Reality Check

We have been getting so excited for Pedro to arrive, and our preparations and anticipation distract us from worrying too much. Afterall, we really won’t know what will be needed until shortly after he is born. So, we are optimistic. Sometimes being optimistic makes it somewhat bitter to swallow any news other than “things look the same” or “he’s doing fine”. We find ourselves secretly hoping that one of these days the doctors will pronounce Pedro’s heart miraculously healed or something.  I know, I know, in denial much?

We made a visit to St. Joe’s this morning for a fetal echo and consult with Dr. Diab. As before, they could see that Pedro’s tricuspid valve is leaking significantly and that his heart is enlarged. Dr. Diab indicated that Pedro’s heart fills (or will soon fill) the majority of his chest cavity. Dr. Diab suspects that Pedro will need immediate surgery to put a shunt in, but it will all depend on how things function once he’s born. Apparently one of the benefits of the shunt would be that his heart would rapidly shrink down and be a closer-to-normal size. I believe the main purpose of the shunt, though, would be to make sure that enough blood can get to the lungs.

On Friday we will meet with the surgeon, Dr. Nigro, again, so we’ll have a chance to learn more about what would be entailed in the shunt procedure.

Parent’s Guide

I signed up to be part of a Yahoo group for the Eller Heart Family Council and it is fun to be part of the community through the notifications/messages that members send out. This morning a “heartmom” sent a message about how she wished that she had known that heart babies can’t really wear zip-up footed pj’s.

I would never have thought of it, but because Pedro will need to have the pulse-ox monitor attached to his foot while he  sleeps, it just won’t work to have footed pj’s that zip up. Now I know not to buy them, and I can still exchange any we DO have for other kinds of sleepers since I haven’t washed any of the clothes yet. (I am pretty excited for that task, though…washing all of the little clothes and putting them away. He’ll be here soon!)

Anyway, I wrote to her (Melodie is her name) to find out about a parent’s guide that she mentioned in her note. She has written up Frequently-Asked-Questions sort of guide with tips and info like the pj’s advice.

If you are interested, you can look at it as well. I found lots of answers to things I’ve wondered about:

What To Expect Heart Parents

I am a little bummed about a certain set of pj’s we have that I’m not sure we can use afterall, but I’m sure Pedro can make up for the lost experience by wearing some as an adult, like his Uncle Jonathan…

More Showering ☂

I work with seriously great people at ASU! Pedro will have a few adopted aunts to entertain once he’s here. In the meantime, they made use of Braden and I for entertainment with some hi-larious games/activities at a baby shower they threw for us last week.

Braden was able to get away from work for a couple of hours to join us on campus. As soon as he arrived, they had him put a balloon up his shirt…

Braden found some good uses for  his balloon baby:

Other  times, the belly seemed to impede him a bit…I wonder what that’s like? Must be so frustrating not to be able to reach things, etc…

At the end of the shower, Braden ‘gave birth’ to his balloon by popping it–inside was the answer to one of the door prize questions: “What was Braden’s birthweight?” The answer is 7 lbs. even. It is sort of looking like Pedro will surpass his father in that department–the little guy was already 4lbs. 9oz. last Friday! He could be over 5 lbs. by now with about 6-7 weeks left to go!

Besides fun parties, things have been going well otherwise, too. Pedro has passed each Biophysical Profile (BPP) and seems to be doing really well in spite of his heart issues. They have even scaled back and are only having me come in once a week, instead of twice. For BPP’s  they check 4 different criteria to see how he is doing overall: 1. Fetal Movement, 2. Fetal Breathing (aka oxygen flow to all the important parts), 3. Quantity of Amniotic Fluid, and 4. Fetal Heart Rate. If it were a graded test, and not just pass/fail, I wonder if they’d give him an A+ for movement. This kid rarely holds still!

Tiny Human Shower

Tara, Lanie and Jessica rock at shower-throwing. I was amazed by their skills and creativity in bringing  my  random theme request (Angels baseball and ROBOTS) together. They created some super cute decor, etc. because for some reason the theme combination is difficult to find otherwise…who would’ve thought?

Here are a few highlights:

Incredible diaper cake that Lanie built. Covered with baseball and robot accessories and topped with a onesie bouquet (also assembled by Lanie herself).

Each layer of the diaper cake contained itty-bitty onesies, bibs, lil' socks, etc.

Adorable and seriously delicious chocolate layer cake (with ganache!) done by Tara and her sister, Leighan Jacobson. Leighan is going into culinary arts, and clearly she'll be amazing at it. I have her contact info. if anyone wants to hire her.

We played a few fun games, ate, and talked. It felt good to do something normal and just be excited. Thanks ladies for all of your extraordinary work and thank you to everyone who attended and/or sent their love. We are overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity and thoughfulness!