Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Father's Story

It wasn't that long ago that Jodi and I woke up to go to the hospital for the birth of Olivia.  It was snowing that morning, not the kind of snow that shuts down airports or makes you stock up on bottled water and batteries, but the kind of snow that reminds you of childhood.  Waking up and hoping school would be cancelled so that you could sled down the hills behind your house, putting on your gloves and boots for the first time, or that magical snow on Christmas morning.   I woke up this morning to that same snow and realized that for the rest of my life that first magical snow of the year will always remind me of my sweet little girl.

In the months leading up to Olivia's birth, many of my friends who were fathers said, "This is going to change your life.  Nothing will ever be the same."  One even said, "I know what you are thinking, everyone keeps telling you that your life is going to change, but you don't think it is going to change that much.  Well, I used to think the same thing, and life does change THAT much."  I smiled and said, "Yeah, that is what everyone has said."  Not thinking that life would really change that much.  Well, they were all right.  My life will never be the same.  Having a girl didn't help matters.  Of course I have no frame of reference by having a son, but it only took a matter of seconds to realize that Olivia had me wrapped around her little finger.  There are even some photos to prove it.

The first few days in the NICU were a little bit of a blur.  Olivia was transferred so quickly, and the first surgery came so soon, that I hardly had time to think about what was going on.  I was thankful that the hospital relaxed their visitor policy that first day so that my mom could come back to the NICU with me or else I would have been a complete wreck.  But as soon as Jodi came in the door, my mom had to leave.  Jodi still required a lot of rest, so most of the first few days I was alone with Olivia.  The nurses kept me sane, explaining all of the devices, tests, and people.  Being an engineer, I found some small solice in the numbers.

The numbers didn't change that much over the course of the next few days.  That was a small gift in itself from Olivia.  It got me to stop focusing on the machines and start focusing more on my baby girl.  I began to appreciate the small things.  The way she would squirm just a little when you rubbed her back, the way she would grab on to our fingers when we touched her hands, and the ticklish spot she had on the right side of her belly.  See Olivia gave me memories in those 9 1/2 days that I will be able to hold on to for the rest of my life.

I would sit by her bed and allow myself to dream about what a remarkable little girl we had.  All of the surgeries and procedures Olivia went through only to keep squirming when we touched her back, grab our fingers, and shake just a little when we tickled her stomach.  Olivia kept surprising us every day, and kept us dreaming.  Jodi and I go back and look at the support we received from our families and friends, and realize that there were a lot of people out there dreaming for Olivia too.

Olivia was surrounded with love.  Jodi and I know that.  Her family and friends from afar sent her love and prayers constantly. Jodi and I thank you for that.  The outpouring we were shown is a testament to the love that Olivia had.  We thank you all for your support and generosity, and hope that you too can continue to dream with us for Olivia. We know that there is a special little angel now, looking out for all of us.

As I finish writing this post (it has taken me most of the day), I look out the window and I can see that it is snowing.  That means I get to dream of my sweet Olivia, again.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thank You

I'm not sure how I am supposed to begin this post except to say thank you. Thank you to our family, our friends, our doctors, our amazing nurses, and most importantly thank you Olivia!

My baby girl is now in heaven and I was so fortunate to be her mommy. Adam and I have been blessed to have Olivia Elizabeth in our life for 9 1/2 days! She went to heaven at 8:44pm Wednesday night. Although it was not easy to let her go, Adam and I both knew it was the right decision and we thank Olivia for that.

Even though our story has not been what we hoped or dreamed for our baby girl, it has been an honor to know and love her. Olivia taught me so much in the short time I had with her and I know her daddy feels the same way. Olivia taught me what it means to love so much it hurts, to be patient, more caring and hopefully become a better person. In short, she is and always will be my miracle.

Adam and I know that Olivia will continue to bless her mommy and daddy along with all of you who have loved her and followed her story. We thank you for your continued love, support and prayers. I know Olivia has touched many lives and will continue to live on in all of us.

A lot of people have been asking how they can help honor Olivia and if we will have a memorial or service. To be honest, Adam and I are unsure what our plans are, but we know Olivia will continue to guide us in the right direction during this difficult time. As soon as we know what feels right, we will let you know. For now, enjoy pictures of our beautiful angel Olivia and remember to take time to slow down and love your families this holiday season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Day of Firsts

Friday was a day of firsts for Olivia and her family. We already knew that obviously Olivia would be our first child and my parents' first grandchild, but there were more firsts on Friday as well.

Adam got to change his first diaper! YOu may ask yourself..."Self, how would Adam get to be almost 32 years old and never change a diaper?" Well the answer is very simple, planning ahead. In the past if I have been in a room with a baby that has just eaten, I leave. If I smell gas in a room, and know for a fact it wasn't me, I leave. If someone asks, "Adam do you want to change the diaper?", I leave. See, a very simple strategy. Well that worked for me until Friday night.

The nurse tending to Olivia found out that I had never changed a diaper, so she was bound and determined to make sure that I would before the end of the day. After some routine tests, it was time to change the diaper, and I had no escape route. So I pleasantly changed a diaper that wasn't even soiled, but I did it.

It was a little tricky navigating all of the extra wires and tubes, and I only made one mistake. I accidentally pulled out the catheter. The wire had been taped down when I started, and came unstuck by the time these fat fingers were done. The result, Olivia's first bikini wax!

This week Olivia also got her first haircut. It was not exactly even, but it did the trick for her surgery. And in taking after her father, Olivia has a little bit of hair on her earlobes. Sorry to April and Rebecca, but she got her first ear rub from her daddy.

(We do have pictures of all of the above, but have not had the computer and the camera in the same room long enough to get them downloaded.)

Jodi and I appreciate the following from everyone on our family's status. Olivia loves the attention and appreciates all of the support. It would be remiss if I did not give you a quick update as well. This weekend has been a challenge for Olivia. In addition to the spina bifida and hydrocephalous, Olivia has had some problems with regulating fluids and establishing a stable breathing rhythm. The doctors have said that this could be a permanent condition or a side effect of a week full of surgeries. We pray that it is the latter.

Jodi and I have been extemely appreciative of the calls, emails, and texts. We are sorry that we cannot respond to you all individually, but are spending as much time as possible with Olivia. We continue to ask for your prayers.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sorry, but this will have to be a short post today. I know a lot of your are looking for updates, and I wanted to make sure that we got something out for you all.

Olivia successfully made it through her shunt placement surgery yesterday. The doctor said that everything is working great and the fluid pressure is being removed from the brain. Within a matter of hours we could start to see signs of improvement and Olivia gripped Jodi's finger for the first time. Jodi even noticed that Olivia had her father's long eyelashes. At first, I didn't realize that would be a big deal, but all of the nurses assured me that it would be "critical".

Speaking of nurses, you are truly the hearts and compassion of our country's hospitals. The compassion and care that we have been shown has touched our hearts in unexplainable ways. There is no way that we could feel as comfortable as we do without their sincereity.

Olivia still has a long road ahead. Our goals for the next few days will be to reduce her dependence on the respirator, show a little more spunk, and open her eyes for the first time.

We will continue to update the post as we can when new news comes.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Jodi and I have been touched by the outpouring of support.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Olivia Elizabeth Burns

On December 7, 2009 around 8:44 am, Olivia Elizabeth Burns was born(8lbs 3 oz and over 19 inches long). She arrived with the first snow fall of the year and has filled our hearts with more love than Adam and I could have imagined.

The day began early arriving at the hospital at 6:00 am. I had to get checked in, prepped for surgery and by 8:00 I was preparing for Baby B's arrival! My doctors and nurses were amazing through the C section and Adam and I were both shocked when they announced that Baby B was in fact "A GIRL"! Olivia Elizabeth was then moved to the infant room to be stabilized while the doctors finished with me. Adam was also able to make the big announcement to the family that Baby B was in fact a girl! I could hear the family scream with delight all the way in the OR! It was one of the greatest moments I have ever experienced and I know Adam feels the same way.

After the BIG announcement, Adam and I, along with both sets of our parents, were able to see Olivia before she went to over to Riley Children's Hospital. Olivia was baptised and we were able to squeeze her hand and blow her many kisses before she was transported to Riley. Adam was able to accompany her with his family while my family stayed with me, as I mentioned before, we are extremely blessed with amazing family support!

Without going into too much more detail, Olivia had surgery on Monday afternoon to close the lesion on her back and to relieve some of the fluid on her brain. On Thursday, she will have another surgery to insert a shunt which will continue to reduce the fluid on her brain.

We feel so blessed to have Olivia as our daughter and love her more than she can even imagine. I think she already has daddy wrapped around her finger (and probably mommy too). Our bundle of joy has not had the easiest entry into the world, but we know that God is watching over her and has big plans for her future.

Please continue to keep Olivia in your prayers and thank you for all the love and support sent our way!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Geek Fest, HausPaus and a Case of the Nesters

Well where do I begin? It has been about a month since my last post, and now that we are about a week away from the big day, it is my turn to add some levity to the proceedings. Hopefully I can accomplish it, but to be honest, I am getting a little nervous myself. You now that nervousness that's 98% excited/2% scared or maybe its 2% excited/98% scared, I don't know, but that's what makes it so intense you know.

The last couple of weeks have been pretty busy around here, but that doesn't mean that we didn't have a chance to add a little fun for a distraction. Last Friday, Jodi and a friend went to see Twilight New Moon (or Geek Fest as I like to call it). Now I am a Star Trek/Star Wars fan, heck I am even watching V right now, but this is a whole other level of geek. On the surface, I get the story...unrequited, forbidden love...a little Romeo and Juliet, but the fanaticism of this book blows my mind. I am not even going to get into the Team Edward/Team Jacob debate, but when Jodi and her friend met up with me and the friend's husband after the movie for dinner, you would have thought that they just saw the 2010 Oscar winner for Best Picture. Well as they begin to recount the plot of the movie and tell us a little about how the story ends, we get a picture painted for us that cannot be erased. (SPOILER ALERT) Jacob, one of Bella's loves, ends up falling in love with the daughter of Bella and Edward who grows older, exponentially (so as not to make it weird). What?!?!? I thought I watched some pretty strange movies, but that is just plain weird.

After I finally got that picture out of my mind, Jodi and I discussed what we were going to do for Thanksgiving. I won't bore you with the details, but I finally witnessed first hand that week what "Pregnancy Brain" really is. On our way home from running some errands, Jodi asked what we were going to do with all of the leftovers. I said, "Why don't you call your friends and see if they want to all bring their leftovers to our house for a leftover party."
Jodi's response was, "Oh, you mean like a HausPaus!"
You know a HausPaus
I have no idea what you are talking about.
A Haus...Paus, you know.
A Pot Luck?
No, its a HausPaus!
Oh a Smorgasbord?

This went on for at least 5 blocks and 2 stop lights.
Finally, after hearing "HausPaus" enough times, I said, "Do you mean a hodgepodge?"
"Yes, that is what I meant"
"What does that have to do with food?"
"I don't know?"

Jodi has always had "moments" where things she says don't make sense, and I think her family and friends would agree. However the fervor and ferocity with which she defended her HausPaus, was when I finally found an appreciation for pregnancy brain.

Needless to say, the last few weeks has absolutely flown by. It doesn't even seem like that long ago when Jodi fist started to show. Even more recently we started working on the nursery and getting the house ready. But the last few weeks has seemed to throw the process into overdrive. They say mothers tend to "nest" right before they give birth, well, just last night Jodi was folding laundry on the floor of the laundry room and running around the house making sure everything was sterilized. So I guess the baby will be here soon.

Jodi and I continue to be amazed at the support and generosity of our family and friends. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We will update you next week on the newest member of our family.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well where to's been a busy couple weeks, which is why a post didn't happen last week! I can tell Baby B is wearing me out and the countdown is on! I am still waiting for my nesting instincts to kick in, although I think Adam's started to kick in this week! He has been busy putting together the stroller, hanging pictures, organizing toys, etc. Now I just need to have my nesting instinct kick in and we'll be ready for Baby B to arrive:)

Last Sunday, I was blessed to have another amazing shower! Adam and I continue to be amazed by every one's generosity and kindness! Our shower was hosted by our friends Barb and Nancy who did a fabulous job! Tea, crumpets and books were the theme! See pix below:)

I had a blast looking through all the adorable items we received at the shower and can't wait to read all the amazing books we received to Baby B once he or she arrives! It was also fun for my mom and sisters to meet all my friends in Indy. In the short 2 plus years that I have lived here, I have met some of the most amazing people and I am so thankful for each and everyone of them!

This week, we also had our final ultra sound (so hard to believe)! I am 35 weeks and counting! We were hoping to get some updated pix of our little one, but of course it didn't happen! Baby B is nestled EXTREMELY tightly in my belly and it was hard to see much of Nicolivia at all! He/she is up into my ribs and standing is now becoming a chore:)

Adam and I continue to prepare for Baby B's arrival on December 7th! I only have 7 days left of work-ahhhh! My student teacher, Lauren, and I are starting to freak out, although I know my kiddos will be in the best hands once I leave! Lauren is doing amazing and I'm so relieved knowing she will be taking my place while I'm on maternity leave:)

Adam and I hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday! We are looking forward to hosting the Burns' family, although I must admit, I'm not doing much of the cooking, but I'm sure I'll do plenty of eating..haha!

2 weeks to go and Baby B will always, thank you for all your love, support and prayers! We are truely blessed!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

One Last Trip Home Before Baby B Arrives!

Nothing too new or exciting this week, which is a good thing! I had my weekly check up last week and everything is going as planned except that I am starting to feel EXTRA tired and achy all the time. I think I now have the pregnancy waddle down to a tee:) I also started having more Brax and Hicks contractions(spelling?), which freaks me out! I thought I was going into preterm labor while in St. Louis on Friday, which shows my lack of experience in the whole birthing process! My sisters just laughed at me and said get used to it, just drink more water:) Thank goodness I have them to talk too, otherwise the emergency nurse hotline may be sick of me by now!

Speaking of being in St. Louis, I had one last trip home before Baby B arrives! I attended the national convention for Gifted Education on Friday and Saturday with 9 other teachers from my school district. Needless to say, I was exhausted mentally and physically by Saturday afternoon and the beautiful weather was calling my name! So I skipped out a little early and headed out to my parents for a family BBQ. It was so much fun to hang out with my 6 darling nieces and nephews, I think they were preparing me for parenthood and I loved every minute of it! Although I think my nephew Alec wished Adam would have been with me! He was a bit disappointed that his favorite uncle didn't make the trip with me!

Adam stayed in Indy and finished more of his "honey do" list:) Although, he did get to attend the Colts game today and I think must have worn himself out.....he is asleep on the couch next to me and it's only 9:o0!

The count down is on for December 7th! Less than a month to go until Baby B arrives! My friend Cari reminded me that December 7th is a wonderful day for all of you who live in the STL because not only will Baby B arrive but HWY 40 will FINALLY open! So December 7th is a great day for all:)

Now if only Adam and I could agree on our boy nephews Caleb and Lucas pointed out that if we go with the name Parker he may be cool like spiderman since his name is Peter Parker! Never thought of that......

Anyway, Parker or Nicholas remain our front runners for now and Olivia still stands alone for our girl name, only time will tell if one of those names will stick or if a new name will enter the race.

As always, thank you all for your continued prayers! We feel blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives and can't wait to meet our little bundle......4 weeks and counting!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

December 7th..Here We Come!

Wow..what a week! Not sure where to begin, so I'll just start by saying that my Parent Teacher Conferences are completed and went wonderfully! I have the sweetest class this year and their parents are equally as wonderful! I was excited to announce to the parents that my student teacher, Lauren, will be replacing me once I go on maternity leave! I am so excited to have Lauren take my place, she has been with me since the first day of school and does an excellent job, so hopefully it will be a smooth transition for everyone come December.

As far as our comedian in the family goes (who knew Adam possessed such humorous writing skills), he will be making a monthly appearance on our blog to provide some comic relief, I am not even going to try to compete!

After the crazy week of work, I was looking forward to a much needed Fall Break! It began on Friday, when Adam and I had our monthly doctor appointment and ultra sound. Baby B still did not want to cooperate and wouldn't let us get a good ultra sound picture..I guess he/she wants everything to be a surpise:) Our baby is already 3.3 pounds and is currently in the breeched position, which isn't such a big deal since I already knew I would have a C-section. However, we did get quite the surprise to find out that Baby B will make his/her arrival on DECEMBER 7!!! That is a week earlier than we expected, which means we have less than 6 weeks to go until we meet our little bundle!

After the exciting news on Friday afternoon, Adam and I drove to my parent's house in O'Fallon, MO for the weekend. Saturday my fabulous sisters, Julie and Jill and my amazing Aunt Sissy, hosted my first baby shower! I was overwhelmed by the generosity of all my family and friends and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the day! Check out the pictures below of my college friends who were able to attend the shower.

That evening, my friend Judi and Kim stayed in town and we were able to have some much needed girly time:) I can't believe it's the last time I'm going to see them before Baby B arrives!

On Sunday, we attended my adorable niece Isa's baptism! I haven't seen her since she was 3 days old! She is such a sweet baby:) I also was able to spend the day with the rest of my nieces and nephews (6 in all), which Adam and I both enjoyed. Adam, is of course, the FAVORITE uncle! He is the official jungle gym and he loves every minute:) We were also able to celebrate my sister Julie's birthday Sunday evening! We packed in every moment we could this weekend with family and celebrations!

After the busy weekend, Adam loaded up my dad's truck with all the goodies (thank goodness my dad let us borrow his truck, our little car didn't stand a chance)and we left early Monday morning to meet the Daryll and Laurie Hartig for breakfast. Their son, Jefferson, also has spina bifida and I was fortunate to teach him as well as his little brother, Jackson, several years ago when I taught in St. Louis. Daryll and Laurie were kind enough to take some time on Monday morning to tell us their story and share their experiences with us. Adam and I truely appreciated the time they took to meet with us and we hope to be able to inspire other people down the road the way they were able to for us. Jefferson is an amazing kid and I hope Adam and I can be as encouraging and loving to our baby as they have been to theirs.

Now if only we could decide on a name if Baby B is a boy.....we had a few new options for either a boy or a girl from the shower and they were........ Jerry Hubert (after the grandfathers), Pearl H. Arbor (since the baby will be born on Pearl Harbor Day) or Adaline Bohute (named after Adam and my parents lake house) .....I think those names were the most orginal! No worries....Baby B will not be tormented by those names... just possibly Parker, Nicholas or Noah and Olivia is still our choice for a girl!

Have a fabulous week and thank you all for your continued prayers! We are truely blessed!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Turn

This week we are calling an audible...the closer has been called in from the bullpen...I have put down my clipboard and put on my helmet. Sorry if you were expecting another post from Jodi this week, but I stole the facebook machine, and now you have to hear from me.

Others of you may be asking, "Adam, why haven't you posted yet?" And the answer is simple...I was too busy building a tin foil hot air balloon and prepping Nicolivia NOT to say, "It was for the show." when the Today Show comes calling.

Actually, the conversation this week went more like this:
Jodi: "I have to go to school today and get ready for Parent/Teacher Conferences, can you write the blog this week?
Adam: "I have to mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and finish installing and wiring the ceiling boxes in the upstairs bedrooms."
Jodi: "You told me when we started this blog that you were going to help, you haven't done a post yet!"
Adam: "Honey, when I woke up this morning, all I wanted to do was post on the blog. Thank you for trusting me with it this week."
Jodi: "That is what I thought you said."
Adam: "I love you."
Jodi: "Just get it done before I get back from work."

Just to let you all know, this has been a pretty slow week, baby wise. No doctor's appointments, no ultrasounds, just another week at the Burns House. Jodi has been busy getting her class ready for Parent/Teacher Conferences, and I have been using my nights and this past weekend to continue to get the nursery ready. So far we have painted the room, installed chair rail, put together the crib, installed some shelves, and installed a ceiling box and wired the wall outlet for three switches. {Editor's Note: For any of you out there who are in the process of building a new house, when the builders says do you want us to install ceiling lights in all of the rooms. It will be about $XXX? DO IT! You may say to yourself, I can do that after the builder gets done. I can save $XXX, and put it somewhere else. DO IT! It won't take long, I am pretty handy, I will just take care of it later. DO IT! Big Jer and I spent the better part of Saturday running around town picking up supplies, crawling around in the attic, and cutting holes in perfectly god drywall in the three upstairs bedrooms. Spend the money have the builder do it. Sorry, where was I?} Oh yeah, the nursery, well anyway, I have attached (I think) some picutres of the work thus far. Jodi and I still need to get the crib skirt and mattress, pick out a celing fixture, hang some window treatments, and bring in the rocking chair. Hopefully, by the end of the month we will have all of the work done, and can enjoy a clean nursery up until the time that Nicolivia is born.

On a more serious note, I want to take this chance to thank all of our great family and friends for their notes, cards and prayers. I know that I speak for Jodi when I say that we have been truly touched and humbled by the outpouring of love our support group has shown us. Jodi and I have stood in awe over the generosity from everyone in our lives, and are amazed at the length people have gone to learn more about Spina Bifida. We are blessed.

Stay tuned for next week, when your regular narrator will be back in the driver's seat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Whooooo...what a weekend! My weekend officially began Thursday night with a surprise evening out. My wonderful friends Jeannie, Laura, Heather and Colleen surprised me with an evening filled with pottery, conversations and yummy Mexican food. I couldn't have asked for anything more, especially the night before our big doctor appt. It really took my mind off things and reminded me how lucky I am to be blessed with such wonderful friends! Later that evening Adam's parents and my parents roughed the storms and arrived in town around 11pm in order to accompany us to our appt. the next morning.

Friday morning was the "big" day as we like to call it, well at least until baby B joins us! We had an appt. with our neurosurgeon, Dr. Ackerman, that morning at Riley. Our parents joined us for this meeting so that they could be as informed about what to expect once Baby B is born as we are. We met with Dr. Ackerman for about an hour which allowed her to explain in detail every aspect of spina bifida, the accompanying conditions and the surgeries our baby will undergo. She was wonderful and we felt very confident that our baby will be in the best hands once he/she is born. We left this appointment feeling a bit overwhelmed with information, but confident that our baby will be in the best hands during those first precious weeks.

We know that once baby B is born via C section at IU, the doctors will stabilize our baby before taking him/her to Riley (which is attached to IU) to complete the first operation. This will be to close the lesion on the back to prevent further infection an/or paralysis. As Dr. Ackerman put it, this surgery is somewhat like trying to sew wet toliet paper together, but again we feel VERY confident with Dr. Ackerman. After Baby B undergoes this first surgery he/she will be in the infant intensive care unit. During this time, the doctors will monitor our baby's hydrocephalus to determine if a shunt will be necessary( there is a 95% chance that our baby will need a shunt). If a shunt is needed, our baby will undergo this surgery sometime during that same week, this will also extend the time our baby will be in the ICU. We are anticipating that our baby will be in the ICU for at least 2 weeks.

After we left our appt. with Dr. Ackerman we walked over to IU for a tour of the delivery unit. We (our parents along with Adam and I) were able to see where I will deliver and where the baby will recover before moving to Riley. We were pleased to find out that Adam will be able to accompany our baby as they transport him/her to Riley. I will have to wait until I recover(most likely 24 hours) before I am able to visit. Although I know this will be one of the hardest days of my life, I am praying for God to give me the strength to trust in our doctors and to rely on my family for support during this time. I also know that Adam will be worried about where he needs to be since the baby and I will be at different hospitals for a while. Our top priority is to have someone with our baby at all times while he/she is in the ICU.

The nurse, Ann, was also wonderful to us and spent at least an hour with us touring Riley and explaining to us what will happen during those first few weeks. She also decided to name our baby Nicoliva since we are not finding out the sex of the baby and we told her our top choices in names right now are Nicholas and Olivia. Although, this week we are also considering the name Parker. So we shall see:)

We left Riley around 1:30 Friday afternoon exhausted and a little overwhelmed as you can imagine. Adam and I feel so lucky that all of our parents were able to accompany us to our appointments and that we are able to count on them for support through this challenging time.

Through it all, we know Baby B (or Nicoliva) will be such a wonderful blessing to us and has already changed us for the better. We continue to be wowed by all the thoughtful cards, messages and hugs sent our way from friends, family and coworkers. So thank you all! We have also been very impressed by all the doctors and nurses that have met with us who have gone above and beyond to help us feel comfortable and who continue to fill us with valuable knowledge about our baby.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Birthday Weekend

I had a wonderful birthday weekend celebrating with Cari and Judi! Friday night Adam made a yummy dinner including stuffed mushrooms, a mushroom medley(one of my favorites) and a delicious steak and green bean stir fry! Our friends Tom and Lisa joined Judi, Adam and I for a great start to the weekend. On Saturday, my friend Cari drove up from STL. We (Cari, Judi and I) enjoyed a pedicure and some shopping before joining Adam for a delicious dinner out! The baby was quiet most of the weekend, but after a late night surprise of German Chocolate Cake, thanks ladies, the baby started kicking away:) Today, Adam and I went to the Colts game and cheered on a win, the baby liked that too as he/she kicked away!

We have a busy week ahead as we prepare for our upcoming neurosurgeon appt. on Friday morning. Our wonderful parents are driving in town to join us for this appt. so I will be sure to update everyone next weekend. We continue to feel blessed and are trying to maintain a positive outlook for our baby. December will be here before we know it! Now if we could only decide on a name!!!! Right now we have a couple in mind, so let us know what you think if you want:) For a boy we have Nicholas Theodore as the top choice right now, I like Noah, but Adam isn't as big of a fan. He likes Garrett, I'm not sure about that either! As for a girl, I think we are fairly settled on Olivia Elizabeth, but again this could change too! I need to start making a list of names, but never seem to have the time!

I'm posting some pictures of this past weekend. I can't believe I"m already 7 months along! Wow!! As always, thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

13 Weeks and Counting.....

Today we had our 27 week appointment. Everything went pretty well, except for the fact that I had to give blood (checking my gluecose level) and get 2 shots (which I hate)! The fun part today was that we had another ultrasound, but this time it was 3D. Adam and I were so amazed that we were able to see our baby so vividly. At this early stage, we think the baby resembles Adam, at least as far as the profile pix could show us! Baby B did not want to cooperate today and kept putting his/her hand over his/her face(no we are still not finding out...). Today we are thinking Baby B may be a boy, but give us a day and we'll change our mind to a girl. We really don't have a preference, we are just excited to meet our little bundle. They still are not sure when Baby B will be born, but for now, the doctors are thinking about 2 weeks early, but they have to wait to line up all the doctors before setting an offical date.

For those of you who are wondering about Fifths Disease (which I mentioned in my previous blog) I am in the clear, already been exposed, so all is well! I guess being a teacher for 11 years exposes you to things you didn't even know!

I also just got my camera back this week (whohoo) so paparazzi will be back in action! Expect some pix posted after this weekend!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

First Kick.....

It's been a another busy week here with the Burns' Bunch. Adam officially finished the painting and putting up the chair rail in the baby's room and with the help of his bro, Justin, put the crib together! I promise pix will come as soon as I get my camera back and paparazzi will be back in action:)

School is going well for me, but busy as ever! On Friday, a little boy was letting everyone at recess know he was alergic to me because I was preganant, I shrugged it off as a typical 2nd grade boy comment. Come to find out, he had 5th's Disease. This basically is a rash on your skin that usually isn't a big deal at all...that is unless you are preganant! From what I understand, it is more of a concern if you are in your first trimester, so now that I am well into my second trimester and surely have been exposed to it before ( being a teacher and all) I thought no big deal, but better to be safe than sorry! So Friday afternoon I went in for a blood test ( my veins are getting good at these) just to double check that everything is ok, I will keep you all posted, but like I said I'm sure it's no biggy, just another adventure to add to our list:)

This weekend, Justin and Sue came to visit and we had a great time catching up. We went to Octoberfest and ate some yummy food and beers(well no beer for me). As Justin put it
"Pretzels and beer the size of your head, what more could you want"!

On an exciting note....Baby B had some powerful kicks while Adam and I were at church tonight. I've been waiting for Adam to be able to feel our baby and tonight he did! Such a cool and special moment to experience.

All in all, we've had a great week! I am heading to North Carolina for my cousins' wedding next weekend and Adam is looking forward to a guys weekend here. We'll continue to keep everyone posted on the Burns' Bunch and I will post some pix asap!

As always, thank you for all your postive thoughts and prayers!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

24 weeks and counting...

We had our 24 week appt. on Monday(yikes 6 months already) and left the appt. knowing a little more about Baby B. Adam and I both went in extra prepared with matching notebooks full of questions(of course the journals were Adam's idea, he tries to keep me organized). Our specialist Dr. G ( I can't spell his last name it's crazy long) even noted he was impressed with our organization:)

We had another ultra sound ( I guess one perk of all of this is we see our baby every month) and Dr. G was able to locate that Baby B's lesion is L4. I'm sure many of you are thinking L4 what is that, so I'll fill you in as best as I can. The lower part of your spine is called the lumbar and it has 5 vertebrates. L1 would be the highest and L5 would be the lowest. The lower the lesion the better the mobility is for our baby. Therefore, Adam and I were somewhat relieved to to know that the lesion is lower rather than higher, we marked that down on our list of good news. We also learned that our baby has a healthy heart, lungs, kidney, etc. All good news.

We also learned that both of Baby B's feet are clubbed, which often accompanies babies with spina bifida. We are not exactly sure how our baby's feet will be treated, but from what I have read, most likely braces. As I mentioned before Baby B does have hydrocephalus and the Chari II malformation. We are not sure of the severity of either of these at this time, the hydrocephalus will be treated with a shunt, but we will not know more until we meet with our neurosurgeon on October 9th. Of course, nothing is for sure until we see our little bundle of joy, but we are thankful that we have this time to prepare ourselves for Baby B by reading, learning and talking to others.

Speaking of talking with others, I feel blessed to have been in contact with 3 other amazing parents of children with spina bifida. I've always felt that God puts people in our lives for a reason, but my thoughts were confirmed this month. Several years ago I taught a young man in 4th grade who has spina bifida, he is now in high school and is a truly amazing kid. I have been able to reconnect with his mom, which has been wonderful for me! My sister, Jill, has also connected me to another parent of a child with spina bifida who attends the Early Childhood Center where Jill works, another amazing and positive parent. It doesn't stop there, I also learned that I teach with a lady who has a 17 year old son with spina bifida. She has also been an awesome resource and friend! This has all happened within the last month, overwhelming, yes, but also confirmation that God works in mysterious ways!

On another note,many of you have been asking me to post updated photos of my pregnancy. Well I hate to disappoint, but papparazzi (as many of you call me) is out of commission for a couple weeks. I broke our camera last month and it has been sent away to be fixed. Once I have it back in my hands I will make sure to update photos!

That's about all for now, Adam has been busy this weekend painting the house and preparing the nursery for the arrival of Baby B! I will continue to post updates on our "Bunch" each weekend, thank you all for your positive notes, thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Baby B

Baby B, Bunches, Bambino, Babushka, Baby Cakes...these are just a few of the name we have started to call our little bundle of joy arriving sometime in December 09! As some of you may know, we are facing some challenges with our new bundle of joy, but through prayer, positive thoughts, and the love of our amazing friends and family we know our little Baby B will bring us much more joy and happiness than we can even imagine!

On August 3rd, Adam and I went in for our 19 week ultra sound excited to see Baby B for the first time. Although, we did get to see our baby, we also received some news that we weren't expecting. Our baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus. As you can imagine, we were extremely scared, sad, confused and most of all concerned about the health of our baby. We are starting to adjust to the news and trying to read and learn everything we can about our baby's diagnosis. We have a lot of unanswered questions, but are learning more each day.

Spina Bifida is the second most common birth defect and until the early 1950's babies born with spina bifida rarely survived. Thankfully, due to advances in neurosurgery, the majority of infants born with this birth defect will survive into adulthood. Spina Bifida is when a portion of the baby's spine is formed abnormally. Spina Bifida actually means "split spine". There are many different types of spina bifida, some more severe than others, we are still unsure of the severity of our baby, but hope to learn the answer before our baby is born.

Hydrocephalus accompanies the majority of babies born with spina bifida and basically means that our baby has 2 enlarged brain ventricles that will need to be drained when the baby is born. This is done with a device called a shunt, which allows for the continuous drainage of spinal fluid.

We do know that our baby will undergo surgery right away to close the lesion on the spine and to place the shunt. I will deliver via C section at IU Medical Center and the baby will undergo surgery at Riley Children's Hospital.

We will continue to keep everyone posted on any news we receive throughout the pregnancy and updates on our "bunch" as time goes on. Feel free to email or call us with questions. We are hopeful and ask that everyone keeps us in their thoughts and prayers.