9/29/1999

We're back from another trip to the doctor. My stomach growth is right where it should be - 34 for week 34! I got kind of scared when Lauren told us her heart rate. It was 140. Lauren said not to worry because it's in the normal range, and when I think about Blake's heart rate, it was everywhere between 142 and 180. But with the "possible" heart defect hovering over our heads, it scared me knowing her heart rate wasn't in that 152-160 range as it has always been. Optimistic Mommy isn't going to worry though. Carleigh keeps kicking me to remind me she is ok. We are sad that our favorite nurse, Lauren, won't be there to see us anymore. Actually, she is moving to the perinatologist's office. We promised we would visit her there. I think it would be very nice to take our perfect little girl to see our favorite nurse and the doctor who gives us nice ultrasound pictures! :o) My next appointment is Friday, October 15.

9/25/1999

Carleigh is still doing great, but this has not been a week for good news. I found out yesterday that my Godfather has cancer. It was a very unexpected thing, although I guess cancer is always unexpected.

Then tonight I get online hoping to hear from a new friend about her baby. Melissa found Carleigh's site and emailed me because her own Erin has Trisomy 18. When we first met, Erin was about 4-5 weeks old, and doing well. In my email tonight though, sweet Erin had gotten sick all of a sudden and passed away on September 20. She was eight weeks old. Not exactly something I wanted to hear, but I am glad Melissa told me about it. She told me never to delay anything. She said make a list and check it off fast because you never know what tomorrow will bring. That is true anyway, whether or not you have a Trisomy baby. And even though you know that it can happen, you still aren't prepared when that day will come. Melissa, I know you will be reading this soon. We are thinking about you lots! Keep in touch!

9/19/1999

On Friday, we visited the pediatrician. It was our prenatal visit to let her know what is happening with us and that we want her to be Carleigh's doctor. It was SO NICE finally visiting a doctor that was positive and on our side! Our pediatrician knows the seriousness of our daughter's condition, but she did not ever "harp" on the negative. She promised us that she will do everything that is necessary to help Carleigh. She also told us not ever to give up hope because we won't know exactly what we are dealing with until Carleigh is born. For the first time since all of this started, I walked out of a doctor's office with a smile on my face, rather than with tears in my eyes. Thanks, Dr. Floyd! :o)

9/15/1999

We're back from the ultrasound. We didn't see exactly what we were hoping to see - hence the beautiful ultrasound picture and "Please be patient... God isn't finished with me yet" at the front gate.

We saw the Spina Bifida again. We were hoping it had "vanished", but it hadn't. We saw the sack on her back and can see that it is in the lumbar-sacral area. The perinatologist thinks 7 vertebrae are involved. (The original thought was 6.) We saw her brain, and though he didn't specifically say so, we believe that she does have hydrocephalus. Both feet appear to be clubbed, but this is the least thing to worry about. All of this information is what we already knew. We wanted him to look for more "defects". We were so excited to see her little hands open. I even was yelling "WOO-HOO!! Something good!!" (I think all the medical people involved got tickled at that one.)

They didn't find any of the other defects I had mentioned before... then came the scary part... the heart. During our ultrasound in July, her heart was too small to see. For this ultrasound, her heart was too big to see. He said there is a "possible" defect, but with the shadows from her rib cage, he cannot be sure. He said that 90% of Trisomy 18 babies do have heart defects. He will put it on my chart and that will alert the doctors to do a test once she is born. So, being the optimist I am, I choose to believe her heart is ok. Why worry about a problem when there might not even be one there? She is a bit shy of 3 pounds right now. The peri said that if my original due date (Nov. 4) was right, she is running 2 weeks behind on growth, which is right for the Trisomy 18. But, if the ultrasound due date (Nov. 15) is right, I believe she is on target. I guess we will have to wait and see how much she weighs when she is born.

So how do I feel about this? I am very happy that they didn't find more "markers". When they tell you that your baby won't live, what worse can they tell you? I went in expecting the worst and hoping for the best. I still believe in miracles. I have a beautiful profile picture of my little girl and she is just as beautiful as my little boy. As John said, "God is finished with her hands - she can open and close them." So, Everyone, please keep praying, and please be patient... God isn't finished with her yet!

9/13/1999

We've been to the doctor for week 32! Carleigh's heartbeat was a beautiful 154, still in her normal range. My stomach measurement was 32. A 32 measurement for 32 weeks - perfect!! :o) I asked the doctor for an ultrasound. I know my jaw must have dropped to the floor because she didn't say "no", she didn't argue, she didn't downtalk my idea, or anything! She said, "Ok, let Lauren call the perinatologist and set up an appointment." I am scheduled for an ultrasound at 1:00 THIS Wednesday! I am going to have to change it though, to better accommodate our schedules, but I will update for sure after the ultrasound... Good or bad... we're praying for GOOD!!!

9/11/1999

John and I have been talking and have decided to make some changes. We feel these changes will help Carleigh. We originally didn't want any more testing, because the doctors can't do anything, so why find out everything and worry about it? Well, now that we are within 9 weeks (yes, NINE weeks) of her arrival, we feel it's necessary to know about all of those things, so that we can prepare for her arrival. I go to the doctor on Monday. I am going to request another ultrasound. I want to know how much my baby weighs to compare her size to Blake's at this gestational age (Trisomy babies should be much smaller than what he was), I want to check her Spina Bifida and her head shape, and I want the doctors to look for Trisomy 18 "markers" - which would be defects that I have mentioned before, such as in Susanna's case.

If Carleigh has a heart defect, I want to know it so I can find her a good doctor. We want to give her the best start possible. I know another ultrasound is probably not going to be full of roses. John and I are prepared for the worst. We still believe in miracles and know that God will do what is best and we also know that the doctors might not tell us what we want to hear. It's something we need to know though. We heard another song that is our situation totally. I'll have the words up as soon as I get them. :o) I'll update again on Monday after I see the doctor.