December 31, 2011

Reid's 2 month check up!

Reid had his 2 month well baby check up this week.  He is doing great weighing in at 11 pounds 1 ounce.  Yes! I had to list that ounce! ;)  He is 21 1/2 inches long.  His head circumference is 17 inches...I think that is like 43 centimeters.  He got some of his 2 month vaccines at this visit (I'm splitting them up).  Since he's going to see the pediatrician each month for measurements, he will get the other vaccines at those visits.  Reid currently HATES bath time, LOVES to eat, enjoys "playing" with his brothers, and tolerates tummy time.  I love that he is smiling more and more now! :) Of course, it only makes me act more and more silly to get those smiles.  Here are a few pictures of my guy hangin' out!

What are you looking at?

December 30, 2011

Bike Ride

Our break is almost over and we will be back at school soon.  I'll also be back at work!!  I've been gone since September!! I hope my kindergarteners remember who I am!  I decided to take a break from cleaning this house (Whew! It needs it!) and take the boys for a stroll.  Well, take Reid for a stroll while Spence and Briggs go for a bike ride.  I LOVE when we can just hang out without an agenda.  I know ball season will start before we know it and it will be go, go, GO!  Here are my precious men just a ridin'!
Reid decided to take his morning nap during our outing.

Good Morning Reid!

I love Reid in the mornings!  He is all smiles when I go to get him from his bed each morning.  Must be a morning fella, unlike his dad! :)  Now if he would only love bathtime as much!
Look at that smile! LOVE it!

What are we doing today mom?

My man!

December 27, 2011

Reid's Story

We always knew we wanted three kids.  After we had Spencer and Briggs life got a little busy and we decided a gap between number two and three would be great! I knew I wanted our last baby to be born in the fall (got to spread those birthdays out!).  So, we planned accordingly and baby was on the way!  As soon as we found out we were pregnant, we were ecstatic!  I tried to enjoy every little moment, knowing this was my last pregnancy.  Everything went smoothly, no diabetes, screening all normal, 18 week ultrasound...It's a BOY!!!  I went in for a routine ultrasound at 31 weeks and it changed our lives forever!  The ultrasound tech did the scan.  Still, everything seemed fine.  She said, "Okay you are going to see the doctor now."  I said, "Okay, great! So, everything looks great with the baby today?"  She said, "Well, his femur bone is measuring a little shorter."  She asked us to wait while she got the doctor to come see the scan.  We were completely shocked and tried not to panic.  Our doctor came in and viewed the scan while the ultrasound tech pointed out his femur, fingers, head, and heart.  She didn't seem to panic and told us we would talk in a minute.  I remember my first reaction while waiting for her to come talk to us was "dwarfism".  Isn't that strange?  When the doctor came in she started talking about down syndrome.  She said that a shorter femur measurement can sometimes be a sign of downs.  She also mentioned that the tech couldn't see three joints in his pinkie finger (also an indicator of down syndrome).  Now what?  We were scheduled for a level 2 ultrasound.  Dwarfism left my mind and downs entered.  I had to wait about a week before our appointment for the level 2.  Finally, the day came and we were on our way to the appointment.  My parents were with us for support.  The tech began the scan and I could see the measurements were coming up short again.  The tech left and went for the doctor.  The doctor entered and viewed the scans with the tech.  Then, the news that changed everything.  He simply said, "It looks like some form of skeletal dysplasia."  I didn't even know what that was or what it meant for our precious baby boy.  The next few moments became very scary as I tried to understand what he was saying.  He mentioned things like wheelchairs, six inch limbs as an adult, and death.  He explained that some forms of skeletal dysplasia are fatal after birth because the rib cage is smaller and doesn't allow the baby's lungs to expand properly.    He mentioned that the baby appeared to have cloverleaf skull.  It seemed very slight but he still said he could see it.  I remember at first, while he was talking, I felt like I was in a fog.  I didn't cry, I didn't scream.  Then, I turned to look back at the monitor.  There, on the monitor, was MY baby's face!  The same little face I had been seeing through scans during the pregnancy.  I LOST IT!!  It became very real, very fast.  The doctor left the room to give us a few moments.  My husband, and parents, and I all consoled each other the best we could.  I truly felt like my life had ended right then and there.  The doctor came back and thankfully my dad was able to pull it together to ask a few questions.  My dad asked if he could write down the names of these dysplasias so we could do some research at home.  The doctor said he would but .......get this.......stay away from personal blogs because they may give false hope!!!  False hope?!!!  Shouldn't I have hope right now?!!  What else is there?! Ugh.......I could probably write a book about this particular doctor but that isn't what is important.  We made the long car ride home and went to pick my oldest boys up from a friend's house.  We drove up in the front yard and there they were playing baseball.  I broke into tears again, thinking about wheelchairs and severe deformities.  I was thinking that my precious baby boy would see his brothers do all sorts of things he would never be able to do himself.  We came home and without one tear, delivered the news to the boys that our baby would be different.  Our strength during the conversation was was all God!  You can imagine what followed.  There were plenty of tears that night and early into the morning.  My husband became physically sick.  The next day I went straight to the computer and typed in skeletal dysplasia.  Dwarfism appeared.  Dwarfism?  The doctor didn't say dwarfism!  He painted a completely different picture.  I clicked on "images" and scrolled through a few.  The cutest little boy's face appeared and I clicked on it.  It was a personal blog.  What did I do? I went to a personal blog that the doctor said stay away from because of false hope.  I read all about this precious boy and how well he was doing.  I saw pictures of him and his family.  They looked so happy!  It gave me just what I needed......hope.  I mentioned this particular little boy and his mom's blog in a previous post.  I can't say enough wonderful things about it.  How Life Is Measured saved me.  It brought me back to life.  I was put on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy because of polyhydramnios(extra amniotic fluid).  All this extra time led to me reading on the internet.  Sometimes the reading would shake me to the core.  Remember the doctor mention cloverleaf skull?  Well everytime I researched cloverleaf skull with skeletal dysplasia, fatal versions would come up.  I would then have to pray and go back to my "medication" (personal blogs of happy families) to get through.  My amazing daddy would come and sit with me some during the day.  I think those visits may have helped us both.  Now the waiting game.  We had a c-section scheduled.  The baby's head measured too large to deliver.  I went into labor three days before the scheduled date.  My husband and I were so nervous and so anxious to finally see our baby boy and know his and our fate.     
People always say they would do anything for their children.  That was exactly my thoughts and feelings.  I had been praying for God to please let me make a sacrifice instead of my baby.  I would do ANYTHING for my children.  I lay there praying and hoping he would be fine.  It seemed like forever before we heard his cries.  Enter Reid Allum Chmielewski!!!

October 25, 2011 at 6:13 a.m. Reid was born screaming and crying!  Rico and I broke into tears because we knew if he could cry, he could breath!  If he was breathing, he would LIVE!! Reid was 8 pounds 12 ounces.  We were so relieved he was here and we could finally concentrate on what was really going on with him instead of the "what ifs".  Reid spent a week in the intensive nursery.  He had many, many test run.  First and foremost, his head was fine! No cloverleaf skull!  His thyroid test was a little abnormal and needed further testing.  His white count was up and he needed an antibiotic.  He had an IV for the antibiotic and fluids.  He also had a feeding tube until he got the bottle technique down.                                                                                         

December 26, 2011

Where to begin?

I love the idea of posting pictures and thoughts about my precious family. So, a blog seems like the way to go, right?  I began reading other's blogs about four months ago when we found out our youngest son, Reid, would be born with some form of skeletal dysplasia.  I'll never forget the first blog I came across.  How Life Is Measured is a blog created by Cat Wright about her ADORABLE son, Owen. Her blog really helped me to get through a difficult time. So, hopefully Three of a Kind will do the same for someone else someday. Until will be my thoughts, along with cute photos, of the most important people in my life. I am truly blessed!

What is Achondroplasia?

Achondroplasia is a common, nonlethal form of skeletal dysplasia (dysplasia - not normal), or a genetic disorder of bone growth. Depending on who you ask, statistics say that one in 25,000 to one in 60,000 births will result in Achondroplasia. Achondroplasia is one of the oldest recorded birth defects, dating back to the Roman Empire. It is characterized by abnormal body proportions — affected individuals have arms and legs that are very short, while the torso is more nearly normal size, and in some cases individuals have larger heads due to "frontal bossing".

Before beginning to walk, a baby with achondroplasia often develops a small hump (kyphosis) on his lower back. This is due to poor muscle tone, and usually goes away after the child starts walking. Once walking, the child usually develops a markedly curved lower spine (lordosis or sway- back), and the lower legs often become bowed. The feet are generally short, broad and flat.

Achondroplasia is caused by an abnormal gene located on one of the chromosome 4 pair (humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes). In some cases, a child inherits achondroplasia from a parent who also has the condition. If one parent has the condition and the other does not, there is a 50 percent chance that their child will be affected. If both parents have achondroplasia, there is a 50 percent chance that the child will inherit the condition, a 25 percent chance that the child will not have it, and a 25 percent chance that the child will inherit one abnormal gene from each parent and have severe skeletal abnormalities that lead to early death. A child who does not inherit the gene will be completely free of the condition, and cannot pass it on to his or her own children.In more than 80 percent of cases, however, achondroplasia is not inherited but results from a new mutation (change) that occurred in the egg or sperm cell that formed the embryo. The parents of children with achondroplasia resulting from new mutations are usually normal-sized. The gene that causes this disorder was only discovered in 1994, so much research is still being done to learn more about it. The gene is one of a family of genes that makes proteins called fibroblast growth factor receptors. Scientists have recently linked these genes with several skeletal disorders.The gene that causes this disorder was discovered in 1994, a mere 13 years ago. While scientists are eagerly studying these mutations, there is much controversy from society at the outcome of the studies.

Since the discovery, many couples have chosen to terminate pregnancies because of this. A few notes: Intelligence is entirely normal in people with achondroplasia. The term "midget" is considered offensive in this day and age. The acceptable terms for a person with any type of dwarfism are person with dwarfism, little person, LP, and person of short stature. But for our kiddo, "Reid" will work just fine. :)

If you would like to know more:

December 25, 2011

Well...I've been bitten by the blog bug!!

I have been reading so many other's blogs lately and therefore, decided to start my own.  I think it would be wonderful for Spencer, Briggs, and Reid to be able to look back one day and see all their crazy ways!  For now I'm learning, so we will have to see how this goes.   

P.S. This blog will probably be maintained late at night after all three of my cuties are in bed! So, I'm apologizing now for misspelled words and grammatical errors!