Friday, May 25, 2007

3 weeks to go!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and we set a tenative date for delivery on June 19th unless things progress quicker than expected. I will be going to the doctor weekly from here on so we can monitor Madeline closely until birth. I had a stress test done to see how she is doing and her heartrate was very consistent and did not show any signs of stress even when I would have a contraction. We also got to see Madeline on the sonogram and she has almost reached the 4 pound mark. She looks so "big" and was really moving around a lot during the ultrasound. She is in the breech position with her little legs around her head. It was so great seeing her and watching her move.

I am officially out of school and it is a great feeling to know that I can rest and spend some time with the boys. They are all so excited about the summer and all the fun that brings. The triplets turn four on June 27th so we will be planning a birthday party soon.

I continue to be amazed at the generosity and concern of people. I don't think I can remember another time in my life that I felt as much love and compassion as I have lately. My coworkers, friends and family have been great and never cease to amaze me with their gifts, kind words, and hope for our future. Thank you all for being so supportive as we go through the hardest time of our life. We are reminded daily through many of you that Madeline has already touched your life and the lives of others. We are so grateful when we hear of stories on how our unborn baby has impacted other people. What a gift from God!

Keep praying for our strength and for Madeline's health. We will keep you informed of what is to come.

Mandy and Brian

Thursday, May 17, 2007

anxiously awaiting

Today we will meet with the neonatologist that will be present at Madeline's birth and hopefully, get some feedback from him. Brian and I have loads of questions to ask and many tough decisions to make in the next few weeks. I am getting more and more anxious the closer it gets to delivery. I often think that it would be nice if I could just stay pregnant. I feel like Madeline is pretty happy in the womb and seems like she is better off inside of me than when she has to depend on her own little body after birth.

Brian and I continue to ask God to heal Madeline and give us time with her. We have talked at length about all the possibilities at her birth and all the "what if's". But we can only imagine. God is the only one with the answers and we are praying that He continues to bless us.

I am getting more and more uncomfortable with each passing week but I try not to complain since the alternative would to not still be pregnant. I am so thankful to get through each day with Madeline still moving around. I can't wait to see what she has gained since my last sonogram.

Thank you for praying for us. You will never know how much your prayers, calls, cards, and words have comforted us through all of this. We have really learned how gracious and good people are.

We will keep you posted and hopefully have a delivery date to share with you soon. Keep praying!!!!


Saturday, May 5, 2007

We thank you!!!

Mandy is working on a more informative blog about our latest visit to the doctors yesterday. She is so much better explaining the details. She has learned so much about Madeline's medical situation and often times I think she has a better understanding of the FULL picture than the doctors.

But I wanted to again thank you for your thoughts, concerns and prayers. I can tell you we feel them in the Hopkins house and I KNOW Madeline has to as well. Keep lifting her up as we are. Please continue to pray for us as well. We have so many decisions to make very soon and want to do what is right with no second guessing. I have no doubt that we could not have made this journey this far with Madeline without your prayers. She continues to bless our life everyday as do your prayers. Thank you and Thank God.


Friday, May 4, 2007

against the odds

Today we visited the cardiologist again for another echocardiogram and also saw our regular OB. It was another day filled with lots of emotion but with even more hope. Madeline's echo of her little heart shows the VSD or hole like it did a month ago, but we were informed that IF she doesn't have other organ problems, a surgeon from Egleston at Emory can operate to repair the hole. This is typically done at 6 to 8 weeks after birth and it would prolong her life. Of course, we will not know if this is an option until Madeline is born and we can get a better understanding of other medical issues. Brian and I both feel good that we may have some options and it has given us a little hope to hold on to, even though we are very aware of the reality. The cardiologist said something to us today that really brought us a lot of comfort. He said, "As you know 90% of Trisomy 18 babies do not make it to their first birthday, but 10% do and I don't know any reason why you won't be one of those in the 10%"! We love his positive attitude and chose to believe in the miracle that God has already given us.

After reading an email from a family friend and getting a very touching card from a co-worker, we just know that God is working. We know that statistically, Madeline should not even be alive right now but because of all of the prayers, we feel like God continues to bless us. I remember about 2 months ago my doctor commenting that he was surprised that I was still pregnant and here we are at almost 33 weeks! God is good and we count each day as a blessing.

Please continue to pray that Madeline grows (She is about 3 pounds now!) and that we get to spend a lot of time with her. We also need prayer about all of the many decisions we will have to make in the future regarding her life. We are praying for God's direction and guidance. Please pray too!