Jonah's Pictures

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Functional shunt" is my new favorite phrase!

Kelly had a follow up ultrasound this morning and the results are encouraging! The amniotic fluid is still "normal" and the bladder looks to be about 1/3rd the size is has been in the past. Also, the shunt is still in the bladder so they refer to it in medical terms as a "functional shunt," which is our new favorite phrase. The other contenders were "good prognosis," "favorable outlook," and "cautiously optimistic." All things we have liked to hear over the last couple weeks!

The next ultrasound is next Friday (Jan 16th), and this will include another amniotic fluid check and a follow up visit with the pediatric cardiologist. The first visit with him went very well and he found nothing unusual, but he wanted to follow up in six weeks to make sure the little dude is developing normally. We may post more before then, but that is the next time we will get more information on the condition of the baby...

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Together Again!

Kelly and the "Little Dude" are back home again, much to the delight of Evan. She is doing well, just tired from the procedure and the trip. The next ultrasound is Friday morning to check the bladder and amniotic fluid level.

Coming Home!

I talked to Kelly very briefly this morning and she is out of the hospital and on her way home! She is feeling good, and the baby came out of it OK too. The baby's AFI (Aminotic Fluid Index) is considered "normal" within the range of 8 - 18, and his is now at 14!! She also mentioned that the doctors were very pleased with the progress up to this morning, and the baby is moving around quite a bit as a result of the additional space.

The plan now is to do the follow up work here in Madison, at her doctor's office and at the Perinatal Center at Meriter. Hopefully this is the last shunt the baby will need!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Late Evening Update

I just talked to Kelly and all is well. The doctor and a Fellow did a follow up ultrasound and everything is "just dandy!" The shunt is in place, the bladder is noticably smaller, and there is plenty of amniotic fluid!

The plan is for her to get her final steroid shot at 2:30 AM, and then another ultrasound in the morning. If that goes well, they are going to set her free to go home!

Sweet Success!!!

I just talked to Kelly's doctor and the placement of the shunt was excellent and Kelly and the baby are doing great!

Initially the baby was poorly positioned, but he shifted over into what the doctor described as the "perfect position." The shunt is in the bladder and the amniotic space exactly as they like to see it and he is confident that they should see the bladder much smaller this afternoon and more amniotic fluid as well!

I talked to Kelly briefly and she is not experiencing any discomfort, and should be home tomorrow!

I will post again later today with the results of the follow up exams...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Scheduling Update

Kelly will get the third steroid shot aound noon EDT tomorrow, and the shunt procedure will start around 1:00 PM. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour and a half; it all depends on the position of the baby and other events out of their control...

She is in good spirits, hopping channels between PBS and a "Law and Order" marathon. I will post again tommorow morning with any new news...

The Plan

I just talked to Kelly and got the updated plan for the shunt. She had an ultrasound this morning and the doctors did not find anything worrisome, just a big 'ol bladder which is certainly nothing new! The brighter side of the picture is that the baby is now at 26 weeks + 4 days, which has improved his chances of survival quite a bit.

With that in mind, they are going to keep Kelly overnight in the hospital for a three-part series of steroid injections to help "juice" the baby's lungs and help them progress more quickly than they normally would. This is being done just as a precaution because one of the (unlikely) scenarios is that either the baby or Kelly's body could decide that enough is enough and it is time for him to come out. If that were to happen (again -- not likely), this would put him in a better situation once he is born. She is being kept overnight mostly for observation, but also to make the transition easier for tomorrow.

The plan for tomorrow is for the shunt to go in late morning or early afternoon and she will probably end up staying there another night, depending on what time the procedure happens. If she does not stay overnight in the hospital. she will go back Wednesday morning for another ultrasound to check on things.

If all goes well, the plan is still for her to come back on Wednesday evening. Fortunately the "medical" plane ticket can be changed without additional fees, other than the difference in the fare cost.

That's all for now, I will post again when I hear more.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Weekend Adventure

I am happy to report that Kelly has arrived safely in Cincinatti, and Evan and I are back home in Madison from the adventures of this weekend. She has her appointment tomorrow morning at the UW Hospital Clinic at 9:00 EDT. I will post more information about that as I get it, but we are both assuming that they will get right to it and put the shunt in tomorrow.

As it turns out, flights from Madison to Cincinatti are extremely expensive ( > $1,000 ) on short notice, but United does offer "medical" discounts on flights from O'Hare. So we took that option and decided to try to have a little fun while we were at it! Her flight left Sunday, but the weather looked iffy overnight so we decided that she, Evan and I would go down Saturday and spend some time at the Shedd Aquarium since Evan had such a good time at the aquarium while we were in Cincinatti.

It was a good time, and Evan was extremely patient as we had to wait in line 50 minutes to purchase our tickets. It would appear that wind and cold weather does not stop visitors from looking at fish! The aquarium was fun (Evan especially liked the sharks), and we got to experience a 4-D movie which I would highly reccomend if you get the chance. The 4th dimension is vibrating seats (the movie was about a train ride), air, water and smell. All in all it was a good time and we were all grateful to spend a little focused time together before her trip.

On a personal note, I would like to send out my heartfelt appreciation to everyone for your thoughts and prayers for "Little Dude." This has been an emotional roller coaster for both of us, but the support we have received from our family and friends has been a wonderful source of gratitude and strength for both of us.