Well, I have hesitated in posting about this because I have tried to make this a light-hearted positive blog, but the truth is we have gotten some not-so-fabulous news. Monday, and now 26 weeks along, we went for a typical growth ultrasound. I really didn't expect much from it. Since we have had so many ultrasounds and have never seen any problems I really thought we were in the clear. We did find out Luke is 2 lbs 4 oz and Liam is 2 lbs (great weights!), but then as the tech was scanning Liam, she told us she needed to talk to a doctor. She then sent us off to Evanston hospital to get a level II ultrasound done by a specialist just a few hours later. It turns out Liam has a duodenal atresia, or a blockage in or right after his stomach. For now, this means two things. First off, Liam will definitely need surgery as soon as he is born. Best case scenario he will have enough good colon that they can repair and reattach everything, and he will spend a few weeks recovering in the NICU. However, there is no way to know exactly how serious of a problem this is until they get in there and start the surgery. Second, this condition results in the production of way too much amniotic fluid. What this means for me is that I will now have to change OBs to the ones at Evanston hospital (because they have the ability to do the surgery there) and also I now go for weekly (or twice a week) ultrasounds at the hospital to determine the fluid levels for the remainder of the pregnancy. When they get too high they will have to remove fluid in a procedure very similar to an amnio. If they don't, I will go into preterm labor. This also can partially explain why I am so big, with all the extra fluid! He thought within the next couple of weeks he would have to remove approximately a liter or so, but he won't go through the risk of this procedure until he thinks it is absolutely necessary.
The other side of this condition is that we were told that in babies that have this, about 30% of them also have Down's Syndrome :*( I mean, seriously, is this happening again??!! What could the chances possibly be?? It's like horrible deja vu to hear those statistics. He did do a complete scan of Liam and didn't find any other markers for any other problems, but of course that doesn't exactly mean there is nothing else wrong. We were given the option of doing an amnio at the appointment, but because they will be removing fluid sometime soon anyhow, Ann decided to just wait until then. They can then just send that fluid off to be analyzed.
So that is where we are currently at. I have one more appointment this week with my OB where I can get all of my records and what-not, and then starting next week will be the weekly visits in Evanston. This is a very hard situation. I feel so incredibly awful that the parents are having to go through this. I know that this is not my fault, and there is nothing I could have done to prevent this. But after my last surrogacy and now this one, I can't help but feel like it has to be me. But the reality is that these things sometimes happen and it is not what anyone would hope for, but we have to find the positives in it. For one, it is a wonderful thing they were able to catch it this early. The main goal is to prevent preterm labor so that Liam can get to the biggest size/weight possible so he can tolerate his surgery. And we have the best doctors monitoring this now, so that is fabulous. We can all be as prepared as possible and meet with the surgeons and specialists before he is born. The other really positive thing is that we are all on board together to do whatever it takes for the babies. This is extremely important to me. My last surrogacy, I felt like it was just me fighting for a baby that wasn't even wanted by the parents. But this time around is very different. Liam is very much wanted and already loved, no matter what. And it is because of this that I truly have faith that he will pull through with flying colors and go on to be the happy healthy baby that I imagined him to be. He has an amazing support team behind him, and parents that already love and care about him more than anything in the world. AND he has an amazing brother who will be by his side for now and hopefully for the rest of his life.
So any spare prayers or good thoughts would be greatly appreciated. The next couple of months are going to be a little scary, but exciting nonetheless. Because no matter what, these little babies are on their way and will be here before anybody knows it. And that, in itself, is a special miracle to be thankful for :)