Sunday, December 23, 2012

Our Babies are Here!

As predicted, we slipped on the banana peel way earlier that we had planned.  On Tuesday, December 18 at 10:19 pm, our babies were born via emergent C-section after Andrew massively failed his NST at 9pm.  Andrew Cole weighed  2 pounds 5 ounces (and within minutes in the NICU, 2 pounds 8 ounces) and was 14" long.  Anna Catherine weighed 1 pound 13 ounces and was 14.25" long.  Anna was tiny, but strong and healthy.  Andrew was larger, but far sicker.  He was in DIC and had a severe metabolic acidosis.
Since then, both babies have been in the NICU on ventilators.  Anna is doing wonderfully and Andrew has struggled, though he has maintained good hemodynamic stability.  Because Blogger is so difficult to post and deal with, I have decided to chronicle their "stories" on Facebook.  Their page name is The Sawinski Twins: Bringing Home Anna and Andrew.  Now that it has been established, I will likely quit posting here on the blog.
Please keep our babies in your prayers as they have a long NICU course ahead of them. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

29 Weeks and a Bannana Peel

Today (or tomorrow depending on how you calculate things), marks 29 weeks of being pregnant.  While this isn't much of an accomplishment for most, it is definitely a milestone for us.  Frankly, each week that the babies stay "inside" is a huge blessing for all of us. 

I'm still in the hospital and still on bed rest.  We also still get non-stress tests every 8 hours and daily biophysical profiles performed.  Both babies have reversed flow as of today, which is not a positive's worse than the absent diastolic flow.  The good news though is that both are continuing to ace their monitoring and BPPs with perfect scores!  As long as they are doing this, we will continue to wait and allow them to grow.

My new analogy for this process is "feeling like I have one foot on a banana peel."  The babies are behaving well, though the cord situation is worsening.  At some point, my foot will "slip" and we will be emergently/urgently c-sectioned.  For people like me who have always planned's tough not knowing when this will happen!

We were told this weekend that our situation is extremely rare and could not have been prevented or controlled in any way.  It just happened...  Thankfully, it was found and we are the benefactors of very modern medicine and great physicians. 

Please continue to keep our babies in your prayers.  Adam and I are fine and are blessed to have Mom and Dad here, as well as several great friends.  Obviously, our concerns are with the babies and we are just praying that I can continue to provide them a comfortable environment to grow and become stronger. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

28 Weeks...And a Serious Change of Plans

On Tuesday, Adam and I went to our "routine" 28 week Maternal Fetal Medicine appointment.  We knew our babies had been measuring a touch small, but otherwise were really happy with how they seemed to be moving more and my belly was growing slightly.  To be honest, I was feeling great! 
Our ultrasound (routinely performed for several reasons) showed AEDF in both babies, something relatively rare in dichorionic/diamniotic twins.  I'll let you use Dr. Google if you care to learn more, as it's fairly complicated!  The treatment for it is bedrest, decreasing the blood pressure (if this is an issue), and watching the babies closely for an advancement to REDF.  Once REDF happens, the mortality is 100% if missed.  In layman's terms, this means that the babies will die.  We were admitted directly to the hospital and told to plan on being there between 5 days (which would be the case only if flow came back) and until birth.  On Wednesday, both babies had we were told that we would not be going home until delivery.  Period.  No discussion.
The babies are back to AEDF now and will hopefully stay there or improve (not as likely).  They are tested every 8 hours as well as every morning with ultrasound to evaluate their cord flow and other BPP values. So far, they are getting perfect scores daily.  As long as this is the case, we allow them to continue to "grow" inside of me.  Once they fail, which will likely happen at some point before 34 weeks, I'll have an urgent/emergent c-section and the babies will be spending several weeks in the NICU.
Obviously, we never dreamed of anything like this happening to us and our babies.  But, we are VERY thankful we didn't postpone our appointment (which we considered because I was moving my office this week) as our situation could have been tragic.  Our babies and I are well for now (minus this problem) and are taking everything one day at a time.  Many of you have emailed, called, messaged, and texted these past few days and we really appreciate it!  Thank you for these and your prayers.  All 4 of us can definitely use them!
BTW...  The photo on top is what we are now experts in.  Basically, the top line is "normal" flow.  The second is absent diastolic flow (what we have), and the third is reverse diastolic flow (what we had Wednesday, which is basically me "stealing" blood and nutrition from the babies).  Every morning, we look at these to see where things about nerve-wracking.  The good news though is that I'm responding well to the strict bedrest and everything else (blood pressures, blood sugars, thyroid levels, etc.) seems to be going perfectly.  So now...we wait.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

27 Weeks 4 Days

Baby Girl Sawinski profile...finally!

I'm a tad later than I had planned on this update, but life has been kind of crazy!  Last Friday, we went to the MFM office for a growth ultrasound.  The babies looked great, but are definitely going to be tiny little mites.  Our little girl was in the 14% percentile and our little boy was in the 17% percentile.  Neither weighed 2 pounds yet.  Both were active and rather cooperative, which meant that the ultrasound only took about an hour!  We left the office, had a nice breakfast, and then I went to the office to work a few hours.

On Saturday, I just didn't feel well at all.  My blood pressures were up, my swelling was rather bad considering that I was just getting out of bed, and I had a headache that didn't go away with tylenol.  I asked my collegue if he thought I should call my MFM, and he said "yes."  So, I called and was told to come on up to the OB ER...with plans to stay overnight.  So, Mom, Adam, and I headed up.  We were there about 4 hours and had several tests done.  Other than BPs (which improved while I was stuck on the stretcher for 2 hours), everything looked great!  So, I was released and told to check my BPs several times a day and to start checking my urine for protein.  I've been a good patient this week and so far, everything looks good.  My BPs are a touch high, but not high enough for the MFMs to increase my meds.  Now, we go back Tuesday.  That's the day I drink the nasty glucose drink for my diabetes test as lots of fun!

Otherwise, I'm definitely looking a bit more pregnant.  I feel pretty decent, and feel very blessed to be doing so well at this stage of our pregnancy.  Because we know that our babies are now "viable," we went ahead a bought some diapers and wipes this weekend (good deal with nice gift card for later) and will be ordering our carseats next week.  I guess things are really getting real now!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

I've been mulling over this post for days now, just trying to decide how I could best communicate my feelings about 2012.  As I have done in years past, my Thanksgiving post is a reflection on the year and a moment for me to pause and truly, count my blessings.  This year is no exception!

Last year, to be honest, I had a hard time.  I actually had to really think about my blessings, as it seemed like the proverbial "everything went wrong kind-of-year."  I certainly realized that I WAS blessed and fortunate, it just took some work and perspective to focus on the positive.  In the end though, I found lots of positives and included them in my post (which can be found in the November 2011 archives to your right).

This year, so much has changed!  2012 hasn't been a perfect year, but it HAS been full of things and people to be thankful for.  Here are the top 7:

1.  My faith in God.  Somehow, I doubt this will ever not be on the top of my list!  This year, however, I feel closer to God that ever before.  I know I've prayed more than ever, and believe Adam has as well.  While church-going hasn't been a strong point for me, reading has...and I have certainly learned quite a bit about my personal faith by reading some great spiritual literature this year.  I've realized just how insignificant some things are, and just how amazing God's gifts can be.  For my faith and God, I am very thankful.

2.  Adam.  I simply couldn't ask for a better husband.  In 6 years of marriage, we've weathered many storms together and somehow...still enjoy our lives together as a couple.  Adam is so many qualities that I'm not (more cautious, patient, calmer, and always emotionally "composed"), and I truly appreciate these!  I've never had to question his love or faithfulness to me, which I realize is a blessing that many women simply don't enjoy.  For everything about Adam (other than his morning-grouchiness), I am grateful!

3.  My family.  This probably won't change either!  This has been a heck of a year for the Dampier family.  At this time last year, Leslee (my sister) could barely walk or climb steps because of her recurrent scoliosis and failed childhood surgery.  After 20 hours in the OR and many weeks/months of hospitalization and therapy, my sister can walk upright and live a MUCH better life!  Mom and Dad are blessed with great health and the ability to travel (thanks to a wonderful boss) whenever they desire.  And Trey is doing well in his second year of residency.  None of us see each other as much as we would like as a whole family, but we definitely love each other and treasure our time when we are all together!  I thank God every day for my family and feel super blessed to have parents and siblings who love and care about me and each other so much.

4.  Fonzie.  At 14.5 years old, this little dog is still my pride and joy!  While he's showing his age, he's still full of personality and brings so much joy to Adam and I on a daily basis.  He's a great bedrest buddy, loves Adam and I unconditionaly, and is truly our first baby.  I'm so very grateful for the years we've had with him!

5.  My friends.  In many ways, my friends have taken a "back seat" in my life this year.  In some ways, I realized that I probably depended on and expected too much of them at times (for support only) in the past and seemed to be constantly disappointed in them.  As a result, I learned that friends were just that...friends.  I no longer expect anything from my friends and simply try to enjoy the moments I have to talk with them, text, and visit on the few opportunities that we have to be together.  I'm also thankful for my FF/DE friends, as your support and friendships have been wonderful these past 2 years.  Having friends in "my same shoes" has been a gift that I'll always cherish!  I love each and every friend, and for that I am thankful. 

6.  My career.  In December, I'll be closing my office in Shelbyville and moving my practice to Hendersonville, Tennessee.  I've been blessed with a decent practice in Shelbyville, but will never achieve my potential in a town this small.  Plus, Adam and I will be happier in a larger community!  Because of good fiscal management and a good work ethic, I have secured my loan for the new practice and am grateful for the opportunity to live and build a practice in a great community next year!

7.  My pregnancy!  Last year, I was thankful for my infertility.  This year, I'm no less infertile (probably more infertile, actually...if that could possibly exist), but I AM pregnant with twins!  Today marks 25.5 weeks into my pregnancy, and I'm super-blessed to be feeling and doing wonderfully.  The road has been a long, rocky, torturous path for Adam and I, but thanks to modern medicine and a physician and staff who never gave up on us, we are closer than ever before to bringing home our "Little Sawinskis."  We are super thankful for Dr. Vasquez and Anita (our main nurse) for all they have done for us and put up with this past 18 months, and just hope they realize how much joy they bring into the lives of couples like us!  For all of the inconviences and worry that my pregnancy has brought us, I am VERY thankful!

There are many other things I am thankful for, but these are the "highlights."  I never dreamed I'd be typing a Thanksgiving post while feeling little kicks and jabs across my belly while doing it...I just figured that our attempts to get pregnant were a way to eventually close a chapter in our lives and be able to confidently say, "We tried everything."  Truly, we pretty-much did...and by God's grace, it finally worked!  I live a challenging life, but a charmed life as well.  I have so many things and people I'm grateful for.  If you are reading this, you are someone I AM thankful for!  God Bless you all and thank you for being blessings in my life!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

24 Weeks 5 Days

For those who have asked over and over again, here is one pregnancy photo!  Yes, I am starting to show a bit, though still not exactly "huge."  Other than a bad cold this week, I feel really good and am doing well according to our physicians.  The babies seems to be growing nicely and appear developmentally perfect at this point.  We are in the early stages of beginning to make some baby-related purchases, as I am pretty sure these next 2.5 months are going to fly by!
I'll plan to post my Thanksgiving post later this week, but figured I'd better hurry up and get an update on here before I get 50 more "requests" for pregnancy photos!

Friday, October 26, 2012

21 Week Update


Our little girl playing "shy."  She was rolling away from us with her arm above her head!
Sibling kisses...or butting heads...hard to say!
Today, Adam and I went to Murfreesboro for our second anatomy scan for the babies.  Our morning started with me stepping on Fonzie (in the dark) and running a pinch late.  Once we were on the road, we arrived on time only to wait 15 minutes in the waiting room.  We were the only ones there for 2.5 hours!

We went back around 8:20am and started the ultrasound.  About 95 minutes later, we were done!  Both babies seemed to be doing well.  I didn't get an estimated weight or length, but can tell you that both were measuring a few days smaller...especially our little girl.  This wasn't a concern to the ultrasonographer and we didn't get any calls from the MFM, so we are taking those as signs that all is well!  For those who have had twins and would actually care, my cervix is still a rock at 43mm...which is my baseline no early thinning for me (at least so far)!

Both babies are now breech with their heads about 2" above my belly-button.  While I'm only 21 weeks and 4 days, I measure somewhere around 26-27 weeks!  They like to lay head-to-head and are constantly hitting and kicking each if they WANT to be touching all the time!  Our little boy was the hyper one today, while our little girl was a pinch more mellow.  So...who knows how they'll be once they are born??? 

We continue to be super-thankful for these tiny blessings and are amazed at how they are changing our lives with every day that comes closer to their births.  While we've been hesitant, and still are, I did break down and buy 2 little hats to keep their heads warm in the hospital today on Etsy.  We plan to stick with tiny things until we hit 25 weeks...then the car seats, bedside sleeper, and stroller purchases will need to be made! 

I'll try to get Adam to take some pregnancy photos this weekend and get them posted. Basically, I've gained 13 pounds and just look fatter...not necessarily pregnant.  Oh well...can't win everything!