Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The long road ahead

I kept a front at work and with my family (expect mom and dad, MIL) and acted like nothing was wrong and that we were excited to be expecting twins. That is what everyone was told anywho. We had a meeting to talk to the reduction specialist on the telephone within a week to discuss the plan.

He called and was very nice and explained everything to us in detail. I had tons of questions, like will all the babies die? What are the chances that they will make it? How do you decide which ones to keep? I was told that my chances of keeping the twins that we aren't reducing is 90%. Pretty high rate I thought. However, our chances for preterm labor is very high. He explained that my body can't reset itself and even though there are only two babies in there the body still thinks that there are 9. I would be lucky to make it to 30 weeks he said. We did have the option of aborting the whole pregnancy but we didn't want to do that... we came this far we might as well see it through.

I had mixed feelings about the reduction. I didn't want to do it, but then again I know I couldn't carry nine babies and expect them to come out ok. There are NO recorded cases of any live births of nine or more babies. One women in the middle east tried to carry them but all of them died due to severe prematurity. The closest was an American women who had 8 and they lived, but some have physical hardships. If I am being told that reducing the pregnancy to twins will give my children a fighting shot of living without problems you better damn well believe that is what I am going to do. I fought many time with myself, prayed a lot and cried but I was able to make the decision to go on with the process.

We scheduled the reduction in Pittsburgh for the 2nd week of May. My mom and MIL took the trip with us. It was so scary. I went in for the ultra sound to make sure that there were still nine in there. Sure enough all nine were beating away. I was 11 weeks pregnant and prayed that some would leave on their own and find new families that wanted children, but I guess my kids take after their mom and hard headed. They stuck around. It was heartbreaking. The room I was in for the ultra sound also served as the reduction room. A stupid aid came in to set up the "amino"... we corrected her and made her leave. She just upset me more. The doctor came in and explained what would happen... he would inject me with numbing medication then insert a long needle into my belly followed by ultrasound. He would enter the sac of the fetus and inject potassium chloride into the fetus' heart to make it stop beating. Once the heart has stopped he would remove the needle and start again with the next fetus. If he could get two at one time he would to prevent 7 different sticks. He had me and Eric sign paper work stating that we are approving an abortion. I disagreed with the wording because I didn't feel like I was having an abortion, I felt like I was saving the lifes of two babies. But in the state of Penn it considered an abortion and we had to sign it. The doctor left the room and another doctor came in to do an hour long ultra sound. She said she would be determining what babies we would keep. She wouldn't explain anymore, nor did I want to know.

Finally it was time for the reduction. I was so scared. My mom and MIL tried to keep me occupied by telling me storied and having me talk about other things. It helped a lot but still was hard. It was quite painful. I'm not sure if it was knowing that I was loosing babies that day or the burn of the potassium. I just prayed for the Lord to forgive me and for my children to forgive me and know that I love them and always will. The procedure took about 2 hours to complete. I was black and blue from the sticks. He told me to lay still for about 15 mins and they would come back to repeat the ultrasound to make sure my twins were still ok and confirm the other 7 had passed.

The doctor came back in and did the ultra sound. They were quite at first then showed me my twins. They were moving around and had strong heartbeats. I was quite relieved. They he told me to look away and that Eric could look if he wanted. Eric was interested and he did so the doctor showed My moms and Eric the passed fetus. He then explained that 2 that had been reduced still have a slight heartbeat. I was confused. He said sometimes that happens but normally they pass on later. He told me not to worry about it now but will have me come back tomorrow morning for another ultra sound. If the two are still beating I would have to come back a week later for a repeat reduction. I was faint.

We went to the hotel that afternoon and prayed that the two babies would go. We went to the office that morning and was told it would not be the case. Their heartbeats had gone up in fact. However, part of their heart valves were damaged by the medicine and if we decided not to reduce them again it would just cause more problems. We left Pittsburgh that afternoon saddened. I had to go back and do it again. I can't believe it. I was being punished I just knew it. Eric and I decided to go it alone this time. We went back and the reduction didn't take that long. This time he made sure the hearts completely stopped before he removed the needle and I was glad for that. My two little ones wanted to stay with me and that broke my heart. We stayed the night again and Eric talked me into swimming in the pool to ease my mind. It was relaxing and I was able to forget about it for a while. We ordered room service that night and watched a movie. We didn't say much.. we just held each other while we drifted off to sleep. I had horrible dreams that night and cried for my 7 babies.

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