Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December Happenings

Yet again, I have failed to report in over a month.  Let's recap December.

We started off the month with Sam's 2nd birthday.  We had one birthday party at my parent's cabin in Tennessee, and one at Chris's parent's house.  Sam didn't really understand either event.  Next year maybe...

Then, I flew to Las Vegas for one last half marathon before I get too full of baby to run.  I met some friends from work, school, and from way back when.  It was a great race, beautiful weather, and I added to my half marathon finisher metal collection.  The only down side was that my finish time was pathetic.  For the first time ever, I had to stop TWICE DURING THE RACE to wait at a portapotty...running with a baby sitting on your bladder is no fun!

We attended Sam's Kids at Heart club's Holiday party, where Sam got his yearly Santa photo.  Clearly, Sam wasn't so thrilled.  Santa was a trooper, and commented that THIS photo will be the one we look back on and laugh at.  Sam also got to see his heart buddies Emery and Matthew, and met some new heart friends.  It always shocks me how many children there are with stories similar and yet so different from Sam...and these are just a sampling of children who are seen at Sibley Heart Center in Atlanta and Georgia. 

We spent the last few weeks of December shopping and wrapping gifts and attending doctors appointments.  Sam had a check up for his tubes which went great.  His hearing is back in the normal range, and we don't have to go back for 5 months.  Sam also had a 2 year pediatrician check up.  She said he looked great, and he was a trooper for his one shot.  To top off Sam's MD visits, he had a check up with his cardiologist.  He was a trooper for the EKG (he hates the stickers for the leads).  Dr. Cardis said keep on keepin' on.  Nothing new on the planning for anything - still years away from the next big decision.  I told him I was pregnant and he did schedule ME for a fetal echo.  Once you have a child with a MAJOR heart defect, your chances of having another are increased slightly.  We will have that done in late January. 

Speaking of the baby, all is going well.  I had my second OB visit and got to hear the heart beat.  So far I have been able to keep the weight gain at zero, although after this Christmas break I will have probably shot up in size.  We scheduled our 20 week ultrasound for mid January.  Chris and I aren't nearly as excited about it as we were with Sam.  We found out about Sam's heart defect at his 20 week ultrasound, and we have been scarred ever since.  We are praying for a happier experience this time around.

We drove down to Mobile for Christmas.  We did Christmas eve and day with Chris's family, who had all come in town for the event.  Sam is wishy-washy about playing with his cousins.  For one, he is not used to sharing Mom and Dad's attention with other kids.  Secondly, he is still at the solitary play phase, when his cousins would rather have physical contact with him at all times.  These, clearly, don't mesh well.  He had a great Christmas, though, and got insane amounts of toys and clothes.  He is splitting the rest of his vacation times between Chris's and my family.  Tonight we are going to Bellingrath Gardens, where they have a huge Christmas light display.  Tomorrow is Chris's and my 4th wedding anniversary, and we are planning on going out to a super nice dinner.  It has been a great holiday, and we have lots of hope and excitement for the future.

I have to end with a quick note about some heart friends.  Steve Catoe, one of the oldest surviving people with Tricuspid Atresia (Sam's defect) passed away at the beginning of this month.  We are so so sad with his passing, but much more happy that he lived and contributed as much as he did to the CHD community.  Also, a beautiful boy named Matthew, who is from our home region in South Alabama, has been born with HLHS and other defects.  He has had a whirlwind life so far, including a trip to Boston for surgery and his first bilzzard!  Say a prayer for him and his amazing family!  You can follow their blog (Matthew's Journey) which is listed in "Sam's Heart Friends" blog list to the right.