Sunday, March 29, 2009

Who needs a step stool when you have this?

I mean, step stools are great and all, but when you have an old dog that can do the trick, why not! I couldn't help but laugh at this video that Jamie took of Sean using Seabass to climb on the couch. What a good dog!!!

33 Days

Believe it or not, we are 33 days away from meeting our precious addition to the Lance family! I'm starting to nest, which is always fun! The clothes are clean and put away in the baby's closet, and Sean officially has all of his stuff in his new room. (Now, we just need to work on him sleeping in his bed).

Last night we were putting the car seat back together after a good washing. Sean decided he needed to sit it in. Hey, it rocks, so it was fun! The sad thing is, he really could still fit into it by the weight standards!!! It was too cute to not snap a few pictures of!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Baby Lance's birthday will be...

Today was my 32 week check up! I can't believe I only have eight weeks left! Well, actually, less than that. Since the baby is still breech, and due to the "trauma" a certain area of my body had with Sean's delivery, the doctor wanted to go ahead and get me on the schedule for a C-section. We are the first one of the day on... MAY 1! We'll have our May Day baby! :-)

I go back for a sonogram in two weeks (April 1) where they will do a "growth check" to make sure he's not getting too big, but still growing strong and healthy. Then, two weeks after that (April 15), they'll do a quick sono to make sure that the baby hasn't flipped. If not, we'll stick to our plan of the May 1 C-section! How crazy is that?!? We could meet this little stinker in 44 days!!!

The rest of my appointment went very well - my blood pressure was 120/72 and the baby's heartbeat was 136. She is very pleased with how I'm progressing (especially now that the neuropathy is gone), so we'll sit back and wait for our next appointment! In the meantime, we're trying to spend as much quality time with Sean as we can. He's going to be the best big brother ever!!!

More bathtime fun...

This just cracks me up... every time I watch it I giggle (that's why the camera shakes when you watch it. It's hard to laugh and keep a still camera!) What a cutie!

Dancing King

Check out these moves (it gets really good around 35 seconds!)


This is Sean's latest "trick" (that kind of makes him sound like a dog, huh?) - instead of "Yee-haw" it's more of an "Aw-haw"... but pretty funny none-the-less!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Now isn't this how every extremely cute little guy should spend his St. Patrick's Day? Lounging with chips and a drink (non-alcoholic of course!) and watching Mickey!!! ;-)

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the world's cutest (and sweetest) little guy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Louis Appointment

Yesterday was Sean's appointment in St. Louis with the pediatric endocrinologist. First, I will say a BIG thank you to Elaine for making the trip with us - she was a big help in entertaining Sean. Sean was such a good boy the whole day (especially for being in the car for over six hours)! Fortunately (for those of you who know), the neuropathy which landed us in labor and delivery on Thursday night, is MUCH better and I was able to go to the appointment... feeling much better!!!

For those that called and texted us, we appreciate it very much. I wasn't in much of a talking mood after the appointment, so I apologize for not calling each of you back. Unfortunately, we don't have anything much to report. We have no bad news, but we really didn't get any good news either, and telling multiple times "we don't really know anything" would have been a bit much. I'm just not up for talking about it. So lucky you all, you get to read it on our blog!

The doctor was very, very nice and really spent a good hour with us examining Sean, answering what questions she could, etc. What we did find out is that he really is too young to know anything at this point. She said they normally don't see children until they are three, unless there are clearly hormone deficiencies (i.e., dwarfism, etc.). She also stated that the IGF tests that we have been clinging to for some hope really don't mean much at this point. She did say that it is good that they are going up in numbers, but that they are not really the best indication. So most of the appointment was spent with me asking questions, and her responding, "it's just too soon to tell."

To kind of sum everything up with the visit, here's what we know:

1) She would like us to come back in 2 - 3 months for another bone age scan and IGF testing. I asked if we could do this in Champaign, but she said she really would rather it be done there. We're going to have to make it 3 - 4 months since we'll be a little busy in two months!

2) It is GOOD news that the current bone age scan shows his bones at age 1 1/2, but that he's two. If he was two with two year old bones (and was this little), then that means his bones have stopped growing for this age. But, since he's measuring six months behind, his bones are showing the potential for growth.

3) Only in very rare, severe cases of growth hormone deficiency is it hereditary, and she does not think this is the case, so Baby #2 should be good.

4) He is too young to determine his adult height - they will not be able to tell that until he is 6 - 7 years old.

5) His drop off in height started when his weight started dropping, so the two may be related. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do but wait to see if this increases. She did say that if his height stopped but weight didn't, he would be this short, fat child - of which he is clearly not. So he is proportionate (of which we knew, but nice to hear again). So, wait we will.

6) If/when we get to the point where we have to "clinically" diagnose him with the growth hormone deficiency, he would have to go for a day of testing. They would inject him with the growth hormone and monitor his blood (to see if he responds). This is a much better way than they used to do it. Before you would have to be in the hospital overnight since you produce the hormone when you sleep - they would have an IV and draw blood several times throughout the night to test the levels.

7) His head is the only thing measuring "normal" as far as a two year old (50th percentile), so according to her, he's has a toddler head on a baby's body. Yeah, that was lovely to hear.

8) The only real health risk associated with growth hormone deficiency left untreated is that Sean would be at risk for osteoporosis. But if he is deficient, we have already decided we would do the injections. Also, it can make recovering from surgery difficult, but we know he's just fine there!

9) The growth hormone in produced in the pituitary gland (which is located at the base of your brain) helps control Growth, blood pressure, sex organ functions in both women and men, thyroid gland function, the conversion of food into energy (metabolism) and water and osmolarity regulation in the body. Fortunately, these areas of the gland seem to be doing there job, so our only concern would be the growth aspect.

Of course she commented on how sweet and kind he was (of which he truly was a doll all day). And of course how handsome. That is ALWAYS nice to hear! :-)

Needless to say, there wasn't much we learned, nor did we get many questions answered that weren't "it's just too soon to tell". After four months of building this up in my head that we would have some kind of answers, I was very let down and quite disappointed. I know things could be SO much worse, and I appreciate people trying to find the silver lining, but right now I'm just frustrated. So now, praying for patience... (and growth).

Monday, March 9, 2009

My little leprechaun

He's so cute... even with his M-n-M messy mouth! :-)

Toddler bed

Well, the toddler bed is officially put together (still washing the cool new Mickey sheets). Saturday, Sean surprised us by wanting to sleep in the toddler bed! He laid right down and took his afternoon nap. He was so cute walking right to it saying, "nite, nite". He even slept in it ALL NIGHT on Saturday. Although, that could be because Grandma, Grandpa, Nick and Kyle wore him out! Last night, however, well, that was another story! Oh well, in time we'll get there!

Here are a couple of pictures of Sean looking so big (yet so small) in his new bed!

Sean's test results update

GREAT NEWS! Well, if my little guy doesn't cease to amaze me... Friday, I got the results back from Sean's latest round of bloodwork, in addition to ALL of his reports (bone scan, lab results, etc.) that we are to take with us to St. Louis. The last round of blood work we had done was in December, so we are looking at about a three month time difference (just short).

Because not everyone is obessed with IGF (growth hormone) numbers, I will refresh your memory! :-) A normal two-year old should have IGF levels between 45-222. In November, Sean was at 22; in December he jumped to 30, and now he's at 37! This is fantastic news as we are definitely heading the right direction!!! Although he is still below the "normal" range, he is gaining the hormone, which is fantastic!

We also found out that all the other tests that were run came back normal. He is a little low in creatine, but barely. The one other test that really caught my eye was the TRH (thyroid). He has always been in the "normal" range, but in December he was at 0.99 and now is 3.97! That's a great jump! According to google, the TRH can impact growth as well: "Growth: Thyroid hormones are clearly necessary for normal growth in children and young animals, as evidenced by the growth-retardation observed in thyroid deficiency. Not surprisingly, the growth-promoting effect of thyroid hormones is intimately intertwined with that of growth hormone, a clear indiction that complex physiologic processes like growth depend upon multiple endocrine controls."

His bone scan results were so complicated to read (it was like I was reading it in Latin), but from what I can gather, in November he was measuring at a bone growth of one year, six months (so about six months behind). I really have no idea what that means in the long run, but that's one of the things we'll find out next Monday.

Anyway, that's all for now - GREAT NEWS that we just had to share!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Sonogram/Doctor's appointment update

Hello! Today was my sonogram/doctor's appointment. Wow, lots to report... Look below all the information and you can see some new pictures of our little man (which they did confirm was a little man!) :-) He's got Sean's nose!

So, here's what we know:

1) He is breech (just like his brother) - so, at my March 18th appointment we'll schedule another sonogram. I guess being short waisted (thanks MOM) helps me just have breech kiddos!

2) He is measuring TWO WEEKS early!!! That would put me due at April 27th. YIKES! I told my Mom that maybe I'll have him on her birthday (April 25) rather than my Dad's (May 17). Who knows though, Sean always measured one week early, and we know he wasn't a big baby!

3) He weighs four pounds. Four pounds!!! Holy you know what! He's measuring at the 64 percentile for weight. If I have a big baby, I just won't know what to do with him! I'll tell ya, when I heard four pounds, I immediately began praying for a c-section! :-) I was teasing Jamie saying, "Sean, go say hi to the baby." I can see Sean replying, "Mom, that ain't no baby... that's a toddler!" Jamie says this baby may outgrow Sean by two years - I said he may outgrow him by six months!!!

4) I've gained six pounds in one month. But, since last time I had lost three pounds, that puts me at a total weight gain of 13 pounds so far. So she says I'm still doing really well.

5) I did have a little protein in my urine, but she said they are seeing that a lot right now with all the colds/illnesses that are going around. It wasn't enough to be concerned, but she said to drink lots of fluids and stay away from sick people.

6) My blood pressure was up a little, but still in normal range (130/78). She said to avoid salty foods (man I hate it when that is what they say - don't they know it's all I crave???)

7) His heart rate was 142 - nice and strong!!!

So, we'll go back two weeks from today and hopefully get some more answers (sonogram, will they schedule a c-section, etc.). That's all for now - enjoy the pictures of our little sweetie (he is looking at you in all but the first picture - it is a profile shot).

Same picture, but with help! ;-)

Here he is looking at you

Same one again, but with help

Monday, March 2, 2009

All kinds of good news

Today was just a day of good news! Excuse the informal nature of this email, but here is what I'm rejoicing (and thanking God) for today:

1) Weight gain - No, not mine (that would be another post... not of the rejoicing nature!) :-) Sean went to the doctor today for a quick check to make sure he doesn't have an ear infection. He has a cold and has been sleeping very poorly for the past five nights. All is well, which is good, but it would have explained a lot if it was an infection. While we were there, they did a height and weight check. Since his appointment in January, he has gained weight! Dr. Striegel said she was very pleased with the results and was very confident that this is a good sign. He is now in the 0.56% for weight (he gained 2 pounds even, and that's even after surgery) and 0.15% for height (he's gained about one inch since November). She was pleased to see his chart making an upward turn and not being so level. She thinks that with this big jump in weight (in two months) that a growth spurt may be close behind.

While we were there, we did have his last round of blood work done before our St. Louis appointment. THAT, however, I was not thankful for. The "phlebotomist" (yes, I'm using that word loosely) dug and dug before I finally asked, "Can someone else try? You seem to be having a difficult time finding his vein and he is clearly upset." Yeah, seemed like a no brainer to me, but apparently not. Fortunately, the second person was able to find it right away, and once Sean got his sucker (and I took off the band-aids from both arms), life was good again. I'm now anxiously awaiting those results - they will tell us a lot.

2) Insurance - Thanks to the multiple letters from Sean's pediatrician to the insurance company, they are going to cover our first two speech appointments. I had previously posted about the really expensive one being covered (we paid $91.00 of the $537.00), but today I found out - in writing - that the other appointment that was going to cost us $211.00 will only cost us $35.87! RIGHT ON!

3) Friends - A co-worker of mine has a child who will be starting growth hormone therapy this month. She was able to provide me with A LOT of information. Although we go to St. Louis two weeks from today and will know so much more then, it was nice to get some questions answered. But the bonus to this conversation is she told me about an organization that is covering her daughter's treatment at 100% for ONE YEAR! She said the doctor orchestrated the whole thing, and she is sure St. Louis will do the same thing. How wonderful is that???

4) Speech - We found out that Sean does qualify for speech through the state. The great part about this is a) they will come to his daycare - that's a great convenience for me, and b) it will cost us $43.48 less a month now (than if we did it through Carle), and once the baby is born, it will cost us $68.48 less a month!

5) My husband - Please note that although this is last on my list, it is certainly not the least important. With Sean's sleeping issues these last few days, Jamie will get up with Sean, walk with him, cradle him, get up early so I can sleep, etc. Since I'm having a heck of a time sleeping (30 weeks pregnant and sciatic pain will do that), he's been so gracious to allow me every extra minute I can get. You'll never hear him complain and he always has a smile in the morning. He deserves an award... I honestly couldn't do this without him.