 weeks 1 day

How Far Along? 23 weeks, one more week to viability

Due Date:  May 28th

Total weight gain/loss: 25 or so

Maternity Clothes? you bet

Stretch Marks? No new ones yet

Sleep?  Seems to be status quo of not getting too much. 

Best Moment of this Week? Just getting another week further with these ladies

Movement? OH yes! i'm starting to be able to distinguish the two. I think Baby B is on top and baby A is on the bottom. 

Food cravings? Just sweets

Food aversions? nope

Gender? Girls

Labor Signs?  Contractions have slowed down a bit, work is definitely getting more and more uncomfortable. 

Belly Button In or Out? Still in thank goodness

What I miss? Again not a whole lot. Just thankful to be pregnant with these girls

What I am looking forward to: I'm only working part time next week due to my ultrasound, glucose test and OB appointment so I'm looking forward to that! OH and reaching Viability. 

Size of the Baby:

Baby's now the size of a papaya!

Baby's little face is fully formed...minus the baby fat, of course. The next task at hand for baby: sprouting two teeny-tiny nipples!

22 Weeks with the twins

Week of January 22nd, 2015 
Friday January 23rd
22 weeks 1 day 

How Far Along? 22 weeks 

Due Date:  May 28th

Total weight gain/loss: somewhere around 20. 

Maternity Clothes? best inventions ever

Stretch Marks? No new ones thank goodness

Sleep?  It's  been as best as can be expected. My arms have started to go numb when I sleep. Not like fall asleep numb, but like numb numb. and just in certain spots. my hands go numb and it takes a while for me to regain feeling. 

Best Moment of this Week?  At my ultrasound everything looked ok with the babies. Fluid levels, cord blood flow, kidneys, bladders and stomachs are all ok! No twin to twin. 

Movement? yes, and its the best part of  pregnancy by far

Food cravings? all sweets

Food aversions? nope

Gender? two precious girls

Labor Signs?  still having mild contractions at night, but nothing too bad. 

Belly Button In or Out? still in. 

What I miss? not a whole lot. This whole pregnancy has really changed me and every ache, pain and discomfort is worth it, so long as my girls are ok. 

What I am looking forward to: I'm just looking forward to making it to another week. I'm excited to meet these girls but also don't want to rush things. 

Size of the Baby:

Baby's now the size of a papaya!

Baby's settling into sleep cycles, snoozing about 12 to 14 hours a day. It shouldn't be hard to figure out when -- just pay attention to those kicks as they start and stop.

21 weeks with the twins

Week of January 15th 2015
Wednesday January 21st
21 weeks 6 days

How Far Along? 21 weeks...3 more weeks until my first goal of 24 weeks!

Due Date:  just hoping to get to may!

Total weight gain/loss: 17 I think...maybe 19. Hell I don't know

Maternity Clothes? everything and i love them. 

Stretch Marks? No new ones thank goodness

Sleep?  this week has been BAD! I worked 2 nights, then we were out of town for a funeral, and I didn't sleep well on the uncomfortable mattress and the 15 month old next to me didn't help, then I came home and was awoken early to the smell of gasoline bc I apparently cracked my gas tank on the travels! ---this mama is TIRED!

Best Moment of this Week?  This has been a tough week. We got to spend some time with the boys cousin Quinn which is always one of my favorite things. I love getting to see my niece and getting to see how much Lincoln loves her and they get a long so well! She was hilarious with Landon, sitting on him making him cry and yet trying to give him hugs. LOVED it. The circumstances as to why we got to see them is what was hard. Adam's grandma somewhat unexpectedly passed away so it's been hard for my MIL to cope with her loss and it makes me sad for her and wish we were closer to help her through this. 

Movement? YES!!!! I love and cherish every kick! still hard to say if I notice a difference of one vs. two babies. 

Food cravings? nope

Food aversions? nope

Gender? Girls

Labor Signs?  I have about 2-4 contractions a day. kinda annoying and just uncomfortable. --interesting how I wrote that exact line when I was pregnant with Lincoln at 21 weeks and its still true for this pregnancy. 

Belly Button In or Out? Still in thank goodness! but I'm getting so large so quickly that I'm really curious if it will pop out this time. 

What I miss? nothing really. My sciatic nerve has REALLY been bugging me, and a couple of times I have almost fallen bc I lose feeling in my legs, but honestly Every ache and every pain is worth it, and only temporary. I would be in excruciating pain daily if it meant that these babies were ok and growing. I just want them to be ok, so the sleepless nights/days, the pain, the contractions and all of it are totally worth it. 

What I am looking forward to: Having another ultrasound on tuesday and my OB appointment on Friday.

Size of the Baby:

Baby's now the size of a banana!
Baby's digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion, and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth. And, if baby is a girl, her womb is now stocked up with her lifetime supply of six million eggs (the number will drop to around one million by birth).

**Pictures are on my camera and I haven't transferred them yet.