Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Big kicks

Dear Avery,
   
      Today was a much better day than yesterday.  It is still dreary outside, but not nearly as rainy.  There is even a chance that the rain will turn into snow tonight.  It's definitely feeling like winter now!

     I felt my first "through the belly" kick last night.  After a day with hardly any movement at all, it was AMAZING!  It has only happened three times since then, so your dad hasn't been able to feel it yet.  I hope that you will keep it up so he can feel you soon. 
   
      My belly is getting bigger and bigger everyday.  You are the size of a cantaloupe now and people definitely know that I am pregnant when they see me.  I love being pregnant with you. 

      Sometimes it is awkward for me when people ask about you because I never know what to tell them.  All of the people who are really close to us already know what is going on, but it can be uncomfortable when other people want to make pregnancy small talk.  I feel obligated to let them know that things aren't perfect, but it is impossible to convey the emotion and reality of what is really going on in a day to day small talk. I usually just leave it at "We are very excited that we are having a little girl.  She has some complications, so please keep her in your prayers."  It's not that I mind sharing your story, but I just never know how or when to do it.  I figure that it can never hurt to ask for some extra prayers though!

     Your dad turned on Christmas music for us tonight and he is working in the basement.  We hope to have it finished by the time you get here.  I think I am going to start decorating the house for Christmas tonight.  That will definitely lift the mood around here. 
 
                                                                         Xoxoxo,
                                                                                  Mom

                                                                   My 20 week belly:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cold Kentucky Rain

Dear Avery,

     Daddy, Tucker, and I finally made it back from Florida around 7:30 last night.  Our windshield wipers stayed on for the entire trip and the rain hasn't let up yet.  This gloomy weather is kind of getting me down in the dumps.  It was really hard to leave Mimi and Papa's house yesterday morning.  We all cried in the kitchen when it was time to go.  I barely cried at all while we were in Florida.  There is something about he warm Florida sunshine that just cheers you up and gives you hope.  This cold Kentucky rain has got to go!

     Your doctor's office gave us two upcoming appointment cards at your last appointment.  We have left them stacked on the kitchen counter since then.  For some reason, I picked them up to look at them this morning and noticed that one card said our next visit was on the 9th and the other said that it was on the 7th.  We had thought that it would be the 9th all along, because that is the card that was on the top. I immediately called your doctor to see what they had written down, and they had you coming in on the 7th with no other availability all week.  I panicked because Mimi doesn't get in until the night of the 7th, so she would miss your appointment altogether.  The sweet receptionist ended up calling and asking someone to switch with us, so we are going on the 8th now instead--after Mimi is here.  Even though it all worked out in the end, the morning started out with a lot of tears.

     I had a hard time finding your heartbeat today and I was convinced that you were gone.  After what felt like hours of searching, I finally found the familiar "wish-wash" of your little heart.  I am getting more and more paranoid when I do not feel a lot of movement from you. I don't mean to, but my mind always jumps to the worst case scenario.  I don't know what I would ever do if that was a reality.  I pray to God everyday that it will never be a reality.  I need to see you again to know that you are alright.  I am terrified of what else they will tell us and I want so bad to hear that everything is starting to grow how it should.  Please keep growing baby girl!

     I have to take a group of middle schoolers to a conference Thursday through Saturday.  I would normally be excited to do something like this, but I am really sad about leaving your dad for two nights.  We haven't been apart since we learned about your health issues and I don't know how strong I will be without him.  He is the voice of reason to calm me down when I worry too much.  You have a great dad Avery.  He loves us both a lot.

                                                       I love you bunches,
                                                                         Mom

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sleepy Florida Days

Dear Avery,
    Good morning sunshine!  We woke up in Florida again and got to spend time with your Mimi and Papa.  It is going to be hard to go back to louisville tomorrow.  I just checked your heartbeat and it is still sounding strong.  Could you please give me a couple of kicks today?  I get nervous when I haven't felt you in awhile.  (You literally kicked right after I typed that--thanks baby girl!)
 
     We ate a lot of yummy food at Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.  Almost all of your Brunson side was able to make it and it was great to spend time with all of them.  Lela and Wyatt played together and all of the boys played football in the front yard.  It was a beautiful day!  Your great grandpa and I fell asleep together sitting straight up on the couch.  That night, we went to visit Jenni, Stick, and Aunt Tricia.  I learned that a Solo cup filled with water will not melt in a fire pit.  I will show you that trick when you are older (don't try it without me!)

     Your dad and I went shopping with your Mimi and Papa yesterday.  We went out to Baytowne to have lunch and walked up and down the pier.  The water was gorgeous and it was the perfect weather to eat outside.  We went to the outlets after that and then went o Bass Pro so Papa could Christmas shop for himself.  We had to cut it short after that because I fell asleep in the car.  It is becoming a trend that I can't always sleep through the night, but I can fall asleep wherever else I happen to be.  You take a lot out of me little girl (but I wouldn't have it any other way!)

     Your next appointment is December 9th.  It seems so far away because I can't wait to see you again.  I am pretty scared at the same time because I fear any more bad news.  I pray and pray that they will tell us your chest is starting to grow how it is supposed to.  Your Mimi is going to fly up to go to that appointment with us.  I am glad that she is going to be there.

                                                                          With love,
                                                                                   Mom


                                                                             

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear Avery,
    
        Today is Thanksgiving Day!  We are all so thankful for you and for the love of our family.  Your dad and I went over to Mallory's this morning to get some pictures with you in my belly.  I can't wait to see them.  Enjoy all of the yummy food today!
                                                             Hugs and Kisses,
                                                                             Mom

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waking up in Florida

Dear Avery,
     Your daddy and I drove through the night and got to Mimi and Papa's house at about 1:30 this morning.  We had time for a couple of big hugs, but then we all agreed that it was time to sleep.  We slept pretty good and stayed in bed until about 6:00 today.  Your dad is still in bed now, and your dog is bouncing back and forth between snuggling with him and checking out everything else that is going on in the house.  He is known to be pretty nosy.  I'm sure you will get plenty of sniffs and licks once we bring you home.
    
      Today is going to be a good day--I already know it.  I woke up in Florida and got to see your Mimi and Papa first thing this morning.  I really miss seeing them when we are away for a long time.  Your Mimi and I sat on the couch and listened to your heartbeat forever when we first got up.  You were moving all over the place in there!  Your heartbeat is still really strong. I feel like we had to chase you all over my tummy to keep up with it.  I love that!

    I am getting hungry, so I know you are too!  Your Mimi made some yummy sausage and egg pie for us to eat.  It smells really yummy!
                                                                I love you angel baby,
                                                                                       Mom

     

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The power of prayer

Dear Avery,
They held a special prayer service for you after the kids left school. It was beautiful. It was for you and all the other special intentions of the other teachers who are hurting. I wasn't very strong. I thought I would be able to hold it together, but I wasn't. Sometimes I just break down when I think of how much I love you. I just love you so much.

Luckily, I have great friends at work who were there to hold my hand and give me hugs. Father Don did the annointing of the sick on us. He placed his hand on my belly at the end and I lost it. I know that you are going to be alright. I know that God is going to heal you sweet girl-there are just too many people praying for you for him not to.

My friend Lisa has a miracle baby like you. Her little boy,Adam, beat the odds just like you are going to. She gave your dad and I each a St. Anthony medal and prayer card. He is the Saint of miracles. He is going to help heal you.

Today is a good day despite all of my tears. It is a good day because I am in the car right now with your dad and dog headed to the Florida panhandle. We are going to spend the rest of the week with your Mimi,Papa, Uncle Chris, Aunt Lindsay, Wyatt and all of your other Brunson family. We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving even though we are hurting. You are what I am the most thankful for. I adore you precious baby!

Keep on kicking,
Mom

Monday, November 21, 2011

Avery, there is hope for your future.

Dear Avery,
    Rachel shared this beautiful scripture with me.  It is today's entry in Beth Moore's Praying God's Word Day by Day.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I have hope for your future sweet baby. 

 "Wonderful Savior, You tell me that there is surely a future hope for me, and my hope will not be cut off (Prov. 23:18). When I hope in You, Lord, I will renew my strength. I will soar on wings like eagles; I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not be faint ( Isa. 40:31). Lord, help me hear this word as one from You to me: 'So there is hope for your future,' declares the Lord (Jer. 29:17)."
                                                                   I love you so much,
                                                                            Mom

Thinking of you

Dear Avery,
      I put your new picture up on the smartboard in my classroom today.  The kids love it.  They always ask about you.  They want to know when you will get here and if they will get to meet you.  I don't have the heart to tell them that you are sick.

     I am overwhelmed by the amount of love that we have been shown.  Everybody we know is praying for you.  Your Great Aunt Val and Great Grandma both wrote you letters today.  Your Aunt Lindsay and Auntie E wrote sweet things about you on their blogs.  You literally have people praying for you all over the country!
    
     I found a surprise in the mailbox when I got home from work.  The Barber's sent us a beautiful note and a homemade box of Oreo balls--you are going to love those!  I have to restrain myself so I won't eat the whole box.  I will make them for you when you are older.  (They won't be as pretty as Mrs. Jenn's though!)
  
     Only one more day until we get to Mimi and Papa's house!  Mimi said that they will have 29 people over for Thanksgiving--I love being with all of the family!  I can not wait to spend time in Florida.  I can not wait to squeeze your sweet cousin Wyatt.

     I'm still pretty sleepy and worn out from all of the worrying that I do about you.  I'm going to try and take a nap while I wait for Dad to get home from work.  I love you soooooooo much!!!

                                                        Xoxoxo,
                                                               Mom
                                                        
                                        Some things that made me smile today:
                                                            Mrs. Jenn's Oreo Balls

                                                         Pretty flowers on the kitchen table

                                                 My big 19 week belly-that's where you are!

video
Hearing your heartbeat on the doppler

Hope

Dear Avery,
     I slept through the night and I didn't wake up crying.  I have an overwhelming peace about me this morning.  I know you are going to make it.  I check your heartbeat constantly with my doppler.  It is strong.  You are strong.  Keep growing for me my precious angel.
                                                             You mean the world to me,
                                                                                                 Mom

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday night

Dear Avery,
     
     Your mom is one sleepy lady!  Dad and I just started a load of laundry and I don't know if I can stay awake long enough to put it away.  We are going to sleep well tonight--I can feel it!
    
     My students had their First Communion today.  All of the girls looked like little princesses and the boys looked so handsome in their suits.  They were very excited and the church was completely full!  I decided to let their parents know about all that you are going through. I typed up an email explaining things and sent it out this morning.  I figured they needed to know why I would be missing school and we can certainly use the extra prayers.  They were all really sweet and gave us lots of hugs. 
    
     Your dad came with me since we didn't go to mass this morning.  We couldn't sit together since I had to sit with my class, so he sat with Ann and the Schraders.  I was very surprised when he popped out of the sacristy to serve!  Elizabeth had asked him to help Father Don and Deacon Todd to receive the gifts since they were short handed at the last minute.  I joked with him that he made a cute little altar boy :).

     After mass, we went to celebrate with the Schraders at Ava's First Communion party.  They had her party at Bravo and the food was delicious.  I had chopped salad, lasagna, and a piece of cake.  I think you like Italian food because you were kicking up a storm by the end of the meal.  It was all really yummy!

     It's getting a little easier to keep it together when I talk about you.  It's still hard sometimes, but I'm getting a little tougher.  Your dad has been my rock these past couple of days.  He is so strong and loving and he is going to be the best daddy ever.  I couldn't think of a better man to share my sweet baby with and I am so glad that I have him.

                                                         I love you,
                                                                    Mom

Sunday morning thoughts

Dear Avery,
    
     Last night was a good night.  I was able to sleep for 5 whole hours before waking up.  Tucker crawled under the covers to snuggle and we were really cozy.  Your dad hates when he gets under the covers, but I don't think he minded last night.
    
     We got to spend time with all sorts of people who love you yesterday.  I went to get pedicures with Lindsay S. and Jessica A. in the morning and Leslie and Katie also came up to visit.  It was really realaxing and my toes look a lot prettier than they did!  I came home to some more beautiful flowers from friends.  Our friends from Daddy's old job sent them to show that they were thinking of you.  You have soooooo many people that are thinking of you!

      After a few tears at home, your dad and I went over to Yay-Yay and G-Daddy's house to watch Notre Dame play.  All of your Ogburn side aunts and uncles, some of your great aunts and uncles, and your great grandparents, Grandma and Pops, were there too.  Your big cousin Jackson gave us some sweet kisses and snuggle time, but he was on the move most of the night.  He's going to love you so much!  Grandma gave me St, Gerards prayer card for expectant mothers.  She said that she prayed it throughout all of her pregnancies and she ended up with 9 healthy babies, so it sounds like pretty powerful stuff!  I will be praying for you any way that I can.
  
      We left there and headed over to the Colyer's house to celebrate Tony and Witney's engagement.  It was wonderful to see so many of our friends (and the cake pops weren't half bad either!)  All in all, it was a long but wonderful day because we were surrounded by people that we love. 
    
     We have a lot to look forward to soon.  We are leaving after work on Tuesday to head to Florida for Thanksgiving.  It's been really hard on your Mimi that she is so far away from us right now and I can't wait to see her.  She would be up here in an instant if we needed her to, but I talked her out of it since we were coming home in less than a week.  We scheduled one of your next appointments when your Mimi and Papa are in Louisville so that they can come and see you on the screen.  I can't wait for them to watch you swim!
  
      I am sooooo excited to see all of the Brunson side of your family, especially your other big cousin Wyatt.  He and Jackson are going to take good care of you when you are older.  They are both growing up so fast!  Mallory and your friend Kai are finally out of the NICU so we will get to spend some time with them too.  Kai is a miracle baby just like you!  You guys will be great friends.
      
      I have been sneezing a lot lately for some reason.  I always wonder what you feel when it happens.  I kind of imagine it feeling like an earthquake.  Sorry for shaking you around sweet girl!
                                                                  
               I love you so very much and thanks again for all of the kicks,
                                                                                        Mom

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A letter to my daughter

Dear Avery,

       We got to see you swimming again today. You looked beautiful as always. The doctors laugh because they can never get good pictures of you when you won't stay still. I don't mind though because I love to feel you in my tummy. I know you are just moving to ease my fears and I love you for that. You had the hiccups today. It was the cutest thing I have ever seen. I can't wait until the day that I can feel those too. I just love to know you are there.

       We got some scary news today; news that you might not be able to live on earth. We pray and pray that this is not true, but we thank God for each day that we are spending with you now. Your daddy and I love you very very much. You have wonderful grandparents and aunts and uncles that would do anything for you too. You were put in one pretty strong family-I think that is why God chose to give you to us.

      I never realized how much your Mimi and Papa loved me until now. I always knew I was loved, but I could never fathom the depth. That is how much I love you.

     I hope that you and I can sit down when you are older and read these letters together. Then we can look back and smile on the fact that you were the one who beat the odds. Until then, we are going to be thankful for each day we have with you. Could you do me a favor? Try to kick a little harder soon so your daddy can feel you too. He loves you more than you know and I feel a little selfish that he can't experience you the same way that I can. We decided that we are going to get as many ultrasounds as possible so that we can see you and watch you grow.

      I love being pregnant with you. Every day that my belly grows is another day that I have with you. I love to look at my big belly in the mirror and your daddy loves to rub it....it reminds us how real you are. Your dog, Tucker, is always trying to snuggle with you. He loves to lay his head on my tummy so that he can be close to you. We all just want to be close to you.

      Mommy and Daddy have some wonderful friends who love you almost as much as your family does. They are all praying hard that God will get you healthy enough to make it here okay. Some of them even sent you flowers today to show they cared. They were beautiful.

      I have a hard time sleeping at night because I think about you so much. Tonight I slept for about two hours and then got up to write this to you. I am going to try to go back to sleep in a little bit, but I wanted to let you know all that I am feeling first.

      Please keep growing sweet girl. You are going to have some rough times as you develop, but we need you to hold on to life and continue to grow. We will do anything to help you that we possibly can. Right now, prayers are all we have.

      We love you more than anything in the world and always will. I want to be strong like you, but it is tough. Take care of yourself and keep letting us know that you are safe.

                                                                             All my love,

                                                                                          Mom

Updates from our 2nd high risk appointment on 11/18/11

I went back to see another doctor on my high risk team today and it was pretty rough.

Minor things first:

The fact that they can already see bowing in the long bones means that it is most likely going to be an extremely severe form of dysplasia.

The shape of her head indicates that she could have some mental retardation.

The major concern is that her abdomen is much larger than her chest. They told us at the first high risk appt that lung development is a concern because the chest cavity in people with dysplasia doesn't always compensate for the size of the organs. They basically said that it is a red flag that they can already see this so early and predict that there is about a 70% chance of it getting worse from here. If it does get worse, it indicates one of the fatal dysplasias--our worst fear come to life. They basically said that she has a 50/50 chance of making it into the world and they can not predict life expectancy yet beyond that point. Please continue to keep Avery in your prayers!

Email written Wednesday, November 16th

         I had my anatomy scan this morning and we found out that we are having a little girl. (Avery!)  Some things were off in her ultrasound so they sent me to Baptist East for more tests. I am not ready to put any of this info out to the world yet (ie:Facebook) but feel free to share with any friends and family that I might have left off.
   
        We just got back from the high risk doctor and the ultrasound showed that the babies head is measuring very large and shows a lemon sign (about a week ahead), the abdomen is right on track, and the arms and legs are about 4 weeks behind in growth.  The leg bones are also bowed and the kidneys appear to be holding urine.
         
       With that being said, the doctor thinks (is pretty confident) that the baby has achondroplasia.  In lamen's terms, this is the most common type of dwarfism (think little people big world.)  The kidney issue is unrelated to this, but they don't know what that means yet.  They haven't ruled out all of the fatal displasias yet, but so far it looks like the baby could be born essentially healthy.  They worry about her lung development because people with achondroplasia often don't have enough room in their chest cavity for the lungs to develop properly. I am now considered high risk and will receive many more ultrasounds to monitor her development.

          Overall, it is a lot to take in and process.  The bottom line is that I am still having a daughter and I thank God for the opportunity to be her mother.  I would be lying if I told you that I am not scared beyond belief of all that I do not know.  I just pray that she is healthy and is able to lead a normal life as a little person with no other complications.  Thank you guys for all of your thoughts and prayers.

My first post :)

I am writing this blog in honor of my unborn daughter Avery Alis Ogburn.  I am new to all of this, but I have found that writing down my feelings is the best way to pass sleepless nights and to ease my stress and worry.  I have decided to share the things that I write as a way to update family and friends about Avery's current condition.  Thank you to all of our family and friends who already love our sweet baby girl as much as we do.  We love you all!