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!!!