Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf! Relief and joy only scratch the surface of what we’re feeling right now. After the sonographer spent 45 minutes measuring and looking at every tiny inch of our little fella, the doctor came in casually to say, “Well everything looks great! I’ve been through all the footage and see nothing that would give me cause for concern. You’re having a healthy baby boy. Any questions?”
That was it! No “brace yourself” conversations, no sitting down and going over details. Just “Looks good!” WHAT A GIFT! As soon as I heard, “it’s a boy” during the exam, my heart skipped a bit. We’ve been blessed with a healthy girl but would we be able to have a son who was healthy? Praise be to God Almighty for His kindness and favor!
So come this June, we’ll be a family of four. Dad, Mom, Eliana & Little Mister. Now the epic name search begins…
Filed under Evan, Updates
Most of you following our blog know that Patience writes most of the posts here. The reason is obvious, she has a gift for writing and a way with words that is God-given. God has spoken through her writings and has impacted many lives as a result.
It seems lately that God has been opening up doors for her to not only write, but also to speak. A couple months ago she was asked to be an advisor to the Improving Pediatric Critical Care Program at UNC Children’s Hospital. It’s a board of doctors, nurses, administrators, and a couple advisors (Patience being one of them) that speak into the process of improving communication, education, and overall care of the patients and their families while in their stay at the hospital. It has been so awesome to have the opportunity to support and be a part of the place that took such great care of our son Isaac in 2007, and we look forward to seeing what opportunities come out of this ongoing relationship.
Last Friday (February 19) she spoke at the UNC Dance Marathon to over 1,700 college students who were there helping raise money towards grants that would help patients and families in intensive care at the UNC Children’s Hospital. The event raised over $421,000 for the hospital! I was proud of not only the way she shared our story and the mission of that department (the one I mentioned above), but the way she captivated the audience. I love watching God use her so powerfully.
(click on the images to enlarge)
Tomorrow morning (Sunday, February 28) at 11:00am, Patience will be giving the sermon at Plymouth Church in Raleigh. She will be sharing a little bit of our story, but will be mostly sharing a message that’s on her heart, based out of the scripture Isaiah 61:1-3. Good stuff!
It’s so fun to watch God open up doors for her and use her so powerfully. I’m an extremely proud husband and look forward to what God has for her and for us in the future. God is good!
Our sweet girl is slowly on the mend. While she still coughs quite violently, they are steadily decreasing in regularity and in the midst, she remains the happiest little lady. We are so blessed to have Eliana. What is only a 2ish week bug for her would have certainly landed Isaac in the hospital for intense care or worse. Thank you, Lord, for this beautiful, strong, healthy little girl. She is such a gift.
Back to work. Her runny nose is calling…
Filed under Eliana, Updates
To those who prayed for us as we returned to UNC last week, thank you! It was an incredible day. From the moment I walked into the Children’s Hospital, a total peace washed over me. Strange as it may sound, I felt like I had returned to my home away from home. Walking in to the conference room, I saw familiar faces – doctors and nurses who had cared for Isaac. In many ways, it didn’t feel like two and a half years has passed since last seeing them, but rather just a few weeks. We caught up on our lives, shared stories, and reminisced on the 5 months we spent on the PICU.
All levels of staff involving PICU care were represented – from attendings (docs who run the unit) and nursing staff to patient relations and infectious disease docs. As I sat among these caregivers, I quickly remembered something I always enjoyed about UNC’s PICU staff – their commitment for excellence in their treatment of critically ill children and their constant desire for growth. I witnessed a true team effort. Not once did I ever see anyone pull rank in discussion or demean anyone in the conversation. UNC’s PICU team truly works together for the good of their patients. Their passion for these kids came through in everything they discussed.
Through the course of the meeting, I was able to interject thoughts about family care and getting parents more involved in the medical care process, particularly participating in morning rounds. Their genuine interest in my thoughts simply blessed me. To think that our experiences in ’07 could benefit other families with critically ill children overwhelmed me at times.
After the meeting, Heather (one of Isaac’s nurses who was at the conference and recently got engaged!! Congratulations!!) watched Eliana in the lobby so that Jordan & I could go up to visit the PICU. It was wonderfully strange to be back in the unit again. They have added 4 new rooms but it still felt just the same. Seeing the children and parents on the unit reminded us what life was like and how grateful we are to now have a healthy child.
Overall, it was an incredible experience. The conference itself was both fascinating and invigorating. I just love the medical environment! We enjoyed seeing familiar faces and catching up with some of the staff. In the months ahead, Patient Relations hopes to develop a focus group and eventually an advisory board to continue improving parent involvement and family care on the PICU. I’m deeply grateful to have been part of Wednesday’s meeting and look forward to contributing more in the future.
The results came in today from last week’s visit. These are based on the combined findings of our genetic history, age, blood work & ultrasound. Thankfully, the results show that our risks of experiencing Downs or Edwards are as minimal as possible. We’re quite happy, to say the least! We’re eager for our next ultrasound appointment on February 23, when every organ will be closely measured and studied. Its always a blessing to see our little girl, to watch her grow and develop into the baby we’ll meet face to face this summer.
Today’s appointment went as well as possible. We met with a genetic counselor to review family history and to understand the range of testing available to us at each stage of the pregnancy. We were pleasantly surprised to have the same counselor who talked with us during our pregnancy with Isaac. She remembered our story and was very thorough in updating our history, as well as explaining the options available.
Blood work was drawn on Patience for early screening of syndromes such as Downs and Edwards (Trisomy 18). Studies have shown correlation between the existence of syndrome/cardiac anomalies and the amount of fluid found at the back of the baby’s neck (nuchal translucency) between 11 and 13 weeks gestation. Normal range of fluid is 1 to 3 millimeters. Anything above 3 mm can be indication of a syndrome. Thankfully, our little one’s fluid measured right at 1 mm! Our baby’s skull and brain were also examined for early structural anomalies. We were grateful to hear none could be detected at this time. Everything measured today looked normal for this stage in the pregnancy. Praise God for a good report! We hope to hear back on the bloodwork results sometime next week.
The best part of our visit was certainly the ultrasound. Our baby was chomping away and waving, but had its face buried against the uterine wall. Of course, much like Isaac, our little one was refusing to give us a clear shot of its face and decided to fall asleep halfway. Those Leino kids are stubborn! Our ultrasound tech did happen to tell us the gender of Baby Leino. We’ll have it “officially” confirmed at our 18 week ultrasound, but usually this form of i.d. is 95% accurate.
Looks like we’re having a GIRL!
Our ultrasound has been rescheduled to Thursday, January 21 at 11a due to the snow here in Raleigh. We’ll post test & ultrasound results as soon as we are able.