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+ 0 - 0 | § A good ol' late night ultrasound session

The interesting thing about being an inpatient, is that they kinda schedule your visits around all of the outpatients and other things, because they know that you're going to be around. It was 10:15 PM, and Kari and I were getting ready to go to bed, and guess who knocks on the door, a doctor with an ultrasound machine. They did the Biophysical Profile, and the baby passed with as good a score as he could have, considering that he didn't perform as they wanted on the NST this morning. This is good news, but I'm pretty sure we'll be getting the usual NST every morning anyway.

+ 0 - 0 | § I miss the Price is Right...

Another day passes here in wasn't the best of days, only because the weekends seem much more boring than the weekdays.  I at least have the Price is Right to watch on the weekdays.  I met a nurse today that I hadn't met before.  She came in to perform our daily NST this morning, saying that she would only keep me on the monitor for 20 minutes.  Now, in the past, little Norton hasn't been the most cooperative infant when it comes to staying on the monitor, and responding the way that they are looking for.  (They look for two instances where his heart rate increases by at least 10 bpm within 20 mintues.  Apparently, though, not all babies, especially younger ones, show this pattern.)  They usually have to keep me on for an hour or more.  Well, this lady stopped the test after 20 minutes and said that we'd repeat the test later in the day.  After lunch, she did the same thing, this time stopping the test after 20 minutes when he was only cooperating (not moving) for about 10 of those minutes.  Anyway, this means that they are going to do another Biophysical Profile later today, with the ultrasound machine.  Everything will most likely turn out fine...his heartbeat sounded good on the monitor, and he's been moving around a lot today.  They just need to follow their procedures and be absolutely certain.  We'll let you know how everything turns out...

+ 0 - 0 | § Tour of the NICU

Kari and I took a tour of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It is significantly larger than I thought it would be. At the moment, there are 28 babies in it, but they have had up to 33. It looks like the baby will be in good hands, with good equipment once it is born. They even let us see a baby of approximately the same size as ours is about now, about 4 pounds. It had such tiny cute fingers. It makes me feel a little bit better knowing that the facilities are just a few floors away. I figure that Kari and I will be spending a good deal of time inside and waiting outside the NICU. They also have a Ronald McDonald Family room right outside the NICU and PICU (pediatric ICU) with tables, computers, and cooking/eating areas. So everyone, the next time you go to McDonald's, drop a buck in the Ronald McDonald House box for us.

+ 0 - 0 | § Plenty of time to watch the Lord of the Rings

Generally, sitting down to watch the extended version of any of the lord of the rings movies pretty much takes up a morning, or afternoon. However, as we have a lot a time to kill, this is not a problem for us. I don't really have anything important to say, but I figured I'd put this up here, so that everyone knows that pretty much nothing has changed. We're still waiting.  :)

+ 0 - 0 | § Lots of visitors...

Today was the day for visitors, it seems.  One of the neonatologists (baby specialists) from the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) came down earlier today to share some information regarding what will happen when the baby is first born.  We didn't really talk details much, but he did give me the feeling that the people here at Hershey deal with our son's type of problems fairly frequently.  Apparently, they receive most of the region's cases of Tetralogy of Fallot and the esophageal defects, getting a case at least once a month or so.  He said that the baby would have at least three different teams working with him; pediatric cardiology, general pediatric surgeons, and the NICU team.  I'm afraid, though, that we won't get too much more information until the baby is born.  His time in the hospital, the surgeries that he'll need, and his prognosis all depend on the severity of the defects, which we won't know until then.  We also got a visit from a social worker who is associated with the cardiac group here.  They seem to have a pretty extensive support network here for parents of kids with heart problems. 

Deb and Dad stopped by later in the evening, as did Dan's sister, Abby.  Deb and Dad brought food...thank goodness.  I was just about to start rebelling against the hospital food.  I'm really excited about the prospect of eating some garden-fresh veggies tomorrow! 

Anyway, that's about it for today.  I'm afraid that this log may get somewhat boring for some of you.  As long as I'm still pregnant, and in bed, there won't be too much to talk about.  I'm not complaining, of course...boring is good news!   Good night!

+ 0 - 0 | § We've got a plan

Well, it's a wishy washy plan, but a plan nonetheless. We talked with Dr. Ambrose this morning, and basically, he said that things necessitated that we continue to have the daily non stressed tests with the fetal monitor. I'm guessing this is because they are still concerned about the baby's heart activity. The goal is to make it to 34 weeks. This coming saturday is 32 weeks. Of couse, once we make it to 34 weeks, the goal will become 36 weeks. In all probability, in the next few weeks or so, we will receive the sign that Kari should give birth. That sign might be that she goes into strong labor, or the sign might come from tests, if they find a problem. As we've known for quite a while, the next step is going to be waiting.

+ 0 - 0 | § Good News

We got the results back from the genetic testing from the amnio centisis, and he passed with flying colors. He also does not have spinabifita (sp?).  This is great.

Oops, I didn't realize that Kari already posted this information.

+ 0 - 0 | § Some good news...

We got the remainder of the results from the amnio today.  Basically, everything looks good.  The baby has 46 chromosomes (the correct number), with no additions or deletions that they could find.  This is fantastic news because it means that he does not have Down's Syndrome or another syndrome called DiGeorge's, which often results in the birth defects that they've found.  They also tested for a chemical that indicates Spina Bifida, and did not find it.  Again, good news.  After more than two weeks of waiting for these results, I feel like a large weight has been we just have to wait and see how things turn out when Little ***** is born.

+ 0 - 0 | § NST's as usual

The nurse is hooking up Kari to her usual Non Stressed Test (NST), as they keep looking for the acceleration of the heartbeat. I'm predicting our son will be cool as a cucumber as usual and remain at a constant heartbeat like the last 4-5 times that they tried this test. I'm not sure if they are looking for the good acceleration of the heartbeat, or if they are just making sure that it doesn't do the depressed heartbeat thing that scared us so last week.

+ 0 - 0 | § Kari finally speaks...

Hi everyone!

I wanted to thank everyone who has been reading this, and supporting us.  We really appreciate knowing that there are so many people out there who care.

I also wanted to let everyone know that the baby shower that Dan and I were planning to have in August will be postponed.  We have been trying to think of ways to have the gathering, but like Dan said, it doesn't look likely that I'll be able to get home anytime soon, and it just seemed like things weren't going to work out.  We will try to get everyone together after the baby is born and things have stabilized somewhat.

I hope that all is going well in the outside world...keep in touch!

+ 0 - 0 | § Bio Physical Profile

They've been putting Kari on the fetal monitor a couple of times a day for the last two days, doing a "non-stressed test", or NST, as they like to call it. The baby kept not giving the results that they would have liked to see, which is a short period of time with an accelerated heartbeat. He more or less kept a constant heartbeat. I guess he just doesn't get excited that easily. Anyhow, they decided to perform a "bio physical profile", or BPP, which they had performed last week before. It's a test where they give different points for different things, amount of fluid, breathing, overall movement, and fine movement. The accelerated heartbeat from the NST is also part of this test, but he had already failed that part. So out of 10 possible points, he was going for only 8 with the BPP. Well, he got the first 6 points, for amount of fluid, breathing, and overall movement within the first 6 minutes. (They only have 30 minutes.) It just took a little bit longer to get the fine movement, when the baby tried to push the ultrasound probe away from the stomach. So, he completed the test in a relatively short period of time, just like his father does generally. He didn't get a perfect score on the test, much like his father normally does, but as it turns out, 8/10 points is actually a good result on this test, so we're happy about it.

They keep making plans for us to do this test, or that test, or meet with these doctors, etc. I'm not terribly confident that we will be able to feasibly leave the hospital to go home to do bed rest there. Oh well, things could be a lot worse.

+ 1 - 0 | § Archives

I just realized that the section "Catching everyone up" has just moved off the bottom of the blog. That is the section that describes much of the background.  To see that, you can check the archives, or I will try and put it in the Linkdump section on the left too, if I get a chance. Or you can just click on this.

+ 0 - 0 | § As usual he's being rather uncooperative

Everything is still rather stable. We haven't had a chance to talk to the doctor yet about the possibility of leaving. They keep trying to do some tests involving the fetal monitor, but the baby won't sit in one place for very long, and he keeps going off the monitor. They've tried for about a total of two hours today. Let's hope that they get the results that they want.