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Monday, June 30, 2008

in and out of the hospital..

Sarah seemed to be doing really good except for a couple of colds. In May of 2007 we began to make frequent doctors appointments for both girls, though Sarah always seemed to be worse. Sarah began putting on weight. This began to raise red flags, when she was about 6 pounds bigger then her sister, because of the weight gain and asthma problems she began to fall way behind developmentally. She was taken by Ambulance right from her pediatrics office at least twice, the Reason: she could not keep her oxygen level up in the 90 %.

so we became good friends with doctors and nurses in the children's hospital where she was admitted. it seems as though Sarah felt the need to see the nurses and Dr A. for about 3 or four days a month!! once in a while Victoria joined her...these were some of the pictures of Sarah's longer stays...

WE could not figure out why she was all of a sudden gaining weight. at the time we laughed that this baby "B' who the doctors were concerned with because she wasn't gaining, was now having the opposite problem, she was now close to 6 pounds bigger then her twin. We got so many people praying that Sarah would grow, we now had to tell them to stop praying God had heard their prayers! Meanwhile the list of Doctors for Sarah grew longer.

all jokes put aside, I knew that God was preparing me for something, He had placed the song that goes like this..."you give and you take way, but my heart will choose to say, 'bless it be the name of the Lord" it was scary seeing my daughter hooked up to monitors ,and watching her oxygen level drop, so she had to have oxygen going into her, it was heart wrenching every time they came in to try and do blood work and after countless attempts the nurses gave up because they just couldn't find a good vein. she had numerous x-rays to see if they could find any infections... everything came back clear...

We knew that God gave her to us and that He had and Has a VERY special plan for her little life, it was not by chance that she was given the name Sarah Grace, Out Little Princess. because no matter what was wrong, she would always know she was our little princess...

the day we got to hold you!

So at 37 weeks, i looked like this, this pictures was actually 2 hours before i held the girls. it was a morning like no other. we had waited for so long , so it felt, for that morning to get there.

i was excited and nervous at the same time, The Doctor told us that when baby "B" was born there was a possibility that they were going to take her right to the NICU. that was hard! but we knew it was best for her. IT was so quite in the OR you could have heard a pin drop!

Then they began....out came baby "A" and then one minute later Little Sarah Grace began to cry as they pulled her out...that was the best moment, the tears just started to run down my cheek, I knew she was okay once i heard her little cry! time stopped nothing seemed to matter to me, all the concerns we had over that last 2 months were gone, I just wanted to hear her cry and she did!

it may have been one or two hours after the girls were born i was able to hold our miracle! i can remember this picture being taken, just rubbing her hand with tears of joy ! It was a moment i'll NEVER forget. She was a fighter, and the doctors couldn't say other wise!! at birth Sarah was just 3 oz. smaller then her big sister!!

All seemed to be going well and we were told we could go home just 3 days after the girls were born. I wanted to take a shower before we left the hospital, so the nurses came back to get the girls while I took a shower. when i was done they headed back to the room with the twins.

Suddenly plans changed as the nurse looked down at Sarah and noticed she was blue. Let me pause here and say I was so thankful that this happened while we were at the hospital. Sarah seemed to be doing so well and just like that everything changed. it was so scary! i was so thankful that it didn't happen hours later or even 1/2 hour later, while we were in the car on the way home! God had his hand in the situation!

They were able to get her to breath again , but she was placed in the NICU. meanwhile they discharged her sister and i was left torn, i wanted so badly to go home all together but instead i was having to kiss my baby who was cleared to go home and my husband. they headed home and i stayed with Sarah.

five days of testing and hearing monitors beep.... Sarah continued to have episodes where she would stop breathing, but thankfully she always started back up on her own. She was not gaining weight but instead began to lose so much that the doctors began to worry about it. At one point she had dropped to 3 pounds 12 oz. They could not figure out why, because she was eating...On the 5th day she was able to eat and not set of the monitor. A test she had to pass before she could leave the hospital. she was also holding her weight! My husband and i had to take a CPR class before they would release Sarah. It was so hard to sit through the video knowing why they were making us take this class knowing ,but praying that we would Never have to do it on Sarah.

we also were informed that Sarah would have to go home on an "apnea monitor" so we had to go through a training on what to do when she set it off. (if she set it off it could be either she had stopped breathing or the wires that were attached to her came loose...)

Those three days were so draining on me it was amazing. meanwhile i just wanted to hold Victoria and have "bonding" time with her. we had decided earlier on that I was going to nurse both babies. so i was nursing Sarah and bottle feeding her so that i could also pump for Victoria. yes it was hard!! It was not how we thought it was going to be but We had no choice!

Sarah was such a trooper though it all. Finally after a few feedings on the 5th day we were discharged! I was ready to be re-united with Victoria!

Over the next few weeks, Sarah did okay, she did set off the monitor while she slept or was eating, the scariest time was during the night when the monitor would go off! i was so afraid that i wouldn't hear it beeping until it was to late. Whenever she did stop breathing or the monitor went off, she would start breathing on her own! PRAISE THE LORD! there were a couple of times when she stopped breathing for about 25 seconds, these were the most frighting.

Sarah had her apnea for about 4 months, and then she was cleared to come off of it.! she became wireless at around 4 months! it was a VERY EXCITING but a nerve wrecking day when their were no more wires. Exciting because she was okay but nerve wrecking because in my mind what was going to tell me if she stopped breathing again. We had to take it day by day. we were all home and i had to rejoice in that...

Friday, June 27, 2008

she's growing

after the last appointment, we asked for people to pray that Sarah would grow and that the doctors wold no longer be overly concerned with this. so we headed back to the doctors for the next 3 weeks for heartbeat checks...every week her heartbeat got stronger, I still was not gaining any weight, but my hope and faith was rooted in Jesus. Little Sarah was his plan. God was going to do what He had planned. One other specific prayer request was that the little problem they saw with Sarah's heart would be healed and close up on its own, and that the spot on her brain would be gone in Jesus name. I would not except this sickness.

so three weeks later we were being seen once again for an in dept ultra sound. Can i just say that God is so good, the spots that they thought they saw were no longer there! Sarah was still dangerously small but it was as though God had touched her head and heart!! Thank you Lord!

they sent us back saying we will not need to see you, again. your regular doctor will keep us informed and if anything suddenly changes they will contact us.

they ordered that i begin non stress test every week and ultrasounds to make sure everything was okay.

i got to know two women named Rachel (who was the technician) and Michelle who was the non stress lady!!

Victoria or baby "a" always passed the non stress test right away, but Sarah wouldn't stay still long enough!! so we always had to go see Rachel. which really I didn't mind at all, I was able to look at Sarah in the screen!

i remember one time i was just REALLY emotional, and Sarah wasn't moving around to much and Rachel could tell i wasn't she took her time to let me see Sarah's as much as possible. and one of the times we saw Sarah turn her head, and it was as though She raised her thumb to give us a thumbs up...i just needed to see something to let me know she was okay. it was as though God knew and caused her to look right at us and put that thumb up!
Rachel said, "Wow mom she's giving you the thumbs up!"
one of the test Rachel had to so was count how many times the chest cavity would raise up..i can't remember the details but if Sarah didn't practice this "breathing"or if she didn't do it, an emergency c-section would be done to save Victoria. You don't' know how many times i prayed, "come on Sarah one more or two more can do it!" God always came through!

Sarah began to grow at a steady pace, although she wasn't growing to the doctors satisfaction, she was growing. and the doctor did tell us that as long she grows that they would continue to let me carry them, but if at any times we see Baby "a" in any kind of danger we will take them. this just didn't settle in me, so i prayed and asked for prayer that these babies would do what was being asked of them!

We saw God and his humor....
I believe that it was two weeks later we watched on screen as Victoria kicked her sister in the head and Sarah moved her arms up to protect herself! it was so amazing to see it both on screen and watch my belly re-shape!
Sarah continued to fail the non-stress test, but passed the "breathing" one so we were able to go home each time.

at around 3o weeks the Doctors began to talk about taking them, i pushed with all my might to please let them continue to grow in me. I was the voice for Sarah! I was put on "bed-rest " for the rest of the pregnancy...i tried my hardest to do what the doctor was telling me too, but i had a 3 year old and an 16 month at home with no family living around i did my best and tried to lay down when they did and i did take advantage of my husband when he was home! ( that part of it was so nice!!!)

Sarah was growing, just at her own pace! they were about 3 pounds and 2 pounds at this point.

Each day i would have to count the moves...there were a couple of days when i didn't feel Sarah moving at all or just one or two kicks, I'll be honest, i was scared, i wanted so badly to hold Sarah and to know that she was okay, i wanted the pregnancy to be over, i wanted Sarah to be healthy I wanted her to have "normal" life. I wanted to hear her laugh and yes even to cry!

When i went to the doctors around week 32 i had finally started to gain weight, some women would say ,wow you look really small for twins! I'm so jealous of you. in my heart i was crying...I didn't want to be "small" anymore....there was a reason i was "small" and i was ready to be "bigger" It would have been nice to hear someone say, "wow look at her she must be having twins!" nope didn't hear that at all!

Every morning i woke and asked God to just prepare me for what he had planned for the day. "Give me peace and Joy Lord to just walk in your presence for this day. breath life into Sarah and help her to grow this day! let it be the day she begins to amaze the doctors!"

Day by day God was showing me he was answering the prayers of HIS people.

At about 35 weeks,we went ahead and scheduled a c-section, why the c-section? The Doctors were still not 100% sure if there was something "wrong" with Sarah, and the fact that she was breach didn't give them hope either!

so I went home knowing that at 37 (or possibly earlier if something changed) weeks I would be able to finally see my two girls. i was excited but scared, joyful but nervous. i went home and stuck to the doctor's orders as much as possible, these next two weeks were the most important for the babies.

Monday, June 23, 2008

day 2 of excitment...turns

Well we received a phone call the very next day. with concern in the doctors voice we knew something wasn't right. the voice on the other side was saying something like" We need you to come back, we have to do some more ultrasounds ASAP, but you will need to see a specialist."

We went back to the same hospital for a few more "ultra sound-snaps" if you will. Once the technician was done the doctor came in looked at the results whispered a few things and then turned to us. The excitement was gone. We asked if both babies were okay, and the Doctor looked at us with more compassion in his eyes then the day before and said, for now both babies are okay.

We were devastated! The doctor began to tell us stuff like, "Baby B: is dangerously small, we need to keep our eyes on her. We need to keep an eye on you and your weight loss. we need to keep our eye on baby "A" As of now we don't know what is going on. we will be sending you to the specialist....the rest of the conversation is blurred.

My husband and i walked away from the hospital knowing that GOD created both babies, and both babies were perfect in His sight! WE made up our mind to say no to every kind of testing they were going to want to do to the baby. We knew that this little life, no matter how small she was, was a gift from God. and we were not going to let the Doctors determine her end result! The God we serve is the one who gives life and takes life.

we determined in our minds and heart to rejoice no matter what the circumstances looked like we would rejoice!

we went for the appointment with the specialist on August 9...this is what we saw:she looked so nice and snug! (not sure if you can see it but the little smudge to the right, right next to the little arrow outside the ultrasound itself, is baby A's limb!! the doctors were so nice. they explained that they had no answers for why baby "b" was not growing and that today's visit was just going to be them taking ultrasounds of every organ as possible to see if they could give us answers. there was not going to be a lot of talking. and they would answer any question we had in the end. we understood that they really just needed to get all they needed, to try and figure this out! then the technician came in and said, " I know they told you not to ask question until the very end, but i couldn't do that when I was in your i will try and explain what pictures i am taken, i won't be able to answer to many questions but everything is going to be okay it just has too be for you also!( she was in the same situation over 20 years ago! God works in amazing ways doesn't he?)! she was so nice to us.

we were at the hospital for about 2 hours. After the ultra sound was completed, the doctor looked at some of the pictures (or what ever you want to call them) and showed us what they were concerned with. baby "b" had what seemed to be a leakage in her heart and calcium deposits on her brain...i had no idea what all of this meant expect the leakage in her heart! i broke down. you see i have a nephew who was born with half a heart. the parents have gone through so much and to look at what their little boy has gone through, I didn't' want to go through it, I didn't want to put her through it. all i could think about was heart surgery with her. i wasn't a strong enough person to go threw that.

I want to be completely honest with you, you who take the time to read this. i was scared for her. i didn't want her to feel pain. i didn't want our little girl to have to go through all of this. at a point of the doctor telling us the list of things that could be wrong i broke down to the point of shaking. We asked the doctor if we could be left alone for a few minutes. It felt as though death had come into that room. the Doctor left and i looked at my husband and said, i want the Lord to just take her if she is going to have a life of sickness. i won't be able to live with myself. He grabbed my two hands and said, "God is in control! He's not going to let anything happen that we can't handle, He will give us strength." then he prayed.

The Doctor came back in and said, "we will let you know if we find out any more. but please remember to take care of yourself, there is a second baby in there! None of this is your fault, you couldn't have prevented it from happening. we will take it step by step. she asked if they could do test on the amniotic fluids, we declined it, "saying no, what is the purpose of doing it, if she has any kind of sickness, she's no less of a person! we are still going to love her as much as her sister, by letting you do the tested, it's only putting her and her sister in danger. WE have decided to decline any kind of testing that will put her in ANY kind of danger." and from that point on we were never asked again.

we knew the road ahead was going to be full of blessings, hard times, tears and joy! but we decided in our hearts to rejoice no matter what the circumstances looked like! we needed to rejoice so that others would see the face of Jesus and the peace that only comes from him!

as we sat waiting for the secretary to make our next appointment we sat in silence.I know for me i was just trying to comprehend all that was just said to us... I turned to my husband and i said, " We need to decide today what names they will have. We had already agreed on Victoria Elizabeth and Sarah Grace. i left it up to my husband who would be who. He immediately said baby "b" will be Sarah Grace. He didn't even think about it, it was as though he was already thinking about her! I asked why should she be Sarah? His answer was short and sweat,"so she will know-no matter what, that she is our little Princess" and then his eyes filled up with tears.

no more words were needed! we made our next appointment, we would come back in three weeks, but mean while we would see the OBG doctor for heartbeat checks. and regular weekly ultrasounds checks would be done.

Meanwhile we got as many people as we knew praying for Sarah Grace and asking God to shine, "prove them wrong Lord, show them there is nothing "wrong" let her grow Lord let her grow Lord" is all i could pray for....

Sunday, June 22, 2008

let me introduce you to our "fighter"

We were so excited! We found out that our youngest was going to be a big brother! The test immediately read positive!! but what we didn't know is what this blog is all about!

I hope it brings many to the cross of Jesus, Our Creator, out Father, Our Savior. I pray that if you are one who reads this blog and are going through a difficult time, that you will find yourself being lifted up into the arms of Jesus! not all post will end happy, but they will be truthful! we don't know what road God will choose for us to go down as a family but what we are sure of is that our hope and Final answer is in Jesus Christ! We may not know what the future hold but we do know who holds the future! he is holding us today as he has shown us.

Our journey began in the early months of 2006. For this is when we found out that our youngest boy was going to be a "BIG brother." it seemed to be a "normal" pregnancy until one day i thought i felt a kick a little to early. I called the doctor and they said, nothing to worry about it may be just a "gas bubble" something didn't settle but i wasn't in pain so i just said okay...

I remember the day like is was yesterday. i was sitting in the "new babies" room and was folding clothes, going through our others kids clothes.

we never had a 10 week ultra sound because everything sounded great! The heartbeat was strong! the doctors began getting worried when i wasn't gaining weight. at one point they began talking about sending me home with an IV but after some prayer, i began to gain little by little. to the Doctors satisfaction! PRAISE THE LORD, i don't know how i would have done it with 2 children already at home. one was 14 months and one was 3!

We hit our 20 weeks and still no ultrasounds! i know i was kinda bummed because i REALLY wanted to see what our baby looked like! around week 22 or 23 we finally had our "level 2 ultra sound"

we were so excited! we had decided that we would find out the sex of the baby. we had the names picked out if we were going to have a boy his name would be Matthew and if God gave us a girl her name would be Sarah Grace. so i was on the table with jelly on my belly! My husband and i are looking at the screen and I'm thinking something doesn't look right and meanwhile mu husband is thinking the same things...and then we see and here her say,"yep there definitely are twins in there!! mouth dropped, my husband grabbed my hand and squeezed so tight!

The first words out of his mouth were"what did you just say?" poor Rachel, didn't know we didn't know!! she turned to us and said, "I'm sorry i thought you knew!" i started to cry! tears of Joy of course!! this is what we walked away with that day!!

baby "A" above and baby "B" below

the feelings my husband and i had went from being excited, shocked, worried..(we had a car big enough for 3 car seats not four!!) speechless! non stop talk! All the above were felt in less then 2 seconds!!

My husbands conversation on the way home was nothing but COMPLETE joy!! God was giving us twins!! and as far as the tech could tell we were having twin girls!!! guess Matthew wasn't going to work! i wanted to keep the second baby as a surprise!! i thought it would be fun to have a second baby "pop"out and say surprise to family!! my husband wasn't going along with that idea!! although he said it would be funny!!! we decided we would make phone calls and when they asked what we were having a boy or a girl we would answer "no!"

I will admit, my way would have been fun, but listening to peoples responds to "no" was fun!! they were so confused! some didn't believe us, some started to cry, some shouted for joy and some said a prayer!! for when they asked we said no we are not having a boy or girl but twin girls! they were shocked, and excited for us!!