Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Troubling test results

Last week I had my blood drawn to screen for neural tube defects. My results came in today and my AFP number was 2.88, which is considered a positive result (a normal result is less than 2.5). However, this doesn't mean that there actually is a problem -- the odds are 1:72 for a spinal defect in general and 1:144 for spina bifida.

We will meet with the genetic counselor again next friday and go over the options for further testing. Most likely she will recommend doing an amniocentesis to see if the the amniotic fluid also has elevated AFP as that is much more diagnostic. Last week Dr. P. did look at the baby's spine and brain and didn't see any obvious signs of a problem; however she said that very small defects are often not visible on ultrasound that early.

Please cross your fingers that this is just a false positive!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Eli's 2nd Birthday

Lemon blueberry cupcakes!
As you know, Eli turned 2 on August 5th. What you might not know is that since he was born early, his adjusted 2 year old birthday is actually today. So, it seemed appropriate to write about it now.

We are so happy to be able to celebrate with our adorable little guy. He is rapidly turning into a little boy, and he has such a happy, outgoing, warm, and engaging personality. He loves giving hugs to everyone and everything (including doors and vacuum cleaners!) and is sometimes a bit of a clown putting random objects on his head and calling them a hat (which he finds very very funny). His language has really exploded and he's mostly speaking 3 and 4 word sentences. He's unfailingly polite and uses "please" and "thank you" automatically now. We can't help but be entertained by his very sincere,"no thank you" when we tell him it's time for bed! He's also come up with easier to pronounce names for his grandmas and grandpas: grandpa is "Poppa" and grandma is "Gah." We think it's pretty cute, but Grandma Kerry isn't thrilled with the nickname!

Lovin' his birthday hat
Physically he's also doing great. He's slightly above average height and a bit below average weight. He loves to climb and run and is always very active. His eating has gotten somewhat pickier, but he still loves to eat in general and dipping food into ketchup or yogurt makes everything delicious! His favorite foods are chicken nuggets, pizza, ketchup, yogurt, frozen peas, and any kind of fruit. He's pretty good with a spoon and fork and we rarely need to use a bib when he eats these days -- he absolutely hates to get his hands dirty and insists on being cleaned up immediately when he gets food or marker on them (just like his daddy at that age).

We've been very lucky so far in that he's not really all that "terrible" of a two year old. He certainly has his moments, but they're fairly rare and over quickly. Our pediatrician's prediction is that it's unlikely his behavior will change all that much at this point. Hopefully she's right!

He's doing very well at our preschool/daycare and usually plays very nicely with the other kids there. He has a friend, Kai Kai, who he's currently very enamored with and he talks about her constantly. He's recently started participating more in preschool activities and often has art projects to bring home (which we proudly display on the refrigerator, of course!). He's progressing well with learning numbers and letters and can sort of sing the alphabet song (while brushing his teeth) and sort of count to 10 (he skips a few numbers). He recently started swim lessons with Chad and is learning to swim underwater, kick, and blow bubbles. He loves swimming and is very comfortable in the water.

Everyone loves cake time
We celebrated Eli's birthday with a handful of friends and family on August 4th. First we all went to the association pool and had a great time swimming, splashing, and shooting water guns at one another. Then we returned to our house and ate pizza and birthday cake. Eli received lots of cool gifts and he was quite overwhelmed by it all. He ended up only unwrapping a few presents that day. We decided to save a few for later once the novelty of the new ones wears off. Thank you so much for being so thoughtful and generous to him!

Overall, we feel so blessed to have Eli in our lives and we are really enjoying the opportunity to see the world through his eyes and teach him to explore it.

Reading a card

It lights up and plays music!

The space shuttle flies upside down, Gah!

Weight: 27lbs (38%)
Height: 34.8 inches (58%)
Head Circumference: 47 cm (12%)
BMI: 15.8 (26%)

Friday, August 16, 2013


This will be a quick update since I'm at work and have a lot to do before it's time to leave at 5.

Today's ultrasound was fine. Baby is still growing at the same rate as is normal for him (~5 days behind GA). The SCH (blood clot) is still there and about the same size as before, maybe slightly smaller. It's just going to take awhile to work itself out. There are still no signs of preterm labor or any of the other complications that can arise with this, so that's good. Dr. P. also did a thorough look at the baby's anatomy and everything is looking normal. The only oddity is that the amniotic sac is still smaller than it should be and the fluid levels are on the low side. However the placenta looks very healthy. At the moment all we can do is keep an eye on everything and cross our fingers.

My colitis is being annoying and came back as soon as I started tapering off the prednisone, so I'm back on it for awhile. I apologize if I'm not very responsive to inquiries right now as my mental state isn't so great while on this medication. I'll let you know if there's anything serious going on, so if you don't hear from me, it's safe to assume that we're doing okay.

GA: 16w5d
Baby's weight: 5 oz
Size Comparison: Turnip
Feeling movement: maybe sometimes? Placenta is in the front so it absorbs most movement right now.
HR: 150 bpm

Showin' some skull

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Quick Update

This is just a quick update since I've been getting a few inquiries as to how I'm doing. I apologize for not writing sooner, but with all the craziness lately I just haven't had the time. I also owe you a post completely dedicated to Eli, who just turned 2 on Monday! I'll try to get to that very soon. =)

For those who aren't aware of what's been happening with me, here's the recap:
- The week before Tracy's wedding, I had a couple of major bleeding episodes while at work.
- I had an emergency ultrasound to ensure the baby was still ok and then was put on strict bed rest.
- I spent the remainder of the week watching everyone prepare for the wedding while I laid (uselessly) on the couch.
- Since I didn't have any additional bleeding, I was able to go to the wedding. I was in a wheelchair for the ceremony and laid on a chaise lounge during the reception. It was gorgeous and I'm so glad I got to be there!
- I've remained stable and have been going to work. However I'm still not permitted to lift Eli, do childcare, or household chores for at least another couple of weeks.
- My never ending ulcerative colitis flare has been decimated by high dose prednisone. Side effect: now I'm even more of a moody b*tch than normal. Sorry!
- Eli has gotten REALLY good at climbing into and out of his carseat, the bathtub, his crib, etc. The evening routine has had to change some, but we are managing.
- Poor Cairo really misses our nightly walks. :-(