Well I guess it's been a while -- time for a life update to keep all my family and friends in the loop!
Gavin is now ONE! We had his first birthday party on his actual birthday, January 5th. The theme was Winter ONEderland and we had lots of family, friends and treats! I decorated our house (in Republic) with snowflakes and the colors were blue, red and white. We had an entire table of candy, snow cone machine, punch fountain and lots of laughs and presents! We had a lot of fun at the party and also said goodbye to our friends we had made in Republic as we moved back to St. Louis on Sunday, the 6th.
As most all of you know, Joe and I found out we are expecting our second little miracle sometime in May. We found out we were pregnant in September, which was a TOTAL surprise. When I finally conceived Gavin they told us I was inable to conceive on my own and that they would see me back next time we wanted to add to the family. Without getting into specifics, there were physical reasons I couldn't conceive. Well to our suprise, the doctors were totally wrong and we are now expecting a baby girl, Evie Nichole. She is named after my great-grandma, Evelyn.
While we never really thought I would actually be able to get pregnant we had been talking for about a month or two how nice it would be for our kids to be close in age, like 2 years apart. Since it took so long with Gavin we figured, what the heck may as well see if it happens. We were elated and told our family when I was 8 weeks along and had the ultrasound pictures to prove it :)
We found out on December 22nd that our little baby was a girl and we were elated that we would have one of each. What seemed to take forever to get our family going was quickly, and I mean quickly, becoming a reality that we never thought we would have.
On December 31st we had our anatomy ultrasound with the doctor (we found out gender at Ultrasona -- not a medical facility). While at the appointment we really had no expectations. We figured they would do some measuring, confirm it was a girl, print us some pictures and we would be on our way. That isn't exactly how it went.
I was on the table getting the ultrasound, the tech was talking, he was having a hard time finding some things in her brain, we didn't think much of it because she was being stubborn and not giving him good angles, so we just assumed that was the problem. He confirmed it was a girl and that all took about an hour. He said he was going to pick up the pictures off the printer and he would be right back.
We waited. And waited. And waited. About 15 minutes passed and a different lady walked in our room. It was the doctor, maternal fetal medicine doctor. She said she needed to look at the ultrasound herself. My face went blank, with tears running down my face I said "is something wrong?" and she just shook her head and said "we think so". I couldn't stop crying at this point. I was uncontrollable. Shaking.
The doctor pointed out sime things in baby Evie's brain. Her ventricles were not sized correctly, her cerebellum was not shaped like a dunbell, it was shaped more like a banana and the top view of her head wasn't an oval shape, it was more like a lemon. She then went and attempted to look at her spine, which proved to be another difficult feat. I laid on my side, we wiggled her around and finally they got an "ok" image and said there was a problem with her spine where it didn't close. The term for this is Spina Bifida. I was heartbroken. Completely heartbroken. The doctor wouldn't explain to us what it was there in the ultrasound room. She called a nurse to get my vitals - I am now on the verge of passing out, can't stand, crying hysterically, shaking and asking God "why me, why my baby?".
A million things are running through my head, I don't even know that I want to share everything I was thinking but I was a mess. While I was waiting for the nurse to come and get me I called my mom and told her we didn't know much more but that Evie had been diagnosed with Spina Bifida. I then called my dear friend Jen and asked that she please start praying and let the girls know at church that we were in desperate need of prayers and strength. Then I sent out a million text messages, they all read the same "Ultraound this morning bad. Baby is abnormal. Has spina bifida. Don't know much more. I'm a mess. Talk later.". I don't even remember who all I sent that to but I knew I had to let people know.
We met with the doctor. We didn't know what to ask because we didn't know what exactly the condition was. She couldn't tell us an exact location of the Spina Bifida because the images were so bad. She gave us some information on fetal surgery at a center in San Francisco, CA and I got blood orders to check for other defects. We left, in hysterics and went home and cried for the rest of the day.
We decided we should get all the information on both fetal and post-natal surgery. The next day all the offices were closed for New Year day so we had to wait until the 2nd to get any more information which allowed us time to try and understand just what was going on and what the condition was. On the 2nd I talked to the doctor who said she was going to call San Francisco about getting us an appointment to meet with those doctors and that she was referring us to another facility in St. Louis. About 2 hours after I talked to her the first time, the doctor called back and said I was not eligible for the fetal surgery. I was completely heartbroken. To me, that was the only way that I knew that I could help our baby girl. It was the only thing that could help reverse some of the issues she would be facing and the only option I could see at the time that made sense. Since this option was off the table, I felt helpless and that all hope was gone for our baby girl.
Now skip ahead, Gavin's birthday party (as mentioned above) was in 3 days and I had a ton to do. My last day at our Springfield office was Thursday and mom and I were cooking and preparing for the party all day Friday. Saturday was the big party and after everyone left we went into a packing frenzy and started loading trucks. Sunday morning we went to church for our last service at DC. We were completely moved. The entire church and Pastor Chad prayed over us and our baby girl. I was brought to tears more than once. It was going to be the last regular service I stood next to my best friend and worshiped the Lord with her. She gave me a journal and a bracelet. I am forever grateful. I was able to keep it together saying bye to everyone until I got to Rob. I criend my eyes out. Rob and Jen have been there for us at the snap of a finger both physically, emotionally...just everything, anything. It is hard to understand that we deserve such a friendship because sometimes we don't feel worthy, but we are forever grateful for their family.
We went back "home" picked up my sister and a few other things and headed to St. Louis. We got to St. Louis around 2:30 on Sunday afternoon and unloaded everything. We are staying with my parents for a while to get things figured out. They finished their basement into an apartment for us. It is about 750 square feet, but we will make it work. The problem is, it didn't get finished until Wednesday. That means all of our stuff is dumped in their house everywhere, literally everywhere. We plan on getting everything downstairs today and tonight and should sleep in our own beds.
Gavin is cutting more and more teeth. He is working on teeth 9, 10 and 11 at the moment along with no regular schedule and a different place with different stuff. So needless to say, the past week has been rough on all of us.
Monday morning I started work at our St. Louis office and everyone has been great. I love the people I am working for and love the office itself.
Yesterday we had an entire day of doctor appointments at the Fetal Care Center. It was completely exhausting.
Later today I will post what we found out yesterday....I will let your eyes and brain rest from this gigantic post!