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.
Well it is officially turning into fall here in Philadelphia. The air is becoming crisp, everyone is back in school, and pumpkin spice has made its return! I recently found out that my new favorite thing is a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks, which is terrible since Starbucks is right across the street from the hospital, meaning I will be finding myself there more than I should!
Along with the fall showing up, means new things for the girls as well. They will most likely be having two surgeries for their separation. Their first surgery will be taking place at the end of October and then 2-3 months later they will have another surgery that will fully separate them. I am becoming more and more nervous with each passing minute, but at the same time there is a weird sense of excitement and anticipation for what is to come. The day when I will be able to hold our girls like normal little babies will be a day that will go down in history for our family. I know there are always so many risks when it comes to surgery in general, let alone one that is being done on infants, but I have a sense of calm. They have beat the odds thus far and have passed tests with flying colors. I know that they will be able to pull through this and continue to be the little rockstars that they already are.
With the start of October, things will begin rolling. They have an MRI coming up next week along with a CT. Then the week after that we have a meeting with some people involved with the girls separation, and then before I know it the day of surgery will be here. I am trusting that God has all of this already planned out and that he IS going to work this all out for good. This is going to be a very very busy month. We have family coming to visit and see them before their surgery, as well as Riley (my husband) for our ONE year anniversary!
I just want to say how incredibly grateful I am for my husband. I feel like a lot of the time he gets lost in the background with all of this because he is home and not physically here at the hospital. But that couldn't be farther from the truth. He is doing one of the hardest things, and that is being away from his family in one of the hardest times. He doesn't get to snuggle the girls when they are having an off day like I get to. He can't swoop in and say "Daddy is here to save you", because he is at home making a life for us to come home to. He is planning for our future so that when the girls finally have their discharge day we are able to go home to a place where there is room for the girls, and they will have everything they need. When I married him a year ago I never anticipated this. I never anticipated what is supposedly the hardest year of marriage to have this situation which could potentially make is 50x's harder. But Riley has been my rock though all of this. He has my encouragement when I don't think I can do this anymore. My cheerleader when days are hard. He is my sounding board when I don't know what to do. He is my best friend in the whole entire world, and I am beyond grateful that God gave him to me. That I am allowed to share my life with him. He is the most wonderful daddy and love his girls with all his heart! And I know it tears him up inside that he can't be here with us all the time.
" Riley I love you with all my heart and am so blessed to be your wife! This year has had many ups and many downs and lots and lots of twists and turn, but you have stuck by me through it all. I couldn't ask for anyone better to be "doing life" with. I can't wait for all the exciting events that this next year holds as we have begun to build our family. The three of us can't wait to see you this weekend! I love you"
Now back to business. Besides the girls upcoming surgery they are doing well. They needed a blood transfusion today for the second time, because their hemoglobin levels have been low again. But they are little troopers and are doing well through it. They both did well getting their IV's and didn't have nearly as many issues getting them as they did the last time, THANK GOD! They are definitely becoming scoochy little babies. But I am loving every second of it, and watching their little personalities form. They are getting much better at taking the bottle, and Erin is doing well nursing. It just depends on how awake they each are at each feed. So it is still quite frustrating for me because we will go through everything and then they will fall asleep and barely take anything. But I figure if I keep on trying eventually they will get it. I tried nursing Abby once, but she didn't quite get it. She was trying to latch but just got really frustrated. So we are letting her get a little more used to the bottle (which is still not the easiest for her) and then we will be trying again with nursing. There isn't a huge rush since her feeds aren't condensed yet, so she still has a little time to figure things out. My goal is that when they are able to come home they will be exclusively breast fed. And if worse comes to worse, I just have to keep pumping...ugh.
But overall things are good and we just keep persevering. I am reminded of the verse in James 1:2-4 that says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." And let me tell you, this is a trial but I know Riley and I will be all the better for it.
*Another Side Note*
We restarted the T-shirt fundraiser since I had a few people who were still interested that missed a chance to order one before. I will post the link at the end of the post if anyone is interested in ordering one, or maybe another one ;)
We also are asking that all those who have ordered a shirt take a picture of themselves in the shirt and send it to us. And if you aren't able to order a shirt you can take a picture of yourselves supporting the girls in some other way (either with a sign, or a picture, be creative!) and send it to us as well. I am wanting to make a collage with all the pictures and put it in the girls room. This way we have a visual of all the wonderful people who are loving, supporting, and praying for our sweet girls.
Please remember to keep us in your prayers as we go into the month of October. We have a lot of scary changes happening and all the prayers you guys say really give us peace. We know God has a plan and will turn everything out for his good!
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!