Saturday, January 29, 2011

Final Amnio Update & 26 Weeks

As most of you have probably already heard, I got a phonecall from the doctor on Thursday morning with our final amnio results.  As with the first results, these also came out "normal", so Logan has 46 perfect chromosomes :).  We're very happy and relieved to have these results so that we can move on and focus on his heart.  The doctor scheduled the echo ultrasound, which will be done by the cardiologist, for February 14th.  She will be looking at a special sweet heart on Valentine's Day :).  Jason will be in Brazil for work, but his mom said she will go with me.

I'm still feeling a lot of kicking and movement, which is great.  I've been getting a little nervous whenever I don't feel anything for a large part of the day, but I think he's just sleeping :).  I sat on the couch yesterday and watched my belly moving for a few minutes.  It was very very cool to see his kicks from the outside :).

Sleeping at night can still be a challenge, but I keep switching up my pillows, which seems to help.  I've had to start getting out of bed differently for potty breaks.  Since my stomach is growing, I have to swing my legs off the edge of the bed, then boost my upper body with my arms and then I can stand on the floor.  It gets interesting some nights, especially if I'm not quite awake yet, ha :).

It's getting harder to put my socks & shoes on and taking care of my feet is nearly out of the question.  I finally got a pedicure on Friday because my toenails were getting out of control.  I just have to say that even though pedicures are great anytime, they're about 10x better when you're pregnant!  The massage chair nearly put me to sleep and then the foot and leg massage (don't worry, it was a light massage) was amazing!!!  Now I can wear open-toed shoes without cringing whenever I look down... and yes, I can still see my feet when I look down :).

Jason painted the nursery today and it looks great!  Lots of people have asked what we're painting it, etc., so I'll tell you the plan.  He painted it a beige color since I'm not sure how long we'll be in this house and I want to be able to use it for a girl's room someday if we need to.  We're going to put some car-related decals on the wall (cars, trucks, streets, etc.) and I'm going to paint letters in light blue to spell out his name and hang them on the wall.  Other than that, we'll just have furniture in there and that will probably be it.  I'm wanting to get a pack 'n play for downstairs, though, and I'm going to use a jungle theme for that (and his bouncer, swing, etc.).  I'm excited to see it all come together and now that the room is painted, I'm even more eager :).

A few people have made comments lately that I'm "really starting to show".  In my opinion, I've been showing for a few months, but I guess it's pretty obvious now :).  I don't mind at all, because I love being pregnant.  My belly button is starting to push out a little, so I'm sure that'll "pop" soon and even more people will notice my belly.  What I find most funny is that hardly anyone at my work has said anything.  I think they're being careful and they don't want to assume that I'm pregnant, but my belly has grown since I started working there :).  Oh well... I'm sure it'll be pretty obvious to them in the next month or two :).

Welp, I guess it's time for the new developments:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring about 14 inches long, he weighs just less than 2 lbs!
  • His lungs continue to develop and he is taking small breaths of amniotic fluid inside your womb. These small breaths are getting him in shape for his first breath of fresh air.
  • His veins are visible through his transparent skin but soon that will change as his skin begins to turn opaque.
  • The nerve pathways are becoming more and more developed, making him more responsive to sound. Don't be surprised if you feel him jump inside you if he is startled by a sudden noise.
  • If you're having a boy, his testicles are descending into his scrotum this week.
Sorry that some of the info is a bit TMI, but hey, things have to happen for little boys! :)

Thanks again to everyone for your support and prayers :).  God is so good and we are thrilled to have the results that we prayed for.  Please continue to pray for the hole in his heart to close on its own.  If it doesn't, then that's God's plan, but we will still pray :).

Have a great week and I'll be back for #27!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

25 Weeks

This week has been a pretty good one with the exception of a couple things.  First, I had morning sickness on Monday and that really stunk.  Second, I've been having a hard time sleeping at night.  I still have back and hip pain, so I've had to figure out a new pillow setup.  I've also been waking up a lot with heartburn or to go to the bathroom.  All of these are normal symptoms, but they're still not fun :).  Oh, I've also been getting some headaches, but from what I've read, that's also normal :P.

My 24 week checkup was on Tuesday morning and that went really well.  I love the doctor I saw that morning (there are a few that I can choose from each time).  She's very sweet and talked to me about the amnio and made sure I would be ok.  She even gave me a hug and told me she'd be thinking about me that afternoon.  She used the doppler to listen to Logan's heart, but she had a hard time finding it.  I knew Logan was fine, because he had been kicking me all morning, but he wasn't cooperating.  She could hear him moving around and when she finally found his heartbeat, he kicked the doppler!  It was really funny :).  The doctor laughed and called him a stinker.  He also kicked the ultrasound 'wand' during my afternoon appointment.  I guess he got tired of being poked :). 

My ultrasound and amnio were Tuesday afternoon, but you can read my separate post for all of that information.  I also posted about the initial results, so I won't go into that here either :). 

Here are the development details for this week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. Measuring about 13 1/2 inches long, he weighs approximately 1 1/2 lbs. In the coming weeks, your baby will continue to grow and mature at a fast rate, gaining some baby fat and filling out his long, lean frame.
  • As he gains weight, his skin begins to become less wrinkled and he begins to look more and more like a newborn. Also, his skin is finally gaining some color. His hands are fully developed by this week, fingerprints and all! And at 25 weeks, the structure of the spine is beginning to form.
I guess that's about it for now.  I can't believe I only have about 3 months left!  I'm almost to my 3rd trimester :P.  I'll be back again next week to post about the rest of the amnnio results and my 26 week update.  Please continue to pray for these results to be normal and also for Logan to continue growing like he should be :).  Thanks for all of your prayers and support!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Initial Amnio Results

I'm sorry I'm posting this late, but I think most people read my post on facebook about this :).  Anyway, if you haven't read yet, we got the initial results back from my amniocentesis.  Chromosomes 13, 18, and 21 came back normal :).  We're very thankful and relieved!  We won't get the rest of the results until sometime between the middle and end of next week, but we continue to pray for clear results :).  I'll try to update everyone as soon as I can with that news!  Thank you again for all of your prayers :).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ultrasound #3 & Amniocentesis

We had our 3rd ultrasound today with the same doctor as last time.  His assistant started out by doing a complete ultrasound with all of the measurements of little Logan.  He cooperated for the most part, especially when she was looking at his boy parts... he seems to be very proud of those ;).  Once she was finished, the doctor came in and reviewed her pictures & clips and he then did another mini-ultrasound to look at the heart for himself.  Here are the things he told us:

The baby still has a hole in his heart (VSD).  While this can sometimes close on its own, he said the hole is a "little bigger" and may require surgery, probably when he's around 5-6 months old.  His heart is on the left side of his chest, but it's positioned (twisted?) toward the center.  What this means is that they just need to keep an eye on the anatomy of his heart to make sure that everything is there and where it should be.  As for his arteries, I'm not sure if I misunderstood him last time or what, but he said that his concern with Logan's arteries is that they can't get a good picture of the blood flow out of his heart (leading to his lungs/brain).  This doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't flowing to those places, it just means they haven't been able to see the flow clearly.  We're praying that it is flowing!  Finally, the last time I was there, he said that Logan's kidneys were a slight concern because when he urinated, a small amount of the urine went back into his kidneys.  However, today he said that it seems to be correcting itself, so that's a big "Praise God" :). 

The amnio was honestly not very bad.  I just psyched myself out a lot beforehand because of the 5" needle and because Logan is a very active baby and I didn't want him to get poked.  The nurse and the doctor both reassured me that everything would be ok and when I laid down for the 'procedure', I was at peace (which I attribute to all of your prayers!).  They told me everything that they were doing:  swabbing my stomach with iodine, putting gel on my stomach to monitor the needle via ultrasound, and then inserting the needle.  I felt a poke and then it was ok.  I did feel the needle going in part of the way, but I tried to ignore it :).  Once in, we could see the needle on the ultrasound, right next to Logan's hand.  I was praying that he wouldn't move!!!  The doctor (probably trying to ease my fears) said "oh, sometimes the baby will grab the needle"... gah!!!  I prayed even more after he said that :).  Anyway, Logan was a good little boy and after about a minute of collecting fluid, the doctor told me "take a deep breath" and he pulled the needle out, which bothered me more than inserting it.  I could feel it come out the entire way and it felt like it was never going to end.  Bleh. 

The fluid is being sent to Emory and we should get the results back on 3 of the major chromosomal defects (10,18, & 23) on Thursday.  The other defects will take longer to test and we should hopefully hear back on them by the end of next week.  Depending on the results, we will either go back in about 2 weeks (if it's positive for a defect) or 4 weeks (if it's negative for defects).  We're praying that he doesn't have any chromosomal defects, which would mean they will have us come back to see a fetal cardiologist and they can just focus on the heart and how to proceed from there.

I did ask if having a natural vaginal delivery is still a possibility and the doctor was very encouraging.  He said that the majority of times that's the better option and healthier for the baby.  He said that I should be able to carry Logan full-term and have a vaginal delivery - the hospital may just need to have additional resources available for Logan as soon as he's "out".

I think I covered pretty much everything.  We did get another profile picture of Logan and he's just adorable :).  He already has his mommy tied around his finger ;).  We also got a couple pictures of his 'boy stuff' and we were able to see him kicking his cute little legs.  It's always a blessing to see our baby boy... I'm getting more and more excited about meeting him!

Oh, a couple of things I forgot.  Logan now weighs 1 lb 8 oz, which is right on track.  He's measuring at 24 weeks 2 days and according to my due date, I'm 24 weeks 4 days.  The doctor said that Logan looks great as far as his growth and development.  He has a strong heartbeat and his heart is pumping well, so we're thankful for a strong baby :).  We're praying for continued improvement and believing that his chromosomes are normal.

Thank you again for your prayers... we appreciate them more than we can ever say.  I will try to keep you updated with the results that we receive.

Friday, January 14, 2011

24 Weeks & Update

This week has been kind-of a whirlwind of emotions.  My ultrasound & amnio were canceled on Monday because of the snow and ice in Atlanta, so I spent most of my time stuck at home thinking about what could be wrong.  I thought that reading about the defects might help by keeping me informed, but it just made me more upset.  The last couple of days have been better, but it has been hard not to become consumed by negative thoughts. 

Jason has definitely been there to hold me up, though, and needless to say, I've been praying almost constantly all week.  The verse that says "pray without ceasing" definitely comes to mind for this week!  Logan has been helping me as well :).  He has been kicking like crazy!  Jason felt him kick on Monday and it made me SO happy.  I've been wanting him to feel it for weeks and Logan finally kicked hard enough that I could feel his "bumps" on the outside.  I absolutely love it :).  Every morning when I feel him moving around, I can't help but say "good morning" and I try to talk to him throughout the day.

I have my 24 week appointment on Tuesday morning at 10:10 (I think) and then my ultrasound/amnio has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 4:00pm.  I would really appreciate everyone's prayers.  Jason will be there with me, but I really need to be at peace during the amnio procedure or I'll fall apart.  We're still praying for healing and for clear test results, but no matter what, God is in control and He will never leave or forsake us :).  We're trusting in Him and His plan for Logan's life.

I think I got my first taste of nesting this afternoon.  I drove around town to take care of a few errands and when I got home, I went through our mail (one thing we have trouble keeping up with, cleaned up the kitchen, loaded & ran the dishwasher, and completely cleaned out and reorganized our pantry.  Whew!  I'm so glad I was able to get it all cleaned up, but now I'm pretty darn tired.  I'm sure this is just the beginning, though :).  I'd like to get started on the nursery soon.  I told Jason he needs to paint it before he goes to Brazil (early February), so hopefully that'll be something he can do in a day or two.

I guess that's about it for now.  Here are the development details for the week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. He is now about the size of an ear of corn; measuring around 12 inches long and weighing a little over 1 pound. In the coming weeks, your baby will continue to grow and mature at a fast rate, gaining about 6 ounces of weight a week.
  • His brain is growing rapidly and his taste buds are developing. He is pretty lean at 24 weeks, but he'll soon be putting on some "baby fat" to fill out his frame and his wrinkled skin. He has begun to develop white blood cells. These cells are responsible for fighting off disease and infection.
  • His lungs develop branches this week and his inner ear is completely developed. In fact, he has basic control over all of his senses: hearing, touch, taste, smell and vision!
And here is a bit of information from the email for moms:
  • How are you feeling? Is it hard to believe that your third trimester of pregnancy is just around the corner? By week 24, you may begin to feel brief contractions in your uterus. You may have heard your healthcare provider mention that you might experience these Braxton-Hicks contractions. Usually, these contractions are nothing to worry about. They are commonly felt in the third trimester as they help your uterine muscles prepare for childbirth.
    Typical Braxton-Hicks Contractions:
  • Last between 15-30 seconds
  • Should be completely painless or mildly uncomfortable.
  • Do not indicate real labor, unless they are accompanied by back, abdominal, or pelvic pain and vaginal discharge. 
It also lists some symptoms to look for that may signal preterm/premature labor.  I'm praying that that won't be an issue!  I'm also praying that I'll still be able to deliver naturally and that Logan won't have to be delivered via a c-section, but I'm going to try talking to the doctors about this on Tuesday.

Thanks again for all of your prayers and I will try to post an update as soon as I can following our appointments on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

23 Weeks

Goodness, how time flies :).  I'm 23 weeks now and feeling pretty great.  This week has been a challenging one, but we have had such an overwhelming response of prayers and encouragement that I can't help but feel loved and blessed :).  Thank you to everyone who has been there for us!  We sincerely appreciate all of you and are so thankful for you.  I could go on and on, but that would be repetitive, so thank you from the bottom of our hearts :).  After receiving numerous comments on the blog, on facebook, getting email and facebook messages, text messages, phonecalls, and face-to-face encouragement, we are very uplifted and encouraged.  We also feel a great sense of peace about everything and, with God's help, are ready to tackle anything that comes our way. 

As most of you know, Monday was our last ultrasound and you can read all the details about that in my last post.  Jason and I prayed about everything we were told and by Tuesday evening, I was feeling great... I wasn't worried or panicked anymore and just felt full of love and joy :).  I love our baby more than ever before and can't wait to hold and love on him!

I have been feeling him move and kick a LOT this week.  I don't really have a sense of his sleep schedule yet (apparently that's one of the things I'm supposed to notice eventually), but I'm definitely aware of when he's awake :).  He moves and kicks almost constantly, but it's one of the best feelings ever.  I keep touching my tummy, hoping to feel it on the outside, because I really want Jason to be able to share the experience with me.  Usually as soon as I touch my tummy, he stops kicking.  Stubborn little guy... yes, he's definitely my son! :P  Anyway, I'm hoping that VERY soon Jason will be able to feel it as well :).

I got an email this week saying that my uterus is the size of a soccer ball and I laughed.  The emails try to portray everything in a positive light, which is fine, but I don't know how I'm supposed to get excited about that fact :).  I just think it's funny.  I feel like they want me to respond with a big "YAY!" :)

I've been over my head cold this week, which is great because I can breathe better which means better sleep.  I have started to get some heartburn when I go to bed, though.  Luckily, I've been able to knock it down with a couple of Tums and I'm good-to-go.  I think the baby's main job from here on out is to gain weight and I definitely feel like he's working on that already!  A couple of days this week I was pretty tired and just felt like I was dragging at work and I told Jason I felt very "top heavy".  I need to start doing back stretches and really paying attention to my posture, because he's just going to get bigger and heavier!  I'm up to the challenge, though :).

I guess that's about it for now... here are the development details for the week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. He is now about the size of a mango (HA, yeah right!), measuring approximately 11 inches long and weighing about 1 pound. In the coming weeks, your baby will continue to grow and mature at a fast rate, gaining about 6 ounces of weight a week. By week 23, the blood vessels in his lungs, important for breathing outside the womb, are developing. His lips are becoming more distinct and his eyes continue to develop, though they still lack color. Also, by this week, the bones in his middle ear start to harden.
  • His skin is still wrinkled but the pigments that will give his skin color are currently being deposited.
Oh!  I forgot to mention that since he can hear sounds now, I've been humming and singing to him a lot :).  It calms me down a little and I want him to know his momma's voice right away :). 

As a parting note, I would like to request your prayers for our next appointment.  We go in on Monday afternoon at 2:00 for the echo ultrasound and amniocentesis.  I'm at peace with whatever results we get, but I'm slightly nervous/anxious about the amnio procedure itself.  Please pray that the baby will cooperate and that there will be ZERO side effects or risks.  Please pray for the baby's heart... that the hole will close completely.  Finally, please pray for Jason and I.  We're trusting in God for a healthy baby and clear results, but your prayers are invaluable.  We love you all!  I'll try to post an update as soon as I can after our appointment.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ultrasound #2

What a day.  Now that my emotions are under control, I'll post about my ultrasound this afternoon.  I went in at 3:40 (appt was at 4) and sat in the waiting room until 5:10... ugh.  The nurse's assistant finally brought me back to the ultrasound room and started looking at the baby.  He was very cooperative this time... good boy! :)  She took all the measurements again and he is measuring 22 weeks 5 days.  I'm 22 weeks 3 days today, so he's right on track.  Also, he's weighing in at 1 pound 2 ounces... he's a big'un!  She only printed off one picture for me, his profile, but he's so cute I just can't get enough of those pictures :).

She then had the doctor come in and he did the same thing.  He checked all the organs and took measurements and confirmed that the umbilical cord only has 2 vessels.  While this is fairly normal, he said that it can be a signal of kidney or heart problems.  He also said that because of the 2 vessels, they will need to monitor his growth throughout the pregnancy to make sure he's growing properly.  The kidneys looked fine, but the heart was a slightly different story.  He said there's a small hole in the heart, which he called VSD.  Also, the heart is positioned more toward the center of the chest than to the left, which is where it should be.  Finally, he said the arteries in the heart are backward or opposite of where they should be.  I don't think they're pumping incorrectly or anything, but they're backward.  He didn't make it sound like any of these issues were huge concerns, but he wants me to come back in for another ultrasound next Monday.  His partner at the practice is a cardio specialist and he wants her to be there to look at baby's heart.  He also wants to do an amniocentesis, which I am a bit scared about.  I've refused all screenings up to this point, including the amnio, but he said he wants to check for/rule out any chromosomal defects, which could be the cause of his heart issues. 

Even though he told me all of these things, I just sat there thinking "no... no... no" and praying.  I still believe that God is bigger than any defect and that He is THE healer.  I'm praying for a healthy baby with a strong, functioning heart.  It's amazing how, as a pregnant woman, you can feel so connected to your little one even before meeting him/her.  As soon as I left the doctor's office, I started praying and couldn't help but cry.  I love this little guy and will do anything I can to keep him safe.  Like I said, I'm praying for a completely healthy baby... and I know that no matter what happens, God is always in control and He is Lord.

Please pray with me for baby Logan (yep, we're pretty sure that's his name), for health and for amazing results next week :). 

22 Weeks

This week has been pretty crazy.  I’m feeling pretty good, but my sleep schedule has been way off.  We got home from Oregon at 3am on Tuesday, I went to work on Wednesday and Thursday, Jason had an all-night LAN (videogame) party Thursday night, and then we stayed up until 2am for New Year’s Eve.  I didn’t stay up all night for Jason’s party, but it was slightly difficult to sleep with 10 guys situated around the house, yelling and laughing.  I stayed at the house willingly, though, so I can’t really complain.  When I was asleep, I slept like a log.  It was just hard to get back to sleep if I ever woke up.  Anyway, I think I’m getting closer to being back on a normal schedule. 
My hips aren’t hurting as bad while I sleep, which is nice.  A couple of nights this week it was a different story, but for the majority of the nights it has lightened up a bit.  I really do think that my Snoogle pillow helps me get through the night and Jason has started trying to snuggle with it occasionally (until he gets caught).
I’ve been feeling the baby move more and more this week and I don’t mind at all J.  It’s such a great feeling.  I’m trying to see if I can recognize his sleep patterns, but I think it’s still just a little too early for that.  He does seem to get excited when it’s time for us to go to bed, which kind-of scares me because I’m sure the same thing will happen after he’s born.  I guess I’d better get used to it now.
I went to Target the other day for some groceries and I found myself over in the baby section.  I couldn’t help but buy 3 things… they were all on clearance!  I got a crib sheet, a blanket (so soft!), and a set of 3 bibs.  I’m doing ok at avoiding the clothes, because everybody seems to love buying clothes for showers.  I’m trying to contain myself.
I have another ultrasound this afternoon so that they can get a better picture of the heart and umbilical cord.  Please be praying that the little man cooperates this time!  I certainly don’t mind seeing him again, but I want them to be able to confirm that he’s 100% healthy.
Jason and I are still thinking about names… our favorite first name so far is Logan, but we’re still undecided on middle names.  We have a couple of ideas, but I don’t think we’re ready to announce anything official yet.
And now on to the development details for the week:
  • Your baby continues to grow and develop inside of you. He is now about the size of a small banana, measuring roughly 7 1/2 inches long from head to rump and can weigh up to 12 ounces. In the coming weeks, your baby will continue to grow and mature at a fast rate.
  • By week 22, his pancreas, a key player in hormone production, is developing steadily. His skin may appear wrinkled at this point, but in the coming weeks, he will be gaining enough weight to fill it out.
  • His eyes have developed but his irises still lack color. Even though his irises will have color by the time he is born, you won't know his permanent eye color until he is at least 9 months old. Most parents wait until their child's first birthday to determine what their permanent color will be.