First the good news:
- I have had only very minimal leaking of amniotic fluid this whole week, making me hopeful that the amniopatch may be holding, after all. The amount I have leaked is much less than the fluid outside the membrane that still needs to drain off or be reabsorbed, so it seems like no new fluid has leaked out from Baby B's sac. We go back to see the specialist in town on Wednesday; we'll have to wait and see the results from that.
- Around the time that Baby A passed away, I was having a lot of nausea, as well as severe headaches, just from the major hormonal shift in my body, going from supporting two babies, to just one. But this week, I have been feeling very well physically, and my energy levels that have been in the dumps this entire pregnancy are actually higher than they usually are for me during pregnancy. I think my body has been working overtime from the very start, trying to support Baby A in spite of his compromised cord insertion and placental share.
- I have decided on a hospital, and found a very nice OB supportive of natural birth that delivers there. She works with other ladies as her backups, but because both her office and her home are only minutes from the hospital, she makes it to most of her births. I saw her for the first time today, and was very happy with her, as well as all of her staff.
- During today's visit, the OB did a quick ultrasound, and found Baby B's fluid level to be adequate, as well as both boys to be in head-down position. This is a relief to me, because up until now, they were both transverse, with Baby A on the bottom. Although their position can still change, I am happy to know it is possible for both of them to be in a good position for birth.
- Baby B is very active and moving much, which is a huge relief for me. Like most pregnant moms, I wake up often during the night for bathroom breaks, and never can fall back asleep until I feel a little nudge or kick. Baby has been very kind to be generous with his assurances in this regard.
Please continue to pray for the following:
- That the amniopatch will hold, and there will be no more leaking besides what is already outside the membrane, and still needs to drain off.
- That Baby A's passing will not trigger premature labor.
- That Baby B's sac will will not spontaneously rupture due to it already being compromised, that he would continue to have adequate fluid levels, and that he would not get an infection.
- That I get the financial issues with the hospital resolved - they originally quoted us $13k for the first surgery (that's just for the hospital, not the surgeon or the anesthesiologist). When the bill arrived, it was for over $33k.
I didn't mention this yet, but when I went in for the laser surgery, the hospital was in the middle of renovating their OR. So the surgery was to take place in some other room that had temporarily been transformed into an OR, or maybe it was an old one they only use for backups, I'm not sure. In any case, it wasn't the room they usually use for their fetal surgeries.
Start to finish, the laser surgery was supposed to take less than 1 hour. However, the staff first couldn't get the electronic equipment (cameras, screens, etc.) to work, or interface with one another. They finally gave up on that, and called the surgeon in. He had already administered the local anesthetic, and was counting down from 3 to let me know when he was going to put the tube into my stomach, through which he was going to insert the scope and laser. The tube was about the diameter of a thick pen/marker. Literally one second before he did, the entire power tower in the OR went out, cutting the power to his laser and scope. An overhead light stayed on, but that was about it. Had the doctor started only seconds earlier, he would have had to abort the surgery, which could not have been attempted a second time, and would have resulted in us losing both babies.
Dr. C never lost his cool (admirable! It really made me feel much more confident at the time than I feel now just telling the story). He left the OR, and went hunting for the hospital's engineers. Evidently, some breaker had been tripped. Dr. C did not attempt the surgery again until he had two of the engineers sitting right outside the OR in front of some power switchboard, to make sure it wouldn't happen again.
Because of all this, I was in the OR for over 3 hours. The additional charges on the itemized hospital bill almost exclusively stem from the fact that OR costs are calculated per minute after the first hour, as as the costs for anesthesia (I was getting intravenous sedatives). Plus, the staff had to scrub up twice, and I was prepped for surgery twice.
I have been calling the lady in charge of our account at the hospital virtually every day, leaving her message after message, but she has yet to call me back. I am also writing up a letter to the head of their business office, disputing the additional charges. Please pray that all this resolves quickly, and with minimal effort on my part - it really is an unnecessary drain on me right now.
- Please pray for my emotional struggles. I do fine throughout most of the day, what with all the busyness and distractions, but nights are very difficult for me - especially after days like today, when I see both babies on the ultrasound. I really do not know what to expect as far as Baby A's condition at birth, so it's hard to prepare for that. I also am still very grieved about the loss, and just long to have him back. God is gracious to have allowed us to come this far, and for one baby to still be alive, and I know our little twin is much better off now than he was before - but the selfish part of me just wants to have him, hold him, and raise him. I am very thankful that if Baby B lives, we will have him as a carbon copy, so at least we will know what the other baby would have looked, and maybe even acted like. But yes, I am still very sad all the same.
- Please just generally remember us in your prayers. This pregnancy is going to remain a rollercoaster, and while things are looking up at this moment, that can literally change anytime from one second to the next.
That's all I can think of for now. Many, many thanks for the prayers, support, and words of encouragement. I have one final praise report: I received a new tablet as a gift this week from a dear family in our church! So hopefully between the craziness of juggling appointments, making phone calls, disputing bills, trying to get all my medical records in one place, and just keeping up with the day-to-day routine of our large family, I may actually get back to updating the blog more than once per week! :)