Tuesday, October 31, 2006

32 weeks & spanish rice?

Galatians 5:22 & 23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV)

What an awesome milestone...I'm 32 weeks today! I saw my doctor Friday and there's not much news to report. I am however, having a hard time waiting for this coming Friday's ultrasound. If I could wish away the next 4 days, I would~and I know that's not the right attitude. Tomorrow (Nov 1st) is the Harvest party for TJ at his Wednesday night church class...he has to dress up as a Bible character or theme. A friend of mine (thanks Karen) gave me the idea to do the Fruits of the Spirit. I will use clear packing tape and label the play fruit he has with each quality and tape them to his clothes, at least-that's the plan...so the verse above has been on my heart for both TJ's "costume" and because I am struggling with so many of the "fruits"-especially patience.

Women are irrational creatures, aren't they? I am guessing mostly women read this...so I think you'll understand and find this story I'm going to share quite funny. You may be wondering about the spanish rice in the title line? Well, I'll try to share the short version of my "I'm an irrational woman" story.

Sunday, after church, I sent Tim to the store to get the ingredients to make a meal I've been craving-stuffed green peppers. He got everything I needed, but he couldn't find one thing-canned spanish rice. His cell phone wasn't working (so he couldn't call home and find out what to do) so he came home with everything but the can of rice (the secret ingredient) and instead got a box mix hoping it would work. Of course, it wouldn't. Have I mentioned I don't even like rice? It's just the combo of the ingredients in the recipe that works and it's about the only rice dish I'll eat. So now we have all these ingredients that we can't use. He offers to go back out and try another store. I agree since it seems better than returning a bunch of ingredients to Meijer. When he finally gets home, he's empty handed and I realize he hasn't had lunch and he's literally spent half the afternoon, starved, trying to make me happy. So we have these ingredients we can't use, he's getting lunch at 3pm, and I haven't even spent anytime with him on my birthday weekend (my birthday was Saturday, but I am a bit of a birthday's need to be super special freak). So, the "emotion" of the situation overcomes me while the poor guy is trying to eat his "lunch" and I start bawling. He, of course, was dumbfounded and was probably thinking "what are you crying about you crazy woman, I've spent half the day trying to please you and you repay me with crying?" Just then there's a knock at the door. I'm mortified because I'm not a graceful crier. I'm a full fledged, red, swollen face, congested nose, type of crier. It was my friend Jen-just dropping by something unexpectedly. I quickly apologize to her telling her she's just caught me in an emotional "moment" (truth is, I probably wouldn't have stopped crying for sometime if it weren't for her stopping by). So, she feels badly for not calling first and asks if there is anything she can do. I try to explain, I really don't even know what I'm crying about when Tim blurts out "can you find us some spanish rice in a can?" Again, I'm MORTFIED! I mean, I wasn't crying about spanish rice-how could he think that?:-) So, I try to cover for my selfish, sinful behavior-but, being the mother of 3 herself, she knew I wasn't crying about spanish rice either. She did tell me she was laughing inside because Tim really thought I was crying about spanish rice. But, the story doesn't end there...the next day I was getting Jacob lunch (his staple of a corn dog and pretzels-and lots of ketchup and mustard...it's a food group, right?) as there was a knock at my door. It was Jen-she came UNANNOUNCED AGAIN-brave woman-bearing 4 cans of spanish rice:-) So, the story ends with me getting my yummy dinner of stuffed green peppers and mashed potatoes and I even suprised Tim by having it ready when he arrived home from work. It was delicious, all thanks to my WONDERFUL husband's efforts and loose lips:-) And thanks to Jen too!

I will hopefully have real baby news to report Friday afternoon:-) God Bless!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

31 weeks, so busy, & Jake's baaaaaccccckkkkkk!

1 Timothy 4:8

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. (NKJV)

I like this verse...it helps me to realize that during this season of essentially no physical exercise, it's ok-because my walk with God (spiritual exercise) helps me in all ways and holds promise for this life and for eternal life (that which is to come). This verse comes to mind this week specifically because of my newly diagnosed gestational diabetes. It seems physical exercise would help this condition, but I of course can not exercise so I have additional challenges with good blood sugar control. Honestly, so far, it's not been so bad. I'm only on small amounts of insulin twice a day and it's given in a shot in this cool pen that you dial up the number of units and just push a button-super easy. It's way easier than drawing up a syringe. Anyway, that aspect of life is going pretty well and it has kept me busy with extra appts and paying attention to the time for blood sugar checks, etc.

I am again happy to be at a new milestone in gestation-31 weeks! Only 6 weeks to go (at least that's the plan). I feel well and just a little overwhelmed after almost 3 months of barely caring for myself, to be caring for Jacob again. He's a handful (to say the least) but he is a sweet 3 year old and is managable. He finally warmed up to me a little more today and sat on my lap for about a half hour and looked at pictures with me and then we sang the abc's. It may not sound like much but coming from the kid who's back home saying things like "Daddy, I love you. And I love TJ. And I like mommy."-it's wonderful. Ah, the joys of mommihood-always next best. I know if he got a boo-boo or is scared, he'll come runnin'. Another nice thing today-he was lying on my lap this afternoon and fell asleep. Owen must've kicked him in the noggin 25 times but apparently Mr. Thick Skull (Jacob), was unaffected. It was very sweet to have him nap on me:-).

I have a check-up here in Lafayette with Dr. Sinnott Friday. Just routine stuff, hopefully. Oh yeah, I have a huge praise to share: we've been working with HMO because apparently, all the Indy visits and testing should've been pre-approved (and they weren't because we didn't know any better) but we were able to get back-dated requests on everything from before and even some authorizations for more genetic testing my Indy MD's want to do AND it was all approved! :-) A huge blessing because everything costs A LOT! So, I am traveling to Indy tomorrow (Thursday) for some more testing. Unfortunately, the tests are projected to take 4 weeks (or more) but I just think of them as formality and if we get any results from them, they will just help us better project care for Owen. I also go back for a growth comparison ultrasound Friday the 3rd.

We appreciate your continued prayers for both Owen's and my health. As we are in the midst of week 11 1/2 of bedrest, I know Tim and the boys are also strained and tired. God has been very gracious to us and we continue to find comfort in Him in these times of challenges, confusion and even frustration. He is always good.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

30 weeks and Shock & Awe

Romans 12:12

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

I am rejoicing to be 30 weeks today. Yesterday, I woke up to a phone call from my doctor's office (Dr. Sinnott who is wonderful)~his nurse Linda is who called actually (who is also WONDERFUL). She called to tell me that delivering here in Lafayette would be ok per Dr. Sinnott and Dr. Chua (the neonatalogist). Which is a relief and has been a concern since the Indy MD's have recommended delivering in Indy.

Then she proceeded to say, "hey, while I have you on the phone, I'll look up Friday's lab results." Which were all great until she got to the glucose level from my 1 hour glucose tolerance test. Oops, just barely failed it. Never failed one with my other pregnancies so I wasn't too worried. I even tried to talk her out of the 3 hour diagnostic test to check for gestational diabetes, but she managed to get me in right away this morning (yea). So, after spending the morning at the office getting the 4 blood draws, I came home and spent the afternoon resting. TJ arrived home and the phone rang. Linda said, you failed miserably (she said it nicer though) and will have to see the endocrinologist. I'll call you back to let you know when I can get you in. Moments later, she calls back and says, "can you head over TODAY at 4pm?"...sure, I have nothing better to do.

So, before I know it, I'm in an office learning how to check my own blood sugar and give myself insulin!!! Craziness! I'm teetering between laughter and horror. Well, this gives me something else to do. Owen and I are a great pair-we can't seem to get anything right this pregnancy.

So, now I'm back home (Tim's out doing a show;-) and have all this to process. I'm not overly concerned, yet I DO know that Insulin dependent gestational diabetes is (or can be) a big deal and must be taken seriously. As if you didn't have enough to pray for us about? The good news is, either I'm so shell shocked about this new development that I'm numb or I just have a blessed peace that God is showing me how good He is and how in control of this whole situation HE IS! It's His plan, so I guess I finally am to the point where I am saying "whatever you say God...it's your plan. I'll take what you have for me."

I think that's it for the news for now. Owen is moving about like the crazy baby he is. The boys are all well and we are so thankful for everything everyone is doing for us to ease the challenges we've faced. I'm feeling more hopeful again and so appreciate your prayers (and continued prayers;-). Jacob will be returning to us this weekend. My mom and brother Andrew will be making the 6 hour trip from Wisconsin to bring him home. They have been so wonderful to care for Jacob so selflessly. I know it will be hard on them to give Jake back (that sounds weird). We are praying Jacob makes an easy transition back to us and can understand (as much as a 3 yr-old can) how things must be during the day while I am still on bedrest. The light activity is going well, so my doctor felt it would be ok to let us (me) try to care for Jake during the day. He won't get the outtings he's used to but I will try to do a variety of things with him while he waits for TJ to come home from school and then Tim to come home from work. I am at peace about it and believe it will go well. I don't know when I'll update next as I don't have any plans for anything to be worth reporting for a while;-) But, I'll post sooner than later I'm sure. Thanks for checking in.

Friday, October 13, 2006

29 weeks & 2 appt updates

Psalm 130:5

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.

No news is good news, right? That's kinda how I feel right now after a very long day (Thursday). I feel hopeful, yet very down, and somewhat alone. I guess it's the toll of 10 weeks of bedrest and concern for Owen.

Appt #1 Thursday: The geneticist was very kind and took lots of time with us. They were very thorough and he seemed very certain of the few things he could tell regarding Owen. He did not have the concern the Perinatalogist had about Owen's head. He was able to point out all the suture lines in Owen's skull, which were open, and not fused which is good. (Sutures are the openings in the skull baby's must have to be able to be born and have a moldable head-plus, they give us room for our brains to grow and then they gradually close thru childhood.)

He confirmed that all of Owen's limbs are proportionately small and his chest is small also-a bit smaller than his limbs. Which leads him to best guess that Owen does have a less common type of skeletal or bone dysplasia (also known as dwarfism). The biggest concern with his chest size is that his respiratory system wouldn't be strong enough to support himself and he may need assistance with a ventilator. He recommended further tests (to aide in diagnosis) but they are expensive and may not tell us anything (and they take 4 weeks to run). So we are checking with our insurance to see if they will cover the tests.

Owen is also breech which concerns me and is uncomfortable to carry with his head in my ribs and feet dancing on my bladder. Next up? I have to return for a follow up ultrasound in 3 weeks, mostly just to monitor growth and assess for any further complications that may arise between now and then. My bedrest with very light activity is going ok, but frankly, I have no endurance and my muscles are very weak so being up is painful and exhausting.

Appt #2 Friday: Dr. Sinnott was great as usual. He's my regular OB and it was just the routine check up. He did decide to do a round of shots called betamethasone, which is 2 shots of steroids given a day apart to help Owen's lung tissue further develop in the event that he would deliver early. Dr. Sinnott did say if Owen doesn't turn from breech to head down, that I would have to have a c-section, which isn't such a surprise but I don't want one and was hopeful that there may be some options to try first, but no luck. No other changes in my care. Return check-up in 2 weeks is what's up next.

By the way, I made it to 29 weeks as of this past Tuesday. Only 6 1/2 weeks to go!

On a positive note, Jacob is coming home to us next weekend assuming no catastrophes occur in the meantime;-) I am hopeful that he will be a good boy and not too much of a handful for me to take care of during the day.

Please continue to be praying for us... Specifically:

~For Owen's health, his growth, and that he would turn head down.
~Also that our insurance would cover all the tests and care in the future and that we've already had.
~My health is a continual concern as well with the blood pressure and preterm labor that is possible.
~That Jacob would be able to come home next weekend, that he would have a safe trip, and that I would be able to care for him.
~More days have been hard than easy for me lately. As I said above I really feel very down and alone, and I am not sleeping well-so please continue to pray that I remain hopeful and trusting in God.

Nothing is impossible with God...He loves Owen more than even I do and will be faithful in His care for us.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Finally...not bad news

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

The call from the genetic counselor finally came this afternoon. I am so relieved to have confirmation that Owen's tests all came back negative for the types (only 3) of skeletal dysplasia they can test for. So, this is what this news means to me. It means he doesn't have the one type they can test for that I was dreading he may have because it was a type that wasn't compatable with life. I have more hope now that whatever he does have, we can deal with. I am still leary heading back to Indy this Thursday that they will again douse my hopes with more bad news but on the other hand, I am hopeful that nothing they could tell me would be something untreatable. Thank you so much for your prayers! Please continue to pray for our upcoming appt this Thursday. Praise God!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Quick update

I spoke with the genetic counselor today. We are scheduled for next Thursday the 12th at IU Med Center with a geneticist (for another high level ultrasound). She also hopes to have the amnio results possibly as early as this Friday but definitely by the appt next week.

Please pray for me to be more encouraged (today was a very down day) and that we would get the results of the amnio quickly. Please also pray that the geneticist would be able to properly diagnose Owen as I hear often ultrasound diagnoses are incorrect.

After this recent appt I have less hope for Owen's health. I know I just need to trust in God and accept that His plan is perfect even when I don't get it (or like it).

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

28 weeks and Appt update

I know it's a little blurry but the photo above is a side view or profile shot of Owen putting his thumb to his mouth. The image to the left of his hand is umbilical cord;-)

This is a profile (side view) of Owen's Head/face and chest, the blob at the top is the placenta for inquiring minds:-)

Psalm 139:13,14

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

I had to read all of the previous verses just to write this update to remind myself of what I TRULY believe...

I believe I just need to trust in God. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

I believe I need to rejoice in the Lord and present my requests to him. (Philippians 4:4-7)

I believe I can do all things with the strength of the Lord. (Philippians 4:13)

I believe that God is the creator of both GOOD and BAD times and we should praise Him for both. (Ecclesiastes 7:14)

I believe I must have hope in the Lord and He will help me and renew my strength. (Isaiah 40:28-31)

And I believe that facing trials will develop in me perseverance. (James 1:2-3)

With all these truths...I still write today with heavy heart and a need to JUST rest in the Lord.

Today's visit included just an ultrasound and consultation with the perinatalogist. It was evident as the tech was doing measurements, that while Owen has grown about 2 weeks of growth in 2 weeks (good of course), that there are concerns now beyond just his small size (his size is approximately 1 pound 14 oz, whereas he should be around 2 pounds 4 oz). The amnio results were not back (and are expected to take even up to a week MORE) but the specialist now does believe that Owen has a form of Skeletal Dysplasia (Dwarfism) that is not a "common type" and she is having us come back as soon as a geneticist can be lined up to be present at another ultrasound to attempt to diagnose Owen's condition (no guarantees a diagnosis can be made).

I struggle with giving too many details and confusing/concerning you all, so I'll try to explain what I do know. The specific concerns are his chest circumference (size is less than the 2.5%) is very small (and once born not good for lung capacity/being able to breathe on your own). In addition, the shape of his head and the circumference seem to have worsened (hard to simplify what this means exactly).

I don't even know what all this means. I don't want to give up hope that Owen will be a healthy baby, regardless of the body that God gives him, but with that, I want to be realistic and prepared as much as I can be.

I will have to update again as soon as I know the next appt date. I also wanted to share that my "very light activity" is going ok, but after 8 weeks, I'm just too tired to do much of anything (physically) so it's not hard to still take it easy. I am still "officially" on bedrest, the difference is I can now just sit up some instead of constant sidelying positions and I can get up and wipe the counter off if it needs it or put my own messes away instead of having servant type service where I literally only got up to go to the bathroom, microwave food, or shower. So, it's better but still bedrest.

I am very thankful to hit an important gestational milestone in pregnancy, 28 weeks. I am thankful to feel the SO strong movements of this precious baby that grows inside me. I am thankful for my loving, serving husband and my beautiful healthy boys that I am so very blessed with. I am thankful for my health. And I am thankful for my salvation~I don't know how so many people in this world go through life without a Savior and hope for eternal life in Heaven. I pray if you are reading this that you have the same saving Faith in the Lord, but if you don't~you CAN!!! Please ask me about it!