Last night, the pediatric surgeon met with Dave and me and shared the basic plan for Emmett and Owen's surgery. There will be four phases to this single operation and it is as follows: 1.) separate the liver and appropriate vasculature 2.) separate the duodenum (which we found out last night is also shared) 3.) separate the small bowels 4.) figure out how to cover the incisions.
Our surgeon talked about the literature he has found involving similar situations to our boys - there are eight reported cases that he presented to us. He stated that there has to be a balance in the scheduling between urgency and growth; it is important that they are given the opportunity to grow, but at the same time , it is important that we do not wait until one or both of their little systems begins to fail. Of the eight studies involving thoracic-omphalopagus twins, seven surgeries were done out of urgency - one or both twins was taking a turn for the worse. Our surgeon indicated that he did not want to end up in this situation. He wants a well rested team. He wants preparation and thoughtful planning. He wants to practice on dolls with his team. He wants the best for our boys.
However, he also gave us the sobering side to the studies of twins like ours; there is a 30% chance of survival for our boys. 30% chance that we will have two healthy boys. 30% chance that we will have one healthy boy. 30% is being optimistic.
So how do I feel? I'm not sure. Incredibly sad. Angry. Hopeful. Fearful. Tired. Worried. Helpless. I don't know what to feel.
There is nothing in this world that I can do to protect them. But I can pray.
I understand, now, the helplessness of the human race. We are weak. I understand, now, the transience of life. We all succumb to death. I understand, now, the joy of new life. There is nothing more precious.
Through all of these tears, and thoughts, and hopes, I continually think that we have not come this far for nothing. God brought us here for a reason, and I pray that it is not to bury our sons, but to give them life. To give them love. And to give them years of growing old. I don't know if combining logic and reasoning (there is a purpose/reason) with faith (God has brought us to this point) makes my faith stronger or weaker, but it's all I can manage right now. And I will cling to it until I am stronger.
God protect you all, and keep you safe.
3 good things:
1.) celebrating Dave's birthday with Emmett and Owen tonight.
2.) a pediatric surgeon who prays with us for the boys
3.) family friends and future friends who send emails, texts, and prayers, even though I often am too exhausted to respond. I read every single message, and am grateful for every single prayer. thank you.