Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bows and Pearls...It's a GIRL!

What an appointment today! I woke up at 4am so nervous. I was jittery all day and couldn't stop bouncing my leg, flicking my pen, or chewing my nails. It never took so long for 2:30 to roll around. The baby cooperated for the ultrasound this time and they got all of the pictures they needed, especially the 2 most important ones...the placenta and the genitals!! Yes, we have a baby girl. Daddy had big old crocodile tears in his eyes. She has already melted his heart. We just need to get her some pink camo and a fishing pole :)

What a miracle! The tumor is completely gone!! Dr. Villano says this happens 60% of the time. Wish the first doctor would have told us that 4 weeks ago. Either way, it is fabulous news. We can feel the love and support of our family and friends. We can't thank you enough for the outpouring of prayers and support. We do believe in the power of prayer and continue to pray for a smooth remainder of our pregnancy and delivery.

We are headed to Colorado tomorrow and happy to be going with good news. We have a long plane ride ahead of us which means I have Matt's undivided attention for 4 hours!! Maybe we can come up with some baby names. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 16, lots of excitement!

This is week 16 already! 4 months, unbelievable. We finally have our appointment this week at ROC. We meet with Dr. Villano at 2:30 on Tuesday. She was the chief OB resident at Shands Gainesville when I worked there, so it will be nice to see a familiar face. I rode the elevator with her last week and told her I would be paying her a visit soon. We are anxious to have some questions answered, remeasure the tumor, and hopefully find out the gender of BabyE! Then we hop on a flight Wednesday morning to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. It has snowed there this past week so Matt is excited to hit the slopes. Although, he is really out of shape and nervous about being sore!

This week, tiny bones are forming in baby's ears. I have been talking to the baby all along, but this week he/she will actually be able to hear me (as much as I talk, that may not be a good thing). Eyebrows, lashes, and hair (maybe sideburns like Daddy's!) are starting to fill in, and taste buds are forming. BabyE is the size of an avocado. Funny, because I have been eating a lot of those lately. I love them!

We were supposed to close on the new house Monday, but the bank pushed the closing back to April 14th, because they were dragging their feet on some paperwork. This has certainly been a learning experience and I hope I am in this house until my kids drop me off at a nursing home! This is not a fun experience and the poor people of Wells Fargo Mortgage got an earful from me this week. It is kind of like "Who's On First""!?!?!

Here is my 16 week picture. I found a maternity jean skirt I love and a couple more tops at Target and Gap. I weighed in this morning with a 5lb overall weight gain! Still loving cheese, fruit, milk, and now avocados. I am not liking meat as much though. I am ok with chicken and shrimp, but not loving pork or beef so much. I had to start eating Fiber1 bars, if you know what I mean! I had my first (and hopefully last) experience of morning sickness the other day. I think I just gagged on my vitamins. I am now taking them at night!

Will post again after our appointment on Tuesday! Happy Spring :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Promise to Kate

Promise to Kate Team
I am fortunate enough to have a special friend that I met after moving to Jacksonville. Her name is Elizabeth, but we all call her "Bissy".  Bissy gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Kate, in 2009. Shortly after birth, Kate was diagnosed with Congenital Myotonic Muscular Dystrophy, a form of muscular dystrophy that affects the relaxation of muscles. Bissy and her husband Dave are incredible people, parents, and Kate is very blessed to have such a supportive family. She goes to physical therapy several times a week and has progressed so much in her short 2 years. By the devotion of her parents, family, and therapists, Kate is now able to sit up, crawl, stand, kneel, communicate, and...yes, WALK!

We participated in the MDA Muscle Walk as the Promise to Kate Team. We sported black and hot pink attire and walked around the Avenues Mall. Kate used her walker during the walk, and then at the end, she showed us her stuff by taking a few steps on her own!! What a moment. You can only imagine the tears flowing down my face.

This is just a reminder, that no matter how bumpy the road is, there are so many great outcomes...sometimes just in different packages than we expected. Bissy and Dave are so inspirational and I look to them for guidance in so many ways. Your life can change in a moment, the little things may not matter anymore, but with the love and guidance of your friends, family, and God, anything is possible. Thank you Conte Family for inviting me to a be a part of Promise to Kate. I look forward to walking beside you in the future!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jax Zoo!

I have never been to the Jacksonville Zoo, so I joined Christy and her boys today. Palmer and Carson showed me all of their favorite animals and Palmer warned me not to step in the "duck poop"! We ventured into the new Dinosaur Exhibit, but it was a little too scary! I enjoyed my morning at the zoo and can already see we will be spending a lot of time there with BabyE.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 14

This week we are 14 weeks! The baby is the size of a lemon and is busy with thumb sucking, toe wiggling, making urine, and breathing amniotic fluid as the liver, kidneys, and spleen continue to develop. I am feeling good, sleeping well, and eating well. No crazy cravings, still just fruit and cheese. My appt with ROC can't get here soon enough, but I am trying to be patient. I have been on the search for maternity clothes. It is not as fun as I thought it would be. Of course, I can wear a lot of my sundresses, but I have been looking for capris and bermuda shorts. There just isn't a lot out there. If I am lucky enough to find something, it is huge! I know I will be huge someday...but NOT today!

This past weekend, Brooke and the three kids traveled over to Jacksonville. We went to Jennie and Steve's for a BBQ. It was great to finally meet Bauer. He is 6 months old and has a great personality. We brought "Love Monster Cookies" for Braxton and Reese. They were some really messy cookies. Sorry Jennie and Steve! Steve reminded me paybacks are rotten! But it was worth it when sweet Reese smiled up at me and said "thank you for bringing these for us!" as she had red frosting smeered across her face :)

Bauer, 6 mos. He is Brandon's twin!

Braxton...covered in frosting.

Reese...ready to dig in!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

New baby...New house!

We have been waiting on baited breath for everything to fall into place. We finally have a signed contract on our townhouse and are set to close on May 2nd. These people we are dealing with can be a bit difficult, to say the least, so I won't rest easy until closing is done, but this is atleast looking positive.

We have also found our new home! It is a foreclosure and the bank has accepted our offer, after being in a bidding war! We are very excited and awaiting the inspection. If all goes well, we will close on it March 28th. It is 5 bedrooms, so plenty of room for visitors. Matt's favorite part is...it is on the intracoastal. The house has a veeeerrrrryyyy long dock out to the water, but once you are out there, the view is amazing! It already has a boat slip, we just need to add a lift. For a foreclosure, the house is in great shape, just needs some cosmetic work and landscaping. It is about 15 minutes east of where we are now, but we are super excited about this move. Now I can start thinking about decorating a nursery...well, once we find out the gender!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Week 13

We start week 13 tomorrow. I have gained 3.5 lbs and still have just a little bump. Not big enough yet for maternity clothes, but definitely not liking my own jeans after dinner! Dresses are the best. Wish this weather would make up its mind and stay warm (I say that now, but come July, I am sure I will be complaining).

This week, our baby is forming teeth and vocal cords. BabyE is approaching normal proportions, with his/her head now only one third the size of the body. And the intestines are in the process of moving from the umbilical cord to the tummy. This week, the baby is the size of a small peach...A GEORGIA PEACH that is!!

Yes, I am wearing Santa Clause pj pants in March, but they are just so comfortable...I can't give them up!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

2nd trimester celebration!

We made it to trimester #2! Mark and Nicole invited us to celebrate this landmark! Nicole is due with baby #2 on September 6th, so I am close behind. They have already found out they are having a boy and naming him Declan. We enjoyed a nice dinner at III Forks. Bob and Laura were able to join us as well. We had a pretty swanky private room with a large plasma tv. The guys were pretty happy to have ESPN and basketball on during dinner. Nicole looks great and it was fun to chit chat about similar things we are both experiencing. I love having a friend going through this at the same time. Nicole has a friend Janice that unfortunately couldn't make it. She is also due September 12th, but with her 4th child! She also sees Dr. Barnes and ROC, so I was looking forward to picking her brain. We will have to plan another girls night!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Week 12 update

We went on Monday for our 12 week first trimester screen which included a sonogram and blood work. The baby was soooo active during the sonogram! We still couldn't tell the gender but it was so amazing how active that little one is! Baby E kept using his/her little foot to kick the side of the uterus and use it as a back board to do a back flip. He/She kept doing it over and over again. The ultrasound tech said we are in for a lot of trouble with this one!!
We were so happy to see that the baby was doing so well. Unfortunately, at our sonogram on Monday, they also found a placental tumor called a chorioangioma. These are benign tumors occuring in 0.5-1% of all pregnancies. Our doctor has only seen this in 1 other patient. That patient had to be delivered early. Everything went well, but if this group of doctors has to deliver a patient early, they deliver at Shands Jacksonville, which is not where we want to deliver. They gave me the option of switching to a high-risk group now or waiting, and seeing if I need one later (if I need to deliver early). Currently the tumor is 2cm and they will deliver me early if it reaches 5cm. The larger the tumor is, the more blood supply it will require from the body to the placenta. With the extra blood supply to the placenta, the baby can go into congestive heart failure from fluid overload. I don't know much more about these tumors at this time, as I am trying to stay off the internet. I will know more as I meet with more experienced doctors. 

My doctor got me an appointment with ROC, the high-risk OB group on 3/29 at 2pm (we will have another sono and hopefully be able to tell the gender by then). This group does not deliver babies, they just monitor the "high-risk issue", meaning they will monitor the tumor only. I spoke with ROC on the phone and they wish for me to switch to a high risk OB practice to deliver me (instead of my practice at the beach). They said it is better to switch now and not later. They work closely with this group and are located in the same building. It will just provide better continuity of care overall. One of the doctors in this group is a patient of ours, so one of my doctors made a phone call this morning and got me an appointment on Monday. So I will meet Dr. Barnes and become established as a new patient at 9:45 on Monday morning. I wholeheartedly believe it is better to switch now and obviously it is in our BEST interest. Now I will deliver at Baptist Downtown which has a NICU, if needed. I have heard wonderful things about Dr. Barnes and ROC. Several people I know have used both groups and have had great experiences.
It has been an emotional week with several sleepless nights. I feel calmer about the situation knowing I am in more experienced hands and will deliver at Baptist Downtown. The baby is at no risk at this time and that is MOST important. It is not in our hands and all I can do is pray for a healthy baby, pregnancy, and delivery...and try not to worry too much (easier said than done!).
Pictures, Top left: the back of the brain leading into the spinal cord, Top right: side profile of baby, Middle Left: baby's face (eye sockets, nose bridge, mouth), Middle right: hand (difficult to see), Bottom left: arms.