Tuesday, July 20, 2010

It's a GIRL!!!

I am beyond excited to announce that we are having a healthy baby GIRL with a 4 chamber heart. I can't believe I'm fortunate enough to be the mom of two uniquely special children. My special baby boy with a very special heart and now a very special girl who I'm sure will be a sweet & beautiful Daddy's girl.

We had my 20 week ultrasound appointment yesterday morning at 9:30. I was already up before 5am which usually never happens. I was so anxious and excited. And NERVOUS! I really didn't care whether or not I was having a boy or a girl; I just wanted to know this baby was healthy.

The ultrasound tech started the ultrasound by checking measurements, etc. She tried to see the sex of the baby but our little one was sitting on her bottom curled up and we couldn't see whether or not she was a boy or a girl. The tech went on to check all the parts of the baby and all of a sudden I noticed she had typed "4 chamber" on the screen. I immediately asked her if she typed that because she saw all 4 chambers of the baby's heart and when she told me she could see all 4 chambers of the heart I about jumped off the table with excitement. I think Brad even handed me a box of kleenex at that point. Of course I then asked about the arteries and she said as far as she could tell they looked perfect too. We have a fetal echo soon that will confirm everything is perfect and put us more at ease.

During our ultrasound I asked the tech how many times she has seen babies in utero with Hypoplastic Right Heart or Hypoplastic Left Heart. She told us she had been performing ultrasounds for over 20 years and during that time she had diagnosed maybe 4 to 5 with either HRHS or HLHS. Brad and I were both shocked. It was just another reminder of how rare Cain's combination of heart defects really are.

Shortly after the ultrasound tech confirmed the heart looked healthy she asked me if I was ready to find out the sex. Well of course we were!! She then told us we were having a baby girl! I couldn't believe it! A sweet baby girl that kept sucking her thumb on the ultrasound.

I know Cain will be a wonderful big brother to his sweet younger sister.

After my 9:30 ultrasound I had a 10:30 appointment with my OB. I thought it was funny when the OB came in the room she said she knew I was there because she heard me excitedly tell the nurse that the baby had a 4 chamber heart. She said she knew it was me as soon as she heard those words! I guess that isn't something patients are normally excited about after their ultrasound.

I went to work after my big appointment and was able to share the news with my coworkers. I called a bakery and asked them to ice cookies with pink icing so I could surprise my coworkers. I think they turned out really cute for a very quick order.

Everyone at work was beyond thrilled for us. They have been there for us since Cain's heart defects were found during my 20 week ultrasound with him. My whole office was smiling and cheering after I shared that we were having a healthy baby girl! By the time I left work they had this slide up on a TV in our office. So sweet!!

And here I am at 20 weeks....

Half way to meeting our little GIRL!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Day tomorrow

Well the day has come! In the morning (Tuesday) we will find out the sex of baby Clinkscales #2!!! I couldn’t be more excited and at the same time I’m starting to get REALLY anxious. As a matter of fact I may not be able to sleep too well tonight.  It will be fun to find out the sex but most of all I am ready to hear that this baby has a 4 chamber heart and that it is healthy as can be. I’ve been calmer than I expected I would but if I think about it too much I want to burst into tears. I pray that this baby will be healthy. I know Brad & I could handle it if we were told this baby has any type of heart defect. But I don’t want another child to have to go through what Cain has already been through. I’m also worried that I will be an emotional wreck tomorrow because this ultrasound is starting to bring back memories of my 20 week ultrasound with Cain. That is a day I will never forget and one I do not want to go through again.

I can’t wait to tell everyone what we are having. It may be tomorrow night before I update our blog. I would like to have a chance to tell my coworkers and some friends in person before making the big announcement on our blog.

I’m making it easier for you to leave comments by not making everyone sign in. I would love for you to leave a comment letting us know what you think the sex of the baby will be. I think it would be fun to see everyone’s predictions. Plus it would help me keep my mind off of everything as we wait to have our ultrasound tomorrow.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cardiology Appointment

A few weeks ago Cain had his 6 month Cardiology follow-up.  As usual the appointment started off with checking Cain’s weight (22.13lbs), blood pressure on all extremities, and his O2 saturations.  His sat’s were 80-85% range which is exactly where his cardiologist wants them to be for now.  The closer he gets to needing the Fontan surgery his sat’s may start trending downward which is normal.  For now, we LOVE seeing sat’s in the 80’s!  And his BP readings were all good. 

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After his vitals were taken we met with his cardiologist.  He told us what every heart parent loves to hear….”his heart and lungs sound great…I’ll see you again in 6 months!”  Of course, the appointment was a little more in depth than that but I heard the main thing I wanted to hear and that is that everything looks great for now. 

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We talked more about Cain’s next surgery.  If everything with Cain’s heart remains the same he will probably have his next surgery next April/May with a pre-Fontan heart cath a few weeks to a month before the surgery.  The cardiologist would like Cain to be closer to 15 kilos (30lbs) before the next surgery so from now until then I’ll work hard on fattening him up.  I wish I could say his heart will be fixed then and he will be cured but unfortunately that will never be the case for Cain. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Look at Cain go!

Barefoot Bandit walking.....

I'm SO PROUD of Cain!! Can't wait to see him walking all by himself one day.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Exciting News!!!

I have BIG news to share!!!!!  And when I say big, I mean big as in how big I’m about to get over the next few months because I’m…….

04-06-10 162 That’s right, Cain will be a………..7-10-2010 Talladega 1592 (2)

Cain was obviously excited and worn out by the good news.

7-10-2010 Talladega 1597 (1) A new little bundle of joy will be joining our family on December 7th!  If you are doing the math in your head you may realize that I’m several weeks pregnant already.  18 weeks and 6 days to be exact!  We are still in shock and very excited. 

I hate that I’m just now mentioning our very exciting news but there are reasons why I waited.  Last October I took several pregnancy tests and they all showed very faint positive pregnancy lines.  After several tests with faint lines I finally went in to have my blood drawn.  The Dr. called the next day to say my HCG level was 12 which meant I had a viable pregnancy.  The next day I started bleeding so I went to the Dr. again and was told I had a chemical pregnancy.  From what I understand, a chemical pregnancy is the clinical term used for a very early miscarriage.  Obviously, we were sad but we knew we would be able to try again. 

Shortly before Christmas I felt I may be pregnant again.  I took a pregnancy test and very quickly it changed to positive.  I was dying to tell Brad but decided it would be a fun gift to give him at Christmas.  I scheduled a Dr’s appointment and once again confirmed that I was pregnant.  That day I bought Cain a big brother shirt, wrapped it and gave the picture to Brad that night as we were opening our Christmas gifts.  

 December 18, 2009 006 Once again, we were both SO EXCITED I was pregnant.  My appointment to confirm the pregnancy was on a Friday and on Monday they called to tell me my blood work showed my Progesterone level was pretty low.  The nurse informed me that Progesterone is the main pregnancy hormone and low levels can lead to miscarriage.  She started me on a Progesterone pill right away.

We traveled to Louisiana for Christmas and broke the news to our family and just a few of our very close friends.  I was nervous to tell anyone because I knew I was at a high risk for a miscarriage.

My first OB appointment was on January 11th.  Brad and I both went to the appointment planning to see our new baby for the first time.  Of course, we were a little nervous knowing that I was at risk for a miscarriage.   Unfortunately the Dr. did not find a baby on the ultrasound.  The sac had formed but the baby had not.  I was told it is called a blighted ovum (also known as anembryonic pregnancy).  A blighted ovum happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself.

Naturally, I was devastated and couldn’t stop crying.  I’m sure the fact that I was having to take hormone supplements to increase my progesterone didn’t help my crying.  My Dr. gave me the option of having a D&C procedure to remove the sac.  She left that decision up to me but said her suggestion would be to let the miscarriage happen naturally since that would be less invasive.  She then warned me that I may experience quite a bit of pain and handed me 2 prescriptions for pain meds.  This made me cry even more because I was terrified of the pain I may experience.  On top of everything Brad was going to be out of town for work during the week she mentioned I would experience a miscarriage. 

Thankfully, the pain was nowhere near what she explained it may be like.  Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot of cramping and some pain but nothing unbearable like she had warned there may be.  Obviously, I was really sad about the miscarriage but felt it wasn’t as emotionally difficult as it would have been if a baby had formed. 

Our Dr. told us we needed to wait 2 months and then we could try getting pregnant again.  We decided to stop trying for a while but I guess God had other plans for our family and surprised us in the beginning of April when we found out I was pregnant again!! 

Now I’m almost half way through my pregnancy and so far everything is going great.  My progesterone was a little low again and I had to take progesterone pills for the first 12 weeks of this pregnancy.  Other than that everything as been perfect.  I feel the same as I did when I was pregnant with Cain.  I have been very blessed to not have morning sickness with Cain or this pregnancy.  Thank goodness!  I don’t know how you moms who had morning sickness handle it!  It has to be terrible.

If all continues to go well we should have a wonderful Christmas gift this year!

Baby #2 001 Baby #2 005 Baby #2 009

And here I am at 17 weeks!

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My next appointment is on July 20th.  This will be the big 20 week ultrasound to make sure everything looks okay.  We will also find out the sex of the baby that day.  This is the same ultrasound that we found out about Cain’s heart defects.  Needless to say the closer we get to the appointment the more nervous I become.  At the same time I feel somewhat at peace that everything will be okay.  I have a fetal echo scheduled for July 27th to look at the baby’s heart.  Hopefully we will find out everything looks perfect.  Then I’ll be able to relax and enjoy being pregnant. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Falling Behind

I’m really hoping I can play blog “catch-up” over the next week or two.  A lot has taken place during the last two months that I would like to document on our blog.  I don’t keep scrapbooks so this blog is my way of remembering our family events.  I think I’ve had exhaustion combined with writers block that has kept me from keeping everything as up to date as I’d like for it to be.   My goal is to get the following posts written soon…….

1.  A big secret I’ve been keeping…and I mean BIG!

2.  Country Music Marathon

3.  Cain’s 6 month Cardiology follow-up

4.  Trip home to Louisiana

5.  Back to work

6.  Alice & Olivia wardrobe makeover

7.  Update on House

I thought if I told everyone I was going to write these soon  I would finally get it DONE!  I guess I better get over my writers block and get to writing. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing 4th of July.  Our weekend was nice.  We spent most of our time on the river with just the 3 of us.  We enjoy having friends join us in the boat but we also really enjoyed it being just the 3 of us (plus Sadie) this time.  Family time is always special!  You can see that Cain was pretty worn out from the boat.

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We went to a cookout our condo complex was having Saturday night.  It was nice to meet some of our neighbors.  It was Cain’s first time seeing fireworks and he did much better than I expected him to. 

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We took the boat out again on Sunday.

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When we first got on the water we noticed the cutest kids selling lemonade and cookies on their boat dock.  They were precious and seemed happy we stopped considering we were their first customers of the day. 

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As much fun as we always have on the river it can still be sad at times too.  There are constant reminders of the flood.  Like this boat that is certainly still out of place!

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And this is Kenny Chesney’s river home.  It used to be Alan Jackson’s but Kenny Chesney bought it recently.  During the flood the water reached the roof.  So crazy to think the river ever got that high!

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After a fun filled day on the river, we went to a 4th of July cookout at Benson and Allison’s house.

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This 4th of July was much more relaxing than last year.  The last 4th was Cain’s first big outing.   He was a little over 5 months then and it was the first time he had been out of the house besides going to a Dr’s appointment or the hospital for surgeries.  Here is a picture from that night a year ago. 

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He’s grown so much since then and we’ve relaxed a lot too.  Amazing how much can change in a year. 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Roseola Virus

Cain spent the last few days with a little virus.  He had a fever that started on Saturday and lasted through Monday.  On Sunday his fever got up to 101.4.  We stayed in all weekend hoping he would feel better.  We thought about taking him to the Dr. on Sunday but he was still pretty playful and his breathing and color seemed fine.  I hated taking him to the Dr. and exposing him to more germs if it wasn’t necessary.  On Tuesday his fever went away but he had a cough that kept getting worse.  I went ahead and scheduled an appointment for Cain and we went in to see his pediatrician on Wednesday morning.  Thankfully, I had the appointment already scheduled because that morning he woke up with a terrible rash all over his chest.  And his cough actually started scaring me.  It seemed like he was wheezing & trying to catch his breath at the end of each cough.  This isn’t a picture of Cain but this is what the rash looked like.  Except it was only on his chest and thankfully not his arms. 


Turns out Cain had Roseola Virus.  We were told he was on the tail end of the virus and there was really no meds to give him.  He seems to be much better today.  No rash but still has his terrible cough.  His cough started around the time of the flood which was 2 months ago.  Yesterday the Dr. decided I should start giving him  1/2 a teaspoon of Claritin once a day.  Hopefully this will help the poor guy’s cough!  We’ve had several different Dr’s listen to his chest since the cough began.  Actually, 3 different pediatricians and his cardiologist have all listened to him and everyone says his lungs sound great.  So we are assuming the cough is from allergies and the Claritin will work.  At least we hope it will work!