Saturday, June 27, 2009

Kaia's Party and a Belly Photo

We celebrated a few days early, and here are a handful of photos from today. There's more to come...

All of the kids got to design their own crown. Even the little boys enjoyed decorating a pink sparkly crown.

Then it was airbrush tattoo time. Kaia chose the pink unicorn. I chose a something... sun maybe? I was convinced by Dana and my brother that it needed to be a belly tattoo. The boys seemed to notice the sound or the air hitting my belly, as they were moving my skin while Dana worked.

And that's your belly shot. 21 weeks and 1 day! You can even see my small incision from the surgery 12 days ago. It's to the left of the photo (my right side) and kind of looks like a little mole in this photo.

I'll post more of cupcakes and other tattoos later! For now, I'm exhausted!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Bryce face down

Brendan face down

The boys had their 1 week post surgery check up yesterday. I'm so happy to report that both boys are doing fabulous! I truly believe we have your prayers to thank for this.

Brendan has a visible bladder now and enough of an amniotic sac that he was able to flip himself and be breech with Bryce. It was fun to see the ultrasound with them both breech. They were kicking each other and pushing. Both of them can now use my bladder as a trampoline, and they are!

When Dr. Walker came in after the initial ultrasound, he did his own quick ultrasound. He found that Brendan's bladder was empty again, but that his amniotic sac had grown. He's become quite the little pee-er, and with his new roomier accomodations he's been less cooperative for the blood flows. You will also note that neither wanted a photo taken either. Both of them kept their noses to my back nearly the entire time. Bryce was also uncooperative for the blood flows, but his also looked great, and his sac had not grown any after they took out the pint. It was wonderful news, and made Dana and I feel so much better.

The staff at Eastside Maternal Fetal Medicine have been amazing, and I wish I could see them for all of my follow up appointments. Unfortunately, my insurance isn't game for that. They did send us off with warm handshakes, and a hug. We have also promised to send photos and updates (and the placenta after their birth, as part of the study).

Thank you to all of you that prayed for us and the boys. We still have 3 more follow ups, but both boys are doing great, and we can't imagine that changing. I look forward to visiting all of you and thanking you personally very soon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Post That's Not About The Boys

It's kind of nice that things are becoming more normal around here. I am actually going to do a post on Kaia! There isn't a thing wrong with her (unless you count the fact that she came without volume control), but some things have happened and no updates!

First, on Monday, June 8th she had kindergarten graduation. Both Dana and I attended, and of course we were very proud of her.

Then today, she got her first salon haircut! She didn't just get her hair cut though, she donated her hair to Locks of Love. She is absolutely loving her short hair, and I'm looking forward to how much easier it will be to care for! I think she looks ready for her 6th birthday!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Fetalscope Photos

Bryce's foot

Brendon's mouth, nose and hand in the background.

Here are a few low resolution photos from the fetalscope. I promise something better soon!

Resting at home

Well, I am at least. The boys are not. Both of them are doing great! They are healthy and very active. Brendan (or Brendon) Quinn, formerly known as Fric is enjoying his new space. I don't need an ultrasound to tell me that his amniotic sac is growing. He is able to kick and move in new places and is taking delight in doing so!

Bryce Walker, formerly known as Frac is also doing well. While I'm sure he's feeling better now that his heart isn't working so hard, he doesn't have all the room to careen around inside me after they removed a pint of amniotic fluid. He is still kicking around in there though, and it still feels like he is breech.

We cannot thank you enough for all your prayers. I wasn't even nervous going in to surgery, even before they gave me some sedatives. Knowing the number of you out there praying gave me a peace that all would be well. A peace I couldn't have had without all of you praying for me, and all my friends and family and church.

They lasered just a handful of veins, and drained the fluid from Bryce's sac. Then the exciting part: we got an up close view of Bryce's feet. Dr. Walker (we included his name as Bryce's middle so we never forget the man that saved our boys) wanted to check on what he thought may be a club foot. Turns out there is no club foot. Bryce had just been holding it funny during the last ultrasound.

Next the fetalscope moved on to Brendon's (or Brendan, we haven't decided for sure on spelling) face. We saw his chin and upper lip, with his hand up by his cheek, then nose and then eyes and eyebrows (eyes are still shut). Dana and I both agree that our boys look like their big brother Mo. They are beautiful, and I now am eager for the day that I can kiss and hug them.

I'm on a week of rest, with some work from home. Dinners are being graciously provided by my family members and church family, and my cousin is doing some grocery shopping for me today. I will go back to work Monday, and have another follow up ultrasound with Dr. Walker on Tuesday. Then a follow up once a week at the U of W for about a month. Then back to Dr. Rowles. He even called today to see how the boys and I were doing. I was sure to thank him for his quick action in getting me over to Seattle. Had he hesitated, we could have lost our boys. But he didn't, and I'm looking forward to being back in his care with 2 healthy boys in me in another month!

Unfortunately, as seems to be the case, when we got home from the hospital we found our cat Hemi with a blocked urinary tract. It's happened before, and it's an immediate rush to the vet. He will likely come home tonight, but I don't even want to consider the cost right now. Especially since we had the washer and dryer fixed today. Oh well, it's only money, right?!

Thanks again! A BIG THANKS to Jen for updating for me! I loved talking to her and will be doing so again some day (when I'm not coming out of the sedation and a tad stoned). And as soon as I figure out how to capture a small portion of the video for you all to view, I will. Screen shots are difficult because it is so zoomed in, you don't see much at a time. But I may figure out some of those too.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Hello All! This is TJ's Blogfriend Jennifer, guest blogging an update. I am so thankful to be the bearer of good news... the surgery went extremely well!

I spoke with TJ about 30 minutes ago. She is out of surgery and sounds very good! TJ said that the doctor did not have to sever many veins. She and Dana were able to see the boys via the camera used during the surgery. She said they were beautiful (there was so much love in her voice) and that the boys seemed to be doing well!

She and Dana will stay at the hospital overnight. The doctor will check tomorrow to see if the smallest baby is getting urine in his bladder. Hopefully by next week, the boys will be functioning on their own and growing.

I am praising God for a successful surgery! Please continue to pray for the twins as well as TJ, Dana, Kaia, and Mo. I pray a blessing over this wonderful family!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A pic of Fric and another of Frac

Fric's Profile

Frac waving hi

Check back here tomorrow afternoon/evening for an update on the boys. I'm feeling good that the boys will come through the surgery, and I'm praying that they continue to thrive after their blood vessels are separated. I have peace that we are doing what is best for both boys, and the rest is up to God.

Everyone says God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but I have to disagree. He has given me far more than I could ever handle on my own. But, I have the support of my husband, of our families, of the church here and places far away, and all of you in blog land. Most importantly, God is handling this for me.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. (Jeremiah 29:11, AMP)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Some new photos of the boys

Here are a few photos, most are of Frac as he is much easier to see with all the room that he has. Fric is just so cramped, he doesn't do much but stretch. Plus he has his brother to punch him. We watched Frac just reach out and punch Fric during the ultrasound on Thursday morning. Good to know that sibling rivalry starts early!

Frac's profile

Our first ever 3D photo! This is Frac, he was posing for Dr. Walker, and Dr. Walker decided to hit the 3D button and print it for us.
I have some photos of Fric also, but the scanner hasn't sent it to my email yet. I'll be sending those soon.
Jennifer from Dust Bunny Hostage will be posting an update on Monday, so check back that afternoon or evening (depending on your time zone). Thanks to Jennifer for helping, and to all of you for praying!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Surgery Scheduled!

Thank you again for all of your prayers. Today we met with Dr. Walker, who is one of 6 doctors doing this procedure. Did you know most of his patients come here from out of State? They fly in just to have him save their twins, and after meeting him, I understand why.

He was great to talk to. He didn't sugar coat anything. Our boys are in Stage 2 and will likely be in Stage 3 soon. Doing nothing would result in the death of our boys, and we won't let that happen. On Monday morning at 10 a.m. I will go in for surgery. They will make a tiny incision and insert a tiny camera (2mm) and with that camera then guide a needle in for the laser. He will use the laser to sever the veins that the boys are sharing. The benefits of this are: both of our boys have a good chance at survival (70%), if one of the boys does happen to die it will not kill the other boy which is likely without the procedure (90-95% of the time at least 1 twin will survive), and there is very little risk for me. Both of the boys are still doing well, and both have a good sized area of placenta to themselves. So I pray that they do well and thrive from this procedure.

I will spend the night in the hospital, and then after an ultrasound the next day, should be able to return home. I will be on restricted activity for 1 week (although both Dr. Walker and Dr. Peterson have said I can do some work from home, which is good, because I have some things to work on). After the first week, I should be able to return to work. I will have weekly follow up visits at the U of W to make sure the boys do well. After a month, if all is well I can go to every other week. And the best part, Dr. Walker said I should be able to carry to full twin term (37 weeks), but he does recommend a c-section. I hope to deliver as close to that 37 weeks as possible, and have them here at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.

I'm feeling hopeful after our visit. I know that there are risks, but I feel our boys are strong and will come through this. Dana is also feeling more at ease. I think he's also ready to take on his new housekeeping role next week too. Although if anyone wants to drop off a meal, you are welcome to do so! Thank you again for all your prayers! I tear up every time I remember how many people are praying for the boys, Dana and I. Also please pray for Dr. Walker who is doing the surgery, and Dr. Peterson who will be providing follow up care.

Photos to come! Including a 3D that Dr. Walker took because Frac was so cute.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Update on our boys

Today has been a very long day. We were up at 3:15 am and got home about 5:15 pm. The news is better than I expected. Thank you all so much for your prayers they definitely made today much better than I expected.

The ultrasound showed that both boys are healthy. They show no abnormalities, and both have good umbilical cords. The only problems right now is the amniotic fluid level with Fric, and the fact that Fric's bladder isn't distended as it should be. Our boy isn't getting enough in him to pee like he should (it will be the only time this will ever happen to him).

For those of you who have researched TTTS, we are in between stages 1 & 2, but the fluid levels are actually a little better than expected. The twin with too much, is considered too much at 9. But Frac is only at 7.3. The twin with should be at 2, but Fric is at 2.5. The doctor at UW was consulting with the doctor at Eastside Maternal Fetal Medicine in Kirkland, WA. The center is 1 of 6 in the nation that perform the laser technique on twins with TTTS. We will be seeing them at 7:30 am tomorrow.

We will likely need to have surgery for the boys, but they may choose to monitor them for another week or so. It has happened that the problem stops on it's own, and no surgery is needed. Feel free to pray for that. The doctor at UW, wants the other doctor to make the call on when surgery is needed, as they are the professionals. This surgery is improving every year. Most recent data shows that after surgery, 70% of the time both twins survive. 90% of the time 1 twin survives. I like 70%, and I know our boys can do this.

I also refuse to even consider them being delivered at 24 weeks. No, our boys will stay inside until at least week 30. That's only 11 weeks, and they can do it! I have faith they can stay in even longer.

Continue to pray for us! We are taking overnight bags in case they want to do surgery right away. Our boys are healthy now, and I pray God will keep them that way. I will update again as soon as possible!

A big thank you to my parents, they drove us there and mom stayed with me in ultrasound while my dad took Dana to his eye appointment. And Dana's eyes are healing nicely!
Another big thank you to Dana's parents for watching the kids, and making sure Kaia got to and from her last day of school. We couldn't do this without family!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

The rehearsal

It's been 9 years together in marriage, and tonight we won't be out dancing, or eating at a fancy restaurant. We will actually have the night alone, and I only wish it were for better reasons. Through it all, I love you, and I'm so thankful I have you right now, by my side to support me. Love you honey!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Not the Day We Expected

Frac measuring right on at 18 weeks.

Fric measuring around 16 weeks 4 days.

We just got back from my appt. Baby A (Frac) looked good, even showed us that he is a boy. Baby B (Fric) wasn't cooperative, but also didn't have much space. They have twin to twin transfusion syndrome. This happens with identical twins, so Fric is also a boy.
Frac is getting all the nutrients and Fric isn't getting enough. This puts both babies at risk, and I could lose one or both, or have them delivered extremely early. I have an appointment with University of Washington tentatively scheduled for Thursday morning. We will know if they are able to do anything to help them at that time.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today our very first baby, Kaia, has a kindergarten graduation! She's so excited about the performance they will be putting on, and how much fun her last few days of kindergarten will be. In 22 days she will turn 6 years old. I'm still not sure how she grew up so fast.

Then there is Mo, who in his new-found threeness, has earned the nickname Bossy Bob. He will tell you what he wants, when he wants it, and how it should be done. Without a please or thank you, of course.

And finally there are Fric and Frac. There is a moment, every single day, where it hits me that I'm really pregnant. For 3 years, I thought I would never feel a baby moving and growing in me again. Even before my tubes were tied, I knew Mo was my last. And this thought that it's actually happening just hits me in the face. I'm awestruck that my body once again is carrying another life, and even more amazed that this time there are 2 lives.

I will admit there were times after my tubal ligation when I wondered if I had made the right decision. This was especially true after seeing a pregnant friend, or hearing about someone's labor and seeing the newborn. Those wonderings usually didn't last long, but I would always turn it over to God. I told Him, that if I was meant to have another child, I knew He would give me one. Little did I know what He had in store.

My turning it all over to God quickly went out the window when a blue stripe appeared on the pregnancy test in February. My "it's in your hands God," quickly became, "Oh God, no, this can't be happening." With everything Dana and I had going on, the last thing I was welcoming was a positive pregnancy test. That positive test brought with it 2 weeks of torture!

Because of my tubal ligation, there was a very high likelihood of an ectopic pregnancy. I was immediately sent in for blood work, and I became good friends with the phlebotomist during my many visits. My maternal instincts and hormones soon began to kick in, and I wasn't so scared of being pregnant. But, I refused to allow myself to think about the possibility of actually being pregnant. I didn't want to get excited, only to have a shot to dissolve a pregnancy that wasn't viable. I wasn't sure what to pray for, and just kept asking that I'd know what was going to happen, and right away. I struggled so hard, and within days I realized, I couldn't do it. I had to give in and embrace the fact that I was pregnant, even if it would only be for a few weeks.

Every blood test came back normal, and the last blood test had higher than normal numbers. Numbers so high that only the tiniest percentage of ectopic pregnancies ever managed that level of hcg. When I went in for that ultrasound at 5 weeks and 5 days, I said a prayer in the car. Finally, once again, I turned it all over to God. I couldn't alter the events that took place in my body weeks before, but I could tell Him I was ok with His plan. I prayed it again before my ultrasound, then the doctor came in and on the screen appeared a black spot, which meant nothing to me, until he said, "That's the sac implanted right where it should be. Come in next week, and we'll see a heartbeat." And I did.

It was a few weeks more before we learned about the twins, and I've definitely had my struggles wondering what God is up to in our lives. But I haven't met anyone that doesn't feel these babies were meant to be, and I agree. Tomorrow, both Dana and I will spend an hour watching them and if they are cooperative, we'll be able to find out their genders and start picking out names.

Come back by tomorrow afternoon/evening, for a much less sappy post, and to see for yourself. This is your last chance to tell me what you think we're having!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

First comes love, then comes marriage...

Then comes Boomer in a baby carriage?

He seems to think that the new stroller is for him.

My mom found this double stroller at a yard sale. It is the first thing that has been purchased for the twins.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

We Made It!

We arrived home at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday evening. It was a long and uncomfortable drive for both of us! It was so good to be back home in our air conditioned home, sleeping in our own comfy bed, listening to the quiet that is our suburban life (instead of the noise of a busy Seattle hospital's emergency entrance).

Thank you so much to all of you that prayed for Dana's surgery to go well. Thank you for the prayers for our safe travel. A big thank you to our families that helped us so much. Thanks for watching the kids, for feeding the dogs, and for giving us money to help cover the expenses. THANK YOU!

And now, by special request, Dana's eye. His left eye is the one that had full surgery, including the retinal detachment and now a gas bubble. His right eye had some laser work, so it's a bit more red than usual, but looks ok. The left eye is not pretty, so consider yourself warned. The kids call it his icky eye. I say it looks like a blue circle in a see of red.

I hope to visit some blogs this week. I'm also going to work on a new blog reader, just as soon as I have time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

It's only time right?

It's official. We will be making the 8+ hour trek home tomorrow. No traveling over passes. Other than needing a gas bubble, the doctor says the surgery went well. Dana is not comfortable. He has to keep his head face down for 50-55 minutes of every hour. He's having trouble finding a position that doesn't put pressure on the left eye, because that is painful. Please pray for a safe trip home tomorrow, and comfort for Dana.

On the bright side I did manage to finish a knit baby cap, and I started and completed another. The one I made during the surgery wait is a beautiful mix of cream and tan. Very gender neutral. Will post photos when at home again. Also, we have internet access in our hotel, but no AC. Thankfully today is cooler than yesterday, still would appreciate a few more degrees cooler.