Thursday, February 26, 2009

Notes on a Pregnancy

I have finally made the decision to commit myself to a blog. I figured I would start with some notes from the last 33 weeks. The last 33 weeks have been filled with emotions. Lee and I made the decision the last week in April 2008 that we wanted to begin our family. August 1, 2008 - we found out that our wish had come true - I was pregnant! It was such a rush of emotion to see those little lines show up on the test. My heart was about to come out of my chest when I finally realized that I was indeed pregnant. I think Lee was in shock when I said those little words "I'm pregnant." The first few weeks were spent adjusting to the fact that I couldn't stay awake past 6:00pm and the thought of grilled chicken and vegetables made me sick. On September 25, 2008, Lee and I went in for a ultrasound. During the ultrasound, the doctor noticed that the baby's neck looked "thick." He immediately sent us for a second opinion. Lee couldn't go with me to the other doctor appointment - so my mom went with me. During the second opinion, the ultrasound tech did the ultrasound and then sent us to a room to wait for a genetic counselor. The genetic counselor came in and confirmed our fears - the baby did indeed have a "thick" neck which is a marker for Trisomy 18, 13 and Downs Syndrome. The shock was astounding. My mom and I sat there not knowing what to say as the genetic counselor ran through the gamut of " you are in the 97% for a baby with a genetic disorder" to "what are your plans going to be - are you going to keep the baby?" What?!! Of course we were going to keep the baby! This child - no matter what - is a gift from God! They drew some blood and mom and I went home emotionally drained from hearing such devastating news. October 10, 2008, Lee and I were in Connecticut for his wonderful cousin's wedding. We received a phone call from our doctor with the results of the blood work. The blood work put us at a 1 in 22 chance of having a baby with a genetic disorder. I was expecting 1 in 5 the way the genetic counselor had spoken - so I was thrilled with 1 in 22. Based on those numbers - Lee and I decided to go ahead and have an amnio done. I had the amnio done on October 23, 2008 - the day our precious nephew was born. It was the biggest needle I have ever seen - but the procedure was over in just a few seconds. Lee was such a trooper and actually watched the entire thing! I couldn't - I watched on the monitor as the needle came within inches of our little one. It was quite a scene to watch. We received the results of the amnio on November 6, 2008. The doctor walked in the room and announced that chromosomes 13, 18 and 21 all looked normal! He also announced that we were having a little girl!!! I started to cry - Lee was just beaming! It was such a wonderful day! Our doctor decided to send us for a Level II ultrasound - just for peace of mind after enduring the last few months of testing and being put through the ringer. We went for the Level II ultrasound on December 2, 2008. It was during this ultrasound that the doctor noticed something wrong with our little one's heart. He set up an appointment with a cardiologist at Texas Children's for December 16, 2008. I wasn't sure what to expect during the appointment with the cardiologist. He sat there and looked at the heart on the ultrasound for a solid hour. The whole time I was wondering what in the world he was seeing. After the ultrasound, he brought us into his office and showed us a picture of a "normal" heart. He then pulled out another picture and began drawing on it and said "and this is your baby's heart." She was diagnosed with Congenital Heart Disease - specifically a disease called Tetralogy of Fallot. I was absolutely torn. Lee stayed strong and was able to actually listen to what the doctor was saying - I don't remember a thing. It is such a shock to hear that you don't have a healthy baby! We left the cardiologist and began to digest everything we had just been told. The great news is that Tetraology of Fallot is fixable! We also learned that the thick neck that that had been noticed in September is also a marker for Congenital Heart Disease. And now here we are - about a month out from delivery and anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little one. She is going to be perfect for us! God has created her exactly as he wants her and we are so thrilled she is about to join us. We went on a tour of Texas Children's and were able to see where she will be staying when she is born. There are a lot of " what ifs" surrounding her birth. We just have to wait and see what she is like when she is born to see how serious the situation is. Right now it appears that her pulmonary valve is almost completely restricted. That is based off of an ultrasound - the doctor's will know more once she is born. Lee and I feel so blessed that we have been able to mentally prepare ourselves for the trials and tribulations that are in the days to come. Through all of this, our faith has led us down a path I never would have never thought we would be traveling at such a young age. It has been absolutely "freeing" to know that we are not in control and the Lord will provide for us and protect us! I have found absolute comfort in Romans 12:11-12 "Never be lacking in zeal but keep your spiritual fervor serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Full Belly Movement

Our little lady is getting bigger! She is like a whirlwind - I was able to catch a few seconds with the camera... video