After the boys arrived, the medical team quickly cleaned them as best they could and stabilized them.
The doctors and nurses maintained a comfortable state of what I like to call 'pain managing slumber' for me. I didn't see the boys very often for those first couple of days. Dave on the other hand did. While I rested and recovered, the doctors began studying the boys and finding new things out.
First and foremost, they found the omphalocele, (which is closely related to the mesenteric cyst that had been detected in utero). Basically, the boys have an enclosed sac that contains diverse parts of there intestines on the outside of their body. This is not an uncommon occurrence, but in this instance, it was unexpected. The only reason it is complicated is because they will require more skin to cover this portion of their little bellies.
An upper GI study was also performed shortly after their birth because of the possible disconnect of intestines running from Emmett's stomach to his colon. We can't feed Emmett and Owen safely until there is certainty that Emmett has the ability to process things from top to bottom. The results of this test were inconclusive, but shortly after the procedure Emmett pooped! It was only a small amount, but it was SOMETHING, and it was great! A barium enema was ordered, but could not be (and still hasn't been) performed because the boys have not been moving things through their little GI tracts, and until the barium clears out from the upper GI study, they would be unable to determine which barium was from which test.
In the meantime, Owen's urine output has been decreasing and Emmett's has been increasing. The nephrologist is concerned that Owen's kidneys will suffer and ultimately shut down if something is not done soon. In addition, if Emmett's kidneys are doing 95% of the work, his kidneys may be damaged from working overtime.
The surgeons ordered an MRI to gather as much information as possible about the boys. For this process, both boys would have to be placed under general anesthesia to keep them still during the procedure. And in order to give them general anesthesia in a way that would be safe for them both, they had to be intubated to prevent any problems with breathing during the imaging process. The boys were wheeled down to the OR for intubation, which was a success, then wheeled to the MRI. Four hours later, they arrived back on the room, still sedated, but successful in all procedures undertaken. The neo-natologist stated as soon as results were back from the MRI, we would be notified of what they found out.
During this outing, Owen's PIC line clotted and had to be replaced with an IV. Unfortunately, his pic line could not be salvaged, they were unsuccessful placing a new PIC line, and his IV had to be replaced with a new IV.
After the MRI, the surgeons ordered a CT scan to get a more in-depth look at the blood flow and vascular system of the boys. The dye for the CT scan MAY cause damage to the kidneys, and to prevent this type of damage, Owen (who has decreased urine output) was given an extra bolus of fluids to counteract this side effect. I questioned whether this was absolutely necessary, to which I was told that it would be beneficial in understanding what we may be dealing with as far as surgery is concerned.
Everyday is a new challenge for my babies, and every new test gives hope and despair simultaneously.
Currently these are the things we know:
1.) The boys will need to be separated sooner rather than later.
2.) The surgery has VERY tentatively been scheduled for August 5th - unless the boys begin showing signs of distress.
3.) The intubation tubing will remain in place until the surgery.
4.) The twins are the cutest, sweetest little babies EVER!!
Please continue to pray for Emmett and Owen. They need every single prayer that can be uttered for them!
Dave and I are holding things together, or at least trying to. Dave tends to do better than I do on that front!
More to come very soon! We are both exhausted, and we are trying to remain positive. There are so many unknowns and question marks that it is difficult to breathe at times, but God continues to pull us through, and for that I am grateful!
Until next time, may God bless you all!