Monthly Archives: May 2010

dressing up

my kids are beginning to enjoy "dress up." whether or not they actually role play once in their "costumes," they are having a blast with random items i’ve purchased at Dollar Tree or things made by nana. i LOVE the imagination of a child… i had a very vivid and active one when i was young (heck, still do!) and i want to encourage this as much as possible.

 

yesterday was the day of PIRATES:
  

i love how davey is also wearing his bam-bam shirt from his halloween costume!

 

earlier this week, i’m not sure WHAT sam was, but she was having a blast wearing construction goggles and davey’s super boy cape:

 

 

maybe it’s time i start hunting down some princess dresses for samantha?  

mmmm bbq

is there anything tastier than BBQ? i guess it depends on your mood and your taste buds. my taste buds are currently "out of whack" because i have a head cold (courtesy of my son). but when we were in seattle the other day, after our appointments, we met up with dave’s sister for lunch (she lives about 15-20 minutes from swedish hospital). we ventured to the main drag and planned to eat at a yummy mexican restaurant. but they’re only open for dinner. and there, across the street, was this place:

 

and despite my head cold (complete with stuffy nose and whacked out tastebuds), bbq sounded good. to all of us. so we headed into this cute place. inside, it looks more like a hole in the wall. and small. very, very small. we all ordered the bbq brisket sandwich. dave and rachel got baked beans as their side and i got homemade macaroni & cheese for my side dish.

looks good, doesn’t it? it was. what little i could taste of it. but dave, the expert on bbq (‘cuz you know he went to college in texas for 4 years and ate a LOT of GOOD/REAL bbq there), said it was pretty good. he could even taste the smokiness in the meat (a major requirement for brisket, especially smoked brisket). 

 

so if you’re ever in west seattle, the brickyard is a worthwhile stop if you like bbq. we should’ve branched out to try the bbq pork and bbq chicken, but brisket isn’t all that common up here and we’re all still glad we ordered it!

 

FOOD BATTLE UPDATE:
many thanks to those of you who have shared your success stories and/or simply encouraged us through these food battles. removing chocolate milk from davey’s diet has helped a bit. same with removing snacks. he’s extra crabby still at dinner time (i think we eat too late for him but that can’t be helped – it’s all based on Dave getting home) but we’re wrapping up lunch plates to save for dinner. thus far, we haven’t had to wrap up a dinner plate to save for breakfast. i’m not looking forward to that adventure (breakfast – cereal – is the one meal he almost always eats without a fuss). but we’re going to stick with it. we’re still open for suggestions, advice, encouragement, etc. but for now, we’ll keep plugging away. 

seattle update #2

 Wednesday: May 26, 2010

Our day in Seattle began with a fetal echocardiogram (basically, a fetal heart ultrasound). Dr. Krabill is a fetal heart expert. She confirmed that Daisy’s heart appears to be functioning normally – chambers, valves, flow, output, contraction, etc., which is encouraging. On several views, she thought the heart looked slightly enlarged, but on other views it looked normal. Overall, she didn’t see any major concerns or red flags, though she will spend the next few weeks reviewing the echo pictures in more detail and consulting with colleagues both near and far. 

Of note: during the echo, they WERE able to detect the umbilical vein (well, at least the path of the blood flow). Normally, the vein takes a pretty straight shot from the placenta to the liver. In Daisy’s case, the vein travels south and in a winding pattern where it connects directly to the IVC (inferior vena cava). The ramifications of this are unknown. The vein may or may not shut down after birth. If it doesn’t shut down on it’s own, Daisy may need medication or surgery. It’s not likely, however, that she’ll need surgery immediately. 

Next was our consult with perinatologist, Dr. Eastwood. She had already spoken with Dr. Krabill and reviewed the echo images and my chart (including my delivery history). My physical exam is essentially unchanged from my last appointment in Seattle – my body is NOT in active labor and I’m still only dilated to 1 cm. Based on the exam and the fetal echo, Dr. Eastwood set up our plan. This is where I looked at Dave and we both kinda held our breath. Would I have to stay in Seattle starting now?!

The “game plan” is for me to return to Seattle in 4 weeks (when I’m 36 weeks) for a growth ultrasound, another fetal echocardiogram and a follow-up consult. I’ve been directed to bring a bag (meaning it’s likely they’ll admit me to the hospital). There was talk of inducing me somewhere around 36 or 37 weeks. 

In the meantime, I am to continue with twice weekly NSTs in Bellingham and remain on bed rest. If I go into labor before June 23 (the date of my next trip to Seattle), Dr. Eastwood is confident that I can safely deliver this baby in Bellingham (unless Daisy shows signs of heart failure or distress, which would require me to be moved to Swedish). 

On the way to Seattle and again on the way home, Dave and I had the opportunity to talk about this “process.” For each of us, we felt overwhelmed and unsure and worried when we were initially advised of the “issues.” But once we started to share our story and asked people to start praying, we felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Comfort. Calmness. Courage. God has truly given us a “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7) as we live this experience. We know that Daisy is in God’s hands. We know that He created her JUST EXACTLY how He wants her (Psalm 139). We know that she is already a miracle. And we only grow more encouraged with each test and doctor’s appointment. 

We are praising God that I was able to COME HOME today. That was a HUGE relief to both of us. And I have "special permission" from Dr. Eastwood to attend a consignment/garage sale at a local church the first weekend in June if I promise to have someone push me in a wheelchair and if I promise to "get out" if it turns into some crazy-insane sale (picture the episode of FRIENDS where Monica, Rachel and Phoebe are fighting some other shopper for Monica’s wedding gown….)!

We continue to covet your prayers. We are so thankful for those of you who are praying for Daisy, for us and for all of our physicians. We are also so grateful to those of you who continue to love us and encourage us with meals, child care, special treats, hugs and other support. We are blessed beyond words. And we ask you to please continue to pray, because even though we are at ease, this is still a serious medical situation. 

food battles

we’re heading to seattle today for a fetal echocardiogram, an NST and a follow-up appointment with the perinatology department (i thought it was the neonatology department…. so now i’m confused!). we’ll share an update with you once we know the story and the game plan. but for now, back to "regular life."

 

we (dave and i) need some encouragement regarding parenting and FOOD issues…..

 

dave and i have been involved with some EPIC battles with davey regarding food. lunch and dinner, to be more specific. even if/when davey gets to CHOOSE what he wants, he won’t eat it. and the crying, screaming, back-talking, spitting and all other manner of sinful behavior ensues. and we’ve decided we’ve had enough. it’s time to end this charade. this kid does NOT get to win the battle of eating just b/c we’re both exhausted and too tired to fight with him about food each day/night. he is not the parent. 

 

so our plan is this: you don’t want to eat it now? fine. it’s not worth the battle to get you to eat a half a bite. but you will eat it later. for your snack. and if it’s still not gone after your snack, you’ll eat it heated up again for your dinner. and if you still haven’t finished it, it’ll be your breakfast tomorrow morning. and we’ll continue with that pattern until each plate of food is completely eaten. granted, we’re not opposed to adding more food to the plate each time (like adding green beans and/or chicken at dinner time to his leftover lunch plate of mac and cheese). but no crackers. no cookies. no snacks of any kind. 

 

AND NO MORE CHOCOLATE MILK. NONE AT ALL. none. not a drop. until now, we’ve let him have his fill b/c he needs the extra calories. but no more. not at this price. i’m really thinking the sugar in the chocolate is messing with his appetite. and i’m willing to go to crazy lengths right now to get him back on track. 

 

i’m the first person to admit that i was (and to a more mild extent, still am) an EXTREMELY picky eater, so i’m sensitive to the reality of his taste buds. but we’re not asking him to eat liver and onions. heck, we’re not even asking him to try everything we eat (not yet, at least). we’re simply trying to get him to eat (and preferably something OTHER than cereal). we have battles about him eating his favorite foods – mac&cheese, chicken nuggets/strips, etc. EPIC BATTLES. it’s ridiculous. 

 

what encouragement, advice or suggestions do you have to offer? we’d love to hear from you!

super boy & update

we received another package from nana over the weekend. she included a hand made cape for SUPER BOY… aka: davey. i took these photos with my iPhone while he was running and i was stuck… i mean trapped… i mean resting on the couch. so he’s small and far away in them. and they’re blurry. but i like ‘em anyway. someday i’ll get to edit them a bit but for now, bear with me, okay?

 

 

SCIENCE SIDE NOTE: Fetal Fibronectin (fFN) is a protein in the uterus that acts as a "glue" to hold the amniotic sac to the uterine wall. a fFN test should not pop positive after the 1st trimester and through week 34 of pregnancy because it means the fFN protein (the "glue") is breaking down to allow the sac to pull away from the wall (part of the body’s process of preparing for birth). statics are varied, but the percentage of women who DELIVER a baby within 2 weeks of a "positive" fFN test are pretty high. IF they’re having other labor symptoms. 

 

i had to wait a LONG time yesterday to get my fetal fibronectin (fFN) test. they neglected to tell me i’d be with the on-call doctor – my frustration level might not have raised so high had i realized i’d spend more time waiting to see the doctor than even driving to the darn office! my appointment was scheduled for 2:10 and i didn’t see the doctor until 2:56 (trust me, i’m sure – i was planning on leaving at 3 with or without the test!)! and it took less than 5 minutes to take a sample swap, a manual exam (still only dilated to 1), measure me and listen to Daisy’s heartbeat. 

 

the test results were rushed (STAT) to the lab and i was directed to call the office around 4:30 for the results. so i headed home (by way of Rite Aid, in case anyone saw me, ‘cuz I needed some medicine for this darn head cold Davey shared with me). at 4:31 i called the office and the on-call doctor told me my test was positive but other than that, she wasn’t sure of the "game plan." so i was directed to "sit tight" (i was lying on the couch) while my local doctors conferred with the Seattle perinatologists and decided what was to become of me. 

 

in less than 30 minutes, MY OB, Dr. Mallory, with his calm voice and demeanor, was on the phone asking me a few questions. mostly about contractions, which i’m not having. a few, sporadic braxton-hicks contractions here and there, but otherwise, no activity (other than Daisy’s on-going, practically constant movement!). so even though my fFN test was positive, because my manual exam was essentially unchanged from 3 weeks ago and because i’m NOT having contractions, i was told i could STAY HOME. on STRICT bed rest. and simply follow-up in seattle, as scheduled, on wednesday morning.

 

Dr. Mallory’s final words? "we look forward to a positive report from seattle." i really like this guy. he’s calm. reassuring. and an optimist. i know he’s too medical-textbook for some of my friends, but dave and i like that. we LIKE getting the explanation(s) of what’s going on even though we don’t always understand it all. he doesn’t talk down to us. we appreciate that. ‘cuz we’re pretty smart people, you know?!

 

now other than the already-scheduled testing on wednesday in seattle, we don’t know what the day holds. we don’t know if i’ll have to stay down there starting on wednesday or if i’ll be allowed to come home. we’re praying, of course, that i can come home. i have no desire to be so far from my family and stuck in a hospital. but God is in control. and we continue to rest in Him as He walks us (and carries us!) through this journey. but i have peace. a peace that passes all understanding and could only come from one source – God alone. 

 

no update

it’s monday morning. my kids are at play group with my wonderful and amazing friends (love and miss you all!). my mother-in-law has gone home for several hours. i’m listening to the dishwasher and the washing machine (neither are quiet entities). and i’m bored, bored, bored. and sick (thanks for the head cold, davey!). and restless. and my eyes hurt but i can’t sleep. 

 

but i am lying down on the couch (yea for my laptop)!

 

my appointment isn’t until 2:10 this afternoon, so i doubt we’ll have test results before tomorrow morning (though i could be unpleasantly surprised) since the test has to go to the lab and get processed.

 

but would you like to see what made me smile this morning? this little find:

i’d been looking for something cute and shallow to hold my bracelet collection. and i stumbled across this wooden planter for 49 cents at the thrift store last week (again, BEFORE i was on complete bed rest). it’s the perfect size. the perfect depth. an *almost* perfect color (it’s a little "brighter" than my towels in my bathroom). and it fits on the back of the toilet – the exact (and only) location i really have to store those bracelets so they can be seen and worn.

 

see that big green bracelet in the top right of the photo? i found that at a garage sale (several weeks ago) for something ridiculous like 10 cents. seriously? 10 cents? why not just give it away?!   :)

 

other things that have been making me smile lately (in no particular order):

- sam’s smile that still contains 4 gaps because she has no eye teeth yet

- sam adding a few words to her vocabulary (elmo, candy, up, bye-bye)

- davey calling everyone his "fwiends" (even daddy, mama, grandpa, grandma, samantha….)

- davey talking about baby daisy in mama’s belly

- davey and samantha taking turns kissing my belly (attempting to kiss baby daisy)

- feeling this sweet baby girl move like a crazy-child inside me

- having two hot meals provided each week

- having AMAZING friends offering to do anything and everything they can to help

- my husband. working so hard from waking to sleeping. doing the best he can to be daddy, mama, husband, employee and everything else that goes with each of those titles.

-  the BEAUTIFUL bouquet of flowers delivered to my door last friday by a friend from church. i was on my way home from the doctor’s office, so i missed her visit. i thought it was a bouquet from a florist… they’re from her garden. GORGEOUS!

- knowing that no matter what happens, this baby girl is loved. wanted. adored. she is God’s gift to us, for however long we are privileged to enjoy her. and knowing that no matter what the medical world thinks they know, God knows better. God is bigger than the doctors. He is a miracle worker. and THAT makes me smile!

makes me smile

these characters make me smile….

 

 

both of those photos are from LAST weekend…. davey playing with daddy’s work iPad while in the car enroute to Lowes and Sonic. and my sweet vanity girl enjoying the $2 garage sale find i scored (again, LAST weekend – BEFORE i was on complete bed rest)!

local update #2

 Friday: May 21, 2010 Well folks, today was ALMOST the day. I went in for an ultrasound, NST and an appointment. The ultrasound results were mixed. Still no fluid on the baby’s lungs and the amniotic fluid is still normal (both GOOD things). But my the length of my cervix was not so good. And there was a possibility of me being sent to Seattle TODAY. Thankfully, though, my NST revealed a good heart beat, an active baby and NO contractions. So instead of being shipped down to Seattle, I’m at home on bed rest. I’ll return to the office on Monday for a fetal fibro-nectin test (measures protein in the cervix). A positive test means you’re highly likely to go into labor in the next two weeks. So if that test is positive, I’ll be sent to Seattle on Monday (for hospitalized bed rest). For now, we’re praising God for mostly good results from today’s ultrasound. We’re also praising him for our doctor (my listed OB – Dr. Mallory) who didn’t over-react and ship me right down to Seattle. AND we’re really praising God for Dr. Mallory’s optimistic outlook on Baby Daisy. He’s pretty convinced she will be 100% healthy when she’s born. He thinks that there was a thrombosis (blocking/blockage) of the umbilical vein somewhere early on during her development. (This vein is NOT needed after delivery). If you would please continue to keep us ALL (Dave, Davey, Samantha, Daisy and I) in your prayers, we would appreciate it. I’m just over 31 weeks along right now. You usually don’t want to deliver earlier than 34 weeks (based on the baby’s lung development), so I’m really praying I can stay pregnant for another 2.5+ weeks. I also do NOT want to be on bed rest in Seattle. Not only would I be in the hospital for far too long for my sanity, but I would be away from my husband AND my children for quite some time – I’m sure you can imagine the stress that would add to my already over-flowing brain! And many, MANY thanks to those of you who are praying, providing meals, helping with child care and everything else. We appreciate all of you and we will continue to rely on you for awhile longer. (Note: My mom (nana) is flying into Seattle on Tuesday, so she’ll be here for the duration of this pregnancy to help with the kids.)

local update

My thoughts (and the results) based on my OB appointment in Bellingham from today: 

 

 

Tuesday: May 18, 2010

 

I got read the riot act today by Dr. Mora. Apparently, I’m in charge of their office for the duration of this pregnancy – that’s how “high risk” of a situation this is. But, apparently when my appointment went “missing” on Friday, I was supposed to raise holy heck and get into the office anyway. One of the doctors would have had to do my ultrasound to check my AFI (amniotic fluid) and my cervix. That said, I got “squeezed in” for an ultrasound today.

 

So my NST went well. Daisy’s heartbeat is fine. She’s moving a lot. And I’m having limited (if any) contractions. On the ultrasound, Rachel (the sonographer) couldn’t find the fluid on Daisy’s lung(s). And my amniotic fluid level dropped from the highest range of normal to the “exact middle” range of normal. My cervix, however, did shorten a little bit (from 1.5 to 1.2). That caused some concern for Dr. Mora so he called the neonatologists in Seattle and they told him to manually check my cervix. If it had changed from my last appointment in Seattle, I was going to be sent down to Seattle immediately. (I’m assuming the unsaid reality was I would be sent to Seattle to be on hospital bed rest for the duration of the pregnancy). THANKFULLY, the manual examination revealed no change. So I’m still allowed to live at home, be on modified bed rest and continue my current version of “normal.” Dr. Mora told me to continue to LIE DOWN (not simply sit down with my feet up) as much as possible while at home. I think the goal is to take the pressure off my cervix.

 

So if I learned ANYTHING today, it’s the reality of my situation. I really do need to take it easy. I really do need to spend more time on the couch – LYING DOWN. And while I still don’t want to deliver this baby in Seattle growing more accustomed to the idea. The reality. The possible necessity.

 

And I give all the praise for today’s GOOD news to God. To all His faithful children who are praying for Daisy and me. God truly does hear the prayers of His children. He loves us and wants to give us the desires of our hearts. And sweet Daisy is the desire of many, many hearts across this country. 

 

 

 

 so please keep praying… God IS answering our prayers!

family

we’ve been blessed to have aunt mary (dave’s mom’s younger sister) here for the past 2+ months. aunt mary left this morning to spend a few weeks in California with her sons and her soon-to-be daughter-in-law. and then she’ll return to denmark. and we miss her already! the kids will DEFINITELY miss her.

aunt mary used to be a teacher. and she had her own in-home day care for awhile. the kids both adore her. you will be missed, auntie mary!

 

but today we also get to welcome uncle tom back home! he’s been at moody Bible institute in chicago, illinois since january 8th or 9th. davey hasn’t forgotten him. hasn’t stopped talking about him. this is much to uncle jeff’s frustration. but on wednesday, uncle jeff had a small victory. davey even ignored grandpa’s visit to chill in uncle jeff’s lap and play with his iPhone. yep. uncle jeff is hoping this is his "in" to the "favorite uncle" title!

uncle tom might have a run for his money, but tonight he’ll be babysitting the kids and i bet he’ll be back in "favorite uncle" status before bedtime!  :)

 

and ‘cuz i couldn’t leave you without a photo of samantha:

 

i love my kiddos and am SO THANKFUL for them. and for our family, both near and far away.