Thursday, March 25, 2010

Not the Post I Had Planned

Since last week when I found out I was scheduled for my c-section this past Monday I was planning today's post. If baby boy had been delivered on Monday, he (and I) would have come home today. That would have meant the absolute world to me! Why would today have been so amazing? 2 years ago today, Julianna was discharged from the NICU and came home. How incredible would it have been to have him come home the same day, March 25th?!?!

I was planning to post a picture very similar to the one of Julianna below. Both babies in their carseats on the way home from the hospital, my final comparison. But instead, so much has happened and now I don't even know when Baby K will be born. Now, please don't misunderstand, I am extremely happy and grateful that all my efforts to keep this kiddo baking have paid off enough that we can wait on his delivery a little longer. I am thankful that he can get this extra time he needs, just disappointed that he not only hasn't arrived, but when he does, he will not be coming home from the hospital with me. In fact he won't even be in the same hospital as me.

I am trying very hard to get past my own emotions of disappointment and frustration and shock and everything else, and focus on baby boy and making sure he gets everything he needs. I want to make sure he has the best chance possible considering the new circumstances.

So, instead of my dual carseat photos, here's my kiddos 37 week comparison.

Baby K @ 37 weeks

Julianna @ 37 weeks

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Low Down on Baby K's Heart

On Monday, Dr G noticed a problem with Baby K's heart during our amnio. His preliminary diagnosis was Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. You can read more about it here. But basically, he noticed the left side of his heart was significantly smaller than the right side, mostly the left ventricle. With this defect Baby K would not have been able to survive without immediate intervention which included open heart surgery shortly after birth (and 2 more open heart surgeries over the next few years). Joe and I were beside ourselves with worry. We were referred to a pediatric cardiologist to get an official diagnosis.

We saw Baby K's new cardiologist today, Dr P (yes, he will need a cardiologist, probably for his whole life). We had a fetal echocardiogram and a consultation afterwards. He has not ruled out HLHS since he does have most of the markers for it, but says he is optimistic that baby boy does not have it. Here is what he thinks the problems are and what we would do for them (Dr P drew the pictures for us, I added the arrows so it would be easier to explain):

Normal baby's heart (while in utero)

Baby K's heart

Red Arrow: Hypoplasia of the left ventricle, basically his left ventricle is significantly smaller than the right. The left ventricle is responsible for getting oxygenated blood to the body. The good news is that the left ventricle is completely developed and is functioning, it's just smaller and will have to work much harder. The hope is that after birth, it will be able to continue functioning and be able to support the body's needed blood supply.

Green Arrow: Hypoplasia of the mitral valve, this is the opening through which blood travels from the left atria to the left ventricle. Because his valve is small, less blood can get through to the ventricle. Dr. P does not see this as a major issue right now, and will just keep an eye on it.
Blue Arrow: Aortic Stenosis, the valve going from the left ventricle to the aorta is slightly small, but the main problem is that it isn't always opening completely. This restricts the blood coming from the ventricle and causes the ventricle to work harder than normal. If this remains a problem, the valve would need to be catherized. His valve is also bicuspid, which means it has 2 flaps instead of the normal 3.
Purple Arrow: Hypoplasia of the aorta, baby boy's aorta is narrower than normal, but Dr P feels that is still an adequate size and is hoping that by correcting some of his other issues that the aorta will eventually get larger.
Yellow Arrow:Coarctation of aorta, this is a severely narrowed part of baby boy's aorta. Because his aorta narrows some of the oxygenated blood is flowing backwards (Turquoise Arrow). The location of the narrowing will severely affect the blood flow to the lower portion of his body after he is born (about arm pits down). So he will receive prostaglandins (a med) to keep his PDA open. Some of you may remember Julianna had to have medication to close her PDA after birth, how odd this baby will have meds to keep his open! Permanently fixing this would require surgery. An incision would be made under his arm and they would go in to correct the problem that way.
So, this is the plan as of right now...Dr P is contacting Dr O to decide when I should deliver (Dr P wants to wait longer for baby boy, but Dr O doesn't want to wait because of my risk for rupture). Once Baby K is delivered, he will immediately be transferred to A.C. Hospital for observation. At this time a better diagnosis can be made (since they won't be going through me to see his heart). If Dr P is correct about the above diagnosis, then baby boy will have those interventions and will hopefully only have a 5-10 day stay at the hospital. If they determine that it is indeed HLHS, then he will have the first of his open heart surgeries and be at the hospital for much longer. The more optimistic diagnosis would leave Baby K with very few life-long issues, HLHS would mean a lifetime of meds, possible surgeries and the worry of complications.
So even though Dr P is "very optimistic for this best case scenario" (his wording) that it is not HLHS, please keep praying for Baby K because we will not know for sure until after he is born.
(Sorry for the giant paragraph, Blogger is being dumb tonight!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

I "Heart" My Baby Boy

Ok, so for those of you who don't know yet, Baby K will not be being born today. The amnio showed his lungs were borderline mature, so the doctors decided to wait another week and then do another amnio. We were disappointed when we found out, but that all paled in comparison to the shock we received before hand.

During the ultrasound, to get measurements and check for fluid pockets (to get the amnio sample) the sonographer and Dr. G (the MFM doctor doing the amnio) found a possible heart defect in Baby K. There is a slight chance that baby boy was just in a bad position, but more than likely the scan was correct. The defect that was found is not a good one. Just researching a la google, I have learned what Baby K might be facing, and to say I am very worried is a massive understatement.

I don't want to go into details about what might be wrong. We have an appointment with a pediatric cardiologist on Wednesday, and then we will know for sure what baby boy will be dealing with. I do know that I am so thankful for the ultrasound today. Most babies that aren't diagnosed prenatally with this defect do not get diagnosed until it is too late. If baby boy has this defect we will now go into his delivery with a game plan and his chances will be much better.

I will say that our hopes of a NICU free baby are all but gone. If he has this defect, he will need just as much hospitalization as Julianna, actually more. That is devastating to me. After all that was done to keep him baking to avoid the NICU, he will still need to go there.

Once we have our appointment on Wednesday I will give more details, but until then I am still praying we just had a bad scan.

Please pray for Baby K!

Friday, March 19, 2010

36 weeks

Well, I started this post last night, but Julianna had plans that didn't involve me finishing it then.

She went to bed so easily, and after about 20 minutes was crying hysterically. I opened her door to check on her to find her completely covered in vomit. And it wasn't just her, her bed was totally soaked. Ugh. Needless to say went through 7 pairs of pajamas last night, I had to change twice, and I had completed 3 loads of yucky laundry by midnight. Thank goodness Joe was able to leave work and come home to help out. Now I am paranoid that I will either get sick and not be able to have my amnio and c-section on Monday, or even worse...I'll get sick right after my c-section. After a pretty sleepless night for everyone, she seems much better. She just finished some toast, so we'll see if that can stay down.

Well, here's the original part of my post...

Baby K is 36 weeks! And this will hopefully be his last week in my belly! I will actually miss this third trimester. The last 3 or 4 weeks have actually been the best of my pregnancy (minus all the contractions). They've been the best simply because my stress level has dramatically decreased! I'm no longer worrying about whether or not baby boy would be born to soon...I knew at this point he would be ok.

I am getting sooo excited for Monday! So here is what may be the last pregnancy comparison of my kiddos!

Baby K @ 36 weeks

Julianna @ 36 weeks

A mom whose baby was in the NICU for St. Patrick's Day brought hats for all the babies. It was so much fun to dress Julianna up! This onesie was a 0-3 month onesie and was sooooo big on her, but she had to wear it anyway! I am curious to see how much baby boy weighs, because on March 18, Julianna weighed 5lbs 9oz, and I know he was estimated at over 6lbs as of 2 weeks ago. It's amazing just what a difference staying put can make with a baby's growth!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Potpourri Post

This post is going to be a mish-mash of all kinds of things.

First, I went to see my friend Melissa today. She had her twin girls last night! Ava & Alyvia made their appearance shortly after 7pm yesterday. Both girls are doing wonderfully and despite only being 36 weeks (still preemies) and very small (both were under 5lbs) they did not need a NICU stay and are rooming with mom. I was so happy that after such a long and rough pregnancy she got a wonderful delivery and healthy babies! 3 out of the 8 babies (from our February mommies shower) have arrived!

I got my LAST 17P injection today!!!!!!!!

We did some baby prepping today. New car seat has been purchased (we decided to get a new one so it could snap into the double jogger we're getting) and Julianna's travel system was posted for sale. Bottles and pacifiers have all been sterilized and put away. Joe got our bags out so I can pack them. It's amazing how much stuff needs packed for a toddler to stay at her grandparents for 4 days! Her bag is waaayyy bigger than mine or baby boy's! It's amazing all the things I keep adding to my bag, considering I had nothing when Julianna was born!

We have all been loving the warm weather! Julianna wakes up and immediately asks to go outside and cries whenever we come back in the house. I am so glad she is going to be a girl who loves being outdoors! Now as long as baby boy likes being outside we'll have a great summer!

I haven't made my March for Babies post yet, but hopefully you've noticed the badge on the left side of my blog. This will be our 3rd year walking in honor of Julianna. And since baby boy is scheduled to be here next week, I will be able to actually walk by May. A big thank you goes out to Jennifer R. who was my FIRST donation of 2010! Please consider making a donation to Team K!

And finally, Happy St. Patrick's Day! Julianna didn't have a green shirt, so she wore a white one with a green bow. Being that she LOVES wearing her Mardi-Gras beads I figured she could wear some green ones today. Apparently she's over her "necklaces" and refused to wear any. Sigh...toddlers.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

T-Minus 6 Days

Just like any other Tuesday, I had an OB appointment this morning. But unlike other weeks, I now have a possible birthday for Baby K!

The appointment, to my disappointment, did not include an ultrasound like planned. It did include a GBS, and a cervical exam. My cerclage is still holding strong! Woohoo! I was put on the monitor for awhile to watch my contractions, because they have been getting pretty strong. Luckily they weren't bad and I got to come home. But Dr. O is really concerned about my risk for uterine rupture. Normally my cerclage would be removed at 37 weeks and a c-section would be scheduled for 39 weeks. But with my classic incision from Julianna's emergency section, I am at high-risk for my scar rupturing and causing all kinds of bad things to happen to both me and baby. So a plan was made based on how much he does not want me to go into labor at all.

I am scheduled for an amniocentesis on Monday. At that time if Baby Boy's lungs are mature, I will be admitted and have my c-section. A date!!! March 22nd!!! We have a date!!! I can't believe that in less than a week Baby K will possibly be here! Talk about what will be the longest week of my life! Time to finish up last minute things for baby.

I am sooo excited!!!!!!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chocolate Pudding

For some reason I felt that chocolate pudding was a good dessert to give Julianna the other day...I'll chalk the disaster up to pregnancy brain.

Better Late Than Never

I took my 35 week picture a few days ago, but just haven't felt like bloggin much lately. So, I guess the old saying "better late than never" would apply to my week 35 comparison. As of today, baby boy has had 7 weeks and 5 days longer to grow than Julianna. I cannot even say how happy that makes me. It's indescribable! At this this point he will most likely NOT need the NICU! I think it is safe to say that I will have a NICU free baby and that he will come home from the hospital when I do...not 66 days later!

Baby Boy at 35 weeks

At 35 weeks, Julianna's only obstacle to come home was to "nipple" all her feeds. That could be either by nursing or from a bottle. This picture is daddy trying to feed her...she was eating about 40ml at each feeding (30ml = 1oz). Whatever she couldn't finish from the bottle (she often was just too tired to finish) she would get via her feeding tube.
Julianna at 35 weeks 4 days

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I haven't felt much like blogging lately and I haven't really had much to blog about. I promise to post my 35 week pic here soon though.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sunshine and Warm Weather

I cannot believe the weather today! I just walked out to get the mail without a coat on! It's wonderful! The fabulous weather the last 2 days has definitely made me antsy. I'm antsy to get outside in nice weather. I'm antsy to start camping again. I am super duper antsy to have this baby and be done with this pregnancy! It's suppose to rain for the next few the temperature is supposed to stay in the high 50's...yay!! I can't wait for the rest of this snow to melt and for spring to officially be here! It took me a little longer than everyone else, but I am now officially over winter. Bring on the sun and warm weather!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just Visiting!

Today, I had an experience that totally sums up what my OB thinks of this pregnancy.

I went to visit my sister and super cute Emma at the hospital. I got on the elevator and took it to the 4th floor. The doors opened to reveal my OB, Dr. O, standing there in scrubs. The look on his face was priceless. It was a look of surprise, but I think he sighed, like, "Oh great, what now?"

He jokes that he doesn't actually expect me to make it between office visits without a trip to L&D, and that he won't be surprised if I deliver any day. So, when he saw me I'm sure he wasn't completely surprised.

I noticed his expression and immediately held up the gift I had for Emma, and almost yelled out, "I'm just visiting!"

His response was simply, "Oh good."

Emma Louise

Julianna's newest little cousin arrived yesterday.
Welcome to Emma Louise!
March 5, 2010 @ 3:33pm
7lbs 11 oz
19 3/4 inches

Congratulations Erin & Jason (and big brother Ian & big sister Ellie)!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another Goal Met!

Baby K has now had 6 weeks and 1 day longer to bake than Julianna! I have reached my next pregnancy goal...34 weeks! At this point, all my pregnancy goals are weekly ones. Each week I can keep baby boy inside is that much better! It is amazing to me that by next week (35 weeks), Baby K has a very high chance of coming home from the hospital with me! No NICU stay...ZERO...ZIP...ZILCH! WOW!!!!! Baby boy has dropped this week. It's nice because I have more room to breathe, but boy oh boy he's pushing awfully hard on things that are uncomfortable now.

Baby K: 34 weeks
Julianna: 34 weeks 3 days

She was really starting to look like a newborn! Julianna was upgraded from a preemie pacifier to a regular newborn pacifier during her 34th week. Check out how huge it looks since she was still so small!

YAY for 34 weeks!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Little Weirdo

I call Julianna my little weirdo, in the most loving way of course! She does things sometimes that just make me laugh and I love her for it. Yesterday, this is how I found her.

The container she's sitting in is supposed to hold her dress-up things, but instead she has decided it makes a good seat. She spent a good 30 minutes sitting in the container and drawing on her magna-doodle. And these days, you don't see her without at least 5-10 Mardi Gras beads on (thanks to Grandma & Grandpa K for bringing them back from Louisianna!)

I love my little weirdo!

2 To Go!!!

I just had my weekly 17P injection, and I am so excited to say that I only have 2 more to go!! I have had 18 injections already and will be sooooo glad to have them all done!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

OB Update and....A Name?

Wow, another OB appointment that didn't go so badly (there were some blech parts, but I want to focus on the good today). It started out with an ultrasound to get good measurements on Baby K. Since I have gestational diabetes, he's at risk for getting too big. Ummm, he's BIG! His weigh was estimated at more than 6lbs already...pretty sure my Week By Week book says he should be like 5lbs. The weight wasn't really a concern though since the ultrasound can be off by as much as half a pound (either he could actually be close to 7! I won't think about that). It was his measurements that showed us a GIANT baby. His head measured at almost 38.5 weeks!!!! I already know we have giant headed kids, but holy cow a whole month ahead! The rest of his measurements put him between 36 and 37 weeks. Still really big!

The ultrasound also showed...HAIR! Lots of hair on the back if his head...he may come out with a mullet, but at least he'll have hair! After checking Baby K's measurements, the tech did a cervical measurement. She took 3 measurements and they all fell between 2.1cm and 2.4cm, so that is GOOD! You could also see my cerclage in the ultrasound, that was a little weird because I've never seen it in one before. She also did a check on my Amniotic fluid levels, which came out at a 9. If I continue to "hang in there" I will have one more ultrasound before my c-section.

Dr. O was at a delivery, so I got to see Dr. C again today. He told me he was very happy to see me today, because that meant I was still pregnant...haha! It was a basic tummy check at that point. I do not go back for 2 weeks (haha, yeah right) because he said at this point, they are happy if I deliver any time after Thursday (when I'm 34 weeks), and other than the risk of uterine rupture & my GD, most of the reasons for me being high-risk are no worse than a normal pregnancy at this point. Even if this were a normal pregnancy, at 34 weeks they do not stop labor if it starts (but in my case, I would just go in for a section if I go into labor).

I did ask him about the cramping I have started having. Now along with every contraction I get horrible cramping. He said if it's really bad, but still not regular, to take some Tylenol and lay down for awhile. However, just like before, if I have more than 4 contractions an hour I am supposed to call and go to L&D. On Thursday I will breathe a huge sigh of relief. Now that I am so close, I will reveal that my goal was to make it to 34 weeks. I knew at that point, most preemie issues could be avoided. There could still be problems, but at 34 weeks they are minimal and much more rare than at Julianna's 27 weeks.

And last, but not least, we are 90% sure we have a name for Baby K! It's a name we have been debating since we found out we were expecting, but just weren't positive it was the right one. Today, after seeing ultrasound pics that were so clear we could see the shape of his nose and lips, we knew it was the name we wanted to use. I want to restate that we are NOT telling anyone the name we chose until he is born. That's our surprise for everyone that day. So don't ask, I won't tell :0)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Belly Shots

My friend Mallory took an awesome picture of her belly with wooden blocks spelling out her baby's name. So my sister and I decided to be copy cats and do the same. Unfortunately, since Joe and I have still NOT decided on a name for Baby K, my blocks just spelled "Baby".

Me & Baby

Erin & Emma

Well, Ian decided he too wanted in on the photo session. So, of course we took his picture too.
Ian's belly

Someday, he'll hate us for this picture...haha!