Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Final Countdown!

We met with Dr. Santiago-Munoz yesterday for the last time before Miss Emma’s arrival.  Everything looked good.  Emma has plenty of fluid and her heart sounded great.  I am dilated to a 1, which is no big deal at all.  All we have to do now is make it to Monday morning. 

I will deliver Emma via c-section at Parkland hospital.  I am supposed to be there at 5:30am, but they will not take her until around 8:00am.  They suggested that family and friends arrive around 7:00am to 7:30am.  The parking garage that you need to park in is on Harry Hines across from Parkland Hospital.  You have two choices: 1: park and go to the lower floor and walk across the street to Parkland Hospital 2: Park on or near the 2nd floor of the parking garage and walk across the skywalk to Parkland.  On the first floor of the hospital is an information desk.  They will be happy to assist you and give you a map of the hospital.  Labor and Delivery West is where you will need to go.  It is on the 3rd floor of the hospital.  The hospital is very large, so my suggestion to you is ask for help in getting to Labor and Delivery West.  Remember, I will not be the only one delivering that day, so if you want a chair in the large waiting room then please arrive between 7:00-: 7:30 so you have enough time to park and navigate yourself to the waiting room.  The cost of the parking garage is 5.00 so keep that in mind.   They do have valet parking available at Parkland for 6.00 if you prefer.

There is a chance that you could get a very brief glance of Emma.  There is a hallway between labor and delivery and the NICU right off of the big waiting room.  I would be prepared around 8:00-8:15 that morning to stand in or close to the hallway.  When you see the doors open and a group of doctors/Scott coming through you will know it is Emma.  The doctors will NOT stop her for you to see, so be prepared.  They will move quickly.  My parents and Scott’s parents will be in a waiting room separate from the big waiting room.  They will only allow four people in that room. 

There is WIFI available in the hospital.  They said it can be spotty, but it is available. 
Don’t forget that we will have some snacks and drinks available to you that day.  There are also vending machines and a cafeteria.  After I leave recovery, I will be moved to a private room on another floor. One more thing: Please remember to stay at Parkland until Scott gives the ok to come over to Children’s Medical Center.  

Please remember that on Monday, Scott and I will be very busy trying to keep up with everything that they are doing for Emma.  We will not be answering phone calls or texts on that day.  Check the blog often to see updates on Emma’s progress.  We also ask that you do not try to contact our family that day.  They will be very busy helping us and trying to take in everything that is going on with Emma.  If they choose to contact you then that is their choice, but understand that what we need most on that day is your prayers for Emma, the doctors, nurses, staff at CMC, and for Scott and I.

If you have any questions please ask before Sunday evening!  Thank you so much for your love and support throughout all of this.  Keep praying!  WE serve a Powerful God!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Update on Our Precious Little Princess Emma

Today we went and visited a doctor that we had not met yet Dr. Nugent, the Director of Cardiac Catheterization, who will play a role in all of Emma's care.  He was very nice and we felt very good about letting him work on Emma.  It is amazing to me how wonderful everyone is that will be taking care of Emma!  Truly a blessing for all three of us to have them through all of this!  After meeting with him, we also got to meet with our social worker, Jennifer, who has been nothing but amazing in helping us out with everything that we have needed throughout all of this.  It is always great to see her and her positive attitude!  After we left with meeting with them, we grabbed a snack or two and headed to our OBGYN.  They did another sonogram and measured the fluid around Emma, checked to see if she was moving, and finally checked to see if she was practicing breathing.  The fluid looked great, she was moving, and she was practicing breathing.  After the sonogram, we talked with our OBGYN and she said that everything was looking good and that she would see us in a week.  So, we did not find out anything really new but that not necessarily a bad thing after everything that has happened!  All in all, it was a good day! :-)

Thanks everyone who continues to keep Emma and us in your prayers.  All three of us are continuing to see the blessings being poured out on us each and everyday!  Continue to pray for her development, her heart, the fluid on her brain, her lung development, and the doctors, in the week and a half she has left before the next phase of this journey begins.  God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good!

Daddy Scott

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Update on Miss Emma

Yesterday was another fun-filled visit with many doctors.  :)   We began at Dallas Children's for a fetal echo.  We met with a new pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Kane.  He was very nice and refreshed us on information we already knew and updated us on some information that will be relevant to the day Miss Emma gets here.  The good news is: Emma's heart looked the same.  She is still classified as a "B" which is so much better than a "C"   The two little holes were still there and the pressure readings looked the same.  Prayers answered!  Dr. Kane told us that they would be delivering Emma first thing on October 4th!  They would then take her to the Cath Lab at Children's to look her over and decide what would be best.  We were thrilled that things were looking the same with her little heart.

We then headed over to Dr. Santiago-Munoz's office for an ultrasound and check-up.  The ultrasound went fairly well.  She is growing and gaining weight which is super.  I was sure hoping for a 6 lb baby yesterday, but Miss Emma wants to be small and petite....ha ha, she was 5lbs 9ozs which is up 11 ozs in 13 days.   That is a good weight gain, almost an oz a day.  Even though she is continuing to measure on the small side, her growth is remaining steady which a a great thing.  One thing that they are still keeping their eyes on is her brain.  It is very hard to tell exactly what is going on in there due to her bones developing and calcifying.  However, her ventricles are still measuring a little bigger than normal, 10-12.  While these numbers have remained around the same for several weeks, we obviously want them to either stay around those numbers or decrease.  The least amount of 'extra' worries is better on the day of her delivery.  Her heart is obviously the doctors number one priority since the other numbers are just on the outside of normal, so they will take care of the heart first and hopefully, when she arrives the fluid levels on her brain will not cause any level of concern or extra care.  We do know that doing ultrasounds late in the 3rd trimester are harder to interpret.  I did find out that I would need to be at the hospital around 5:30 on the morning of here delivery.  They are going to let my mom come in and be with me after Scott leaves that room to go with Miss Emma!  I had a variety of other questions involving the c-section and other post delivery questions.  Dr. Santiago-Munoz answered these for me and had me schedule a follow-up ultrasound and check-up for next Wednesday.

On a side note, Dr. Santiago-Munoz wanted me to get a flu shot, so I successfully navigated my way to the nearest Walgreens today and waited for an hour to get the shot.  I am now vaccinated and ready to go.  First Dallas adventure on my own=CONQUERED!!!  

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  We ask that you specifically pray for Emma's heart to stay the same or get better and that her growth and development will grow steadily.  Also, we ask for prayers for her brain development.  Things are looking pretty good right now, but we really need for there to be little to no excess fluid on the day she arrives.

~Sarah(Emma's Mommy)

P.S.  Big Thank You to Stephanie for designing Emma's Blog header.  Stephanie is a dear friend of ours and Emma's "aunt"!   We love her dearly and she is a very talented artist and designer.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Home Away from Home

Well we have officially settled in at the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas.  The house we are in is truly amazing.  It features lots of rooms, three meals a day, free wi-fi, a big laundry room, and so many other wonderful things that I did not really expect to see.  The people and staff here are so wonderful!  Let me just say that getting into this place was truly an answered prayer!

We got to meet Amy, Jon, and Ella!  We had been following their blog for so long that it felt like we already knew them very well.  Getting to spend time with them has been awesome!  They have been so kind to us and so open with us about what their experience has been like.  They have been so helpful answering questions that we were still unsure about as well.  It has been so great to get to know them, I can't say that enough!  They are truly amazing people and parents, and it is such a blessing to finally have gotten to know another couple that is going through what we have gone through up to now and what we are fixing to have to go through in a couple of weeks.  Continue to pray for them as they continue on their journey!

Emma has another appointment on Tuesday.  They will be looking at her heart and checking on her development that day.  Continue to pray for her heart and development as we await the appointment on Tuesday.  For everyone that is continually praying for her, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!  She is loved by so many people and each time I think about that it brings tears to my eyes.  So I thank all of you for the love, compassion, and prayers that you continually shed on Sarah, Emma, and me!  I also thank God so much for continuing to watch over our precious little princess!  He is truly powerful and reminds me daily of His power as well as the love that he shows to us!

God is good, all the time.  And all the time, God is good!

-From Scott aka Dad :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Dr. Stanley Visit: 09/02/10

We had a great doctors visit today.  Miss Emma did not want to show off her pretty face; however she did let us take a look at everything else.  She is up to 4 lbs 14 ozs.  That is up 13 ozs in 9 days!  YAY!  She is almost a 5 lb baby.  The doctor was very pleased that her growth is stable.  He also took a look at the ventricles in her brain. They had remained about the same and he noted on her records that they were mildly dilated instead of using ventriculomegaly like he had noted in the past.  Also, he could still locate the two little holes in her heart where the foramen ovale is supposed to be (atrial septum).  Her leg bone is a little behind on average growth, but he looked at me and noticed that I had to roll up my jeans because I have short legs and just laughed and said well look at you!  Dr. Stanley noticed her practice breathing which is very good.  We also saw some hair on that sweet little head of hers. 

We also did a non-stress test today and Miss Emma's heart was beating great.

Overall it was a FANTASTIC appointment.  I will go to his office 2 more times for non-stress tests before I go to Texas.  He made sure to tell me that he wanted pictures of Miss Emma sent to his office once she gets here.  

We give God all the Glory for today's wonderful appointment.  It is getting very close to the time of her delivery.  We thank God for working in Emma's life and giving Scott and I the strength and peace to take this a day at a time.

On a side note, my grandparents, Betty and Elmer Gerth got to come to the doctors appointment today.  They were very excited to see Miss Emma and even took me to lunch afterwards.  It was great to have them here.

Continue to keep Emma in your prayers.  Pray especially for her growth, the brain ventricles to not retain anymore fluid, and the little holes in her heart to remain open.  God is Good!