Monday, November 9, 2009

Ultrasound News

Hi Baby Girl!!

It has taken Mama a few days to find time to write about our ultrasound last Wed. Life doesn't slow down around here!

I'll back up to the beginning of the appointment. The sonographer and the doctor are a husband/wife team from OHSU. As I said previously, they are the best in the region. They scanned your heart for ten, maybe fifteen minutes, and talked "in code" to each other. They both kept mumbling half-phrases to each other, it was really funny:) For instance Dr. Rice would say "Can you get a better picture of the-" and her husband would zoom in on something and say "-well I tried to, but here's a different angle of the-" and she would say "I can see why they thought it was a-" and he would say "-but there's nothing I can see that would-"andhe would say "well, I do see a heavy tissue there but-" and he would say"I'll get that shot next after the-" one point I thought I understood what they were saying, so I interjected "They never actually saw a canal, it's just the way the valves were lining up" to which the sonographer said "Oh, okay, well-" and the doctor left the room and came back in and said "okay, now let me see that-"

....FINALLY (after what was really just ten minutes, but seemed like forever of waiting!) the doctor went out of the room, and came back in with a printed out picture of two hearts- one with an av canal defect, one without- very much like the one I posted on your blog a few months ago! She sat down and said "Well, this is what an av canal defect looks like" and explained what I have been studying on the internet for weeks. She concluded by saying "And we see NO signs of any canal whatsoever." I can't even tell you, Lily, how huge of a grin my face broke into in two seconds flat. Like light just poured into that room, and weeks of waiting and wondering and praying and asking God for GOOD NEWS and a miracle, or whatever it took- just ended with one little sentence. Even though I have had a tremendous peace about you through everything, I don't think I realised how much of a "weight" I was feeling...until the doctor spoke those words and I just breathed this giant SIGH of relief!!

As a side note...Dr.Mary Rice is not at all what I would expect of a pediatric cardiologist..she looks like a friendly Grandma with a cute bob of dyed hair...with a little colorful kids' hair clip stuck at an awkward angle to hold her hair back from her forehead...big glasses, reminds me of Marcie from the Peanuts cartoon...and dressed like a Grandma with a white coat on..I just have to post a picture to remember her in the future...

Isn't she a crack up?

But when she opened her mouth- and started explaining everything about hearts- all doubts about her professional capabilities rolled away:) This lady knows her stuff!

And when she told us she saw NO av canal defects- she smiled that big happy smile too, and she looked like the most beautiful angel on the planet to me!!! Isn't that funny? I thought the first doctor, Dr. Katz, looked like a giant toad, and I have to say I was not happy with him.

Dr.Rice went on to say that every baby has a small "flap" in their heart, that closes on its own after birth. This is because the heart functions differently in the womb than in "real life." Your "flap" looks like heavy tissue, instead of a solid "flap". However, this might just develop into a true flap after you are born- in which case no treatment would be necessary. Dr. Rice said we need to get an ultrasound for you at around 3 months of age to see if that flap has closed. If it hasn't, it can be fixed by a catheter and NOT open heart surgery!! Thank you God!!

I asked her about our "odds" of downs syndrome...she said they definitely just improved. 75%of children born with an av canal defect (which we now know you don't have) have downs. At this point we don't even know if you have this flap defect (atrial septal defect, or ASD)...she said 50% of babies with downs have heart problems, so it's all in how we look at it.

We are just thrilled beyond belief that you do not have to have open heart surgery! When I asked about delivering at OHSU, the doctor said there is absolutely no reason why I can't deliver in Corvallis. She said this is very minor, and definitely will not cause any problems at birth. In fact, a lot of people born with this never require treatment for it, because often it just resolves on its own over time. Yay!! we go back again for another level II ultrasound on Dec. 3rd to check on your kidneys. They were enlarged at the last 2 ultrasounds, and the doctors want to keep an eye on them. I have talked to SO many people whose babies had one enlarged kidney, or both enlarged, and a labor and delivery nurse also told me this is the most common "abnormality" found on ultrasounds. Still, we are praying for everything to look normal in December!

All in all, little Lily, we are getting SO excited to see you and hold you! The days are flying by quickly, and before we know it February will be here!

I am exhausted, so I am calling it a night...we all went to the dentist today- no cavities for anyone, praise God! Miracles happening around here left and right !:)

Sweet dreams and all my love,

Your Mama oxox

P.S. So much for Dr. Katz's earlier statement "I am 90% sure that what I'm looking at is an av canal." Either you are in that ten percent...or God did a miracle! Either way, I'm glad you proved him wrong!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Dearest Lily,

Yesterday we received the best news we have had in months- NO av canal defect!!! I will post more tomorrow, as it is late and Mommy is sooooooo tired. But I just had to tell you, I am SO relieved that you will not need heart surgery!!! If there is a small problem- which I will explain tomorrow- it is just fixed thru a catheter. And that is probably not even going to be necessary.

Thank YOU Lord, for either a miracle, or a confirmation that there never was any defect in the first place- just valves that like to line up to give us all something to pray about! ;)

I love you baby girl!!

Always yours,

Mama oxoxo and an extra ox just for the good news

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Good morning, Lily!

Tomorrow is the big day..well, that's what we thought last time, but hopefully this time will reveal more answers. We go to Eugene again for another echocardiagram. This time the pediatric cardilogist from OHSU in Portland will come look at your heart. Her husband is the sonographer- they have both been specializing in hearts for a looong time, and are the best in the region! So we are anxious to see what they have to say about your little heart. They won't be looking at anything else tomorrow- we have another level II ultrasound on Dec. 3rd, when they will do a full scan again, checking your kidneys, growth, etc.

Daddy and I have decided if there is any heart defect at all, even one that does not require immediate surgery, we want to deliver at OHSU. They are the best in the region, and if there was any unforseen problem, we want you where they can help you right away- without having to be transported and without leaving Mommy behind in Corvallis! I have learned alot of things about OHSU/Doernbecher in the past 3 weeks that really makes me want to deliver there. They do not have the rule that our hospital has recently implemented...which is NO visitors under 18, and only 2 visitors the entire stay in labor and delivery and recovery! So only Daddy and Mackenzie could see us the whole time we are in the hospital here :( And that is IF they let us sneak Kenzie in- she will be a month shy of 18. My midwife said we can call her our doulah- labor assistant/coach- and they would have to let her in. That means Jason and Naomi, Josiah, your brothers and sister- would all have to wait til we got home to see you or me. That makes me so sad! OHSU only limits visitors to age- no one under 12 is allowed in the maternity ward. All of this is due to the swine flu, and that will last until past your due date.

The other thing I learned about OHSU that is awesome is that they have an excellent midwifery program, and they provide WATER BIRTHS! Mommy has always wanted to have a water birth, because I LOVE laboring in the tub. Our hospital does not allow this (yet)- our midwives are working on this. OHSU provides this service if the parents attend a water birth class, and pay $100 for the use of the tub. It is a huge tub that sits in the birthing room, and it has easy steps to get into it. This is all a big IF...because I will need to find out IF I am considered high risk, IF you ave a heart defect. The midwives do not see any high risk patients there. I talked to one of my midwives, the one who delivered Jackson, and she thinks it would not be a problem at all.

If that is not an option, OHSU has wonderful OB's as well..and the neonatal unit is right next to the maternity ward, so either way, everything is readily available should you need extra care.

Since we will not know until you are born if you have downs, we are also leaning towards Doernbechers...the doctors have assured us that babies with downs are normally very healthy, but sometimes there are small issues at birth that might require extra assistance.

All of this might not even be necessary..we will know tomorrow! But now that I heard all the great things about OHSU I am wondering if I could switch to them even if you don't have any problems!

Meanwhile- you are growing lots and always active. The kids love feeling you kick, and Daddy always tells you (thru my tummy) how much he loves you. You are getting so big that Mommy now has a hernia under her belly button! :( I went to get fitted for a belly band yesterday, to help give my tummy support. Hopefully it resolves itself after delivery! It looks like there is a 3 leaf clover-shaped bubble on my belly button. Yuck!

We have decided on Lily Anne for your full name. We love the name Anne, and it goes so well with Lily. I have so many people I would love to name you for, and I don't want to leave anyone out! Moms, sisters, friends...if I named you for my favorite women, you would have 25 middle names:) Your sisters' middle names are just names we love, whereas we chose your brothers' middle names for certain people. Jason Christopher is for Uncle, Josiah Charles is for Papa and Uncle's middle names, Tyler Kevin is for Pastor Foley, Jonathan Samuel and Caleb Benjamin are for Daddy, Noah Stephen is for Papa and Jackson Parker is for Grandpa Rice.

We have a very dear friend, Ann Cox, who lives in Gaston, OR. When we first moved to Oregon, Daddy did some tile for her. She opened up their beach house to our family- and has been letting us use it ever since. She and her husband run a vetrinarian clinic in Tigard, where we take our dogs for shots, check-ups, boarding, etc. The Cox's will never let us pay for services there, and will never let us pay to use their beach house. It has become our second home. Anne is one of the sweetest women I know. I hope some day to be half the Christian she is. She is the most generous, sensitive, kind, caring, loving woman , and I am so honored to know her. I cannot picture her ever sayng an unkind word about anyone. She has a smile that lights up any room, and just 5 minutes on the phone with her makes you feel like everything is going to be alright. She has called me at crucial times when I just needed encouragement- and she didn't even know it- and said just the right words. I wish everyone had an Ann in their life- someone who you could count on to be praying for you, and who you knew would always have some encouraging, sweet words to speak into your life. I hope, Lily Anne, that you will be the kind of person Ann is some day:)

So Lily Anne you are...and If I wanted to keep naming babies after people I loved I would need at least 100 more babies!

I don't think my belly button will hold up to that amount of children, so I think we will stop with you:)

See you tomorrow!!!

Love Always,

Mama oxox