Blackfoot couple expecting conjoined twins
BLACKFOOT — It takes a lot of love and courage to move away from family toward an uncertain future to give two people you have yet to meet a fighting chance at life. Luckily, Chelsea and Nick Torres have a lot of love and courage.
The Blackfoot couple is expecting conjoined twins, according to the Idaho State Journal. They are preparing to move to Houston, Texas, next month so their daughters can be delivered at a hospital with some recent experience working with conjoined twins.
“I’m extremely nervous and scared about moving to a bigger city with a completely different climate,” Chelsea said, adding that she doesn’t really know anybody there either.
Nick is also nervous about the move, but the young couple is willing to go for the sake of their unborn daughters, whom they’re excited to meet one day.
They learned that they were having conjoined twins when Chelsea was just eight weeks along.
“I sat there in shock,” Chelsea said, adding that the reality of the situation didn’t really hit her until about three weeks later.
One doctor said the babies only had a 20 to 30 percent chance of surviving, while another gave them better odds but also warned that there was a high probability they wouldn’t make it to full term.
The couple was given the option to terminate the pregnancy early on.
“When we got home, it hit like bricks. We thought about it. We left it open for three days,” Chelsea said, adding that she cried that whole time.
But in the end, they never really could consider that option, she said.
Even now, Chelsea, who is 16 weeks along, isn’t sure her girls, whom she calls Callie and Carter, are going to survive. But she wants to give them every chance she can as they continue to fight the odds against them.
The girls are believed to be joined at the chest, in the stomach area and possibly around the pelvic area, and they may share the lower part of their spine, but doctors believe they have two hearts and stomachs, Chelsea said.
She hopes her girls have all of their legs and that she won’t have to make any tough decisions about who gets what or, worse, who gets to live. It’s a harsh reality she faces.
“I don’t want them to hate me if they’re stuck in a wheelchair their whole life. That’s my biggest concern,” she said. “I hope they make it to term and that they fight on the outside as much as they have been on the inside.”
Chelsea hopes they will be able to learn more about what their girls are facing when they move to Texas and have access to better images.
She’s been in touch with other parents who have had conjoined twins and has drawn some comfort and support from their experiences. And she’s started a Facebook page, “Beating the Odds with Callie and Carter,” to share her story.
“A lot of people are telling me that I’m doing good and that they’re glad I didn’t terminate,” Chelsea said, adding that she’s heard from people throughout the world.
As they look to the future, the Torres’ are preparing for their move and trying to figure out how to deal with the expenses they’re likely to accrue in the months ahead. The twins could be in the hospital for a year or more after their birth.
“It’s a longterm thing,” Chelsea said.
Before she became pregnant, Chelsea was taking 16 credit hours in college and Nick was working part-time while they took turns caring for their 3-year-old son. Now Chelsea can’t work because of the risky pregnancy. A GoFundMe campaign, www.gofundme.com/2xh72t8k, has been set up to help the couple. As of Wednesday evening, $986 of the $30,000 goal had been raised.
Two fundraisers have also been planned.
There will be a yard sale Sept. 17 at 5292 East Hansen Ave. in Iona at 8 a.m., and there will be a potato bar and silent auction at Mountain View Middle School in Blackfoot from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1.
This story originally appeared in the Idaho State Journal. It is posted here with permission.