Every Good Thing, Every Heart Beat

There is a testament to the nickname of this town everyone calls Chapel Hill. “Chapel Thrill” has certainly proved itself in the past week! Between happy, exciting babies, a crew of visitors, and goody bags it has definitely been a thrill around the Hill.

Update on the Girls:

Since Monday, the girls had wonderful monitoring sessions for the most part. We breezed through Monday through Friday, and were given some exciting news on Thursday during our ultrasound. Our sonogram showed that Amelia weighs 2 lbs. 12 oz. and Leah weighs 2 lbs. 15 oz., their weights are right on target for their gestational age which is awesome! It is also a big praise that Leah has gained some weight in the past three weeks! At our 26-week ultrasound, Leah weighed significantly lower than Amelia. This put our girls at a 24% discordance. On Thursday, the girls are now at 6% discordance! Thanks be to God! We are so thankful for each little blessing in this journey. Another blessing, the girls have hair! I don’t think you all realize how excited I am to put some big hair bows on my girls’ sweet heads!

Heading into the weekend, our family was excited to celebrate two birthdays! Thankfully, the birthdays we are celebrating are not Amelia and Leah’s. My mother-in-law, Kathy, and brother, Matt, were both born on November 10th. Happy Birthday to these two special, special people! We love you and can’t wait to be together to celebrate like last year! Image

Although, yesterday Andrew and I thought we would be giving Mrs. Kathy and Matt two incredible birthday gifts: two granddaughters and two nieces. In our morning monitoring, Amelia’s heart rate dipped significantly in a pattern that was too serious to ignore. For example, Amelia’s heart rate dropped to 49 and shot to 199 in a matter of seconds and repetitively kept doing so. This alarmed the doctors that something was wrong in the womb and the solution was: delivery. My new friends (nurses from my “home”, the 3rd floor) came in and put in an IV and rolled me upstairs to what I consider “time out”: the fourth floor, labor and delivery. This has happened once before since we have arrived in Chapel Hill, and I thought it was a precautionary situation. Not so much. When I arrived on the fourth floor, monitors continued to track heart rates, the magnesium (cheers to not eating!) and fluids were flowing, hospital gown was on, the fashionable blue cap adorned my head, and the anesthesiologist was making his way to meet with me. This was happening. We were doing this. Delivery. Andrew was only a few minutes away at this point, and I was begging the doctors to wait to send me back to the operating room until he arrived. When Andrew arrived, he talked with the doctors about our situation and what had occurred to push us to delivery. Since Amelia’s heart rate had continued to drop in a pattern for a while, and I was experiencing some contractions, they decided it was best for the babies to deliver because both had been showing signs of stress (i.e. cord entanglement). During the time they were prepping me for delivery and the few minutes we were waiting for Andrew, the girls heart rates seemed to settle down to where signs of stress were no longer. After having a discussion with the doctors, we all decided the best decision at that moment was to see how the girls continued to do on the monitor while we waited for my blood work to return from the lab that would give my platelet count. From there we would continue to make more decisions. Everyone was prepped and ready for delivery in sight of another dip on the monitor. There would be no further waiting for blood work results if we saw another dip between the girls or any signs of stress: it would be go time.

Here is visual proof as to how close we were to delivering the girls yesterday. With our mono-amniotic twins, we are only adding more thrill to the Hill.

ImageI have never seen Andrew in so much light blue! Our girls not only amazed us, but they also amazed our doctors. In a matter of thirty minutes, we were seconds away from sending me to the operating room to taking a new plan. Yesterday, I stayed on constant monitoring (in a labor and delivery bed, not made for these long legs!) and magnesium (no eating, mind you!) for twenty hours. And, we did it. Today, I am back on the third floor and baking babies. Welcome to the world of mono-amniotic twins. They will never cease to amaze you, surprise you, and keep you on your toes. After our two adventures, we approach each monitoring session with prayer and abundant faith. We have learned things can happen and change so incredibly fast. Andrew and I are so thankful that we have been able to make it thus far. Unfortunately, fifty percent of mono-amniotic twins do not make it to viability. Our girls are at 29 weeks and 2 days- this is an INCREDIBLE blessing with the rarity of these type of twins. Thus far, they have proven to Andrew and I they are little fighters and our precious miracles. Ironically, amongst all of the thrill yesterday, our doctors set a new goal for our girls on Friday. Instead of aiming for 32 weeks, they showed a lot of optimism for baking these babies to 34 weeks. Through this entire journey, God has showed Andrew and I that His plan is far greater. We are blessed with each and every day our girls grow inside of me, and no matter what date we “schedule and plan” these girls will be born into this world when it is on His timing! So, here is to another day inside the womb! We are praising Him for His bountiful mercies, they are new every morning!

Another Week in Chapel Thrill:

During the past week, we have had so many sweet visitors who came to see, bless, entertain, and comfort us. Thank you to everyone who has been this week to stop in and see how we are doing. Your love and support means so incredibly much to us! Also, we have been blessed beyond measure with the thoughts, prayers, cards, gifts, food, and all of the in between from Greensboro to Wallace. Our family is so thankful for every act of kindness that has been extended towards us since our admittance to Chapel Hill. Here are a few pictures to show you of the fun week we have had and blessings we have received!

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On Wednesday, Rebecca and Mrs. Sharon came for a great visit with Mrs. Kathy and me! That day there was an exhibit shop and farmer’s market set up in the Children’s Hospital lobby. We enjoyed taking a “field trip” downstairs to do a little shopping and walking around! Also, a big thank you to some great friends for coming to see me on Wednesday. Edwin, Jon, and Hampton– thank you for taking your time out of your schedule to come see me!

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Thursday was a happy day for the girls! We had great monitoring– look at that short monitoring slip! And an exciting ultrasound as we found out the weight of the girls– no more weekly Doppler tracings for us! These girls are healthy and growing together!

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On Thursday evening, my girls from the “G” came to visit me! We all had a great time visiting together and being reunited with our Anna Banana who has been in Seattle for the past three months!

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Mrs. Prudence Dawson was so kind to bring us supper the other night! She also brought the girls their first Wolfpack Christmas ornaments! We are keeping these in the open to remind us we are going to be blessed with the best Christmas present ever. We are praying for December babies!

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My Aunt Ashley came to visit me today and boy oh boy, did she cheer me up with some goodies! From my Ahma’s pecan tartlets, to a signed copy of Ree Drummond’s Holiday Cookbook, I am not sure what made me happier. I am so looking forward to reading this cookbook, all while watching her on the Food Network of course!

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If you are from Wallace and know Mrs. Effie Mobley, you know she makes the best chocolate oatmeal cookies ever. These have been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl! One thing that got me through twenty hours of magnesium was knowing these cookies and cupcakes my Aunt Anita brought during her visit were waiting for me. The girls might have a little sugar rush with all of these goodies!

AND we got to FaceTime with the birthday boy today! He is 20. TWENTY! Happy Birthday to my best buddy!

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 In the coming days, I am sure Chapel Hill will continue to give us some excitement and a thrill every now and then. But for now, we are focusing on every good thing and every single heart beat. The song below is our feel good song for today on the third floor!

Happy Sunday everybody! We hope you all remember the beautiful life we live and don’t miss out on the precious moments!

Mary Kate and Andrew

3 thoughts on “Every Good Thing, Every Heart Beat

  1. Althea says:

    Thank you for sharing with us this journey you and Andrew are on. Tommie and I are praying daily for you and your precious little girls!
    I am excited that they have hair and they will have hair bows! We love you and again praying daily.

  2. Erin says:

    Hi Mary Kate and Andrew, we have a mutual friend Margaret Bell (Ross), who shared your blog with me a few weeks back. We are in a similar situation, but also very different. I’m also pregnant with twin girls I’m 29w4d today. Mine are di/di, on Oct. 22 I was admitted to Vidant in Greenville, (since I’m from New Bern). Our baby B’s growth showed a 33% discordance to her sister and her umbilical cord was showing absent-end diastolic flow, so they sent me to L&D and I got an IV and put on monitoring for 6+ hours then had dopplers done again to determine it was still the same and no reversal, and they then gave me steroids that night. For now I get daily NST’s and dopplers to watch for reversal. I’ve been praying for your girls, I know they’re in a different situation as mine are but I pray we both can bake them for as long as our doctors hope for. Mine had originally said 32, but now believe 34 may be possible. But just taking it day by day. We have our growth scan tomorrow, and hoping our little jelly beans have grown, they told me B wont catch up to A, but we’re still praying she’s growing on her own scale. Best of luck to you and your family! I’ll continue to keep your girls in my prayers as well.

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