Saturday, December 24, 2011

Cystic Fibrosis

My son has enough problems just with his little heart.   We were pretty devastated to learn that his newborn screening that is done by the State of Oklahoma came back positive for Cystic Fibrosis.  A Sweat Test confirmed the diagnosis.

What does this mean?

It means that Rowan has one more annoyance in life to deal with.  It means that his life expectancy is significantly shorter than the average person currently, but who knows what it will look like in 36 years.

Where this affects us outside of Rowan is it means that Doc and I are both carriers for Cystic Fibrosis (about 1 in 30 are).  It means that each time we are pregnant that child has a 25% chance of having CF, a 50% chance of being a carrier, and a 25% chance of having nothing wrong with them at all.  Basically, this means that we can't have more biological children without a high risk of CF in them as well.  They do offer tests during pregnancy to see if a fetus has CF - but that is a decision I could never be comfortable with.  I don't want to play Russian Roulette with pregnancies.

SO - if we decide to have more children, we'll be going to adoption route.  It's early to be thinking about this as we don't even know if we want to have more kids, and certainly not right away - but it does help me cope.

I have dreamed of having a big family like mine - and adoption was always a part of it, but having the option to have your own children removed is a tought pill to swallow.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rowan - my little wolf

"He came naked, by night, alone and very hungry, yet he was not afraid!"
- Rudyard Kipling "The Jungle Book"

Saturday night at 5:30 I had a contraction.  I had another one at 5:49.  They stayed pretty light and about 9 minutes apart until about 7:30.  Then I had them every 3-5 minutes and it was all we could do to get to the hospital and into a room by about 9:10.  I was at a 4 when I arrived.  Within an hour I was an 8.  The contractions had no break between then for the last half hour before I received my epidural.  This labor was much more difficult than Little Birds until the epidural was placed.  With no break between contractions there was no time for me to rest or recover from the previous contraction.  The contractions were also much stronger. After I was an 8, my doctor showed up.  I was completely dialated a few minutes after I had been an 8.  That was around 10:30.

I had tested positive for GBS at a previous visit, which meant I was supposed to receive antibiotics 8 hours apart.  Considering that, they wanted to let me wait to push until the antibiotics had been in my system for at least 2 hours, so I laid there, feeling absolutely fine for about 45 minutes.

At 11:30, they were ready to let me push.  They set up the room for delivery.  I was really worried about pushing.  It took me 2 1/2 hours to get Little Bird out and I could feel myself pushing then.  With an epidural I was worried I wouldn't be able to do it well enough to get him out before he was stressed.

At about 11:40, they asked me to push once just to see how it looked like it was going to work.  It was 20 minutes until December 11th, my birthday - and I was sure Rowan would be sharing it with me.  But after 1 push, my husband looked at me and said "Honey...he's going to have his own birthday."  At 11:45, he was born.  He was beautiful, and giant and cried out as soon as he was free.  My mother was with me for this delivery and she was moved to tears.  Doc and I were so happy to finally meet him.

He came with a full moon, and an eclipse.  He came like thunder - fast and fierce.  His middle name, Elyas, is the name of a character in a book who is friendly with wolves - I think this child will not be so mild mannered as a tree.  I think Rowan my be my little wolf.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Family Portrait?

This year, for Thanksgiving, I took on the role my mom usually does of coming up with the “family craft” for a Christmas decoration.  In the past, we had made ornaments to hang on my parent’s tree, but with my brother having his own family, our growing family, and my youngest brother living pretty far away, I thought to try something different.

When I was pregnant the first time, I made a few paintings of “bee family portraits” for the baby’s nursery.  I painted each person as a bee in a cartoonish style.  I thought it would be neat to make something a little different for a Christmastime decoration.

So I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up a few snowmen ornament kits.  There are 11 (almost 12) people in my side of the family.   I purchased enough supplies that each person could make 6 snowmen.  Those 6 snowmen would each be identical to each other but unique from everyone else’s.  Once we finished, we’d pass out one of the snowmen that we’d made to each family unit.  Then we’d all have a set of snowmen for each person in the family!  I even convinced my mother-in-law to chip in and make one for her and my father-in-law to add into the mix.



From left to right: Madison, Dad, Michael, Mom, Meredith, Little Bird, Me, Doc, Little Tree (expected any day now), Janis, Clint, Trisha, Jake, Matt. 


The result ended up coming out pretty fantastic.  I painted a canvas with a simple “snow backdrop” and we arranged all of the snowmen on it.  I plan on putting a rustic looking frame around it and hanging it up with the year on it.  As our family grows, we may need to look at bigger canvas!