It has been a really hard day for me. I miss being able to hold our babies and haven’t been able to hold them both together yet. Since we don’t have a vehicle large enough to accommodate our entire family, I am unable to see the babies. I cannot drive myself up yet because I am just too weak and in pain from the surgery to walk the very long walk from the parking lot to the NICU. I hope there’s a way to see them tomorrow as I feel my heart is breaking. : (
Here is Tabitha. She is the smallest and weighed 3 lbs, 11 ounces. She was not the one in distress in the womb. She was born first though because her head was closest as she was transverse.
Here is her sister Anna. She is the baby who was in distress. She sure doesn’t look like she had any problems now. : ) She weighed 4 lbs, 15 ounces at birth. Just a little over a week before birth, they both weighed around 4 lbs in the womb. I believe they were only like 3 ounces apart. They believe they developed Twin to Twin Transfusion right at the end. They are identical but do not look identical due to the weight discrepancy.
Here are Tabitha’s tiny legs.
Tabitha again. Though she looks very uncomfortable, she is very comfortable under the warm lights. They have it very cozy for her. When I held her yesterday and the evening before, she would get so comfortable in my arms that her oxygen level would drop and cause the monitor to beep. Even being so tiny, she was so very comforted by my arms and that is what makes it hard to be apart from them.
Here you can see the difference a pound makes between identical twins. See the picture of Anna below.
Anna looking healthy and ready to come home. I have a feeling she may be home in a week or so.
Tabitha our little, frail one. She is the one that usually has her eyes opened and is alert. While her sister Anna usually just sleeps. : )
On Tuesday July 24th, I went in for a Non Stress Test (NST) where they hook the monitors up to my belly to see how the babies heart rates fare with their movements to see if they are in any distress. We found that one of them was. Now let me go back just a week or so to see the hand of God: I was so laden down with appointments this past month since finding out I had Gestational Diabetes. They had me come in to see a Nutritionalist, to see a nurse on how to use the blood glucose kit, my regular appointments, the many ultrasounds to check for twin to twin transfusion… Matthew had appointments for his foot as well. I was just tired of the appointments and felt that my plate was full at the end of my pregnancy. So, when they shared that they wanted me in for weekly NST’s starting at 32 weeks, I just knew I couldn’t do it. I did go to one appointment and cried because it was when I take my much needed nap and I was completely tired and burned out from appointments. I shared with the nurse that I would not be returning because we didn’t have the time with the 5 other children at home. Matthew and I felt that the babies were in the hands of God anyways and what if one perished 2 days after an appointment – how do you stop that? Then the extra finances on top of it. We were firm in our decision. Until I went up to my daily prayer with the Lord one day.
Matthew and I take some time with the Lord each morning. During my time with the Lord one morning I felt the Lord put on me a question to ask myself and my husband. “Would you regret not going to the NST appointments if one of the babies were to perish?” I knew I would have some regret, yes. So, I asked my husband and he answered immediately. We discussed it for a moment and decided it would be best for our family to proceed with the NST tests. Thank God we prayed. I went in for one NST test last week and all was well. The ultrasound showed the babies just fine. In fact, 2 weeks ago the babies weighed 4 lbs 2 ounces and the other 3 pounds and 15 ounces. Everything perfect. I showed up for my NST on Tuesday and she found the heart rates right away. I noticed in a short time though that Anna’s heart rate was elevated and a bit jumpy compared to normal. I wasn’t too concerned but mentioned it. The nurse noted that there was a dip or two that they would keep an eye on. She walked away and about 10 minutes later the baby’s heart rate plunged down from 195 or so down to 65. I saw it decelerate with my own eyes and it stayed there for 15 or so seconds. I called for the nurse immediately. The baby’s heart then went up but we had it recorded and I knew something was wrong. She called for a doctor who came in to take a look who called in another doctor. She asked if I had had a steroid shot for their lungs and I shared no. They proceeded to then wheel me to Labor and Delivery to monitor the babies further. I called my husband and he shared that I could be coming home in an hour or 3 days later after a delivery. We both knew this to be true. At Labor and Delivery they saw the steady heart rate that was accelerated in the 190’s and saw the dips once in a while. They did an ultrasound and did not see the cord compressed in any manner but felt it was time to deliver the babies. They prepped me up and tried to comfort me while I was shaking with fear for the babies and myself and I called my husband again. He headed to the hospital after dropping our kids off at our wonderful neighbors and they took me in to the surgery room and put me under a general anesthesia at my request.
Both babies were born at 5:18 and 5:19 that evening. Anna, the distressed one actually weighed the most at 4 lbs, 15 oz, while Tabitha weighed only 3 lbs, 11 0z . They do not know why Anna was in distress and we are all surprised at their weight differences. Remember, just 10 days before they were both about 4 lbs each. Tabitha lost weight in the womb and had a skinny cord while Anna had a much thicker cord. My doctor suspects that they developed Twin to Twin Transfusion at the end. They are both in NICU right now and may be there for several weeks. I cried before coming home today because it’s very hard to come home without your babies. They are both healthy though and don’t require oxygen. We have both held the babies and they seem very relaxed and cozy in their warm environment. They don’t look identical as of yet because of the weight difference. But, we are so grateful that just that little bit of prayer each day meant the difference between life and death for one or both of them. Only prayer can bring one on top of one’s emotions to the things that only God knows. I will try to post some pictures of them tomorrow. They are so sweet and we can’t wait to have them home.
It was a hot, lazy day when I took these pictures. There was just enough of a breeze to make it comfortable outside on this day last week.
Kissing mommy’s pregnant belly.
Such a nice looking boy to have. : )
Hannah and her duck I picked up at a discount store.
Little Leah giving the babies a kiss…
Leah and her little duckie. She used to bite the beak so it’s a bit of a mess.
Lots of pictures of you Chops (Matthew).
… and not so happy girl!
You had that little flare nose when you were born last year Miriam.
Almost looking school age to me.
Hannah is actually 15 months older than Matthew, but he is already taller and bigger than her. Daddy is reading a book I ordered for him on bee keeping.
Little Hannah. We got your pretty dress from our neighbor the week before. They have pretty dresses at their church that they give to people who are interested. She thought we might like some.
Leah made a seat for all the ducks, then made a seat for herself right in the middle.
Pretty, little Miriam. You’ll be a year old next month. I hope I am here (not in hospital) to make you a little birthday cake. You had a lot of changes this year. I know it was hard on you. : (
Well, I guess it’s a good thing we moved out here because daddy has always wanted bees and this just couldn’t have happened on the Washington coast where everything gets wet and moldy.
There were enough bees to fill all 10 frames of daddy’s super hive. It is called a “super” because of the dimensions of the hive. We just ordered a new hive that will be arriving tomorrow. In order to keep the bees, we needed another hive so that they can begin to inhabit that hive as well – otherwise they would leave.
Next year we should be able to get our first load of honey. About 60 lbs per hive… I’ll check with my husband if this is correct.
They are pretty in their own way.
Daddy is brave, for he took a long metal scraper and somehow gently brushed them off and dropped them into the hive the other day. He doesn’t use any protective equipment. He learned first hand how to deal with bees from a neighbor in Washington State who keeps over 30 hives a year. He shared that it’s a waste to use all the protective gear because you can’t see and hear what is going on as well.
Here are some random kid’s pictures taken over the past month or so:
Picking carrots from our garden
The bewilderment of the tall sunflowers
Elisabeth – she just turned six years old
Hannah in her natural beauty that we love.
The kids listening to the song, “Sing Allelujah to the Lord”.
Oh, Hannah your face displays your beautiful heart that you have.
Playing on their little playhouse just being kids.
Doing dishes together.
Little bathie for baby Miriam. It’s getting to be a bit hard to do her in the tub now so she is back to the sink again. : )