2.28.2010

Sunday Randoms

Hi everyone :)

Hope you are having a good weekend. I've been in Texas this weekend having "fab five" time with my girlfriends. I'm at my parents now and hubs is helping my dad get things packed for them to move and my mom is cooking lunch. I'm not doing much of anything except thinking about taking a nap! I stayed up late both Friday and Saturday nights.

In the mean time, I thought I'd post a few random things that I was thinking...

My mom got the "shake weight".


I think she ordered it off TV after she saw it on the Ellen Show. I also think that I thought it was battery operated. It's not. Once you get it moving, it's supposed to move on it's own and take the weight of your arms to work them out. On the slip that came with the weight, there is something that reads, "IMPORTANT! HOW TO USE SHAKE WEIGHT"... well, it lists about 5 sentences of info. The last sentence reads "the faster you move it, the more intense the workout will become". Isn't that how most exercise workouts work? haha. That made me laugh. Oh, it comes with a DVD to watch as well, hmm.

I think I should try it. My arms have become quite plump with pregnancy. Fat storage.

My parents have things spread all over the house as the are moving. In my room, I came across this little guy....It was the first thing I ever sewed. No, I don't remember how to sew though I do want to learn again. I had thing for cute froggy stuff when I was younger. I think he will belong to Cohen. He had a name..but I'll have to think to remember what it was.

When hubs and I were leaving town Friday, I checked the mail and my sister in law left me this necklace...
Isn't is cute? Can you guess what my wish will be? That's probably an easy question.


When I was getting the necklace picture off my phone, this one was next to it. Last week, I ran into Hobby Lobby to grab some goodie bags for work. These cute oversized polka dota mugs caught my eye. I was thinking, you know I'll probably need to be drinking coffee of something that size once Cohen arrives as I prepare myself to live in at hospital 24/7...but I mostly thought how cute would he be photographed in one of them..... I might purchase one.

My mom is making some yummy sounding things for lunch. I'm not sure how hungry I am as I ate NON stop all weekend. When dinner time rolled around, I was still full from lunch. Talk about stuffing yourself. Yesterday, I got to to eat at two places I love and had not been in a while.

After dinner last night, my mom ran to the store to get some crawfish. She wanted to make Crawfish Etouffee today. Well, since she is packing her recipes are already in boxes. So, she came across one online she is going to try...

Crawfish Etouffee

Ingredients:
1/2 cup roux
*1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1 small can diced rotel tomatoes
2 cups water
3 lbs of cleaned crawfish meat
1 tsp. each salt, pepper, garlic powder
dash of cayenne
1 cup finely chopped green onion tops for garnish

Directions:
Make a roux by browning "slowly" in a small iron skillet ...1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup flour until it is dark brown. Do not rush this. Add chopped white onions and bell pepper. Next add rotel tomatoes, water and seasoning. Stir very well over medium high heat. Cover and reduce to low and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add crawfish tail meat.... and raise heat to a slow boil. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. Take off the heat , Cover and let set while you cook a pot of white rice. (About 3 cups of raw rice, 6 cups water, salt, and butter )Serve over the 'cooked' white rice and garnish each bowl with green onion. This is so good with garlic bread and potato salad or cole slaw. I like to offer hush puppies also. A lemon pie makes a good desert with this dish. Ohhhh yiyi!

Created By:
Mawmaw, Annie Ledet

She got the recipe here. I don't know if I'll be eating it but if I do, I'll let you know what I think and perhaps post a pic.

Oh, lovely, my friend Whitney just called to let me know I had left my purse. Hubs came to pick me up this morning from my girlfriend's house after "girl's weekend". I was just CERTAIN I had everything. Really, Megan?! Your purse?

I will do a weekend post soon. The fab five loves to take pictures so we tried to take the majority with one camera because we knew we could all have the picture. Once, I get the pics, I will post :) It was so nice to be with my girls and try to keep my mind off things! It was a happier time!

happy sunday :)

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2.26.2010

TGIF

hi all - thank you for all the comments and emails! I cannot tell you how much we appreciate all your thoughts and prayers!

I haven't gotten to one day at a time. I've figured out I'm still on "one moment at a time".

Last night I went to a networking event for work. I do marketing. So, I went to a wine & cheese where there were a bunch of marketers gathering to do what marketers do, talk. Some I had not seen in quite some time. Some know I am expecting and some did not know until they saw me. You can't imagine those first few questions and my thoughts of "how do I answer that?".."what do I say?" Well, I played as though things were peachy. I just couldn't think of another way in that very moment. I was there for work and I couldn't lose it and I didn't want people throwing me a pitty party. This is a great pregnancy and I have a great baby in my belly. I've had a healthy and pleasant pregnancy thus far. True, two weeks ago our world was turned upside down. That does not change the fact how super duper happy I am to be pregnant with baby Cohen! So, I let the non-stop talkers talk and ask non-stop questions and just took a bunch of deep breaths.

Once I left, I may have asked myself if I was doing the right thing by not telling them our situation. I thought it was the right thing for the time.

You all can read the comments. If it were okay etiquette, I would probably post all the emails. I've been sent so many stories. I have hope. There have been babies and situations that ended up being MUCH better than doctors expected. There have been cases where things have turned out worse. But the women that email, WOW! I know their emails are after the fact, but they simply want me to keep my faith and know God is in control.


I came across this earlier today.

For you formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious are Your thoughts on me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand. ~Psalm 139:13-18

I'm super duper happy to be spending the weekend with this group of girls....
Allison, Amy, Whitney, Me & Katie :)

Hubs is driving and he and Elton will spend the weekend with my parents helping them pack.

I posted a yummy treat you all should definitely try on Sugar & Spice!

Hope you all have a good weekend!


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2.25.2010

PRAYER BUTTON UPDATED!

Hi guys! There was an issue with the prayer button I posted in my previous post so we have made an update!

We realized that the button wasn't linking back to my blog. For all of you who grabbed the button prior to 9 am this morning (Thursday), you can either

1) go into the gadget and add http:// before the www.inthiswonderfullife.com

2) simply copy the update code that is up now!

It just won't work unless http:// BEFORE the my website!

So Sorry!!!!!!

If you find that it is wrong on someone else's(which you can tell by clicking and it not taking you to my blog), you can let them know if you would like!

If you have any questions! PLEASE let me know :)

Thanks!

My amnio results are in previous post.

Also, I put a link on my sidebar that will take you to the few posts so far regarding what is going on with our sweet baby, Cohen.


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2.24.2010

Results from amnio & Prayer button!

So, if you read my post yesterday you will know I had an amniocentesis done yesterday morning. Though it was probably one of the most unpleasant experiences I've ever had (if not the most), it had EXTREMELY pleasant results...thus far!

My doctor had surgeries today and called from his car about 4:30. He said round one of the amnio results looked "normal as a nail" :) HUGE relief!!! We are thrilled to have gotten past this first hurdle. Cohen loves being in my belly and I hope he stays there just as long as possible!

I had the first round of results expressed but not all of them can be calculated that quickly. The major ones though can be detected and praise God, there are no major defects. This is good in our situation because as I've mentioned previously, with Cohen's heart condition, doctor's were certain his life with any chromosomal genetic defects would not be compatible with the heart.

If you are catching up, you can read about Cohen's diagnoses here and here.

Doctor did ask me how I was feeling after yesterday. He said that vein thing isn't typical and sorry. I feel MUCH better today. Still a bit sore but not NEAR like yesterday!

For the rest of the results from the amnio, it will take about one to two weeks. Doctor said he would call just as soon as they were in and we would probably come in. The rest of the results will give us a lot more insight as to where and perhaps what happened causing the heart defects. It will also tell us a little bit more maybe about future pregnancies. We go in for a normal appointment next Thursday. I'll also have my glucose test done then. So, maybe results by then.

We are just so glad that these results are giving Cohen more hope!

Our major prayer is for the pulmonary veins to exist!

Next up...(some probably aren't in any particular order of taking place)
-appointment next week with OB
-rest of amnio results arriving
-put our house for sale
-help my parents move into their house here
-sale our house
-move into different house
-meet with cardiologist and and surgeon at Texas Children's in Houstin - March 29th(tentative)
-meet with cardiologist, surgeon & high risk OB at Texas Children's in Dallas on March 31st
~Find place to live in Dallas...or wherever we decide feels like a good fit for Cohen to be born and have his heart surgeries.

Man on Man! One day at a time.. lots of deep breaths!

Several of you had emailed and commented about a blog button. My bf & blog designer, Allison, designed Cohen a button! Isn't it precious! If you would like to take and post, go right ahead! You can go to her personal blog to grab the button or off my sidebar. You can also check out her work on her design blog.


To add the button to your page, simply copy the code underneath the picture at the right hand corner of my blog, and insert it into a new html gadget in the layout section of your dashboard.

Thanks SO much for all your thoughts and prayers! I'm still working to reply to emails!


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2.23.2010

coming to you from my bed

So, I was supposed to have my amnio yesterday but doc had lots going on and it was moved to this morning. This could be painful...just to warn you. I'll try to rephrase it nicely. Why post this? Well, I have nothing better to talk about and I'm pretty bored! And, I might as well journal everything, right?

I'm not sure if I mentioned this in my last post update on Cohen, but when we were at Children's Medical Center in Dallas last week, he put on quite a show. He was moving all over the place. When the doctors would finally get a good angle of his heart, he would try to take his arm and COVER IT.

Well, today I really wasn't too nervous going into the amnio. I know there are risks and they are bad ones, but God has a plan and I was just going along with things we have been lead to do. I wasn't concerned with pain. The nurse walked us to the room we normally go to but this time there were more things surrounding us. There was a little tray with wrapped packages of "medical stuff" on it and also on the counter close by. When we went in yesterday, I asked about the prices of getting the results expressed. I just can't wait another week or two. So, she came in with a sheet going over all the costs.

Before the doctor came in, I had left the room twice to go to the bathroom. Cohen hangs out on my bladder. Doctor came in talking and upbeat as usual. He asked us who we met with last week and how it went. He went over some things with us and he and the nurse got their gear ready. I was laying back and he said just to pick a place for my hands and try to keep them there. A few seconds later, without notice (which was probably smart), he inserted the needle. I previously thought the needle went in the belly button but when explaining things and cleaning my belly with that smugly yellow goo, he informed me the needle goes in the lower part of the tummy.

So, as soon a the needle is in, OUCH. I'm thinking, okay, grab the fluid and exit. No, not so much. They have the ultrasound going so they can see where Cohen is. Well, he was where they would have liked him to be....until the needle went in. Then, he thought he would like to play by the needle. No, Cohen, needles are not your friend. So, doctor starts moving needle around and trying to move Cohen. I keep thinking OKAY PULL IT OUT! SHOULDN'T THIS BE OVER!? No folks, this isn't quite the same as getting your blood taken. I thought I was being smart by not doing research on the internet. Well, imagine a blood vial and it's size. I had to fill up something about 3x that size..and not just one of them but 3 of them. So they did some moving and making sure he was out of the way. Since they were having to move the needle from Cohen, a little vein under my skin got nicked and you know what appears after that. I'll give you a hint, it's red and it was on my belly. FINALLY, it was over. I may have felt the needle but I NEVER saw it, I never even looked. I wasn't sure if it hurt worse with the needle in or trying to get up and walk after!

Doctor told hubby and I with both did great! I might have yelled sh*t once. And it does not appear that I broke hub's hand. Doctor & nurse told me to "bed rest" all day because I was going to be pretty sore. Hubby walked me out and I drove home almost in tears. He asked if he should drive me home but since we live pretty close they told me to go ahead. I can sometimes be a wimp but physically, I've experienced a lot of pain. This was just not pleasant! I came home and got in bed.

My friend Cameron came over and brought me some lunch and movies. The first few times I had to get up, Cameron had to give me a swift pull haha. It's started to feel a bit better each hour as long as I stay laying on my back. Speaking of laying on my back, I can now see my belly move when Cohen kicks! Pretty neat. I can't see any distinct things poking out but whichever side is kicked, you can just see it shake.

I would post a picture of the belly today but I don't have the desire to get up and hubby is stuck in traffic on his way home as they closed the highway.

I don't know if every amnio is as unpleasant but I certainly pray I never have to have another! I don't want to scare those of you who may be having to have one someday. I'm sure every situation is different. I certainly don't blame Cohen for any extra pain. He is just a curious and active little guy ;)

Yesterday, my mother-in-law emailed a cardiologist in Houston at Texas Children's. We had several people contact us and tell us about him. Well, about 7 last night he called her! He also sent her an email. He actually helped train the doctor we saw last week in Dallas. He said he felt very comfortable with her but would certainly be glad to do an evaluation as well. So, we may be taking a trip to Houston soon.

Speaking of Texas Children's & Houston. I've been watching The Little Couple for the past few hours and I just love this show! Maybe I can see her (Dr.Jen Arnold) if I go to TCH in Houston?

I've also watched several hours of the Real Housewives of Orange County re-runs today. I'm not sure which season it was but they are a hoot. I can't wait for the housewives of New York to start next week.

Cameron brought me When Harry Met Sally and Julie & Julia.


Today was my first time to watch Julie & Julia and I thought it was pretty cute! I like cooking & blogging and it was to do with both!

I'm going to go now as the hubs just got home.

I will share the amnio results with my readers. The nurse said they would call as soon as they got them and it would be 24-48 hours. We will be praying for good results and peace with whatever comes!

Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers! And for wanting to read my blog :)

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2.21.2010

Sweetly Spoiled

Hi everyone :) That for all the sweet comments on my most recent update on baby Cohen. (For any new readers, I bold links. So, if something is bold, you can probably click it to link back to a post or other website.)

I'm proud to bring you a much more upbeat post, finally :)

The Mentzel's have been spoiling us quite a bit lately! When I say us, I mean myself, hubby, Cohen & Elton. Not only have they sent us goodies, they brought us their presence...the ladies anyway! Molly & Katie came to visit yesterday morning and left this morning. We went to lunch, played, laid around & chatted, watched movies, etc. It was certainly nice to have something take my mind off everything going on for a bit. Hubby was able to get some rest yesterday while Katie and Molly entertained me.

Katie
brought us a little care package! Lots of fun goodies :) I didn't think about it at the time quick enough to tell Katie, but Brent had been talking about making Cohen a mixed cd to play to him. He wanted to do some classical music and music we enjoy. The the iTunes card works perfectly for that!
they brought me a pretty purple bouquet of flowers :)
We went to lunch at a Mexican food place and Molly seemed to enjoy herself..we all did!
her and brent were pretty cute playing together

Katie caught Brent mid chip
Me & Katie

After lunch, we played and relaxed







A few weeks ago, the Mentzel's sent us some of their favorite baby things :) I say "us"..but technically, Cohen! I liked seeing his name on the package.

These are the goodies that came! Sophie, Itzbeen Baby Care Timer, Baby Giggles book by Rachael Hale & Trumpette Skipper socks that look like lil sneakers.
On all the packing slips, there were little notes as to why they liked each -


These are so fun & came in 6 different colors.

Thank you Mentzel's for all the the thoughtfulness! We love you guys!

We have such amazing friends and family. I've snapped pictures of a few other goodies we've gotten as care packages. It definitely has been bringing us some smiles and full tummies. So another pleasant post coming soon.

I have the amnio in the morning and hopefully will know the results in the next few days.

We've been doing a bit better the past few days. Just trying to wait for more news, as patiently as possible. I've had some ironic things happen and a few interesting dreams. Perhaps I'll do a post on those soon.

I hope you guys had a good weekend.


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2.18.2010

A few updates on baby Cohen

Hi everyone. Sorry to have left you all hanging for a few days. We've had probably the busiest and worst week. I can't believe it's only been a week.

The good news, at this very moment, there is still some good hope for baby Cohen!

Today(Thursday), I am 23 weeks and 2 days pregnant.

We have had two appointments since my last post. On Tuesday morning, we met with our OB. He did not get a good vibe from the cardiologist we met with last week. He told us, at this point in time, he did not feel much optimism and really wanted us to be prepared for what could be reality. He is an upfront and straight forward kind of guy, and we knew that ahead of time. He said things would be a lot more hopeful if it were one or two defects that would be much easier to repair. Right then, there were what we believed was 4 defects and they are as bad as they can be. Some babies have these defects but perhaps not to the extent the cardiologist believes Cohen's are. The majority of the heart is not good. Therefore, it being fixable is going to much harder, if even possible. Our OB did agree with us going for second opinions and trying to find out what was out there as far as solutions.

When we left the OB's office Tuesday, we did not feel good. We felt quite hopeless just as we had leaving the first cardiologist office last Thursday. Luckily, I was able to get into a cardiologist at Children's Medical Center in Dallas the very next day(Wednesday). Hubs, his mom and myself drove to Dallas and met with the Cardiologist.

I had an ECHO done right away once we arrived. It lasted probably about 30 or 45 minutes. Cohen is kind of a ninja! He was moving, kicking and doing flips. He would be shy too and try to cover himself up when they were looking at certain places. It was nice to see him and his activeness. A cardiologist in training did the first half of the ECHO and then the cardiologist we were meeting with came in for the second part and did the ECHO with her. We met with them right after to go over their findings.

Overall, they (the two docs at Children's Medical ) agree with what Cardi 1 (who we met with last week) found defect wise. However, they were able to go in so much more detail and they really didn't focus on all the problems so much. They went right into talking about the solutions. They specialize in these solutions and believe in themselves. The newest and possibly worst concern is the pulmonary veins. The blood flow pattern seen on the ECHO leaves the docs to believe there are some location issues with the pulmonary veins. This is not a good thing because with the veins in the wrong places, they can not function properly and therefore create a muscular type condition in which the veins tend to contract and cause blockages. This is specific prayer. There is a surgery they can do for these veins to put and connect them where they need to be, but this must be determined post arrival.

However, the vein situation is not a common thing, so they've only seen two babies with this at Children's Medical. One did not make it after surgery and one is doing good at this point (no details on age or anything). The cardiologist could not see the veins good enough yesterday to make a complete decision about their whereabouts or function, but she did say she was worried. She said at my 28 week appointment, she will see if she can see them any better but she doesn't really feel as though she will. She will check the ECHO on this blood flow situation to see if the veins are still indicating something isn't right. They MUST be there to be repaired and in which that case that we probably won't know till birth as well.

As far making repairs on the heart, they have a series of 3 open-heart surgeries they are going to aim to do. To start out with, there is a "short cut" in the heart that allows oxygenated blood to get pumped back into the body while Cohen is inside me. This shortcut is called the PDA. It is open in womb because his lungs haven't developed. A few days after birth, it typically closes. They will give him an IV in his belly button of a particular medication to help keep it open. The side effect of this medication is the baby forgets to breath and they have to put them on a ventilator. I believe this happens quite a bit. We will pray it does not.

The first surgery will be done probably in the first 3-4 days of life. This is called a BT Shunt. The purpose of the this shunt is to get the blood flowing where it should and to allow the lungs to develop a certain pressure if they can. The second surgery will occur 4-6 months. This is known as the Bidirectional Glenn Shunt. I believe this shunt re-routes the blood flow from the pulmonary arteries directly to the lungs. During the second surgery, they will remove the BT Shunt from the PDA and allow that close naturally. The third surgery will probably occur close to 2 years old and is called the Fontan. This surgery will help the 1 ventricle to pump blood out to the body while blood returning from the body passively flows into the lungs (with help from a little suction from the single ventricle).

Instead of 2 pumping chambers with a left and right atrium and ventricle, he will have a single pumping chamber with a top atrium and bottom ventricle.

They did speak more about the transplant but they want to keep that "in their back pocket" as a last option.

Because of the heart condition, Cohen has Heterotaxy Syndrome. This basically means his stomach is on the left side and it should be on the right. That will be another surgery to try to move it to where they are supposed to be in the abdominal cavity. We will have to keep a very close eye on him to make sure nothing inside begins to twist. They will not be able to do this surgery until he is pretty stable. When they do this surgery, the will also remove his appendix. They do that because if he ever were to need it out, doctors might get confused with things not being exactly where they expect. There are also complications with this because he could have a spleen issue which will lead to him needing to be on antibiotics for a few years. His risks of viral infections are much higher.

At 28 weeks, the cardiologist wants to see me back for an ECHO and to meet with the surgeron. I will also meet with the high risk OB I will start seeing in Dallas. The appointment is tentatively schedule for the 31st of March. I will actually be 29 weeks at that point. We didn't do the tour yesterday so we will do that then and speak with many other people. I will tell you, we were SO very pleased with the people we met with at Children's Medical Center. They were SO nice and helpful! They were amazing to have gotten me in so quickly. As soon as we arrived, the lady I spoke with on the phone greeted us and took us right back for the ECHO. I have the direct phone number for the two ladies I will be in constant contact with and they will be setting up all the appointments and everything when needed. Much less stress with their help!

The doctor wants me to start living in Dallas a month before I have Cohen. I will still have c-section but it has not been scheduled just yet. As I probably said in the last post, the longer he is in me, the better. I will be in Dallas a month before in case I go into early labor.

Every doctor hubby and I have met with has informed us they are certain that with the degree of Cohen's heart condition, it would not be compatible with life IF he has any chromosomal genetic defect. With that being said, we have decided to get an amniocentesis. We did contemplate this for many reasons but overall, our doctors and our hearts tell us it would be best for multiple reasons. We feel it will answer many of our questions. Every doctor tells us in their first sentence, "this is nothing either of you did"..."this is not your fault"... and we do believe them. In doing the amnio, maybe we can find peace with maybe what caused this. We also know that our chances for another baby with a CHD (congenital heart defect) has increased by 5% and the amino can tell us more on that as well.

No, I would not normally have an amnio but at this point doctors are thinking it is best in our situation and will help us all in many ways. I know there are risks, but no matter what, God is has a plan and that I just have to trust. We know God has a plan for Baby Cohen and we are just trying to follow what we are lead to do.

If Cohen does not have a clean amino, I will carry him as long as I normally would but I would have him here and not in Dallas. He will live with God blessed him with and between now and then, we will try to start working on peace with that. No matter what happens, he is our son and we will enjoy the seconds, minutes, days or years we are blessed to have him..in and out of the womb.

After leaving Dallas yesterday, we briefly thought we would continue looking for other opinions. We may still, but right now we feel comfortable with what Children's has to offer and the doctors attitudes. We may see about some other doctors around the country looking at the ECHO, we may not.

I won't lie to you, I KNOW that I sound a lot stronger in writing than I probably do if you were to talk to me in person or on the phone but I'm working on it. I look like I got run over by a train and I am indeed struggling with my emotions and questions I want answered. I know most questions can't feasibly answered right now. I am a mess BUT I know I have to keep it together for myself and hubby..and most importantly Cohen. I just take lots of deep breaths and try to stay busy. Some moments I feel a lot of peace come over me and the next minute I will lose it. I think hubby is the same way. I've been praying for God to show us his plan. I highly believe he is working through the doctors. Well, last night I had two dreams and I was in labor in both. In one, I birthed Cohen and in one I did not. I don't know what either of those mean. No matter what, I will still be giving birth to him. God just isn't revealing anything just yet. I just thought they were very interesting dreams. I don't remember much detail as I immediately woke up after each ...at the same part.

Waiting, of course, is the hardest part and that probably won't stop for quite some time.

Hubby and I are getting lots of support in many ways. We have AMAZING family and friends. People are being SO kind and helpful to us! I seriously don't know what we would do without our support system. And the internet/blogging community, oh my goodness! You guys have also been wonderful, too. All the prayer requests being spread, emails, comments and gifts are SO thoughtful of you all. I know I'm so behind on emails. I will work on them in the close future. Just know, I appreciate them all!

As I type this, Cohen has been kicking me non-stop! Just wanted you to know. I think he is thinking about you all, too.

I am going to try to get back to blogging regularly. I just only have one thing in mind and one thing going on! Maybe I'll just start cooking a bunch and posting recipes on sugar and spice? :)

I'm getting to see some of my best friends, that I don't see too often, very soon and that excites me. One of my besties who lives in Dallas came to see Hubby and I at dinner before we left town last night so that was nice.

I have turned the option off to comment anonymously. I should have done it a while back but simply forgot. If you want to remain anonymous to the blog community but yet want to leave me a comment, please just email me. Do not get me wrong, in the last post, I had some WONDERFUL and helpful comments that were left as anonymous but then the commenter would leave their name and email. That was great. do believe you can enter your name and not have a Google account or anything. I won't acknowledge any negative comments but I do look forward to the uplifting ones as this is the situation we are in.

HERE is the first post on Cohen's heart. It is also the previous before this one so you can click "older posts".

Love to you all!


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2.13.2010

My Sweet's Heart

Hi everyone. So, I've been avoiding blogger for a few days now. Not really. I've just not gotten on the computer in the past few days. I've had my iphone and that's about it. There is no way around this post so I've finally made myself sit down and do it.

Thanks to you all for your thoughts and prayers. We will need the prayers more than ever from here on out.

As I told you all, last Thursday, our regular doctor referred us to a Pediatric Cardiologist. We had the cardiologist appointment this past Thursday morning. It was pretty bad. It took about 3 hours and we walked out devastated.

There are 4 defects the cardiologist believes she found.

1.Atrio Ventricular Canal Type Defect
2.Ventricular Septal Defect
3.Transposed Great Vessels
4.Hypoplastic Pulmonary Artery

These are the two pics the cardiologist reviewed with us.

Normal Heart

Cohen's Heart?


I will tell you I'm not good with the human anatomy and overall, I was just sick. So, as far as explaining it ALL, I can't be the person to do that. I lost it as soon as she had the look and said the fist sentence. I was in and out but tried my best to listen to what she said. Brent  picked up more as he knows more about the heart.

When she sat down, she immediately said there was nothing Brent or I had done to cause this. It happened on it's own and there not sure where or when it happened just yet. She said more than likely it was between weeks 7-12. She asked us if I had an amniocentesis done because heart related issues are often related to genetic disorders. We did not have an amnio done but I did have a blood screening done and everything on it looked good.

Many of these defects are common. She (being cardiologist 1) said if we looked them up for research, we would definitely understand and learn more about them. However, she told us that all four of them together, are not common. She said the thing is, nothing or no one, besides a doctor, can explain to us how they are working together and/or against each other.

She (cardiologist 1) does not believe there is anything we can do right now to help any of the defects. She said we must wait until he arrives to see what is going on. She said it may require surgery immediately or it may be a few weeks. If he has to be stabilized then they would do that and get him to where he needs to be to have surgery. It will involve open heart surgery and just a series of other surgeries. We are unsure about a transplant because the cardiologist says it opens a whole different can of worms. He could reject the heart. The life is only 10-15 years on them. They don't do many neonatal transplants as they aren't able to save many of the hearts because some causes of infant deaths are so unknown. We are going to try to fix the heart he has first.

We were told so much it's hard to process. And of course we are sick about it. We've immediately began to pray specifically and take it one minute at a time.

I tried to ask all my "why" and "how" and "maybe" questions. I asked if he maybe was just underdeveloped in the heart and still had some developing to do. She didn't act like that was the case. She acted like what it was, it what it is going to be. His heart is currently the size of a quarter, which is portioned correctly with where he is gestational wise.

She said she didn't think things would get better at this point but could get worse. There could be other issues/defects because of this. And the quality of life isn't known yet. Instead of saying "she" I'm going to abbreviate and make her "Cardi 1"..sorry if that's unprofessional, I certainly do not mean it to be. I'll explain more below. Anyways, Cardi 1 said it gets harder to see the heart the further along I get. She said my regular doctor would monitor me and be able to detect any major changes. Well, I asked her why I wouldn't just have an ECHO done every week. She said she would work with my doctor in coming up with a plan.

If things get worse, they will have to take him early. This would not be good because he needs to be at a certain stage (in many ways) to have the surgeries. The longer he is in me, the better because I am, essentially, his best lifeline.

Cardi 1 seemed very impressed Brent and I had no known issues, though I now know it can just be a random thing. She also liked the fact how active Cohen is and how right-on track he is physically. She asked me about my pregnancy thus far and when I told her everything had been good she simply said "hmmm". Cohen was moving around a ton in the ECHO. He was moving around so much that they had to take a break to see if he would be still. Sure enough, when they tech stopped pushing on my belly. He would be calm. The tech did say his head was DIRECTLY on top of my bladder. I certainly could have told her that!!! I feel the need to tinkle non-stop. So, these things to me are good. He is doing his best and we want to do ours.

We go to our normal doctor Tuesday morning at 8:20. At that time, he will go over with us more of a plan and what he wants me to do to help keep this pregnancy stable and at it's best. Cardi 1 could not really tell me those things as pregnancy isn't her specialty. She works on hearts of unborn babies, babies & kiddos.

I say "Cardi 1" because there will probably be many Cardiologist in which we visit with. Thus far, we are looking at San Francisco, Boston & Dallas for more evaluations. Cohen's grandparents will be sending us wherever we need to go. They asked us to let them handle finding the best and figure that part out. I'm certain our doctor will help us with this as well. They figure that will just be more stress if Brent and I are trying to figure it out all alone. Of course, we are TOTALLY open to hearing any stories and opinions from anyone as far as situations and doctors. Some of the evaluations can be done by sending the ECHO video/pictures to doctors at those places that we have found. If they can take the case, we will go meet with them. Whoever we feel most comfortable with is hopefully who can fix our son's heart. I will have Cohen wherever the doctor is.

We will of course, be working with our doctor here as we are truly thankful for him. Cardi 1 told us first off how lucky we were our OB even picked up on this and sent us to a cardiologist. She said had we not known anything, when Cohen arrived it would probably have been a 48 hour scramble trying to save him..... with no sleep, trying to figure out things and find someone to fix it. With that being said, I thank God but I also wonder about my strength for the next 4-5 months. I'm just scared.

We are very curious to hear what Cardi 1 told our doctor after meeting with us. Cardi 1 seems like a fantastic doctor but overall, it was hard to get a feeling from her. We didn't FEEL her confidence that she should be the one to take our case. She does seem like a very smart lady. She said she is 100% for second opinions and evaluations. She even began to tell us doctor's names. If she doesn't feel all 4 of these defects are common together then perhaps she hasn't worked on all 4 defects on the same baby. Ideally, we would like to find someone who has.

Word around town (and many other places) has spread quickly. We've gotten calls, emails, texts & care packages. We are so appreciative God is surrounding us with great people. We are trying not to lock ourselves inside and snuggle in bed like we probably could for at least few more days. We did for about 15 about 20 hours just to process everything and have time together. We won't give up and we know God has a plan and that's the way it is going to be. We are tying to be optimistic and strong for one another. It doesn't take much for us both to have a very terrible moment. We are praying that gets better every day. I think once we have a plan, we will feel more at ease. We won't know the outcome but all we can do is give it our best. It's just a LOT to think about and handle and it's just scary. We want to go on with this pregnancy as we were before. We don't know what will happen but giving up little pieces of life we were living and planning, just feels like we would giving up on pieces of Cohen.

I've also emailed quite a few of you who had contacted me to check in or asked me to follow up. Thanks so much to everyone that comments, contacts me and just plain reads this blog!

I've also had people give me contact information for people they know that have had a little one with heart issues. I'll hope to be speaking to some people soon who may have been in similar situations. Last night at midnight, my sister in law emailed me a link to a little girls Caring Bridge page. She lives in the same town we do! In Feb 0f 2008 the mom was about where I am gestationally and her baby was diagnosed with SIX heart defects and 3 of them are 3 of the same ones Cardi 1 believes Cohen has! The baby girl was born in June of 2008 in Dallas and that's where she had her doctors and surgeries. They spent weeks at a time there. She found out early like we did and found the right doctors and got everything set up prior to and everyone was all ready to go when the baby girl arrived. I spend a few hours reading the journal the mom wrote as everything was happening. It gave me a lot of hope and I was just amazed with the mom's strength . I have strength but I'm certainly having to find more. Anyways, I think the little girls first surgery was about 10 days after birth and the next one was a few months later. The little girl has done amazingly and doctor's have certainly called her a miracle. While reading the journal, I found out the cardiologist that she uses here is the same lady we went to Thursday. So, Cardi 1 does the little girl's monitoring. She did it every 2 weeks for a while and I believe she is only having to go in monthly for her checks. I'm not sure when the next surgery will be. I'm hoping Brent and I can meet with her parents soon. I'm not sure if the mom meant the Caring Bridge site to be friends and family but I would like to ask her if I can post it.

We certainly pray that the next cardiologist doesn't find ALL four defects or perhaps seems a bit more confident about them. We have no idea. It will kind of be a waiting game until we start seeing more doctors.

I will certainly ask for everyone's prayers and thank God for everyone, everyday. It feels like a bad dream but God won't put us to it if he won't pull us through it, right?

I will keep you all updated and I promise to try to keep this blog up and going. I can't tell you how I'll be feeling from day to day but that's life.

love to you all!

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit ~ Romans 15:13

2.09.2010

Prego Mego - Week 22 & What baby stuff do you like?

I’m 22 weeks pregnant with Cohen today!

Our last appointment was on Thursday of last week. If you didn’t read how that went, you can here. We will be going to the Pediatric Cardiologist on Thursday morning. They were not able to get me in any quicker for the fetal ECHO.

I’ve done pretty good the past few days trying not to worry how the ECHO will turn out, as I know what’s meant to happen, will. God is in control and my worrying isn’t going to change things. I just pray. I certainly appreciate all the kind words I’ve gotten from you all.

Cohen is growing! He was 14oz and my last week and will probably reach 1 pound soon! I had a few other ultrasound pics and one was all the stats. The longest measurement was 11.5 inches so I'm guessing that's how long he is. A lot of what was said at our appointment I stopped comprehending at a certain point. Doctor said he had long legs and feet. That is funny because his mommy and daddy do not.

(the majority of these pics were taken with iphone)

Here he is at 21 weeks & 2 days...

maybe he will be a thumb sucker?
lil feetsy
Here I am today.....
I wore red this week for Valentine's. I haven't worn short sleeves in quite some time. Puffy & pale, haha. I pulled my pants lower as I felt like they showed the current belly shape a bit better. No, I don't wear black yoga pants and a tee everyday. I put something of the sort on when I get home from work though. If I have pajama pants on, I'll switch for the pic if it's a Tuesday, for my belly pic :o)

The past few days, I feel like he has moved/kicked pretty steadily from about 12:30-1:30. Perhaps he wakes up for lunch. It's still crazy he is inside me! He hasn't woke me from sleeping with kicks yet. I'm still having a miserable time sleeping. I know it's evident when I wake in the morning.

This past Saturday, we registered! We registered at Babies R Us, Target & a local boutique (which I did a few weeks back)! We decided not to do Pottery Barn Kids because there wasn't anything we just needed from there. Most of the nursery stuff will be custom(bedding), bought online or done with my lil hands. We aren't finished registering though. We have some adjustments to make as decisions were hard! My question to you all that are mommies or those of may have heard about certain things..... WHAT DO YOU LIKE!? What are your must haves, necessities, favorites? If you have a link to a post you have done, will you post it with your comment for me? Email me? Anything you would like really! I would GREATLY appreciate it!

Babies R Us was PACKED and my back starting hurting walking around. Don't let the gun in my hand confuse you, hubs was ALL about scanning things!
We took hub's sister with us to Babies R Us as she is quite knowledgeable in the baby department after 3 babies. She also brought this little guy along....
He got a pair of jeans. You can see those on him in my previous post. Let me just tell you that the size of his new jeans are 9 months and he is currently 12 weeks! haha!

Oh, by the way, yall's comments regarding "expecting mommy parking" were great! Yes, we do have a few here. Just not NEARLY enough. The only places I've seen the parking spots are Babies R Us & Church. So, I'm jealous of locations where there are more!

Not too much sounds good to eat lately. I don't have any major cravings. I love ice cream & frozen yogurt. I often feel like I'm eating just to eat. I'm trying to stop that. For instance, I ate a pretty decent size breakfast last Sunday about 10am. At 11am, hubs had to run an errand and said he would pick up lunch. He asked me what I wanted. Well, nothing? I just wasn't hungry yet. I placed my order anyway. Something I do really like right now is bacon, egg & cheese on an English muffin! We eat the double fiber English muffin and love it. We also use turkey bacon.
I must show you the inside...the heart :)
hubs has been using this to keep a shape that fits the muffin. We have been doing over easy lately.

Hubby has been SUPER good about cooking dinner for me :) By the time I get home, I want to crash! I feel like my energy is fading a bit. Either that, or I'm just on my feet a bit more in the day. By the time I get home, it's hard for me to do anything.

I've switched to ankle socks only. The others are getting too tight.

I'm forgetful. It's bad.

I have a warrant out for my arrest. Classy, huh? I got a speeding ticket in January. Mind you, it was my first spending ticket in like 10 years. Well, I had only about 10 days to go in and pay it. I got the minimum ticket. I COMPLETELY forgot. I remembered the other day and thought "oh crap". So, now I have to go to court :( However, I'm not on the "docket" so that is no good. That basically means, I don't have a court date/time and I would just have to go in and wait until EVERYONE'S name had been called and then try to get mine settled. Luckily, my father-in-law is a lawyer and set me up with one of is law world friends. She will walk me through court. Once the judge sees her, she said we will getting right on through. Hopefully shortening the process to just an hour. Oops. I won't make that mistake again.

Guess what else I did. FORGOT TO PAY THE ELECTRIC BILL! (This was last Wednesday) I know you are thinking, well that's okay, just pay it now. Well, it was too late. I forgot to pay last months. So, when I remembered last week, I called. I paid. Well the next day I got home and NO POWER. What the heck? I paid the bill! Well, they decided they wanted me to pay the newest bill. Well, I didn't have the newest bill with me when I called the day before and I did the automatic system. So, they cut our power off for $63!!! I was SO SO SO upset. Mostly because the people were rude. It was cold and I just wanted to be snuggled at home. I got home about 5:20 that day and called. Two women were rude and I finally asked for the supervisor. He had to call me back. He finally told me they don't do re-connects until 8am. The women acted like they could re-connect any time within 24 hours. They only do them from 8am-5pm! WHAT?! That is insanity. First of all, if they were going to cut our power off, they should have told me the day before when I WAS ON THE PHONE with them!! I paid the bill. It wasn't expensive! I would have paid the other $63 had I known it was ready to be paid! Anyways, we stayed at hubby's sisters. They turned the power on the very next morning. Yes, I told them it was just wrong. The cable company freaking works past 5, why can't the electric. What is more important? And I mean don't they know that pregnant women are FORGETFUL! Oh yes, I certainly told them I was pregnant. They could have cared less. I kept thinking what about the families out there with new babies or kids in the middle of winter. I thought about those that were forgetful and those that simply didn't have the money. I honestly think electricity should be a common courtesy, of the world. I'm still debating writing a letter.

We are giving our current "child" lots of loving as always. He is the sweetest dog. We tell Cohen his big brother is a dog, hahaha. Sick, I know.



I think that is about it for this week. I will probably post soon after my doctor's appointment which is on Thursday morning. My next regularly scheduled appointment is March 4th and I'll do glucose test then.

Don't forget to link me or send me those baby related things you can't live without!!

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