Friday, March 11, 2011

Two Tiny Miracles

That turned into mighty miracles.

I wanted to share the story of my brother and sister-in-law, Ryan and Sarah because it was, and continues to be an amazing and miraculous story. It was a faith-building experience for our family as a whole and I'm amazed at both Sarah and Ryan for their strength and testimonies and obvious faith. Ryan is Andy's brother. He and Sarah were married last May (you can find that post HERE). Sarah was (and still is) an incredible vollyball player with a full ride scholarship at the University of Utah. Ryan was a full-time student and full time employee. You can imagine that they were not planning on starting a family for at least a few years. But, as fate would have it, after only a few months of marital bliss, they found out that Sarah was expecting. A few weeks after that, they found out there was not only one little bundle of joy coming to them, but TWO! Two identical twins. It was quit a surprise, but of course, Ry and Sarah were thrilled.

Several weeks into the pregnancy, there were some complications. Sarah started bleeding very heavily and it wouldn't stop. After an ultrasound in the emergency room, 2 little heartbeats were found. The doctors were worried about Sarah and told her that if the bleeding wouldn't stop, it may not be safe to continue with the pregnancy. She was given a priesthood blessing. What an amazing thing, the priesthood. The bleeding came under control and the pregnancy continued.

A few weeks later, another complication arose. Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. If nothing was done about it, the babies had a mere 5% chance of survival. They made the decision to travel to California to have the surgery performed that would hopefully save their babies lives. Their situation was especially precarious as they had several factors working against them. The surgery was a miraculous success! The next 24 hours after surgery are crucial. If both babies had heartbeats after that, their chance of survival was greatly increased. They did, and it was :)

Sarah was on strict bedrest until week 29 when her doctor told her that everything was looking so good that she could come off of bedrest. Sarah was ecstatic, as I'm sure all of you bedrest mama's can imagine!

About a week later, Sarah's water broke at 30 weeks. In the hospital, she was given steriod shots to help the babies lungs develop. She had a 48 hour window they wanted her to get through to receive more steriod shots for the babies lungs to fully develop. She was also given antibiotics to help prevent infection. The doctors goal was to get her to 34 weeks and then they would get those babies outta there!

Those 2 little boys had other plans. Sarah went into labor after only 4 days in the hospital and they decided against stopping the labor and did an emergency c-section. Sweet little Weston Glenn was born first at 4 lbs. 4.5 oz. and 18 inches long. Precious Carter Ryan was born a mere 2 minutes later at 2 lbs. 9.5 oz. and 15.5 inches long. Everything went as well as can be and mama, daddy and babies were happy and healthy! Darling Weston and Ryan

The proud parents and Weston

But again, another challenge came their way. Weston started having bacteria show-up in his blood. They found that he had the beginning stages of necrotizing enterocolitis. Again, the priesthood was used to administer to these innocent baby boys. Weston was transported up to Primary Children's where a doctor decided to perform surgery to see how bad it was. They ended up removing 75% of Weston's small intestine. He had a mere 27 cm left and was only a few centimeters away from being taken off of life support. They had found e-coli in his blood which is what likely started the whole chain of events. Long story short(er), he will have a PICC line for a few years before his intestines grow and develop enough for him to receive enough nutrients from eating regular food. It really was a miracle that this little baby survived. All the while, Carter was still doing amazing and had no signs of infection. Hooray :)

Weston after surgery with 2 holes in his abdomen.
Both sides of Ryan and Sarah's families had a special fast for the boys. They are doing remarkebly well. The goal for Carter is to have him gain, gain, gain weight. He is exclusively on breastmilk now, which is terrific. Weston is doing so well also. There is no sign of infection, he is slowly being weaned off the ventilator (in fact, he may be off it by now), he hasn't needed any more blood products, his jaundice is under control, and the only slight worry is a level 2 brain bleed which should correct itself. They have also started him on a teeny, tiny, amount of breastmilk. It's incredible what he has overcome.

Cute mama Sarah and itty-bitty Carter

Sweet baby Carter

Andy was lucky enough to visit Utah last week and got to see Carter and hold the precious little man. I was green with envy :)

Of course, every baby that comes to earth is incredibly special and an amazing miracle. But when it is your own family, your own flesh and blood, it's different. Your love and will for those babies who have conquered incredible obstacles, each and every one placed in front of them, is intensified and stronger than ever and it is that much more joyous when they succeed. I know these babies are here for a reason and I know Ryan and Sarah were meant to be their parents. These things are not left up to chance. I have a testimony of it, and I know it is true.
Congrats on Weston and Carter, Ryan and Sarah. I love them to pieces already and I cannot wait to meet those cute little stinkers :)


Tara and David said...

Sweet little things. I remember when my nephew was born at 28.5 weeks at 2 lbs 8 oz. Such a little miracle they are when they are that tiny. Glad to hear that they are doing so well.

Amber Kei said...

Yeah, I would be a little jealous, too. I am amazed at how Sarah & Ryan seem to be handling things. I cannot believe how grown up Ryan is. He's awesome. And Sarah - she must be going through so much inside, but she is just as amazing. Thanks for writing it all down. I knew the story, but I know you'll be a huge help in keeping me updated! :)

Emily said...

This sounds like it must have been a true test of faith for this family. I have tears in my eyes as I read this. What sweet little boys they are! They must have amazing parents with faith as strong as an iron rod. What a blessing to witness this miracle!

Sarah said...

Sarah, thanks for writing all that! I can't wait for you to meet them too :) Oh and I really like that picture Andy took of Carter.

Melanie said...

Wow. I have goosebumps! What an amazing blessing. Thanks for sharing!