December 19, 2008

Status of Gina and Twins

Greetings Friends and Family,

I just wanted to let you know the status of Gina and the twins. If you haven't already heard, Gina, who is 20 weeks pregnant with twin boys, had her water break Tuesday night (12/16). She, at first, went to a hospital that was not equipped to handle perinatal high risk care. She was then transferred to St Joseph's Hospital, which has one of the best perinatal high risk units in Phoenix. After reviewing the ultrasound, the doctors determined that one of the sacs was ruptured. Baby B, which is behind the presenting baby, has a severe decrease in amniotic fluid. In fact, at today's ultrasound we could see that there was no fluid in the sac. Baby B did have fluid in his stomach, kidneys, and bladder, which means he's ingesting fluid from somewhere. The problem is that the fluid he urinates is leaving the sac through the tear, or so it appears, and he is not able to ingest much of that fluid. It's likely that there may be a small amount of fluid in the sac that was not picked up by the ultrasound. The sac seems to be closing in on him and will, eventually, limit his movement, which will then restrict his lungs from reaching their full capacity. We've been told the boys are not viable, at this time, outside the womb. So we would hope Baby B could hold on for, at least, 4 more weeks. At that point, they will be given steroids to help the development of their lungs.

Ideally, it would be wonderful if the sac could somehow close again, like a scab over a cut. But, honestly, it would take a miracle for that to happen. This, we all know, is well within the power of God. There's another problem, though. The doctors think that an infection could be the cause of the ruptured sac. If this is so, then Gina would show signs of the infection, i.e. fever, cramping, soreness. She has, so far, none of these symptoms.

Scenarios: If Baby B has an infection, then he will have to be delivered. Sadly, that would mean Baby A, who is in a healthy environment with plenty of fluid, but also blocking the exit, would have to be delivered, too. They would both be unable to survive. If Baby B has an infection and is not removed through delivery, Gina would become septic and the lives of the boys and mother would be in jeopardy. Another scenario would be Baby B does not survive and has no infection. In that case, he would remain where he is and be delivered after Baby A has fully developed. But we do not want to leave a boy behind. We want each baby to make it to a point where both of them can be delivered and be viable. At minimum, that would be the 24 week mark...4 more weeks. Right now, both boys are alive and are not showing signs of distress.

What we'd like from you is many many prayers. Please pray for the little boys and for Gina. It's very stressful for us hearing news giving us glimpses of hope and then finding out Baby B is nearly empty of fluid. I also want you to know that we are not naive. We are preparing for and expecting the worst, but hoping for the best in this situation. We know that God, in His Mercy, has a plan for our babies. We may not like the outcome, but we are ready to accept the Holy Will of God...either way. On the other hand, God may grant us the miracle that we are asking for.

One last thing...the first hospital we went to told us that they would not be able to help the babies, since they did not have a perinatal unit. They said we could miscarry the babies and they would give us comfort care, consisting of warm blankets and allowing us to hold the babies until they passed. We demanded to be transferred as soon as possible to another hospital. Gina and the boys were then transferred to St Joseph's, where the perinatologist surgeon alluded to the option of going off campus and terminating the pregnancies. You can imagine how shocked we were to hear that at a Catholic facility. We then requested a consult from a Catholic physician, Dr William Chavira. Dr Chavira was very compassionate and Gina and I feel very confident in trusting him with the care of Gina and the boys. It also helped that he spoke our "language" regarding our view on life issues. He also said this morning that last night he had dinner with Bishop Olmsted and the Bishop will pray for Gina and the boys.

I've included here holy priests that Gina and I pray for daily and deeply respect. We would like you to keep us in your prayers, too. If possible, we would like you to remember the little boys in your intentions at the Altar and to offer a Mass for them. This would be the greatest gift that we could give them in their time of need.
Please remember that you are all in our prayers. We also wish you well in these last remaining days of Advent and hope that the coming of our Saviour brings much peace and joy to you and your families.

God bless you.


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