Tuesday, March 27, 2012

'Absent' Makes the Heart Go...

...Couldn't think of an adjective...

Ryan here...I had a moment so I thought I would give you a brief update on what our day has looked like so far. First of all, thank you so much for all your prayers. Laura and I have been humbled by (and grateful for) the faithfulness of many on our behalf. You've taught us something about praying for people and the goodness of God (namely, that He gives us people to pray for us!). Big ups. Many, many thanks.

Secondly, here are 'the goods' on our time with the doc today (Dr. Papa, if you're reading this, we love ya!). So, Laura went in today and they did another doppler (ultrasound) on her and the girls. Audrey is looking good and Evangeline (the smaller of the two) is looking, well, less-than-good (but still a ton to be grateful for...see below). Evangeline's doppler read the blood going through her cord. Okay medical folks, bear with me on this...But when our hearts are in diastole (read: rest) blood continues to travel through our vessels. This is called 'positive end-diastolic flow'. Sadly, Evangeline's doppler is 'reading' absent end-diastolic flow (Absent EDF). This means that between beats, the blood flow momentarily stops until the heart beats again. (Thanks for indulging my medical sensibilities).

Absent EDF is serious, but when it is viewed in concert with a host of other issues (e.g., weight, fetal activity, amniotic fluid levels, lung function, fetal heart tracings, and general overall coolness...our girls are off the charts on this last one), things become seriously serious. All these other factors look really good right now! Praise God, right!? So, we're grateful for this. In fact, our budding ninja continues to kick Audrey in the 'kisser'.

But, in light of the fact that we don't want things to get worse, we went along with Dr. Papa's counsel to go ahead and admit Laura to the hospital. So, I'm at home eating lunch, and she is dining on the finest fare that Baylor All Saints has to offer. Why is she at the hospital? Well, she is being monitored every day and just taking care of the girls by resting. Just because Laura went to the hospital doesn't mean that she is about to deliver. Rather, after watching her for a while--okay, really Evangeline--there will be a point where being in utero is more of a disadvantage than being ex utero. At that point, they deliver the girls. How long could this be? Great question. There's no way to tell. Could be a few days, but could be longer too. For what it's worth, our Fetal Surgeon--the studly Dr. Ken Moise--mentioned that babies can go several weeks if all other factors are good. So, you can keep praying with that end in mind.

So, we're sad. We're excited. We're scared. We're grateful. We're hopeful. Collectively, I guess we're somewhat of an emotional train wreck. We know our God is good. We know we live in a world where sin is real and brokenness still rears its ugly head. And we believe that God works in ways that we can't even begin to imagine. And for me to utter as to why, well...I'd be silly to try to answer that one. In the end, we know He is for us because of Jesus. And we wait on Him.

Thanks for all your prayers and keep 'em coming. RA

Monday, March 26, 2012

..bad news and bed rest..ugh

Part of me feels guilty for continually posting disheartening news, as if I'm letting you all down or requiring more of you, which is silly, but, c'est la vie.

The silver lining is that Evangeline gained a bit of weight and is now at 1.7lbs, which is kind of the magic number for fetal viability, although not without it's risks for long term disabilities and even still, death. Audrey is at 2.8lbs, discordance continues to climb to 45% now.

Today, we discovered that because of Evangeline's poor placental function she has absent end diastolic flow, which means that when her heart is at rest she gets no blood flow, this is not a good sign because it can eventually continue into reverse flow which leads to still birth. It could be a matter of days or weeks, and this condition can even disappear and come back, disappear and come back, which is why they need to keep me closely monitored. So, they are bringing me back in tomorrow morning at 8:30am to see if she still has it. If she does, then we are admitting to the hospital to be monitored multiple times a day, and start steroids, and will deliver as soon as her heart tracing starts to look bad (days or weeks, who knows?..). If the absent flow is no longer there tomorrow then we will check again on Thursday, and thrice weekly from here on out. I imagine it will show up again eventually... Im 28 weeks, I had really hoped to make it to at least 30 weeks, but I'm not so sure now. I notice myself searching for a positive note to end on, I think because I want to relieve YOUR anxiety, which is again silly, right?... but I don't think Im going to.

(At the risk of sounding dramatic) I feel myself just disconnecting because I am so tired of hoping and being disappointed. It's harder to pray now, and hard for me to ask you to, although I know I need to, I know they matter. Would you pray for all of us?

Mustering ALL the strength and will I have left to continue to believe that God has not forgotten me, and that He is still good even with a tragic outcome.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hello, my name is..

Baby A ( the bigger one): Audrey Clark Anderson. Audrey was my grandmother's name, meaning strength. Clark is Ryan and his father's middle name.

Baby B: Evangeline Sommer Anderson. Evangeline means good news or gospel. Sommer is my maiden name.

Brief update:
 Yesterday I was hopeful, today I'm scared, and that's just kind of how it's been. We took weights at my appointment this morning and Audrey is 1lb 13oz, Evangeline is 1lb 1oz (Im 26 weeks). She is still growing, but so slowly. When her growth comes to a halt, which it likely will, we will have deliver. She just does not have the placental mass and access that her sister does. My concerns are that she will stop growing in the next few weeks, that she will not survive, or that she/ they will have physical or neurological disabilities. Of course, none of that could happen too.

 I just really wanted a miraculous story, where things went beautifully and smoothly, and I thought I might get it- but that just might not be what the Lord has for us. At this point, I don't expect to get to the mid 30s, I think more like 30 maybe 32 weeks... Im sad.

Would you please pray for Evangeline to have a growth spurt and to continue to grow as long as possible? Thank you, thank you!!!