Friday, July 26, 2013

5 More Weeks and Counting...

So this week was filled with doctor appointments for me at Kaiser...

I first went to see my regular ob/gyn who says I'm looking great, my tummy is a growing nicely, blood pressure looks good and my weight gain is just right. I've gained almost 25lbs so I know I can gain more, but it's getting difficult to eat regular meals so I'm down to snacking every few hours. The last few times I've gone out to dinner I was in pain from trying to finish my meal and it gets hard to breathe! I think I'm starting to waddle too! (Horrible visual, sorry!) Anyway, I have one more appt with my ob in about a month. I think since I'm high risk I don't have to go the normal route when it comes to scheduled appts since I don't feel like I have to see my doctor more often towards the end of my pregnancy.

I also went to see my perinatologist this week, the specialist for high risk pregnancies whose main focus is on the baby. Every one of these appts includes an ultrasound, which usually takes about an hour. This particular appt was quick because for the very first time, Maia was sleeping during the ultrasound! So they were able to scan and get her measurements right away for a change! I'm 34wks and she's measuring 4lbs 12oz, so she's growing nicely and starting to fatten up! Yay!! The talk with the doctor seemed to take longer than the ultrasound this time. She suggested I get a bag packed just in case of preterm labor, since we're all on the baby's schedule and not necessarily our own. If I start having contractions, I'm supposed to call UCSF (Labor & Delivery) and check to see what they want me to do. If it's an emergency where I'm bleeding or in pain, I should head over to Kaiser Redwood City, which is 10 minutes from the house. If the baby needs to be delivered there, they will just transport the baby after birth over to UCSF... all sounds so simple! But we just want to be prepared in case things don't go according to plan!

I also had an appt for an echocardiogram with the pediatric cardiologist. It had been almost 8 weeks since my last appt with him and he was surprised at how much the baby and her heart have grown. He didn't expect to see any dramatic changes and was happy to see there were none. He consults regularly with the specialists at UCSF and will send the echo scans he did to them. He went over the surgery options in detail and discussed each surgery's complexity. If possible, the best surgery for the best outcome would be to do a full repair that consists of widening the narrowed part of the aorta, and closing the VSD (hole) in such a way that the aorta would be repositioned to the left ventricle, where it should be. He described this surgery as very complex, but the outcome would be better because the heart would function the way it's meant to with 2 ventricles. But it also doesn't guarantee she won't have any more surgeries. If a full repair isn't possible, because the aorta is too small due to lack of blood flow, they will go ahead and do the 3-stage surgery which will convert her heart into a single ventricle heart, where the right ventricle will do all the work. The first of these 3 surgeries is also very complex and the time in between the first 2 surgeries is extremely critical. The main reason they say this outcome is not as good as a full repair is that the left ventricle is naturally built stronger than the right, so over time, overuse of the right ventricle may cause other complications, which could lead to the possibility of needing a heart transplant later on in life. Plus, the 3-stage surgery has only been around for about 30 years, so there is no research on what happens to patients over 30 years old. 

So once again, after all the surgery discussions, bottom line is we still have to wait and see what her heart looks like after she's born! That's pretty much what it comes down to! But it's nice to be prepared and know what the possibilities are... I'm the type that likes to know the details, whether it's good or bad! Gordon could care less about the details... he knows what the overall plan is and likes to go with the flow and deal with whatever comes our way when it happens.

So nothing has really changed except that my tummy is getting bigger! Sometimes I'm in denial about it until I randomly see my reflection somewhere!... I feel like my tummy gets stared at more too! Anyway, I guess I should start packing now... well, maybe later!

Update on Gordon's on again/off again back problems... it's currently "on" and he will be getting a cortisone shot some time in August that is supposed to last 4 months, instead of popping pain pills, which I think he was getting tired of. Hopefully this will help him become more active, since he's been trying hard to get back in shape to handle 2 kids!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Feeling Grateful...

I just wanted to thank everyone for their love and support! The blog has many views and I've received many compliments, both in person and by messages or emails! So please don't be shy and share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comment sections of the blog!! I'm excited to keep writing and updating as much as I can. Unfortunately, we're still in the middle of this waiting period... all the action and excitement will be in full swing once Maia is born, but for now time seems like it's both going in slow motion and fast forward, all at the same time! D-day (delivery day) will be here before we know it!... about 6 more weeks to be exact!

One thing I've been asked several times, is how to subscribe. The easiest way is to put your email in the "Follow By Email" section to the right of the blog. Click "Submit" and a small window will open asking you to verify a code. Then Click on "Complete Subscription Request" and an email will be sent to you. Check your email, then click on the link to "Activate the Subscription." You will then be sent an email whenever the blog is updated. I hope this helps.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend and enjoying some great weather (at least in the Bay Area it's great!). For right now, we're just spending time with Marcus since these are his last days he'll have us all to himself! So as long as he's being a "good boy" we take him to parks or just leave the house with nothing planned, and see where we end up! So far it's worked out great and all the walking has taken the place of regular exercise for me! So until next time, make it a great day! =)

Friday, July 19, 2013

To Shower or Not to Shower

Many people have asked us about having a baby shower... and we've decided not to have one. First of all, we were a lil bit traumatized after what happened last year. Flashback to G having back problems during Marcus' shower (2007). He could barely walk and had to sit in the corner for hours while everyone took turns talking to him like he was the Godfather! Then last year for Marissa's shower, he ended up breaking his right leg and ankle and spent most of the day in the ER! Receiving our amnio results just 3 days later with the lethal diagnosis was the icing on the cake! So that somewhat left a bitter taste in our mouths! Technically, this is our third baby, so I think we should know by now, what things we need and don't need. But then again, it seems like so much has changed when it comes to technology and style... all these new & improved things I could've used with Marcus five years ago! We're ok though, we have most of the essential baby items and anything else we'll get when we need it. Not having a shower this time did make me feel a bit guilty at first because I felt like we weren't celebrating this baby the way we should. It was hard enough in the beginning of the pregnancy, when I felt so uncomfortable announcing the news to people. I was excited but still nervous that something could happen, similar to last time, so I was hesitant to plan or buy anything, much less share the news. As of right now, most of Marissa's things are still in a big box, including gifts from her shower and random things that I couldn't resist buying at the time. Probably sometime in the next couple of weeks I plan to go through those items and see what we can use for Maia... it'll be like a gift from her big sister. I actually started buying things for the baby just recently, I think because I finally felt ok about buying things and not having to think about all the "what if's." But I think it's the procrastinator in me! Plus, we're expecting the baby to stay in the hospital for about the first month of her life, so I've avoided shopping for newborn sized clothing, since she will literally be topless while in the hospital! Woo hoo! But after surgery, I think she will mainly be accessorizing with some tubes and wires. The doctors and nurses did say we're allowed to dress her up in beanies, socks and legwarmers! I'm trying to avoid the color pink... I'm getting tired of seeing pink everywhere! I much prefer lavender, coral, or even yellow!
To be honest, I don't feel a shower is necessary for us this time around. I'm not as nervous about having a baby as I was before, and now it's for different reasons. I do feel bad about having to keep her away from family and friends for the first few months. So we're thinking about having some sort of celebration, after we get the ok from her doctor... maybe a meet the baby and christening party, all in one! So we'll see!

Thursday, July 11, 2013


So as we continue to wait and anticipate Baby Maia's arrival, we know we have to make some changes before she's born.  Everything from rearranging furniture to cleaning up the house... and trying to find ways to be as germ-free as possible and avoid exposure to illness!

Right now the focus is on changing some furniture in our bedroom.  Sad to say, but the furniture in our room is made up of mismatched hand-me-downs from the 1980's!  We're due for a new bedroom set, which we'll get eventually, but for right now we got things started by getting a smaller and more modern looking desk... so we can say goodbye to my old grade school desk that takes up so much space, and it's not really usable space either. What this all means for us is that we'll have more space for a little crib! I imagine the first several months she'll be in our room with us, so a crib is essential. All other baby-related things, like her clothes, will go into big brother Marcus' room.  He's been so good and more than willing to help out with anything he can, it's really too cute!  He gave up almost half his closet space for his baby sister and also 2 drawers in his dresser.  At first he wanted the baby to sleep with him in his bed (not one of his greatest ideas!), but realized he's kind of a "wild" sleeper and will most likely hurt her.

Speaking of Marcus, we've been thinking of ways to keep him as clean as possible, especially once Maia comes home from the hospital.  The doctors have told us that staying away from germs is imperative, especially after heart surgery, since her immune system will be compromised. We've slowly been letting family and friends know that although we'd love for them to meet the baby, catching a cold or any kind of sickness is just too risky the first few months. Unfortunately, with Marcus going back to school at the end of August, he will be exposed to many kids and germs! So other moms of heart babies with older siblings, have suggested a routine, one that would also work for adults, like daddy.  So before coming near the baby, whether the person is coming home from work or school, first thing to do would be to take off/change clothes and then either shower or scrub down surgeon style!  I think this is what we're going to end up doing because I really can't think of anything better at the moment, but I'm always open to suggestions! In general, anyone that comes near the baby would have to wash up regardless if they plan on holding the baby or not... so I think I should start stocking up on not only diapers, but also some antibacterial soap and sanitizing gel! I might as well add lotion to the list too!

Anyway, so that's what's mainly been on my mind lately... preparation!  I'm 31 weeks right now and that means we only have 8 more weeks to go!!! I'm not yet feeling a sense of urgency. But then again, I usually don't worry about anything unless there's actually something to worry about!... It doesn't help that I'm a big time procrastinator, so I'm hoping Maia doesn't plan on arriving early!   

Before I go, let me introduce you guys to Marcus - he'll be documenting our journey too with his own video diary!