Wednesday, November 23, 2011

PUBS 1 Part 2

We are thankful this year that our little surprise's transfusion went GREAT yesterday!  We are also so thankful that it appears the first transfusion was mildly successful.  Had it not been successful he would have been VERY sick (had he even survived to yesterday).  

Witnessing the successful transfusion was a really neat thing as well.  Typically when a doctor attempts a tricky surgery it's in an operating room with an asleep patient.  This was in a Labor and Delivery room with a very awake me and George at my side.  When the transfusion proved successful there was such an air of giddiness in the room.  The doctors were excited.  The attending said of the doctor did it, "well, that just made her day".  People were laughing and joking and wanting us to name the baby after them.   Everyone felt like they had just been a part of something great.  We also happened to be the only ones on the floor, which the nurses said was SO weird, so when we were leaving everyone knew who we were and was smiling and telling us how happy they were for us.  It was oddly fun (after not during:). 

Ok, for those of you who are medically minded and want to know exactly what occurred this next parts for you.  First off, what does PUBS stand for you may ask?  Well, thanks to google here is the answer:  Percutaneous Umbilical  Blood Sampling.  There you go!  All cleared up!  In case you didn't know, percutaneous means "through the skin" which I of course knew right after I once again consulted google.  So in short here is what happens during each PUBS procedure:

1st:  I arrive at the hospital several hours before the procedure.  Many attempts are made to put an IV in my "tiny" "crooked" veins.  My blood is then taking and run to the lab to check for any new antibodies and the baby is checked via ultrasound.

2nd:  George and I watch TV for a few hours while all around us things are sterilized and people pile into the room and introduce themselves to us and ask if they can watch.

3rd:  I am "prepped":  draped in several sterile draps with just my belly exposed, covered in Benodine, and told to put my arms above my head and not move.  The last part of prepping is where they say "bee sting" and then to proceed to stab me with a needle that I'm pretty sure is the size of a butcher knife and covered in something that burns like Hades.  I hold my tongue and try not to yell, "bee sting my ****!"  Finally sweet numbness sinks in.

4th:  The procedure!  The doctor and ultra sound tech work together to get a thin but very long needle through my uterus and placenta and ultimately into the umbilical cord.  Then everyone must stay super, super still.  A small amount of blood is drawn.  If the needle hasn't slipped and blood is drawn (as opposed to amniotic fluid) it is literally run down to the lab and immediately processed for initial numbers.  Once the lab calls up with these numbers the doctors know how much blood to transfuse. If amniotic fluid is drawn they reposition the needle until it's right.

5th:  IF the needle has not slipped the blood is transfused.  Typically the needle slips several times and step four is redone again and again.  However, once the blood finally gets in more blood is drawn to check the numbers again and once again everyone stays very still.  When the lab confirms enough blood has been transfused it's over.

6th:  The needle is withdrawn and they clean me up.  We wait an hour for observationb and then are on our way. 

This process will be done every 3 weeks.  From this point on if the baby shows signs of distress after (or during) the procedure NICU will be there to deliver.  Obviously the further along we get the better!!!!! 

I'm sure I left many, many holes but that is the basic procedure!  Thanks for the prayers.  We definitely felt them.  Pencil in prayer for us on December 13th as that's our next transfusion date.

On the Ethiopia front we were not submitted to Embassy today:(  We are REALLY praying for next week and still hopeful that Ezekiel will be home by Christmas.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

An Update on Surprise

Please continue to pray for our little surprise baby.  As many of you know he is facing the same blood incompatibility that Jack had which is leading to anemia.  At this early stage, 20 weeks, the doctors would like to transfuse him every 3 weeks to make up for the blood cells that are being destroyed by my blood.  They attempted a transfusion for the first time on Friday.  Unfortunately with an umbilical cord the size of a piece of spaghetti (and equally as flexible) the doctors were unsuccessful in transfusing him.  We are praying that his anemia does not get much worse over the next couple of days and they are trying again on Tuesday.  Please pray that he makes it to Tuesday and that the transfusion is successful.

As far as Ezekiel goes please be praying for us to be submitted to Embassy this Wednesday!

And finally please pray for this Momma's heart.  Having one child in a foreign country and the other fighting for his very life is not easy the Mommy's heart.  (and the the Daddy too of course!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Love to Write!

Today is National I Love to Write Day.  I know this because I am a super on top of it homeschool mom.  Or maybe, just maybe, while Christin was doing some grammar exercises I was in the bathroom and happened to be flipping through HomeSchool Enrichment when I noticed the title "November 15th is National I Love to Write Day".  Which do you think is more likely?

Anyway,   I quickly came up with the idea (ok I got it from the magazine) to have Christin write a poem about Ezekiel.  I told her she got "extra credit points" for using at least two spelling words.  Since we don't do points that didn't really mean much to her so no spelling words.  Oh well!  Here's what she came up with: 

Can You Guess Who?

I smiled when I saw him.
He didn't fit in my shoes.
He didn't fit in my socks.
He was as small as a mouse.
His head was so small but his eyes were twice the size of a bouncy ball!

He smiled at me when I came.
I couldn't help smiling back.
Can you guess who?
That is it!
I'll give you a second or two...

That's who!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's A. . .


It looks like things in this house are going to go from being all girl to totally even.  George is thrilled that his days of being outnumbered are numbered!  We're pretty excited considering this baby and Ezekiel are going to be about 14 months apart.  They will share a room and be best friends for the rest of their lives.  Ok they don't have to share a room for the rest of their lives because, well, that would be a little weird when they grow up and get married.  However, the best friends thing?  Non-negotiable!!!  It may take some brain washing but trust me, I can convince them.  The girls already know that they will be each others maid of honors (maids of honor?) :) 

So bring on the snakes and snails and puppy dog tails (or maybe not, that's a little creepy) 
So bring on the trucks, sports, and dirt:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just a Little Short

We are so close to being done this adoption!!!!!!  Our agency expects our paperwork to be submitted to the US Embassy on either Nov. 16th or the 23.  The Embassy then has 10 business days to tell us that we've either cleared or that they need more info.  That means that we should hear something the week of Nov. 28th or the week of Dec. 5th.  If we clear travel could be just a few days after that.  SOOOO we could be back in ET as soon as the first week of December to bring Ezekiel home!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
So what is the meaning of the title?  Well, we have used up most of our adoption fund.  We have about $2,000 left to pay for our 2nd trip travel package and our in-country expenses.  However, we still need to raise the funds for our airfare (which looks like it will be somewhere in the $3500-$4000 range) and our post adoption paperwork (somewhere between $1000-$2,000)  So basically we need somewhere between $4500 and $6000 to be completely done bringing Ezekiel home and making him officially Ezekiel Aman Sterling DeVol (right now he is Aman George DeVol). 
So how can you help?  We need ideas for fundraising!!!!  Does anyone have any great ideas for us that don't take too long to put into action?  I've toyed with the idea of selling Thanksgiving pies but I'm just not sure if that would work so I'm looking for other ideas.  Also, obviously if you would just like to donate you can always do that by using the Paypal logo on the left hand side of this blog. 

Thank you all so much for your love and support during the last 2 years!!!  We have been so encouraged by the outpouring of love we have experienced from family, friends, and strangers and we hope that many of you will be able to join us at the airport when we bring Ezekiel home!

God Bless!!!!!!!

PS.  Stayed tuned tomorrow for our Surprise Sidekicks gender reveal. . . .

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Almost. . .

Our meeting with the judge went great.  We found out a letter has been written and should be in today (according to the judge).  So assuming the letter is favorable we should here that we pass later today or tomorrow!!!! 

So stay tuned for an update tonight:)

Thanks for the prayers!  If we pass it will certainly be a miracle!

5pm update:  The courts are closed in Ethiopia for the night and still no news. Maybe tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

We've been so busy here in ET!  Yesterday, after some time with Ezekiel we were supposed to go do a little sight seeing but Lindsey spiked a fever and was exhausted so we headed back to the GH to rest a bit and get some tylonel in her (yes I, Shannon, gave my child medicine, weird right?!?!)  Anyway, after some rest she was much better and we went out for our traditional Ethiopian dinner.  The food was AMAZING.  The dancing was IMPOSSIBLY AMAZING!!!!!  The girls got to dance and we all had a really great time!
Hand washing before and after meal!


I wish the pictures captured the coolness of the dancing.
to see both girls dance follow the link: and look for "Lindsey dances with Ethiopians" and "Traditional Ethiopian Dancing with Christin"

Today we spent the morning shopping, had lunch and then spent some time with our little man who was at his happiest yet!  He's opening up with us a little more everyday and today really started to babble to us which we love. 

We still aren't sure what's going to happen with our police clearences.  Please, please pray that God works a miracle tomorrow (Wednesday) and that everything falls into place and our letter gets written and get's to the judge by Thursday morning!  

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