Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Special Day

I have decided to take a break from Johanna news today. Fortunately / Unfortunately Chad and I have a very busy life outside of the OB/Gyn, and Perinatologist office. We have a lot going on this week and this weekend. I will update you as the weekend progresses about our activities(because I know you care what we are doing HAHA).

However, today is a very special day. It's Jamie Lynn's 18th B-Day. Jamie is Chad's youngest sister. I have know this girl for most of her life, and a decent chunk of mine. She is one of the funniest people in the entire world. She can light up a room just by walking in it. I am glad to be able to share her life with her. I am thankful that she includes me in some of her most important girly moments. I don't have a sister, and may never have a daughter, so I'm kinda living vicariously through Jamie.

HAPPY 18th BIRTHDAY JAMIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WE LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Johanna Raye Carswell

Yes, my friends we are having a girl. After much deliberation, and when I say much, I mean a whooooooooooole bunch, we have decided to name her Johanna Raye Carswell. She is due at the very end of October.

We also received the preliminary results of the CVS. Unfortunately the news was not good. Actually, it was the worst possible news that we could have received. Johanna has Trisomy 18. Simply(and mind you this is not a simple diagnosis), she has 3 parts to the 18th chromosome instead of 2(like you and I have). Trisomy 18 is generally fatal, with most of the babies with this condition dying in utero before they are born. Of those that are born, most pass away within a few days, and a very very small percentage will make it to you a year. Like I said not good news.

This is obviously not what we wanted to hear. But, God has a plan. I have no unearthly idea what it could be. I don't know what the future holds for Johanna. I don't know if she will survive to be born, or if she is born I don't know how long she will live. But, I do know that my God loves Johanna, Clayton, Chad, and me.

1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

I don't know if this passage from Psalm 103 fits what has happened today, but I like this passage. It reminds me of who God is. How big He is.

Thanks you for praying for our family. Please continue to pray that God would have His will. I don't know why He has chosen us to go through this, but He has.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rant for the Day

I am having to take it easy for today, since I had the CVS test yesterday. To say that we are anxiously awaiting the results of that test would be an understatement.

Anyway, I am of the opinion that knowledge is power, and that you can never know too much about any one topic. Example, when Chad was having so many problems with his blood sugar (for you newbies, my husband is a Type 1 diabetic with associated hypoglycemic unawareness) I inundated myself with knowledge and information about the disease, and what we needed to be doing to make Chad's life a much better. When it came time to purchase an insulin pump, I again turned to the trusty internet, and soaked myself in message boards, websites, and blogs, to discover the pump that would work best for Chad's needs.

So, since I have not hardly been allowed to leave the couch (Chad is a hard task master when he wants to be), I have been working my google fingers. I was researching the most common chromosomal disorders associated with cystic hygroma. I am not researching these things to be a martyr, or so that I can say "woe is me", if and when a diagnosis is made. I want to be PREPARED. I want to be informed and ready for what the Lord has in store for us. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul tells Timothy

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

I know the application here is to study the word of God, and to inbed God's words on our hearts. But, while I was sitting on the couch(watching Dr. Phil actually) this verse came to mind. In short, I believe the more that you know about a situation, the more informed decisions that you can make.

OK, here's my rant. I ran across an article about Sarah and Todd Palin, and their son Trig. Trig has Down's Syndrome, and the article was about them bringing a public eye to Down's Syndrome, in a world where more and more parents chose to terminate any pregnancy that is not "normal". The following is a quote/comment following that article. I read this quote, and I think my blood pressure must have spiked, because now I have a headace.

It turns indeed the wrong spotlight on down syndrome. I believe it to be an almost criminal act that when you find out (which is real easy these days) your baby will have down syndrome to go ahead and have the baby anyway. This is not only incredibly selfish, but ultimately it will be the state and taxpayers who will have to take car of that baby. This child will have a miserable and unproductive life at best and no religion in the world can make that any better. In this case pro-life is not much different than being pro torture.

How is bringing a God ordained (because only He chooses what lives are conceived) life into this world a criminal act? How is this an incredibly selfish act? How is a parent that uses state or federal resources to help enable a disabled child to live a better life, more of a criminal than the parent that physically, sexually, or verbally abuses their children? Why is this person, or any other person for that matter, allowed to decide that a life is miserable of unproductive at best? How is any life unproductive? And, finally how can pro-life(which obviously I am) be compared to pro-torture? GROWL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Has our societies view of life really become this skewed? My baby may not be perfect(which none of us are by the way), or even "normal", but it is still a precious life that God has chosen to give to Chad and me. Regardless of the CVS results, or results of any of the tests to come, I will love and care for this child with all of the love and joy that I have for Clayton. Nothing can change that. Ever.

I am so aggravated right now. Not at our situation or circumstances, but at other people that would view us as criminals, or as irresponsible parents.

I need a bottle of chocolate syrup, STAT!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dude, that was rough!!!!!!!

OK, don't really know why I feel the need to say Dude, but I have used it all weekend when I've been with Chad. He must bring out the inner surf girl in me.

Anyway, here's the scoop for today's events. The perinate took a look a baby Plum, and gave us his opinion. Dr. S confirmed Dr. H's diagnosis of Cystic Hygroma. The baby is normal sized, not very small like we thought last week. That's good news. Also, Plum has a very strong heart beat. Also good news. And, there was no excess fluid anywhere in the baby's body. Even more good news. The only kicker at this point is the fluid accumulation in the neck. Dr. S agreed with Dr. H that Plum has some sort of chromosomal disorder. He did tell us that Plum could have a heart problem. Still not sure which, but Dr. S was leaning towards a chromosomal disorder, just as Dr. H did. While we were there we were given the opportunity to do CVS (Chrorionic Villus Sampling). We accepted the invitation, and I was given the privilege to walk around the MD office wrapped in nothing but a sheet. Nice.

That's about all that happened. We should have the results of the test very late on Wednesday afternoon. The genetics counselor will be calling us, and telling us what to expect. That's all I have for you so far. We know a little more, but not much. Hopefully we will know more on Wednesday evening. The waiting is the hardest part(thanks Tom Petty).

Let me just say , that the CVS was an unpleasant procedure. I am one of those people that can take deep breaths and make it through just about anything, so I did just that. But, I was not happy about it. Dude, that was rough!!!!! But, when you become a Mommy you do absolutely anything for your babies. Painful OB procedures included.

Hi Ho, Hi Ho ...................................................................

....................................... It's off to the perinatologist's office we go. Our appointment day is finally here. Chad and I are getting ready to head off to Charlotte. We have a few errands to do first. Bank, breakfast, and dropping shorty off at his Mawmaw's house. Currently shorty is running around the house in his shorty pajamas, carrying a baseball, and dropping it everywhere. I think I should put on shoes ASAP. He's pretty accurate with that thing. I will update as soon as I get the opportunity. I decided to take the lappy with us today, and update that way. Thanks for praying, we really appreciate all of the support that we have.

PS Chad's sister finally has her senior prom pictures uploaded on her blog. Check them out, she was absolutely beautiful, and from what I understand had an amazing time. I've linked to her blog under the blog roll, under Jamie Lynn. Glad you had a blast sweet pea.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Youth Revival

We had our spring Youth Revival tonight at church. The meeting was great. God touched the service, and moved in hearts. The preacher preached out of Daniel 3 about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo and their run in with the fiery furnace. The title of his message was "Theology on Fire". Amazing.

To understand this story you must read the first part of the book of Daniel. Here's the recap. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo were Isrealite slaves in Babylon during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar. These 3 were probably around the same age as Daniel, as in Daniel in the Lions Den. It is important to note that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abedneggo were TEENAGERS. Probably somewhere in the ages of 15-20. Can you imagine most kids you know this age doing what these 3 did.

Short version. King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden statue of himself, and decreed that all the people should bow before the people and worship the statue of himself. Shad, Mesh, and Abed(shortened so I don't have to keep typing it), refused to bow to the idol. Anyone who did not bow to the idol would be cast into the furnace(which was super hot just for the occasion). They refused to do this because they had a true knowledge of the God of Israel, I Am(my fave), El Shaddai, El Roi, Jehovah, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Yahweh, Christ, and Lord. The list could go on and on. Because of their knowledge of the Lord, they believed that He would either deliver them, or not based on what God chose to do. Deliverance was great. NO deliverance meant they were going straight to Heaven, equally (if not better) great. God let them go into the furnace, and Christ walked around with them. He delivered them from the fire, and allowed them to be a witness to King Nebuchadnezzar, and ultimately to every generation that would come after them and pick up a copy of God's word.

Here's my point. Obviously Chad and I are going through a little trial right now. I don't mean to make light of our situation, so please don't take it that way. However, I feel that God has given this to us to grow us in our relationship with Him, and with each other. Just as God did for Shad, Mesh, and Abed, He can choose to deliver us from this "furnace", or He can leave us there for a while longer. It is completely up to Him. As hard or harsh as that might sound, I find comfort in His plan. I am a planner, and like a plan for EVERYTHING in my life. Knowing that God is a planner gives me the ability to release my plan and cling to His, even if I don't understand His. His plan for our lives has been in the works since before the foundation of the world. That's a super planner and I LOVE IT. Here are your take away verses for today. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver [us] out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
Daniel 3:17-18

Friday, April 24, 2009


OK, after much thought and some input from others I have decided to rename "Bean".

Henceforth, the baby shall be referred to as "Plum".

I started calling the baby "Bean", because I don't like "it", or "that", or things of that nature. They all seem so impersonal for a person. And, until we know the sex of our child, we needed something unofficial to use. At the time I started using "Bean", the baby was about the size of a Lima bean. Now, the baby is about the size of a plum. I think plum will do for now. Don't get too used to it though. Next week, hopefully, "Plum" will be bigger and can use something like Navel Orange, or Grapefruit. (I don't actually eat any of these foods, so I'm not really sure why I choose these names to describe my child. Strange.)

Ya'll have a great day. It's 80 degrees here in NC, and BEAUTIFUL. Yippee!! Summer is just around the corner, and that makes me very happy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Carrie Prejean

I promise this is my last post of the day. As a concerned blogger I had to weigh in on the Miss California scandal/debacle.

Apparently Miss California, Carrie Prejean lost the title to Miss USA by answering a question openly and honestly. The celebrity blogger, Perez Hilton, asked Ms. Prejean her OPINION(operative word) on gay marriage. Ms. Prejean answered with her OPINION.

Ms. Prejean believes that marriage is, and should be between a man and a woman. I happen to agree with her. Since giving her OPINION, after all that's what he asked for, Perez Hilton has since verbally blasted and assaulted Ms. Prejean on his celebrity blog. If you ask for some one's OPINION, then you should be man or woman enough to accept what they have to say.

Also, why do we care what Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus have to say on this issue? Are either of these ladies to be used as our moral compass? Kim Kardashian has made a career out of immorality. And Miley Cyrus is only 16.

Just my OPINION. You can check out this story at the link below. I promise not to post anymore today. I'm sure you've had enough of me, and my tirades.


Thanks Again!

I haven't taken the opportunity to thank all of you personally. I have changed my comments slightly and hopefully will begin to receive emails when you comment that way I can get back to you as quickly as feasibly possible. I hope to respond to as many of you as I possible can. Please know that Chad and I are grateful that you would take you precious and valuable time to pray for us and for our child.


Here's what I got for you thus far. I contacted the perinatologist's office at Presby and got the scoop for Monday's appointment. Apparently we will have another US on Beanie(we really need to know what this child is so we can give it a proper moniker), and a consultation with the physician. The receptionist was a little vague(or she didn't know) about what would happen after that. I imagine we will know once we meet the MD. My plan is to either take the lappy with us, find WIFI, and update the blog ASAP after the appointment, or figure out how to use Twitter, link that to the blog, and update from my crackberry. The jury is still out on which way I will go. I'm sure there is a way to blog from the beloved crackberry, but I don't know how.

We do have some non Bean related news. Our spring Youth Revival is this Saturday. The fall meeting was wonderful. I am anticipating the same thing this time around as well. Tonight I am heading to Sam's Club with Stay at Home Mommy, and Creative Groomer, to pick up the foodies for the meal that we will have prior to the meeting. It's a great meal, and will be wonderful. If you are in the area you should deffo(I'm trying to sound ultra hip and super cool(probably should act my age, but why start now?)) join us. I happen to know the preacher almost as well as he knows himself (Batman and Robin FOREVER), and am confident in his abilities to handle the Word.

Thanks again for all the prayers. Chad and I have a peace that passes all understanding. I can't imagine facing any of life's situations without the Lord to guide us and comfort us. We are eternally grateful to all of the churches, families, prayer chains, blog rings, bloggy buddies, and real life buddies that we have praying for our family. Ya'll are AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. John 16:3
Aren't you glad that we were given our Comforter when Jesus had to ascend to be with the Father? I am.
P.S. We planted a mini garden. If you know anything about our family(me in particular) you know that's totally out of character. Fresh corn and strawberries YUM!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Uhm.............can I say WOW!?!?!?!?!

Thanks for all of the kind words of love and support from EVERYONE!!!!!!!!! It is such a blessing knowing that we have people praying for our family from all over the world. In the words of "Dash" from the Incredibles: "That's totally wicked". (OK, that's only funny if you say it with enthusiasm the way that he does).

I have more for today, but I'm at work(Gasp, I know) so I should probably get back to work for now.

Thanks again from all of us at the Carswell Manor.
Chad, Nikki, Clayton, and "Bean".

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Untitled(because I can't muster one up)

Bean and I went for our 12 week appointment today. We got some good news, and some not as good news. Good news first. I only gained 2 pounds in 12 weeks. Ya'll, I can look at a cupcake in a magazine and gain 3 pounds, so I was very proud of myself. Also, my blood pressure was great. I have major "White Coat Syndrome". I was incredibly excited about that. My blood pressure is usually good when I check it at the office, but when I get to the MD office, I kinda freak out.

Now the...........let's say,.................................... not as good news.

The FNP I started with today was having a hard time finding Bean's heartbeat. Not too concerning since I'm only 12 weeks. Anyway, she suggested that we do an US while I was there, and of course I agreed. I was immediately excited, because not only would I get to hear the baby, but I would also get to see it. I did get to see Bean, and WOW!! All I can say about that is God is good, and amazing at how He creates life.

Anyway, the US tech was very throrough and kept looking for anything. She kept questioning my dates, and we went over, and over them. I am definite about the dates, so of course my mind started spinning, and obviously "What's going on?" Bean is on the small side. That in and of itself is not an issue. The US tech called in the physician, whom I absolutely admire for his morals, and practice standards. Dr. H. began to explain what we were seeing. Here's goes my dummed down explanation. It's dummed down because I had a really hard time understanding what was going on. It's amazing how you can here just fine until someone starts talking about your babies, and then all of your brain cells kinda go out the window.

Dr. H. told me that Bean has a Cystic Hygroma. Big words for swelling or edema around the brain and neck. He explained that this is a symptom of a problem, and not the actual problem itself. He went on to explain that a cystic hygroma is usually a symptom of a chromosomal disorder. When we say chromosomal, it's something like Down's Syndrome, Turner's Syndrome, or Edward's Syndrome. Some of these more serious, and with more immediate risks than others.

That's really all we know at this point. Dr. H. did give us worst and best case scenarios today. Worst case is obviously that Bean would die before they are able to deliver. Best case scenario is that the cystic hygroma would resolve on it's own, and we would only be left with some heart issues to deal with. Dr. H. did seem to lean more towards a chromosomal issue as opposed to a heart issue.

Chad and I will are going to Charlotte on Monday to a perinatologist at Presbyterian Hospital. Please pray for Chad, Clayton, Bean, and I. Our desire is for God to have His will and way in our life. We don't necessarily feel that a prayer for healing is what God is leading us to pray at this point. Although, if that is what He want to do, then that would be more than OK with us. Our prayer(and if you could make it yours too that would be great), is that God's will would be accomplished and that we would be accepting of what He has in store for us. Please pray for strength and wisdom as Chad and I will undoubtedly have some decisions to make soon.

God has done so much for us in the area of Chad's blood sugar, so graciously giving us Clayton to raise and love, a church that we love(and thinks loves us HA), a nice home(with an equally nicer payment), wonderful family, and a Beanie Baby to love. This is in addition to salvation, mercy, grace, love, and a home in heaven.

13For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. 14I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. 15My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. 17How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! 18If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.

These are my favorite verses in the entire Bible. I think they fit today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Nothing New

Nothing really new to blog about. Things are the same. Busy, busy, busy. Life is normal. Not up, not down. Just the same. And I LOVE it!!

I love the routine, and the sameness.

I am starting to feel a little less tired than I was. That is great news. Now I can stay up past 9:30pm, and not fall asleep sitting up (yes I really did that a few nights ago).

Anything new with you?

Friday, April 10, 2009

The "Sur"Real Life

last night was probably the strangest night of my entire life to date. Buckle in kiddies this one's gonna be a doozy(and long).

The girls and I took Auntie James shopping for a prom dress. We were kinda under a time crunch, since prom is 2 WEEKS FROM SATURDAY! No time like the present to find a dress. We went to BeDazzled in Gastonia at the Westfield-Eastridge Mall. This is an awesome mall. There Belk is absolutely amazing. It's almost worth the drive to bypass Hickory and head straight to Gastonia if you are going for some real shopping.

James found a dress that is absolutely beautiful. You would think this particular dress was made just for her. It was gorgeous, and she truly shined like a new penny when she walked out of the dressing room in it. We had a great sales lady, who was a lot of fun, and was really great at her job. That always helps. It really didn't take us all that long to find the perfect dress.

While James was trying on dresses, we(Mom, Amy, Clayton and myself) met one of the funniest men I have ever met. He was there with his daughter shopping for a dress. He said that he brought her to make sure her "property" was covered and taken care of. Too funny. Anyways, he gave James some really good advice about standing tall, possessing self confidence, and how that knowing you are beautiful will make you look beautiful to everyone else that sees you. That's my paraphrasing. He was a lot more animated than I could ever describe.

OK, here's where the strangeness begins.

After our mall adventures we(mainly Clayton) decided it was time for dinner. We had a few options, and since the GPS was on the fritz, we had to navigate by the stars and the glowing neon signs. After much debating between Cracker Barrel (which I personally do not care for) and Texas Roadhouse(awesome cinnamon butter), we decided on the latter. Truly as David says in Psalm 37:23

"The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way."

As we were eating our dinner(I really do love their steak fries) there began to be some commotion about 5 tables back from us. The restaurant was incredibly loud, and there was a half wall between us, so we couldn't really tell what was going on. All we knew was commotion. Here's where the fun begins my friends. Apparently a lady was choking on her food, and I don't mean strangled, something went down the wrong pipe, took too big a bite, or what not, she was choking, the life threatening kind of choking. People were starting to gather around her, then another gentleman yelled "Does anyone know the heimlich?" Well, I actually happen to know how to do that along with a few other simple life saving maneuvers. I jumped up from my seat, abandoning my delicious steak fries and cinnamon butter(not eaten together, I'm pregnant, not insane) and rushed to the lady. Performed the heimlich, removed the obstruction, and helped to try to calm her down, then returned to my seat. Let me say that I have never had to do that before, and really hope I don't ever again, but that's why our Dr.'s train their staff to do such things. The lady was OK, just rattled, and all in all it was a great night.

Here's my tip of the day for EVERYONE that reads my blog. Take a CPR, or basic first aid class. It can seriously save someone's life. They are usually quick classes, and in the grand scheme of things, fairly inexpensive. If you have children in your home, you need to know how to do CPR, and the heimlich on infants, children, and adults. The maneuvers are all different so it's good to know them all. Hopefully you will never need to use your skills, but you might. Also, know what to do in a stressful situation. Most importantly REMAIN CALM, you can be on no help to anyone else if you panic, and if you ever have to use any of your newly learned skills, don't be afraid to use a little force. CPR, and the heimlich both take a lot of force to work, use it. Having a little pain the next day is worth having still having your life. My buddy "Simply Donna", has had to use her CPR training in days gone by, so I'm not the only one you know that has benefited from taking a basic first aid class. That's my soap box for today, I shall have another one tomorrow.

P.S. The boys are back in town. WOOT!

P.S.S. I don't know why the font is different at the bottom of this post, pleas excuse the insanity that i blogger. I tried everything to fix it.