Sunday, January 30, 2011

Status Quo

We had another appointment on Friday. We started off with an ultrasound and then a consult with the doctor.

No big news to report as there wasn't too much change one way or another with Baby A. He still has fluid around his kidneys, but we found it encouraging that it didn't get a lot worse. The doctor was certain that there's nothing wrong with Baby A's bladder and that it is functioning, it's just something above the bladder that's not. What that means is that if we would have tried the risky procedure they gave us the choice of doing, it wouldn't work. That was good news!

Other good news to share: both boys are growing about the same rate. Baby A is 2 lbs. 8 oz and Baby B is 2 lbs. 6 oz. So, as an OB nurse who is a friend of ours pointed out at 27 weeks, I already have almost 5 lbs. of baby PLUS an extra placenta in there! :) I can only imagine how much bigger both the babies and me are going to get.

The coolest part of the day was the picture that you see below. Baby B has once again decided to flip so he is now breach (again). Because of the flip, it made it easier for the gal doing the ultrasound to see his face and she turned on the 4D ultrasound and we got this picture which I think is both neat and kind of creepy at the same time. She tried to get one of Baby A's face, but Baby B literally had his butt in front of Baby A's face. I tell you, Baby B is going to be a pistol! :)

We go back in two weeks for just an OB appointment. In a month, we'll have a busy morning because we'll be heading to Blank Children's Hospital for a consult with a Pediatric Kidney Specialist to go over some different scenarios about what might happen after birth with Baby A. After that, we'll head back to Mercy for an ultrasound and OB check.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Way I see it...

The Name Game
You know what part of having a child (or I guess in this case children) is? Naming them! At least at our house, we struggle with it and we’re getting to that point in the game where we really need to get serious about picking out names.
What I learned very quickly is that you should never marry a teacher because they make it one hundred times harder when it comes to the name game. Haha! I’m only kidding, but my husband being a teacher does put a kink into things. It’s like every name I suggest he associates with one of his students and he just doesn’t want our kids to be named after one of his students, he wants something unique I guess.

One thing we have going for us is that we find it harder to name girls than boys, so with two boys on the way you would think that might work to our advantage. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they find girls easier to name, but that’s just not the case with us. In fact, my husband ended up picking out the name “Jenna” because I just couldn’t come up with anything. To be honest, I was convinced I was having a boy and therefore didn’t need a girls name, just in case. That didn’t work out so well!

Anyway, so with this whole twin thing it feels like there’s more to think about. Do we want names that start with the same letter or not? Is that cute or too much? Maybe it’s cute, but kind of a mouthful to say? I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but there are definitely decisions to be made.

And, with any child that you name, it needs to be a good kid name, but also a good adult name. You know what I mean? They can’t sound like they are 40 years old when they’re two and vice versa. I know a lot of people like trendy names, but Aaron and I tend to not go that way. Some people like that, but to each their own and it’s just not our thing. If there’s one other child in the class with the same name that’s okay, but I don’t want my kid to be one of four with the same name.

Something else we have to contend with this time around is an almost 5-year old who thinks her opinion should be heard. Jenna doesn’t understand that it’s not just her decision what the babies will be named.

For the time being, we can agree on one name. The other name, not so much. My husband and I were throwing out names the other night and I absolutely 100% did not like a name he suggested. Apparently he took offense to that and then said he didn’t like one of the names I suggested. Secretly, I think he just said that because he was upset I didn’t like his name. The drama continues...

I do have good news on the subject of names! We have middle names picked out for both the boys. There’s no going back on these, we are both in complete agreement. The thing with middle names is both my husband and I agreed early on that we wanted to name our kids after somebody in the family, so that’s what we do.

In the meantime, the debate will continue on the first names. We have to make a decision eventually, which is a good thing, but that’s just the way I see it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Thursday nite Aaron had to ref in Des Moines and there was a home wrestling meet that needed to be covered, so I packed up the kids, headed out into the cold and into the way-too-hot gym.

I have to say, because my kids don't know any different and they've been going to games since they were in the womb, they really are very good when we have to go to sporting events. I tend to sit somewhere where they can move around a little (if possible) and aren't sitting super close to other fans. That back-fired on Thursday.

Halfway through the nite, Brody comes walking over to me and he has something in his mouth. The conversation went like this:

Me: Brody, do you have something in your mouth?
Brody: No.
Me: Brody, you're chewing on something, what is it?
Brody: I chewing on gum.
Me: GUM?! I didn't give you any gum. Oh my gosh! Did you get that off the floor?
Brody: No, not off the floor. Off the bleachers.
Me: Off the bleachers?
Brody: Yeah, it was under here (pointing underneath the bleachers).
Me: (freaking out) Brody, that's DISGUSTING! Give me the gum right now!
Brody: It's not disgusting! It's good!

So I, trying not to vomit over the fact that my child was chewing gum that had previously been in someone else's mouth, made him spit it out immediately and just tried not to think about it.

Also at the wrestling meet were two twins boys (they happen to be step-brothers of one of Aaron's baseball players). On the way home I asked Jenna if she saw the boys. She said yes, but she didn't think they were twins. I asked her why not and she said because they weren't dressed alike. I told her twins didn't have to be dressed alike and she said they did, so it looks like we'll have to work on this before the babies get here. :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

7 months

I was looking through my old blog posts and realized that I haven't posted any belly pics since the 18 week/5 month mark. I figured I would show you my ever-growing belly as it stands at 25 weeks/the start of month 7.

Month 7! I can hardly believe we're already that far along. Seems like just yesterday I was throwing up like clockwork.... :)

Everybody keeps asking how I'm feeling and I can honestly say really good. The only thing is (and this probably has to do with the fact that I have a 4 & 2 year old) when about 7:30 PM hits at nite I am EXHAUSTED!! I always wish I could go to bed about that time, even though I know I can't.

I'm hoping I continue to feel good the farther along I get.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Wednesday, December 29th was the day of our really bad doctor's appointment. That afternoon following the appointment we were set to head to Sioux City for the start of our Christmases with our extended families.

I have to be honest, going anywhere after the news we had just received was the absolute last thing we wanted to do. We even toyed with the idea of just staying home. But, God bless Jenna and Brody. They are two of the most wonderful distractions and we knew we had to buck up and make the trip for them.

In Sioux City the kids got some quality time with Grandma and Grandpa Burdorf and also with their Omaha cousins. There was a lot of Wii played by the kiddos - both big and small. Aaron got to catch a Briar Cliff basketball game and we all got to go and see our college friends, Jared and Jill, which was great.

Saturday morning we headed to Cherokee. Despite a lot of blowing snow, we made the trip safely. We started at my dad's and watched some football and ate entirely too much food.

After naptime we headed to my mom's for our Christmas with her. We watched a little "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation," with Justin and I quoting about every line and driving Mandy nuts!

Overall, it was a good trip and I'm always sad that our time seems to go way too fast with each other. Because I had so many pictures and didn't want to upload them all individually, I made a slide show that you'll see below.

Christmas Pics 2010

"I Do It!"

Aaron and I have always wanted our kids to be independent. That's just how we are. Apparently, we did not think this through completely. Mister Brody HAS TO do everything himself. If you say, "Let me help you with that," he responds with, "I do it!"

This is totally fine, except when a certain mom is running around like a chicken with her head cut-off in the morning trying to get breakfast for everybody, hair brushed/done, coats on, etc. and Brody wants to dress himself and he's been working at it for what feels like at least three hours, but is maybe only 15 minutes and I feel like we may never make it out of the house.

I just have to repeat to myself, "Independence is a good thing, independence is a good thing."

Oh well, at least I have a flexible schedule and am not required to be at work at a certain time, right? :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A little optimism...

After calling the doctor we met with in Des Moines at our initial appointment (Dr. Mandsager) with some questions, he wanted us to come back down for another ultrasound and meet with his partner, Dr. Wang.

So, last Friday morning we headed down. During our consultation with Dr. Wang, he explained that the bladder of Baby A is not that big, there is still fluid around the kidneys, the lungs look to be developing, but the amniotic fluid is still very low. It was kind of a good news/bad news thing - good news was it didn't get worse, but bad news it didn't get any better.

The first doctor we met with was so doom and gloom and left Aaron and me feeling pretty depressed and hopeless about Baby A's situation. Dr. Wang explained how rare the situation we are facing is in a singleton pregnancy and how very, very rare it is in a multiple pregnancy. What makes it ironic is that he had a patient three years ago who was also carrying twin boys and one of them had the same problem as Baby A, only much worse. That patient also chose no intervention during pregnancy, but intervention was done after birth. Today, both of those twins are healthy. We know we have a long road, but it gave us a sense of hope!

Dr. Wang reiterated the fact that he thinks we are making the wise decision by not trying any intervention during the pregnancy. He said with the multiple needle pokes that would have to be done everything would have to be so perfectly aligned and the situation would have to be just perfect for everything to work. It made us feel better that he agreed with our decision.

He said they would continue to measure the size of the kidneys throughout the rest of the pregnancy and watch for any shrinking (we are praying there isn't any). We may also have to meet with a pediatric kidney specialist as the birth gets closer.

We don't have to go down again until January 28th, which we took as a positive sign as well. Three whole weeks! The best part of the day (at least for me) was when Dr. Wang said to us point blank, "I am not writing this baby off." You can't imagine what that did for us! It gave us an even greater sense of hope.

On a lighter note, during the ultrasound the boys were so fun to watch! The gal was trying to get facial pictures and Baby A moved his little hands in front of Baby B's face right when she was ready to get a picture for us. And, everytime she'd want a specific photo of Baby B he would turn away from where she needed him to be. It was kind of cute that they are already being ornery. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

The way I see it...

Live and Learn
I love quirky little books with quotes or words of advice. Since my grandma knows me so well, she got me this great little book entitled, “Live and Learn and Pass It On.” As soon as I had a chance, I sat down and started going through it. Inside, I found a compilation of things men, women and children, ranging in age from 5 to 95, have learned. Some are more serious and some more comical. I thought for my column this week I would share some of my favorites.
*I’ve learned that it doesn’t cost anything to be nice. --Age 66
*I’ve learned that no matter how thin you slice it, there are always two sides. --Age 58
*I’ve learned that I should never praise my mother’s cooking when I’m eating something fixed by my wife. --Age 27
*I’ve learned that you can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. --Age 7
*I’ve learned that I wish my mother hadn’t let me stop taking piano lessons. --Age 41
*I’ve learned that the worst pain is watching someone else in pain. -- Age 46
*I’ve learned that the quickest way to appreciate other people is to try and do their job. --Age 51
*I’ve learned that if your life is free of failures, you’re probably not taking enough risks. --Age 42
*I’ve learned that how you do your work is a portrait of yourself. --Age 64
*I’ve learned that if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten. --Age 51
*I’ve learned that if you can’t forgive and forget, you can at least forgive and move on. --Age 77
*I’ve learned that there’s never a snow day on the day I have a big test. --Age 12
*I’ve learned that deciding who you marry is the most important decision you will ever make. --Age 95
*I’ve learned that you can’t expect your children to listen to your advice and ignore your example. --Age 51
*I’ve learned that if you want to know who’s the boss in a family, just check to see who holds the TV remote. -- Age 48
*I’ve learned that everyone can use a prayer. --Age 72
*I’ve learned that you can’t please some people no matter what you do. --Age 35
*I’ve learned that a person’s greatest need is to feel appreciated. --Age 46
*I’ve learned that being a good mother is the best occupation you could ever have.
--Age 35
*I’ve learned that the secret of success in business is surprisingly simple: give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully. --Age 73
*I’ve learned that the important thing is not what others think of me, but what I think of me. --Age 38
*I’ve learned that my teacher always calls on me when I don’t know the answer.
--Age 9
*I’ve learned that you can tell how good a parent you were by observing your children with their children. --Age 82
*I’ve learned that goldfish don’t like jello. --Age 5
*I’ve learned that people can change, so give them the benefit of the doubt. --Age 14
*I’ve learned that sometimes life hands you situations when all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and live moment to moment. --Age 66

I hope you enjoyed these little tid-bits and they gave you something to think about. I’ll leave you now with the one that stuck out to me the most: I’ve learned that it pays to believe in miracles, but that’s just the way I see it.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Prayer Request

Over break, we went to Des Moines for a secondary ultrasound on the twins. At our original ultrasound we were informed that Baby A had dilated kidneys and needed to be checked again but the concern at that time seemed limited. At the DSM ultrasound we were informed that Baby A also had an enlarged bladder and that there seemed to be a Lower Urinary Tract Obstruction (LUTO). The diagnosis was that Baby A's urinary tract is not operating properly and that amniotic fluid is low.

Because this was found at this stage and with the uniqueness of this being a multiple birth we are left with few options.
1) We can continue the pregnancy with no intervention. The outcome would be that we will have 1 healthy baby (Baby B) and Baby A will likely suffer from possible kidney failure and other organs that have not fully developed, including the lungs that need amniotic fluid to develop. Probability of survival for Baby A will be very low.
2) We could have Baby A tested, numerous times, to see if there is still kidney function, which our doctor thought was fairly unlikely. If there is they could place a shunt in the urethra to allow drainage into the amniotic fluid to allow other organs to continue to develop. Probability for Baby A would go up slightly but would probably still suffer long term health issues. The problems occur in the fact that Baby B would then be put at risk because of the procedure done for Baby A could start early labor or rupture the sac of either baby.

Because this is happening with twins and the percentages are low to begin with, because of the severe blockage, it is a hard decision for us to make. You are really stuck because the odds are all against you no matter what choice you make. You are putting Baby B at risk for just slightly better odds for Baby A.

We have chosen to continue the pregnancy with no interventions. Yes, the odds are not great (less than 15%) for Baby A without intervention but the risks involved for Baby B go up greatly with. From the medical advice that we have sought, we seem to be making the right decision. What we will pray for is a medical miracle and we ask for your prayers over the coming months as this will be a very trying time for us. The thought that there are still odds for Baby A give us hope!

Thank you for adding us to your prayers. Aaron and Jamie