And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your might.~Deuteronomy 6:5
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Several of you have asked recently how we are doing and if there are any updates.First, let me say that Paige and I appreciate so much the prayers you are praying for us and prayer lists of others that many of you have gotten us on. On more than one occasion, we've heard how people who don't know us personally are praying for us, and how people in so many different states are praying for us, and it is just awesome to know that all of this is going on. We know that so much of the peace we have right now is the direct result of prayer.
We had a second appointment with Dr. Biggio in late August. At that visit, he spent close to an hour doing an ultrasound. This was much different from the first visit, at which a nurse did a brief ultrasound and Dr. Biggio basically just confirmed that the twins were inseparably conjoined in a manner that "would not be compatible with life".
During the second visit, he looked closely at the babies and told us as much as he could about their development at that point. Although it didn't change the expected incompatibility with life, the details of how they are conjoined are a bit different than we had previously thought. The ultrasound showed that there are actually two spines and the babies are apparently facing each other conjoined from just below the shoulders down; we had thought that they were more side-by-side. The ultrasound appeared to show 4 arms; we had thought that there were only two. On one side, each appeared to have an arm that was developing normally; and on the other side, they each appeared to have a smaller arm that was abnormal in development. We already knew that there is only one heart; it was too early to tell much more about the heart, but we did hear him tell the technician to put down "abnormal four chamber heart". Dr. Biggio only saw one stomach, although at a later visit to our doctor in Northport it looked like there may be two stomachs. Dr. Biggio could see one kidney - possibly two - but wasn't sure. At the pelvis the spines seemed to come together. There are only two legs, and he said the feet looked to be clubbed. There is fluid accumulating around the skull of both babies and down the spine of at least one; at a later visit to our doctor in Northport it looked that the fluid may have subsided some from previous visits.
We asked about the probability of whether or not the babies would live to birth. He said that the heart doesn't currently seem to be having any problems pumping blood for both babies, and at that point he didn't see any reason to think that they would die in the next few weeks. That was about 4 weeks ago, so a few weeks have passed. He indicated in a later e-mail to us that he thought the 8-10 week period following that visit would be the period at which the single heart might encounter problems keeping up; I guess we're still a couple of months away from that period being behind us. Since there is nothing that they are able to do to help our babies, he'd basically given us a choice of whether we'd want to keep going to appointments in Birmingham or if we'd prefer to just go to the doctor in Northport. We told him that if the babies live long enough to be born, we would want for the delivery to be at UAB. He said he sees no reason for us to keep coming to him regularly right now.
Currently, we're just going to Dr. Smith in Northport for monthly checkups. If the babies are still alive around 25 weeks, then we'll get in touch with Dr. Biggio's office to schedule the next appointment.After our first visit to Birmingham, we'd honestly kind of hoped that if the babies weren't going to live that a miscarriage might occur sooner rather than later. Since the second visit, we are now hoping that the babies will live long enough to be born and for us to have a little bit of time with them, even if its only a few minutes or hours. Dr. Biggio seems to think that we might could consider a delivery as early as 34 weeks; but obviously we've got a ways to go before making it to that point.
Thank you for your continued prayers. Today, the babies are at 19 weeks and 3 days. They are girls. Their names are Avonlea Rose and Lily Anna. We have good days and bad days, but right now the good days seem to outnumber the bad; we attribute that to your loving prayers and God's faithful love.
Love,Craig and Paige
PS- Paige occasionally posts updates to her MySpace page @ http://www.myspace.com/paigestew. I usually find her posts inspiring to me, just seeing her heart in her words. You can check there, too, for updates if you'd like.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
This weekend we were invited to a birthday party for Caleb's friend Kieth. The party was at Playstation and included rollerskating and laser tag.
Caleb was sooo excited about the roller skating...sure he could do it even thought he never has (don't know where he gets that from). Soon after putting the skates on he realized it was a little harder than he first thought.
He gave it a good effort and I think with a little more time he could be a skating fool - like his father who also had a very good time!
Of course laser tag was his favorite, but what could be more fun to a 5 yr old than running around in the dark shooting your friends...yes dad had a fun time with that also.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Ella is slightly amazed by doors!
Monday, September 10, 2007
This weekend we broke out of our same old same old and walked in a 5K race! Yep the whole family and it only took us 50 some minutes.
Caleb was so excited about doing this, he lost that excitement at about mile 2 but after a little rest (ride in the stroller) he was ready to go again. He was very proud of finishing and "winning" a t-shirt, now he can't wait to do it again. So that was my first 5K race as well as Caleb's and Ella's. The only thing Caleb did'nt undersand is if it was a 5K race why weren't more kids his age there!
Ebsco is trying to raise awareness of good health in their employees that was why they hosted this race, with that in mind we did not understand why they handed out PORK snadwiches when you crossed the finish line...yes they really did, pork sandwiches at 9:30 in the morning ...Gotta love the South!
After the race we had a fun time playing in the park...it was a good morning