it was july 9. another friday appointment at UCSF. at this point we could look back at a significant journey for this pregnancy AND look forward to our two precious gifts that were waiting at the other end. we were right in the middle of it all.
we had gotten in a routine of our new short term reality. we had grown to enjoy our time together driving in and out of the city. but today was different. as we were wrapping up our appointment, one of sharon's doctors said that some of her vital fluids were a bit off. they wanted to run a couple more tests which in hospital speak (even on the fast train) means a couple more hours. we sat and waited...and waited...and when sharon's doctor came back she told us something that we did not expect. they were concerned about a few things with sharon and wanted to keep her at the hospital for observation.
you know when you try and open too many applications at once and your computer gives you the little spinning hourglass thing or the (apple users) spinning rainbow circle....well, that was my brain in that moment. i couldn't leave sharon alone....but who would take care of our kids? how long would we have to stay? what are the docs looking for? how would we get everything covered? can i say overwhelmed? yes, i can.
so, we walked across the street...through the lobby, made a left down the hall, then a right down the long hall and then into the elevators...all the way up to 15 and into labor and delivery. it's funny as i write that i can see the tile in the hallway. one of the nurses got us into a room and sharon got into "the gown"...you know the one...and hopped...err....slid into the bed.
in the following hours we discovered that the doctors were concerned because sharon was showing some signs of pre-eclampsia. basically, they were starting to think that sharon's body was responding...almost mirroring the symptoms of anne. sharon's body wasn't processing nutrients correctly which isn't good even if you aren't pregnant. she was still fighting, but in reality...sharon was very sick...and getting worse.
the next several days were a blur. our doctors wanted to make sure that the anne and jillian were doing fine, so they had sharon on 24 hour monitoring and blood draw about every 4 hours which is more uncomfortable than it looks in this one sentence. but you'll have to take my word for it. the doctors were starting to realize that even though it was incredibly rare, the TTTS that sharon had the laser surgery for back at the end of may, was beginning to come back. jillian's amniotic sac was growing larger and anne's was shrinking...the main diagnostic factor for TTTS. and so began the balancing act. the twins were only 28 weeks. way to early to say for sure that they would both survive delivery...especially anne, given the hydrops in her little body. so the goal was to keep them inside, growing as long as possible, but now the potential pre-eclampsia and more specifically the hellp syndrome that the doctors believed sharon was developing was putting her at risk more every day. the only way to stop the pre-eclampsia or hellp syndrome was by getting the babies out...but if they babies were delivered they might not live because they weren't developed enough. we sat on the edge of that reality for 5 days. twice the doctors were going to rush sharon into the OR for a c-section and then stopped at the last minute. sharon was getting worse. the TTTS was intensifying for the girls. the doctors were doing everything they could to help mature anne and jillian in the womb so they'd at least have a chance at life outside of it, all the while not risking sharon's life, but finally on july 13 everyone realized that the time had come.
i remember that morning we did another fetal echo and dr. rand came in to review the findings. if you remember, he was the doctor we met our very first day at UCSF. it seemed like we had known him for so long. so many hours together. crying. explaining. trying to understand. but through it all, i knew that he actually cared about us and our little girls. all of those moments in the past month and a half were flashing in my mind as he stood in that little room with sharon and i. he held sharon's hand and told her that it was time. that she had done all she could for our girls. more then anyone could expect. he told us that we had reached the point that we couldn't wait any longer. that the risk to sharon and the twins had become too great to not intervene. we had to deliver the girls. he was calm and kind but we all knew the potential risk in that statement. deep breathe.
they brought us back up to the 15th floor and began prepping sharon for surgery.
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