Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dear Connor, welcome to our team!

Dear Connor Stephen,

I'm sorry it has taken me this long to write about you. Our lives have been so full since you joined us!  You came into this world on my 28th birthday, and by far the sweetest gift I have or will ever receive. Sharing a birthday with you will remind me year after year that you are indeed a gift- given to your daddy and me by God.
Even in your first hours of life, it was obvious how much you look like your big brother Bryce. Just a pound smaller- but all of the same features. It is fun to see your personality now, and how very opposite it is of your brother's. You are an observer- quiet and full of love. You are so entertained by watching your brother. Sometimes we forget you are in the room because you are so content. I have to provoke you by starvation to ever hear your cry ( that or Bryce torturing you). When people ask me what you are like, I instinctively say that you are "so sweet". It may sound generic, but there are no truer words.
Somehow, you are already 6 months old. This momma is sad that the time is going so fast. A few details for memory's sake:
- you have a unique marker (simians crease) on your hand. Your great grandmother Norma Harrell shares it with you. I am so thankful that we discovered this before she went to be with Jesus.
- you love your Jumperoo, bath time, and your brother
- you are currently in 6-12 month clothes, size 3 diaper
- you had your first food, butternut squash, this week and loved it!
- you are the bedtime police.. You go down like clockwork at the sme time every night. (Was 8 pm but now 7 with the time change)
- you were Woody for your first Halloween ( your big brother was Buzz Lightyear)

We love everything about you little one- welcome to our team!

Monday, November 11, 2013

My ICP story/ Connor's birth

I'll begin where I last left off..
We were so thrilled that the choroid plexus cysts were GONE at our appointment with maternal fetal medicine in January. Daniel and I took a much needed getaway trip to savannah and charleston in March and had a great time exploring two beautiful cities! Right after we returned home, I had a fever. Then came vomiting, chills, and orange pee?! It was alarming, so I went to urgent care and they told me it was a UTI and sent me home with antibiotics. I wasn't convinced, but it was the weekend so I'd have to wait to call my OB. After a few days of antibiotics my pee color became darker and I started itching everywhere. Assuming it was an allergic reaction, I stopped the meds but the itching became worse. No welts, no rash- just itching. I called my OB who wasn't concerned and said she would see me at my appointment the next week. After two nights of no sleep and scratches on my body that had my arms, legs, and chest bleeding, I decided to "google" my symptoms at 4 AM.  I found many medical resources all pointing to the same thing- cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). The orange pee, the intense itching that is concentrated on your hands and feet.. But it is rare. Like 1 per 1,000 births or more. The next morning I called my doctor and asked if she would rule it out with a bile acid test. The nurse said no and that I'd be in next week and we could talk then. I hung up and cried. And itched and cried some more. Another night with no sleep passed, and I became a mommy on a mission. I called my OB again and demanded that I be seen that day- crying and all. I think she only agreed so that she could evaluate my mental health :). At my appointment I was told to stay off the Internet, to calm down for the health of my baby, and that she would run some tests. Later that afternoon she called me personally to let me know my Liver function test came back normal and to not worry anymore. I told her that until my bile acid test came back okay that I would still be concerned. A week later the results came in- bile acids were 47! Anything over 10 is ICP and over 40 is considered severe. She wouldn't admit I had ICP until I asked her. She wouldn't even prescribe me the medication needed to control this disease until I met with a hepatologist. I asked for a referral to MFM as well. Thankfully I got in that week with the hepatologist- he was so nice and wrote me the prescription I needed, but told me that my dr. should have sent me straight to MFM since the risks are with my baby and not me. I couldn't have agreed more! I saw my MFM in Tampa the next week and felt relief to have someone on my team. She said my levels put my baby at risk for fetal distress and even stillbirth. I was assured by her that my OB would follow her protocol to deliver by 37 weeks and do biweekly NSTs and biophysical profiles until then. Daniel and I left feeling relieved to have proper care after weeks without it. We were also scared because this was the first time hearing out of a doctor's mouth the real serious risks that we had been reading online. 
So my story should be all good from here.. But it wasn't! My OB pretended like she didn't get a report  from my MFM and refused to deliver me early. My levels had gone down and she said that I didn't even have ICP anymore! ( it cannot go away until you deliver by the way). She told me to stop the medication and I laughed at her. At that point I was 35 weeks and had to find a new OB. It was such a stressful time, but at 36 weeks I met my new doctor and set an induction date for a week out at 37+1 ! 
On my 28th birthday (april 29th) after 4 very fast hours of labor, I was holding my perfect baby boy in my arms! My labor was a pitocin only, natural experience and it was very rewarding. And no more itch! He was checked out by the NICU team and was perfectly healthy!

I wanted to share my ICP experience because sadly this is a common scenario of uninformed doctors who don't give proper care or listen to their patients because it is so rare. I want to help spread the word about this disease in hopes of saving lives of babies who are at risk at the hands of doctors who don't know enough. Thank God for modern technology to monitor my baby, for "google" that gave me knowledge to fight for proper care, and for the doctors who cared for me and our sweet baby to keep the risks as minimal as possible. 
From the statistics, I have a 40-90% chance of having ICP in a future pregnancy. Is it worth it? You bet! Our lives would not be the same without our sweet baby Connor :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Catching up

My main agenda for creating a blog was to document our life. I just want to hold on to all of the memories in a way that will never go away..
Well, I've failed miserably but I'm hoping to play a little catch up :)

Since I last wrote, we have celebrated Bryce's first birthday, 2nd birthday, another ( complicated) pregnancy, the birth of our second son Connor, and have just hit his 6 month milestone. How did all of this happen in less than 2 years?! I hope to hit the highlights in this post so we can move forward- and God willing, I will update more frequently so I don't have to do this again!

Bryce from the last post until now- 1st birthday party, sock monkey theme, family trip to the Bahamas, walking, talking, the zoo, loving cars, Christmas lights, Chik fil a, "sauces", lovie and puppy dog.

2nd birthday party! ( at the park ) golf clubs, first trip to disney world, 11 days later- welcome baby brother!! A summer filled with swimming, parks, and a beach vacation. Moved to a big boy bed :) Favorites: Italian ices ("treats"), Mickey Mouse clubhouse, Dora, slides at the park, French fries, toy story, and bears.

In other news, we found out that another member would join team Wilson in September of last year. Just after Christmas- ANOTHER BOY!!! :) We also found out at this ultrasound that our little guy had 2 choroid plexus cysts on his brain. Our first reaction was fear, but we remained hopeful that since no other markers showed up that our baby would be fine. 3 long, prayerful weeks later, we met with a maternal fetal doctor in Tampa for follow-up testing. One cyst was gone and the other had grown so tiny it was barely visible! Praise God!
Little did we know that we would be seeing this doctor again a few months later for something completely unrelated!
I will share the rest of my pregnancy and the birth of Connor in a separate post :)
It feels good to "catch up" ...

Friday, January 13, 2012

milestones & holidays

It is the start of a new year! We had a crazy, busy end to 2011 so I wanted to wrap up that time in one post. There is so much, and hopefully I can hit all of the highlights.

Since my last post, Bryce celebrated his first Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We purchased our first house and moved the week of Christmas.

Halloween- Bryce was the cutest monkey I have ever seen! We visited Grandmommy, Granny, and Nonny and Pops. 

Thanksgiving- Bryce and I flew to Alabama without daddy for a few days and then we drove to Gatlinburg and spent Thanksgiving there with Daniel's family. Bryce met Santa that weekend.

Christmas was a crazy time for our family. We moved into our new house on the 20th and Gigi came down on the 21st. Bryce was spoiled by all of the gifts he received from our families! We enjoyed the holiday in Lakeland at church and with family.

I'll write a separate post on our house later when I have some "before" and "after" photos to share.

MILESTONES GALORE:  Bryce has been busy growing up before our eyes.
* He has 4 teeth with 2 more coming in right now. I miss my gummy smiles but love those cute baby teeth also :)
*He can crawl faster than I've ever seen a baby crawl- he just jets off where he wants to go. He can pull up on furniture and stand for a while if holding on.
*He eats 3 solid meals a day, and we are working on the sippy cup and table food now. He babbles in his own language a lot, but managed to communicate his first word to us- "DaDa" of course!

At his 9 month check-up this week he weighed in at 21 lbs. 11 oz. (72nd percentile) and was 28 1/2 inches long (64th percentile).

Bryce was baptized on December 18th! This was a special time for our family, and a great reminder of our call as Bryce's parents to teach and equip him with God's Word. We believe that baptism does not save our son, but is a sign and mark of what is to come. We acknowledge that Bryce is a sinner in need of Christ's cleansing blood. We cling to the covenant promise that God by His grace might grant Bryce saving knowledge of Himself. Our hope is not in our best efforts, but in God's faithfulness to His people.

Hopefully I covered the most important things, since this is my way of archiving memories for our family.
Maybe with a new year I will be more diligent to update our blog.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

bryce- 6 months.

Our little man turned 6 months old on October 18th! Half a year has flown by already, and we are so thankful as we reflect on the little moments and big milestones.
At Bryce's 6 month check-up:
20 lbs. 12 oz - only 9 oz. gained in 6 weeks! What a surprise that was for us!
26 1/2 inches long
16 1/2 inch head circumference
Bryce giggled hysterically at 2 different nurses and his doctor- putting on a show! He thought measuring his head was funny, and getting his ears checked. One nurse got a giggle just for fun. That laugh will never get old!

Bryce is sleeping through the night, still feeding every 2 hours while he is awake, and usually napping 3 times a day. He can sit up on his own from laying down and stay sitting up as long as he wants, and army crawls wherever he wants to go. He started solid foods at 6 months and just eats one meal a day for now.
Still a size 3 diaper, and wearing 9-18 month clothes depending on the brand. He chews on everything that he comes in to contact with, and his favorite chew toy is a water bottle. We love our unique little guy :)

Here's a few 6 month pictures taken by Pops:

Can't wait to watch him learn and grow in the next 6 months! (Then comes the first birthday party that I have already started brainstorming on- yes I am crazy) :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

4 month firsts.

 first trip to IKEA..

first time Tennessee! 

first UT game day in Knoxville..UT beat Montana! 

first bowl of rice loved it! a fun mess! 

first wedding.. so glad it was Heather's!

first Lakeland Christian School football game..

first trip to Gigi's in Alabama.. are now yelling all the time-happy or mad, reaching for everything, flipping and rolling across the room if no one stops you, sucking your thumb, and sucking on your big toe anytime you are on your back. You weighed 20 lbs 3 oz. when we went to the doctor for your first cold at 4 months 3 weeks. you wear size 9-12 month clothes and a size 3 shoe. Still a size 3 diaper. you slept through the night a handful of nights this month (in your carseat because you were sick). I think you would sleep through the night in your crib if you didn't roll over in your sleep! We love all of your new tricks and love watching you learn new things- mommy and daddy love you sweet boy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

baby gadgets: what I can't live without.

So, I keep telling myself to write a post on things I love so much that I'd be willing to write a personal thank you to their manufacturers. Baby gadgets that I cannot imagine going without! Maybe this will help another future mom out's my TOP 5. When Bryce gets older I will add to the list (we have only scratched the surface of the things we will need and use)

5. Diaper Pail: with our bedrooms upstairs, it could have been a pain to throw away diapers downstairs and take the trash out so frequently. The diaper pail in the nursery holds nearly a week's worth of diapers before we take them out. And no smelly nursery :)

4. Microwave steam bottle sterilizer: It only takes a few minutes for me to have peace of mind that there is no bacteria, etc. on Bryce's bottles and paci's. I question how sanitized they get in the dishwasher so really loving this gift we received.

3. aden+anais swaddle blankets : Okay, so Bryce has never been a swaddle baby. He could wiggle out of the tightest swaddle. But, these blankets are perfect for swaddling, and everyday use blankets. I've used them as rain and sun covers on his car seat, naptime blanket, and to cover with while breastfeeding. They do not change a bit when washed, are super soft, and lightweight which is great in the summer. They are pricier than most other swaddles but well worth getting a 3-pack!

2. BUMBO chair: So thankful for this cheap looking, but couldn't serve its purpose better, gadget! I heard mixed opinions about using these, as some moms believe it is used too much as a babysitter when they should be playing, etc.. Well, I am very thankful for this babysitter! I am totally okay with Bryce enjoying Dinosaur Train for 15 minutes while I do dishes or fold laundry. He can't sit up yet, but absolutely loves to be sitting up. He also hasn't mastered napping more than 30 minutes so I need a few extra to get things done.

1. Baby Trend Snap-n-Go stroller : By far the best thing we have right now! We opted to buy this instead of the bulky travel systems you can get with the infant car seats. It is lightweight, I can get it out of the car and unfold it with one hand, and the car seat sits right on the frame. Bryce can be sound asleep in his car seat, and I don't have to wake him when we get out of the car. It is very easy to maneuver, and it even has a basket in the bottom and two drink holders.

Other notables:
*LOVE our Chicco Keyfit 30 carseat. We bought an extra base- so easy to ride in my car or Daniel's without moving the carseat back and forth. Money well spent!
*Don't know what I would do without Pampers Swaddlers diapers! We've tried them all and thse are the only ones that don't leak on us, especially at night. We have never had a leak at night with them, even after 12 hours! Even other Pampers have leaked..
*Definitely worth the money- our Summer Infant video monitor. Talk about peace of mind! I can scan the video to watch him playing in the floor too. LOVE IT!

(For pricey items I justified it by using 20% off  Bed Bath and Beyond coupons at Buy Buy Baby. We did this for the cr seat, stroller, video monitor, and breastpump. )

Hope this list helps someone!