Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Unborn love

First peek at our new little fella! Just relaxin' in the womb!
   Our little baby is growing and the love I already feel for him is almost overwhelming. We are so excited for his arrival and although his birth is still a few months away, we can't wait to meet our son.
   The pregnancy has been going really well these past few weeks, but we have recently found out about a few potential complications. At our 20 week ultrasound, we were filled with bliss as we got to see our little baby for the first time and found out that we were having another boy. The mood soon changed when a doctor came in to take another long look at the baby. I didn't remember this from my ultrasound with Caleb, so I felt right away that something may not be quite right. The doctor told us that the baby has an echogenic bowel - a soft marker for a variety of chromosomal abnormalities including Down's syndrome, cystic fibrosis and trisomy 18. We were told not to worry but that it was a good idea for me to get maternal screening (blood test) done to find out if the baby is at a heightened risk for any disorders.
 I cried most of the way home, feeling devastated that something might be wrong with my tiny little baby. After some research (my trusty What to Expect When You're Expecting and some google searching) I realized that detection of this soft marker was quite normal and the chances of anything being wrong is very low. In about 99% of all cases, the baby is born without any health problems.
 Earlier this week we went to the IWK for a follow-up fetal assessment. The ultrasound technician and doctor were really wonderful and gave us a very detailed report of what they were seeing. The echogenic bowel marker was still present, and they detected a 2 vessel umbilical cord when there should be 3 vessels. However, the growth, anatomy and everything else looked really good so we felt reassured that everything will very likely be ok. But there is still an elevated risk that something could be wrong with our baby and we will continue to be monitored at the IWK for the duration of the pregnancy.
  We were given a few options for how to proceed. My blood test results came back fine, which gives us even more reassurance, but Alan and I decided to get tested to see if we are carriers for cystic fibrosis. We declined an amniocentesis or any further testing. At this point, we generally feel quite positive about things and the initial shock and fear has worn off a little bit. We know that no matter what, we will love our little baby with all of our hearts. In life there are no guarantees, and whether the baby has any sort of  disorder or abnormality or not, we will feel nothing but love, pride, amazement and joy when our little boy is born and throughout his entire lifetime. For now, I'm just trying to enjoy the rest of this pregnancy and take comfort in every little kick and movement I feel.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Eggstravaganza!

Easter egg hunt at Fort Anne. The hills were covered with treats.
Ever since we moved to Annapolis Royal last August people have been telling us about the town's Easter celebration - Eggstravaganza. And what a celebration it turned out to be. Here is a schedule of our action-packed Saturday:

9:00 - Pancake breakfast at the legion
11:00 - Legendary egg hunt at the fort with the Easter bunny and policemen dressed in bunny ears
12:00 - Crafts for kids offered all over town. We opted to head to the art gallery where I was expecting some colouring or egg painting activities. Boy, was I wrong. The crafts were amazing! There was a huge selection of wooden toys and flowers for everyone, picture frames, cookie decorating...Caleb went right to the station with the hammering and made an amazing pull toy. And everything was free!
3:00 - Free kids movie at the theatre, followed by a prize draw where Caleb won 4 ice cream cones from the local country store.

Also offered was a local Amazing Race, family hike and ham dinner. We just couldn't fit everything in. What a day indeed!

It seems like every child from the Valley was on site for the fun!

Stevie our new beaver - handmade by Caleb!
Yesterday's fun topped off a wonderful week in Jamaica for me. It felt great to be back in Negril, somewhere so familiar and so pleasantly warm! I had a busy few days full of workshops, but I managed to squeeze in some ocean swims, sunset walks and visits with old friends. 

Local wood carver, Octavius, posing for a photo to show all my friends and family back home who spent time on the beach with him in 2012. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Reasons to celebrate

1. Spring is here! We've been seeing the signs...crocuses, melting snow, singing birds, mud puddles.... and it's been wonderful.

Exploring the dykelands

Marsh walker

2. Dad won an East Coast Music Award! His debut album 'Coffee til Midnight' won for best Roots/Traditional Solo Album of the Year.We are so proud of him. 

Sign for dad - 'Congratulations Dad. Great Job'

3. We are having a baby boy! Brothers!!! How amazing.

My pirate Captain will soon be getting a little matey!
Here is a photo of how pirates help their moms clean up. 
Caleb is loving my growing bump and he often comes up to give me hugs or say a few words to the baby. The first time he wrapped his arms around my belly, I said 'Thank you for giving me a hug' and he replied 'Actually, I wasn't hugging you, I was hugging somebody inside of you.'

And yesterday, after finding out the sex of the baby he went right up to my belly and said 'I love you in there little boy!'