over the next couple of weeks, each time we went to our appointment (mostly on friday) at the fetal treatment center, it seemed as though we were on this great roller coaster. one week, we would be sitting with excitement as our hope rose (clickety clack, clickety clack) up to the top. the next week we were plummeting to the depths at break neck speed. if you've spent any time in a hospital you know what i mean. medicine isn't exact. it requires trial and error...and more trial and sometimes, still more error. and even after that, sometimes you're just left with the fact that man cannot always know everything there is to know about the human body and why it chooses to act the way it does. this is where we were with the girls.
before sharon's laser surgery, when the girls were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion syndrome; one of the many scary elements was that because anne was acting as the donor and giving all her nutrients to jillian (the recipient), this caused a shared blood pressure between the two of them. now, imagine if you or i suddenly had an extreme drop in blood pressure...many adverse reactions could occur. stroke. loss of oxygen to the brain. potential brain damage. well, because the girls were not only receiving blood from sharon as nutrients, but also sharing blood between each other (because of the TTTS), the blood pressure of one was affected by the other. in the moment of sharon's laser surgery when they cut the blood vessels between the girls to stop the TTTS, the docs believed that the sudden change in blood pressure between the two of them caused anne's body to react as though an injury had occurred, which caused the hydrops in her body. in the act of saving both of them, there was potential now that we might lose one of them. this had been a risk that the docs explained from the beginning, but honestly i didn't believe it would happen.
as we watched the hydrops each week in the sonogram we began to see with our non-medical school eyes the difference between anne's heart beat and jillian's. jillian moved constantly (much to the dismay of the sonogram tech) and anne was less active. anne's heart was growing and developing in a puddle of water located in her chest. but still, each week they both continued to grow equally, which was always a glimmer of hope for me. in the midst of all of this, our little girls were fighting to beat this thing so they could come and meet us. and though the harsh reality stared us in the face via that little computer screen in that small dark room every week...we still looked forward to the time we got to see our girls together. imagining how they were going to look. dressing them up in matching outfits. carrying around their matching car seats. imagining how we'd smile when we'd get those looks in public as people would ask "are all of these kids yours?" and how proud we'd be when we responded "yes! every one of them." every week we were getting to know and love our little girls more.
it was on one of those friday appointments in july when things changed. circumstances shifted suddenly and now our concern didn't lie soley on the two precious little lives growing inside of sharon, but on sharon's life now as well...time stood still.
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