Monday, November 24, 2008

Gifts For Brooklyn

It is ONLY because so many wonderful people have asked me about this that I am even putting it on here. I feel kinda funny about it, but I have been told to do it anyways. So... on the right side of the page we've put a link to a gift registry for Brooklyn, to store her cord blood. Through lots of prayer and consideration, David and I decided that this is a great option for our family, especially considering all that Brooklyn has to face. I mean, how fabulous would it be if in the future doctors make a huge breakthrough and use cordblood stem cells to cure spina bifida!?!?!? Anyways, this medical option for her is quite expensive and has to be paid upfront. With all the other medical costs we see in our immediate future, well, it is a lot. But something that we are going to do regardless!!

Many many people have asked what they can do to help, and honestly, your love and prayers are the greatest gift you can give our family! How very blessed we are!!! But I am putting the link on here (until she is born, after that it doesn't work anymore) to answer the question "what else can I do to help?" Upon reading this, please feel no obligation to give to this registry. It's just that we have been asked so many times about what we need for our new addition, and this is now the best answer we have to give... especially since Reagan has volunteered to pass down all her baby stuff, we're set. :) Now, go about your other normal blog reading.

PS. We have also been already given some FABULOUS baby gifts... to those of you, we're pumped to have some new things for B. Just wanted to state that I'm beyond thankful for those much needed presents... and haven't forgotten about them!! :)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Brooklyn Update

Many have already asked about our appt yesterday... bless you all! Seriously, some of you are more on top of all this than I am! Anyways, we did have an ultrasound yesterday morning... got to see her sweet little face again. The doctor switches the machine over to a 4D picture when he gets to her face, so we got a few more pics printed of her. And she was making the funniest faces!! Squishing up her nose and lips just like Reagan used to when she was a newborn. I just wish I had similar ultrasound pics of Reagan so I could compare! Oh well. (I would scan in the pics, but they are in black and white and didn't turn out as good as some of the other ones.)

Anyways, she now weighs in at a whoppin' 6 pounds 7 oz!!!! Big girl growing like crazy! I'm so proud. She'll be good and hefty like Reagan when she is born, and that is great news for her. Also, he spent awhile showing us her fetal breathing. For all the non-medical folks, babies evidently breathe in amniotic fluid in the womb. It is practice for her lungs to work with real air later. Anyways, he said what she was doing was breathing GREAT and a really great sign of a thriving, healthy baby at this point. So there are no signs of distress, just a good sign of well-being. As Jaymie always says, seeing and hearing that from the doctor was one of those "little mercies" that God gave us yesterday. Positive news is SO welcome!! He also looked at her kidneys and said they looked "good", but didn't go into much detail about that, but hey... we'll take it!

As for me, my kidney looked hideous. Much more swollen and yuckier than last time. Which makes sense because it hurts much worse than two weeks ago! He still thinks this is just a weird pregnancy thing and that it will fix itself once we deliver B. He did tell me that he doesn't think it is doing any damage to my kidney, but if the pain got too terrible that they could go in... do a little surgery... and put in a "stint". Um, no thanks. I said I can deal with it... I mean, what is a little more discomfort at this point!? It is pretty crummy, but I can handle it for 3 more weeks I think. We'll see.

Ok, the big day is 3 weeks from today. Oh. My. Word. Thanks so much for the continued prayers!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Funny Girl

Check out this stance... especially the bottom lip and the toes!
Baby Brooklyn's bedding came!!! Much excitement for Mommy... more on that later. But most exciting thing for R was the big cardboard box. It has been a box to color, hide in, put babies to sleep in, etc... life doesn't get much better than a big box when you are 2!

Sick days. R and I both have been down with a cold. This was Friday... we're on the mend now. But she was just so darn cute that morning, with her Purple and Lion watching Little Mermaid with Mommy. We did lots of movie watching and relaxing together. I'm trying to soak up every minute of these last few moments just the "two of us" at home.

Couple of stories I needed to document:
Yesterday morning I was in the bathtub, and she was standing next to it talking to me. She kinda slipped on the bathmat, and I said "Careful sweet girl, you ok? You lost your balance." She looked puzzled, kept looking back over her shoulder, then said "Mommy, where'd my balance go?"
Yesterday afternoon, I went and did some shopping with my SILs. Fun times. R got to stay home with Daddy and the uncles, and they did some football throwing outside. It was chilly, so she wore a jacket, tennis shoes, etc. David told me that she wanted to take off her jacket and her shoes, and he said that she could, but she would have to go inside. "It's too cold outside, so you have to wear your shoes and jacket to play outside," something to that effect. Her response: "Did Mommy say that?" Guess I have been deemed the official decision maker. :)

Just wanted to also ask for prayers for Brooklyn of course... we have another ultrasound this Wed and are praying for a good report. :) Thanks so much!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Random Reagan Pics and Brooklyn Update

Felt like I needed to put in some Reagan pics first, so here are a few random ones from the last week. She just cracks us up all the time! Here is her new favorite game that she and Daddy play each day when he gets home from work (she is usually sans pants.... doesn't want to nap in pants anymore!). She stands on his back...

...crawls up...
...sits on his head... ... then LAUNCHES herself off onto her Bob and Larry pillows! What could be more fun?!?! (I almost didn't put this one due to the laundry all over my couch. But hey, now you know that we have clean whites.)
Last Sat, the Isbells came over to play for awhile. The kids got to have big fun, enjoying the weather on the swing set. I love that they have so much fun together, and I love when she has a friend to ride this swing with!
Trick or Treating at Aunt Mary's house. This is the only house she actually went to... we spend the evening with family there. But, she really thought she was big stuff knocking on the door and saying "Twick or Tweat" as loudly as possible. So much fun in fact, that we closed the door and reenacted several times. So, that stood in place of going to multiple houses. :)
Her teacher gave me this picture today that she took at school last week. Gotta use the tongue out to concentrate on holding up that big ole backpack... or frontpack in this case. I LOVE this picture!
So, on to our latest with Brooklyn. We are humbled and beyond thankful for all the love, support, and prayers for our sweet girl. This is definitely one of those times in life where we know we are being "carried," so we are in debt to so many of you for lifting us up right now. Seriously, I know for a fact that is the only thing getting me through. It continues to be so hard, and David and I both are still struggling with how to find ways to deal with all this for the next few weeks and beyond, but we thank you beyond measure for walking this journey along side us.
Went to see my doctor this morning, and he took another peek at the sweet girl on ultrasound. We didn't learn too much today that we didn't already know, but I will list out what was discussed and boldly ask that each be a specific prayer for us. The list is long, unfortunately, so we appreciate it very much! (sorry if this is information overload, but many have asked, so here ya go.)
1. He agrees that B is missing a certain septum in her brain, which is what the MRI showed last week. This is evidently extremely rare (lucky us), and seems to be a separate issue from the spina bifida. The lack of this septum can cause extra swelling of ventricles that run along side the optic nerve, so it could be interfering with her sight. We BEG the LORD that this is not the case and that she can see perfectly. Dr Kirshon couldn't tell us percentages, but said it was a "wait and see" thing... it could be that her brain is completely unaffected. So, that prayer is HUGE.
2. He did say that her eyes are intact and he could even see her lenses, so that was good. Never knew to be questioning that, so of course we are thankful for that news! Scared me to death that it was even brought up!
3. The spina bifida is still there, nothing new to report on that. Her brain fluid involvement still seems to be minor, so there is a slight chance she could avoid a shunt. We pray for that!
4. At first, looking at her feet today, he thought there was some signs of club foot on her left foot. This floored me since all along that has not been the case. (Instant Mommy tears.) But then, he kept looking and looking and changed his mind... said it was just the way she was positioned at the time. THANK YOU LORD!
5. She weighs 5 lbs 3 oz presently, which is GREAT. Seems to be growing right on schedule, heart beating great, fetal breathing (whatever that is?) looks great, etc. All of these things are fabulous news! THANK YOU LORD!
6. He took a look at the ovarian cyst she has, and reassured us that it isn't too uncommon in female babies... not spina bifida babies, but all babies. Said it is a hormone thing, and that it is NOT to worry about at all. I was thrilled with this news! He told us that it shouldn't mean an additional surgery or anything, nor should it cause her any pain. That it will hopefully take care of itself and disappear. So, we pray for that for sure!
7. Her right kidney still looks swollen (he used a fancy medical word that I can't remember), so looks like she still has some bladder issues. We're ok with this, as many spina bifida kids have this difficulty, but of course we pray that this issue be taken from her as well!
8. Random... MY right kidney is swollen and having issues too. Guess that is what that pain in my back is!! Asked if I had history of kidney disease, which I don't, so it may just be a pregnancy issue. But, they will keep watching me for it before and after she is born to better tell what the problem is. We pray that it goes away quickly... I want to be focusing on HER and not any problems with me! Sorry doc, couldn't care less about my own kidneys right now!!
9. Csection is set for Dec 11... birthday!! Seems SO long from now, but he wants me to get to 39 weeks and get that sweet girl big and healthy. It is a long road of waiting until then, and after too, so we ask for peace of mind to get through the next 5 weeks. And for healthy pregnancy that will keep her in there until then! I am of course more and more uncomfortable everyday, which is fine, but that combined with my mental and emotional state is beating me down a bit.... I just needed to admit that. So prayers for me and for David... he has to deal with me!
Ok, that is all I can think of. It's certainly enough! Please please please continue your prayers for our sweet Brooklyn Hope. Poor baby, no child deserves to be facing any of this... but we know that God loves her and is knitting her little body together, and we will glorify Him no matter what! Thank you again and again and again for all the prayers. This is the hardest thing we have ever had to face, and we are thankful we are not alone. Love to all~
D, J, R, & B