Friday, December 25, 2009

A White Christmas

News reports said it was first White Christmas in Dallas in a hundred years. Truman was more interested in the concept than the reality of snow, but we did get some nice photos. I hope he remembers this Christmas.


Truman said over and over that what he wanted from Santa was a big train. Well Santa delivered and so did everyone else. Truman got a train set, a train puzzle, books about trains, a gingerbread train, a small plastic train, train magnets, and more.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mama's little angel

It took some convincing, but three weeks after he made them, we got Truman to wear the angel wings he made in Sunday School. We even got him to model them in the snow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Truman and his second cousin, Rylie, are about the same size and have a ton of fun together. She's about 14 months younger, and they make a very cute pair.

The North Pole of Texas

On the same day as the historic railroad ride in Grapevine, we headed to East Texas where we celebrated Christmas with our extended family and also got to take a ride on a lighted night-time train out on a farm in Pine Forest, the small community where Truman's Grandmommy is from.

The North Pole Express

Truman was completely obsessed with The Polar Express this Christmas. So, we took a ride on a historic train in Grapevine. The ride was about 40 minutes and Santa visited each car. It was lots of fun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

All I want for Christmas ...

Truman has only been asking for two things for Christmas. When asked what kind of a present he wants, he has said, "school bus toy." When asked what he wants from Santa, he says "choo choo train." Every year, my firm has a children's holiday party. They have a fabulous Santa, and they buy an individual gift for each child based on age and gender for Santa to give that particular child. What did Truman receive last night -- the Little People School bus. He was in heaven.

Also particularly cute was the fact that he was super excited just to receive a gift from Santa and squealed in delight about the wrapped gift without even knowing what was inside. Christmas morning is going to be a lot of fun at our house this year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Test Results

Apparently I do have a genetic mutation for a clotting disorder called MTHFR, which stands for Methylene-Tetra-Hydro-Folate-Reductase. However, a heightened level of a certain protein called homocysteine has to also be present for clotting to actually occur. In two rounds of tests, I did not have an elevated homocysteine level. I also definitely do not have Factor V Leiden, which is the disorder I was concerned about and which is particularly problematic.

Because the treatment for MTHFR is relatively simple (though not remarkably effective) -- extra folic acid and vitamin B--I will probably do it anyway in a future pregnancy just in case the homocysteine levels, which are somewhat dynamic, do decide to rise in the future.

All this leads us back to knowing that due to the timing of the loss and the good genetic health and development health of the baby, something went wrong with my body on this pregnancy, but we don't know what it was or whether it will happen again. We only know what it's not.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Adolphus Christmas Parade

We braved a morning around freezing to attend the Adophus Children's Parade for the first time. It's comparable to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on about a 50% scale. It was lots of fun. We'll definitely do it again. The man sitting next to us said it was paying for a ticketed bleacher seat (instead of coming out hours early to stake out a curb spot) just to see Truman's reaction to each parade entry as it rounded the corner near our seats.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Decorating the Christmas Tree

This was the first year Truman actually helped decorate the tree. It was really cute to watch how precise he was. However, that meant putting all the ornaments in the same spot. He had a very good time. Notice how the ornaments almost touch the ground.

Monday, November 30, 2009

My little brunette

When Truman was first born, his hair was so blond, he qualified as a tow-head. Once his hair grew in as an infant, he was a true blond. Then, about six months ago, it started to darken. These pictures show the progressive change over four consecutive Novembers.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Weight Check

So, he's still a munchkin, but he is getting taller. Truman weighs 25 pounds even, which means he gained only 3 ounces in three months. However, during that same time period, he grew 1.5 inches. We finally got to pack away the 12-18 month clothes!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Round of Tests Done

Based on conversations with my OB/GYN and my own research, our miscarriage was not a fluke. It wasn't "one of those things, "it didn't "just happen" and it wasn't "just not meant to be." As I have learned over the last few weeks, almost all so-called "random" miscarriages happen before 9 weeks and almost all involve chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Neither was the case for us.

Fortunately, I have a forward-thinking doctor who is willing to order tests rather than wait for me to have more than two consecutive losses (as the current obstetric guidelines suggest) before trying to determine why. Considering Truman's extremely easy birth, we can't risk another pregnancy without more knowledge. We still think incompetent cervix is what caused Truman's early birth, but it's possible that it could have been something else. Additionally, my doctor was also looking out for my mental health. Miscarriage is hard enough for any woman, but compound that with the timing of this one and my history regarding Truman, she said couldn't let me try another pregnancy without attempting to make it more certain of a positive outcome.

At this point, we have no idea what happened, so we started with the most statistically likely scenario. On Monday, I gave 15 vials of blood for a thrombophilia panel and other assorted medical tests like lupus. A thrombophilia panel tests for various clotting disorders, which is the most common cause of post-fetal heartbeat miscarriages. Such clotting disorders are somewhat common, but affect different women and even different pregnancies within the same woman differently. Many of them only affect women while they are pregnant. After talking to many other women who suffered miscarriages at a similar timeframe as I did, they all seemed to have the same thing in common -- some sort of blood clotting problem. The tests take 2-3 weeks to get results.

At some point, I just want to feel my own baby's kicks. Even though I have a wonderful, beautiful three-year-old, I still have never felt my unborn child move, held my own newborn, or felt joy at giving birth. It's a pretty simple thing to ask for, don't you think?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feeding Progress!

Truman completed a 10-week group feeding clinic at UTD's Callier Center a week ago, and we had a parent-therapist conference on Friday. Truman made more progress during the 10 weeks of this program than he had in two years of feeding therapy at Our Children's House. I think it was because this program was about teaching parents to become feeding experts and because it was based on addressing the physiological and sensory reasons why children have trouble eating instead of treating the behaviorial issues that arise out of them. Ben and Truman learned exercises to physically strengthen and train Truman's oral-motor muscles and make eating easier and less scary.

In 10 weeks, Truman went from not being able to move his tongue beyond the insides of his teeth to being able to touch the insides of his cheek. He also learned to lick his lips, check laterally (not just bite), and to draw his cheeks in to suck out of a straw and pull food in. There are a lot of other specific things he was able to accomplish that I can't really explain. But the primary thing is that he is not vomiting on a daily basis. It's more like a weekly occurrence now. And, he ASKS for food. We've started being more willing to offer, and he's more willing to try challenging foods. And, Truman actually having the physical capacity to eat means we are all FAR less stressed about eating. There has been a massive dynamic shift in our household that is wonderful.

Things have progressed so far that Truman will now meet with the therapist for one hour every three weeks or so so that she can see how he is doing on current goals and coach Ben on the next step to take. The therapist also really complimented Ben on his eagerness to really roll up his sleeves and solve Truman's feeding issues. She said having a Dad in the program really adds a dynamic to the classes she likes.

We've also phased out the reflux meds as well for the most part because even though he still has it to some degree, he seems OK without the meds.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Perfectly normal baby girl

I just spoke with my OB's nurse. We got the chromosomal tests back. It was a girl. The baby did not have any chromosomal abnormalities. We had already learned that there were no tissue abnormalities with the baby and that she was visually developing fine on ultrasound. So, by all accounts, she was a perfectly healthy baby girl. The doctor is supposed to call tomorrow to talk about what we do next. Due to the timing of this miscarriage (and particularly when compounded by what happened with Truman), things are pointing to a blood or other biochemical problem with me that could give us more fertility issues to come. So, it's on to testing of me presumably. This is devastating news.

This is my second baby who was perfectly fine to have suffered because of some problem with me. I know it's not my "fault," but it's still sucks nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More cute speak

Mama: Are you a girl?
Truman: Nooooo.

Mama: Are you a boy?
Truman: Nooooo.

Mama: What are you?
Truman: Tru (with the accompanying sign)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Truman dressed as a doctor for Halloween. Ben and Truman tried several types of costumes, but Truman was pretty insistent that it not involve anything hanging off like a dinosaur tail or chicken wings. That limits options a lot, but we found a really cute set of scrubs and a doctor kit. And, a doctor is definitely a costume Truman knows and understands and by some miracle is not afraid of. That, and he loves stethoscopes.
We didn't get any really good pictures, but here is one checking out his Halloween flashlight from Grandmommy before we head out to the church carnival at Gramma and Daddy Davis's church.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Truman update

It is remarkable the difference between Truman on June 1 and Truman today. He has made remarkable strides. We have a couple of recent brags.

On the eating front:

On Friday night, Truman ate his own dinner for the first time in his life. Granted, he got most of his calories from the cup he had after the food, but he did the whole meal by himself without assistance. Dinner included approximately:12-15 macaroni noodles; 3 cheeto puffs; 1 cube of cheese; a couple of bites of cream cheese dip licked off a ritz cracker; 4-6 veggie sticks; and 1 goldfish. He then drank about 4 ounces of milk + Carnation instant breakfast out a straw. We still have a long way to go in getting him to tolerate multi-textured food, but this was huge. It felt so normal.

On the talking front:
  • Overheard on the baby monitor while Truman fell asleep: Truman having a conversation with "Bear" about hats (I think). Then Truman telling all the lovies in his bed good night. Then Truman says "All done, Bear" and is completely silent from there on out.
  • Overheard while falling asleep at naptime a couple of weekends ago: "Mama big. Daddy big. Tiiiiiiiiiny boy."
  • Said to me after I got off the speaker phone with Ben in the car last night after Ben had been out of town overnight: "Miss daddy Tru. Daddy home."
You hear all the time about the cute things kids say, and I Ben and I always said we wondered what Truman would say if he could talk. We also have lots of unprompted "luh yous" and hugs now. It's so sweet, it almost hurts.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Appointment Update

I had my post-op appointment today from the D&C. I'm healing up nicely. The initial testing on the fetal tissue showed no abnormalities. It will be at least another week until we get the chromosome tests back. We hope they find something. If not, it's on to testing of me to make sure we weren't wrong about the cause of Truman's early birth.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Beat Up Kid

Truman had a tough run in October with his face. He managed to turn a flip on his changing table in which he smacked his eye on the dresser portion of the table giving himself quite the black eye. Then a few days later he fell trying to climb onto a chair in our dining room and whacked his mouth on the edge of the table. If you look closely, you can see both in this photo.
He looked so bad the school had to make a report in his file. :(

Monday, October 5, 2009

Bad news

We learned today that the baby died sometime in the last few days. The doctor says this happens in less than 5% of pregnancies past the point of detecting a heartbeat. It caught us completely off guard. I have a D&C procedure scheduled for Wednesday because there are no signs of a natural miscarriage.

The baby appears to have been developing normally until just a few days ago. There are no physical markers of abnormality. Due to the timing of my delivery with Truman and this loss being after the heartbeat, the doctor is going to send the fetus and placenta off for testing following the D&C to make sure that I don't have some biochemical issue with carrying pregnancies.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Setting: Bedtime
Me: Good night, Truman. (both signed and spoken)
Truman: Good night, Mama. (both signed and spoken)
Me: I Love You.
Truman: Shut door.


Setting: Getting dressed into pajamas on the changing table
Me: Do you think Mama's baby is a boy or girl?
Truman: (Lifts my shirt and looks into my belly button) Girl.


Setting: Bedtime
Me: I Love You, Truman.
Truman Signs: Love You
Truman Says: Too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Truman has an announcement

Truman is proud to announce that he is going to be a big brother. His brother or sister is due April 27. We had our first sonogram yesterday. The baby has a strong heartbeat at 168 bpm (looking for anything above 100 at this point) and is currently measuring 6 days ahead.

This will be a long (hopefully), carefully monitored pregnancy. Of particular importance for any pregnancy I have is that my cervical measurement looks good at 4.3. We want to stay above 2.5. The fun begins on October 13 when I have the cerclage procedure. Super intense monitoring will begin in November when I reach the danger zone for IC.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Can't we be done with this?

We're back on a very bad run in the meal department. Truman is back to refusing to eat at almost every meal and throwing up multiple times in a day. Bleh! We started a new group feeding therapy program at Callier last Friday, but the first day was orientation. They really get started this Friday. Maybe they are finally the ones to work miracles. Heaven knows all three of us are really tired of this.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beach Trip

We went to Corpus Christi over Labor Day to visit my sister and her family. Truman had lots of fun with his big cousins. We enjoyed a day at the beach during our trip.