Thursday, February 28, 2008

Series of posts!

Finally taking some time to update! Here are a few unrelated topics that I've been meaning to post.

Topic #1: the Naughty Sean Issue.

He reached an all time high a week ago. Aidan went in the bathroom to pee, Sean followed him in and threw a wood block (percussion instrument) into the potty. Aidan yelled for me to help. I walked in the room and had, what I will blame as a Pregnancy Brain Fart, a bad decision. Despite the fact that I am not squemish about changing/washing cloth diapers, despite the fact that I have seen my child retch and cupped out my hands to catch puke, and despite the fact I have cleaned up more than enough nasty messes in my life as a mother..... I could not bring myself to reach in the pee-filled potty and pull the toy out.

Did I:
a) go get a rubber glove and pull it out, then flush the potty, chase the kids out, then sanitize the toy?
b) get kitchen tongs and grab it out, repeat rest of a?
c) yell for Doug and make him fish it out. That's a man's job.
or d) flush the potty, thinking it's too big to go down, then I will pull it out when the water is clean.

If you guessed D, you win! Ding ding ding! I stood IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN and flushed the lever! At first I thought all would be fine, then at the last minute- Woosh! Down it went. Flibberty Jibberty Idiot! The next morning, while waiting for a plumber to show, Sean flushed a wood shaker instrument down as well. Hell, might as well make it worth the plumber's trip!

Two hours and $200 later, we have a new toilet. He couldn't get those things to budge, jammed tighter than you know what in there.

Sean's toilet tally is now firmly at $400. We are ordering a $10 toilet lid lock with express shipping.

Topic #2: An Excuss for Not Blogging

I convinced my husband last month that we should do a little reno on our back room. It's the what-not room, a pass thru to others and awkward yet heavily used. I got the idea to gut the closet area to make a nock for our computer desk/office stuff. That would free up room to set the rest of the room up as more of a family room. Doug did the gutting and drywall repair, I did the painting and rearranging. Sarah W., you will kick me for this, but we had a huge Techline bookcase with drawers from the old gallery that we didn't have a place for elsewehere. Doug and my BIL carried it to the end of the driveway with a Free sign on it and someone snatched it up in less than 2 hours. I'm sure one day I will have a need for it again and kick myself for you! I should post before pics, but I don't have time to dig around and find them, so here are after pics. I plan on putting the baby's changing table against the wall between the two doors so it is handy to the washer. The right hand door is the bathroom, the left hand door is a big closet. The part we gutted is where the computer is. It was 2 small closets. We use the room so much more now! It's nice to be able to sit and look into the back yard as well. Next upgrade on this room is carpet and french doors to the deck. Maybe next year...

Topic #3: Sledding
We had a light snow last weekend, so we took the boys to the only hill in town (the underpass!) Sean does not care for walking in snow or sledding. He perfers that I make snowballs and toss them on the sidewalk for him to stomp on.

Topic #4: Random Pics of Cuteness
The boys dressed up to terrorize church.

Sean snuggling his freshly washed diapers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I'm Going Gray

Sean is determined to turn every last strand of my hair gray.

You know the old "Terrible Two's" saying, well, the three's are no picnic either. Sean is a a one-man path of destruction. You can literally follow his trail thru the house (and I usually do, gathering an armload of crap to put away or sweep up.)

If there are things on a counter or tabletop within his reach- he must sweep them to the floor. If there is a basket of clothes waiting to be put away, he will empty it for you, then hop in his little boat begging for a ride. If there is a toy box sitting nicely in a room, he will make sure every item is removed and as many as possible get stuffed in the heat vents or fireplace ash box. Got items on the bathroom counter? He will make sure they get a proper flushing in the potty. Wondering where the remote control to the tv is? Look no further than Sean! It's probably behind the sofa or stuffed in a cushion. Tired of seeing tidy rows of books on shelves? Sean is happy to solve that for you, books should be piled, then scattered via a foot tornado across the floor. DVDs go in cases? Nahhhhhh, the paper covers are a food group, they should be eaten with gusto & the DVDs should be used to buff the wood floors.

"This too shall pass."
"This too shall pass."
"This too shall pass."

Surely, Sean's older brother (aka the Frito Bandito, according to Grampa Larry) had absolutely no influence on younger brother's blossoming talents as a wrecking ball!

Actually, he probably did, and don't call him Shirley.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Learning about Isoimmunity

Monday was my appointment with the Maternal Fetal Specialist. Doug and my mom came with me to see the baby and hear about possible complications we might face this pregnancy.

The first stop was in the ultrasound room, where we got to see a much bigger baby stretching, waving, hopping and moving around. The tech took several measurments, including one I wasn't expecting- the Nuchal Fold Measurment. The NF is the area on the back of the baby's neck. If it is above 3 mm, it can indicate a possibility of a genetic defect like Down syndrome or a neural tube defect like spina bifida. This baby's NF measurement was 1.5, well within the normal range. We got a few prints of the baby to bring home and share with everybody. It was too early to tell if it is a boy or girl, but Grampa Larry assures me that if it is a boy we'd surely be able to tell this soon. ;)

After a looooooong boring wait in the exam room, we met with the doctor. Apparently she had been waiting and waiting for my lab results from my regular OB to show up. She sat down with us to explain the isoimmunity condition we have and to set up a game plan for how she recommends monitoring it.

During the routine blood screening for my pregnancy last Spring, we found out that I have the antibodies E and Kell in my blood. Generally, these are only developed if a person has a blood transfusion with E and Kell positive blood or if a woman is exposed to it from a E and Kell positive pregnancy. I've never had a transfusion, so this led us to having Doug's blood tested to see if he is a carrier of the antigen E and Kell. We found out that he is, so one of our sons must also have it and exposed it to me. My blood reacted to the antigen by making an antibody (a protein to attach to the E and Kell proteins and attack them.) So far, the amount of the antibodies in my blood has been at a very low and relatively safe level.

The reason the doctors must be concerned about this, is because if the levels in my blood get higher, then can pass to the baby. If the baby is also E and Kell positive, then the antibodies in my blood can attach to the antigens in the baby's blood and start breaking down the proteins in it's blood. This could result to anemia, and worse, heart failure.

The plan is to get my blood drawn every moth to see if the antibody level rises. If the Kell level gets to 1:8 or the E gets to 1:16, then I will need to make regular visits to the specialist. They will do a special ultrasound test to measure the amount of blood flow to the baby's Middle Cerebral Artery (the main artery in the brain.) If it shows an increas of blood flow, then this is a sign that the baby is getting anemic. The next step would be an amniocentesis (a large needle draws fluid from the bag of waters) to measure the amount of bilirubin (the breakdown of blood cells) in the baby's blood. If that indicates a problem, the baby could require in utreo blood transfusions to fight off the antibodies.

Right now, my levels are low enough that the specialist said that she thinks this is unlikely to cause major complications. She is hopeful that I will be able to continue the pregnancy without further complications due to the isoimmunity. However, the baby will most likely be jaundice after birth and require some phototherapy to help break down the bilirubin. Sean and Aidan were also jaundice after birth, but only Sean required treatment and that was able to be done at home. We are hopefully that the baby will be fine.

Another interesting thing we learned, is that when Doug was tested for antigens, they did not test to find out if both sets of his DNA carry the antigen. He has to get the test repeated to find this out, because if both sets have it (she said its called homozygotic) then the baby will definitely have the same antigens. If only one set of his DNA has it (called hetrozygotic) then the baby has a 50/50 chance of getting the antigens. She frequently stated that we needed to find out if Doug was hetro or homo! Ha ha ha, gotta get humor where you can! If he is hetrozygotic, and the baby was made with the 50% that doesn't have those antigens, then thankfully the antibodies in my my blood will not cause any complications to the baby! Yay! Let's pray for that!

The doctor breifly talked about genetic testing with us and I stated that I was fine with getting amnio's done to check the well being of the baby due to the isoimmunity, but that we did not feel it was necessary for genetic testing. She was very comfortable in our answer and did not try to encourage me to change my mind.

Also, the sono tech said that the baby's measurements gave me an Aug 10th due date. The 6 wk sono tech gave me an Aug 19th due date. Based on the fertility charting I did, I have felt that Aug 15th is my due date. I decided I'm sticking with the 15th, though I am well aware that "when an apple is ripe, it will fall from the tree" as Grampa Larry quoted.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Almost 12 Weeks!

I had an OB appointment today, one that has been causing me a lot of anxiety the past two weeks. I walked in, preparing myself to find out that the baby had passed. My morning sickness has improved so much the past two weeks that I was sure it was a sign that things had stopped progressing. I was amazed that I didn't have the highest blood pressure reading of my life! It was just 118 over 85. I've only gained a pound since the pregnancy started, so that was good news too.

The nurse took me into the exam room and the first thing she did was have me lie down so she could try to find the heartbeat with the doppler. She immediately found and it and it was loud and clear, so I burst into tears! She put it down and grabbed me some tissues. I apologized and she reassured me that it was okay. She tried to find it again to get a heart rate count, but the baby decided to play hide and seek and hid from her. She said she'd try again after the Dr talked to me.

The Dr came in and felt my tummy for a bit and talked to me, asked if I had any questions. We talked a bit about my appointment this coming Monday with the Maternal Fetal Expert (MFE) and she said she'd do my monthly antibody check today.

The nurse came in again and found the baby long enough to get a heart rate counted, 140's, then it hid again. She said if I ever wanted to come in before I was feeling consistant movements to listen for the heartbeat, just give her a call and she'd let me pop in.

Today was a very reassuring day. Monday we will learn more about the isoimmunity issue and get a sonogram. Nana is coming to spend the weekend with us and go see her new grandbaby on Monday. I will blog an update then, and hopefully a new pic!