Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Status quo = good news

Yesterday's appointments all went very well (as did last week's -- forgot to update afterwards). As we wrote in prior weeks, the only thing we were a little worried about was how much her hydrocephalus would build up before leveling off. In the month or so following the surgery, the measurement of fluid in her ventricles increased about one mm per week, and we were worried that might continue. Well, the past two weeks they have held steady; they are now at 10 mm and 11 mm (up to 10 mm is within normal range, and 11 is nothing to be worried about). A very good sign; hopefully they continue to stay where they are at.

Another good sign is that the past two weeks they have noticed some spinal fluid in a certain spot near the brainstem. This is a very positive thing. Kaitlyn has what is called the Chiari II malformation, which is a common symptom of spina bifida; it occurs when the open lesion in her back allows spinal fluid to leak out, which causes a downward suction that pulls the lower portion of the brain into the top of the spinal column. (Kaitlyn's Chiari was down to the C3 vertebrae, slightly worse than the average kid with spina bifida, which typically is at around C2.) Severe Chiari can cause various problems with eating or even breathing. Well, the fluid they have noticed over the past two weeks in that area is a good sign, indicating that the brain is beginning to be buoyed back up and will hopefully reverse the Chiari altogether.

Shelly is feeling very well lately. The past two weeks, like before, they have found no signs of labor, and no other issues to worry about. This Friday will be a big milestone for us -- Kaitlyn will be 30 weeks along that day. They tell us we should feel pretty good about reaching 30 weeks; and if she makes it to 34 weeks, we should be jumping for joy. At that point, Kaitlyn should be pretty much fully developed and just packing on weight. If she's still patiently waiting, they will deliver her by scheduled c-section at 37 weeks (which would be mid-October). We'll see. They tell us that the average baby with this surgery comes around eight weeks after the surgery; it's been nearly six weeks already! No surprises yet, so we'll keep hoping and praying for the status quo.

More fantastic news: our other two kids are here with us, probably for the rest of the time we are here. Shelly's brother Mike brought them up to us this morning, and he will stay with us too (they want us to have a second adult to help care for the kids, and to be available to watch them if I need to rush Shelly in to deliver). We really appreciate him being here. And we are so happy to have our little Damon and Audrey here for good. Hopefully we can keep them from climbing all over mommy too much.

13 comments:

  1. I am so glad to hear good news from you guys.
    Also glad that you little ones are there with you, it should make things better for Shelly. I will keep praying for you and hope that your baby can continue to grow and get stronger everyday.

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  2. Hurray for no big changes or problems! And you're almost 30 weeks, that's awesome. AND your kiddos are with you. It must feel like heaven!
    I hope you all have a great week! Enjoy the nice weather up there.

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  3. Such great news! I am happy to hear that you guys seem to be doing so well. And I am soooo glad that Damon and Audrey are back with you, again. I am sure that THEY are so excited to be back.
    You are always in our thoughts and prayers. We miss you...but like Amber said, you're definitely enjoying better weather where you than we are here.

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  4. I am sitting at my computer smiling for all of your good news! What a great week for ALL of your kids.

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  5. that's awesome! i'm so glad to hear that everything is going well.
    and that's great that the kiddos are there w/ you. i can't imagine how difficult it would be to be away from them for so long.
    we'll keep praying for you guys.
    :D
    Mery

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  6. We will hope and pray this good news continues. So glad to hear the children are with you again. Congratulations on making it to week 30. We are praying for you!

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  7. I am fighting tears. I am SO happy for you guys. I'm happy you're in a place where you can be together as a family. We love you and keep you in our prayers.

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  8. Things sound good! It sounds like it is the best it can be right now. And to have your babies with you, awesome! We'll keep praying for you guys! Oh and I appreciate the last post and to see your gratitude, faith and testimony. We love you guys!

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  9. So glad that your little ones are with you and sounds like you have some amazing help from family. Chad and I are always wondering how you are all doing and you are often in our prayers. So glad to hear that things are doing well.

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  10. I am so pleased for you guys! I'm so glad that your cute kids are there with you and that everything is going so well with Kaitlyn. Sounds like I may have made that blanket too small for her--wouldn't that be wonderful! You are in our prayers every day!

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  11. Congratulations on 30 weeks!! yay! I'm so happy that everything still seems to be going strong! Kaitlyn is being such a good girl for you guys:) I'm very happy to hear about the good spinal fluid news too! That is so wonderful. I better get cracking on the rest of Kaitlyn's thing! miss you guys, so glad that the kiddos are there with you too! love to all! You are in our prayers and thoughts constantly:)

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  12. Our prayers are still with you. So glad that you are still hanging in there and making sure to take it easy. Glad to hear you are able to be with your kids. BTW what is your new address? We would love to send you a lil something.

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  13. Your family is AMAZING!!! We are grateful for the many blessings showering down on all of you! Sending you much love and prayers!

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