Can you support CaringBridge during our Fall giving campaign? Generous donors like you ensure that CaringBridge remains ad-free, private and protected.
Meredith and Lillian Reynolds
Meredith & Lillian
May 8, 2016 Latest post:
Jul 15, 2016
Taylor and I found out that we were pregnant during Thanksgiving weekend. We waited until January 6th for our first appointment. At that appointment we found out many new things. First, we were having twins!! Second, we wouldn't be having appointments in Orange City and would be transferred to Sioux Falls. There are just too many complications that can occur with twins and Orange City just isn't equipped to handle that kind of situation. (I was sad for one reason: I really like Dr. Pals. She's one of the best doctors and sweetest person I know.) Third, our doctor in Sioux Falls would be Dr. McNamara. At our first appointment in Sioux Falls we found out that our girls had cleft lip. Cleft lip alone is very rare so we assumed they would have cleft palate as well. (The girls were too small to see if they had cleft palate at that point in time.) Cleft lip and palate runs in my family so we weren't all that surprised the girls had it. (I had figured, since I was in middle school and knew that I wanted kids, that they would have cleft lip and palate.) We were upset because we both know how mean kids can be. I watched my sister get bullied for "looking different" and that was difficult. So being a parent, I could only begin to imagine how painful it would be to see my own kids go through something like she did. We had weekly appointments to Sioux Falls right from the start. Taylor and I found out that not only did our kids have cleft lip and palate, but it looked as though they had twin to twin transfusion syndrome(TTTS). TTTS is when the donor (smaller twin) is giving nutrients to the recipient (larger twin) through a shared vessel on the placenta. In our case, baby A (Meredith) was the recipient and baby B (Lillian) was the donor. To fix that, Sanford sends you to Denver and they have a surgery that they can do to help cut off the nutrients the donor is giving the recipient. Sanford only sends you under a few conditions: you can't see the stomach on the ultrasound, you can't see the bladder on the ultrasound, and/or their heart is having issues. Lillian had decreases in her fluid for many of the appointments but we could always see the bladder and stomach. At our appointment March 24th, Lillian had gone from 3 cm of fluid to a little over 4. At that appointment, we found out that we were able to come bi-weekly instead of weekly. We were really happy because progress was being made and Lillian was kicking butt. Also, we could stop packing our bag every Wednesday before the appointment just in case we had to go to Denver. At the next appointment on April 7th, Meredith was having some heart issues. Her heart was working faster than what was wanted. We ended up having to go to Denver. So we got everything scheduled and left the following Monday. That Tuesday I sat through a two hour MRI to check the babies, an ultrasound, and an echo. The results all came back good. Meredith's heart was good. The babies looked good. We found out that we didn't have TTTS, but instead had selective growth syndrome. This means that one twin has a better connection to the placenta than the other. In our case, Meredith had the better connection. They can't operate or do anything about selective growth syndrome. We also found out that our babies had cleft palate. There are two parts to your palate the primary or hard palate and the secondary or soft palate. Our girls had cleft palate in the primary part of their palates. They are less likely to have any problems with their ears, nose, and throat, which is great!! We ended up getting home that Thursday and let the family know what had happened. That Saturday I just wasn't feeling good at all. My stomach had been really hard since the night before. I was uncomfortable, no matter what position I was in. Finally, at 1:30 A.M. I was pacing around the house just super uncomfortable. I couldn't sit, lay, squat, kneel, walk, or use the restroom without feeling awful. I told Taylor that the babies had to come out tonight. There was no way I could do this anymore. His mom, Jayne, came over to our house to help us out. I mentioned that I felt pressure when I used the restroom and we ended up going to the emergency room in Orange City. On the way to the emergency room my water broke and while in the emergency room I was two cm dilated and their feet were visible. The doctor called the helicopter and shortly after I was on my way to SF by myself having some painful contractions. When we landed in SF, I don't remember much. I do remember having to sign consent forms that the doctor at the hospital could operate and do the c-section because the doctor on call wasn't going to make it in time. Of course, I let her. Next thing I know I'm awake in this room and see my family a couple at a time who had driven to SF. I didn't get to see the girls until around 8 that night and Taylor didn't get to see them be born. It was a long and tough day. We hadn't slept in 24 hours and I hadn't slept well all five days prior to this. We had Meredith and Lillian April 17th at 5:04 and 5:06 A.M. at 25 weeks and 4 days. Meredith weighing 1 lb and 15.8 oz and Lillian weighing 1 lb 8.2 oz. They have quite the journey ahead of them with a lot of developing to do. Their muscles, chest cavity, organs, etc all need to develop so much still and get stronger. They have a great medical team at Sanford and we wouldn't want them anywhere else, but there will be plenty of bumps in the road before we can take them home. Their due date was July 27th, which is the earliest that we will be able to take them home as of now. We probably won't be able to take both girls home at the same time either. Please pray for Meredith and Lillian as they continue to grow and develop. Also, for Taylor and I to help us find the strength to go through the journey with them!