Friday, March 30, 2007

To Strive, To Seek, To Find, And Not To Yield

I have always had an affinity for the Tennyson poem Ulysses, but it has taken on added meaning as we watch our little boys fight for their lives before they really have a chance to begin. All we can hope is that they can strive and not yield.

Our prayers and yours have been answered. Thank you. Pooh and Tigger have sustained another week. Neither showed a significant change in their blood flow resistance. Of course, we were most worried about Pooh, and his blood flow is status quo, no better, no worse. He is still behaving very much like a 27 weeker and there were no decelerations in his heartrate, so we are thankful for that. Tigger's blood flow actually looked a little better. We have never been extremely worried about Tigger; however, we were afraid as the pregnancy progressed that his diastolic flow would worsen as well. So far, it doesn't appear that is happening. Needless to say, we will remain pregnant, at least for now. We are stepping up our perinatalogist visits to twice weekly. We will see him again on Tuesday at the end of the day and then again the following Monday. On the Monday visit, they will take more measurements to track their growth. We are living our lives doctor's visit to doctor's visit.

Post Script- Enjoy the new music and photos we added. Hopefully, everything is working correctly. If you don't enjoy the music, it's very easy to turn off.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our first (and hopefully last) trip to Labor & Delivery

Todd and I had a fun morning planned today. We were going to have a 4D ultrasound done and were excited to see the babies again. However, late last night I began experiencing some cramping. This always makes me paranoid. I drank tons of water, laid on my left side and they never seemed to improve. The cramping kept me up some during the night and did not improve this morning. I called my OB who was in surgery so they told me to go to L&D. I really did not want to miss our 4D ultrasound, so I tried calling my perinatologist before going to the hospital. I didn't realize that he does not see patients on Wednesdays. Uggh!! So, off to L&D we went.

Once we got there they hooked me up to the fetal heart monitors, took my blood pressure and monitored any contractions I might be having. The nurse found Tigger's heartbeat relatively easily; however, Pooh was another story. After trying herself for several minutes, which felt like an eternity, she called in an OB resident to assist. By this time, Todd and I both were getting really nervous that there wasn't a heartbeat to find. The resident came in with an ultrasound machine and it wasn't 30 seconds later that we had a good heartbeat. We both breathed a huge sigh of relief.

All in all, we were there probably two hours. Everything is fine and I am not experiencing any signs of pre-term labor. The babies were extremely active and if nothing else that gave us peace of mind.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Praying Specifically...

"Perhaps only when human effort had done its best and failed, would God's power alone be free to work."
-Corrie ten Boom
The Hiding Place

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have had a few people inquire regarding how they can pray specifically. Here are a few of our prayers and/or goals...

1. Pray that we are able to make it at least 28 weeks in order for both babies to have a good chance of survival without permanent injury. After we reach 28 weeks, we will breath a huge sigh of relief and begin praying for our real goal of at least 32 weeks.
2. Pray for the blood flow in Pooh's umbilical artery to at the very least remain where it is, but we really are praying for improvement. This will allow him to grow and develop further before we deliver.
3. Pray for positive results on our non-stress tests and biophysical profiles; with these and no changes in blood flow we will remain pregnant.
6. Pray for our sanity and anxiety, especially Randi's, as we get closer to the prizes at the end of the race.
7. Pray for Tigger, as well, that he continues his great progress throughout pregnancy.
8. Pray for the ability and focus of the OB, neonatalogists, and resuscitation teams during the time of delivery.
9. Pray for the lung maturation of both babies and the ability to have good respiration outside the womb.
9. Pray to protect their brains against injury and brain bleeds that can lead to cerebral palsey and other developmental delays.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for everyone's encouragement and faith.
P.S. We are getting close on names...finally.

Week 26 Ultrasounds

A few new pictures with more to come after Wednesday's 4D shots and video.

Friday, March 23, 2007

26 Week Update

We returned to the perinatalogit today for our 26 week checkup. We've become so well versed in the ultrasound procedure that it was hard watching because we now know when we see something that doesn't look good. I guess ignorance really is bliss! Pooh, is in full absent end diastolic flow with his umbilical artery and it is starting to show signs of affecting other blood flow areas. He is still our smallest having only gained two ounces in the last two weeks and weighing in at 1 pound, 3 ounces to date. This was probably the most disturbing thing we heard at today's appointment. We desperately need for him to gain weight. On the positive side, he is still growing (albeit minimally) and he is behaving like a 26 weeker. Tigger is actually still showing mild signs of a compromised umbilical artery, but so far it does not seem to have affected his growth or development. He is our whopper, gaining 10 ounces in two weeks weighing in at 2 pounds, 2 ounces overall.

I (Randi) am officially off work from here on out and on modified bed rest. The doctor's instructions were to rest, drink tons of water and several Ensure/Boost drinks per day. This will allow all of my energy and bloodflow to go straight to the babies. This is our last attempt at putting weight on the babies. From here on out, we will be returning to the perinataolgist weekly and possibly twice weekly. We will not have weekly growth scans; however, we will take a look at the umbilical artery to check blood flow and also make sure that Pooh is behaving the way he should be. We have made a decision, with the perinatologist, that we do not want to deliver prior to 28 weeks. This will allow both babies to gain additional weight, namely Tigger, who hopefully by then will be a solid 3 pounder. It is not until then that we could feel good about his odds of survival without permanent injury. We do not want to compromise his health because he appears to be a healthy, thriving baby boy. We are praying Pooh holds on for his sake and his brother's sake. As long as Pooh is still growing, active, and does not slip into a reverse end disastolic flow, I will remain pregnant. When I do deliver, the doctor has assured me there is no option other than a C-section.

We wanted to give everyone an update on our progress. We know there are a lot of people out there that we will possibly never meet that are vigilant in their prayer and thoughts. For that, we are so very grateful. Several of these people have asked how they can pray specifically. In the next day or so, I will post some specific requests for prayer that are the most pressing. We also have a whole new bunch of ultrasound pictures to post. We return to the OB on Tuesday, have the 4D ultrasound on Wednesday and return to the perinatalogist on Friday. As Todd told me today, it appears the waiting and doing nothing is over. We have entered into game time mode. That alone has relieved some of our anxieties.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Coming Up With a Plan

After much discussion, prayer and online research, we decided we still had many unanswered questions and we couldn't wait three weeks to get answers. So, yesterday we saw the perinatologist for a consult only, to ask him our questions and maybe gain a better understanding of our situation. We went in with about twenty detailed questions about where we stand and where we should go from here. The doctor was very understanding and devoted a large amount of time to us despite a bulging waiting room. Although he did not paint a rosier picture, we were able to gain clarification on possible outcomes, treatment options, and our upcoming schedule of visits. He agreed to move our next appointment up a week, and although that will be only the beginning of our 26th week, so still too early to do anything, we decided it would be better for our peace of mind. We will see him on Friday the 23rd. He also agreed to increase Randi's dose of blood thinners in hopes that it will improve blood flow to Pooh.

We also contacted the OB about setting up a consult with a neonatalogist and a pediatrician to make sure we understand more about their role and the level of treatment in the NICU. We would also like more information from them about potential outcomes for the babies. At the end of the day, not a whole lot has changed, but we do feel better having spent additional time with the perinatologist and having our questions answered.

We have been overwhelmed by the level of support and prayer we have received from each of you that read this blog. We know that God hears your prayers! Thank you.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Back To The Fun Stuff

Here are our best pictures from the week 24 ultrasound. There some good ones of their profiles. They were very active during this last ultrasound, and it was funny because the technician was getting frustrated with baby B, Tigger, when she was trying to take a doppler reading of his heartbeat. The first two are profiles of each Pooh and Tigger. The third of a straight away view of Tigger smiling and the last one is, well, you know. Ha Ha !!

Friday, March 9, 2007


I wanted to post tonight quickly about our week 24 appointment with the perinatalogist today. No funny pictures; no ultrasounds. The situation for baby A, Pooh, is trending further downhill. Thankfully, he is continuing to grow; however, he is a more that a week behind in gestational age and is weighing 1 pound, 1 ounce, while baby B, Tigger, is actually half a week ahead of his gestational age and weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces. Although this may not sound like much of a discrepancy, it is considerable. The main problem lies in the amount of blood flow reaching Pooh on every heartbeat. He is now in absent-end diastolic flow, where no blood is flowing into the placenta, and baby, while the heart is at rest. This is causing his heart to work extra hard for the blood that he actually receives. We are praying that this condition will improve over the next three weeks or that the little guy can hold on. Unfortunately, at this point, there is little we can do medically.

The scenarios that we are foreseeing appear bleak. It has been hard on us today coming to grips with this realization. We can only wait until our next appointment with the perinatalogist. At that point, we will have to start making decisions about which course to traverse. From then on, we will probably be seeing the doctor weekly for more frequent updates on their well-being. It will be extremely risky for both babies to come this early. We hope and pray that we have two fighters. I personally feel this is harder to struggle through with them in the womb than if they were already here. At least then, we could try to comfort them. Right now they are still perfect and unblemished.

On the positive side, Randi is doing very well, except for some swelling and carpal tunnel coming on. She has gained precisely 24 pounds in 24 weeks; our goal. She does not appear to be having increased contractions or showing signs of a shortening cervix. Also, Tigger, is progressing along extremely well. The blood flow problems do not appear to be affecting him at all. We will post more ultrasounds early next week and we will be having a 3D/4D ultrasound in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, we will get some eye-opening views of the two boys. In the meantime, please keep Pooh in your prayers.

Although we have heard much doom and gloom recently, we give thanks to people like the Bolline family for their inspiring story.