fetal echo part 1

I forgot to mention that the girls have been kicking and punching up a storm for the past 3-4 weeks. At our last ultrasound we discovered that the girls are upside down, so they are having fist pumping parties in my nether regions and doing the jig up towards my lungs. With the nagging thought that they might not live very long after birth, or at all, I’m enjoying every minute and this is truly the best part of pregnancy. Also, the idea of termination seems outrageous when they are very much alive inside of me.

And another thing that slipped past my hamster brain is how we came up with names for the girls. In the very beginning, even before we knew we were having a girl, I wanted to name our next daughter Willow. Middle names are important to us so we decided on Evangelene, which some of you know is the name of the bright star in Princess and the Frog (spelled similarly to my niece’s name Emmalene). So it was kind of like a combination of earth and sky. When we found out we were having conjoined twins it felt very natural to split the two names, so one of our daughters is Willow and her sister is Evangelene. Which works out ridiculously perfect because their initials together make “W.E.”

Now that I finished my tangents, we had a fetal echo appointment last week at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. 

March 13th, 2019:

We went into this appointment with a little bit of nerves, but for the most part we were trying to remain positive. We started off the procedure with a tech who essentially was scanning my belly the same way you would for an ultrasound. He applied warm jelly and glided the wand over my skin while we watched on the TV in front of us. The only difference is that he focused on their heart and occasionally had to press really hard to see all the intricate vessels and chambers. Next the cardiologist came in and did the same thing, accept I had to lay on my side so he could get a better look. He also had to press really hard which put pressure on my spine and my entire right leg fell asleep. Not a big deal though, there’s not much I wouldn’t put up with for these girls. Mind you the anatomy of their heart is a little different because it supports two people, therefore the doctor took a good amount of time to capture everything he could. We were in a bit of a hurry because we had another appointment right after that one, so he opted to “stop torturing” me as he put it and finish the echo in three weeks. When he was finished we went into his office and discussed what he saw. 

My husband and I both really liked this cardiologist. He was very clear in describing the intricacies of their heart, and even showed us with a picture of a heart shown above and how it relates to our girls. He noticed that they have a few holes in their heart and the left ventricle is a little small. But he said that the rhythm is steady and normal and there isn’t any accumulation of fluids. He believes that there isn’t any reason why they wouldn’t make it past birth, and maybe a little after. There are still a lot of unknowns, because all he is looking at is the heart itself not how it functions with other organs. How the heart exchanges oxygen to and from the lungs is one really big unknown. What I liked about him is that he thinks nothings impossible, but also you have to be realistic at the same time. He even asked us if we had given any thought to the possibility of taking them home. That to me was a huge shock, because all of our doctors so far have made it clear that we weren’t able to take them home. Now he didn’t want to keep our hopes up, he’s just letting us know what he sees so far in his professional opinion. 

I can’t help but feel my spirits being raised after hearing this. I was really sad and heartbroken for several weeks before seeing the cardiologist, and now this? Its a lot to take in. I’m still preparing myself for the worst so don’t get it twisted.

But you have to understand, that I am essentially preparing myself for a birth and a funeral.

Please stay tuned for more about our journey.

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