Monday, January 7, 2013

And just like that our lives have changed for ever!

First of all I want to THANK you all for your best wishes, phone calls and messages on the birth of our little angels.

Usually my posts are on behalf of Amit and I and I hope this one captures how the two of us feel too. I decided to write this post because there is a lot to say and sometimes writing can be therapeutic. Amit and I tried long to have a baby and early this year we were blessed with the news that we were pregnant not only with one but with identical twins. Since neither of us have twins in our family this was a surprise but as the doctor said it has to start somewhere. We were told our due date was February 8th but with twins that means nothing. The doctor told me she would be happy if I made it to 30 weeks which was the beginning of December. Thanks to some other complications I was seeing my OB and a Maternal Fetal Doctor to monitor my progress. 

After a relatively smooth pregnancy (besides the huge belly and getting tired) on December 27th during a weekly appointment my blood pressure shot up. My MNF doctor finished the Sono and told us to head straight to the hospital. I knew there was a possibility these babies would come early but I couldn't believe that day had arrived. My OB was on vacation till the 28th and I prayed we could hold off a day so she could do my C section -wish granted! On the 28th the doctor decided my blood pressure was still high and babies needed to come out - 34 weeks in! 

They prepped me for the C and I got my epidural which didn't work so they had to give me general anesthesia and put me under. Because of the last minute change Amit wasn't able to join me in the surgery room and had to hand over the camera to the nurse and wait outside. The babies were born and rolled out to the NICU and Amit got a glimpse of them as they headed there to be examined.

What I am about to share next was a surprise and something that wasn't caught in our Sono. This has been hard for us to talk about hence the "writing can  be therapeutic" comment earlier. At some point in my pregnancy the girls were affected by something called the "Amniotic Band Syndrome". 
Amniotic band syndrome is rare, and the cause is not known.
No two cases of this syndrome are exactly alike. In the mildest cases, amniotic band syndrome causes a single, shallow crease on one limb. The crease can be seen, but it doesn’t cause problems with the way the limb works. Some children have multiple, deeper bands.
Bands that compress blood vessels may reduce blood flow to parts of your baby’s body. This may limit growth or injure tissue as the baby develops. Bands can be so tight that the tissue past them cannot survive because it doesn’t get enough blood. These bands may cut off fingers, toes or other parts of the arms or legs before a baby is born (congenital amputation or intrauterine amputation). If bands injure but do not amputate your baby’s fingers or toes, the digits may heal together in the womb and cause a type ofsyndactyly (acrosyndactyly). Sometimes the digits are fused only at the tips.
In short both the girls were affected by an extreme case of ABS and lost an arm each. Aariya is missing her left arm below her elbow and Aashna her right just above the elbow. As a mother you want your kids to be healthy and perfect and needless to say this was shocking news to us. Its been a little over a week and I am still dealing and trying to make sense of this news. The girls are healthy in all other ways but my heart breaks everyday a little knowing that they will have to face challenges.

Since the girls were born premature they are still in the NICU which has been a blessing in a way - its given me time to get my self together emotionally. I haven't dealt with it a 100% yet but every day I get stronger and I know Amit I will be their strength and will support them in anyway we possibly can. Our families have been nothing but supportive and now we look forward. 

According to the doctors babies are resilient and they will not even know they are missing an arm. They will learn to crawl, walk and live a normal life since they were born that way. Its us that need to deal with it more and make them feel normal so they never feel the void. I don't know how much I will share in the future but I had to put it out there so I don't have to explain "what happened" every time someone sees a picture of them and see the arms. I know technology has advanced a lot and they will have options so now we move forward and are looking forward to having our girls home sometime this week. 

Here is a little story my mother in law made up which makes my heart feel a little better. 
Dedicated to Aariya and Aashna

There is a story which is true

The divine sent us 2 angels. On their flight to their destination there was a storm.

While flying to us the storm was so strong they held each other tight but the lightening damaged their wings. So one angel's right wing got damaged and one angels left wing got damaged but that did not stop them flying. They reached their destination. They knew that they will be taken care of and everyone around them specially their super mum and super dad will help them fly again.

We are all here to help them through their challenging journey. Am thankful to the divine that they chose us.
I want to thank all the nurses and doctors that helped us this last week - I haven't had that many strangers tell me how beautiful our babies are just the way they are and that we will be great parents. Gives me strength just hearing them say it.

I just wanted to update you all on the actual diagnosis. After seeing a specialist we were told that the girls werent impacted by ABS but symbrachydactyly. Doesn't change the outcome but we are happy to know there was no amputation and the condition impacted their growth early on in my pregnancy (6-8 weeks in).


Charla Sneed said...

Reema, Congratulations! As a new mom, I can only imagine the overwhelming amount of emotions you are going through. Your girls are absolute dolls and are lucky to have you as their mother! The story your mother in law wrote is amazing and so perfect. You all will be in our prayers!

Dhwipa Patel said...

Hi reema,

Your story is truly inspiring and encouraging and I am sure you will be an example of strength and courage to all of the women out there - this is a really touching story and I know your angels are super special and they are here to make a positive change in this universe... loads of love and best wishes for their health ...


Sameera Yusuf said...

Dearest Reema
With the arrival of your new angels, shall come immense blessings and love. May God bless your family with loads of fun and peaceful times.I'm sure you and Amit are going to be fantastic parents.


Lakshmy said...

Dearest Reema

Words fail to express what I want to say. But I will say this. Your angels have the best parents and grand parents and are truly blessed. May God bless you and your daughters.


Kishin Sainani said...

Hats off to the whole family for having handled it so bravely, God bless Aariya and Aashna. They will surely lead a normal life as God gives humanbeings tremendous capacity to adapt .

Kishin Sainani ( Manish's dad )

Dinesh Shah said...

Dear Reema, Amit and Pandya family,

I am really proud of you all very much and have no words to express my feelings. We are so very happy and thankful to the Divine to chose us for the two little angels as wrote by Varshaben. We will make sure that they fly high again. You are tower of our strength. I never knew that my children are so great. Love, Mom and Dad

Anshuman Shah said...

Dearest Reema,
Congratulations! I have no words to express what I want to say but hats off to you and all your family members for having handled it bravely and taking it so positively. May god bless you and your princesses.Lots of love and best wishes for you all.


Tara said...

What blessings they are - and beautiful ones at that. I am having a hard time finding the rght words to express my feelings for you - know that yall are in my prayers...and, that your girls are perfect in everyway. God Bless you guys. My very best...Tara

Kalika Ruparelia said...

Dearest Reema and Amit,

Varsha Aunty's story touches my heart! Your angels are precious and they do have the best parents and grandparents in the world!

A parents love is unconditional- we know that from experience so make the most of every moment!

Love Kalika and Amit

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Dear Reema and Amit

Our heartiest congratulations on the arrival of the two beautiful angels. We are so proud and happy for both of you. The two angels are so lucky to get two beautiful persons as their parents. Be their strength.

We thank the Divine for giving you both the two cutie pies and giving them you both.

God bless always

Love you

Nivedita aunty and Madhab uncle

Matt Madden said...

Reema and Amit,

I believe your daughters were given to you for a very express purpose. You are the parents that were meant to help these special spirits during their life here. I know that you are the parents these angels need and they are the children that you and Amit need. Thank you for sharing your news and letting us be part of the village that will help to raise them.


Matt Madden

Jignesh Parikh said...

Dear Reema & Amit

First Congratulations for 2 Little Angel. You have to Show extra Strength and Courage.............And you will have the power for the same from your inherrant Soul. Our Best Wishes for their Health and your power............ May God Fulfill all your Dreams now onwards......
JIgnesh & DIVYA

Reema - Amit said...

Thank you all for your words of strength. I really appreciate the support we have received over the last 4 weeks and know in my heart that these girls will do just fine with the love from you all.

Love Reema

Kavita said...

Hey Reema,

Hope u remember me, we were in ISB together....I just read about the arrival of your angels and saw their pics. They are beautiful and indeed very special....when I first read about what happened to them I had tears in my eyes but then I and Amit are very strong parents...I need to take inspiration from you....your story is wonderful, it is perfect.....congratulations....God bless!!

Kavita Patel Biyani

BD said...

Dear Reema and Amit, congrats on your babies. I just read your posts and then your MIL's story...tears in eyes. It's the best story ever and I think will keep your girls strong and your hearts full. The bond of sisters (and twins, at that!) is unbreakable. with love, Bella

RP said...

Bless you both and your beautiful girls. They are lucky to have wonderful parents like you.

Roxanne Barretto said...

Hi old friend,

You are so blessed to have two darling daughters. Enjoy every second with them - they're lucky to have an amazing mom like you.



Rathi Vijay said...

Hi Reema and Amit,
Your daughters are absolutely adorable. God works in mysterious ways and I am sure he planned to send his 2 favourite angels to you because he knew there could be no better people than you two to look after them.

flycmk said...

Your girls are beautiful! Similar to your story, I ended up having a c-section under general and woke up to find that my son was missing two fingers and the associated hand bones (an anomoly occurred around 6w). This was something that was missed on sonograms and was a bit of a shock! Coincidentally, I also have identical twins but they are almost 10 now and are great big brothers. Have fun with those precious girls!!