Blog Archive

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Elizabeth Archives - Pregnancy Update

Hi there,

So after much pestering, we finally got around to taking an updated "pregnancy picture" and since 6 weeks has passed between the last one and this one, I think it's apparent, our little one is growing! She's kicking all the time now, and sometimes I poke her back and get a response. I doubt she's really aware of our little "game" but it's fun to imagine her shadowboxing in there...Speaking of the little boxer, I've also attached a picture of her, taken in 3-D, during our fetal echocardiogram. (one blessing in doing all these tests!) If you're not able to see her, (it's a bit like those pictures you have to cross your eyes to see...) here are some clues...her head is at the top of the picture and her belly below. we're looking at her left side and front, and her left arm is reaching up to "shade her eyes" while her right leg is curled up in the background. Hope that helps...

We had our follow-up ultrasound last week and it went smoothly. Unfortunately it verified that all the abnormalities are still there. The left heart is still small, the ascending aorta is still small, the Cystic Hygromas are still there and seemingly stable (not growing or shrinking much - good news). Unfortunately they also were able to conclusively identify inferior vermian agenesis (non-growth)...the cyst in her cerebellum is still there.

Not much is known about any link between Turner Syndrome and the cerebellum issue, so it's likely not associated, and in fact, there is also limited knowledge about the impact on her mental development after birth based on the discovery of the agenesis, so we'll just have to wait and see.

Though we were disappointed that there wasn't any change in her symptoms, Matt and I are doing pretty well. We don't have any more tests for a while, and have decided to turn our attention to a little painting and furniture moving while I can still participate. Today we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary as well as Matt's first Father's Day, though Matt's on call and I led worship at church, so we played it low key until we can really celebrate with a little getaway in July. In a few weeks I'll fly out to Winnipeg to meet my very first niece...Eiley Katherine, and soak up all the mothering advice I can from my big sister and Matt will wrap up his 2nd year of Residency...Just 2 more to go!!

We are grateful for your continued prayers for us and for our daughter. So far no name yet, but we'll keep you posted!

Hope this email finds you doing well,


Sara (and Matt & Baby H.)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Elizabeth Archives - Pregnancy Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Sara and I cannot express our gratefulness for your thoughtful emails, cards, words, and tears. More importantly, your prayers for daughter's health and for our strength have buoyed our spirits immensely. We feel loved on every side and surrounded your network of support. We appreciate each member of that web as never before.

As the diagnostic process progresses, we plan to send out brief updates about our daughter's condition (and our mental health). In the last week, the result of our karyotype testing has definitively shown a diagnosis of Turner Syndrome. The cells in a normal female contain two copies of the X chromosome, while in Turner Syndrome, one copy of the X chromosome is missing. It is caused by a malfunction in cell division very soon after the sperm fertilizes the egg. The results of missing one X chromosome are highly variable, ranging from stillbirth to only short stature and infertility. Given the early presence of lymphatic blockage and blood vessel abnormalities seen on our ultrasound, our baby is most likely on the more severe side of the syndrome. More time and more ultrasounds in the coming weeks will clarify just what we can expect.

A few prayers are already being answered!

~ We have begun to feel our baby kicking on a regular basis (in utero Tae-Bo classes?). This has helped tremendously with our bonding process.

~ Meetings with my work colleagues have gone very well and I will be able to take the time necessary once our baby is born.

~ As we have prayed for our daughter and her future, we are encouraged by the knowledge that God has a specific plan for and call on her life. Turner Syndrome doesn't have to exempt her from that, and we are filled with greater hope than we expected.

Please continue to pray for:

~ Healing of her heart (Want to get specific? The left ventricle is hypoplastic, the aortic valve bicuspid and the aorta itself is coarcted).

~ The disappearance of the cyst in her cerebellum by our next ultrasound.

~ Complete resolution of the fluid collections that indicate her lymphatics aren't working properly.

~ Continued understanding from the colleagues who cover for me when I leave for each doctor's visit.

We are praising God for each of you! We are holding up pretty well considering, and aren't screening our calls so rigorously anymore. So if any of you were hesitant to call, don't be!


Matt, Sara and Baby Girl Harms