couple from Guadalupe believe unborn Siamese twins were sent for a purpose | Health, medicine and fitness
Like most couples, residents of Guadalupe Francisco and Natalie Romero were overjoyed to learn that they were expecting their second child, and the initial ultrasounds showed that all was well with the developing fetus, its strong and steady heartbeat.
Natalie, 32, who was studying to be a nurse, even put together a simple but cute baby announcement photograph that, as she wrote on her blog, “symbolizes all of our hopes and dreams for the future: a healthy full term baby girl. . “
Then, the day after Valentine’s Day, came the sonogram that shattered all those dreams. His doctor saw two heads, but the twins were Siamese.
Twelve days later, a trio of UCLA medics confirmed the girls were joined from chest to throat, and as the days passed each exam and test brought more bad news.
The girls shared a heart, and it had holes, an undersized ventricle, and irregular connections to the circulatory system. They cannot be separated. They are not viable candidates for a heart transplant. And we don’t expect them to survive.
“We were completely sad,” said Francisco, 38, adding it was “as bad as it could be.… I just didn’t believe it. There was a lot of rejection.”
Doctors told them they could terminate the pregnancy, but it was something neither of them considered.
“I could feel them moving,” Natalie said. “So (the termination) didn’t feel right. It wasn’t even an option.
At first, they kept the details of the pregnancy primarily for themselves and their families.
“It took us a while,” Francisco said. “At first it was a very private thing.”
Natalie added, “I didn’t want to talk about it at all.”
“We finally came to terms with that,” Francisco continued. “We thought we could help other people who are going through the same thing. “
Natalie started writing about their experiences and their unborn daughters, Willow and Evangelene, on her blog titled “Two Souls, One Heart,” and now they are sharing their story publicly in hopes of helping others who are waiting. twins or Siamese babies with other medical care. problems.
“At first we thought we didn’t really have a lot of information,” Francisco said.
But they found a blog from a woman reflecting on the Siamese twins she had had eight years earlier, and they were referred to a Facebook page for couples expecting Siamese twins where they shared their emotions and found some love. support.
“As we learned more about it, we saw that it could be a blessing in disguise, to a point. It brought us closer together. We have discovered a lot about ourselves.
Natalie’s due date was originally July 2, but the twins always arrive early, and their doctors are hoping the Romeros twins will arrive at 32 or 34 weeks for Natalie’s health and longest survival of the twins.
All of their doctors told them that the twins could die before or during childbirth or soon after, but that they would not leave the hospital.
Still, they found a silver lining when a cardiologist discovered the twins’ hearts were strong, becoming the first doctor to ask if the Romeros had considered bringing them home.
Natalie and Francisco don’t know how long Willow and Evangelene will live.
“It could be days, it could be weeks, it could be months,” Francisco said.
Natalie added, “Even if it’s a day or a few hours, it’s worth it.”
They also don’t know how they’re going to explain things to their 3.5-year-old daughter, Harmony.
“We take it one day at a time,” Francisco said.
But they want other parents facing the birth of Siamese twins or babies with other issues to know they can find support.
“We want people to know there is hope,” Francisco said. “There is a goal. It changed us. We have a lot more support for each other. Whatever (the twins) were sent here to do, that is their mission, and they accomplished it.