Stephens Family

Stephens Family

Monday, May 16, 2011

Twenty One Weeks 5.3 - 5.10

IT'S A BOY!!!  Mike and I are incredibly overjoyed now that we know we are going to have a son!  A son!  A little boy who is going to grow up to be just like his daddy -- handsome, strong, intelligent, respectful and, most importantly, Godly.  Speaking of God -- He is so good.  Can I get an "Amen!"?  In the process of becoming a mother I've grown closer to God, perhaps selfishly.  I want God to bless my pregnancy and the health of my child and I have no doubt in His ability to do this.  He has proven Himself to be faithful time and again in our journey to pregnancy as well as the last 21 weeks.  And so, God has allowed my desire to have a happy, healthy child to grow into a deeper faith in Him. 

Our mid-term sonogram experience was very joyful.  After arriving a bit late to my doctors office, we were in the sonogram room within a couple of minutes.  I know what you are thinking -- when does that every happen?  Right?  We were both so anxious.  Were we having a girl or a boy???  The suspense was killing us!  The ultrasound technician asked as right away if we wanted to know the gender and of course, we said yes.  The gel went on the belly and Mike and I were in utter bliss for 15 minutes.  Almost right away she was able to get a good picture of his genitals and said, "This is the scrotum and this is the penis."  Mike and I were smiling from ear to ear.  I asked, "How sure are you?"  She said, "100 percent."  And, it was pretty obvious to Mike and I as well.  :)  Alas, we are having a baby boy!  Our technician then continued to take lots of measurements, most of which we couldn't even tell what she was looking at but we didn't mind -- we were too happy to care.  A really neat one was of his little heart.  You could see the blood pumping in and out of it!  His heartbeat was 141.  After a few more minutes of measurements, she informed us that our baby had a little extra fluid in his right kidney (a condition called mild unilateral pyelectasis).  She said it was nothing to worry about and that we would schedule another sonogram to monitor it.  At first, I was excited that I wouldn't have to wait 20 more weeks to see my son again -- this did not last for long.  The u/s tech then gave us some really cute profile shots and Mike and I fell in love.  Our son is so cute!  Mike thinks he has my nose.  :o)  Before the sonogram was over, I asked about the position of my placenta and found out that I do have placenta previa which means that a portion of my placenta is covering my cervix.  Most likely scenario is that it will grow up away from my cervix as my uterus gets bigger.  Worst case scenario is that I will have to have a C-section.  Obviously, the prior is what I am hoping for but you got to do what you got do!  And, thank the Lord for modern medicine.

Some pics of from the ultrasound - I didn't scan them, just took a picture of them with our camera so they aren't as clear but enjoy!

After the sonogram was over we got to chat with my doctor for a few minutes.  I've gained a total of 6 lbs, and, our little boy makes up 15 ounces of that!  My blood pressure has always been good and my doctor seemed to have no concerns with the extra fluid in his kidney and told us that they would perform another sonogram to monitor it in four weeks.  If you know me or if you have been following my posts, you know I am a worrier.  However, I think some amount of worrying just comes with being a mother.  I asked the doctor if I should be concerned about his kidney and she said absolutely not.  Mike and I left the doctors office on cloud nine!  We were having a son!  We immediately went to buy a couple of baby boy outfits.  Mike picked out one that read, "Daddy's Little Champ" and I got one that said, "Mommy's Mr. Fix it."  :)  That night I chaperoned my middle school's dance and I couldn't help but smile at all the boys who had gelled their hair and dressed in collared shirts (that they had sprayed a little too much cologne on!) all to impress their crushes-- thinking I'm going to have one of these in thirteen years!

BUT. Did I take my doctor's advice?  No!  I did what I always do and researched until I had worried myself into a frenzy.  During my research I tried to stick to medical journals instead of reading threads written by mothers-to-be who were also worried for their little ones.  In my research I found that many cases of mild pyelectasis resolve before birth or during the child's first year.  However, some of my findings were very concerning such as the need for neonatal surgical intervention, renal failure after birth and the presence of pyelectasis being a soft indicator of down syndrome.  These scenarios are not likely but still are very hard to swallow.  I decided to call my doctor on Monday to ask some more questions about the diagnosis.  I asked if our son had any other indicators of DS and she said no -- so right now our odds are 1 in 600 (as opposed to 1 in 1200 for most women my age).  She informed us that his kidney was dilated to 5.4mm (anything over 4mm is considered mild pyelectasis).  She then reiterated that I should not be worrying and that his level was actually in the high range of what they consider normal.  I felt a lot better after speaking to her.   But this didn't last for long either.  I continued and still continue to worry.  It is hard for me to sleep at night.  It is hard for me to not think about all the possible negative outcomes.  I feel like I've shifted from pregnancy bliss to a roller coaster of pregnancy worries.  I keep telling myself that all this worrying isn't doing anything positive for my son, myself or my husband -- who has to deal with my daily break downs.  Which God bless him for staying very positive and constantly reminding me that God is in charge of this situation and worrying won't change anything.  Mike is trusting in the Lord and I am thankful for that.  Like I said earlier God has been faithful to us.  I worried when we weren't getting pregnant -- we prayed -- I got pregnant.  I worried when I got bit by a tick -- we prayed -- the infection went away.  I am worrying now -- we are praying now -- our baby will be healthy.  I know this.  I also know that God gives us trials to increase our faith and reliance on Him.  I know that God wants me to run to Him instead of the Internet.  This is especially hard for me but I am looking forward to the blessing will come from this.  God will once again show his awesome faithfulness to us and whatever the outcome we will glorify Him.  For more information on pyelectasis you can visit these sites: - overview - medical studies - mommy chat room - lots of positive outcomes

On a more positive note:

This week was Mother's Day and even though technically I am not quite a mother yet, I felt like a mom.  I mean, I do have a 1lb baby boy doing somersaults in my tummy!  My family must have thought so too because my parents, sister and Mike all got gifts for the mommy-to-be: me!  On Saturday, we all got together for dinner to celebrate my wonderful mother.  We had a good time together -- and it was wonderful to actually be with my mom on Mother's Day -- the first time in 8 years!  I'm glad we were able to make her feel loved because this was the first Mother's Day with out her mom, my grandma.  I can't begin to explain how wonderful my grandmother was.  She was the nicest, kindest, most loving, most thoughtful grandma on the face of the earth.  I know my son will have two grandma's like this and it makes me feel so blessed. 

Baby Milestones this Week: Baby boy's digestive system is busy creating meconium (a tarry black substance made of swallowed amniotic fluid, digestive secretion, and dead cells), which will fill the first diaper after birth.

Best Moment of the Week: Team Blue!  Finding out we are having a son was almost as good as finding out we were pregnant.  :)  The next question is, "Do you have any names picked out?"  Well, Mike and I are definitely leaning towards one but will wait to announce until we know for sure.  It is cute - promise!

Obsessions this Week: Researching pyelectasis. 

Symptoms this Week:  Nocturnal leg cramps.  Ouch!  These come on in the middle of night when I stretch my legs and man, do they hurt!  It feels like someone is stabbing my calves!  I've learned to try to stretch my feet slowly the other way and it helps to relieve the pain.  My doc says to start drinking more water -- so gulp, gulp here I come!

Epiphany of the Week:  Boys clothes just aren't as cute but boys are just as cute!  I've loved seeing baby boys when I'm out and about.  One even had red hair.  Melt!  They are so precious and so cute -- just as cute as girls.  I've also been looking at a picture of Mike when he was about a year old this week.  He was such a cute baby boy!  I'm going to have a little Mike in 19 weeks! 

What I'm most looking forward to next week:  Blogging about the awesome baby shower my team threw for me.  I have the most generous staff and can't wait to upload shower pictures to the blog!  I am so thankful for my wonderful team mates and to work at the BEST middle school in MO!

Week 21 Belly pics:

I'm getting big!

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