Today, Nick and I went back to our specialist, Dr. Wickstrom for another specialist appointment. As always, the night before these appointments, I found myself tossing and turning and not able to sleep with anticipation of what we would discover. I've been reading "I Will Carry You", a book about a mother who lost her little girl to somewhat of the same condition as Peyton. It talks about the journey this family took in ultimately, losing their child. But last night, I just couldn't shake this feeling--- this feeling of hope. I'm not really sure what I expected to be told today, but I was hoping for some news, a plan, something.
On our drive to the hospital, Nick and I began talking about all the endless possibilities that could happen to Peyton. Nick and I agreed-- if Peyton could just make it to birth so we could meet him and hold him, even if it was for just an hour, that would be a miracle in and of itself. That, is the goal that we wanted to set for Peyton. Of course-- we did agree, that we wanted to make sure that that option, by no means would harm Preston or myself.
There was absolutely no waiting around today. We were instantly greeted by our stenographer (lady that takes the ultra sounds), Jen, whom, I must add, is simply amazing. She's the kindest, nicest person ever. The second that Jen placed the device on my stomach, we were greeted by Peyton. Let me rephrase that, we could actually SEE Peyton. Peyton had fluid around him and was moving around and we were able to see every limb, every bit of everything. Tears instantly streamed down my face. As Nick scooted his chair closer to me so that neither of us would have to reach for one another's hand, I couldn't help but have more hope. Something that we would have never dreamt of even asking for, something as simple as being able to see everything we could of Preston was happening right before my eyes.
Miracles really do happen! Of course, this is only a small step, a baby step, at that. But, it is a miracle and a blessing in and of itself. I honestly could not wait for Dr. Wickstrom to enter the room to tell us what this all could mean. After laying there for over an hour, with Jen taking measurements and making sure that everything was growing and functioning properly with both Preston and Peyton, Dr. Wickstrom came in to talk to us.
Dr. Wickstrom had tears in her eyes as she began taking her own ultrasound of our precious little guys. She told us that she didn't want to get our hopes up, but that seeing fluid around Peyton was definitely a good thing. Of course, there is still a long way to go, but today, we have some hope. Some actual good news. Dr. Wickstrom explained that although there was fluid around Peyton, she couldn't explain how it had got there. It could be from an eruption of the bladder, or it could be from something she just couldn't explain. (Nick and I would chalk it up to all of your prayers). Dr. Wickstrom said that we would wait 3 weeks to come back to have Preston and Peyton checked again. If there is still fluid around Peyton, there may be a chance that he could make it past birth. Yes, you read that right, there's that sign of hope again! Of course, if there isn't any fluid in 3 weeks, that will tell us that the bladder, indeed, did rupture, and Peyton's chances of survival would be bleak.
So, I asked Dr. Wickstrom the question that has been on Nick and I's mind forever--- will we get to meet Peyton? Her response was that she thinks that our chances of meeting Peyton are greater now than they ever have been. She just isn't sure yet if we will get to keep him and take him home with us.
If we come back to her in 3 weeks, and Peyton continues to have fluid, we will begin running multiple tests to determine chromosone makeup and if there will be any other abnormalities/complications. There is possibility of a curved spine, potential clubbed feet, etc. Right now, we will focus on what we do know today.
What we know today: Preston is growing ahead of pace--- he's measuring at 24 weeks, I'll be 23 weeks tomorrow. He weighs 1 pound 5 oz and is very active. Peyton is growing about 1 week behind. He's measuring right around 22 weeks. He weighs 1 pound 12 ounces, but the extra weight is due to the fluid that is still in his abdomen. Peyton is equally as active as Preston. Preston is currently breech and Peyton is head down. Nick, Kaylee and I feel these precious babies move every single day.
Through all of this, many have asked how I've been feeling. Honestly, I feel great! Of course, there are the normal pregnancy complaints-- feeling tired and my sciatic nerve acting up, but honestly, I would never complain. Despite the fear and stress of the situation, I really do feel great.
Today's appointment went great, as far as Nick and I are concerned. We know that we still have a long road ahead of us, and that at our next appointment our situation could change again. But today, and for the next 3 weeks, we will focus on the hope that we've been given. As Nick and I left the hospital, Jen gave me the biggest hug and said that she had goosebumps from head to toe. She could literally feel the miracle of life that we were experiencing first hand. That is exactly the way we feel, goosebumps cover our body and we are energized with hope. God was definitely holding our hands today as we watched Preston and Peyton move all around in my tummy. God will continue to walk hand in hand with us through this journey.
We couldn't be more blessed to have our friends and family walking this journey with us as well. Thank you so much to everyone for your continued prayers and support. Please continue to pray for the miracle. We will forever be indebted to you all!
The greatest gift God has given us--- faith, hope and love. We are truly blessed to live every day with these.
Nick, Ashley & Kaylee