Hi everyone! Well, if you haven’t checked out the different pages here on Two Boys One Pup, please do! You will learn a little about each of us there. If you’re wondering why I decided to start this blog, I am too. It’s not that I have anything particularly important to say, however, I now have a platform for sharing things with family and friends.
Speaking of sharing, we do have some news for (some of) you. After moving from Kansas to Germany last summer, we are now back in the good ole United States. Why? Well, let’s talk about the twins for a second (or way longer than a second)…
A few days after Hudson and Hunter were born (literally, just a few days), we found out that Hudson has something called septo-optic dysplasia (SOD). The doctors found this by chance, after conducting a brain scan on both boys. The scan was done just to make sure that the forceps that were used on Hunter during delivery did not cause him any harm. Since both babies were in the NICU after birth, they figured that there would be no harm in scanning both. This is when they found that Hudson’s was not showing a clear division between the left and right hemispheres of his brain. After consulting with colleagues, the doctor thought it would be a good idea to do some more scans and evaluations, just to be sure of his condition. Unfortunately, the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany did not have the proper equipment to further examine him.
In order to get Hudson the attention he needed, he would have to be transferred to another medical facility. This happened to be Walter Reed Medical Center in Maryland. Because both boys were still receiving some assistance in their incubators, they would need to be medically evacuated to the United States. We were manifested on a flight within the following two days, along with both boys. Although Hunter did not need the same medical attention, it was still too early for him to leave the NICU, so thankfully, he was able to keep his brother company for the entire journey. If you’re curious as to what two “travel” incubators look like on a C-17, take a look:
The boys did fantastic on the flight, thanks to a fantastic team of NICU nurses, who we will forever be thankful for. They ensured that the boys were safe and comfortable from point A to point B. We couldn’t have asked for a better team to travel with.
After our arrival at the Walter Reed NICU, they began scheduling scans and visits for Hudson. This ended up being a somewhat long process, but to make a long story short, the tests confirmed that he indeed has septo-optic dysplasia, but thankfully just a mild form of it. The division of his brain did not develop completely and his optic nerve is underdeveloped. What this means for his future is that he may never feel any impacts from SOD, or that he may experience a little bit of impact, but not too much. Although pediatric ophthalmology, endocrinology, and neurology were all able to evaluate him, they could not give clear answers. Because of this, they’ve all asked that he be taken for follow up appointments a few times a year. As they watch him grow and as he learns to communicate, we will learn more.
Because of these follow ups, we were told we would need to relocate back to the United States. As I mentioned before, the hospital in Germany couldn’t quite accommodate Hudson’s needs, so we would need to live closer to a children’s hospital. This would not only be for follow ups, but just in case he has any unforeseen complications or issues, such as seizures, or needs a bit of occupational or physical therapy. The paper-work portion of the moving process actually started while the twins were still in the NICU at Walter Reed. Once they were discharged in March, we were able to return to Germany to pack our things and find out where we would be moving next.
Fast forward to today and we are now living near Chicago, Illinois. As of right now, Hudson is doing fantastic. He doesn’t seem to be falling behind developmentally and is even ahead of his brother in some areas (he’s a strong little guy!). For two premature babies, they’ve caught up on their physical growth quite well. If we hadn’t told you all of this information, you wouldn’t suspect anything to be wrong, right?
If anyone is wondering why we didn’t share all of this information along the way, it is simply because we had to wait so long for answers, and still don’t have some of them. For a few weeks, the doctors were not positive concerning what was going on, so we didn’t want to mention anything. There didn’t seem to be a point in worrying anyone, or bringing up a topic that we had no answers for at the time. The situation was a little stressful for us and everything was happening almost too quickly for us to digest. There are many details that have been left out of this post (which is already too long).
To wrap this up, thank you to everyone who has shown us support throughout my pregnancy and since Hudson and Hunter were born. It has been a wild ride and if it weren’t for having a fighter for a husband and solid family and friends, we probably would not have had the opportunity to stick together as a family throughout the chaos. Here are a few photos of NICU time and the boys’ first time out in Washington, D.C…