Thursday, May 1, 2008

2 Months & Counting

Uncle Brian comes home from his mission in a little less than 2 months. What started out as a very neat and organized activity has recently taken on a style all its own. It's hard to see but the first year or so Jake and I were very diligent to make sure we put our star sticker on every day. I even made a cute rainbow pattern out of the stars - until they ran out. Now, for the past several months we've used more stickers on the kids than the chart! Can you guess which stickers Julie has helped put on all by herself? :) One of my first blog posts was about how much Jake loved stickers and I guess Julie is following in his footsteps!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Spontaneous Utah Trip

For my birthday present, Jeremy quickly arranged for Julie and me to fly along with my parents to Utah for the week. We bought my tickets Tuesday afternoon and I flew out at 5:30am Wednesday morning! We had originally planned on driving out as a family this same week but with all that will happen after the baby is born, we felt Jeremy needed to save his vacation days and can canceled the trip. Jeremy saw how bummed I was about not going and covertly arranged for me to go anyway. Spontaneous trips are not easy to pull off alone when you have two kids, so I have a few people to thank:
  • My parents: Thanks for all your help on the plane, babysitting so I could go to the temple, putting up with Julie's screams and just overall help with Julie while we were out there!
  • LaDawn: Thanks for watching Jake on Monday for my doctor's appointment and again that same week while Jeremy went to work. It's definitely our turn now.
  • Anna: You called to see why I missed play group and somehow got roped in to babysitting Jake while Calvin was sleeping. Thanks for letting Jer go to the Elder's quorum activity. Hopefully we can babysit Calvin sometime soon too.
  • Josh and Shauna: I'm not sure if I spelled your names right, but we still appreciate you taking on kid #3 for the day while Jeremy was in Bend!
  • Tammi: We keep trying unsuccessfully to arrange a play date lately and when we finally do, it's really just you taking on another kid while you host a bunch of people at your house! Thanks and next time you need a baby sitter, you know who to call!
  • Saundra and Sam: Thank you for so graciously agreeing to let Julie and I stay at your house on such short notice. I'll be thinking of you guys when I watch American Idol tonight.
  • Uncle Tom, Aunt Beth, and Jeffrey: Thank you so much for letting me use your Jeep while I was in town. Being able to get around on my own was invaluable!
  • Family in Utah: It was so great to see all of you, thanks for rearranging your schedules at the last minute just so you could see us!
  • Jer: Thanks for putting this all together and helping celebrate my birthday with Grandma Brown - I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present.
  • I know there's more I'm forgetting - if so, I apologize and thank you too! haha ;)

Prenatal Intervention

This is a slightly later update than I would have liked, thanks to my trip (more on that later), but I promised I'd keep everyone informed so here we go.

The first thing our doctor at the Maternal and Fetal Medicine Clinic here in Eugene asked me was, "Have you decided if you're going to California?" Needless to say, the question caught me completely off guard. What he really wanted to ask me was whether or not we had decided to opt-in to a prenatal intervention program for our baby.

Prenatal intervention in our case would consist of a procedure where they try and open up our baby's aortic valve with a "balloon" while he is still in the womb. This is obviously very risky for the baby (they would go through the outer wall of his heart to get to the valve), and apparently even for me. The hope of this prenatal procedure is to allow "flow" through the left side of his heart, which would hopefully stimulate the left side of his heart to grow before he is born.

At our appointment with the cardiologist in Portland (after our fetal echo), we asked her opinion on the prenatal intervention procedure. She is not a big fan of prenatal intervention in general because the last baby the sent down there did not make it; it sounds like that is more the norm than exception.

As it turns out, the cardiologist said our baby is not a good candidate for the procedure anyway. The procedure only focuses on one valve and our baby has a constriction in both valves on the left side of his heart. Even if we were to go ahead with the procedure, it is unlikely we would get good "flow" because that second valve would still be constricted.

Needless to say, we've decided against prenatal intervention. Right now, we are making plans for our baby to go through the three open heart surgeries, starting with the Norwood Procedure. After researching transplants, that avenue feels like more of a dead end. We will still have transplant as a backup option if the Norwood procedure doesn't go well. We are very grateful for all the fasting, prayers and time our family and friends put in to help us make this decision. Obviously there is still time to change our opinion if new information arises, but for now we feel this is the best course of action for our baby and our family.