First of all, we have been prayed for so much~ not just over the past few days, but in our whole adoption process. God has heard and continues to hear and we are so humbled at those who are walking with us.
After a 1.5 hour MRI, 3 hour ultrasound, and another 1 hour fetal echo cardiogram for each baby, we did sit down with the team at the Fetal Care Center in Cincinnati yesterday. First of all, I want to say that this experience has been amazing. We had the ability to watch our babies for hours. Isaac loves to kick and punch and wave. He is growing very well and likes to try to get in all the pictures of his sisters. It is almost like he knows what the docs want to see at any given moment and tries to hide that particular body part from them as long as he can:) Eliana can move from one side of my belly to the other in just a few minutes, trying to avoid pictures:) Isabella likes to straighten her legs out as far as they can go. There were times when she and Eliana would lay chest to chest and you could see their beating hearts in a single image. We watched them count their fingers and toes, measure bones in their bodies, multiple parts of their brains and bellies, isolate their tiny veins, arteries, and heart valves, and do studies on their blood flow, etc. They are~we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And the way God has gifted us to be able to see these kinds of things and get to know our babies even now is so very gracious of Him.
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine Doctor did another quick scan of the babies to show us what exactly he wanted to talk with us about and then gave his recommendations. Instead of just one ~this is what it is and this is what we do~ answer, he gave us several things to weigh. First of all, the girls do indeed have TTTS. He commended our doctor here in Louisville for sending us to Cincinnati so quickly because the girls are in the beginning stages. There is a significant size difference in the girls as well as in their amniotic fluid levels but those things alone do not show enough of a discrepancy to warrant a full diagnosis in and of themselves. However, in Isabella (known as the recipient twin), there is some mild thickening in her heart and some hypertension. Cardiac changes in any of the babies are a big concern. Although the doctor feels that surgery is more than likely inevitable, there are a couple of reasons to wait a bit. First of all, our sweet Isaac is guarding the entry point of where they would need to go in to sever the blood vessels between the girls. It would be a big risk to him to go in at this point. Also, I have a history of preterm labor and most women deliver within 70 days after the surgery. I am 19 weeks this week, so waiting is ideal since the girls are still in the early stages.
In order to treat the hypertension in Isabella and alleviate some stress on her heart, I am taking blood pressure medication. Since TTTS can move quickly, they are repeating the ultrasound and fetal echo on Monday.
Throughout this pregnancy, I have found myself realizing that indeed I need Thee every hour. God has been teaching me to pray "Give us this day our daily bread" and to be thankful for each moment instead of taking this day for granted and trying to see way down the road. I think this is where we are left today~ in conscious dependence on God for each breath, each step forward, and only one day at a time. The truth is, this is where we all live every day. The consciousness part is a gift.
However, I do not and will not do this perfectly and I do not have to. During the MRI, the gal told me in the beginning it would take around an hour to complete. Micah was allowed in the room with me but because of the loudness of the machine, we wouldn't be able to talk. I was disappointed that he couldn't even read to me, as he and I are both reading a new book together. She brought out a box of DVDs for me to choose from so I could watch a movie on goggles while in the machine. I looked through the box and just didn't feel that watching Hannah Montana, Transformers, or some romantic comedy would feel appropriate. The gal then offered some music and headphones. I thought those would help drown out the machine and give me a nice backdrop to be still and pray for the babies. Isaiah 40:11 has been a verse I have meditated on during tough days and wanted so much to have a moment to remember how Jesus carries me in His arms while I lay in this noisy tube. Little did I know, the "soft" station she chose filled my ears with songs such as George Michael's Father Figure, Katy Perry's Hot N Cold, and Elton John's Bennie and the Jets just to name a few. The "spiritualness" just wasn't happening... on my part anyway:) But Jesus loving me and interceding for me never ceased. This is not up to me or about me. It is about what He has done and continues to do. I am fully and completely dependent on Him and He is able.
It is in acknowledging that dependence that I ask you to persevere with us in praying. Jesus could fix this immediately with one word. Ask for Him to do it, but then acknowledging what is true for us today, pray that the medication would treat Isabella's heart condition and that the girls would continue to grow (especially Eliana) without more complications from the TTTS. Pray that Isaac continues to grow well. For Micah, the boys, and me, pray that we trust God with each day. Please pray for the staff at the Fetal Care Center who are closely watching and caring for our babies. They call our children by their names and we truly feel their expertise and desire to see our babies born healthy. God has gone before us and continues to go.
***For those of you who would like more information regarding TTTS or the Fetal Care Center of Cincinnati Children's Hospital, follow this link.