April 24, 2013

and the winner is...

The University of 
UTAH!!

That's right!  We made our decision - and it was tough
John was accepted at The Ohio State University, which was kind of our dream school.  For some strange reason we both just loved the idea of moving to Ohio.  And they have some programs that really interested him. 
But, he was also accepted at the University of Utah.  Which is another great school, even if it is ranked a little lower than OSU.  Don't get me wrong - we're not settling for less here.  Utah also has some programs that John is interested in.  And it's [obviously] a heck of a lot closer to family. 
We did maybe have to let the baby nugget have a little bit of a say in our decision, too.  Since her due date is the middle of July, and she'll be spending quite a bit of time in the hospital after her surgery, we had to think about how that would affect our family being together.  Law school generally starts toward the middle of August, and if we had chosen Ohio that would mean that John would have to leave me and the baby here for an indefinite amount of time before I could safely move across the country with her to join him.  Not an ideal situation.  And we're not saying that John will get to see us very frequently anyway, but a $50 tank of gas and 7-hour drive sounds a whole lot better than a $600 last-minute plane ticket and at least one layover.  

I might still be talking myself into this decision, just a little bit.  But we feel really good about going to Utah.  It's a great school.  We'll be surrounded by friends and fairly close to family.  And hey, the Salt Lake Temple isn't exactly a drawback!!

Now we just have to find somewhere to live...  anyone have an extra house in SLC they feel like giving us for the next three [or four] years?!!

No baby updates today.  Sorry.  She still transforms from a sloth to a ninja as soon as bedtime comes around, but she's starting to get a little cramped in there.  At least, that's what my ribs are telling me.  I get to take the dreaded glucose test next week, so that should be interesting.  I'm actually a little excited for it.  I mean, it's the one time in my life [except for any future pregnancies] that a doctor is going to tell me to drink straight sugar.  I'm pretty psyched.

April 15, 2013

twenty-six.

Our sweet little nugget is twenty-six weeks and two days big.  She is also still a drama queen.


We went in today for another ultrasound to see if we could learn a little bit more about her heart.  Silly girl thought it was a good idea to block their view with her arm for thirty minutes, and then roll over as soon as they found a good angle to check out her aorta.  She was crazy the whole time.  She kept moving around and jumping so they couldn't get a consistent picture.  I felt bad for the sonographer.  And the doctor, since he had to keep waiting to see what he needed to see.

Eventually they got some pretty decent views of everything they wanted to check out.  She still has the same heart defects.  She still needs surgery before we'll be allowed to take her home.  And she's still a little camera-shy.

We learned a little bit more about the surgeries she'll need.  Which helped ease our concerns a little.   

They'll do a couple different things to repair the silly little mistakes she made.  First, they'll put a patch over the VSD and create openings from each side into the right artery.  Then, since her aorta is a little too-small-for-comfort, they'll use her pulmonary artery to reconstruct the aorta and make sure it has branches going to all the right places.  Then they'll replace her pulmonary artery with a cadaver-transplant.  It sounds a little backwards at first, but since the cadaver artery won't grow with her heart, it's much safer to use it instead of the pulmonary artery.  And using her own pulmonary artery tissue to repair the aorta means it will be able to grow with her.

After she's born they'll make sure she's stable and check her heart to make sure what we think is wrong is what's actually wrong.  Then they'll put her on some medication to keep blood flowing through her aorta while she gets used to life on the outside.  It will probably be a few days before they actually do any surgery, which is nice, because I won't be so drugged-up while it's happening.  After surgery she'll spend some time in the NICU to recover, they'll also want to make sure she's eating/breathing/growing - all that good stuff - before they send her home.  That generally lasts around 2-4 weeks.  After that, as long as everything goes according to plan, she'll be a pretty normal baby.  With seven different doctors.  :)

She will need another couple surgeries as she grows, to replace the pulmonary artery with larger ones, to accommodate increased blood-flow.  But that won't be for at least a year.

She's a pretty normal-sized baby.  Her growth is in the 40th percentile.  Which makes me feel better about her no being a giant sasquatch like my brothers.  There's still some extra fluid in her kidney, but it's not enough to really concern the doctors.  They're just going to keep an eye on it.

We'll have another ultrasound in May, and I think all the doctors are hoping she learns some manners by then.  Really, I kind of like that she's so uncooperative, since it means I get to spend more time watching her on the big screen!  :)

April 7, 2013

hello, april!

Hello, springtime!!

It's so nice outside.  Not nice enough to coax me off the couch, but still pretty nice.  haha.  And we're heading straight into summer, which me and my bump are NOT looking forward to.  It's going to be a long four months...

In other baby-news, we got some pretty nice test results back this week.  When the doctor's initially saw the heart defects they started warning us that it could be caused by a chromosomal defect.  Something like Down's Syndrome or Trisomy 18.  They recommended that we have a blood test done that will look at fragments of the baby's DNA to determine whether there's a missing or extra chromosome.  I have no idea how they can do that.  It's remarkable.  But they drew blood, ran the test, and everything came back negative.  We are now down to a 1 in 10,000 chance that the baby has one of those, or a related condition.  I can handle those odds.

We are also 100% sure she's a girl.  No second-guessing there!! 

John and I are also coming up on our TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY!  Yep.  That's right.  We made it through another whole year!  And even though we're not headed on any big exciting vacation this year, we will get to spend the evening together and go out on a hot date.  That's not something we've had the chance to do in a while, with work and other things getting in the way.

We have another ultrasound scheduled for next week.  The perinatologist and pediatric cardiologist will both be there, so if any of you have thought up any questions you'd like answered PLEASE send them to us.  Our list is kind of short.  We're not really sure how all this is supposed to go, being first-timers and all, and could definitely use any advice you've got.