the twins and me at seven months

For those of you who are far away, or just haven't seen me in a while:

finger toes

That's right, finger toes, some call them monkey toes, but either way, I am sure you know what I'm talking about. Toes that function like fingers; they run in my family. Many of my friends made fun of me for my finger toes when I was growing up, but you know who's laughing now?

I am.

My finger toes have made my pregnancy survivable. I'll be honest, if something falls to the ground and it is not important, it will stay there until Kevin or one of the boys pick it up. However, if I need to pick something up, my belly does not like bending over, and my toes come to the rescue.


Last Milestone Til Delivery

When we sat in the conference room with Dr. Moise at the Baylor College of Medicine, he explained to us that there are three milestones after the surgery for TTTS: Day 1, Day 7, and Day 28.

Last Wednesday was Day 28! All the high risks to the babies and myself are gone! It doesn't mean that I can go running tomorrow, but it does mean we're all breathing a little easier.

I am still facing the general public who seem to think I should have delivered yesterday, and when I inform them I have eight weeks to go, they stand in shock until I cushion the blow with the fact that I am having twins.

All the common complications (i.e. preterm labor) that can arise in pregnancies of multiples are still a factor for us as well, so please continue to pray for us and I will keep the updates coming.


A Brief Timeline of the Twins

As you all know, we are having twin boys! While many people find out this kind of news early in the pregnancy, we found out as a family when we thought we were finding out the gender, and it began:

June 15-the doc tells us, "Yep, there's two babies in there...and double trouble, two boys."
July 13 -doc says there is a possibility the twins have twin transfusion and sends me to a specialist, Dr. Mirabile.

July 20-meet with Dr. Mirabile, who confirms that the boys do have what is actually called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS)

July 21-receive call from the doctors at Texas Children's Hospital about laser surgery

July 25-fly to Houston, my parents pick me up (Kevin is in SC for WLC with Reserves)

July 26-pre-operational appointment with 2 1/2 hour ultrasound at Baylor College of Medicine and conference with Dr. Moise; Kevin arrives in Houston

July 27-Laser surgery done by the staff of Texas Children's at 6am

July 29-Kevin and I drive home from Houston, TX

Aug 4-One-week post-op appointment with Dr. Mirabile, significant signs of recovery

Aug 11-Two-week post op appointment, Eli's fluid volume is up to 5cm!

Aug 19-Three-week post-op appointment, no signs of reversal in Evan's (recipient) blood flow!

Aug 26-Made the 28 day post-op milestone with healthy boys and a healthy mom

Both the boys still have some recovery and healing to do in their hearts, but overall, they look great and both of them are growing (last week Evan was about 2 1/2 lbs. and Eli was right at 2 lbs.).


Two Weeks

Two weeks ago the fluid in Evan's sac measured 15cm, yesterday it measured 7.9cm. The normal fluid volume is around 5cm, which is right where Eli's is, two weeks ago there wasn't a pocket deep enough to measure.

The day after the surgery, Evan was breech and Eli was still hanging out pretty close to the wall of the uterus. Yesterday, they were both head down and moving around like crazy.

Our first ultrasound with Dr. Mirabile showed significant distress in Evan's heart, and some issues for Eli too. The distress is gone, but their hearts still need recovery and healing. The doctor said their hearts will take the longest to heal because the issues took so long to develop.

We continue to be amazed at who God is and what He does, and we continue to trust His hand in healing the boys' hearts while He holds ours through this process.


Dreaming in Dopplers

Ultrasound after ultrasound for these boys that grow in my belly have been happening in the last week. I am amazed at technology, and in awe of the way God gifts people. After so many ultrasounds, laser surgery, and some ToGo Chili’s, I laid down to try and sleep, and all I could see were the images from all the Doppler readings.

Blood flow in the heart, in the umbilical cord, and in the brain are all incredibly important when performing the procedure that was done at Texas Children’s Fetal Center. Each of these can be measured by the Doppler readings in the ultrasounds.

Flashing red, blue, and sometimes hints of yellow and orange dance on the black and white screen illuminating what we know is true: Life is in the blood.