Friday, November 27, 2015

34 Week Maternity pictures

On Wednesday November 25, I had my husband take some maternity pictures of me at a local park.  My husband is definitely not a photographer, but he did a good job taking these.  With all the pregnancies I have had, I never got professional pictures taken of me while pregnant.  So we tried to do as professional as possible.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Baby Shower and pregnancy update

My wonderful church friends gave a baby shower for me on November 14.  One of the ladies made an awesome Italian creme cake with a Texas Longhorns theme.  She did an awesome job and it tasted so yummy.  I am so blessed to have such wonderful friends in my church who have supported Thomas and I with our girls and now Brandon.

Yummy Italian Creme cake

Yummy food for the shower

Picture of me at 32 weeks and on the day of my baby shower:

32 weeks (11/14/15)

Below is a picture of me at 33 weeks.  I sure am getting big!!!

33 weeks (11/20/15)

I haven't taken the 34 week picture yet, but I am finally 34 weeks!!!  I'm so glad to be at 34 weeks and knowing that Brandon will be ok if he were to be born soon.  In fact my doctor doesn't think I will go much longer since Brandon is already 7 pounds!  He is going to be a big boy!  I had an ultrasound done a couple of days ago and he is looking good despite the spina bifida.  He is definitely growing and moving.  We even saw him move his ankles which is a very good sign.  The sonographer said the spina bifida defect was at L5.  We were told it was at L3-4 in past ultrasounds from a different doctor so hopefully it is at L5 which is lower and better.  We will just have to wait and see when he is born to find out exactly were it is at.  So we are just waiting for Brandon to be born.  I hope to go one more week and make it to 35 weeks....

Thursday, November 5, 2015

31 Week Update

The time is flying by and I'm already 31 weeks with baby boy!  The second trimester seemed to go slow but since getting into the third trimester time is going so fast.  I'm getting so big with this boy!  I am much bigger at this point than I was when I was pregnant with Kayla at 31 weeks.  He is bigger than Kayla was at 31 weeks and is weighing roughly 4 pounds already!  I do have some extra amniotic fluid as well so that is also contributing to the large belly.

31 Weeks
I saw my new doctor last week and nothing really new to report.  I will go back to see the doctor next week.  I had to switch doctors due to baby boy's spina bifida.  I will be delivering at Memorial Hermann Hospital instead of Women's hospital due to needing to deliver him at a hospital with a good neurosurgeon.  Women's hospital just didn't have a neurosurgeon to do the surgery he will need when he is born.  We already met with baby boy's neurosurgeon and are happy with him.  I miss my other doctor (Dr. Pinell) at Women's hospital, but I have to do what is best for baby boy.

We have already decided on a name for baby boy!  His name will be Brandon Thomas Stansel.  Thomas is a family name as my dad and my husband are named Thomas.  As for the name Brandon well I just liked it.  

Slowly but surely I am working on his nursery.  He will get the same crib that Kayla had and his room will be Kayla's room.  Kayla is moving to our guest bedroom which is bigger so it all works out.  Brandon's nursery theme is sports as daddy loves sports!  Its been fun shopping for a boy this time around.

So things are just moving along and we continue to pray for Brandon and his health.  On the most part I'm optimistic, but there are times I get so discouraged and sad.  We love this boy already and are excited to see him.  Hoping to make it to 37 weeks as that will be the best for him to be ready for the surgeries he will have to endure.  

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Jimmy John's Grand Opening!!!

Thomas along with his brother and two friends have been working on opening a franchise - Jimmy John's for almost two years now. Finally the grand opening was on Tuesday October 20!!!  It was a good first day open.  If you are local (Houston), come visit this Jimmy John's.  Its located at 12124 Greenspoint Dr.  Houston, TX 77060.

Front of the store

Opening day crew
Hard at work
Kayla visiting the store on opening day.  Rachel and Haley were at school.
Three of the owners taking a break and eating lunch

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mommy and Daddy getaway!

So after getting the devestating news about baby boy and his spina bifida diagnosis, we planned and took a mommy and daddy getaway to get a break from it all.  The last week in August, Thomas and I took a trip to the Texas Hill country in Wimberly.  We stayed in a secluded log cabin that had amazing views for a couple of nights and then we drove to San Antonio and stayed at a nice hotel for a couple of nights.  We had a nice relaxing time doing whatever we wanted to do with no kids and just thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We thank Grandma and Grandpa Stansel for watching the kids all week while we got away.   We probably won't get to go on a vacation just the two of us for a long, long time after baby boy is born.  So we are glad we got this vacation in before his birth.  Here are some pictures of the log cabin in Wimberely.  I didn't take a lot of pictures of any thing else of our trip, but this log cabin was a beautiful location.

Outside of the log cabin
Living room in cabin
Kitchen/living room
Back deck
View from the back deck

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The pregnancy update

So lots of stuff has been going on the past several months.  I just hadn't had a lot of time to update this blog.  Believe me I have been wanting to write.  Back in mid June I took pictures for my friends dance show and have been working at getting all 900+ pictures edited.  Plus I had all 3 girls home for the Summer which was stressful and busy.  September has been crazy busy as well.  Kayla started preschool on September 14 and I have been juggling lots of doctors appointments for me and this pregnancy.  I have been putting off on writing this blog post regarding my pregnancy and baby boy since late July.  We unfortunately got some unexpected and troubling news regarding baby boy on July 29 (17 weeks along).  We found out on ultrasound that he has spina bifida.  I have been having a hard time taking it all in and understanding why it had to happen since the diagnosis.  My heart just hurts that we have to endure another trial and challenge like this in regard to another one of our children.  My baby boy will have disabilities, mostly physically.  His spine is open approximately at L3 or L4 which means he will have issues with walking in the future.  He also has enlarged ventricles in his brain due to the open hole in his back.  He will most likely need a shunt after he is born.  He will also have to endure surgery to close the hole in his back when he is born.  Other than that he is doing good.  He is growing well and his other organs look great.  I never thought we would get a diagnosis like this when I got pregnant with him.  I was just hoping for another healthy baby born close to full term to join our family.  I am trying my hardest to keep the faith that all will be ok.  I have lots of fears and worries for baby boy and am hoping for the best outcome we can get.  I love this sweet picture of his profile.

21 weeks, 5 days ultrasound

He is a strong fighter already.  He moves and kicks me a lot.  I really enjoy feeling those movements inside my womb and am soaking it all in as this will be our last baby.

The good news is that I am 28 weeks.  We have past that point of when I had the sextuplets (22 weeks, 6 days) and have gotten past the point of viability (24 weeks).  I do have extra amniotic fluid and look much further along than I am.  I am hoping my uterus will hold out despite the extra fluid and I will make it to 37 weeks.  I am getting the weekly progesterone shots to keep my uterus calm and so far those seem to be helping.  I have not been put on bedrest and so far the doctors have not talked about that at all so I really am hoping and praying all continues to go well.

27 weeks
So Rachel and Haley don't seem to notice the pregnancy or understand, but Kayla is very excited to be a big sister and have a little brother.

We are excited to meet him too despite his diagnosis.  We are praying all will be well despite the spina bifida.  We are relying on the Lord to help us through this unexpected trial along our journey.  We have made it this far and will continue the best we can and continue to endure.

Again sorry for the long break in my blog.  I really do want to continue this blog and I will, I just have been having a hard time making the time plus I have been more tired lately due to this pregnancy.  Stay tuned for more though!  Thanks for thinking of us!        

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Back to school for Rachel and Haley!

Rachel and Haley's first day of 1st grade was August 24, 2015.  They love school and were happy to go back as was daddy and I.  The girls do so much better (behavior wise) when they go to school.  The girls are in separate special education life skills classes, but they go to breakfast and lunch together as well as recess.  They both have new teachers who seem really great and each have two other students in their classes.  Rachel and Haley will both get therapies from several therapist at school and will be getting the help they need to progress  We are much happier with everything at their school this year.

The girls enjoy riding the bus to and from school.

Waiting for the bus