Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Day 2 admitted

My parents dropped me off yesterday. I was monitored and it showed I was having irregular contractions. My parents joked about how many bags I brought with to the hospital. I tried to bring as much as I could to stay occupied for the next couple of weeks. These four walls don't change a bit. Bed rest is going to be hard...Also my room is right next to the place the helicopter lands. So it is very noisy all day and night.

Tonight I am getting my second dose of medicine to help the babies lungs develop. Guess what time they do it at? 1 am! Yeah so I had no sleep last night and probably won't tonight either.

Also my belly grew!! My uterus is now measuring 37 cm! It comes all the way to my breast bone. I swear if I keep going with my pregnancy it's going to be chin level. Lol

Can't wait to deliver my girls and hold them in my arms!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Excited and Nervous

After church today, my doctor at The University of Chicago Medical Center called me.  He said that they had a meeting with my case this morning with all of the doctors and they agree on admitting me on Monday. But that doesn't mean I will be delivering on Monday, just monitoring me and keeping me in the hospital. They are thinking somewhere between 34-36 weeks the babies will be born. But since being diagnosed with Preeclampsia plans can always change and deliver earlier. This being said I am very nervous. I know that they're arrival will be here quickly. I know God is in control but I just want everything to turn out perfect. I love my babies too much. I am so excited finally knowing that the time to meet them is finally going to be here.

Also I got in touch with a photographer to be there when the girl's are born.  Since the survival rates are low for conjoined twins sharing only one heart, we wanted our moments with Faith and Hope documented and also we won't have to worry about taking pictures of them. Plus I don't think I will never put them down, I will be wanting to hold them. My friend Vanessa told me about this wonderful company called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/
Their entire network of affiliated photographers graciously donate their time and talents to the families and are proud to be able to offer services at no cost. They are able to provide this service to parents suffering early infant loss from as early as 25-weeks gestation or at the discretion of medical personnel. All photographers provide this service on a voluntary basis.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pro Life

Why is it that certain people think anything that isn't
within someone's definition of "normal" must be destroyed?

Our culture says disabled children of any sort are
less valuable than 'normal healthy' kids. 

We need to put a STOP to this NOW

People need to stop being heartless.

No child gets left behind 

Pro Life Poem
Written by an unborn baby

I’m just a little baby

Small and petite

My heart is beating

My body is growing 

I can’t wait to see

I can't wait to breathe

Mommy I’ll be a good son

I’ll make you smile

I bet you are beautiful

I see you in my dreams

I have fingers like you do

And little toes too

The doctors showed me in the screen

Do you love me mommy?

Will you choose life for me?

I hope you choose life

I can’t wait to meet you

God has given you a special gift

Why are the nurses saying I’m tissue?

I’m real mommy

Please believe me

The nurses all told lies

I'm a baby

So my life was taken

Mommy I’m in heaven

I’m in Jesus’s arms

I see lots of babies

I’m safe here

No one can hurt me

Why didn’t you want me mommy?

I could have been a great son.

I never got to see the world

Never got the breathe

Never got a chance

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Welcome to Holland

Welcome To Holland
By: Emily Perl Kingsley

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. 

It's like this...
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills.... and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things.... about Holland.

This story really touched me...tell me what you think about it by commenting

Monday, August 22, 2011

Celebrating Conjoined Twins Day

The 21 stands for 2 people 1 body. :)

I celebrated by lighting two candles and praying for my babies and all the other babies that have gone to heaven, soon to be born twins, and the ones still living. It was a very emotional day for me, for one I'm pregnant and two the day is all about my children. I can't wait to hold my girls in my arms and say I love you!

It was such a bitter sweet day remembering all the babies who didn't make it and rejoicing over the ones that did.  I spent most of my day thinking about my girls and wondering what their thinking about.

I've been getting in touch with conjoined twin families. All of them are wonderful and are very supportive. I hope one day we can all meet each other on this special day of the year. We are the chosen ones who get to call these children our own. I'm hearing their stories and they are so strong and they really do understand what each one of us is/was going through. There is just a very unique and incredible bond between all of us.

I met a woman named Vanessa. She is a courageous and loving mother of conjoined twins Melody and Madison. They were born back in 2008, but her girls will never be forgotten. I can't express how much of a support she is to me right now. I've been searching and I found her.

  I love you Faith and Hope!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Yesterday I was admitted to Labor & Delivery to have some tests done. The reason I was there is because I showed signs of Preeclampsia.

Preeclampsia is when women who are pregnant gradually develop high blood pressure and have a high volume of protein in urine. I also had symptoms of serve headache and dizziness.  

No tests that can predict who will get Preeclampsia and there is no way to prevent it. 

Preeclampsia can reduce blood flow to the placenta and slow the growth of the baby.  

The only cure for Preeclampsia is delivery of the baby and placenta. 

Although bed rest and taking high blood pressure medication can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke and seizures. 

Now I will be closely monitored here on out through the pregnancy. 

We were so happy I didn't deliver yesterday because I'm not that far along, and there are so many risks when delivering early.

Also, I am praying that everything will be fine for the babies and me.

 Faith Smiling
 Look at all that hair!!!
Hope Sleeping


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thank you!!

Special thanks to Jessica F. 
 "This is our way of throwing you a baby shower,
Every mother deserves to feel special."
Jessica has been busy making bracelets, key chains,
t-shirts, bumper stickers and little hair bows!

Here is a preview of what they look like:

 Each bracelet or key chain has a charm that says Faith or Hope.

 We will start fundraising as soon as we get these items.
The bracelets turned out so cute!
Again, Jessica you are a true blessing! Thanks!!
 One Heart Two Souls

August 10th

Getting bigger every day!! I feel like all my organs are squished, 
but I can't complain when I have two beautiful girls inside me.

At our ultrasound on Wednesday August 10th

I love going because I love seeing what they are doing inside me.
Guess Faith was hungry!
She was sucking her toes and had Hope's hand under her chin.
They couldn't get a clear picture of her sister Hope. :/

Monday, August 8, 2011

Be Not Afraid

Matthew 14:22-33

 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”29 “Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

The Lord is with everyone, including my babies. We are all afraid at some point because of fearing the unknown. But, God is telling us not to be afraid. We need to believe in him and trust in him. Jesus wants us to be brave in those difficult moments and have faith. So, I'm reaching out to God in need of help and he will help, there is not doubt about that.  After church I felt so at ease knowing that the Lord is always with me until the end of time. God Bless.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Ultrasound Pictures

My babies were looking down the whole time. They were so camera shy! 
At least we have some good profile views.

So sweet, look at her chubby cheeks! I love how clear her ear turned out. 
She has her arm covering her little face. 3D is amazing.

She looks so cozy in there. Looks like someone is trying to go to sleep. 
Look at how cute her little face is!

Cute little toes!!

Cute little fingers!!

The ultrasound tech. showed me their heads, WOW! They have a lot of hair! 
Also, during the ultrasound Hope decided to start sucking on her toes! 
We all had a good laugh from that. 
Faith on the other hand was my little sleeping beauty, 
while her sister was up playing and moving around. 
My girls are growing so big, they will be here before I know it. :)

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 fiancĂ© 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.