Friday, July 15, 2011


Well shoot, I'm a little behind on this!  Baby Merrill is a boy :)  We are thrilled about it and couldn't be more excited.  I'm getting bigger :)  I've even had a few strangers mention I look prego enough for them not to be afraid to say something, which makes me happy :)

So, we had an appointment with the perinatalogist because the doctors thought one of his ventricles in his heart was enlarged. Well, the perinatalogist said his left ventricle was actually too small.  So he sent us to Primary Children's Hospital today.  It was a great appointment; the doctor was so helpful and made sure we understood what was going on.  So what we understand now is that our sweet little baby has both an enlarged right ventricle and a small left ventricle.  This is caused by a coarctation of his aorta.  His coarctation is a little more severe than others in that it involves a large portion of the aorta.

Before babies are born they have a PDA (patent ductus arteriosus), which reroutes the blood since it doesn't have to get oxygenated in the lungs yet (Mommy gives him oxygenated blood) our baby is fine right now for as long as he stays inside of me.  But when he's born, the PDA closes up and that left ventricle and the entire aorta becomes critical to his circulation and life.  So...he has to have surgery a few days after he's born. They usually go through the back side for this surgery, but because more of his aorta is involved, they'll most likely have to go through his chest.  Poor little guy!

The doctor said the outcome and results of these surgeries are very good.  He'll be fine, but it's something that needs to be taken care of.  So, they've given us some referrals for fetal cardiologists in Virginia that we can work with and he'll most likely be born in a Children's Hospital where he can have the proper care.

His mitral and aortic valves are also smaller than they should be.  There are some potential complications there that could lead to some more intensive surgeries.  But we are praying that these valves and his left ventricle will grow properly and do their job.

We are so grateful for modern technology!  It really is a miraculous thing that they can find this out before he is born so it can be taken care of right away.  We are so blessed to have a special boy coming to us and we know that the Lord is completely in control.  Being in the Children's Hospital today gave me a little glimpse of the love the Lord has for children.  In a way it was a sacred experience to be there today.  Our little guy will be okay and it will be a special experience for us :)

Canada Trip

We just had a blast in Whistler, Canada with Kirsten and Mike :)  I love those 2!  Steve and I flew into Seattle and then drove with them up there.  It was fun to spend a whole week playing!  So just to report...all the pictures are in an album on facebook, but I'll add some here too :)

Day 1--Drive, grocery shop, and Barbecue!  Of course the boys picked out the fanciest, biggest steaks they could find.  They did a fine job BBQ-ing, it was delicious!

Day 2--Explore Whistler, Swim at Lost Lake, Eat at fun restaurant (Kirsten and I ate Lamb was amazingly good)

Day 3-- ATV/Jeep tours up to the top of the mountain where we ate a yummy waffle breakfast, saw bears, ate awesome pizza, got a free salad, zip trek, bike ride (busy day :))

They didn't allow me, pregnant lady, to ride the ATV's, so we went on the jeep tour.  It turned out to be pretty cool :)

Ziplining through the forest is another activity NOT for pregnant ladies.  I was pretty bummed.  I'm going to go back and do it someday because it looked so fun.  But the boys loved it, and Kirsten and I rented some bikes and found some cool paths through the forest.

 Day 4--Canoeing on the lake, Visit Nita Lake (I think it's named after me :)), Peak to Peak Gondola ride with whole hog barbecue at the top.  It was awesome :)

Snow in the summertime is just so romantic....we couldn't help it :)

And neither could these guys :)

Day 5-- Drive to Tri-cities to pick up the boys and see the family

Day 6--Sunday--relax and enjoy the Sabbath!

Day 7--Monday--return to Seattle, Pike's Place Market, picnic at the park by the lake

Overall, it was a super fun trip.  It was nice to spend some time with Kirsten and Mike before we move out to DC.  They are awesome people :)