Thursday, February 08, 2007

23 weeks and 1 day

I don't know if anyone caught it but there was a show on the Discovery Health Channel the other night about twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. I was at work but Lisa saw it while channel surfing. She recorded it for me to watch because she wasn't sure if she wanted to watch it alone. That ended up being an good idea. I watched when I got home from work yesterday and it left me a little speechless.

It followed 4 families as they went through the diagnosis to delivery. Of the 4 families, I think 3 of them ended up having the surgery. One twin did not survive out of the 4 families and it was one that had the surgery. The one family that didn't qualify for the surgery made it to 33 weeks and delivered 2 healthy girls with no problem.

I took several things away from the show. One is that the emotions that we are having are normal. It was reassuring to see the strangers going the exact same challenges we're facing and vocalizing our exact thoughts. It also showed me that we may really not be able to relax the rest of the pregnancy. I had hoped somehow things would continue to improve and we could just sail through 37 weeks or so...not gonna happen. Every couple stressed until the minute they were born. That means we could have 2+ months of worrying ahead of us.

Yesterday was a good example of that, though. Lisa kept saying during the day that she didn't feel right. The babies were constantly moving around and nothing seemed abnormal but she couldn't get comfortable and couldn't get it out of her head that something might be wrong. In the evening, she had what we think was another Braxton Hicks contraction. This was one a little stronger and more uncomfortable for her. It was only one though and she settled down after that.

During the show I was also able to see exactly how the surgery is performed. Again, I don't know if that's what Lisa would want to see. It might be enough for her to know how it's done without actually seeing it happen.

One more thing...I wanted to point out something that might be hard to visualize. This picture that I posted before is the donor baby. She has a name but you have to wait until the rest of the family knows. The donor is the one who is losing fluid in her sac. This picture was taken last week when the maximum vertical pocket of fluid was down to 2.3 cm.

Why I'm bringing it up is to show you how little room she really had. If you look on her face, you can see the membrane actually come off her forehead and then across her nose. You can see it again as it comes off her chin and goes down to her chest and then finally it comes off her belly on the right side of the picture. When there's that little fluid in there, it sucks up against her body and pins her down. On Tuesday when we looked, we didn't get to see the profile like this but the membrane was well off her and flapping around to the side every time she moved. That's why it was easy for us to see the difference right away and not have to wait for the technician to tell us there was improvement. It was obvious there was a lot more fluid in there with her.

I know there are some people that are checking the blog now that have more experience with TTTS so feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but that was how I understood it.

Again, thank you everybody for the emails, phone calls, and comments. We try to email everybody back but know we're missing some.

I am off for the rest of the weekend and plan on working on the nursery!!!! We also will be registering (finally) and pass on that info when we finish that up.


Amy said...

We are so happy that the babies are doing much better! We will continue to hope and pray for all 4 of you and send our love. I still can't wait to see you!!!

Amy, Dave, and Jacob

AAO Road Rats said...

The positive news and information is always a good sign, and music to my ears. you all continue to be in my are all so very special to me. Thank you for sharing this with all of us and letting us be a part of your struggle/joy. you are both very brave and i am SO proud of you. Happy Birthday, Daddy. Hope to talk to you soon!

Anonymous said...

Andy & Lisa,
We recently heard of your difficulties. We will certainly pray for you and the babies. These types of events really stretch our trust in God and His promises. We understand your concerns and difficulties. As you know, William, our second son, was born with Spina Bifida. Ask God to help you understand His purpose for this and give you His peace. He did for Lois and I and will do for you as well. I encourage you to seek support groups. They help you share with others that have same or similar difficulties. Of course, your also welcome to contact us anytime. I find great comfort and strength in God's word so I thought I'd share part of this Psalm with you. The whole Psalm is really wonderful. Look it up and read it in your bible.

Psalm 27
Of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?

3 Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

5 For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.

14 Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

With love,
Uncle Dan..and the "gang"