Tuesday, July 29, 2014

quick little update on blake

I wanted to give a quick little update on Blake's appointment for anyone interested.

His blood work all came back well so that's good news! They have been watching his lymph nodes and have noticed a very small amount of growth. Usually when growth is of concern it happens a lot more rapidly so it's a good sign that what we are looking at is very small. The doctor said it's normal for some people to have some fluctuation, but because they are looking at something very specific for Blake it is something they want to watch. They also have not been watching him long enough to know if it's normal flucuation. We really won't know anything until his next CT scan toward the end of October.

I consider this to be good news! Yes, we do have something to watch out for, but the fact that every thing is very minimal helps me feel quite positive. It's always a bit disappointing when you are hoping to find out something concrete and you are told you have to wait a bit longer, but God teaches us many lessons as we wait. I'm still very happy that he did not have major growth in his lymph nodes. Also, the growth is not happening in his chest lymph nodes- which is good. That is part of the reason there is not much at stake right now. Also the fact that his blood tests (which measure cancer markers) are continuing to give good results is a wonderful reason to praise the Lord!

I wanted to have a short and simple update for you, but it took a bit more explaining! Anyways, the main take-away is that there is a bit of growth on his lymph nodes and while it might not be anything, they will be watching to see how and if it progresses. We will know more in 3 months!

Please lift up a prayer for Blake from time to time in these next weeks and ask that God would work his healing power and stop the growth! Thank you so much!

*Please note that I'm not a medically educated person. I do my best to explain these things but there is always a chance I'm butchering terms quite badly! Also I hear all of the info 2nd hand from Blake- not his doctor. You've played the game "telephone" I'm sure.... you know how that goes! I'm doing my best! ;)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

hospital tour- it feels so real

I'm up late tonight. I suppose today's activities gave me a surge of energy/ excitement. We toured the hospital we plan to give birth at this afternoon. (Memorial Hermann in Sugar Land on 59 and Grand Parkway- for any locals who are interested) Wow. It is definitely starting to feel real!

I'd already heard a lot of really great things about this location. It's in a suburb so it's smaller, but the staff is so friendly and personable. Another great advantage is that parking is easily accessable and FREE! That's a big deal in Houston considering my friend and I spent $8 to see our friend's new baby at the main Memorial Hermann campus in the medical center. The only con is that it's a little bit of a drive for us, but that's the part of town where my OB delivers.

There were at least 20 couples there for the tour today- we were quite the herd. Nothing like 40 people who are fixing to have a baby and have lots of questions for a very thorough tour! I have to say, the whole "labor and delivery thing" has caused me a lot of anxiety throughout this pregnancy and this tour really helped me feel better about everything. The nursing staff is very friendly and they explained when their shifts change and how they monitor the moms and babies. The rooms are HUGE! Like seriously- all 40 of us fit in the room and there was still lots of empty space. That's the standard room size too.

Something I really love about this campus is that the labor and delivery rooms are designed to be the room where you are the entire time unless you have a c-section. So you labor, deliver, and recover all in the same room. Also the mom is encouraged to remain with her baby throughout recovery and all necessary equipment is in each room to care for the baby. (And a level 2 NICU down the hall just in case.) There are a lot of amenities in the room that make it more comfortable and it's all brand new because it hasn't been open all that long.

It's been hard for me to grasp the concept that it's a good thing to be in the hospital. Even though I know it's the safest place to have a baby- hospitals are where you go when you are sick! I've only been on a maternity wing a couple of times in my life- I can count them on one hand. Otherwise, most at hospital visits I saw people who are either near death or had a near death experience and it was often emotional and traumatic! So hospitals are scary to me! But visiting the maternity wing where I plan to deliver Kate eased my nerves a lot. I even worked up the courage to peek into the operating room where c-sections are performed- just in case!

Can't believe we'll be there in just a couple of months- or even earlier!

On another note, it's been about 1 year since our lives completely turned upside down finding out about Blake's cancer. We are so thankful his surgery removed the cancer without the need for treatments, but the risk is still there for it to come back. This week we'll be getting the status from his latest CT scan and seeing what the next year holds for his follow up testing. I would like to request your prayers. Prayers that Blake will remain cancer free and that his doctor will have the wisdom to know what's best to continue to keep him healthy. We praise the Lord for his presence and the blessings he has laid on us through this time.

As I write tonight, I can't help but feel an overwhelming sensation of gratitude. For Blake's health thus far, for the sweet babe in my tummy, and for the way God has relaxed my anxieties about the birthing process. For God is with me. He is my everlasting source of help and strength. Praise Him.

Friday, July 18, 2014

update on the pregnant life

Things are going pretty good as my second trimester is coming to a close. Here is a little bit of what's been going on:

- After having my results from my glucose tolerance testing, I've been referred to the the High Risk Pregnancy Center at our hospital for regular check-ups. We went last week and got an ultra sound of little Kate and she is doing absolutely perfect right now- so that's great! We'll go again 4 weeks from the last appointment. After that we will have to go more regularly and starting in September we'll be going every week. These appointments are mostly to check on her size and how much fluid is around her. (If there is too much fluid, then that means she is having problems with her blood sugar.) Hopefully everything will remain healthy and normal. That's the goal!

Here is one of the pictures from the ultra sound. Kate's little eyes were open and she was looking right at us! Kinda crazy!!!

Also, I had my last 4 week check up with my OB this week. I officially start seeing her every other week. (Which is what she does with all of her patients.) It's SO hard to believe I'm to that point. I still feel like this is all just beginning. Anyways... there are a lot of appointments in my future!

- My second trimester energy is starting to dwindle off. I actually thought my thyroid med might need to be adjusted because I was feeling so fatigued, but it didn't. I'm just being welcomed into the third trimester! I'm feeling very blessed that timing worked out so that I'm not having to work right now. So I'm able to use what energy I've got on our little family (and my million appointments!).

- We are getting good work done on Kate's nursery. When we were setting up her crib everything started to feel so real. I actually had a little bit of a panicked feeling! We are going to have this precious little being that WE are responsible for. Will we be able to keep her safe?! Thankfully Blake was there to remind me that people have been raising babies for centuries. We've been getting decorations and all the little fun things too. Kate will definitely have the best decorated room in our home. I'm looking forward to having it more put together so I can share some pictures with you!

- We are in parent prep mode. We're reading books, looking at classes to take at the hospital, thinking of how our schedules might change, dreaming of what we want to do with her, shopping for her, and talking about her all the time.

We've only known about this little pumpkin for a few months, but she has already become the center of our world. Yesterday I was listening to one of my favorite songs by David Crowder called "I Am". It's a beautiful song that talks about the fortress that God and his love are for us. I've always been able to understand God's fatherly love as the receiver because I have great parents on earth. Now that I've got a child of my own forming inside of me, I'm starting to understand it from the giver's perspective. Not that I can fully understand God's love for me- because I never will- but I'm starting to understand the place this love comes from.

Hearing the repetitive "I am holding on to you... I am holding on, I am." made me think about Kate. "Take me in with your arms spread wide... Never let go. Never leave my side.... There's no place that His love can't reach...There's no end to amazing grace." I just felt like the song was not only describing how God loved me, but how I love Kate. This parental expression of love comes from a place so deep- and I pray Kate will understand that she can always hold on to us because our love will always be holding on to her. God is the master of love. Our love on earth can't compare to His, but I will always be striving to make my love for Kate like His love for Kate.

That's all for now!! Take care!