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 Thanksgiving has brought a whole new meaning for our family this year. If you haven't seen the posts of the articles, this past monday, November 20th, Abigial was finally discharged from CHOP after 485 days!
As I look back at those 485 days I really don't know how we made it through. It took so many prayers and well wishes to get us through each and every day. When we found out almost two years ago that Riley and I were expecting conjoined twins, we didn't know if we would be able to meet our children, let alone bring them home. Then in June once the girls were separated we didn't know if we were going to make it home with both of them. Now fast forward to this past Monday, we were able to walk out the Hopsital doors with two healthy little girls!!
We are beyond blessed to have come out the other side of the journey and still have both of our children. being thankful doesn't even sound like a strong enough word for it. We are so grateful that God decided to give these little girls to us and that we have the privilege of caring for and loving them every single day.
Walking out those doors and putting the girls into the car was one of the most surreal and happy moments of my life. To know that they were going home was something I had only dreamed of! The emotions that you go through in the moment, there is nothing to compare to them. You are BEYOND excited and happy and grateful, and at the same time you are terrified and worried and stressed. All I could do was cry. As we pulled away in the car Riley and I looked at each other and said we finally did it! Through tears we looked at each other and said we are finally going home as a family!!!
The drive was a little crazy to be completely honest. Abby had never been in the car before so after about a half hour of our 10 hour drive, she started to get cranky and fussy and almost scared seeming. So Riley ended up having to sit in the back seat. But the view in my rear view mirror was one that I will treasure forever. As long as Abby could see her Daddy she was happy. So would just stare at him and when he would look back at her she would smile. It was almost like she was saying thank you for getting me out of there and don't ever leave me again. She was giving him those total lovey dovey eyes that just melt my heart. She was beyond happy to have her daddy there with her.
We ended up having to stop every hour or so to give meds, change dipaers, do nebulizing treatments, but at 10:30 PM we made it home to North Carolina.
Now when I say home I mean my parents house. We are so grateful that my parents opened their doors to us. Over the past 16 months Riley and I had given up our apartment because we could not afford to keep it due to the circumstances, all the travel expenses, going down to one income, and all the time Riley had to take off work to be with me and the girls. Our plan was to try and save some money and buy a house when we were ready to come home. Little did with know that mortgage companies frown upon FMLA leave and don't seem to really consider it a thing. So because Riley spent a total a few months over the past year with the girls and I and not working, we were denied a mortgage. Which leaves us in a tough spot because rent in our area is more than we can handle right now given the circumstances. So my parents have graciously opened their doors to us. They even lent us their minivan to drive home in because my car we found out is just too small for our family and everything we need to take with us even for a trip to the grocery store. So we are also trying to figure out how to get a larger vehicle.
Sometimes life can be a total crazy mix of good and bad. Even though things are tough we are still so grateful for what we do have. We have family, our girls, friends, and followers who have supported us from the begining and we are so grateful for each one of you!
These past few days at home have been glorious! The girls seem to come out of their shell more and more every day. Watching my sisters spend time with the girls is also something that makes my heart melt. They were only able to visit a few times while we were at CHOP because they all go to school here in NC. So to watch them get to know the girls is incredible.
I also have loved watching my husband turn more and more into a daddy. The love that comes from him for his little girls is something that makes me fall more in love with him everyday. Between diaper changes, putting feeds up, cleaning feed bags, giving meds, waking up at 2am to give a half hour breathing treatment....he does it all and does it all in love. I couldn't be more grateful for the man that he is and the daddy that he has become.
Please still keep us in your prayers. Being home comes with a whole new slew of challenges along with the happiness. There is ALOT to keep up with. The girls still have issues with different things are require lots of meds. We have to give meds every other hour during the day. And its exhausting. We also have the stress of trying to figure out some sort of living situation. My parents are wonderful offering up their home to us, but we really do want to have our own place and a place the girls can call their own. Right the girls have their own room but their share it with my sisters when they are home from college. We so badly want to give the girls all that they deserve and to have their own safe space is something I want so badly for them. We are just a little tight here right now and don't really have any options. Pray that the Lord opens a door of some sort and gives us wisdom in how walk through those doors. Pray that we also can find a new vehicle. Neither my car or Riley's car really works for having the girls. We can fit their car sets but their stroller alone takes up my entire trunk and leaves no room for anything else. So a different car is a must. Especially with so many different appointments for the girls all the time. And on top of everything else we found out that now that the girls are out of the hospital they are not qualifying for the health insurance they've had. Insurance has been the most difficult thing I have ever dealt with. So at the end of November the girls will be bumped off the insurance they are on. Please pray that we qualify for the new insurance we are trying to get for them. If this doesn't work I am not sure what we are going to do because we cannot afford the amount of copays the girls would have with the amount of appointments they'll have along with surgeries and trips back the Philadelphia. We know that God has provided for our family in so many ways and we know He will continue to do so moving forward.
Thank you so much for all the well wishes in us going home! We had a wonderful Thanksgiving and are so excited to start the Christmas season. Starting to day with going out to get a Christmas Tree! We pray that all your families are truly blessed this Holiday season! We cannot wait to share this season with the girls and our families!
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!