Sunday, April 18, 2010

How much longer?

So a common question that I'm getting now a days is "How much longer do you have?"  Although this seems like a straight forward question and maybe people just want the short answer (10 weeks), for us it is a much more complicated one.

Our cordocentesis will be the first week of May and the results of this test will really effect when baby Asher makes his appearance.  Here are the possibilities:
  • There is a small chance that the baby will come that day.  This is NOT what we are hoping for.  If this happens it means that there was a complication during the procedure and Asher would probably have to go to the NICU for a while until his lungs developed fully.
  • If his platelets are "normal" we will continue the weekly IVIG treatments and as long as we don't detect any brain hemorrhages through the ultrasound they will let him "bake" until 39 weeks or so (June 18; 9 weeks away).
  • If his platelets are low the doctors will start me on steroids (so that his lungs develop as quickly as possible), up my dosage of IVIG and we will begin the discussion of when to go in and get him.  An amniocentesis might be done to track the development of his lungs and as soon as they think he is ready they will probably deliver him to protect him from having a brain bleed.
So the first week of May will really give us a better look into the future!  In the meantime we have gotten down all of the baby stuff from the attic and I am in the midst of washing it all and re-arranging Ethan and Asher's room so that two boys worth of clothing can fit in one bedroom :)  Ethan was super excited to see all of the "new" toys and wanted to play with all of them on Saturday.  It was so funny how enthused he was with them all.  One of them is now on the top bunk in his room and he has talked about it every night and afternoon that he goes to sleep.  "That is for baby Asher?"  "He will play with it when he is born?"  It's hard to explain to a 2.5 year old that babies are born not doing much....

The other thing that Snooks can't stop talking about is our "Day Out with Thomas" that we are attending on Friday.  Our train ride is scheduled for noon and there are suppose to be a ton of activities before then to keep us busy.  The tour is coming to Chattanooga so Ethan and I have a drive ahead of us, but hopefully he will sleep on the way back.  We even made a countdown of how many times he has to go to preschool before he can go to see Thomas (time is a tricky thing to explain to a toddler).  I'm sure I'll take a ton of pictures and I'll be sure to post them next weekend.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Busy, busy, busy!

Our typical week:
  • Monday Ethan and I meet with some ladies (and their kiddos) from our Sunday school class for a bible study in the morning and then we come back home for lunch and his usual 2pm nap.
  • On Tuesday and Thursday Ethan goes to preschool and I try to schedule my doctors appointments on these days.  His class lays down for nap daily but since Ethan won't sleep and only "rests" during this time I try to pick him up at 12:30 instead of 2.  This way he comes home and takes his normal 2-2.5 hour nap.
  • Wednesday Ethan and I go to BSF.  Ethan loves his class and his teachers Mrs. Long and Mrs. Cartwright.  I love the intense study and discussion that BSF provides.  This year we have gone through the Gospel of John and 1 John, next year we will work through Isaiah.  Asher will be able to come with me to discussion as long as he is "immobile".
  • Friday is a day that Ethan and I have to be together.  We can run errands, go grocery shopping, or like tomorrow we can go the library and then meet friends for lunch.
  • In addition to this regularly scheduled programming I have weekly 4 hour infusions that usually take place in the evening. 
With all that being said last week was particularly different because in addition to it being Spring Break (where all of the above events were canceled), my dad was in town for a while and Philip took off Wednesday afternoon through Friday.   This Spring Break was especially glorious because we have had a miserable dreary wet winter and this week was the first week of bright sunny warm weather.  We took the opportunity early in the week to go with friends to Fort Kid.

Since the weather was so beautiful, on Thursday (and since Philip took the day off) we took a family field trip to the UT arboretum.  We told Ethan we were going to a park and he kept asking where all the kids were.  On the way out I was trying to explain to him that this was a special kind of park for trees called an arboretum.  After trying to pronounce arboretum several times as we were leaving he finally said, "That's a really hard word to say, Mommy."

On Friday we went on our second ever family camping trip (here is the post from the first).  This year we took Ethan to Frozenhead State Park.  This park is just north of Oak Ridge.  There was a stream about .25 mile from our campsite and Philip and Ethan had so much fun hiking to it that they did it twice on the first day.  Ethan just loves throwing rocks into the stream.  On Saturday morning I joined them for the hike and Philip and I had a chance to play with some settings on my camera.  After packing up the campsite and eating breakfast on Saturday morning we went on a hike to Debord falls.  There we saw so many wildflowers that were just coming up and I had fun taking pictures of them.  The falls were really pretty and I felt like a professional after I took this shot:

On Easter Sunday we hosted some friends (who might as well be family) for lunch and then Ethan and I had fun dying and hunting for eggs.  For some reason blogger is no longer accepting videos so you'll have to watch our Easter morning video here.

On Sunday night Philip got to give Ethan a hair cut that matches his own.  Here's the before video, and the after!

In closing I want to say that although I love, love, love my new camera, I don't love how long it takes to upload photos now.  I've worked on this blog post and uploading photos to our shutterfly site now for three days!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Today Philip and I met with our high-risk OB Dr.Howard to discuss the upcoming cordocentesis procedure.  Until this meeting Philip and I were debating weather or not we would even have the procedure.  The risks are about 1-2% of the mothers that have this procedure end up miscarrying.  1% doesn't sound like a lot, but for Philip and I, 1 in 100 is a huge number compared to 1 in 1,000 or even 1 in 1,000,000.   (For those of you who don't know 1 in 1,000 is how rare our blood condition is and 1 in 1,000 is how often prolapsed cords occur, so Ethan was truly one in a million.)

Anyway Dr. Howard explained today that the percentage is really hard to judge our case by because babies that have to have the procedure done usually have a whole lot more wrong with them.  There is still a risk of course, but after seeing the placement of the cord he feels certain that this should be a straight forward procedure.  You see, like the picture above Asher's cord is located in a position that allows the sampling to take place without ever entering the actual sack surrounding the baby.  Dr. Howard will locate the cord with an ultrasound, stick a needle in the base of it, draw out blood and then we are done!  All of this will take place after I have received steroids to hasten his lung development and it will be done in a Labor and Delivery operating room so that if anything goes wrong Asher can be delivered on the spot.  After the needle is removed I will be monitored with ultrasound for about two hours.  Dr. Howard said that we should actually get to see the blood stop coming out of the cord (craziness) and they will also watch for a decreased flow or a pooling of blood in the cord that would indicate a problem.

When I asked Dr. Howard what was so special about 32 weeks he said that at 32 weeks the baby's survival goes up to 99% so really this is the first "safe" time that we can sample his blood.  If his platelets are too low we can up my IVIG and start me steroids that will help Asher develop more quickly. 

We are so grateful that Dr. Howard is a Christian and that he totally understood our reservations.  He even informed us that if we change our minds the night before the procedure that it isn't a big deal. 

Thanks to everyone who prayed with us about this decision.  We feel the peace that passes understanding and we know that only comes from our Father.

Inside the Actor's Studio

Please copy and paste this as a comment and leave your answers!!

I love this show and I've been thinking about what my answers would be. Here they are:

1. What is your favorite word? Grace
2. What is your least favorite word? Expectations
3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? My Husband :)
4. What turns you off? Anything showing people in pain, this is a recent development (post babies)
5. I took out this question for our own good....
6. What sound or noise do you love? My husband playing guitar, Ethan laughing
7. What sound or noise do you hate? As Philip will attest, there are many...mostly anything that is weird and repetitive I can not handle. Funny enough I can handle a babie's cry better than I can handle some of the the Flaming Lips' songs.
8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Sea World Animal Trainer
9. What profession would you not like to do? Any job that Mike Rowe would be seen doing on television
10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Well done, good and faithful servant"