Sunday, May 31, 2009

Getting Used to the "Big Brother" Idea

Today, while shopping at Target, Ethan and I were in the infant/toddler area. We had picked up some shorts for him and were just walking through to the other side to continue on shopping. I had been saying NOTHING about the baby up to this point.

Ethan, who at this point had been at the front of the cart, pulling it around as I steered, stops at a rack and grabs something. . .

E: "How about this for baby sister?"

It was a little pink and green striped playsuit that says, "KISSES" across the front. Though honestly, it could have been mosquito netting and I would have bought it anyway. Just the idea that he picked something for her totally unprompted was soooo sweet. I'm sure there will be varying levels of this behavior (and other not-so-sweet behaviors) as we get closer to her arrival, and when she gets here. But for now I'm just relishing in the thought that Ethan is going to be a very sweet big brother.

Chalk Painting

We got Ethan some of that new sidewalk chalk paint and he had a great time outside with it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ethan's House

We got some new kitchen chairs and Rick took the boxes and made Ethan a litle play house. He has loved getting to eat inside it from time to time, and we took it outside one weekend to paint it and give it some flair.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anatomy Lesson

Ethan got undressed in our room before bath, as we walked to the bathroom he said,

E: "Mommy, a penis is following you. A penis is following you!"

Mommy couldn't respond except to nod and turn away to giggle.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's a GIRL!!!!

We had an ultrasound this past Thursday, at about 19 weeks. The process was somewhat nerve-wracking because we were there on account of a positive AFP test. About 2 weeks ago we got the news that my blood test had come back positive, which means that it indicated a greater risk than would normally be expected of certain birth defects (Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, and others). So, my doctor sent me to a high-risk pregnancy specialist to check everything out. We would have a session with a genetic counselor, a Level II ultrasound, and, if we wished, an amniocentesis. We had decided before the appointment to wait to decide about the amnio until we saw the results of the ultrasound. My regular doctor had encouraged us not to feel pressured to do the amnio if the ultrasound was clear because at that point the risk of miscarriage would be equal to the risk of there being anything wrong with the baby (that they couldn't see on ultrasound).

Two weeks was a long time to wait to find out what was going on and it was stessful for all of us. But, finally the day came and we tried to focus on the fact that the only thing we knew for sure was that we were having an ultrasound and would get to know the sex of the baby.

The genetic counselor was a very nice young woman who explained all the test results clearly and kindly. From my bloodwork they were worried about Down Syndrome more than any of the others, based on certain patterns for the 4 proteins that they test. We talked about the possible defects, chromosomes and genes. She charted the whole family and I found this part to be really interesting. We told her that we had decided not to do an amnio if the ultrasound showed no additional cause for concern, and she accepted that, but made sure to let us know that 50% of babies with Down Syndrome do not show any anomalies on ultrasound. But, a clear ultrasound would decrease the risk to a 1/510 chance (rather than the 1/255 chance the AFP test had indicated, by age alone my risk was 1/305), and with about a 1/200 chance of miscarriage after an amnio, we felt good about our decision.

So, the ultrasound was next. A sonographer would do the initial exam, taking measurements, etc. and then the doctor would come in for a closer look. As far as we can tell, the Level II ultrasound was not really any differnt from the regular ones, except that a more specialized person would be looking at them. Supposedly the computer is better or something, but we think the pictures are even a little more blurry than the ones we had with Ethan. The sonographer asked if we wanted to know the sex and we both eagerly said, "YES!" Then she just casually said, "Looks like a girl to me."

"WHAT!? Say that again." I said, sitting up. I was stunned and so was Rick. We were both pretty convinced we were having another boy. But she showed us on the sonogram that there didn't appear to be anything extra between the legs, and she labeled the photo for us. I could hardly contain my excitement. Another boy would have been a great joy, I'm sure, but I'm very happy to get to have one of each.

She finished her measurements and the doctor came in. This man had zero personality or bedside manner. But, he told us what we needed to know, he saw no signs of anything that would "raise the threat level" (thank you swine flu--I think his saying that was supposed to be a joke). So, it doesn't matter that he was a droll dud. We don't have to see him again! :-)

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and prayers these past weeks. We are thankful that, as always, God is good! Here are the pictures of our little girl (now being referred to as "Baby Sister" in our house).