i left this story back at the end of may...the beginning of what would be come the most impacting 3 months of our lives.
after sharon's surgery, our doc's at the fetal treatment center began booking regular appointments for us at UCSF. every other week at least. i remember thinking, "how in the world are we going to get to san francisco once a week for what ends up being half a day? how are we going to find child care? how am i going to get out of work so i can be with sharon?" so many questions. it's funny, as i look back those concerns seem very small. we became quiet close to our fetal treatment docs. almost every appointment we would go get an ultrasound downstairs, then across the street for a fetal echo, then back across the street for our docs to review the tests...then home. the very first appointment after sharon's surgery was amazing! dr. rand was there and told us that he is pessimistic by nature, but thought sharon's surgery was a huge success and had every reason to believe that anne and jillian would be fine. you can't imagine how that felt to hear those words. hearing and dealing with the possibility that one of your children may die is something that i can't explain. it's mind numbing. out of body. even now, almost 4 months later, i don't know that i've fully dealt with the emotion of it. it was in this moment that the real roller coaster began.
the following appointment, we met with a new doc, dr. shaffer. like all the staff in fetal treatment, he was amazing. even though we had never met dr. shaffer, i was completely impressed that he recognized us by sight and new everything about our case. that put our minds at ease. after our standard ultrasound and fetal echo he called us into the conference room to go over the results. i knew it was bad when he pulled the box of tissue onto the table. for the next 30 minutes he told us how anne (the former donor in the TTTS) had hydrops. what's that? hydrops simply means fluid inside the body or organs. the scary part is that the presence of hydrops typically means that there is some type of injury inside the body that is trying to heal itself from. the problem was that they didn't know what type of injury or where or how bad it was.
my head was spinning. sharon was crying. then dr. hirose (sharon's surgeon from the laser procedure) walked in. he is one of the kindest doctors i've ever met. we smiled. a familiar face is always good in bad moments...but why was he there too? what was going on? dr. shaffer quickly recapped what he had just explained. dr. hirose looked solum...nodding his head in defeated agreement. then he looked up at sharon and i and said..."guys...i'm so sorry."
what does that mean, "i'm so sorry"? this isn't happening...that's what i kept thinking...this isn't happening. both the docs continued to tell us how hydropic babies rarely survive after they're born. this can't be happening. they both kept saying "i'm so sorry" with there heads down. we couldn't believe it.
after our meeting, sharon and i stopped and sat on a bench outside the office. we just sat there, stunned. i remember sharon saying "we've got to fight for her! we've got to fight for her!!!" (crying)...of course. of course we will. i couldn't believe this was happening. then we saw dr. hirose step out of the office, on his way back to the hospital across the street. he saw us there and came and sat down with us. we cried. he consoled. we told him that we didn't want to give up on anne. we wanted him to fight for her! he promised us that he would. then we got in the car and went home.
i don't think we spoke the whole way home. we stopped in marin at our friend laura's. we cried more...in disbelief that we were in this place. how does this happen? what had we done? what were we going to do? how would we get through this? time stood still.
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