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.
I can't tell you how many times I have sat down to write a new post and never seem to finish it. Well today I am determined.
Abby and Erin are doing wonderfully. They have begun getting their expanders filled to stretch their skin, and let me tell you they are amazing. They cry for the first second or two of the needle going in, but aren't quite phased by the actual skin expansion. I know that this is still the very bringing and that it will most likely get harder. But for now I am beyond thrilled at how well they handle it. The girls unfortunately had to have another surgery about 2 weeks ago since one of the ports from the expanders had moved and wasn't able to be accessed. So they went in and put it back where it was supposed to be. Because of this the girls have only been able to have 2 of the 4 balloons filled until today where all 4 were expanded. It was unfortunate but we made it through and are back on track.
We now have dates for the next surgeries. There will most likely be 2 between now and the separation. We will have one surgery in the end of may to do some separation work, and then a few weeks later in June will be the actual separation. I am reluctant to release any dates yet since things change so easily around here. We have hope that these days seem to stick, but there is always that possibility.
The girls are growing in leaps and bounds. They never cease to amaze their daddy and I. Developmentally they are right on target. They are babbling, playing with toys, engaging while books are being read, they are trying to mimic words, they are taking baby food, and Erin is able to roll, but Abby is just not feeling it yet (its a little chaotic when Erin attempts lol. I am so incredibly proud of them and how far they have come. All of the doctors, surgeons, and nurses are very happy with where the girls are right now.
The thought of surgery coming up is getting more and more real everyday. It is honestly becoming scarier and scarier. I try so hard to not let all the possibilities of what could happen creep into my brain. But they are there and they are so so real. The girls share a portion of their saggital sinus, which is a very large vein in your brain that drains blood down to your heart. And we have known from the beginning that this is a pretty big deal. Of course they won't know for sure exactly how it is connected and exactly how much until they get in there. The girls past surgeries have been more "superficial", but this next one will be much more significant. Yes, the girls have had many many scans done to see what is going on in there, but there is only so much you can see and how accurate they are. Yes, the girls aren't as connected as they could be, but it still scares me to death knowing that really anything could happen. We could go home with two completely happy healthy girls, we could go home with two happy girls have that have different limitations, we could go home with only one little girl, or possibly loose them both.
The thought of loosing the girls is one that literally makes me feel like I am going to puke. But it is something I am working through. I know I have said it time and time again on here, but God has a plan and a purpose for these little girls. He knows every breath that they will take, even if that means only a few months more. I have to rest in the fact that he has already decided what their outcome will be, and Riley and I are just along for the ride. You don't realize how real your faith gets until something big like this happens.
I have always been the good girl. I grew up in church, never really got in trouble, and tried to do everything right. Like I said I grew up in church, and even went to bible school, but it really wasn't until recently that I realized how little I actually relied on God. From this whole experience God has shown himself in more ways than I can even go into. He has proven his love for me and my family time and time again. And some of you would say "how can she say that, she still has conjoined twins" and to that I would say yes, I do have conjoined twins. But these girls have done so much for mine and my husbands lives. We get a front row seat to a miracle. We get to watch God work in a very real way every single day. And not only with the girls but with our regular lives as well.
I am not going to lie, bills will be the death of me. This has been the most trying time of my life in that aspect. Yes, Riley is home working, but we were never expecting to have to go to just one income. And when we did it was and still is very very hard. And like I said before God has made himself very real and proven himself time and time again through this journey and especially with our finances. Right now Riley is living with my family back in North Carolina because we just could not afford rent anymore. We were just making it paying all the different bills. And by just making it I mean there was some type of financial miracle that happened every month to keep us afloat, whether that be someone sending us a check, a fundraiser being held, a foundation choosing to help us, that is how we have been getting by. I have gotten to the point where I am not worrying anymore because somehow God always provides. He sends someone in just the right moment to help us out. It is really one of the most amazing things I have seen. But that doesn't mean it is still hard, and it doesn't mean that I don't stress at least once or twice a month wondering how we are going to make it. Especially when I want more than anything for Riley to be here with us. But when he is that means that we are going to take a hit financially because he isn't working.
If there is anything that I am upset about in this whole journey it would be just that. It literally hurts me to know that Riley can't be here. I do my very best to share the joy of the girls with him, but there is only so much I can video tape and send to him. Smiles, giggles, little coos they are all so hard to catch on video. I wasn't able to get their first smile, the first time they grabbed a toy intentionally. The little things hurt my heart because I so badly want to share them with him. I seriously hate money. If it were a person I would really have to check myself because I would be bitter at it. I hate the fact the money is what keeps my husband from his family. But we don't have a choice in the matter, and it is so so hard.
Living far away from your significant other is NEVER something I wanted to do. Riley always talked about how he would have loved to go into the service, and I always said no. I never thought I would be able to handle being without the person I love. But here I am. It has been a month since I last saw my husband (other than facetime) and I hate it. With every fiber of my being. I know with all my heart that God has a plan, and I trust him, I really do, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt in the process. I miss him more than I ever thought I could miss another person. He is such a wonderful husband and daddy, it just seems not fair that he has to be there and us here.
Thank you all again so much for all of the support and love we receive. I cannot wait till the day when we are able to do the same thing for another family. It makes my heart so excited to think that we will be able to bless another family like ya'll have blessed us.
Time for baths for the girls :)
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!