Our Journey with Conjoined Twins
Abby & Erin
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
This post is more of a prayer request than an update. But is also partially an update.
I have been talking with my doctor over the past week and he has put me in contact with CHOP, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. As of right now we are working on getting some insurance hopefully worked out (please please please pray that the insurance works out, otherwise this could end up being way more costly than it needs to be). But I am hopefully (if insurance works out and I get accepted to be a patient) will be heading there in a few very short weeks (dates are tentative due to insurance, I will post them for people to pray when we have a definite answer) to have an MRI and more ultrasounds done. I am so nervous. There is just so much that I have no clue about. This is a completely new territory for me.
That being said we are still not fully set on using CHOP as the team that will separate Abby and Erin. They apparently have one of the best pediatric radiology teams in the nation so for an MRI and extensive ultrasounds they are a great place to be. We are going to try an consult with at least one other Doctor. I am just having some trouble getting ahold of him, and getting information. But I am trying to find the best person to give Abby and Erin their best chance.
Now that you know my update please pray for Riley and myself. This is not the easiest process, and making these huge decisions that will very much impact our children is a huge burden. One wrong choice could result in devastation. I am terrified of making the wrong one. I have never had to research doctors, or hospitals, or procedures, or anything like this before, and neither has anyone in my family. This is all completely new to me. I am trying so hard to keep my stress levels down because I know that isn't good for the girls, but that thought almost makes me more stressed. So please please pray for us. This is so important and we just want to make the right choice in where to get the best care for our girls.
We really appreciate each and every one of you who have invested time, prayers, support, and encouragement in our lives. Having so much support and so many prayers have made such a difference in how we have gotten through thus far. We still have a far way to go, but I know that with God all things are possible, and that where His will is, He will make a way.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
I want you to imagine yourself standing in the middle of an open field. You are all alone. It is dark. It is pouring rain, and there is thunder and lightning and you don't know where to go. There is no where to really hide from the storm except stay where you are and ride it out. Now keep imagining that you have been in this storm, wet and cold and scared for weeks now. Now all of a sudden there is a slight break in the clouds and the sun pops through and you can feel its warmth. You can feel yourself smile again. And you realize that everything might just be alright..
Well that is where I am right now. I am still standing in that field, dripping wet, but the sun is starting to poke through. A ray of hope was brought to our family yesterday at our doctors appointment and it was the answers I have been terrified to get.
Unfortunatley Riley was not able to go to this appointment with me because of finally being able to get a new car. After a few hiccups with it all we realized it just wasn't possible for Riley to both be at the appointment and pick up the car. So thankfully he had a friend that was able to go with with and figure out all the car stuff while I went with my mom, sister, and aunt to the doctors.
Right now I am just a few days over 16 weeks pregnant. So the ultrasound that I received was the one where they measure each and every part of each baby. And let me tell you I loved every second of it. Literally my eyes were glued to the screen. In this type of situation with conjoined twins you know the odds are not in your favor. So when you get to spend some time seeing your little ones moving around and seeming happy and healthy you can't help but enjoy every second of it. The ultrasound tech measured every arm, leg, hand, foot, belly, head, face, and every part imaginable. It was so fun to see fingers and toes and watch them kick and squirm. She told us that they are growing as if they were normal babies. They are measuring correctly at between 16-17 weeks and everything seems to look good aside from them being attached. We had originally thought that they were attached at the back of the head but now it is looking more like it is the top/forehead area of their heads. But I have a feeling that might change as well. The more they grow the easier it is to tell these types of things.
After she was done taking all the measurements the doctor came in a began his portion of the ultrasound which was intently looking at their heads and checking out their brain structures. When he first started looking I said that it looked like the both seem to have both halves of their brains. And he agreed with me! He went on to say that he saw that each baby had a left and right hemisphere, and that each baby also had their own cerebellum. So of course being how I am I like to double check everything so I said..."so thats good right?!" and he said to me "that this seems like it could be a best case scenario". Now doctors usually like to ere on the side of caution and are usually hesitant to tell you good news unless they really think it is good news. So the fact that he said that to me made my heart soar! It was my ray of sunshine moment, where I was able to think that I may actually end up with two separate children at the end of all this. And I couldn't ask for more than that! Praise the Lord, He is hearing our prayers!
Now mind you there is still so much that goes into all of this. If he is correct and it is going to be possible for them to be separated we need to find the right surgeon and the right hospital for the job. He is going to start making phone calls (starting with the children's hospital of Philadelphia) and go from there. He will be talking to different surgeons and then we will have to pick who we think will be best suited for our little ones. As far as the fetal MRI goes that will happen once we figure out where we think the best place for the babies care will be. That way we can get it done in the same place that the surgeon is so that we can all sit down and look at the results and talk it all out. I have another appointment in 3 weeks and we will be finding out more then. Until then, we wait yet again and do some research on different hospitals, doctors, Ronald McDonald houses, travel expenses, and all of the things that go along with it. We have a very long road ahead of us, but for our kids, Riley and I are more than willing to go the distance to see them happy and healthy!
We want to thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. We really believe that it is because of all of your prayers on our little ones' behalves that they have separate brains. Matthew 21:22 says And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” That is being proven over and over again in our situation. Our God is a good God, and with Him ALL things are POSSIBLE!!! And we stand on and believe in that truth!!!
-Our babies to keep growing like normal happy babies
-That their brains to keep growing separate
-For the right surgeon and hospital to be found for our babies
-For the babies to be easily separable
-For Riley and I to have wisdom in making some of these big medical decisions
-For us to find a new apartment
We also have one other little bit of news to share. Along with this ultrasound we found out the gender of our twins. We found out that we will be having little GIRLS!!!
Make sure to read the sonogram photos, they describe what you are looking at
My name is Heather Delaney. I married the love of my life Riley on 10/02/15 and we now have two beautiful girls Abby & Erin, who are conjoined twins, that were born 07/24/16. We are trusting that God is going to work all this out for his good!