"How many souls were there at conception if there was only one baby but God knew all along it would divided into two?" I love how this kid's brain works. This has caused some real thinking in our house over the past few weeks. Each kiddo has kind of reached their own educated guess, and I even told Pickle in a moment of frustration that he just needed to ask God when he prayed because I was not smart enough to figure it out.
OK back to the Wednesday's Doctors appointment and mom. Like I said the babies are in great shape it is mom who isn't. It started as every appointment does, the weigh in. I have been very careful diet wise and have been drinking lots of water to help with fluid gain. I really thought I was doing every thing right. It had been 16 days since my last weigh in and I had gained 15 pounds. This set me off. I knew that it was a bad sign. Lots of weight gain in a short amount of time. Then my blood pressure was taken and it was very high. Now I was a wreck.
The ultrasound began and the babies were checked. They were fine, like I said which was good news. So now J and I had a short wait until the doctor came in to discuss the newest changes.
What is going on with mom? How can the babies be so good and mom be so bad. Pre eclampsia is somewhat expected or at least I was being monitored for it because of having twins. It can develop into having deadly results but can be somewhat managed to give babies a chance to grow as much as possible. So I was immediately given the first of two steroid shots. These shots are for the babies. They are given to jump start and push the development of the lungs.
The only cure for Pre eclampsia is delivery. So we have to hold mom off long enough for it to be safest for babies. I was put on bed rest from here on. That will help with blood pressure and edema. The swelling is normal but the excess weight I gained was extra fluid in legs and feet, and so much of it will not help with the blood pressure. We need to keep mom rested so that the fluid doesn't continue to build up.
I went back in the next day for the second shot for the babies. They need about 48 hours for those to be helpful. I also began a 24 hour test to check for protein over flow in the urine, I think they are also checking liver and kidneys, but that is all beyond me. The doctors will tell me if I need to be worried. Blood was drawn when that was turned in this morning.
I am now on a weekend of bed rest with a doctors appointment on Monday. We will then see if my blood pressure is down and what my other tests revealed. I am hopeful that we can take it easy and give these babies a little more time to grow. I on the lookout for signs of labor, any crazy pains need to be reported. I am told that I am lucky that I am at home, if my blood pressure was much higher then I would probably be in the hospital. So I will make the most of the bed/couch this weekend and try not to go crazy sitting still. Be warned it could mean lots of blog time.
So we are sitting here at Week 31.5 headed back to bed. For your own enjoyment read the Catholic Answers response to question just like Pickle's question.
Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 3, 2004
Re: When do identical twins get their souls?
As an identical twin myself, this question has always intrigued me. To the best of my knowledge, the Church takes no official position on this matter. Catholics are free to explore different theories.
We know that human life begins at conception. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) states, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception” (CCC 2270, emphasis added). In the case of identical twins, as in the case of singletons, conception (fertilization) occurs only once therefore, each twin’s soul must exist at their shared conception.
We also know that, for some time after fertilization, embryos have the ability to generate all the cells and tissues of more than one person. In his presentation concerning cloning, Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, states, “The totipotentiality of a cell consists in its ability to generate all the cells and tissues of a complete organism, including (if satisfactory circumstances exist) the development of an individual. In the human, each embryonic cell remains totipotent for a few days after fertilization. Homozygous germination (the phenomenon of identical twins) is the result of an incidental embryonic fission of the totipotent cells that make up the embryo in the first stages of its development” (footnote 8).
Science is presently unable to explain why “embryonic fission” (the division of an embryo resulting in identical twin embryos) occurs. It is important to consider both the cause itself as well as the timing of the cause. My identical twin brother, Jeff, and I propose the following theories:
1. At- or Pre-conception Factors: One or Two Souls May Exist at ConceptionDue to presently unknown genetic or environmental factors existing prior to or at conception, the zygote (fertilized egg) is destined for embryonic fission. Therefore, when conception occurs, one of two things happens: (a) two souls exist within a single zygote, one for each embryo at embryonic fission; or (b) one soul exists, destined for “soul fission” (the division of a soul resulting in identical twin souls) - a new soul cannot come into play, as each embryo’s soul must have existed since conception, and each was conceived only once and at the same time.
2. Post-conception Factors: One Soul Exists at ConceptionIn this case the zygote is no different at conception than that of a singleton’s zygote because factors causing embryonic fission do not yet exist. Therefore, only one soul must exist. Later, presently unknown environmental factors cause embryonic fission and, as with theory 1(b) above, soul fission must occur.
In these first two theories, presently unknown genetic or environmental factors are the cause of embryonic fission. Whether these factors occur (1) prior to or at conception or (2) after conception is important. If they occur prior to or at conception then the zygote is destined for embryonic fission from the start so it is possible that either one or two souls exist at conception. On the other hand, if factors causing embryonic fission do not exist until after conception then the zygote is no different at conception than that of a normal singleton zygote so only one soul, later becoming two, must exist.
In our third theory, embryonic fission relies on neither genetic nor environmental factors but, rather, divine intervention.
3. Supernatural Factors: One or Two Souls May Exist at ConceptionFor reasons unknown, one of two things happens: (a) one soul exists at conception but divine intervention later causes soul fission to occur which, in turn, causes embryonic fission; or (b) divine intervention at conception causes two souls to exist within one zygote and the very existence of two souls causes embryonic fission. In either case, identical twins are a miracle.I love that Catholic Answers has tried to tackle this thought as well.
I know many of you are praying hard for us. I just wanted to say thank you. The whole family feels the prayers. We will have a crazy weekend while we wait for Goobers and Sugar to get back so we can work of having us some babies. Actually I am hoping that we can hold things off until after next weekend (fun baby showers). The good news is that the Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome has not effected us as of yet. Thank you God. Now let us get mom as healthy until birth. I would selfishly like to pray for a natural delivery but it might be impossible with the high blood pressure. I am just thankful that the babies are doing so well.