6/25/1999

Wow, so much has happened since I last wrote!

First of all, we found out about a fairly new fetal surgery. The purpose of it is to give babies with sb a chance to have fewer problems.

The surgery is performed in Nashville, TN, so on Tuesday, (June 22) I called Nashville to see what was up.

The first thing they asked was if I had had an amnio! YIKES! I had been trying to avoid one of those!

Anyway, after I got off the phone with Nashville, I started calling my long line of doctors to try to set up the amnio. After all, I want to do what's best for my baby!

After much "phone-tag" throughout the week, my amnio was scheduled for 8 a.m. on Friday, June 25.

I had a whole 16 hours to psych myself up for it! Let me tell you, I was a wreck! I figured it would hurt REALLY bad, that I would start contractions, bleeding, or amniotic fluid leakage. (That is possible, you know!)

They calmed me down really well, at first. They let me see my sweet baby girl. I was so happy to see her again, because each time I see her, it reassures me that she is ok.

We saw some great things that day. Or at least they were great to me.

They measured the ventricles in her brain to check for hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is where fluid stores in her head and squishes her brain. Normal is 10 or less. We were VERY happy to see 8!! NO hydrocephalus!! :o)

I had never felt her kick yet. She must not like ultrasounds because she kicked the machine so well that even I felt it! Wow! The first kick!! (Since then she has been moving like a little "wild woman" too!)

And lastly, she always looked like she was sitting on her bottom with her legs out straight. I was afraid the spina bifida had already affected her legs and that she couldn't move them. During the ultrasound, we saw her curl them up and touch her bent knees to her belly. I think she did that especially for me. She wants me to know she will be fine.

After they got me really calm and happy, they dropped the bomb... it was time for the amnio! My heart started pounding!!

They used the ultrasound to monitor the whole time. I didn't want my Little Punkin to get stuck. I wouldn't look at the needle, but I knew it was big. John was watching the ultrasound like a hawk, making sure our Little Punkin was ok.

The actual amnio took about 5 minutes. It wasn't as bad as I had originally expected. I won't say it was painless, although, knowing you have a needle in your stomach contributes to pain!

Little Punkin behaved herself the entire time! We were so proud of her.

I went home after it was finished. I was directed to watch for those contractions, bleeding, or leaking. I also couldn't lift Blake for 24 hours.

All the bad things I expected to happen didn't. Little Punkin and I are just fine. She is still kicking and I'm still carrying her. In fact, we are all fine. I can lift Blake now and John is just happy that part of our lives is over and that the baby and I are ok.

We will get the results in about 2 weeks. Then it's on to other things.

This baby is taking us on an amazing journey. Sometimes it's scary, sometimes it's not, but we are with her for the duration.

We can't wait till the day that our Little Punkin is here to play with her big brother. It will be so much fun!

6/14/1999

Today we met with the perinatologist. He didn't have good news for us at all. He told us our baby has spina bifida and club feet. There are six vertebrae that are affected in our baby's back.

I don't think John and I have ever cried as hard as we did today.

We really don't know what to expect with this disease. He told us that the club feet can be corrected, but what about the spina bifida?

We have calmed down about it considerably, but we really want some answers. We asked tons of questions - most of which the doctor couldn't answer.

We were very happy (and surprised) that he didn't mention termination. We told the nurse on Thursday that WAS NOT an option. We are going to accept whatever happens.

Now we are being referred to a neonatologist. I thought that these were people that I would never have to see. I was supposed to have healthy babies. Blake was a healthy baby.

We are still holding on to the faith that God will protect this baby. Maybe some miracle will happen and the baby's problem will be corrected before delivery.

In our moment of sadness, one star came shining through. The ultrasound technician was looking at the baby and said, "She's standing on her head right now."

Wow! The little girl we have been wanting. Now our family will be complete!

Little Punkin, we love you! Your big brother loves you too!

6/10/1999

We had our ultrasound today. What we thought was going to be a happy day turned out to be just the opposite.

The ultrasound went fine. We saw our Precious Little Punkin up close and personal. What a sweetie!

John had to go back to work, so he drove the hour and a half drive home. During that hour and a half, I heard the worst news of my life.

The doctor told me that there were some concerns with the ultrasound. She told me that the baby's head was shaped like a lemon - I guess, opposed to the "usual" shape - whatever that is.

She told me there was reason to be concerned and that she had gotten me an appointment to visit a perinatologist who would be able to diagnose what was wrong. But I would have to wait till NEXT FRIDAY!!

I could feel myself screaming inside! Why does there have to be something wrong with my baby? We were going to be such a happy family!

I immediately got on the phone to tell John. He loaded up his mom and my mom in the van and they came up to get me. The Moms took Blake back home and John and I went to see the doctor again.

To make a long story short, we begged them to move the appointment sooner. We went to the perinatologist's office immediately and had another ultrasound. Since the perinatologist wasn't there, we won't know the results until Monday.

So now we find ourselves hoping and praying for a miracle. Praying the doctors are wrong and that our baby is ok. Praying that if that's not possible - then let our baby live and have minimal complications.

I have cried and cried about this.

I've imagined every possible bad thing. We know that this is not something that we can make better alone. We have faith that God is going to help us with this and have put a guardian angel on Punkin's page.

We ARE going to be a happy family - no matter what!!

If anyone has experienced a similar situation or is currently experiencing one with their unborn child having a "lemon-shaped head" please e-mail us at mysmallmiracle@yahoo.com. We feel so helpless right now, not knowing what to expect.

While I was on the pay phone a very nice lady whom I had never seen before approached me. I don't know her name or where she was from. She told me that she didn't know my name or what was wrong, but she felt really sorry for me and that I had touched her heart.She said a prayer for Punkin and me right then and there. Then she was gone. As I was leaving the building, I saw her circling the parking lot in her car making sure I left safely.

Some people think she was my guardian angel - maybe she was.

If she is out there somewhere reading this, she will know me, because I was the one outside the Women's Clinic on June 10, 1999. I just want to tell her thank you.