Thursday, March 22, 2012

Because I think About My Miracles

My perspective on life has changed tremedously in the past 7 months. You don't grow and give birth to 2 perfectly healthy babies and endure what Sid and I have endured and not be a changed person.  I cannot listen to songs or go to church with bawling because at those time, I'm especially in the frame of mind to meditate on just how good God has been to me and my little family, not just in the aspect of the twins, but in a lot of different ways. We are all human, we all (yes! even you and I know that's a shock to some people), but we all fall short of the glory of God, we get knocked down- but if you don't choose to stay down, if you choose to embrace the acts that make you needy of God's grace, well...I happen to think you can overcome!  Anyway, that's not really what this is about.

Yesterday, I learned of a situation that saddened me so.  And since I feel lead to share it and this is my blog, I'll just share it here.  I'll warn you, it's sad and it's lenghthy and it may cause some anxiety if you are vulnerable to this kind of information right now.

I am a member of a mom's of twins group online because MS doesn't have a chapter of MOM's at all, anywhere.  These ladies are all over the US and some in Cananda, but we all have twins that were born in the summer of 2011.  Yesterday, a girl who has identical twins that suffered from Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and is a member of a group of mom's who went through that as well, posted about a mother.  Here's the story:  She lives in IL and was 22 weeks pregnant.  Her twins, Sophie and Sage, developed TTTS.  I'm unsure if they actually had to have the surgery to correct his, but I will tell you that the surgery is very dangerous because they are actually going in with a laser and a needle and clamping off vessels that that baby's share so that each twin gets exactly what they need, no more or no less.  But anyway, pre-term labor is a complication of TTTS.  This mom went into labor and her doctors of course admitted her to the hospital and tried to stop the labor, but her water broke.  This mother was told that because she was at 22 weeks and some days, not 24 weeks, that if the babies were born alive, they would not do anything to try and save the babies. 

Now, let me stop right there and say some things.  We know that 24 weeks is really what the medical community considers "viable". We know that if babies are born before 24 weeks, they are not going to make it because their system is not developed enough to sustain life on the outside of the womb.  But I guess I've never known anyone to actually go into labor on the teeter-totter mark of 24 weeks.

 This mom was between weeks 22 and 23.  Less than 14 days from when the medical community would consider her babies to be "viable".  Let that sink in.

After her water broke, Baby A, Shopie moved into the birth canal.  Because the doctor's told her that they would not intervene to save her life, they chose to let Shopie stay in the birth canal as long as she could because they knew she wasn't going to make it, but she could act as sort of a cork like feature to keep Sage in longer.  In the meantime, the mom finds out that the 24 week intervention rule is the policy of the hospital she was in, but not the policy at ALL hosptials in the area.  Can you imagine the horror of knowing that your baby is about to be born mere days away from when she could receive help and the hospital you are in will do nothing to help her but one in the next big city over would..........I can't-I just can't imagine. 

Juse a few short hours after her water broke, Sophie was born...and she was alive and breathing totally on her on.  But because she was between 22 and 23 weeks and not 24 weeks, the parents were told to cherish each minute with her, that they would not transport her to the other hospital because she could not make the transport.  Sophie lived 5 hours on her own.  5 whole hours!!! 

Now, let me stop right there again.  The rational part of me knows that the likely-hood of baby Sophie actaully making it, even with intervention was not in her favor.  But I just can't imagine being in this situation and knowing the doctor's would do nothing to help and my baby having enough fight in her to make it alive 5 whole hours outside the womb at 23 weeks gestation.  I can't imagine the what-if's I would suffer.

Now, all eyes are on Sage.  The doctor's said that they would allow Sage to stay in as long as she could.  They would not force her out and if she could get to 23 weeks, they would be able to give the mom steroid shots.  I believe the 23 week mark would have been this Friday.  Sadly, earlier today, an ultrasound was done to check on baby Sage passed away before she was born. 

This whole story has really punched me the gut, so to speak.  I cried and cried when I read about this yesterday morning and it's not like me at all to cry over things that I'm not attched to.  But it made me think about how lucky we really are.  How lucky I was to have no complications at all during my twin pregnancy, no scares, no issues to work through-nothing at all!  Then I started thinking about the what-if's.  It's not uncommon for women carrying twins to go into labor early.  What if  I had gone into labor at 23 weeks. I have no clue what my hospital's policy would have been.  It just breaks my heart to think that nothing could be done, and the 5 hours that Baby Sophie did live didn't make one person at that hospital capable of doing something to actually do it.  When did we start regarding human life as something we can meaure and put dates and numbers and research on?  I'm basing my thoughts on the fact that the mom did wish to have intervention for her daughters, even if that meant to transport, but she didn't even know this was the policy until the last minute and she had to be in labor and get on the phone and contact other hospitals about their policy of taking the baby.  I'm sure there are those out there who might chose to just let nature take it's course and I'm not saying that is right or wrong, either.  I'm just saying this mom wanted her baby to have help and she couldn't get it becasue of the hospital she was in.  I'm just saying that I'm glad I didn't need to know this information, but if I had of known, I would have asked questions. 

And the purpose of sharing it is so if you need to know this information to ask what your hospital's policy is (if you want to know).       

I think another reason this hit me so hard is because the babies haven't been sleeping good at all. I got 7 hours sleep TOTAL for 2 nights and had to function for work.  Last night I got a little more because I finally figured out I think my little 14 pound stinker wants her head on a pillow to sleep.  But I was so frustrated and tired and put out and then I read something this and I can't help but say "thank you Jesus for giving me my babies".  So last night when I was up rocking fussy babies, I kissed their soft hands as they played with my face and thought about going back to sleep and I've never been more thankful for anything else in my life as I was right then to have never needed to know what kind of policy my hospital had.            

With that, I'll leave you with the newest picture of my sweet tarts!!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

7 Months

I just cannot believe that Elissa and Ellie are 7 months old.  They turned 7 months on Monday, March 12th. I haven't had time to post yet because Elissa has been really sick and Ellie had an appointment with the orthopedist to check out her feet/foot that turns out.

Elissa seems to just have the crud.  Bailey had pnumonia last week and we thought that is what she had, but all her tests were negative and her white count was good, so that left us with a really high fever and wheezing.  She is getting an antibiotic and breathing treatments with an oral steriod.  I'm am worn slap out because she isn't sleeping good, partly due to the sickness, partly due to the treatment.  I'm head straight to bed when I finish this.  She appears to be on the uphill end of this, so we'll see. At the doctor Monday, she weighed almost 21 pounds, so not much change from their 6 month visit.

I took Ellie on Tuesday to Jackson to see the orthopedist.  Her feet have turned out ever since birth and it has always bothered me.  Finally the peditrician sent us to see someone, but told me all along that it would more than likely correct itself.  I got some major anxiety walking into the doctor's office. I just did not want Ellie to have to wear special shoes or do anything that was going to slow her down.  She is scooting all over the place and I didn't want to hinder that.  As it turns out, there is nothing in the world wrong with her except she is a twin and had tight packaging.  It will straighten itself out and we don't go back until Thanksgiving, when she should be good and walking.  Ellie weighed 14.12 at the doctor's office on Tuesday. I couldn't believe little girl had broken the 14 pound mark.  Seems like she stuck around 13 forever. 

I was able to get the girls' closet and clothes straightened out today.  I will have to say that the clothes issue with twins, espcially when you have two in different sizes, ranks up among one of the top 5 most difficult things to do.  But today, it was super easy.  I just had to go through and pick out sizes, then hang it all up.  Whatever we were done with got put into the 50 gallon garbage bag for Ben and Kylie.   I kept a few boutique things that I know I can resell for decent money, but the rest is going right to Cousin Baby Girl Whitehead.  We sure hope she enjoys them, but I can't believe, again, that it's already come to the point of needing to clear out a chapter of clothes for the twinks!!!

And, because I'm about to fall asleep, it's Spring Break, the babies are sacked out (for now), Bailey is in her pj's, everybody is fed, and I'm about to fall asleep, I'm going to bed!!!  Enjoy the 7 month pictures of my sweet girls.  The last one of Elissa, alone....don't think she didn't fall right out of that rocking chair right after it was taken.  OH! And the bruise on her forehead comes from us head butting in the middle of the night last night.  Her lips and face are also chapped due to her fever and drooling and runny nose and having to wipe it so much!

It looks like she about to cry, but she is actually talking to me. The sweetest sound ever!

More talk.....

Everybody says Elissa looks just like my dad!  When I got to this picture, it just about took my breath away. I see nothing but my dad here!

Still talking....

Hey mom! Watch me, I'm about to move the wrong way and fall right out of the chair and make you feel sooooo bad for wanting my picture!
 And the best I could get of 2 crabby babies at the end of picture time.  Love them sooo much and I everyday is just another day that I pinch myself to make sure I'm still a part of this miracle!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Bailey Goes to Disney

Not really!  But she did do something really really fun today.  A local church had a fun raiser for Relay for Life where they had Disney characters come and take pictures with the children and they sigend autograph books.  We have held this over Bailey's head all week long and so she was super excited for the time to finally arrive. 

She came up with the idea of dressing like a princess (probably because some aunt we all know and love thought she needed a princess dress up trunk.  I cannot tell you how many times a day we pick up dress up clothes.  She LOVES them!  I'm hoping Aunt Kylie has a little girl so I can return the favor!) I got tickled at her before we left, she decided to change princess atire and it was just so funny watching her little mind work. 

I must still be a little hormonal because doing things with the kids still makes me cry.  She was so big and so grown and so in to seeing these princesses that it just sort of caught me by surprise.  I get embarassed when I get out in public and cry for no reason at all, but I guess it's just so much work, soooo much hard work, that when we have times like that, I'm reminded that this is what life is all about.  I get up in the mornings and put one foot in front of the other for this very reason! 

You can tell she so dressed herself.  We got outside to go and she stopped on the driveway and said, "take my picture and send it to my dad!"  haha! He was at work and bless his heart doesn't get pictures.  Bet this was a day he wished he did.

Belle signing her book!

She told Belle her name and then posed for a picture.  On the way home, she informed me she didn't see the beast or Chip.  haha!  I'm proud to say that Bailey has actually been the Beauty and the Beast play when it was in Birmingham.  She has talked about Chip ever since.

Snow White signing her book.  Not sure what happened to the Snow White picture, but we actually saw her twice.  Somehow, it didn't make it here.

Our beloved Cinderella signing the book.

Princess Tiana signing the book.  (not sure why my pictures are out of order)

Picture with Cinderella.  Of all days, this was the day for me to forget how to operate the camera.  I had my hand over the flash or something.

Aurora signing the book.
Picture with Princess Tiana.

Picture with Aurora.

And OH MY GOODNESS!!!! Look who showed up!  If it wasn't Jesse, Buzz, and Woody.  Bailey wasn't as fond of them up close as she was when we were in line or as she is of them at home.  She did, however, allow Amy to get her up there for a picture. Jesse, Bailey, Amy, and Colin.
Minnie signing her book!

Mickey signing her book.

The whole crew with Mickey and Minnie. It made Colin feel better to make faces. 

So, it seems there are several pictures that didn't make it here.  The princesses all lined up together and I got a really good one of Bailey with them all, and I'm missing Daisey and Donald, too.  I'll have to see where they are hiding themselves.

I was going to bring the twins, but it was so crowded in such a small space, there is no way that the stroller would have made it in the door.  I'm glad we got to go and it was such a fun thing for a great cause.