Thursday, February 19, 2009

Baby Girl Update

We had our 22 week ultrasound scan today. It's been 4 weeks since our last ultrasound, and the goal for today was to make sure the baby is growing proportionally due to the abnormalities the doctors found in our last scan. Although she seems to be developing well, the doctor did find another abnormality today that they are a bit concerned about. According to most of her measurements (brain, head, arms, overall size, etc.) she is measuring between 21-22 weeks. I am 22 1/2 weeks so those measurements, although a little small, are still within normal range. However, her femur bone length (thigh/leg bones) is only measuring 19 weeks. In many cases this is considered a marker for Downs Syndrome. Right now she measures in the 6th percentile for femur length, and usually Downs babies fall within the 5th percentile or below.

So now we have 3 markers for Downs: the abnormal blood test, the 2-vessel cord, and the small femur bone length. The doctor encouraged us to get an amniocentesis so that we could know for sure, but I had already made up my mind that I'm not willing to take that risk. On the bright side, there weren't any other indications or abnormalities. The doctor said that a short humorous bone (arm/shoulder) is a much stronger indication of Downs than the short femur, and a combination of a short humorous AND femur is almost a definitive sign. In our case, the baby's humerous measures well within normal range, but of course this could change as she continues to grow.

As expected we are absorbing and digesting the newest findings. Since we've declined the amnio test, there is no way to know for sure whether our baby girl will have Downs until she arrives. Until then, we are thinking positively and praying for her health and development. In any case, we will love her unconditionally and can't wait to meet her. And as always, we appreciate your thoughts and prayers on this baby's behalf.

Below are the latest sonogram pictures to share with you. I'll give a description of each, although some of them are hard to see!

Here is her profile, nose pointed to top of picture.

Here is a cute picture of her legs. Her knees are off to left, bent with her feet dangling off the right of the picture.

Here is a shot of a hand - she has those 4 fingers spread wide apart.

Like last time, we have another picture as proof that she is a girl. This picture shows her little bottom towards the middle of the screen - nothing dangling in between those leg bones!

For those of you that are good at this stuff, here is a side-by-side shot of baby girl's profile (left) next to Connor's 20 week profile (right). We think their facial profiles are very similar!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Congrats, Collin!

Collin is currently a sophomore at Jersey Village High School (JVHS) and he is an active swimmer on the varsity swim team. The team is mostly seniors, and they've done such a great job that they actually had a shot to make the regionals this year. Unfortunately, on the eve of the regional qualifying swim meet one of the team's best swimmers flunked out of one of his classes, thus disqualifying him to compete in the 4-man relay event. Collin stepped up and swam in his place and to everyone's delight, he did awesome! His participation in the relay allowed the team to qualify for regionals.

At the regional preliminary meet, the swim team needed one of the top 8 race times in order to make it to the finals. Again, Collin stepped in and swam for the missing guy. They were so disappointed when they got 9th place...but then they learned that one of the top 8 teams was disqualified, so JVHS had officially made the finals!!

By the date of the regional finals, the flunked-out senior was back and able to compete again. So the 4-man relay competed in the finals without Collin, and the team just learned this weekend that they swam with a state-qualifying time! So, the JVHS swim team is headed to Austin later this month to compete in the state competition! Even though Collin will only get to attend as an alternate, he still gets to attend (and miss school - a big perk) and he can take great pride in the fact that his participation allowed the team to make it this far. We are so proud of him!

Here's a picture of the girls and guys on the JVHS swim team before the regionals.

Here's Collin and his teammates with their medals from the regional qualifying meet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Elmo Show

Connor and I were lucky to attend the Sesame Street Live show (the "Elmo Show" according to Connor) last weekend with Connor's best buddy, Benjamin, and Benjamin's mommy, Julie. I have to admit, it was FUN! The performance was much better than I expected. It was really neat because ALL of the Sesame Street characters were there. Our seats were great, so we were able to see all the characters up close and personal. I've shared some pictures below.

On a related note, Connor woke up this morning with wheezy breathing and a croupy cough, so I stayed at home with him to take him to the doctor (turns out the ear infections are officially back now that his ear tubes are falling out, and he has another case of croup, too. Yay, what fun!) Anyway, as soon as Connor woke up, he started telling me about how Elmo came to his room last night. I was a bit surprised, of course, so I asked him, "Oh, did you have a dream about Elmo?" He said, "Yes, and the big monster came to my room, too. He had Fruit Loops." At this point, I was positive he must be talking about a dream he had. He proceeded to explain to me that both Elmo and the monster (we never figured out who exactly the "monster" was) came to his room with Fruit Loops. According to Connor, he hid in his bed with his Barney book while Elmo and the monster were there. But he said they were both nice and he wasn't scared. Thank heavens for that!

Before the Elmo Show, we met up with Benjamin for a healthy Whataburger breakfast.

On our way to the show, Connor and Benjamin enjoyed riding together (thanks to Julie for the extra carseat!)

Connor and Mommy at the show. They sold these Elmo toys for $15 and we couldn't resist. But hey, at least I didn't give in for the $10 Elmo balloon (Yes, $10 for a regular balloon. And there were dozens of them lost in the rafters by the time the show was over!)

Connor and Benjamin both were mesmerized when the Sesame Street characters began coming on stage.

Here's a shot of one of the group songs. So cool to see the characters live!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Playtime with Benjamin and Timothy

For many months now, Connor has developed a wonderful friendship with his classmate, Benjamin, who attends the same downtown daycare. They have become so close that Connor now sometimes only refers to Benjamin as "my best friend" instead of his actual name! It's so sweet -- they always get SO excited to see each other at school. Benjamin's mom, Julie, and I have also become great friends, so we often take the opportunity to get the boys together on the weekends for playdates.

This past weekend, we visited Benjamin's house so the boys could play while the Mommies did a little shopping (Thanks to Benjamin's Daddy for keeping the boys occupied!) Benjamin's little brother, Timothy, was also around and had a blast playing with the older boys. Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Benjamin and Connor -- many of our friends comment on how much alike they look with their fair hair and features. Julie and I have the hardest time getting pictures where both of them are smiling at the same time!

Here is Benjamin with his little brother Timothy. Timothy is just over a year old and is walking up a storm. I love this picture with both boys smiling big.

Watch out, Benjamin. It looks like your brother is becoming stiff competition for the "Best Friend" title. These next few pictures are so sweet -- Timothy and Connor loved wrestling and playing together.

So cute, the best friends show some affection.