OHIO VALLEY CRUD

 

We live in what is routinely called the allergy capital of the world. If you lived elsewhere and didn’t suffer from allergies, it is highly likely that you will experience allergy symptoms upon spending any time in Louisville.

Unfortunately for Grant, he’s got them bad! We experienced the severity of his allergies last Thursday and Friday with constant runny nose, eyes and cough. Poor guy was miserable, as were all of us who had to listen to his suffering. Apparently the tree pollen went through the roof and his little body reacted with a vengeance.

We purchased an over the counter allergy medication and hoped for relief. Unfortunately, it did nothing. We did nebulizer treatments, loaded him with night time Zarbees, Vick’s vapor rub, and even home made saline spray but nothing worked. He coughed much he threw up twice. Friday night was a LONG night. I tapped out at 11:30 and Jeremy took over with regular checks to make sure he wasn’t choking to death. At around 1:30 he had the brilliant idea to give Grant some honey, but couldn’t find any so he settled for agave. It worked. Grant gave a thumbs up and actually stopped coughing long enough to fall asleep for a couple of hours.

The next day we found an alternative allergy medicine (on sale in bulk at Costco!) and gave it a whirl along with some local honey and real saline spray. Add some Vick’s and Zarbees for good measure and he finally got some relief. We’ve managed to drop the Vick’s and Zarbees from the regimen and he’s not being held hostage coughing. Praise God!

Thankfully, Maria doesn’t seem as impacted by the springtime allergies like Grant. We are all taking local honey and hoping for the best. According to the forecast, our long and miserable winter is going to make for a long and miserable allergy season.

The Invitation.

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The wedding invitation is in the mail to us.

It is from our birthmother. She is inviting us to her wedding.

I just cannot get over how cool it is to have this special relationship with the woman who bore my son.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Open adoption – in all its forms – is an invitation. It’s a gift. The opportunity to have a tangible relationship with the woman (and man) who helped breathe life into our son is beyond humbling.

Apart from its metaphysical beauty, it also has incredible application. Case in point: Sienna has been getting strange blotchy spots on her face and has had a cough for a while. I reached out to our donor family and they told me of the family history of eczema, allergies, and asthma. Armed with this information, I knew what medical course of action to take, and Sienna is healing.

I feel so blessed at the way God has created our family.

And, just because it’s been a while, here are some recent (cute) pictures of the Colton kids, introducing the newest member in his/her photographic debut:

Britney

BENIGN!!

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Josh and I went for my needle biopsy on Monday. The radiologist explained my “spot” was only .5 cm, and he could possibly aspirate it. After several attempts, he couldn’t get the needle through “Spot.” It would have to be biopsied. The radiologist took 5 tissue samples.

After the biopsy, “Spot” could no longer be seen on ultrasound. He wanted to do another mammogram to see if the area could be seen by x-ray. After the screening, it was decided “Spot” had disappeared from the image.

Tuesday, after a long day of waiting for results, The Imaging Center, finally phoned late that afternoon. They informed us to be at the clinic @ 2:30 PM the following day to meet with the pathologist.

Anxious, but not overly concerned, Josh and I left John Luke with his parents. They were visiting from Alabama, for what we thought would be my transfer, and subsequent bed rest. When we arrived at the Imaging Center, we were called back to a consultation room. The pathologist walked in and said, “I have good news, we found no cancer.” It was concluded “Spot” was a Non-Malignant Fibrocystic Proliferation, in other words, a cyst!!

The feeling of relief is an understatement. We were ecstatic! Our biggest fear was, if it turned out to be breast cancer, I might be advised to stop infertility medications, and we wouldn’t be able to do another transfer for some time.

We stayed optimistic…however…I couldn’t help wonder about the impact this could have on my chances of getting pregnant with a sibling. My concern would be to “age out” before using our six remaining embryos; or to have a type of breast cancer that might be sensitive to hormone therapy.

Josh and I have emotional ties to these embryos. They are the biological siblings to our son. We’ve been through so much already to get these precious embryos, six years of infertility.

I do not want to minimize the thought of having breast cancer. I watched one of my best friends go through chemo and a double mastectomy, but the idea of not being able to get pregnant with our embryos; or the thought of having to give them up, scared me even more.

We had faith things would work out the way they were meant to, even if, we didn’t get the results we wanted. Ready to move forward, we contacted the NEDC and are scheduled for a May transfer!!

21 week: Questionnaire

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At the urging of my sister-in-law (who is also pregnant, with twins – and donating the remaining embryos!), here is my “Pregnancy Update Questionnaire” (probably more for my own posterity than anything else):

How far along: 20.5 weeks (21 weeks on Thursday).  Halfway through the second trimester!
Current symptoms: So much better than even a month ago.  I threw up every day, and was nauseated all day, from weeks 7-16.  At my 15 week appointment, I had gained zero pounds.  A week later, after feeling better, I’d gained 6(!).  I still have waves of nausea, and still occasionally toss my cookies, but at least it’s not at the same level of frequency or intensity.
Total weight gain: I’m not entirely sure since I don’t really know where I started at, but I think it’s between 10-15 lbs.  At my last appointment, the doctor said I was on track to gain 25-30 for this pregnancy.
Maternity clothes: Yes, since about week 7.  I popped very early on this one.
Stretch marks: Thank goodness, no.  Doesn’t run in my family.
Sleep: Very difficult to come by. I take Unisom on occasion to help me sleep.
Best moment of this week: Getting to see the baby on the 20-week ultrasound, sucking its thumb and rubbing its feet together.
Miss anything: RUNNING!
Movement: All the time.  My placenta is high and in the back, so I’ve actually felt this one move since probably week 12.
Food cravings: I go through waves of salty vs. sugar.  Nothing consistent, though.
Anything making you queasy or sick: I get more nauseated in the evening, or when I’m very fatigued.  I have to eat very slowly.
Have you started to show yet: My co-worker just told me that if I told her I was due in a month, she’d believe me.  So, yes.
Gender: It’s a surprise! We have no idea. I want a girl.  Tygh, Brae, and Sienna each want a boy.

Britney

GAME CHANGER

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A recent routine mammogram revealed an abnormality in my left breast which required a follow-up mammogram for spot compressions.  Having been called back for a second screening in 2007, I was not worried, feeling sure it would again be fibroids.

I explained to the person scheduling my follow-up, I needed the earliest possible appointment.  I was doing IVF the following Wednesday (used that term for simplicity) and would need the results back ASAP.  My embryos were to be thawed on Tuesday.  The soonest they would be able to see me was Friday.  Less than a week before my transfer.

Josh and I had my final ultrasound and lab work at the NEDC that Friday morning, the same day as my screening.  We headed to Knoxville concerned, but optimistic.  It turned out that my lining was the best it’s ever been at 9.75 mm!  When I was pregnant with John Luke, it had been around 7.6 mm.  My Estradiol came back normal, and I received a message later that day from the NEDC, to start the Progesterone and taper the Estrace.

We headed directly back to Johnson City, to my appointment at the Women’s Health and Imaging Center, for what seemed like the longest wait of my life.  After my screening, the tech informed me, I had a “spot” which was denser than on previous mammograms.  It required an ultrasound.

They allowed Josh and John Luke to come into the room with me.  The doctor performed the ultrasound and said there is 3 criteria he’s looking for to determine if it is a cyst.  My “spot” did not meet all 3 criteria conclusively, and that it would require a needle biopsy.  He also advised me to come off the hormones, and postpone the transfer until “we find out what this is.”

Optimistic it is a cyst, we are more disappointed about not being able to go through with the transfer.  Josh and I will go Monday 3/17 for a needle biopsy.  The results will come back Tuesday 3/18, the day our embryos were to be thawed.

Everything happens for a reason.  For now, I’m just trying to stay positive.

Rainbow Sparkle

We welcomed a new member to the family on February 28.  My brother and his wife had their third child, a baby girl named Katie.  Leading up to her birth I talked with Grant and Maria quite a bit about their new baby cousin.  Since the gender was a surprise, we debated whether the baby would be a girl or a boy and what the name should be.  Maria was much more interested in all of this than Grant.  She declared that the baby was a girl like her and would be named Rainbow Sparkle.

When my sister-in-law was in labor, I told Grant and Maria that the baby was coming and they should have a new cousin by morning.  Katie was born after Grant and Maria’s bedtime, so I was excited to tell them the news.  When I told Maria the next morning, she jumped up and down saying “Yay! Yay! The baby came out of Meredith’s body!  Yay!”  Grant wasn’t fazed by the news.

That morning, Katie’s brother and sister were staying at my parent’s house and didn’t know yet that their new sister had arrived.  Jake had an idea, but Leah didn’t understand.  I was dropping Grant and Maria off there for a little bit and realized they knew about the baby, but Jake and Leah didn’t so I told them they couldn’t talk about the baby.  My mom said that Jake mentioned he might have another brother or sister and Grant and Maria looked up wide eyed stating “we can’t talk about the baby!”

We got to meet Katie a little later, but she remained nameless until the next day.  The next morning when the kids woke up I told Maria that her new cousin had a name, she sighed “But I wanted it to be Rainbow.”  She might have gotten the girl she asked for, but naming rights will have to wait until she has one of her own.

Maria and Katie

FIFTEEN MONTH VISIT

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John Luke had his 15 month checkup and vaccinations.  He remains around the 80th percentile in height, but his weight dropped to the 60th percentile.  His current weight is 25 lbs.  It’s down from his twelve month visit.   I was told this was typical as they are more active during this stage.  According to the pediatrician, he is developing normally and is a “thriving” little kid.

John Luke has become somewhat of a picky eater.  I think it’s more of a texture issue as opposed to taste.  The pediatrician said as he becomes exposed to a wider variety of foods the texture issue will dissipate.

We are trying to eliminate the bedtime bottle.  He is still getting at least 4-6 ounces before bed.  We tried putting him down a few times without a bottle, but he would wake up around 4AM hungry.  As he takes in more solids, and acquires more teeth (he now has 6), we are reducing the formula slowly.  The pediatrician emphasized we really needed to eliminate the bottle very soon.  I’m not ready and neither is John Luke:(  He comes looking for it faithfully around 8:30PM every night.

He is babbling around 7 or so words (although the phonics vary).  The pediatrician said his speech is developing normally.  John Luke “Talk” is as follows:

Daddy- Da da

Mama-now sounds like Na Na

Maggie (our labrador)- Agi or Ag.

Outside-Si

No-No

Yes-Yes or yeah

Hot-Hot

One interesting tip learned from the pediatrician’s office is anything that can fit threw a toilet paper tube is too small to play with.  Good to know!  There are a few whistles around the house I need to put away for later.  He is finally tall enough to reach a few new drawers and cabinets.  I am continually baby-proofing as his reach is getting longer, and his curiosity is growing stronger.

Dr. Adams put it best when he said, “He is becoming a real little boy.”