Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Congratulations Kaipo and Tristan!

I wasn't able to go to Kaipo and Tristan's wedding but I heard how beautiful it was!  Uncle Waka sent some pictures of the family that he took while he was there and here they are:

Kaipo and Tristan at the alter

Bananzabar walking down the isle

My mom and three of her brothers at the reception
L to R: Waka, mom, Uncle Sol, Uncle Gaylen

More siblings
Top to bottom/left to right: Waka, Aunty Val, mom, Uncle Sol, Aunty Daise

My siblings with Aunty Val

Uncle Sol and his mo'opuna

Uncle Gaylen and Keola bbq-ing

Family outing at the beach...with the dog, Larry.

What the doctors are saying now...

Yesterday, we went to the cardiologist again to see how the baby's heart was doing.  He measured her pulse that showed it was 67-73 beats per minutes, but he said everything's about the same.  He did say that there aren't any other deficiencies that usually come along with a slow heartbeat so that was great news.  He also said that the baby's growth is still pretty steady so it was good to hear that she's still growing even though her heart's beating slow.

He said he didn't recommend delivering the baby after the 26th week because it would be too small to insert a pacemaker for her.  One possible option might be to insert a pacemaker wire through my belly button and into the baby's heart to help it beat normally.  Of course I would have a little pacemaker sticking out of my belly, but at this point I'm willing to do anything to help our baby "Frank" to survive.

Just for your information, our family calls our baby "Frank" because that's what Jon has been calling her for some time now.  Don't worry though, we're looking for a more feminine and appropriate name for her!

Next week we see our high-risk pregnancy specialist and we'll have a better idea of what the plan will be then.  

Thanks again to all of our friends and family who've been keeping us in their prayers...we really appreciate and love you all!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Just an update...

Only some of you know that Jon and I have faced sad times in the past few weeks and we wanted to share what is happening with our little family with our friends and family online so you know what's going on and you can keep us in your prayers...


On August 4th I went to the doctors with my mother in law for a regular, routine check up on the baby's development.  While there, they discovered that the baby had a very slow heartbeat.  Normal baby's heartbeats usually vary between 110-180 beats per minute; our baby's heartbeat was a low 60 beats per minute, slower than my own.  

Luckily, the doctor's office was right next to the hospital, so he sent me to the labor and delivery section to get an ultrasound of what was going on.  After a long session of the ultrasound technician taking pictures, the doctor came in to talk to me.    He said that they found major rhythm complications with the baby's heartbeat and fluid around her tiny heart.  They also said that there was thickening and swelling around the baby's spinal collar.  Ultimately, the doctor said that he was pretty sure the baby was going to die within the next few days.  He delivered the most horrible news I had ever heard in my life.  I was definitely not prepared to hear it.

I didn't know how to react at first.  I wished it was all a nightmare.  My eyes teared up and my own heart seemed to hurt.  After leaving the room I cried with Mamba.  I still remember thinking that I had done something wrong and I was being punished for it.  We left the hospital and I cried softly all the way home.  I was glad that Mamba was there me to comfort and hug me.  I don't think I could have taken the news on my own.  

On the way home a lot of things were going through my mind.  I was constantly praying that I would be able to accept our Father's will and prayed that I would someday be able to have a baby.  I wondered if the baby I had in me could feel pain as her life slipped away, but Mamba says it couldn't feel pain.  

On the last stretch on our drive back to our home I felt a strong feeling that everything was going to be okay and I had a distinct feeling that our baby would live.  I was still shocked though, and when we got home I cried in my room and kept praying for my spirit to be comforted.

I told the sad news to Jon when he came home from work and he took it exactly how I thought he would.  He hugged and comforted me and told me that we would be okay.  Jon has always been the stronger person in our family.  Later that evening, Jon, Dadbo, and Jordan gave me a blessing and it brought great feelings of comfort to my heart and I'm sure everyone elses' as well.

We were referred to a high-risk pregnancy specialist and was able to make an appointment to see him for August 6th.  We went to his office and he did an ultrasound to really see what was going on with the baby's heart.  He told us that one of the baby's heart chamber was pumping blood normally at 110 beats per minute while the other one was pumping only 65 beats per minute.   They are supposed to be coordinated but for some reason there was no communication between the pumping chambers so that's what's causing a stock up of blood and fluid around the heart.  He said that was also what's causing the baby's other parts of the body to swell up and thickening and liquid around the baby's neck so the doc says if we fix the heart problem, the swelling and everything should fix itself.  

So, the problem then was to figure out why there's no communication between the two heart chambers.  The doctor said it could be that there's something wrong with the baby's actual heart and heart function and in that case, no one would be able to help the baby.  But, the doc says that if nothing is wrong with the baby's heart system then it's probably something in my blood.  He asked if I had Lupus or family history of Lupus.  I said that i didn't know.  Then he asked if I had joint problems and I said I've always had joint problems.  So he says that he thinks I might actually have Lupus and that women who have lupus produce certain antibodies that attack the baby and cause things like irregular heart rhythms in their babies.  

So, he had me see a cardiologist who looked at the baby's heart and confirmed that there was nothing wrong with the baby's heart.  It's functioning just fine except the communication part.

That was actually good news for me.  I was praying that it was something in me because the doctor says he can treat it and help save the baby if it's something in my blood.  So he sent me to the lab and they took out  a fair amount of blood to do certain tests to see if I have Lupus or anything else that would produce the harmful antibodies.  

Today, August 13th, we went back to see the high-risk pregnancy specialist and he said I do have Lupus which caused the antibodies to attack the baby's heart, but at this stage, it is too late to treat it to help the baby's heartbeat.  He also said that right now I'm only 23 1/2 weeks along and if the baby's heart fails before the 26th week we won't be able to save it.  But, he says that if the baby lives up to the 26th week, I will undergo steroid treatments that will help the baby's lungs to develop just incase she needs to be delivered closely after the 26th week.  So, the doctor's goal is for the baby to continue living for the 26th week so that there's a higher chance of her living.  He said she will most likely need a pacemaker when she is born.

Now I need to see a doctor for Lupus and my baby's working hard inside to stay alive.

We all believe that the baby's going to be fine and be delivered with no complications but if you would like to keep us in your prayers that would be great!


Jon and I are doing good now and feel confident that things will go well with our family.  Please don't worry or feel bad for us.  We are happy with how things are turning out and we are learning a lot about trusting in the Father and having faith in His plan.


On a happy note, the doctor confirmed the sex of our baby.... we're having a baby girl!!!