Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meeting with the doctors

Yesterday was my big day to meet with all the doctors! I brought along my sister Kristin and my fiancé Petey on the forever long drive.  They asked me a series of questions like, if separation is something I want to consider, if only saving one is an option, if I was open to resuscitation, etc.  The doctors looked at the MRI scan pictures that I recently had done at Children's Memorial in Chicago, which seemed to have answered some of the doctors' questions, but I'll need to get another MRI in order to get a better look at the heart.

The MRI shows that the babies are most likely not directly facing chest to chest, but they're not completely attached shoulder to shoulder either. The doctors believe this because their spines meet at the tailbone and form into one pelvic bone. They also conclude this because the twins share one large bladder and intestinal track.

So, thinking of this it would be like two heads, one torso, two legs. So, when I got home I did a lot more research, and I discovered the Hensel conjoined twins. The Hensel twins have two separate hearts though, but I'm thinking that they will look similar to them. We will not know 100 percent what their anatomy is until they're born.

Here's a picture of what the Hensel twins look like 

The doctors informed me that I will never be able to have a natural child birth, and that I will always have to deliver early, due to the complex c-section they will be performing on me. The doctors are still debating over the date in which Faith and Hope will be delivered, but they are thinking somewhere between 34 to 36 weeks.  Also, the doctors want me to have two sets of steroids shots to help with my daughters lung development, but the shots have to be done at just the right time. I can't get the shots too soon or too late, otherwise they won't work efficiently.

On this visit we toured where the babies will be cared for after they are born, as well as the room where I will be recovering in after the c-section. Dr. Lee, head of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the hospital, was very nice to take time out of his busy schedule to show us around the NICU and to introduce us to the nurses/staff there. I met with a nurse who had taken care of the most recent conjoined twins in their NICU, and she said that she would be honored to care for mine. After this visit I feel so much more comfortable now knowing who will be taking care of my babies. Except, now I know I will be away from my babies after they are born until I recover from surgery.

Doctors are saying that once they are born, there will be a ear, nose, and throat doctor in the delivery room who will be ready to insert tubes down their throats to help with their breathing. Because they will be pre mature babies. If the girls show progress in their breathing they will gradually be taken off. I asked if I could please have pictures taken of the girls before the tubes are placed. They are going to try to make sure my wishes come true.  Also, I want somebody in the room to baptism my babies as soon as they're born.  In the delivery room there will be so many doctors and nurses. The whole team is meeting on Wednesday to go over my case.  So, please everyone pray that the team will come together and make this an ease for my babies and me.