Saturday, September 22, 2007

"I Shall Call Him Mini-Me"

I can’t believe I’m already 33 weeks…looking back it seems this pregnancy has gone by SO fast—looking forward it still seems like a long road—but I thank God daily for our little boy who never (NEVER EVER) seems to quit wiggling inside me. From corresponding with other CDH moms, it seems this (the constant moving, kicking and bladder squeezing) is a gift that God gives to us so we have some “extra” bonding time with our precious baby before we give him over to the doctors and nurses to care for him for an undetermined amount of time.

On Wednesday of this week I met with my regular OB who said everything looks great—I’m still measuring perfectly for my due date which probably doesn’t mean much but it is nice to know something is going right! She listened to his heart beat (130BPM) and that was about it. I see her one more time before I leave for Gainesville—this next time they’ll do an ultrasound and a non-stress test (as requested by Dr. Kays in Gainesville).

Thursday morning Rusty and I met with the pediatric cardiologist at UAB. We really didn’t know what to expect but they took us into an exam room with an ultrasound machine. We immediately gave Philip Andrew a pep talk about cooperating and being still (remember last time I had an ultrasound I got really fainty). Well, no doubt he is my son because little Philip Andrew is already a VERY defiant little boy. He would not be still for the doctor and kept moving the entire time—on top of that I kept feeling like I was going to pass out. By the end of the ultrasound I was in a full upright position and turned on my side while the doctor continued to try and get a look at the baby’s heart (normal ultrasound position is flat and on your back). Unfortunately, the doctor couldn’t see everything because he was moving around so much—but what he could see he said looked fine and that he feels strongly we are dealing with just the CDH and no heart issues. This isn’t anything new for us to hear, Dr. Richards at SHANDS told us the same thing. The purpose of this meeting was precautionary—if I go into labor in Birmingham (within the next 2 weeks) then we want to make sure everyone that would be involved is familiar with us and our baby.

After our meeting with the cardiologist, we grabbed a bite to eat (I ate a huge chef salad in hopes it would send Philip Andrew into a comatose state). It worked! We met with our high-risk OB at the Kirklin Clinic at 1pm and he was an angel during the ultrasound—he was still and very cooperative—we even got a beautiful picture of him! This was our last visit with the high-risk OB here in Birmingham—she said everything looks normal (my fluid levels, his growth).

Back to the picture (ultrasound picture)—well, he looks just like Rusty. I can’t help but be jealous that this baby who keeps me from sleeping and has me going to the bathroom an average of 3 times in the middle of the night doesn’t look like me. Thank goodness I am madly in love with my husband and that I think he is so handsome—otherwise this would be difficult to swallow. But he does look like Rusty (the lips and chin)—as any little boy should look like their daddy!

But…the best part…HE HAS HAIR! I have been praying for him to have hair (among other things such as a miracle repair of the CDH before birth) and the doctor showed us that he does have hair on his head!!!!!! I just can’t wait to meet this little boy!!!!!!!

Thank you for your continued prayers—we appreciate them so much. Love, Liz & Rusty

PS- I've enclosed a picture of Rusty when he was 3 days old to compare to our ultrasound can't not imagine how annoying it is to have your husband walking around saying "I shall call him mini-me."

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Not much to report...just a little drama. I had my regular OB appointment yesterday morning. I arrived early thinking they could get me in and out--but Dr. Christine had someone go into labor so I had to wait in the room for some time. I didn't mind so much, I read some magazines and then our baby boy got the hiccups! I hadn't felt hiccups before and I hadn't really thought about it--but sure enough--he was hiccuping and every time his little fanny would bump out--it was precious! When Dr. Christine did come in I told her about the hiccups and she said it was good because it means he is swallowing. She then measured me (still exactly on target--31 weeks tomorrow!)and listened for the baby's heartbeat. It took a while for her to find it because he was wiggling around so much--i didn't freak out or anything because I could feel him moving while she was listening for it and she did eventually pick up a nice heartbeat (134 bpm). Just to be on the safe side, she ordered an ultrasound to check my fluid levels because this could be an indication my levels are too high--so back to the waiting room I went! Of course waiting (alone) only made me worry that they might be too high. But then they called my name and I went in and the ultrasound technician seemed clueless about our baby--she kept quizzing me about the levels and why I needed to have them checked--I told her my baby has CDH and she seemed happy and said "I've never seen that before!"--almost in an excited way. Usually I'm okay about this--I know now that we really need the word out about CDH so I have used a lot of opportunities to educate people--but this seemed absurd. I climbed on the table and she quickly did her measurements and I could tell she was wrapping up and I asked if she'd take some pictures of the baby's face--she said "I thought you got a lot of ultrasounds done" and I was like, yes and they are all focused on the chest and abdomen." So she quickly went and took a few pics of our precious baby's face (he really looks a lot like Rusty) and then started scanning over his chest and abdomen. I was getting so uncomfortable and after about 20 minutes of her "trying to figure out where the hernia is" and asking me to point stuff out--i started to move around a lot on the table--I was so uncomfortable and starting to feel weird. She finally was like "I give up--you are obviously uncomfortable" and helped me sit up--about this time i went deaf and everything went dark and I could tell she just said something and I said "I need water and Nurse Cindy". I don't know how I didn't pass out off the table--but they made it back in time to help me to the chair. Nurse Cindy was kind enough to call my mom (Rusty had to be in Montgomery all day for work and this was supposed to be an uneventful visit) to come pick me up. Needless to say, my fluid levels look fine and so does the baby! Cindy immediately commented it was from laying on my back for so long--so hopefully that ultrasound tech learned a lesson.
Poor Rusty, little Philip Andrew is still playing "can't catch me" with Rusty when it comes to him feeling the kicks. I'm hoping he'll get the hiccups again soon and then Rusty can definitely feel that. Please keep praying for our little boy--we can feel everyone's prayers and they are so comforting! We thank you so much. As we follow other CDH baby's stories from people we've come in contact with we are constantly asking God to prepare our hearts for this difficult journey--especially when it comes to not being able to hold our baby (probably for about a month) and in some cases, not being able to give him kisses or touch him. We know that this is just part of what it will take for him to be healed (funny, it seems contrary to what i'm sure every mother and father "feel")--and we know it will be difficult--but we are praying for patience in that respect. Thank you for your love and support.