... and hopefully a few more to go. Shelly's now 27 weeks 4 days along. We had another day full of appointments yesterday, and just about everything is holding steady. No contractions, and her cervix still looks great, so hopefully she'll stay inside for a while yet. Shelly had been experiencing some localized pain on her right side, which we were a little concerned about, but they checked it out on the ultrasound, and the OB told us not to worry; it's probably from the scar tissue near the incision site being stretched as the uterus expands. As for Kaitlyn, her ventricles (see last week's post) increased again slightly, and are now about 11 mm, so they are now officially higher than the "normal" range. As we mentioned earlier, the trend is a little worrisome but not unexpected, and we'll just have to keep hoping and praying that it will level off soon.
We were so sad to see our kids leave last Thursday, but we are so grateful for the week we had with them. Again, many thanks to Shelly's family for watching them for so long and for bringing them out to us. They're now down in southern California with my family, and will hopefully make another trip up here in a few more weeks. We've been taking it pretty easy lately since the kids left; Shelly was a little wiped out from all of those trips around town with the kids, and she's also had that pain in her side, which subsides when she's lying down. So we'll continue to take it slow, and to hope and pray for the status quo to continue.
We also got to meet over dinner last night / lunch today with some other families who had done the MOMS study, two that had postnatal surgery and one that had the prenatal surgery. They were all in town for their two-and-a-half year checkup (after Kaitlyn is born we'll return to San Francisco at 12 months and 30 months so they can see how she is progressing). It was great to meet them all, and to see their beautiful kids. Each is dealing with various issues from spina bifida and to varying degrees of severity. But it was reassuring to see how much they are just like any other two-year-olds. Every case is so completely different, even for kids who have lesions at the same level, so we'll find out as we go what particular needs Kaitlyn will have. But no matter what they are, they won't define her; she will be a normal little girl in most ways, and will probably have huge cheeks, love to sing, and say ridiculous things, just like Damon and Audrey. We can't wait to meet her. Well, we can, actually -- hopefully at least a few more weeks.
Please keep the Stansels (from our ward in TX) in your prayers; their story, for those who haven't heard, is at http://stanseljourney.blogspot.com/. Our hearts go out to their family, and we hope their little ones that are still in the hospital hold strong.