Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Wonderful Long Weekend in Maine!

Today, Caleb and I had our first appointment with our new doctors in Portland.  I was very impressed with how smoothly our visit went.  First, we had an ultrasound with the best sonographer in Maine (but I might be biased), Melony!  Everything looked really good!  Rosalie seems to be growing right on track and was in the 30th percentile again today.  It looks like she is weighing in at 3lbs 15oz.  She has even shifted around and positioned herself so that she is head down.

After our ultrasound, we met with a lovely, knowledgeable nurse and Dr. Pinette.  Dr. Pinette confirmed that Rosie's heart looks great.  He said that at this point, there is no need for us to meet with a pediatric cardiologist before she is born!  :)  After next week we will need to start coming in once a week to keep an eye on Rosalie and to make sure that everything keeps looking good.

Check out the cute pictures we got today!

Sleepy head.

Grumpy, scrunchy face from us poking my belly to get her to move her little arm away from her face!  I think this is similar to the face I make when I fall asleep on the couch and Caleb has to wake me up to go to bed.

Saturday, Melony threw me a baby shower at her place!  She did a fantastic job and I was so surprised to see relatives from as far away as New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont!  Rosalie has a bookshelf full of new books and a closet full of adorable outfits.  Thank you so much to everyone who attended!  We are so blessed to have so much support from our family and friends.  I will never be able to express how much it means to have you all standing behind us in this new adventure we are embarking on!  I can't wait to introduce Rosie to you all!

Melony (the hostess and sonographer with the mostest) and Molly (streamer extraordinaire)!  Thanks, you two!

Table of sweets

Mmm....  Cupcakes and cookies courtesy of Aunt Angela! They were delicious!  Also, check out the beautiful candy bouquet towards the back of the table.  Thanks, Katy!

 Some of the guests who arrived early.  My mom, mother in law, sisters, and Katy Bell.

Great idea! Family members dedicated songs to Rosalie, Caleb, and I.

Fingerprint tree for the guests.  Also a very cute idea!

Melony's living room all decorated in pink!  I think her fiance, Jon, was having a hard time with it! Haha!

"Think Pink Punch"

The beautiful bookshelf that Jon built just for Rosie!  Instead of cards, the guests were asked to bring books.  I can't wait to cuddle up with Rosalie and read to her!

After the baby shower, we moved a bunch of things into our new apartment.  Rosalie's crib, changing table, and dresser are all set up in her room ready for her!  Thanks to Mama and Papa Swan for the furniture and to my mom, sisters, and aunt Patsy for helping me set it up!  It felt so good to "nest" a bit.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

World Down Syndrome Day

Tomorrow, March 21st, is World Down Syndrome Day.  It falls on March 21 every year because that date represents 3 copies of the 21st chromosome (get it--3/21?).

I wanted to share with you all how several family friends in Caribou will be celebrating the day!  Two of my mother-in-law's dear friends, Beth and Mary, decided that they were going to spread awareness about Down syndrome in Caribou by wearing mismatched socks on 3/21/13.  The goal is to have your socks be so bright and mismatched that people ask you about them!  Then, you can use that opportunity to tell them about why the day is so special!  I was moved to tears when I heard about how these ladies are coming together to support our family and specifically, our little Rosalie.  How heart warming!

I hope many of you can join us tomorrow by wearing mismatched socks and telling everyone who points it out about World Down Syndrome Day.  Tell them about the loved one in your life with Down syndrome.  We have come a long way when it comes to equality and inclusion for these individuals, but we still have a long way to go!  Help us (and more importantly, help Rosie) by spreading the word!

Below, you will see pictures of the mismatched socks Beth and Mary gave out to their friends!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Miracles Do Happen"

Today we had another fetal echo scheduled to see how the hole in Rosalie's heart has progressed over the past couple months.  You may remember that at our first fetal echo, we learned that Rosie had an inlet ventricular septal defect (VSD).  The doctor told us that it was "very large" and that "the textbook says holes this large will not repair themselves."  Wow.  That was a shock.  Our little angel was going to need open heart surgery around 4 months of age.  They also had a hard time getting a certain view of her heart at our first echo, so we were unsure as to whether or not there were any other issues lurking that we didn't know about yet.

I did everything I could to prepare myself for my daughter's heart surgery.  I did all sorts of research and read through blogs of people who had children go through similar surgeries. The pictures of little babies with a huge scar on their chest and tubes and wires hooked up everywhere were not easy to look at, but I felt that I had to in order to prepare myself appropriately for what was to come.  My coworker even connected me with her brother-in-law who's son had this procedure.  I was prepared for her to look a little blue.  I was prepared for difficulties in feeding her.  I was prepared for her being out of breath.  I wasn't thrilled about the whole thing, but I was prepared.

We went into our appointment today hoping that things had not worsened and that no new problems were detected.  We were happy to have the same sonographer as last time!  She is very kind and seems to do a great job.  In the beginning, little Miss Swanberg was not very cooperative, but over the course of the appointment, she decided to give in and take some great pictures for us.

When Dr. Zilberman came in to review the images, he was pretty quiet.  Finally he said, "I don't see a hole here."  Caleb and I were stunned!  "Is he kidding?" I thought.  Of course he wasn't kidding, Pediatric Cardiologists do not joke about these things.  We waited a bit longer in silence as he looked at more pictures.  Maybe the angle was not right on those initial pictures.  He spoke again, "These are beautiful images and I really do not see a hole."  Could it be?  Could this hole have closed on it's own?  He told us that he couldn't rule out smaller holes at this point, but there was certainly nothing major we needed to worry about.  We nervously started laughing and told him that this was not the news we had been expecting.  We were told at our last appointment that the hole was so large it would not close on it's own.  He responded, "Miracles do happen.  I see no large inlet VSD here."

This is the first time I've ever had a doctor use the word "miracle" while talking to me and it took my breath away.  Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill, but I feel like this isn't a word they use frequently.  It must truly mean that the "large inlet VSD" should not have closed on it's own.  Our little Rosie is doing miraculous things already!  I absolutely believe that this happened as a result of all the prayers people have been sending our way.  So thank you, everyone, for your prayers.  Please keep them coming.  Who knows what else this little girl will accomplish!

God is good.  Please thank Him for our miracle!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Birthday Gift from Rosalie!

Today is my birthday and little Rosie decided to surprise me with a new trick...  I nearly had a heart attack when I looked at my belly to see that it was all lopsided!  Maybe she was trying to get my attention and this was her way of saying "happy birthday mommy!"

I also had another nice surprise when Caleb brought be birthday cake in bed!  :)  Now for my free birthday Starbucks latte before going to work!  It's going to be a great day!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Baby Swanberg's Chromosomes!

I just got an image of Baby Girl's karyotype a few days ago!  Maybe it's just the science nerd in me, but how cool is that?!?  My baby has more chromosomes than your baby!  :)

You can clearly see three copies of her 21st chromosome.  You can also see that she is a she because there are two X chromosomes!

I seriously think I'm going to frame this and put it in her nursery with a caption that says, "My extra chromosome makes me extra cute!"

Sunday, March 10, 2013

30 Weeks

30 Week Bump

General Update
I don't think I've posted a bump picture or general update in a few weeks...  Sorry for slacking!

We have been in the third trimester for a couple of weeks now.  So far, everything has been going smoothly; although, I have noticed that my energy levels are starting to decrease, particularly in the middle of the afternoon at work. I feel like I have to fight to keep my eyes open!

Last week I had my last appointment with Dr. Critchfield, which was bittersweet.  Part of me was happy because this means that we are incredibly close to moving to Maine and meeting our daughter, but at the same time, I was sad because Dr. Critchfield has been with us since the beginning of our journey.  I couldn't have asked for a better doctor to stand by us during our roller coaster pregnancy.  She was kind  and knowledgeable but more importantly, we really got the sense that she cared about us as individuals.  Everyone in the office was a pleasure to deal with.  From the Kathy (the nurse), to the MAs, to the sonographers, everyone was empathetic and helpful.  My new doctor's office in Portland is going to have big shoes to fill!  I guess it will help that one of my best friends, Melony, is going to be doing our ultrasounds! :)

Caleb has officially finished his classes at Tufts, which is very exciting!  Now he gets to spend the next month and a half cramming for his boards at the end of April. Fun, fun!  I can't believe how quickly the first two years of medical school have flown by.  It's hard to believe that he will be a doctor in only two more years!  

Hopefully thebump.com is only referring to her length when they say our little lady is the size of a cucumber!  She had better be chunkier than that!

Baby Update:
-Baby Girl is putting on more fat-
-Brain is getting wrinklier-
-She is strong enough to grasp a finger!-

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The R-Word

Photo: Today is the day. We're supporting our national partner, Special Olympics, to help Spread the Word to End the Word. Will you take the pledge?

The word "retarded" has always been associated with individuals who have intellectual disabilities.  Somehow, over the course of time, this word has become a derogatory slang word that people use in everyday conversation to mean slow, stupid, dumb, etc.  Even if you don't mean to, when you use the word retarded, you are calling individuals with intellectual disabilities slow, stupid, dumb, etc.  Understandably, this  is extremely hurtful and insulting to the individuals themselves, as well as their loved ones.

The abuse of this word has gone too far.  The American Medical Association, Social Security Administration, and American Psychiatric Association have all agreed to stop using the phrase "mental retardation" due to the negative connotations that it evokes.  These credible organizations are replacing it with the term "intellectual disability".  You and I should be the next ones to make this change.

Please, join the movement and take the pledge to remove this word from your vocabulary by clicking on the link below.  On this website, you will also find tips about what to do/say when you hear someone say the r-word.