Friday, 25 March 2011

Real Time

We had our 3D ultrasound yesterday, and I must say that I am so glad I made the decision to go. I was terribly afraid that I was going to see a less than perfect baby, so I was feeling a little nervous in the days leading up to it. I also had this predetermined image in my head of what I think his lesion is going to look like (call me crazy) based on previous ultrasounds and was scared to see it in 3D. I had this horrible fear that his lesion would suddenly be ginormous, and I was not prepared to see that. Brandon, being calm, cool and collected as always told me I was being silly and needed to relax. I still do not understand how he remains so unfazed by everything; he's such a  rock :)
So Brandon, Denise and I piled in my car for the trip. I had requested that they not show me the spine yet. Brandon was ready for it, he wanted to see it, I was still not ready. It's a weird thing...I can look through all these blogs of other families and kids, and look at all the surgery pictures and befores and afters, yet I was terrified to see that of my own baby. I'm not in denial of the spina bifida, I feel quite prepared and very at peace with it, so I'm really unsure of why I am still so scared of such a little part of who he is. I assume it is just fear of the unknown and I imagine everything will change once Gage is here.
anyways, I'm rambling. LOL... We had the ultrasound and it was amazing. It was unbelievable to see Gage in REAL time. We got to examine every little feature and watch his little fingers and toes move (yes, I have a video of his toes moving; another exciting moment). We got to see him yawn, and squint and hide his little face with his hands. As we all predicted, he has so many of Brandon's features, but was blessed with my big squishy cheeks we think. He was perfect. He was unflawed. There was nothing "less than perfect" about him.
I was even ready to see his spine because I soon realized he was just like every other baby. However, Gage was sitting on his lesion as always, and absolutely refused to move. Because of the shadow he was making we were unable to see it; I didn't mind.
Putting a face to baby Gage has made this much more real. Only 11 and a half weeks left... The first chapter in this journey is quickly approaching its ending.. YIKES!!

Here he is. Our precious Gage. Much more than perfect <3


Thursday, 3 March 2011

Gage the Overachiever!

March 02, 2011 : 25 week check up day.
As comfortable as we are becoming with our trips to the hospital, there is still a little anxiety before we go into the room to see Gage in real time. We always go in hoping for the best, prepared for the worst, and holding our breath until they tell us we can breathe again. Although we are over the diagnosing stages, "check ups" can still bring bad news. And of course on this day, the doctors were wayyyy behind schedule. More stress.
Brandon and I waited 2 long hours in the waiting room before I finally asked what was going on! I guess there had been an emergency which pushed all the appointments back, but my nurse (being the sweetheart that she is) said she would try and sneak me back for my scan, as long as I didn't mind going to the "dungeon room" LOL.. we didn't mind. So off we went to see little Gageroo in a tiny cramped room. Gage was uncooperative as per usual and they had some difficulty getting a good picture of his brain but they managed. But he was so cute scratching his head :) I had to giggle.  Unlike our previous ultrasounds, Gage was more than willing to show us his spine this day. We finally got a nice clear look at it, and got a better understanding of how his spine was different from other babies. They continue to say that his lesion is low lumbar/sacral area and measured approximately 1.1 x 2 cm... whether this is good or not, I'm not sure but it seems small to us. It looks as though there is a sac covering his lesion, but this hasn't been confirmed. I asked for pictures to post so I could explain things a little better to everyone, but given the dungeon room and the craziness, it just wasn't possible. Sorry everyone, hopefully next time!!
So the highlight of our day....
We had a new ultrasound tech today, and she thought she would check to see if she could get him to kick his legs for us. As most of you know, this is a huge concern for us (and probably all SB parents); Will he be able to move his legs? The tech started poking at poor Gage and irritating him, and then we watched the screen and waited... and waited... and sure enough, I got a good swift boot in the belly. Then another. It looked as though his left leg was weaker than the right, but then he began kicking that one too. The tech said these are voluntary kicks!!! Of course anything can happen in the next 15 weeks, and we have no idea what his spina bifida will look like until he is here, but so far our little man is showing us that he is doing his best in there!! So yes, I am feelings kicks, not punches :)We were very proud in that moment, and realized that moment was one of many that will come with being parents of a child with spina bifida. We have learned to appreciate the small things, and are truely amazed by everything he does, no matter how insignificant it may seem to anyone else :)
After our ultrasound we shuffled over to genetics quickly for some information and an update. Our wonderful friend Ronni informed us that Gage had his first test and got a perfect score!! I am so proud of my little overachiever today. Take a look! (I know, I know.. I am already that bragging mother I swore I would never be)

All in all, he is growing and developing exactly as he should. His bones are a good length and are all straight, his muscle tone is good, and his movements are great. His heart beat was 128bpm which made me panic because it has always been above 150bpm, but the doctor reassured me that this was normal as babies grow bigger. Gage is sitting at almost 2 pounds (850 grams), so he is a healthy boy :) His ventricles are measuring bigger than last time; he is now sitting at 16 and 17mm so of course they will continue to moniter him and watch his brain. They still haven't given him the official hydrocephalus diagnosis though. They are still saying it is only ventriculomegaly (dilated venticles) but we are prepared for what's to come.

So where does that leave us today?? 14 weeks away from Gage Day is where it leaves us, and we are trying to decide on a birth plan. As some of you know, North Bay is terrified of me and the idea of having to deliver this baby. My OBGYN's statement was "What am I supposed to do if you go into labour early?!" ... seriously? Very reassuring, thank you! So, should I go into early labour while at home, I will be airlifted out to Mount Sinai. I am now really struggling with the decision to have a natural delivery or an elective c-section. With Gage's diagnosis and the opening in his spine, I am totally freaked out about a natural birth, but at the same time a c-section is major surgery and it will be a longer recovery. The hospital, of course, is pushing for a natural delivery (induced on a chosen day)  but I have many anxieties about the risks that may come for Gage. I get to make one decision in this pregnancy, and I can't seem to do it. I will inform everyone when I know!!

Overall, this visit was one of the best ones yet. There was no bad news, no concerns, no worries. We were shown on that day, that our little man is going to amaze us every single day. He is going to prove people wrong, and he WILL when everyone says he won't :)

Love Shayna and Brandon <3