Thursday, June 24, 2010


1 year ago today was our surgery for TTTS. It is so hard to some ways it feels like so long ago, and it others, as if it were yesterday.

The night following surgery was long, I was coming off an epidural and gradually allowed ice chips, water, and food. My feet were attached to a device designed to keep my circulation flowing to lessen the chance of clots (it was rather nice, kind of like a foot massage every few minutes.

My back hurt from the epidural and I was nervous about our sonogram in the morning. I hadn't felt the boys kick as of yet in the pregnancy, and it always panicked me to hear a doctor ask if I had. What if one of the babies hadn't taken to surgery? Worse yet, what if they both didn't like the change?

Randy and my mom stayed with me for most of the day and left in the early evening to go get some food and rest. I ordered from the hospital menu, which was awesome, because it was a children's hospital. It was like a giant menu of comfort food. And I got worms in dirt cake for dessert :) Hey...I hadn't eaten all day and I just got out of surgery- I earned it!

After a relatively sleepless night, my mom and Randy returned as we waited for our first post surgery sonogram. It was a scary moment, but almost immediately we saw two perfect little hearts beating. Baby B also had a little more fluid around him-woohoooo!

My mom and I were going to stay through the weekend and we would have a second sonogram on Monday to make sure both boys were still doing well. I was on a modified bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy- which meant I could get up to use the restroom, or eat a quick meal, but I had to really restrict my movement.

It was a stressful weekend, but I truly cherish the time I got to spend with my mother. We really got to talk and bond, and share our fears and hopes. It made the time pass.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pregnancy part 9: Surgery Day

There are certain posts I am not looking forward to writing. It is primarily because the emotions attached to those memories are still vivid and raw. In this case, reliving the day of surgery is difficult. I still have a huge attachment to it.

I wasn't allowed food after midnight (kind of like a mogwai). I of course understand why, but being hungry and pregnant stinks. We got to the hospital in the morning and sat in one of the rooms in the Fetal Care Center. Our nurse practitioner ran us through what the day would be like and set up the line for my iv. For several hours it was nothing but waiting, as the surgery before mine took longer than expected. There was still a chance for my surgery to get pushed back in the event an emergency came into the hospital, but thankfully that did not happen.

I got to climb into a hospital bed and got wheeled down to the surgery prep area. It is very strange to be wheeled around while you are in bed. Gives you a completely different perspective of your surroundings. We met the anesthesiologist, who gave me something that would neutralize the acidity in my stomach (as she said, it tasted like the worst sweet tart ever), and something we ultimately called "happy juice." I recall saying something about having a nice buzz. Although I would have an epidural and would be awake for the procedure, she told me I probably would not remember much about the surgery itself.

They wheeled me into surgery and my husband and mom went to a waiting area, where they would be updated with progress. Getting the epidural was a challenge, as I think I panicked each time they tried to insert the needle. You need to arch your back as much as possible and I kept doing the exact opposite.

Once the line was in, they told me I could expect tingling, numbness, or a heavy feeling in my lower half. They wrapped me in a blanket to keep me from feeling cold and positioned me for surgery. I started to feel heaviness in my legs, and it was awful. It was literally like somthing was weighing down my legs and I couldn't move. It was almost painful. I remember asking if someone would move my legs out of that uncomfortable position. When the anesthesiologist looked at me, I tried to explain that I was slightly clausterphobic and not being able to move my legs was really freaking me out. I managed to choke the words out as tears streamed down my cheeks. She was incredibly kind, and reassured me that she understood, and added something to my iv line to help calm me down. I think I apologized for being so silly, and again was reassured that I was not being a nuisance.

It does get somewhat hazy from there. The doctors came in and said hello, and I remember making fun of the golf game of one of them (as his peers had asked me to do, lol). I tried not to focus on the surgery, on the doctors voices. My eyes were shut and songs from church played over and over in my head, so I could keep myself from panicking.

I could hear the doctors confirming their mapping, and calling for goggles for the laser (I got them too). The smell from the laser was noticeable, and slightly gross. Other than that, I don't remember much until I heard the doctors confirm they were done and finish.

Still fuzzy, they wheeled me down the hall to my husband and mom, who had been updated by the doctor. The boys shared 6 blood vessels, and the doctors were quite confident they had fixed the problem. They performed an amnioreduction, but opted not to do the microsepstomy, since baby b was shrink wrapped in his sac, and it was determined better to not try and make the hole. ( I was actually pretty happy about that) 6 blood vessels. 6 little vessels that could have killed my boys. I know there are women with over a hundred vessels, which takes longer for surgery, but any shared vessels amounts to the same thing.

The boys weren't out of the woods. The first 24 hours were most critical for Baby B and the first 72 most critical for Baby A. I would have a sonogram in the morning to see how the boys were doing. The surgery had a high success rate in practice (over 75% that one or both boys would survive), and I was hopeful.