Monday, January 25, 2010

Irish Twins

I feel I owe somewhat of an explanation for my long absence. There are several reasons that have kept me from the computer. All of them good. But I have to say there is one little secret we've been keeping, okay BIG secret.

The beautiful little 5 month old in the picture above will become a BIG sister before her first birthday! To say we are shocked is a huge understatement. We found out almost 2 months ago. Just to refresh every one's memory 2 months ago was just days after Katie's heart surgery. She was only 3 1/2 months old!

The only plan for babies in our house over the next several years was to be puppies birthed by mommy Koda. There are several reasons why we have waited until now to share our news. Some of those reasons I'm not so proud of. The first couple weeks was filled with complete shock. Yes, we know where babies come from, this being my 5th pregnancy in 6 years, but we are quite baffled to say the least. For any of you who have had a sick child know it is more then a full time job and the emotional toll it takes is indescribable. We were preoccupied by many things during those months. The shock soon became overtaken by extreme morning sickness. I made a bed on the couch and rarely moved for 5 weeks. This was the main reason for my disappearance. Pregnancy is hard on me. I hear stories of woman loving pregnancy and I can honestly say that has never been me. Just being honest. Like I said there are feelings associated with this new baby I'm not proud of. Our 3 kiddos were very planned, I required clomid to conceive Kaitlyn. We've always wanted a large family, but at this point in our life our plate was extremely full. We were open to the possibility of a 4Th but at a much later date.

Ohhhh our two little boys. We've just started talking to them about the possibility of another baby. Their feelings about the issue change day to day. They love their little sister but are still traumatized by our separation at her birth and then again for even longer during her surgery. Every time I leave they need reassurance that I won't be gone long, and if I tell them Kaitlyn or I need to go to the doctor they make sure its not the "faraway doctor." This pregnancy has become an adjustment for all of us. I am confident that we will feel pure joy at the birth of this baby, the guilt of it not happening yet is horrible.

Little Kaitlyn, her smile and love make each day. Even when I felt horribly sick just one look at her made me feel better. I have been able to find good in her having a younger sibling. It took awhile! She needs me, but I'm confident there will be enough love to go around and her having a close sibling will bring an aspect to her life that will be more then I could have given her. Brady and Bryce are 16 mths apart. They are best friends and are each others half, they have the most amazing connection and love each other beyond words. Kaitlyn can have that too. It will be like having 2 sets of twins. Our doctor (while chuckling) told us that two babies born within 12 months of each other are Irish twins. Who knew?! :) Did I mention my due date is Katie's birthday!!! Your laughing at me aren't you!?! Since I will have a c-section they will be a few days shy of 1 yr apart.

Isn't she beautiful!!!

I am in my 13Th week of pregnancy and have already begone the testing for Trisomy 18 and 21 in this baby. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder but is rarely hereditary. A women at 30 has a 1/500 chance of having a baby with Ds. Since we already have a child with Ds our chances before testing are 1/100. The quad screen that detected a 1/80 chance of Katie having Ds was done around 16 weeks. An amnio at 19 weeks confirmed it. Since we already know we are at a slightly higher risk we were told that doing testing (a sequential screen) between 11-13 weeks is a lot more accurate then the quad screen. This is combined of a blood test and an ultrasound done to measure the thickness of a certain "tube" at the back of the babies neck. It is easier to get this measurement at this stage in pregnancy then later on. I will get more blood taken in a couple weeks and they will give us our odds. The preliminary results came back 1/3000 for Ds and 1/10,000 for T18. We were relieved but will hold off celebrating. After the final results come back we will be given the option of an amnio. This is the only way to get diagnostic results. We aren't sure what we'll do yet?!
(Yes, we could have had a CVS, done between 11-13 weeks, but with a 1/100 chance of miscarriage this wasn't an option for us, this too is a diagnostic test)

So there you have it, our BIG secret is revealed!!! I apologize if you are in our close circle and are upset you didn't get a phone call. We just told our parents! With my Mom sick there never really seemed to be a good time. I will update on her soon. She's strong, but its been a real fight!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Did or do you sign with your baby?

I am anxious to start signing with Kaitlyn. From what I've read children with Down syndrome tend to have delayed speech and problems with being understood. They often can comprehend what is being said and want to respond but have a difficult time expressing them self. Sign language hopefully will allow us to communicate with Katie sooner and help her be understood eliminating some of the frustration she might have when trying to express herself.

Do you sign with your child? I would love some pointer's and to hear of your experiences. Has it been helpful? What are some of the signs you started with? I am anxious to get the boys involved. Brady (5yrs) loves to sign the alphabet and I think he will love to teach his sister. I only know the basics so I have some learning to do!

I would love to hear from you!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

We're Back!!!

I know I've been away awhile. Life has been nice and normal around here for the first time in a LONG time. There is a lot to write about and I promise to get to it all real soon. Today I posted a few pictures. The TN grandparents were begging to see her.
This first picture is Katie in her new exercauser. It was a Christmas gift from her grandparents. She is still small and can only go in for short periods of time but she LOVES it.

The second picture is of Katie playing with herself in the mirror. She cracks herself up. This has become the best way to get her to spend time on her tummy. She is getting stronger everyday!

Look at how good her chest is healing. It truly is amazing! This picture was taken about 6 weeks after surgery.

Kaitlyn loves her baths and loves to smile. She had just taken a bath. Look at her red "orange" hair. I love it!

More to come soon, I promise!!!!!!!