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.
So I had a weird moment today. I was scrolling through Facebook and started seeing all of the first day of school pictures. I love seeing pictures like this, either the first day of school, christmas, easter, etc. Where it seems like everyone is taking the same picture with different people in it.
The thing that was weird was that I realized that there is still life going on outside of what I am doing. Being here in Philadelphia feels almost like time is frozen. I have my routine, I wake up, pump, get ready, eat breakfast, go to the hospital, pump, eat lunch, hold the girls, pump again, go back to the house for dinner, pump again, watch some tv, pump again, and go to bed. This is my day literally every day. It's hard to realize that life is still going on. That my friends are still living their lives, and having fun and I am stuck in this loop that just keeps repeating itself.
Now I know it sounds kind of bad, especially since people say "you need to get out", "you need to do other things than just sit at the hospital". But if you've every had a child or, in my case, children in the hospital you feel incredibly guilty doing anything other than being with them. Yes I go to the store and shop sometimes, and yes when my husband visits we do things, or when I have visitors we go out to eat. But doing anything other than being with them feel just wrong. They are my children, I should be the one taking care of them, the one changing all their diapers, the on who calms them when they are upset, the one who feeds them, the one who wakes up with them at 3am. It's just so hard to hand all that over to people that you don't even know. And you have to put your full trust in them to basically not only be their nurse, but to also "play" the "mothering" role for you while you are gone. It is just such a weird feeling knowing that you are a new mom, but not fully feeling like you are.
One thing that super bugs me is when talking to people about having my babies in the NICU, they say, "oh....well at least you can catch up on your sleep". That one makes me almost want to jump out of my skin (no offense if you have said it to me before, I know it is meant in a nice way). But what I haven't really written about on here is all about exclusively pumping. The reason that statement drives me crazy is because I wake up every three hours during the night to pump for a half hour, and when you add in the time it takes me to set everything up, and then put everything away, and label the bottles, you're looking at a good 45 minutes every 3 hours. Which in my opinion is harder that waking up with your baby. At least when you wake up with your baby, you get those warm baby snuggles, and get to look at that super cute little face, and even though you are exhausted, you know its worth it because of those sweet eyes that look at you so lovingly. When you wake up to pump it isn't like that at all. You attach to a machine and try to stay awake are you are milked dry like a cow. Waking up to an alarm takes a lot more self control than waking up to a screaming baby. When you have the baby you have no choice, but when it's your alarm it is so easy to just turn it off. So to those who say you get to catch up on your sleep, it makes me chuckle because I am just as tired and a new mom who has their baby at home, if not maybe more because I don't nap with my babies since I am at the hospital.
Anyways enough of my "rants". The girls are doing well! They are, believe it or not, 3lbs 15.5oz each already! I can't believe it! They are growing so fast. It is really amazing. Their events (heart rate dropping, and O2 levels dropping) have gone way down, to the point where Erin hasn't had one in about 3 days, and Abby only had around 1 today. They are starting to get a little baby chunk going on, where their cheeks, legs, and arms are starting to plump up and gosh do they look so sweet. Riley and I talk very frequently about just how darn cute they are! We also had a meeting this past friday about the way the girls are going to be separated and at one point there were 18 people at the girls bedside. That was a great meeting, we learned a lot, but it was also a little overwhelming for me at least. It was a lot of really really smart people staring at us. At least that is what it felt like. They wanted to look at the girls and be able to visualize how everything was going to go, but they keep asking what Riley and I think, and if we have any questions. And at points you are just overwhelmed with so much information your brain is just trying to process, let alone think of questions. But overall it was a really good, informative, and encouraging meeting. Their surgery that will start the separation process will most likely be sooner rather than later!
I just wanted to throw a quick shout out to those who have purchased T-Shirts to support the girls! We really appreciate it, and all the donations that are being made on top of buying shirts. I know that Riley and I cannot wait to get ours so that we can wear them all the time! But please if you are still interested in getting one, purchase it soon. They are only going to be available for another 8 days. So please don't forget to order yours asap!
A little background on the shirt and the meaning of the design. Obviously the word entwined plays into the girls conjoined factor. The infinity symbol also stands for conjoined twins even though most people don't realize that conjoined twins is one of its meanings. Also purple is the color of preemie awareness. So the shirt ties in the fact that the girls are twins, conjoined, and were born premature. This way you can explain to others if they ever ask when you are wearing yours. All you have to do is go to the post before this one, and you can click on the photo of the shirt and it will bring you right to the website!
Again thank you to all of those who are supporting and following our family. We are completely humbled by the outpouring of love we have received!! You have all been such an answer to prayer! Every time we think we aren't going to be able to keep going, God provides, and it a lot because of all your prayers! Our God is good, and He knows what we need, and when we need it! And he has been using all of you to meet our needs, more than you all realize.
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!