The kids

The kids

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Another Thing That Makes Me Real Happy....

In case you haven't heard, my best friend Mandy is PREGNANT again!!! After two ectopic pregnancies, two emergency surgeries (one to remove a tube another to remove an ovary), and a miscarriage, the girl finally has a healthy baby growing inside of her. And that makes me crazy happy! For pics of their growing bambino and of their 2 year old, Harrison, a.k.a Emmy's betrothed click here. Whew, I'm glad I don't have to keep that bottled inside anymore.

On another note, I know I have been MIA, but I have been busy. Sorry. I've been on the road for the past 2 weeks for work. However, I have 6 more days before I leave town again, so I'll do my best to get some new pics and antics of little E soon. Until then, enjoy this...
Adam, it was so sweet of you to get this girl pregnant. Mandz, you really should stop posing like this for pictures. I have WAY to many pics like this.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Things That Make Me Real Happy

There are lots of things in life that make me real happy. But for the sake of time (I'm not sure how much longer E will actually sit and watch the "On the farm" video I just put in), I will just list a few very quickly.

Thing #1: After another visit to the Pediatric Cardiologist (and more more medical bills), we found out that our little boys heart is developing perfectly NORMALLY! What a huge answer to prayers. So, unless the Pediatrician finds something after he is born, Emerson will be the only Reed family member going to the Cardiologist regularly.

Thing #2: This picture. I am fairly confident I have posted this picture before. The quality isn't so great since I took it with my phone. But, I love it. It captures my little girl so perfectly. If you want to know joy, hang out with this kid. She rocks. G and I love her and her little heart so much. I hope our little man loves life as much as she does.
Thing #3: Remembering our vacay with the Brantley's a few weeks ago. It was pretty much perfect. Here's a little photo recap.

Much to Garrett and Adam's disapproval, Mandy and I let Em and Harrison take baths together every night. They loved it. We will put an end to this when they get a little older. But for now, we'll allow it.
Harrison wanted to make sure E got cleaned adequately. Notice the giant shiner on his eye. E punched him cause he got to frisky. I'm kidding. He actually fell a few feet off of their porch onto some brick about 10 minutes after we got there. He's hardcore so it didn't phase him much. That's why Em wants to marry him.
Harrison, really likes to drive. I'm not kidding...the kid knows his way around a vehicle better than I do. If he could reach the pedals, I would actually let him drive little E somewhere. This is them getting ready to go on a date to the beach.
Our little buttercup just being cute.
G and Em on the beach. Don't worry her arms didn't pop out of socket.
Running towards the water....which she loved.
We were in Myrtle Beach so we of course played Putt Putt. Harrison wanted to push Em around the whole time. So, we let him. He only made me nervous once, or maybe twice.
Does she look scared?
"No ma, I ain't scared!"
Garrett and Adam thought it would be fun if they color coordinated with their kids.
The Brantley's took it a step farther and decided to all color coordinate. They are such a classy bunch.
And this is why we love them and miss them so much. We enjoyed every second of our trip. If you get a chance, you should go spend a week with them too. They're a good time.
Alright, that's enough of the things that make me real happy for now. Em is spitting her strawberry milk on the floor (yes we have to slip high fructose corn syrup into her milk in order for her to drink it, so what). Also, I should note that the look of our blog has changed yet again. I fully realize I am a serial background changer. But, I'm fickle like that. I change my mind a lot. One day I want color the next I want simple. There is a reason I do not have a tattoo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bicuspid Aortic Valve

I had no idea what a "Bicuspid Aortic Valve" was...until today. A few weeks ago at little E's 1 year check-up her Pediatrician told me that he thought he heard a heart murmur at her 9 month check up, and that he was hearing it again at the 1 year visit. We also found out that our little lady, while in the 75th percentile for her height, is only in the 7th for her weight (our pediatrician wants her to gain weight, I think she should consider herself freakishly lucky). Anyway, our Pediatrician scheduled us an appointment with a Pediatric Cardiologist at the Duke Children's Hospital for today. Our Pediatrician told us that what he was hearing could very well be nothing but that he would feel better if we went to a specialist. So, we went.

Our appointment was at 9am and I think G and I were both thinking we would be on our way home by no later than 10:30 (in fact I was daydreaming about eating breakfast at one of our fave restaurants that is across from the hospital). We were wrong. After an EKG and a thorough exam by our Canadian Pediatric Cardiologist (which had we been done then, we would have been done at 10:30), we found out we were on to more testing. The doctor said that in addition to murmur he was hearing a clicking sound that could indicate problems with the valves in E's aorta. Therefore, he wanted Em to have an echo cardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) asap.

In order for them to do this, they needed to sedate Em since she is on the feisty side (just letting the doctor listen to her heart is difficult). So they pretty much got Em baby drunk until she passed out. **No mom they did not give her actual alcohol, just something that had similar effects. They promised she wouldn't have a hangover afterwards. Anyway, she fought it for about 30 minutes until she finally passed out. The nurse said she couldn't believe how much energy she had...she compared her energy level to that of a 2 year old...lucky us! It's not everyday you get to see your 1 year old drunk. So, we took a video. Don't judge us. I just happened to have my camera and we thought, why not. Warning: you may feel drunk watching it b/c you will have to turn your head sideways to watch it. When will I learn that vertical videos don't upload well to the blog?
video

It literally took 2 hours to get her drunk, get her to pass out, do the ultrasound, and then get back up to see the doctor again. As it turns out the doctors initial hunch was correct, Emerson has a Bicuspid Aortic Valve.

"A bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) is a defect of the aortic valve that results in the formation of two leaflets or cusps instead of the normal three. Normally only the mitral valve (bicuspid valve) has two cusps (instead of three); situated between the left atrium and left ventricle. Valves ensure the unidirectional flow of blood from the atrium to the ventricles, or the ventricles to the major arteries and veins."

The way it was explained to us is that part of her aortic valve is fused together (resulting in 2 leaflets instead of 3), which is what is causing the murmur and the clicking noise the Cardiologist was hearing. The fusion of the valve can cause extra stress on the aorta (aortic stenosis). Right now the additional stress the BAV is causing is minimal and considered to be very trivial. However, it is something we will have to follow for the rest of her life.

Additionally, because it is a congenital heart defect, that means that baby #2 is at a higher risk for a similar defect. So, I have to go back soon for a fetal echo cardiogram so they can take a look at his heart. Exhausting.

Sorry for the long boring medical lingo. But, it's our life. We will gladly accept all the prayers we can get for our little children and their beautiful hearts. We love these babies so much it is overwhelming and we find a lot of comfort in knowing that the Lord loves them more than we ever could. After spending an entire day at the Duke Children's Hospital, the Lord has also burdened my heart for the MANY families with extremely sick kids that are there. I started crying multiple times while we were in the lobby waiting, not because of our situation, but because of all of the kids I saw that were fighting for their lives. I couldn't think about how precious those kids are to their families and to the Lord and how he never intended them to go through this. How sweet the day will be when we are all restored in perfect health and perfect relationship with our creator. I am claiming that and rejoicing in that for those kids and their families.

I have been claiming Jeremiah 29:11 all day for us and our kiddos, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future." And at the same time I am acknowledging and rejoicing in the TRUTH of John 16:33, " I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Lord we love you so much. Thank you for blessing us with these precious kids. We know that you are good, even though we live in a world with pain and sickness, we rejoice in knowing that you have already overcome all of that. In you, and only you, we have peace.