Dave and I decided to bring the whole family to this appointment because Ethan (our 6 year old) was anxious to find out if he was going to get 2 more brothers, 2 sisters, or 1 of each - he was hoping for 2 more brothers, and because it was too early to drop off Liam, our 8 1/2 month old at the babysitters, he got to come, too. The ultra-sound tech came in and began the imaging process. There they were - our beautiful babies. Two heads, two hearts, four arms and four legs. As I was admiring my babies, I couldn't help but ask, "Can you tell if they are conjoined?" Because something was not right. I am not an ultra-sound imaging expert, but there was something different about the way my babies were positioned. "I believe they are," was her response.
I have never experienced a moment in my life when time has stopped, when the only thing I feel is the pounding of my heart, and I can barely hear a muffled voice in my quiet room asking if we want to know the gender...
Twin boys. We are having twin boys.
By this time I am in tears. Dave is squeezing my hand telling me everything is going to be ok. The tech explains that the dr. will be in in just a moment to review the images with us, and to answer any questions we may have.
After she leaves, Dave takes the boys for a walk while I wait to hear more about my beautiful babies from the doctor, who arrives shortly. "By the looks of it, you must be aware that the babies are conjoined." I can only nod my head because if I attempt to say anything more, my tears would become torrential. The dr. explained that my boys share a liver, they each had holes in their hearts that may or may not correct themselves, and one of their spines had what appeared to be a hemi-vertebra, meaning a triangular shaped vertebra that was causing his back to be substantially bent.
I was moved to another exam room so that the ultra-sound machine could be used for other patients. I called my mom and wept for my babies. I called Dave and wept for my babies. We had to get the boys to school, I had to stay and talk to the dr. more. Dave came into the exam room to say goodbye. The dr. came in and briefly explained the situation to Dave. If we decided to see this thing through, we would meet with a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, doctors, therapists, etc. and we would have a fetal MRI done to try and discover as much as we could about the babies before their birth. In Oklahoma, abortions are legal up to 20 weeks. The dr. encouraged us to think about what we wanted to do, and call his office Monday morning to let them know what we had decided.
This was the toughest decision Dave and I have ever faced.