Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Amniocentesis tomorrow

Tomorrow we have an appointment with Dr. Taslimi for amniocentesis. Dr. Taslimi is our "Stanford in Santa Cruz" doctor, and we think he is a great doctor. We're very impressed with his care so far. Our appointment is at 9:40 in the morning, and Juan is taking the day off to be at the appointment. My mom is here to be with us and also to help take care of Olivia because I'm supposed to be a "couch potato" for a couple of days after the procedure.

We are a bit nervous about the procedure, but also excited about finding out more about what is happening with our baby. One of the interesting things about amniocentesis is that we will be able to find out the gender of the baby - and it's 100% accurate (as opposed to an ultrasound...where there is always a small element of human error possible)! It's funny because with our last pregnancy we weren't even sure if we wanted to find out the gender, but this time around we can't wait to find out! Of course the circumstances are a bit different, and we want to know as much as we can about this baby.

If you'd like to pray for us, you can pray for Dr. Taslimi as he performs the procedure and for us as we learn more about what is happening with our baby. We won't receive any results for about 2 weeks, so the next few weeks will be a time of simply waiting.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Little bitty update

Last Thursday and Friday I was having a slight feeling of tightness in the area of my uterus. I was a bit nervous about this, not knowing what could be going on with the baby. Having had the feeling for two days in a row, I called my doctor's office. I talked with the receptionist, who took a message, and then I got a call from the Medical Assistant, who asked me some questions and then relayed the information to the nurse, and then I got a call from the nurse. The nurse asked some questions and then talked with the doctor. Finally, she called me back and said that the doctor wanted me to come in to see her. I casually asked her what time would be good for them (in the usual "schedule an appointment with the doctor" way), and the nurse calmly said, "Dr. Lawson said to have you start making your way down here now."

After experiencing the escalation from receptionist to medical assistant to nurse to doctor to "come in right now," I was a wreck. I called our family friend Sonya, who came over in 5 minutes to care for Olivia, and by the time she showed up at the door I was sobbing.

Juan met me at Dr. Lawson's office and was very stable and reassuring to me. We waited for about 15 minutes or so in the lobby, went back into a room where we waited a bit more, and finally went into the ultrasound room and waited some more. Finally Dr. Lawson arrived and promptly did the ultrasound. The baby is growing and moving and the heart is beating!

The swelling is still present, but the growth, movement and heartbeat were good news! Dr. Lawson was very assuring and helpful, offering to see me at any time if I just felt nervous or had questions. She was also very careful to, in a very kind way, remind us of the seriousness of the diagnosis and some of the possible outcomes. She is a wonderful doctor.

At this point, our next step is the Amniocentesis scheduled on July 1. My mom is flying out to be with me and to help care for Olivia as I am supposed to take it easy for a couple of days afterward. We won't get the results from the Amnio for another 2 weeks as the procedure involves growing cells to be tested! It will be an interesting 2 weeks while we wait for the results.

That's our "little bitty" update on our "little bitty" baby. Thanks again for all the love and support! I'll try to keep posting on here as we get more news and information.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thank you

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for the incredible love and support you have given to us over the last two weeks. We both feel so loved and encouraged by all of you and your kind words. Thank you for your phone calls and your prayers.

At this point, we are simply waiting. We have a test planned for July 1, but nothing scheduled-not even a routine appointment-until then. So we're just waiting...on a daily basis. We are not in the thick of doctor's visits like we were two weeks ago, so life feels pretty normal, but we also know things could change at any time.

We'd appreciate your prayers, and we'll continue to keep you posted if there's anything to update.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

We're pregnant!!!...and we need your prayers.

For those of you who we haven't talked to lately...or who haven't heard...we're pregnant! We found out the great news in mid-April, and we've been letting the news out as a slow trickle...not really keeping it a secret, but not really announcing it to the whole world either.

Our due date is December 20, 2010 (talk about a fun Christmas, huh?), and Juan and I are both ecstatic about the news. Olivia is excited, too. In honor of the occasion, she learned how to say the word "baby" (or her own version thereof). Now I won't go so far as to say that she gets the concept of a baby being in Mommy's tummy, but when she sees a baby, whether in person, in a photo, or one of her baby dolls, she says, "Ba-bay" or "Ba-bo" (depending on the day).

So why do we need your prayers? Last Wednesday, I had a routine appointment with my ob/gyn. Everything seemed to be going fine, and the doctor pulled out the doppler machine to listen for the baby's heartbeat. We didn't hear it right away, and she said, "You know, it's like searching for a needle in a haystack. Why don't we do a quick ultrasound?" So we made our way into the ultrasound room, and as soon as the picture of the baby went up on the monitor, I saw the heartbeat. Whew. Dr. Lawson then said, "This is a very cute stage." And she was could clearly see the shape of the baby's body and head, and little arms that wiggled around. She was quiet for a while, taking measurements and such, which was no surprise to me, but then she turned off the machine and very calmly said to me, "Shelly, I see something that is of concern to me and I'd like to refer you to a specialist for him to give us his opinion. I noticed some swelling around the body of the baby, and I think it could be what is called a cystic hygroma."

The next day we went to see the specialist and he confirmed that the baby does indeed have a cycstic hygroma, which is a fluid-filled cyst located behind the neck. A person can develop a cystic hygroma at any point in her life, but when it is diagnosed prenatally, it is a serious threat to the baby's well-being. While it is possible that the hygroma could resolve itself on its own and we could deliver a completely healthy baby, it's also possible that there could be a chromosomal abnormality or that the baby might not survive.

As you can imagine, this has been a very tough few days for us. We've felt a broad range of emotions, but we've also felt very loved and supported by our family as well our friends, many in our community at Mount Hermon.

In just this short time, we've come to believe that no matter what the outcome is, God has allowed these things to happen in our lives for a reason. We also believe that God will give us whatever it is we need in any it support, healing, wisdom, comfort, etc...

We'd certainly appreciate your prayers. We're simultaneously praying for the baby's healing AND to learn and grow from this experience, no matter what the ending.

I'll close with a passage from the Psalms that I remembered tonight. I read it to Juan, and we were both very touched by it. It represents what we believe about our baby, no matter how this story ends.

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.
My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139: 13-16