prayer request for little girl ritchie.

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Hi friends! I am coming to you this afternoon with a prayer request for our little girl twin. I believe so strongly in the power of prayer and know that even just one small prayer from each of you would make major ripples in heaven.

At our 20 week ultrasound, we learned that our little girl had a velamentous cord insertion, which happens in about 3-5% of pregnancies. What this means is that instead of her umbilical cord inserting into the middle of the placenta as it develops, it is inserted into the fetal membranes. Typically this is something they just monitor more closely, as it can result in a smaller baby, but rarely causes issues. She said we are more likely to run into an issue due to the fact that we are having twins versus a complication from this condition.

Well, on Friday we learned that our little girl is one of the few that is having a complication as a result of this misplaced cord insertion. She has always been on the smaller size and that has been something they have been closely monitoring. Her brother typically has been in the 40-50th percentile, while she started in the 20’s, then dropped to the teens, and then as of Friday, is now only at the 5th percentile. (The 5th percentile means that only 5% of the babies in this gestational age are smaller than her and 95% are larger.) She is measuring that closer of a 25 week baby than a 27 week baby, weighing only 1 lb. 14 oz. and desperately needs to start gaining weight. Right now her placenta isn’t providing her the nutrients and oxygen that she needs to keep up with growth and development and that obviously isn’t something we want to hear!

We need your prayers for our little girl. She simply just needs to have a growth spurt to bring her above the 5th percentile. As a result of being so small, she was diagnosed with “intrauterine growth restriction” (IUGR). (If she drops even a percentile, she then becomes diagnosed with “severe intrauterine growth restriction” aka SIUGR, which becomes pretty risky and compliated.) There are a handful of risks with IUGR that come with this, including  early delivery, underdevelopment of her internal organs, and increased risk for motor and neurological disabilities. I won’t go into many risks because we believe that our little girl is being created perfect in Her Father’s image. But there are so many unknowns that make this set of parents feel a bit out of control.

We are incredibly grateful we have been monitored so much, and that this was caught relatively early. We are going to begin weekly BPP/NST testing, likely moving to twice a week testing, and regular growth monitoring. They will be working to determine if her small size is causing stress to her. The BPP (biophysical profile) is a test that uses an ultrasound to evaluate her well-being for a set amount of time, and the NST (non-stress test) will be a second test that watched her heart rate for increases with fetal movements. I will start these two tests weekly beginning this Thursday and we have been told they take about 2 hours for twins.

We need your prayers that she passes both of these tests each week. If she passes, that signifies she is still remaining healthy and getting enough of what she needs to continue growth. If she fails, mama heads to the hospital. We will likely begin steroids soon to strength their lungs in case we need to deliver early. A goal with a baby with IUGR is to make it to 34 weeks, anything past that is wonderful.

Now for those wondering, there is nothing that I can do differently to help her – which is so hard! It really is just her placenta causing the problem, but we are able to pray to our God who is much bigger than a placenta or umbilical cord! We KNOW that He can provide her with the nourishment and oxygen that she needs to flourish!

If you are wondering about her brother, he is doing great! He is measuring accurately to his week gestation and weight. He dropped a bit in his percentile this last appointment to the 35th percentile too, so we are praying that he continues to develop well. They typically wouldn’t be monitoring him as closely as our little girl will be, but because they are twins and we are in for the tests each week anyways, they will run him through the same set. It will be nice to check in and make sure he is continuing to flourish.

Our next set of appointment dates are as follows, just in case you want to plug them in your calendar to be praying:

Thursday, March 23 – BBP and NST

Friday, March 31 – BBP and NST

Thursday, April 6 – Growth Scan, BBP and NST

(I will update more dates as we know more – right now we have weekly’s scheduled out through May, unsure when and if it will transition to bi-weekly’s.)

This means they are going to be making sure she isn’t under stress the next two weeks, but we won’t check in again on her percentile until April 6th. The high risk doctor wants to give her a chance for a growth spurt – which means more time for us to be praying for her!

I want to keep this all in perspective – we are expecting a beautiful little girl (and boy!). Her heart is beating, she is continuing to develop, even if it’s slowly, and there are no other health concerns with her. These are wonderful things to rejoice over! No, delivering her at 27, 28, 29 weeks wouldn’t be optimal, but we are being blessed with the family we have been praying for – this is a small road bump in this journey, and one that we know He is walking with us on.

Thank you in advance for your prayers. I would be lying if I didn’t say that there are moments when worrying starts to get the best of us, but as we keep repeating, there’s nothing we can do but trust God and continue to pray for her growth. Two verses that have been in my head and heart are Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” and Psalm 9:10 “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.” We know that He is walking with us, and again, we are celebrating and rejoicing over 2 healthy 27 week + 5 day babies! Sure, they may be a little tiny, but after all we have been through, we can handle tiny with Him by our side!

Thank you friends for lifting up our babies in prayer – it means more than we could ever express.

With love,

Josh, Chelsea, and big sis Cali (bow-wow!)