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 artery...in 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.