May 26, 2008

Baby Shower

I'm back! Well for a minute anyway. John has done such a fabulous job with the blog- I think he should be in charge from now on! There are some topics that he doesn't care to blog about... the baby shower for example.

It was such a beautiful shower! CHOCOLATE HEAVEN is the best way to describe the night. Thanks to everyone who brought such deliciousness. Mia received so many darling gifts, and super thoughtful presents from those who love her so much already. I will soon get the thank- you cards out. They have been greeting me every morning, so until it arrives in your mailbox know how much I appreciate you all! When I get some pictures taken, you will be seeing how cute and crafty my friends are!

These are my peeps- watch carefully the person next to me changes from one picture to the next. These two wonderful ladies are responsible for not only throwing me the shower, but being so supportive during all of this. I am so grateful to have such wonderful people in my life. I love all of these women to pieces, and my only wish would be to have my mom and sister's here too!

May 19, 2008

Large and in Charge

We have two months to go and Mimi’s baby holster is larger than at nine months with our previous two chillins. A couple good quotes I have heard: While in Children’s Hospital last week we passed a lady with no filter or maybe just no mute button who said, “Whoa, she’s definitely dropped, she’s ready to burst!” Various boys at the YMCA: “whoa.” “Whoa man.” “Dude - that lady is really pregnant.” Usually followed by a friend who says, “You can’t say stuff like that.” Daily people ask if she is having twins. While at the doctor today she had them check- and sure enough, she just has a lot of amniotic fluid. The baby is in the 47th percentile (very average. This is good) and weighs 3lbs. 13oz. Poor Mims has also been extremely uncomfortable for the past couple months due to a sharp back pain on the right of her back. We also learned today that the “committee” of doctors has decided that heart transplant is the definite plan to move forward. We will not put Mia on the donor list before birth due to the fact that there are two babies awaiting heart transplants ahead of her. These other two babies are stable so Mia would actually move to the top of the list at birth if she is as critical post delivery. I am glad in a way that we aren’t on the donor list yet. I don’t want a C-section for Mimi and it sure would be nice to hold our sweet baby while she is still brand new with no tubes and stitches and medication. Oddly that is a really big deal to me. Oh and one more thing, a special thanks to Mimi’s sister Boonie. Thanks for the Maternity clothes. They are all really nice. AND her name was already on all the tags!! Does it cost extra to label all the clothes “Mimi Maternity?”

May 13, 2008

Mia Update

We met the surgeon today that will be performing the surgery on Mia. Dr. Cohen is his name and he seems like good people. I figured I would write down some info that we have as we go along.

A full year of lock down. It is true. Since Mia will have her immune system suppressed, we are not supposed to go into public for about a year in order to try and avoid getting the baby sick. (I am going to need to get a plasma and a PlayStation for sure.) We can go out, but avoid germ infested public. We may be tearing out carpet and installing hardwood to maintain a cleaner knees hurt just thinking about that project. Maybe one of those air filtration devices to cleanse the air. I was telling Mimi that I was going to set up a booth at the front door that you have to strip down and then it sprays you with chemicals to disinfect. It would be funny to see if anyone took the bait.

No Ronald McDonald House. We are trying to plan ahead on how this is going to work with maintaining job, family and baby in hospital. We are too close for McDonald house free lodging. kids can't stay in the hospital rooms, (and thank goodness for that so we won't be tempted to try it.) We will have to farm out the kids when things are tough, and just make it work. It will just be crazy for a few months

We have been in touch with several families that have gone through this recently. It has been an enormous comfort to hear their story and just to get the ins and outs of what is going to come our way soon. One thing that we were a bit disappointed in was our social worker. Apparently this was going to be the key to making all sorts of things happen. Money was going to start falling from the sky sort of thing. Well, though she is really nice, she had no good leads on financial help other than stuff we mostly knew. This gal from Ohio who's child had recently gone through this had awesome help from her social worker. We will have to find out all the cool programs that are out there and just pass them along to the social worker.

So, the good doctor says that his gut feeling is still to have a heart transplant, but that he is meeting with 50 of his peers on Monday to discuss and decide on the best course of action. The strongest possibility is to put Mia on the donor list 4 weeks before the due date and to do a C-section if a heart becomes available before her birth. This gives us a nice cushion of time when the baby is in a safe environment in the womb, yet available for transplant. The other option is to wait until birth so that the baby can be observed to find out if the heart improves or changes outside of the womb in order to make possible other procedures than the transplant. We shall see. It would be nice to avoid transplant, which would mean no lifelong meds, but it is not likely. The procedure would call for one side of the heart to pump blood to the entire body while closing off the other side. There would be 3 open heart surgeries before the age of 5 and all are about the same risk as a transplant. I don't like the idea of coming back that often. It is encouraging that our surgeon has done over a hundred transplants. He did say that doing a C-section and transplant shortly thereafter has only been done three times in the US to date. Interesting. The great news is that they don't have to have a blood type match because newborns don't have specific blood types. They have markers, but basically size is more important than blood type for a newborn.

We are doing great, and feel more confident everyday. I will update again on monday, the day they take a vote on what to do.

May 12, 2008

Twinkle Trophey

Jensen has passed the first level of his piano class and received the esteemed “Twinkle Trophy.” He learned 4 different versions of Twinkle Little Star and can play them with both hands. As often as he practices and as good as he plays, it would seem that he couldn’t possibly be my offspring, then I remember that Mimi is his mother. Thank goodness for moms. I have to comment on how it blows my mind what my kids can do to my emotions. Here I am on the verge of tears at the sight of my boy playing twinkle. I looked over at Mimi and she was beaming from ear to ear. It was her proudest moment so far as a mom. I tell you the love of a parent for his/her child is amazing. I even find myself riveted at his soccer games! Previously you probably couldn’t have paid me 100 bucks to sit through a soccer game no matter who is playing, and now I can’t get enough of it! Jensen is so cute. He LOVES his trophy. Matter of fact, if you come to our house, guaranteed he will show you his collection of medals and trophies.

May 8, 2008

Great Wolf Lodge

We were able to run away for the weekend after the bad news and had an absolutely wonderful time at the Great Wolf Lodge in Grand Mound WA. I can't say enough about how great a place this is. From the facility to the service. All good. There is so much to do here. The kids could have spent half a day looking at all the decorative animals and scenery. In the picture above, the kids were in between swimming sessions at the water park.

The main attraction is the indoor water park. Every 10 minutes or so a gigantic bucket dumps all over an enormous structure dousing everyone as they are playing. The kids learned the patterns of all the blasts of water they didn't like and it was cute to see how they learned to navigate safely.
There is a full spa for adults as well as for kids. Ellie got a manicure with her mom. She was so cute as she placed her hands out on the counter ready for a good painting.
How cute is that!!
The kids LOVED the arcade. They won a lot of prizes and got a pirate gun etc.
There is a craft room where you can do all sorts of things. Here they are painting piggy banks.
The kids had talked about the "b'cation" for weeks and weeks, and when we finally arrived they were absolutely amped about the cabin theme. We had our own fireplace and the kids slept in a room all decorated with animals and cabin things. There was a flatscreen tv in kids room with gaming controlers ready to go. Jensen got the top bunk, but Ellie kept sneaking up the ladder trying to steal his place...

Tons of slides and squiring devices at every turn. Kid heaven. For some reason Ellie never seemed to come out of the slides sitting up. It was on the stomach, backwards, upside down. She is crazy.
So adorabley crashed out in the cabin. We literally swam until 10:00 at night. For breaks they would throw on robes and cruise. They really thought of everything while putting this place together. At every turn there were towels ready for use, life vests for the kids, bandaids for owies, food stations. They even had braclets that could be programed with your credit card so that a person didn't have to carry cash anywhere, it even opened the rooms locked door. Handy. I have to give love you Mimi's friends. They called ahead and got our room upgraded to the cabin suite and paid for Mimi to get a very soothing Pedicure. Thank you so much. All he little details made this a wonderful weekend. I will recommend this place to anyone. We loved it.

May 6, 2008

Happy Birthday Meems!!

Since I am taking over the blog for a minute, I am going to take some liberties. First, I will make this little birthday tribute, and soon to follow I will be posting embarrassing pics of the Meem.

Happy birthday MEEMS! 27 YRS. HOLY COW!!! Yet another year has gone by and you are cuter today than they day that I robbed you from the cradle. It seems unfair since I only seem to get more chubby with time…

How can I sum up all that you are to me. Like Jensen’s book says, “I love you to the moon and back.” Thank you for being so wonderful all the time as a wife, mom, friend, sister etc. I know we are going to have a record year for trials, but we will sail through with all the blessings we have already seen and with your wonderful attitude and tenacity for chasing down the end result that you want until it has arrived. I love you. Oh, and for all those that emailed Mimi, she was really embarrassed that I sent that email, but I stand by my decision not only because it was a great idea, and I give myself a lot of husband points, but I see that tons of people sent short messages. She loved it, secretly.

May 4, 2008

Baby Mia

Thursday afternoon we received some very alarming news. At a visit to the cardiologist we were informed that our unborn baby girl (Mia) has a severe congenital heart defect. We were devastated. We spent the weekend away with phones shut off and time to cry till there was just no more liquid in our bodies. We are so in love with this little baby and we are prepared to do all that is necessary to help heal her heart. Her heart disease is called Critical Aortic Stenosis. The abnormally tiny opening in her aortic valve has severely affected her mitral valve resulting in a very dilated and dysfunctional left ventricle. We are still in need of much information at this point, but it looks like there is no alternative but for Mia to have a heart transplant upon birth. She will not be able to sustain her own life and will need to be in an ICU until a donor heart becomes available. We have received a huge outpouring of love and support from family, friends and from the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. It still feels like I just stepped off the stage from an Oprah episode, but I think that we have come to grips and are preparing for a miracle. We know that the Lord has prepared a way for this to work out. We are preparing for the best, and look forward to witnessing miracles in the near future.

We decided we should start calling her by her name and have always liked the name Mia. Jensen was going to be Mia, but he came out with a certain type of plumbing that didn’t match the name. Ellie was just the right name for Ellie, and now we are ready to meet baby Mia. This little one is very active and wants us to know she is here and ready to fight.

If this baby is anything like her mom, she is not going to give up easily. We look forward to having her in our family and in our home. All prayers have been felt, and are greatly appreciated.