Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wonderful news!

I heard from the geneticist, and the amnio results came back normal. Little Miss does not have Down's or any other chromosomal problem! Praise the Lord!!

I'm hoping to hear from the OB as to what this means for the rest of the pregnancy, but for now we are doing our happy dances and singing praises. Thank you all so much for your prayers, we can't tell you what they mean to us!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The last week and a half have been just crazy; sorry for not updating before now.

Starting with baby stuff:
  • The results from her second ultrasound were wonderful: no soft markers at all and her heart looked great! This sonographer spent a lot of time looking at and taking pictures of her heart, so we are very, very grateful for that news. Surprisingly, we actually had a lot of fun with this ultrasound, as we got to spend nearly an hour and a half watching her flip around, wave at us, and just generally act like a little jumping bean. Maybe she will be able to keep up with her brother and they can tire each other out…
  • The meeting with the genetic counselor was very positive, as we got a number of questions answered. It seems the numbers from my blood work that really threw things off are the ones that have to do with the placenta and how hard it is having to work, and not the ones that are directly related to the baby. This doesn’t really change much as far as risk factors and all that sort of stuff, but it made Hubby and me feel better.
  • The amino Thursday was very strange, as you can see the needle in the ultrasound. It wasn't painful, but very nerve-wracking. I think I held my breath the entire time, and probably cut off all the circulation in Hubby's hands. Good thing he was done playing for the day.
  • We will have the results of the amino by the 21st. I’ll post as soon as we hear anything.
Other recent developments:

I got to spend part of Saturday afternoon at the vet with Jonah (the cat) where he was diagnosed with diabetes. I just looked at him and sighed. The short of it is the cat now requires special food, and we are trying a pill treatment that will probably not work at all, but will definitely not work long term. When it doesn’t, he will have to get twice daily injections of insulin. He is a great cat, but this is a bit much at this point in time (not to mention expensive), so Jonah is looking for a new home. If you are interested or know anyone who is let me know. I even have lots of handouts for you to read to aid you in your decision (I didn't know there was so much information on diabetic cats).

The biggest (and fun) news at the moment is that Hubby's mentor from our undergrad univerity was named Dean of Faculty on Monday, effective March 1. We had dinner with him and his wife a few weeks ago when Hubby gave a Master Class up there so we knew this might be coming, but it was still a surprise to truly realize the percussion position is now open. (Side note: we are very excited for him regardless of what this means for us. He is very excited about the position, and he will do a wonderful job.) There had been some mention of a possible one year interim appointment, but when Hubby talked to Dr. B last night we found out they are going to go ahead and start a national search.

In the meantime, there is a possibility they will call on Hubby to do some adjunct work to help cover the studio for the Spring semester (starts March 1; they move to a traditional semester system starting in August). That means he may be spending one night a week in Greenville and spending lots of time on the road while he teaches at three universities, but it will give him an opportunity to prove himself outside of just an interview and audition.

So now instead of obsessing over the job search in general, we will now obsess over this one job, and the possibility of the “dream job” and the “first job” being one and the same. We actually had a date last night, and basically spent our entire dinner dissecting all the possibilities, why Hubby would or wouldn’t be a good fit, the kinds of questions he might get asked in an interview, etc., etc. I’m sure this will continue for a while :0)

So we’ve kind of been on information overload the last 10 days (actually almost three weeks; seems like much, much longer). Thankfully, my Mama and I are running away for the weekend. The plan for Saturday is to sleep late, have a massage, eat lunch, take a nap, have a nice dinner, and then go to bed, with some reading and cross-stitch thrown in as the mood strikes. Sunday we may do some shopping, we may just spend most of the day in the hotel room, it depends on the weather and our mood. I can’t wait.

We appreciate all of your prayers, and ask that you continue to remember us as we deal with the craziness of the next couple of months. Hopefully things will start to settle down soon, before you get tired of my mega posts (if you’re not already) :0)

Monday, February 4, 2008

It's a....

First the fun stuff:

We went for Mess 1's two year check-up last Monday. He's 29 lbs 2 oz (60%), 35 inches tall (55%), and his head circumference is 50 cm (80%). Pretty consistent with all his other checkups.

He has reached all his milestones for development, and the doctor had a great time playing catch with him to check his motor skills. After he and the doctor had a long talk, during which he learned the words "pediatrician" and "stethoscope," the doctor declared him brilliant. The doctor then asked if we knew what a challenge that was going to be and told me that we are going to have our hands full.

Um, yeah, we'd kind of figured that out. I never expected to have to tell my two year old I don't know all the words to one of the songs he learned at daycare. He's up to 15 or so songs that he can sing completely by himself, and seems to know a new one each week. I'm already dreading his math classes ;0)

Oh, you thought this post was going to be about the baby?


Well, it is, mostly. We had our ultrasound on Friday and found out we are having a girl. We were so excited to hear that news!! Once again I guessed correctly, and her Daddy's face when he heard was priceless; I wish I had a picture of it! Here's her sweet profile:She measures dead on for her due date of June 21, which was good to hear. Other things that were good to hear: the umbilical cord has three veins, her hands were open and her fingers had all three bones, she doesn't seem to have a cleft palate, her nose bone was visible, the chambers of her heart were well developed, and the skin fold at her neck was a normal thickness.

Why was all this so good to hear? Here is the not so fun stuff of the last two weeks.

The day of Hubby's recital my quad screen came back abnormal; our risk for Down syndrome went from 1:500 (due to my age), to 1:29. This is very high; apparently from what the doctor said you move into the high risk category at 1:200. When all of the positive factors listed above were figured into the picture our risk factor moved to 1:48 which is much better but still high risk. The only negative thing they saw on the ultrasound was a possible area of calcification near her heart, but it was not definitive.

After a long talk with the OB last Friday (she must have spent at least 30-45 minutes with us), here is how things stand:
  1. We do not have a diagnosis. We have indicators that something might be wrong.
  2. Based on the ultrasound from Friday, even if the baby does have Down's there is the strong possibility it will be a mild case, with few or no other complications like heart problems.
  3. An amnio is the most conclusive way to diagnose Down's, one way or the other, until after birth. Because our risk factor is still so high, the doctor recommends we have it done, however it is completely our choice.
  4. We have decided to have the amnio, mainly because we feel this is the best way to plan for her care both before and after she is born if she does indeed have Down's.
  5. This may also be the best way to plan for care to get both of us to a healthy delivery. The doctor said, based on what she and others have seen in their practice, if the baby comes back negative for Down's the abnormal test result may have to do with me and some of my risk factors, specifically gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and preterm labor.

The next steps:

  1. We have an appointment for a level 2 ultrasound on Wednesday. That will be followed by genetic counseling and an amnio on Thursday.
  2. We will have preliminary results in 7 days, final results by the end of the month.
  3. We may have an additional level 2 ultrasound near the end of the month to look at her heart again, if necessary.
  4. My GD screen is March 6. (Since I flunked my first one last time the doctor gave me some tips to help avoid a false positive, for which I am very grateful. The second screen was miserable! Since they have to do four blood draws in three hours they can't afford to miss any of my veins, which means they dig until they get the stick. Ugh...)
  5. Assuming everything is fine with the baby and my GD screen is negative, everything will progress normally until 32 weeks (end of April). At that point I will start seeing the doctor twice a week so they can check my blood pressure and some other things. Basically, things will get "really intense," (a quote from the doctor) as they do everything they can to detect any problems as early as possible.

Writing this out has really helped me organize the ton of information we have been given (it's taken me three days to write this so it makes some sort of sense, or at least it now does to me), but I'm not really sure how to wrap this up. I guess by telling you how we are doing with all this.

First, we are very excited about our already much loved little girl and can't wait to meet her! We currently have the same hopes for her as we do for her big brother, and if those have to be modified a bit so be it. We will give her the best we can no matter what.

Second, we are so, so thankful that overall she looks healthy and that the test results did not indicate anything worse; while not our desire, Down's is minor compared to some of the other results we could have been given. Also, that we are being given such great care by our physicians and their staff. The doctor who gave me the news balanced information with compassion very well, and the poor OB nurse has talked to me so many times in the last week I think she recognizes my voice without me giving her my name. She even pulled some strings to get our appointments moved up from the 26th to this week. All the specialists we need to see are here in town, which is also wonderful news.

Third, we are thankful to have all of this information. We had this test done when I was pregnant with Mess 1 and it was reassuring to get the results. While the results were not what we wanted to hear this time, they will allow baby and me to get the care we need for a healthy delivery and, if necessary, Hubby and I can have a support system in place to give our baby girl the best and earliest care we can when she is born.

So, we ask for your prayers. Waiting the week between the news and the ultrasound was very stressful, and I know the next three will also be hard, especially since patience is not one of my virtues. Also, this is now a high risk pregnancy, so we will be a little on edge until she is here even if the test results show everything is normal.

I'm sorry this is so long, and for sharing in this manner, but this seemed the best way to organize the information. Also, I know that I'll have more to tell as we travel this road, so documenting the beginning seemed to be a good idea.

Besides, I am planning to share the wonderful news that she is fine at the end of the month, and it will be so much more fun if you understand why, right?

(PS: stop crying Mama, we will all be alright, and yes I know even though I'm not supposed too. As Hubby says: "Apple - Tree" as he holds his fingers about 1/4 inch apart.)