Friday, March 25, 2011

Scan update

Thank you for your faithfulness to pray! Our heavenly Father has heard us and has been so merciful to us!!

Ezra's scan went as perfect as it could go. We arrived at CMC NorthEast about 20 minutes before we had to. Ezra had been sleeping in the car but once we got out and started walking, he woke up. A very kind woman that must have been the manager of the Radiology department went around the lobby and asked if anyone needed anything; drinks etc. She gave me a sympathetic look as I was trying to rock Ezra to sleep and she asked if that was what I was doing. She let us know we would be called soon and our buzzer would go off that we were holding, kinda like the ones they give you when you're waiting for a table at a restaurant. I asked if when we got in there how long it would be before his scan and if I should swaddle him while waiting. She said we would only be in there just a couple minutes and that I could do it now if I thought best. About a minute after we wrapped him up, he was out. The manager lady came and got us when it was our turn and said she didn't want to set off the buzzer in case it woke him up. She took us back to the room and there was a foam rectangle with a little baby shape cut out for us to put him in. We carefully placed him in there and then the tech laid a big heavy hospital blanket on top of him. The CT scan machine looked like a big O and the little bed slid through the hole and rested in the middle of it. A big disk spun around real fast, it sounded like a big fan. E must have felt right at home since he sleeps with a fan in his room. He slept through the whole thing! What an amazing answer to prayer!! The tech came in to tell us it would be another minute for the Radiologist to approve the scans to see if they were clear enough and then we were done! The whole process was less than 5 minutes!

Steve and I had to stand and make sure he stayed still. He looked so sad lying there by himself, but so peaceful. When the tech came back to tell us she was waiting on the Radiologist, she closed the door behind her but we could still see her through a window and she kept frowning at the computer. I told Steve I knew something was wrong, she kept looking at the scans like something was definitely wrong. I started to cry and Steve did his best to hold and comfort me. I knew that the outcome of this 5 minutes could change our little boy's life forever. When we were finished, I asked the tech how long it usually took to hear back about the scan results and she said usually 2-3 days but the earliest would be the next day. At 5:25PM that afternoon, a nurse from the pediatrician's office called. She told me they had the results!! I was completely caught off guard. She went on to say that Ezra was fine, that the bones in his head were not growing together but that he had an extra bone in his head. She said he wouldn't need a follow up appointment for this but that the doctor would just check up on him at his next well visit. I was in total shock. I got off the phone and broke down and cried. So much relief and joy!!!! After I gave it a couple hours to sink in, I realized I had a lot of questions that needed to be answered. So I called and left a message for the pediatrician to call me the next day. She did and cleared up a couple things for me. The extra bone in his head is called a Wormian Bone. About 10% of all Caucasians have it, 40% Indian decent and 80% Chinese. In some cases, there can be some side effects. It could cause learning disabilities or it can lead to Brittle bone disease which is a disease that makes bones very easy to break. His doctor said he's developing great and there shouldn't be a concern right now but she said she'll measure his head at his next check up, when he'll be 4 months, and make sure his head is growing normally. I asked how we'd be able to know if the bones decided to grow together if the Wormian Bone was on top of the others and she said the sutures (other bones) were wide open and the soft spot, which is underneath the Wormian bone, would close in normal time. Another answer to prayer!

God had a much better plan and outcome for this situation than I had ever envisioned. The first huge blessing was that we had the scan done without sedation. The second was the amazing results of the scan. There may be more related to this that may come up in the future. But God will give us grace for that when that time comes. I've personally learned so much more about God, his personal love for me, Steve and the kids through this process. He's kindly and gently reminded me that His grace is ALWAYS sufficient, minute by minute each day. And that He provides the perfect amount of grace for that day and that the next day isn't worth worrying about. He's strengthened my faith so much just in this last week. He used this trying time to bring me closer to Him and challenged me to rely on Him more than anything. My dad asked if I would feel the same if the outcome hadn't been as good and I said I would hope so. I think so. I know this isn't the first time we've had to trust Him with our child's life and it definitely won't be the last. And as one of my mother in law's reminded me, we've got a boy now. There's going to probably be lots of scrapes, bumps, bruises and broken bones in his future :) May the Lord protect him and may we look to Him for our ultimate protection.

Neck lifts

One of many faces

He poses like this almost every time he's picked up as if to say,
"I'm ready for my close up Mom!"

Can you see the little white tooth bud on the bottom??!!?! He's 2 1/2 MONTHS old!! Yikes.

And he's quite the talker. Love his little voice!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

2 months

3 band aids from his first set of shots

This last Tuesday, Ezra had his two month appointment. He overall looks great and is healthy and growing well.

Height: 23 3/4 (80%)
Weight: 13lb 6oz (87%)
Head: 15 1/4 (23%)

The doctor checked him over then gave me kind of an uncomfortable look and told me that he needed to go in for a CT scan. Of course I was stunned and asked why. She told me his soft spot was gone. I asked how small it was last month and she said it was the size of a finger tip. She continued to tell me that because the soft spot had closed, it either meant that the sutures (bones in his head that are supposed to take 18-24months to close) had prematurely closed or that they are overlapping. The best case scenario would be that they are overlapping, which could be caused by being tight in the womb and they will eventually move on their own. But it could mean that the bones are growing together and in that case, he'd need surgery. She mentioned she'd only seen this one time and it was in her last practice.

My initial reaction was, "I've gotta keep it together. I'm in the doctor's office. Audrey will worry if I start crying. It'll make things worse if I cry". But the second I got in the car, I called Steve, and I lost it. I couldn't talk for about 30 seconds. Fear consumed me. But he was so calm and tried to get all the details and told me everything was going to be fine. Earlier that morning before Ezra's appointment, Philippians 4:6-7 was in my head. My friend Natalie had shared that her kids got a worship CD called Seeds of Courage and the songs are bible verses put to music. So I checked out a couple songs online that day. Well, a week later was E's appt. And the Lord used those verses to prepare my heart to receive the news about his head.

Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, with prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

So I went home and tried to inform everyone; sent out a big email, posted on Facebook and let our caregroup know so that everyone could start praying. And I don't want to say immediately, but soon after that afternoon, I was overwhelmed by a peace that could have only come from the Lord. I have not cried or gotten emotional since that day and I'm a very emotional person. And not because of a lack of emotion, but because I feel at peace, I'm no longer letting the situation take hold of me and let it consume me. I told myself I wouldn't Google anything on the condition, but I broke down and did anyway because I truly wanted to be informed and I feel like I am a bit now. I've looked at a few before and after surgery pictures which were horrible but the outcomes were wonderful. I won't go on and on about the condition, but if you want to research it, what he could possibly have is called craniosynistosis. If left untreated, the brain runs out of room since the bones are growing together too soon and doesn't allow it to grow horizontally like it should so it grows out more towards the back of the head, causing an oblong shape. This can cause severe swelling and pressure which can result in pain, ear, nose and eye problems and also severe brain malfunctions. But he is not in any pain now and is not experiencing any of the above, as far as we know.

It took 4 days to hear back from the doctor's office to let us know when the scan would be scheduled. The girl that called said that Ezra's pediatrician wants to try the scan without sedation which was what I was told would have to be done originally. What an amazing answer to prayer!! If they don't get a good scan due to him not staying still enough, we'll have to reschedule the scan for a later date. His appointment is scheduled for this coming Monday, the 21st at 1:25 PM at CMC Northeast. Steve had a great idea to bring his swaddle blanket, which he loves, and that will help out to keep him still in the scan. He usually naps most of the afternoon, so I'm hopeful that he'll be sleeping when we get there. Steve will be able to go with us which will be a huge comfort to me.

Please be praying that the scan would go well, that Ezra would lie still and they'd be able to get a clear scan the first time. Pray that what they find will not be the bones growing together and that he will not need surgery. Pray that if it's the Lord's will, He would heal Ezra of this. He is possible of anything and we trust that His plan for Ezra is the very best. So no matter the outcome, we know that ultimately Ezra is in His hands. And please pray that our hearts would continue to be at peace, that we would not be anxious and not allow the potential stress of this situation get to us. For protection from Satan's lies that whisper in our ears. That the Lord's will would be done and that we can rest in his sovereign plan for Ezra and for our family. I will give an update when we have one. Thank you!!

As for God, his way is perfect:
The LORD’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
For who is God besides the LORD?
And who is the Rock except our God?
It is God who arms me with strength
and keeps my way secure.

Psalm 18:30-32

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A long overdue update

As most of you know, we are now a family of 4!! It's still so crazy sometimes to think I am a wife and also a mother of 2!! And here's just a brief summary of the birth:

Went in for a 7AM induction. Got put into a room without a computer so had to be moved, got my IV set up and Pitocin at 9. Epidural shortly there after. Water was broken at 10AM. I asked the nurse and Dr. when they estimated the birth, they both said anywhere from 3-7PM. I told them that I thought I could do better. And I did. I went from 4cm to 10 and ready to push in less than 3 hours. But that sounds too easy, right? Well, those 3 hours were pretty difficult, since he started up so high, he had a long way to go in such a short period of time. And even though I had an epidural, I felt the insane pressure of each contraction. The Dr. came in a little after noon and told me to try to push. After about 5-6 big pushes, Ezra Beckett Nilsen made his grand entrance into the world at 12:52PM! We were all very surprised at his girth, 9lb 3oz!! He was healthy and strong, lifting his head up the first time I held him. Some of you remember the mixed emotions I had about having a boy but God's plans are perfect and He knew exactly what we needed. And I wouldn't trade my boy for anything. He's such a sweet, animated, joyful little thing and my heart is overwhelmed by the love I have for him already.

There have been some adjustments with having two and each day looks different. I'm trying to put Ezra on some type of napping schedule but he doesn't really nap very well. He loves sleeping in his car seat most times but we've gone from him being swaddled and sleeping on his back, to tummy(which included lots of spitting up which resulted in him waking up quite often) and then back to swaddling and on his back. We're trying to not use the paci unless we have to. He spits it out more than it stays in anyway which means a lot of running up and down the stairs but it helps him to relax himself to sleep some of the time. He's been a wonderful sleeper at night the last couple weeks, only waking up once at about 3AM. He has always been and continues to be very easy going(even when he's supposed to be napping, he looks at his ceiling fan or mobile or toys in his crib instead of crying) but will grunt if he needs something :) He's been showing big, toothless smiles since about 5 weeks old. I LOVE going in to get him from his crib and him greeting me with one. It's the best! His 2 month appointment is next week so I'll try to share stats after that.

Some have asked how Audrey's doing with the new family member and she is doing so great! She's been such a huge help with things around the house. She puts her plate in the sink when she's done eating and puts her cup back in the fridge, she can get dressed by herself except for a little help with sleeves and socks, she puts her clothes in the hamper, she'll watch Ezra if I need to run upstairs and get something, etc. She's very independent and plays so well on her own which is very helpful when I need to feed the baby, take a shower, etc. And she's such a joy to be around(most of the time:) She's a typical 2 1/2 year old for sure but she is usually so cheerful, dancing around in her tutu and singing countless sporadic songs but her favorite is The Gospel Song which she knows all the words to. She's a nut and makes me laugh quite often. She has such a compassionate heart and picks up on my mood changes so quickly(yes, I have been known to be moody some days :) and is always concerned if she thinks I'm sad or upset.

With all that being said, we have had A LOT going on these days. Besides the adjustments and busyness that two kids bring, our usual weekly commitments and finding time for friends and family, we've also been working on getting the house ready to sell. Steve's been spending every available moment on the weekends fixing up the outside of the house along with the helps of lots of friends. Our plan is to get it up this weekend, which will be almost exactly one year from when we had it listed before. Spring is almost here, the trees and flowers are blooming and the weather is getting nicer! I know this year is going to fly by so quickly!! I'm so excited to see what our future will hold!! And now, please enjoy the insane amount of pictures :)

New big sister getting her first look at her baby brother

She was so excited to show him her little umbrella :)

Audrey leaning in to kiss his head

Broke out of the swaddle already


Steve wishes he was the patient but is glad he didn't have to be the one to give birth :)

E next to his friend Coco who is 3 months older than him! Look how they compare in size!

This picture is so dear to me. I took it the last night we stayed at the hospital at about 2 in the morning right before I fed him. He looked so sweet and peaceful in the glow of the light.

Bundled and ready to go!

Getting ready to go home!!

Just after arriving home from the hospital.

Look at those cheeks!!

3 days old

3 generations of Nilsen men

First sponge bath

One of the very few Newborn outfits that fit him

Love from Sister

Such a proud big sister

Resting in the doll crib

Red broken blood vessels in both eyes, took over a month for them to disappear

The famous Derelict

Daddy takes a turn at feeding


Big sister takes a turn at feeding

Oh to be this cozy

One of my all time favorites


Less than 2 weeks old and sleeping like a big boy

Sleeping in Audrey's doll sleeping bag

Little Moose

Our precious gift

10 days old, deep in thought


Ready for my close up

So cute in the swaddle

First walk together, Valentine's Day

Snuggling with Daddy in his big boy jammies(3-6m) I think he was 4 weeks here!

First real bath

Holding onto his paci while he sleeps

Smiles at big sister

Big smiles from the big guy

First bath together