November 28, 2011

We've been busy!

I feel like I've totally neglected this blog lately.  We've just been busy - and Kate is currently dealing with major sleep regression which has this pregnant lady completely exhausted.  I'm not doing so well functioning on 3-4 hours of sleep.  Neither is Kate.  Toddler breakdowns are such a joy.

We had a great Thanksgiving with Alex's parents here in Houston.  Nothing big - just visiting.  Kate enjoyed the time with her grandparents but I think she was a little over stimulated by all of the action.  Her life has solely consisted of me, Alex, and Texas Children's since August so adding more into the mix is overwhelming at first.

We took Kate on her first post transplant outing - in her mask of course!  Pictures to come of our visit down to the Festival of Lights in Galveston.

We enjoyed some down time with Alex since he took a full week off of work! 

We've spent time worrying about Kate's platelets and subsequent increase in bruising from simply brushing up against something. They have made a dramatic drop over the past 1-2 weeks and have everyone a little concerned. We sent an engraftment study off to make sure Kate isn't losing her graft (worst case scenario). Her doctors have also sent off several viral studies to see if she has a virus that is impacting her platelets (best case). We should hopefully know more at her appointment tomorrow.


We've decorated for Christmas and learned the joys of a toddler and a Christmas tree.  Let's just say my tree is only decorated on the top half!

We made the decision to stay in our current home in the city.  This was a big decision as I was feeling extremely stressed out about adding another baby to our "DINK" non baby friendly home.  However, after lots of planning, many discussions, and several posts on Craigslist to get rid of everything in our current office/ guest room, we are confident in our decision to stay put.  You just can't beat being 10 minutes from Alex's job and 15 minutes away from Texas Children's.  The thought of being 45+ minutes away from home during Will's transplant was just not appealing at all!  And, I love that I will be 15 minutes away from both of my kids which will allow for more time with them and less time driving to them!

We attempted to take a picture of two dogs and a 15 month old for the Christmas card.  I'll go on the record and say this was not my idea.  And it was a HUGE fail.  But, the pictures are so incredibly funny - Kate's faces, Ollie's faces, and Sadie's old lady attitude about life gave us several laughs as we flipped through them!  I just may have to post them so y'all can laugh too!

But, most importantly, we've been busy enjoying our family and friends during this holiday season!  I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and is getting into the Christmas spirit!  Pictures of everything that's been going on to come!

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November 24, 2011

Thankful

Thankful just doesn't seem like a strong enough word to adequately depict how I feel this Thanksgiving. I honestly don't think any word could describe how I feel.

Last night, while rocking Kate to sleep, I think everything hit me.

I found hot tears stream down my face as I rocked a sleeping Kate.

Rocked a miracle.

Living proof that prayer works.

That miracles happen.

Proof that good people still walk this fallen Earth.

I was completely overcome with emotion and thanks for Kate's donor. A random stranger gave Kate a chance at life. Gave me and Alex the opportunity to celebrate her sweet life today.

I am thankful for his selflessness. For his eagerness to donate. For his willingness to sign up as a donor when in college. Thankful for his college for raising awareness regarding bone marrow donation. For hosting a donor drive. For his Professor that encouraged students to join the registry.

I wish more than anything that I could tell him thank you. Of course Kate and I sent him an anonymous Thanksgiving letter and cute arts and crafts. But I wish I could thank him by name. I wish I could look him in the eyes and fully express what he means to our family.

I hope that next Thanksgiving I know his name; know him. Can send him a Thanksgiving card in the mail. Can send him pictures of Kate, the miracle he played such an important part in.

I hope this Thanksgiving he is enjoying his friends and family. I hope and pray that they are all reminding him of the amazing thing he did this fall. I hope they are celebrating what a great person he is and the great things he has done! I hope they are thankful and realize how blessed they are to call someone so selfless son, brother, grandson, cousin, friend.

I am also incredibly thankful for each and every person that has prayed for, thought of, supported, fed, encouraged and been there for my family during this incredibly difficult time. I am certain that we would not be where we are today if it weren't for the huge amount of support we have received. I am blown away on a daily basis by the sheer number of people pulling for Kate, and now Will. It is overwhelming.

So, to Kate's donor and to each of you, thank you so very much for blessing my family this year. It means more than words will ever be able to express.


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November 20, 2011

Scentsy Turkey Trot Party & Giveaway!

My sweet blog/ twitter friend Ashley is an independent consultant for Scentsy!  This year she is having several "Turkey Trot" parties and I am hosting one of the ten parties!

Here's a blip from Ashley's blog regarding these parties:
This month our Scentsy team is trying a new, fun party.
It's perfect for those of you who would like free product, but don't want to host a party in your home.

Here's how it works.
You sell $100 in product {online, or I can mail you brochures}
Once you sell $100, turn it in to me. I will then draw your prize.
The prizes are 3 $25 Scentsy credits, 3 half-priced items, and 2 $50 Scentsy credits.

That means everyone who sells $100 will win!!!


As Christmas approaches, I know we are all searching for gifts for many of our friends and family on our list!  This year, how about supporting a work at home mom?  I love giving business to moms that are balancing staying at home with their sweet babies while looking for ways to still support their family!

Ashley's scentsy shop offers so many wonderful products that are not only beautiful in your home but leave your house smelling amazing!  I personally have my eye on this warmer as it matches my Christmas decor!


And how perfect are the fragrance foams?  Such an awesome stocking stuffer!  I'm all about hand sanitizer due to Kate's condition and this is the perfect way to kindly tell our friends to "clean up" before being around Kate!  And they smell divine!


Not only will you have the opportunity to cross a few people off of your Christmas list, you will also have a chance to win some free scentsy product!

For every $100 I sell via this turkey trot, I will be entered to win various prizes.  I am going to give my prize away to one lucky participant!  So, if you purchase from this party, you will also be entered for a chance to win something yourself!  How awesome?

Details:
1) Head to Ashley's Scentsy Store
2) Select the Lindsey B Turkey Trot Party or follow this link to my party!
3) Shop!  Either for yourself or pick up a few a Christmas gifts!
4) Place an order under the Lindsey B Turkey Trot Party on Ashley's website no later than November 29, 2011. Make sure you are shopping under my party - you should see the party name at the top of the website like this:

5) Have the chance to win either 50% off an item, $25 of product, or $50 of product (the prize will depend on what I win)! 
6) At the end of the sale, Ashley will confirm who has purchased and we will select a winner! I will announce the winner the first week of December.

The kicker is I have to sell at least $100 worth of items to pass my prize along so y'all need to shop in order to have the chance to win anything!

If you do not want to place your order on-line, you can email your order to me (werefinallythree@gmail.com) and I will work with Ashley to place the order. 

Happy shopping, y'all!

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November 19, 2011

Baby Bump! And Big Sister Cuteness!

I don't think I've posted a belly picture yet!  There's not much to see these days but, Tuesday I was a bit more bloated than normal and actually looked slightly pregnant!

I'm 18 weeks now and still struggling with weight gain.  I am still under my pre-pregnancy weight (which was already under my pre-Kate weight) despite the fact that I've started to feel a bit better.  I eating (whatever I want and tons of high calorie items) yet still losing weight.  Stress is probably the culprit but, I'm curious to see what my doctor has to say on Monday - and excited to see Will's sweet face - I have a big level 2 ultrasound and should get a few 3D images too!

I'm dying to really start showing! 

And here is big sister last week!  I can't leave her out!

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

November 18, 2011

Canvas4Life Winner!

Sorry it's taken me so long to post the winner!  It's been a busy week over here! 

I used random.org to select the winner:

Comment #6 was Kim!



Kim, I will be in touch with details regarding how you can claim your prize!!

November 14, 2011

She's Making a List...

And checking it twice!

Ok if we are going to get technical, Kate is not really making a list.  But, Alex and I are making a list of things we think she will love for Christmas and I thought I would share!

Kate will be 16 months come Christmas and we've decided to "buy up" in most things this year.  We want items that will carry her through her entire second year!  If you have already been through this phase with your kids, feel free to offer suggestions of toys your children really loved from 18-24+ months!

On to the list!

Play Kitchen
I had a precious super girly pink kitchen picked out.  However, when we discovered Will was a boy, we decided to go more gender neutral as the play room in our next house will be for both kids!  I love this kitchen - the chalk board on the fridge is just so darn cute to me!  It is on sale right now but if you are interested in purchasing, I would keep watching it - I ordered Kate's last week for under $100.  I'm willing to bet Amazon will drop the price again between now and Christmas!




Kitchen Accessories
What good is a kitchen without food, pots, pans, cookies, etc?  I've picked out several fun things to add to the kitchen.  I also love that the Melissa and Doug pots and pan set is red and white and will match the kitchen perfectly!





Doll Stroller
Kate is obsessed with her dolls.  She has several and carries them around all day giving them hugs and kisses!  I hope she will love putting them in a stroller and pushing them around!




Parum Pum Pum Drum
Kate loves music and will stop to dance the second she hears any type of music (including commercial jingles).  She's recently started using plastic forks, wooden spoons, toys, and such as drum sticks to bang on things and tap a beat.  While I am not all that excited by the added noise this toy will bring, I know that Kate will love it!  Parenting is all about sacrifice, right?




Books
I think books rank as Kate's all time favorite "toy"!  I'm not complaining as I have a huge love of reading and am glad she is showing an interest so young!  I'm hoping she can increase her library this Christmas!  Her favorite type of books right now are the "lift the flap" books.  One book I am eager to get her this year is a big sister book.  I realize she is probably to young to understand what is going on but, I figured it can't hurt to start reading and talking about the baby!




Elmo
We aren't sure exactly which Elmo we will get her but, the child love, love, loves the Elmo she has right now!  I'm thinking a singing Elmo (maybe the rockin Elmo) will be a must purchase!




I'm sure we will pick up a few more random things but, as of now, these are for sure presents under our tree!  I'm hoping Kate shows a bit more interest in the whole Christmas thing this year - I'm dying for a fun Christmas morning where she realizes she has tons of new presents!




And, of course, we will be telling her about the true meaning of Christmas throughout the season.  I'm sad we won't (and haven't been able to for a while) be able to head to church for Christmas but, one day, when all of my kids are off of isolation, we will be back in the sanctuary - not just for Christmas but every week!  These kids will know who has been and will always be the ultimate healer!  I've ordered her the Little People Nativity set so we can play and talk about the true reason for the season!

November 11, 2011

Answering Questions & a Liver Update!

Thank y'all so much for your encouragement, support, and congratulations on our news. 

I'm so thankful that we have so many people praying for our sweet boy (and the rest of the family).  The comments, emails, tweets, facebook messages, calls, and texts have been so overwhelming.  I'm still trying to wade through them all - if Kate would start sleeping/ napping I would have more time to respond!

I've received some questions and thought I would dedicate a post to answering them!  If you have a question that isn't answered here, leave it in a comment and I will do a part 2 and cover those questions!

Since you know about Will's condition now, when will his transplant be?
That's a great question and I wish I had an answer for you!  Ideally, we would like to get Will to 12-14 months before his transplant.  We also have to take Kate's health into consideration as the BMT doctors would prefer we didn't have two immune compromised children living in the same house.  If we can get Will to 12-14 months old, then that would put Kate at about 1.5 years post transplant. 

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before but, Kate is currently 100% unvaccinated due to the intense chemotherapy she went through.  She is also on immune suppressant medication to ensure her grafts holds and that her body doesn't attack the donor cells.  Typically, BMT patients immune systems begin to rebuilt around the one year post transplant mark and vaccinations are re-started between 12-18 months post transplant.  It would be wonderful if we could get Kate to the point of starting a vaccination schedule before Will starts chemo and jumps on the no immune system bandwagon.

However, CAMT is an extremely variable disease.  There is no concrete answer as to how aggressive the disease will be.  Some kids make to to 4 or 5 years of age before ever being diagnosed where as others are born with essentially no platelets and low blood counts.  Kate starting showing signs of the disease around 6 weeks but was not in immediate need of a transplant until about 10 months when she was finally diagnosed.

There is a chance Will will be impacted my sooner than Kate.  If this is the case, he will go to transplant as soon as necessary.  On the flip side, he may not be showing signs of CAMT at 12 months.  However, the only cure is a BMT and studies show that children that have a transplant in the 12-14 month window often have a much better long term prognosis. 

The short answer is Will's transplant could be any time during the first year of his life but will be no later than 14 months of age.

Will your pregnancy be treated differently due to the diagnosis?
I will be under the care of a perinatologist (the same one I saw while pregnant with Kate) for my entire pregnancy.  I have a handful of health issues (heart condition, had heart surgery as a child, blood issues that worsen during pregnancy, etc) that require a bit more care.  Add in the CAMT diagnosis and there was no avoiding the high risk label.

I will deliver no later than 38 weeks but there is talk about the possibility of delivering as early as 36 or 37 weeks.  My doctor and Will's BMT doctor are trying to figure out the most ideal time to deliver.  We know that I will not go farther than 38 weeks as we need to evaluate his blood levels and how his body is reacting to the CAMT and this cannot be done until birth.  The thought is that if he is deteriorating quickly, the extra fews weeks on the outside to prepare for a BMT will be extremely beneficial.

I will also be delivering at the new Texas Children's Pavilion for Women - I'll actually be one of the first people to deliver there as deliveries won't start until April!  There is a chance Will will go to a Special Care nursery after birth and all of our doctors believe it is best for him to be at Texas Children's from the get go.  All of this will depend on his health when he arrives.

Is there a chance the diagnosis is wrong?
I wish I could say yes but, the CVS and genetic testing are 99.8% accurate making a misdiagnosis extremely rare.

After the BMT is done, are people cured from CAMT?
Theoretically, if a CAMT patient is at 100% donor cells, they are cured.  CAMT holds other risks/ health issues that can arise if any original cells are present.  Our prayer is that Kate and Will can both hold onto a 100% donor graft and will go on to lead normal, healthy lives!

What were the chances of this genetic disorder being passed on again?
CAMT is a recessive genetic disorder.  This means both the mother and the father have to be carriers of the same genetic mutations to pass it along to their children.  Obviously, Alex and I found out the hard way that we are in fact carriers.

With all recessive genetic disorders, the following things can happen: a 25% chance your child is not affected at all, a 50% chance your child is a carrier, and a 25% chance that your child is positive for the condition.  Obviously Kate and Will have both fallen in the "unlucky" 25% of being positive for CAMT.

Will you do prenatal HLA typing?
No, we will not.  As I mentioned in my post about our CVS testing, we were unable to get a good size tissue sample.  We barely had enough for the genetic testing we needed to do, much less extra for HLA typing.  We have decided that at this time the risk of an amnio (it's too late for another CVS) is not worth the benefit of typing Will while in utero.  We will do HLA typing as soon as he is born.

Can Kate's donor be Will's donor as well?
Yes, he can.  There is a 25% chance that Kate's HLA typing and Will's HLA typing are identical.  If this is the case, Kate's donor would be a perfect 10 out of 10 match for Will as well, making him a perfect match.  Obviously, he would have to agree to donate again but, I am confident that he would. 

Feel free to leave any other questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them!

And, a quick Kate update.  We finally received her liver biopsy results but they were "inconclusive".  We were able to rule out GVHD, a medication reaction, and VOD of the liver but, the pathology report claims there is chronic irritation and inflammation of an unknown origin".  Um, what?  Her doctors don't seem concerned since her liver enzymes are coming down (but still elevated) but I'm kind of worried over here.  I'm hoping her liver specialist can shed some light on what could be causing this.

P.S. - don't forget to scroll down and enter the Canvas4Life giveaway I posted about this morning!

Canvas4Life Review and Giveaway!


A few weeks ago I was approached by Canvas4Life to see if I would be interested in reviewing their product, and if satisfied, hosting a giveaway for my lovely readers!  Y'all will be excited to know that I was more than satisfied which works in your favor!

I try my hardest to capture memories of Kate as she grows and changes.  I'm actually really impressed with the amount of pictures I've taken over the past 15 months - pictures that capture Kate's sweet smile, pictures of every day life, pictures of our adventures and travels!  I've also done a great job of having our amazing photographer capture Kate and our family!

The problem?  All of these pictures, all of these memories, tend to remain on my computer.  Or my external hard drive.  Or facebook.  Or on the blog.  Basically anywhere but displayed in my house.

Needless to say, I jumped at the offer to have one of these photos printed on to a canvas

It took me days to narrow down my image.  Do I want a picture of just Kate?  A family picture?  Would it be odd to have a picture of our family of three in the house since we knew we were expecting?  Do I want a black and white image?  Color?

See? It was HARD.

I finally narrowed down my options, polled my friends, and went to designing our custom canvas!  Canvas4Life believes in upholding the highest standards, without exception and my experience proved that they are not just all talk; they live their believes!  I had a few questions regarding our image and how it would look wrapped on the canvas and customer service was able to help me figure out that it would indeed work!

After going through the design process, which was extremely user friendly, I not so patiently waited for a package to arrive!

Kate and I were extremely excited when it finally arrived!  I was shocked by how fast shipping was!

While I drooled over just how beautiful the photo canvas was, Kate enjoyed her first experience with bubble wrap! Win win situation in our house!

I really can't believe how beautiful the canvas is!  The quality is amazing and the colors are so bright!  I just adore this picture and printing it on a canvas really made it even more beautiful!  This picture does not even begin to do the canvas justice!  I still don't have it hung in the house because I am too indecisive to commit to a wall!  But I hope to have it up by this weekend!

Canvas4Life has offered all of my readers a lovely 10% discount on any purchase!  I know just about any grandparent would love to find a canvas of their grandbaby under the Christmas tree!  Head on over to their website and enter code FinallyThree10 at checkout for 10% off of your order!

But, that's not all!  One lucky reader will have the chance to win a $25 Canvas4Life gift card!

How to Win:
*Mandatory entry - Leave a comment on this post telling me what picture you would use for your canvas!

Additional Entries - leave a separate comment for each entry:
*Become a follower of We're Finally Three (I really need a new name)
*Like Canvas4Life on Facebook and let them know who sent you their way
*Follow Canvas4Life on twitter: Link
*Tweet the following: @LindseyB34 is hosting a @Canvas_4_Life #giveaway and I want to win!
*Blog about this giveaway

This giveaway will be open until Wednesday, November 16, 2011 at 5om CST.  I will randomly select a winner Wednesday night!

Happy shopping and best of luck - I can't wait to see who wins!  And I cannot wait to order more beautiful canvases from Canvas4Life!

This is not mandatory but, if you like giveaways, and want to continue to see them on We're Finally Three, click the button below - a simple click is all it takes to vote.  The higher my ranking, the better the giveaways you will see!  Thanks!
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Disclosure: Canvas 4 Life provided me with this beautiful canvas, but my honest opinions were used when reviewing their company and product. This was not a paid post.

November 8, 2011

"For I know the plans I have for you," declared the Lord

I know I said I would share details regarding the news of baby B #2.  So, here's a very raw, emotionally charged post about our sweet boy.  I wanted to preface this by saying I know the decisions Alex and I have made will not be respected by everyone.  That is fine.  We have prayerfully made the best decisions for OUR family.  And, quite honestly, any one's opinion on the matter holds zero weight with me. 

I also know that I do not need to share these details; I owe no one explanations regarding our decisions.  The only reason I am sharing this journey with you is because I firmly believe the events that happened in order to bring Will into our life were bigger than anyone here on Earth.  They were, and still are, God's plans.  Everything was perfectly orchestrated by the Lord so that His will could be done.

I will not publish negative/ degrading comments so don't waste your time submitting them.

Those of you that have followed our journey, know that Alex and I struggled with infertility and pregnancy loss for a solid two years before conceiving Kate via our second attempt at IVF.  Many specialists told us that it was impossible for us to conceive without the help of modern science.

When we received the news of Kate diagnosis, and learned that it is a genetic condition, Alex and I started taking steps to ensure a "surprise" pregnancy would not happen.  I was initially angry - mad that Kate had to fight this fight, mad that Alex and I were carriers of this rare condition without even knowing, mad that yet again, my body was dictating our future.  Ultimately, my heart quickly softened to the idea of being "one and done".  I focused on the positives - Alex is an only child and is perfectly fine, we would never have to split our time/love/resources between multiple children, etc.

I scheduled an appointment with my OBGyn pretty soon after the diagnosis to talk about have a tubal ligation.  My consult went well and my OB was totally on board.  We set a date and I was confident in our decision.  As the date approached, Alex opened up to me and revealed that he was scared for me to undergo surgery while we were in the midst of fighting for Kate's life.  He knew the chance of complications was extremely small but just was not comfortable with any risk that could possibly leave him as a single parent to a terminally ill child.  We discussed his fears and together made the decision to postpone the surgery.

This was divine intervention #1.  Alex is not a man of many words and he for sure is not one to vocalize his fears so openly (but what man is?).  I am so thankful that he opened up and let me know watching me go under for surgery, while dealing with Kate's issues, was just too much.

I met with my OB again and we decided that an IUD would probably be our best option until we were ready to proceed forward with surgery.  Again, we talked about when this could be done, and I waited for certain things to happen so I could have my IUD placed.  While waiting, we took the necessary protocol to prevent pregnancy.  One of my close friends joked with us that we were not letting anything happen at all - not only were we infertile, we were taking precautions fertile couples would take.

During the months leading up to, and right after, Kate's diagnosis, my body was in a continual state of stress.  Let's just say things were off.  Like most women would, I assumed it was stress.  So, we waited, and waited some more for my cycle to resume in order to proceed forward with the IUD.

Around this time, Kate was admitted for the second time and started chemo.  I was struggling during that first week in the hospital - I was emotional, sick to my stomach, extremely stressed out, not sleeping, not eating, and just terrified for all Kate would face. 

Towards the end of the week, I realized I was going on several weeks "late" and having some typical pregnancy symptoms.  I had an excuse for every symptom. I was tired because we were in the hospital.  I was extremely thirsty because I was living on coffee and soda.  I was sick to my stomach because I was not eating normally and so stressed out.  After a few days of noticing all of this, I finally called Alex and told him I couldn't handle stressing out about something else and even though it was not possible for me to be pregnant, could he please pick up a pregnancy test and bring it to the hospital when he came up so I could 100% confirm that I was not pregnant.

Y'all, I have never seen a positive test show so quickly and I have taken more pregnancy tests than I care to admit.

Enter divine intervention #2.  After all of the precautions we were taking and my fertility issues, I was somehow pregnant.  To this day, I still have no clue how it happened.  Plain and simple, it was a God thing. 

I cried for days and I hate to admit they were not happy tears.  How could I dedicate my all to Kate's recovery while pregnant, much less with a newborn in the house?  What if this baby had CAMT too?  How could I ever love another child as much as I love Kate?  How can I equally parent Kate, a child with many needs, and another child?  How the hell did this even happen?

I hate to say it but those first few weeks were probably the darkest weeks of my life.  I was watching my precious baby girl fight for her life, struggling to deal with nasty drugs being pumped through her body, all while I was questioning what in the world the Lord was trying to do - why a surprise pregnancy, why now, why give me even more fears to carry?  Simply put, I was terrified and angry all while trying to put on a positive face for Kate as I knew she would pick up on negative energy which could slow her recovery.

Ultimately, Alex and I decided to move forward with genetic testing (we did CVS testing).  I had my CVS when I was right around 11 weeks and we were told it would take 1-2 weeks for results.  We also decided not to utter a word about this pregnancy until we knew what we were dealing with so we were walking this journey alone.

The doctor had some trouble getting a good tissue sample which resulted in the sample we did get sitting in a lab to grow for weeks.

Enter divine intervention #3.

I can honestly say, I have no clue what decisions we would have made in regards to this pregnancy if we got results in one week.  I firmly believe that the Lord knew we needed time to cope with possibilities, talk through all of our options, and prayerfully seeking spiritual guidance.

On Thursday, November 3, after nearly 5 weeks of waiting, we received the news that our baby boy tested positive for CAMT, just like his big sister. 

We spent Thursday greiving.  We tried so hard to avoid being in this situation yet here we were, learning that our second child would need to fight the same fight Kate was currently dealing with.  How would we do this again?  Did we even have it in us to do this again?  Could I really live in the hospital for weeks watching another baby walk this same journey?

When Alex and I woke up Friday morning, we both had come to the realization that our harships, our exhaustion, our desire (or lack there of) to walk this journey again didn't matter.  All that mattered was our children.  As parents, we sacrifice ourselves for our children.  We needed to set our struggles aside and only focus on Kate and our baby boy.

We met with Kate's team of transplant doctors and armed ourselved with information regarding what a second transplant would be like.  We needed information.  We needed facts.

By Saturday morning, after hours of discussing, praying, and listening for guidance, Alex and I came to the decision that we would proceed forward with this pregnancy.  We fought for Kate and we would fight for our son as well.  Fight to give him the same opportunities Kate will have in the future.  Fight to get him healthy so he can lead a long, fufilling life.

I realize this is not the decision everyone would make.  And, that is ok.  I firmly believe either decision, proceeding with the pregnancy or terminating, is an extremely hard decision to make.  Both come with challenges, emotional hardship, and struggles.  I don't wish the weight of this decision on my worst enemy.  No parent should be faced with making this kind of choice.

We chose what was right for our family.  As soon as we confirmed our decision, we both felt a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders.  We felt a sense of peace.  We knew we made the right decision.

Alex and I are choosing to view every child as a blessing and a gift from God.  It is clear that God's hand played a HUGE part in bringing Will into our life.  There is zero scientific explanation as to how I got pregnant.  The only answer is that the Lord knew Alex and I could handle this, that Will needed parents that knew how to fight this fight, that knew the BMT process.  Our children will have each other - someone else who knows the struggles they face, who has the same scars, and the same pictures of time in the hospital.  Of course we wish neither of our children were sick but, that is simply not the case and we are focusing on the positive.

We will continue to seek God's guidance as we prepare for Will's arrival, the donor search, and ultimately his transplant.  If you feel led, we welcome any and all thoughts and prayers for our sweet boy and his journey.

Will is a gift to our families. He is a blessing. He is more than his diagnosis. He is our son.  He is loved. And most importantly, he deserves a chance.

ETA: Many people have left questions in the comment section.  Feel free to leave your questions and I will address them later this week!

November 7, 2011

Coming April 2012...

Kate will be welcoming her baby brother, William Emmett, in early April!

I'm a little over 16 weeks pregnant and our little guy is measuring a full week ahead!

More details to come - including how we found out and the complete shock that we are still in since multiple doctors have told me I would never be able to conceive without the help of technology!

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- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

November 4, 2011

Flashback Friday!

While we were waiting on Kate to get out of surgery today, I was flipping through old pictures on my phone.  I have all of her newborn pictures saved on my phone and I just couldn't get over this sweet picture!

Oh how I miss my squishy, cuddly baby!!  She was SO tiny in these pictures - under 6 pounds!

Kate did great with the biopsy today!  We do not have results (and won't until Monday) but we are very thankful she was able to come home as there was talk of a weekend hospital stay.  We greatly appreciate the prayers!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  We will be celebrating my wonderful husband's birthday!!

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November 2, 2011

Hard day

Kate had a routine clinic appointment this morning. We were eager to see how she was responding to the steroids and praying that her liver levels were continuing to trend downward.

Unfortunately, that was not the case and we received bad news.

Kate's liver is really struggling. Several of her liver levels have increased and are extremely high. Even higher than they were last Friday.

Kate's nurse practitioner wanted to rerun the liver function tests just to make sure that it wasn't a lab error because the levels jumped so much, so fast. It was not an error and in the two hours between blood draws, her levels actually got worse.

We were sent to radiology for a liver ultrasound and Kate will have a biopsy Friday at 8am.

We don't have any answers right now but will hopefully have a diagnosis and a plan to get my sweet girl better by early next week. There is still a chance that this is only GVHD and that Kate simply needs stronger medication to treat it. But, there is also a chance that this is something else, something major. That thought terrifies me.

Needless to say, I've been a mess all day. I know I will keep fighting for Kate but my gosh I'm exhausted and I feel defeated.

I am so incredibly sad that Kate is dealing with this now. She has been through so much. Her little body needs a break. It can't take much more.

As always, we would appreciate any and all thoughts and prayers.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

November 1, 2011

Holiday Card Giveaway Winner!!

I was so impressed with the turnout for the Pear Tree giveaway!  Thank you to each and every one of y'all that entered for a chance to win!

I used random.org to select the winner!  Out of the 92 entries, Random selected comment number 19!



Wendy was lucky number 19!



Congratulations, Wendy!  I have contacted Pear Tree and passed along your email address.  You should hear from them soon with instructions on how to redeem your $30 gift certificate!!

Again, thank you to all who entered!  I've got another awesome giveaway coming up later this week so be sure to check back!

Liver Biopsy Postponed!!

All of your thoughts and prayers are working!

Kate had an appointment yesterday to check her liver levels and thankfully they were down a very small amount!  Since we did see downward movement, her doctor wants to postpone (and possibly cancel) the liver biopsy!  We will be checking Kate's levels tomorrow and Friday and as long as they get back down to acceptable range, she will not need to go under to check out her liver!

There is still a chance that something else is going on in her liver on top of the GVHD since her levels are so high but, it could just be GVHD - only time will tell.

Alex and I were very relieved to finally get some decent news yesterday!  Thank you for keeping our sweet girl in your thoughts and prayers - the Lord is listening and answering!
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