One Crazy Year!

Welcome to our Blog!  Brad and I have created this blog to keep our family and friends up to date with our 1st Baby!  Thank you for all your prayers for us all.

One Crazy Year!

Brad and I have packed as much as you can into the last year of our lives.  Last May (2011) Brad completed another year of school just in time to get married, move into a new house and get his house ready to rent out. Oh ya, and get ready for summer school to begin.  It was a crazy month but we both enjoyed spending time together and meeting each other’s families and friends.

After a wonderful summer, I started a new job at the YMCA as the Sports Director.  A job right up my alley and as a bonus I get to work with Brad!  After only about 2 weeks of working there, we found we were going to have a babyJ  We were both very happy, but very surprised anticipating that it might take longer since I was getting older and sometimes those things take time.  Not for us!!!  We were very excited to find out that our next summer would be spent together with our new baby.

At our 20 week ultra sound the ultra sound tech noticed that our baby’s heart appeared to have some abnormalities and our doctor referred us to a Pediatric Cardiologist in Bismarck and then onto the University of Minnesota to have some more in-depth testing.  At 20 weeks, we thought we would go in for the ultra sound to see the baby and then come home with our ultrasound pictures to share with everyone.    After hearing the news from Dr Bury, we both were a bit in shock but very trusting of God’s plan for us and the baby.  The next day we had an appointment with Dr. Fernandez, the Pediatric Cardiologist in Bismarck. Our appointment, although very scary, gave us some optimistic news as far as having a baby that will have a very positive long term prognosis for good health.  Next step,  onto the University of Minnesota.

Being the highly romantic couple that we are, we spent our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple driving to Minneapolis for our first appointment at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.  We spent the evening with some friends for dinner and then prepared ourselves for our visit the next morning.  After a 4 hour visit that included a full ultra sound and echo on the baby’s heart, we met with the Pediatric Cardiologist that would be working with us.  I remember the news hitting us both like a ton of bricks.  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome with a Ventricular Septum Defect (VSD).   This condition meant that instead of one surgery to fix the heart, which we anticipated after our Bismarck appointment, the baby would need a series of 3 surgeries to correct the condition.  Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome means that the left side of the heart is not growing and developing normally.  It was smaller and not growing at the same rate as the right side.  The left side of the heart is responsible for pumping the oxygen rich blood out to the body.  The VSD means there is a whole between the right and left ventricle.   Dr. Shanthi explained that our baby would most likely have a very healthy life, just a little slower start.  She said no contact sports or anything like that, and Brad informed her that would be okay.  He quickly told her that we would rather have a child who owns the team, than plays on the team.  We all laughed…   She said our baby will run and play just like all the other kids and that was good news.  Hearing that, we got in the vehicle and tried to digest all that we had heard. It’s a good thing that the doctor drew us a picture so that we could refer to it as we shared with our families.   Our brains were a bit overloaded but we had a 6 hour trip home to talk through it.

From there on out we knew the next few months would be full of planning and doctors visits.  Almost every week, we had an ultra sound or doctors visit. The best part of that was that we got to see the baby almost every week.  Brad and I kicked it into overdrive to start getting ready for the baby and for delivering the baby in Minneapolis instead of being home.  We had one more visit with Dr. Fernandez and another visit to Minneapolis.  While in Minneapolis we were able to tour the NICU and the PICU and see where we would be spending the first few weeks with our baby.  The visit went well and the doctors said that the heart was looking good. Although the baby would still need surgery, the news we got was good.  The heart was still growing even if it wasn’t the same as the right side.  It was growing.  The vessels and arteries were growing as well which would make the surgery easier for the surgeons. We were so glad to hear that, and before they could give us any bad news, we quickly got up and left for home.   That trip home was much better.  My mom traveled with us since she will be coming with us for the baby’s arrivalJ

That leads us to this May.  Brad graduated on May 12, 2012 Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Finance from Dickinson State.  I am so very proud of him.  What an amazing man God put in my life. I am so lucky and amazed by his determination and strength.  On May 13th we loaded up the car to move me down to Minneapolis. The doctors recommended we relocate when I was 36 weeks in case of early delivery.  Everyone in my family knows this is the only thing I’ve ever been early for.  We loaded up my stuff and a few things for the baby.  We have no idea what to bring since the majority of the time the baby will be wearing a diaper and that’s it.  We still wanted to bring a few special things like the afghan that Grandma made and a little book of children’s prayers that my friend Kristy’s’ girls sent for the baby.

So to wrap up our first year of marriage, we drove to Minneapolis and spent our 1stanniversary at the U of M. Later, after our appointment, we spent some time together having coffee, lunch, a much needed nap and a wonderful dinner in downtown Minneapolis.  It was a wonderful day, May 14, 2102.  I love you honey it’s been a wonderful year!  It doesn’t matter where we are, it just matters that we are together!

The next morning Brad flew home and I stayed here.  That was a sad day, but I know that it’s best for the baby to be close to the hospital. I have been busy with appointments each week and Brad has been home preparing to be on leave as well. Our Y family has been so supportive and understanding.  We truly are blessed that we work in a family center workplace.  Brad and my mom will return to Minneapolis after Memorial Day.  We have been so lucky to be able to stay with my Uncle Steve and Aunt Nancy. I have been busy working and taking care of the chickens, which might I tell you has been a great daily task.  I am always excited to see how many eggs we get.  I know, Simple Pleasures!   It’s such a relaxing place to be and we are so thankful for their hospitality and love.  Thanks Steve and Nancy!

The baby is as active as ever.  Never a dull moment in this belly of mine.  Morning, noon and night the baby moves and turns and kicks like crazy. It must have one heck of a jungle gym set up in there.  My favorite thing is to watch it play.  There is always a foot or hand poking out somewhere.  I just watch and giggle.  I am sure that both of our families are thinking, “pay back”.  Now it’s our turn!  We are both so excited to have the baby home.

Even after all the ultra sounds and appointments, we have managed not to find out the sex of the baby.  Most people think it’s a boy according the 3D ultra sound pictures.  We have a fluffy baby and we are so thankful. We are scheduled to induce the baby on June 6th unless it comes on its own.  From there we are uncertain of times and dates, but I know that God will be watching over us and the baby.  After the baby is born, the doctors will run tests on the baby’s heart and watch for the signs that tell us the baby is strong and ready for its first surgery.  We anticipate that it will take place between 3-6 days after the baby is born.  We are not certain how long we will be here. Everything will depend on the baby and how it heals and gains strength. I just know that I can’t wait to be home with Brad and the baby.

Brad and I have decided to stay home and not plan anything for next May!!!!  Just be home together!  We will keep you posted and we thank you for all your prayers!