Monday, December 31, 2007

Moving Forward

This is a quick one.

The doctor is not quite as risk averse as we had thought. He decided this morning that since Halle is already 33 weeks, and the steroids have been administered, that we could move ahead.

They are taking her off the Magnesium right now, and we will be waiting to see what happens. Might be a 2007 baby. ;)


Yesterday they decided to try to remove the excess fluid. They did an amniocentesis with the goal of removing at least 3,000 ml of fluid. About 5 minutes into it, Halle had a really bad reaction to the procedure. She had a really hard contraction that ended up seizing the needle. She nearly passed out from the pain. The tried to ride it out for a few minutes, but Halle kept getting worse, so the immediately stopped the procedure and pulled the needle out, and administered a dose of Fentynol. That took about 5 minutes to take effect and Halle was exhausted and still in pain even after it kicked in.

That pretty much decided for them that they were no longer going to attempt to remove fluid, which means they were out of options. The Terbutalene is having no effect, the Magnesium is not really stopping the contractions and removing excess fluid is now out of the question.

So here's the current story.

Halle is still having a contraction about every 7 minutes. She is still on the Magnesium and is still having to endure all kinds of discomforts and needles every few hours. We just found out that Dr. Yin won't be back in town until January 2nd. In the meantime another doctor is in charge and he is very averse to risking anything without Yin's involvement. We aren't 100% for sure until we talk with him tomorrow morning. But it seems likely right now that he will want to just maintain status quo. So that would mean keeping Halle on the continued Magnesium IV, and hope that nothing changes to force our hand and require Jackson to be delivered. Then we'll hold out until Dr. Yin is able to be consulted on Wednesday. We have no idea what she'll want to do at that point.

Either Halle will be stuck on bedrest in the hospital until Jan. 8th which was the original plan. It is also possible that Yin will decide to let things just move forward. If that is the case, they will remove Halle from all medication and we'll most likely have Jackson soon.

So that's it for now. We'll be hanging out in the hospital when I'm not at work. I'm making the famous "Whittington New Year's Eve Shrimp Gumbo" and taking it to the hospital tomorrow night. Halle and I will be sharing it with all the nurses that we've gotten to know. ;)

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts for Halle.

More updates to come.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Last night Halle was having around 12 contractions an hour and they were getting stronger. So after 3 hours of that we went to Sierra Vista at about 10pm. Once we got there they immediately gave her a shot of Terbutalene. That didn't really do anything, so they gave her another at about 12am, and when that didn't work they gave her another shot and a pill at about 2am. At 4 am, there were no changes, and Halle was not dilating either so they decided to put her on a Magnesium drip. At about 8am, that was not having an effect either, so they brought in Dr. Shields to look check her out, and were wanting to do an Amniocenteses to remove the excess amniotic fluid. We were not a big fan of that idea except as a last resort, so we voted to increase the dosage of magnesium first to see if that would work. They also gave Halle an injection of steroids to start giving Jackson's lungs a boost in case he ends up coming early.

So here's where were are now.

Halle hasn't slept at all, what with all the injections, the side effects of the medication, and being ridiculously uncomfortable. I slept about 1 hour. I'm now at home trying to get some things together since Halle will be in the hospital until at least Monday morning at 8am. At that point the steroids will have had the desired results and it will be better for Jackson if he ends up coming early.

If the increased dosage of Magnesium doesn't work, they'll want to remove the excess fluid this afternoon. Side effects are infection and the possibility of Halle going into immediate labor.

We're not that worried about Jackson coming early because we both think that we're about a week and a half ahead of schedule. But keep us in your prayers. Pray mostly that Halle gets sleep, and that Jackson weathers this with the minimum amount of complications or stress.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Daniel and I wanted to update you with the latest happenings in the Whittington neck of the woods... We went in for our monthly ultrasound yesterday. It appears that Jackson is growing quite well, as he is now weighing about 4 lbs. 6 oz. The specialist told us we have a very large baby; most babies at this stage weigh almost 3 lbs. I am still measuring quite big for where we're at due to an increased amount of amniotic fluid. I should be measuring at about 31 weeks, but am measuring full-term. This poses a number of problems for both Jackson and myself.

I have been in quite a bit of back pain for a few weeks now, and as of last week was put on disability by my doctor, so I am no longer working. I was having a few contractions here and there, and have been very uncomfortable, but because this is all new to me, I haven't really known what should cause concern and what is normal.

At yesterday's ultrasound, the specialist said that I will need to begin having non-stress tests done twice per week from now on. Excess amniotic fluid can pose many risks to the baby, and can be associated with a high rate of fetal mortality. Thus, the regular non-stress tests. There is also a very high risk of preterm labor.

Well, today I received a call from my doctor's office to go in for my first non-stress test. I went in at 3:15pm today and they began monitoring Jackson. During my visit, I mentioned that I have been experiencing quite a bit of contractions. The doctor felt a few in the short time she was there and sent me over to Sierra Vista Hospital. I was there for a few hours while they monitored contractions and Jackson's heartbeat. I was having fairly significant contractions every 6 minutes, so they gave me a shot of tributelene which seemed to help slow them down right away. They administered a couple other tests while I was there, and at about 7:30pm I was released with strict orders. I am officially on complete bedrest. I can only get up to use the bathroom, and use the microwave to heat up meals if I have to. I was instructed to keep an ice chest next to the bed with any food and drink items easily accessible. (Daniel is currently shopping for those items as I write.) I can only drive to doctor's appointments, otherwise, I am to remain at home resting. I was also given a prescription for terbutalene which I am to take every four hours as contractions persist.

The good news is that other than his cleft, Jackson's heart, brain, kidneys and limbs all appear perfectly normal and healthy. And Daniel's doing great, able to drive and move around as usual, taking care of his bedridden wife. :) We're not sure how long I'll be on bedrest. It could very well be for the next 4-6 weeks. The doctors seem to think Jackson will make his appearance in early or mid January.

So, if you're in the area, and you have a bit of free time, please don't hesitate to come by and say hello. I'll be here. :) And please continue to pray for Jackson's health (and my sanity) over the next weeks, and that he would stay put long enough so that no other complications would come into play.

Lastly, it looks like we'll be going to UCLA for his surgery. We don't know much more than that at this point, but when we do, we'll fill you in. Thanks again for your prayers and support. We love you.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bilateral Cleft Lip & Palate

Daniel and I just wanted to give you a quick update as to the latest with Jackson. We had an ultrasound today and it was clear to the doctor that Jackson has both the bilateral cleft lip and palate. The doctor also did a fetal echo on Jackson's heart and he said it looks fine. We will be scheduling a consultation with the pediatric surgeons at LA Children's Hospital within the next month. We'll know more at that time, and have an opportunity to ask the many questions we have had rolling around in our heads for some time now.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Latest Ultrasound News

Daniel and I want to thank you all for all your prayers and support over the past few weeks. We have really appreciated it.

Our latest ultrasound was this past Friday. The doctor that performed our ultrasound this time was extremely helpful, answering as many of our questions as possible during the visit. Jackson definitely has a bilateral cleft lip. The doctor switched over to 3D for part of it, and it was much more visible to Daniel and I than it was to us in 2D. She looked for awhile at his face and mouth, and told us that she was not certain as to whether or not Jackson has a cleft palate as well. She said from what she could tell either he only has the cleft lip, or if he does have a cleft palate, it is minimal, as it was not noticeable by ultrasound. That was good news, as the cleft palate poses many more problems for the child, including hearing, speech, and teeth problems. The doctor said we most likely will not know much more than that prior to his birth.

We will have another ultrasound November 12th, what they call a "fetal echo". They want to take a better look at Jackson's heart to make sure everything looks normal and healthy. I guess it's normal practice to have a fetal echo whenever abnormalities occur, as they could be linked to heart problems. Following that ultrasound, we will schedule a consultation with the surgical team from either LA Children's Hospital or Stanford. We'll be able to meet with the surgeons who will be performing Jackson's surgery and ask any questions we have at that time. With the cleft lip, most surgeries take place when the baby is at least around 3 months old and weigh at least 12-14 lbs.

Our due date got moved up from February 17th to February 9th, as Jackson was measuring further along. Jackson is now weighing about 1 pound 3 ounces. We got the cutest picture of him while he was hiding his mouth with his hand. I'll see if we can scan it and pass it on. (I personally think he looks like Daniel.) The doctor also mentioned that I have a bit of excess amniotic fluid, most likely because it is a bit harder for Jackson to swallow with his cleft. Please continue to keep Jackson (and us) in your prayers. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


We had the next ultrasound today at 11am. We were informed that the nuchal translucency that was the problem before looks like it's gone away as far as they can tell. The angles they were getting on Jackson weren't good enough to be 100% certain, and he wasn't obliging us by moving to his side to make it easier.

However they were able to tell us that he has a bilateral cleft lip (and possibly palate), and they're certain on that one. As it turns out, this is sometimes connected with other major problems such as brain functionality and hearing problems. Unfortunately (although it's about par for the course) we won't know more for at least 3 weeks which is when they have to wait do the next ultrasound to check up on other things that could be wrong.

If the only problem is the cleft palate and lip, then we will then have to go down to the LA Children's hospital to consult with surgeons on the next steps of a very long process. They will be able to tell us when the first round of surgeries will have to occur, and talk about the possible need for a prosthesis for his mouth so that he can eat when he is born.

As of right now we don't know much other than that, and whatever internet research can bring up. In 3 weeks we'll know if it's an isolated problem or if it's connected to something much bigger. Your prayers would be appreciated.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CVS Results

Daniel and I just received the results this morning from the CVS procedure. Everything came back normal!!! We are so happy and so thankful.

We also found out that...


So we'll be welcoming Jackson Trine Whittington into the family sometime in mid-February! Please continue to pray for his health and protection over the next months . Thank you all for praying and for your love and support.