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Friday, December 30, 2011

Surprise...AGAIN

Well, today we learned why cardiologists don't usually use their ultrasound machines to determine the gender of a baby.

Today we had our final appointment with the perinatologist, Dr. Weiss, who looks very closely at the baby to make sure that there is nothing wrong with any part of the baby. He, obviously, looked closely at the heart and he also looked at all of the other organs, appendages, etc. He also took some blood from Dena to run some tests on it.

The doctor said that everything looked great with the baby. There are the proper number of fingers, toes, ventricles, blood vessels, eyes, ears, etc. Everything looked perfectly normal and he said that there was no way that the baby had HLHS. WHAT A RELIEF!!! It doesn't appear that we will have any scary surprises this time and we are very thankful!

Profile of the new baby

After he had looked at all of the important stuff, the doctor asked us if we wanted to know the baby's gender. We told him that we did want him to confirm it for us, but that one of the cardiologists had told us last week that she was 95% sure that it was a girl. He replied, "I will be the judge of that and then I will text her and tease her if she was wrong!" So he began to move the baby around and then he said, "Well, I guess I have to text her." Dena said, "WHAT?" The doctor replied, "It's a boy!" Then Dena said, "But the cardiologist said that it was a girl!" So Dr. Weiss said, "Well, if this is a girl, then she has a weenie!" I nearly fell out of my chair laughing! Then the doctor showed us the visual evidence that the baby indeed is a boy.

It's a Boy!

After leaving Dr. Weiss' office, we met with Dr. Thomas, Tucker's cardiologist, to look again more closely at the heart. Last week when he looked, he couldn't see a number of the things that he needed to look at, but today he could see everything. The baby has 4 normal ventricles, a normal aorta, no evident septal defects, and normal blood flow in and around the heart. That is about as clear and normal as you can get at this stage of development. He actually even said that he was confident enough in what he saw today, that we probably don't need to come back for another look. What a blessing!

As I mentioned last week, we were hoping for a girl, but, above all, we want a healthy baby. I think that we both felt like it was a boy deep down. Regardless, Tucker will be a great big brother and we can't wait to watch them grow up and play together.

I do want to say that we have no hard feelings about this surprise! We knew that the cardiologist is not an expert at determining the gender of a baby. She told us that she was pretty sure (95%) that it was a girl, but that she couldn't guarantee it. The cardiologists use different wands for the ultrasound machine than OBGYN's use, they are designed to look at hearts, not at babies inside the womb. The cardiologist also isn't as skilled at manipulating the baby to get good shots of the parts.

Now the hard part will be changing our plans. We will have to repaint the baby's room, but we won't have to buy near as much stuff, since we still have all of Tucker's old clothes and toys. The hardest thing will be coming up with a name. We have had a girl's name picked out since before we got married, but we don't have any ideas for a boy's name. With Tucker, we saw the name and just knew that it was right, but I spent a while earlier tonight looking at boy's names and none of them really sounded right to me. Right now, the only two names that we even remotely like are Case and Reed, but we definitely are ready to stop looking yet.

We hope that nobody else had purchased anything for a baby girl yet. We did receive a few girl things at Christmas, but nothing big. We apologize for the change, but I can assure you that we were more surprised by today's events than anybody, except for maybe the cardiologist.

So, let's try this AGAIN...Surprise...It's a...
We hope that everyone has a safe and Happy New Year!

~Trent

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Surprise! It's a ...

We had a visit with Tucker's cardiologist, Dr. Thomas, today. As a heart parent, this is a very nerve-racking experience, especially when it has been 6 months since the last checkup. The good news is that Tucker's heart looked great and we are still on track to have his last surgery in Summer 2013. You can read more about Tucker's checkup on his site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/tuckerhamilton

The other bit of news we have is that, while we were at the cardiologist, we were given the opportunity to get a look at the new baby's heart. We were Dr. Thomas' last patient before lunch, so he had some extra time and asked us if we wanted to check on the baby's heart. Of course, we didn't hesitate or waste this opportunity, even though we have our next Perinatologist appointment next week and were scheduled for a fetal ultrasound then too.

Dr. Thomas took special care to look at each ventricle and all of the major vessels of the heart that were visible. He told us that he could only see about 60% of the things he needed to look at, but that all of those looked good. Specifically, the baby appears to have 2 normal sized ventricles and the aorta looked good too. This is such a relief because those are the two main parts of Tucker's defect, HLHS. He will look at the heart again next week more thoroughly and then we will go back for a final check sometime before 25 weeks, which we are currently at about 17 weeks.

I can't tell you how excited and blessed we are to have this news. We expected to check for these things next week, but we were beginning to get nervous about it. The one thing that was holding us back from being completely ecstatic about this baby was the fear of a repeat experience. It was actually quite emotional for us...Dena cried! We know that we can't be 100% sure of everything for a few more weeks, but we do feel better!

Finally, one of the other cardiologists asked us if we might want to check on the gender of the baby. Again, there was no hesitation...we certainly did! The baby was not in the best position to get a good look at the gender and the doctor is not an expert at determining gender, but she felt about 95% sure that the baby would be.

So for the news:


The bottom line for us is that we want a healthy baby. But, if we could pick which type of healthy baby, it would definitely be a girl. We have our little boy and we both felt like a girl would be a perfect fit. We already have a name picked out, we already have the guest room painted in a feminine color to become the nursery, and we think that Tucker will be a good big brother for a little sister!

This was a great day for our family! Tucker's heart looks amazing, the new baby's heart looks good, and we found out it would be a girl. We are blessed beyond measure! If we don't get anything at all for Christmas, this will be enough! Honestly, this news is the best present that we could have asked for, special thanks to Dr. Thomas for making this happen!

Thanks for stopping by and supporting our family! We hope that everyone has a great holiday and has an opportunity to love on your family. Remember that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because our God sent his only son to us, to die for our sins. It isn't about presents, food, or prosperity, it's about a tough situation that ended up saving our souls!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!!

~Trent

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Piece of our Little Heart

You may not know this, but we LOVE Sanctus Real. When we found out that their lead singer, Matt, was going to have a son with HLHS, we went to their concert to meet him. We actually had never heard their music before, but we instantly fell in love with it. Even if you take away my friendship with Matt, I would still listen to their music. I have yet to find a Sanctus Real song that I didn't like.

All that being said, we listen to Sanctus Real fairly often. In fact, that is pretty much all I listen to in my truck because of Tucker. Every morning when we go to school and every afternoon when we go home, the first thing Tucker says upon entering my truck is, "Daddy...Tucker...listen...Matt...peese!" This is Tuckerese for "Daddy can we listen to Sanctus Real please?"

With all of that time spent listening to Sanctus Real, you can imagine that we know the songs well. We know them so well, that Tucker knows most of the words to the songs on their cd "Pieces of a Real Heart". He even knows the music without the words, he can recognize most Sanctus Real songs within 2-3 seconds of their start. Often times, if the music is low enough, we can catch him singing along in his sweet voice.

A few weeks ago, we were sitting around listening to music and we were actually able to catch him singing with the video camera on our phone. I have included the videos for your viewing pleasure!

video


video

Tucker isn't the only one who enjoys Sanctus Real. Since we met Matt, we have been to 6 of their concerts and have enjoyed them all. We will going to our 7th this weekend. Sanctus Real is wrapping up their tour with Casting Crowns and The Afters, so Dena and I are driving to Temple, Texas to see them. We are especially excited about this concert because Matt will be performing a song that he wrote for his son, Bowen, called "All of Me". We have seen him perform it before, but this will be the first time that we will see him share Bowen's story with a special slide-show going, and this will be a much larger crowd than usual. Here is Matt singing "All of Me" at the last concert that we went to, I know you will enjoy this:

video

In addition to the concert, Dena and I are taking the rest of the weekend to spend some time together. We will be going down to San Antonio after the concert to enjoy the River Walk. We are excited for a weekend away and are happy that we can leave Tucker to have some fun with Granny & Pops!

Thanks for visiting us and we hope that everyone has a great weekend!

~Trent