Friday, November 30, 2012

Newborn Heart Defect Screening Awareness Day

Today, Cora Mae McCormick would have been 3 years old.  She would have been having a princess party and eating too much cake.  She would have running around and holding up three chubby little fingers to let people know how old she was. 

Instead, she only lived for 5 days. 

Cora had a heart defect that went undiagnosed... until it was too late.
Her defect may have been caught if a simple pulse ox had been done after her birth.  The pulse ox could have alerted doctors and staff that there was something wrong.

Since the death of her beautiful daughter, Cora's mother, Kristine, has been a champion all over the country for the need for pulse ox screening.  She truly is a hero and an inspiration.

We were one of the lucky ones.  Because of my high risk pregnancy, a pulse ox was done on Sully when he was born.  His O2 sats were in the 70's.  His low O2s told the doctors that something was wrong and they ordered an echo to be done.  They discovered Pulmonary Atresia with Tetrology of Fallot.  Surgery saved Sully and it was all because the pulse ox showed abnormal O2 levels.  I am so grateful that I have my son here with me today.  I am so glad that I can hug him and kiss him and smell him.  I don't know what I would have done if we had had a different outcome.  I doubt I could have been as strong as Kristine.

Today I am wearing pink in honor of Cora.

You can also read Sully's story at:

It is so important to be informed.  You are your child's only advocate.  Know what to look for, and ask for the screening. 

Big hugs to Kristine today and a big Happy Birthday to our angel Cora.


Courtney and Sully

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New Doc, new outlook

Good morning and happy day before Thanksgiving!

I am really having trouble finding my motivation at work today so I figured I would blog stalk and post.. haha.  That is an appropriate use of time, right? 

Anyhow, I want to start off by saying a big, huge, giant CONGRATULATIONS to a fellow Blogger, K.  She and her husband have had multiple pregnancy losses and IF, and recently attempted their first round of IVF.  I am happy to say that it worked!  They had 3 embryos implanted so they may have triplets. :-)  Please pray that they get their take home babies!  K, I am so happy for you! 

Recently, I have been doing a lot of thinking.  I was due for my yearly pap and gyno exam, so I figured I better get going a find a new doc.  Most of you know my story and how unhappy I was with my last birthing and prenatal experience, so I decided to leave that hospital completely and go to someone else.  I have been researching doctors for the past couple weeks and asking all my friends.  I finally decided on Dr. E.  She is a female, which I am also excited about.  I had my first appointment with her yesterday.  I was nervous all morning because my previous clinic had sent over all of my records and I was sure they were a foot thick.
I didn't want her to read them and think I was a loon or something. 
When I got to her office, her nurse was extremely nice and seemed genuinely interested in what I had to say and was very on top of things.  I assumed that I would have to strip and wait for Dr. E, but the nurse said that Dr. E likes to talk with patients first and she thinks that patients are more comfortable when they are dressed.  Um.. yea we are!  Why don't more docs think like this?

The nurse left and I waited for Dr. E.  She came in and shook my hand and we got down to business.  She asked me questions and our long, stressful story spilled out.  I was hoping to make it out of this appointment without crying, but that wasn't the case. She patted my arm and just listened.  Dr. E agreed that things were not handled properly during my stay at the other hospital and perhaps some things were missed during my prenatal care.  Dr. E also explained how future pregnancies would go.  It doesn't sound like it would be a walk in the park.  Haha!
Robert and I aren't planning on trying for another couple of years, but this is a rundown of what it would be next time:
As soon as I find out I am pregnant, I would need to come to the clinic and get supplies for a 24 hour urine collection.  Because I had pre-ecclampsia last time, I run a risk of it nex time, so they want to get a baseline of protein in my urine.
I would not only be watched by Dr. E, but also by Dr. O, a high risk MFM.  I would be watched every 2 weeks throughout my pregnancy. 
At 20 weeks, we would have a complete anatomy scan.  They would check every system and take a billion vials of my blood to check everything.
At 22 weeks, we would go to Minneapolis to have a fetal echocardiogram to check for any abnormalities.  Most people have a 1% chance of having a child born with a heart condition, but when you have a child born with a heart condition, your chances raise a little to 3%. 
They would also be doing multiple urine collections to check protein throughout the pregnancy.
I will also get more ultrasounds, which is the one good thing about a high risk pregnancy.
I will still be on the progesterone supps for the first half.
I will also not be attempting a vbac.  It will be a scheduled C Section.

After we talked for about a half hour, I had my exam and I was on my way.  I felt so comfortable and relieved.   I have a feeling she is going to be very good for me and it makes me feel more optimistic about any future children we may be blessed with.

We are hittin' the road tomorrow to head to Minneapolis for Turkey Day. I'm excited to see my hubby's family and eat turkey and drink wine.  Since I don't have to cook at all, it will be even better. :-)

There is a ton for us to be thankful for this year so I hope everyone takes a minute and reflects on all the amazing blessings. 

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.

And to all of my ladies out there:

Philippians 1:3

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.

Love to you are yours,


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

365 Days - Dear Sullivan

My dearest Sully James,

Today is your first birthday.  You aren't a little baby anymore.  You are a big, toddler boy and your poor Mama still has whiplash from how fast this year has gone by.
I remember laying in the operating room just waiting to hear your first cry.  As soon as I heard it, I cried harder than I have ever cried in my whole life.  You were finally here.  I can still remember the sounds and smells and at that moment, I knew all of my dreams came true.  You are the answer to all of my prayers.  I thank God every day that He chose ME, little ol' me, to be your Mama.  What did I do to get so lucky?

You have taken us on such a roller coaster, but I wouldn't have changed a minute of it.  If someone said I would have to go through all of it again, and the end result would be you, I wouldn't blink.  I would do it all again in a heartbeat. 

Sully, you are the best kid a mom could ask for.  After everything you have been through, you would have every right to be a complete crab if you wanted, but you are the total opposite.  You are so happy and outgoing.  You love to smile and laugh and I think you even tease me sometimes.  :-)  You love to socialize and be around people.  You are a little ham and love to be the center of attention. 

You also love to feed yourself.  Mama tries to help you and you just get angry!  You love hummus, peas, grilled cheese, string cheese and anything Mama and Daddy are eating.  You also love snacks!  I have found that you are partial to the Annie's Bunnies. :-)

You also love playing with your toys.  You are such a curious boy.  I love when you are exploring the toys and your all too expressive eyebrows raise... one at a time. Why so serious? :-)

I am pretty sure you are days away from walking.  You don't like to sit still and you are always on the move.  You cruise and crawl so fast that Mama can barely keep up with you.  You are determined to get a hold of Bailey Cat and I think Bailey Cat fears you may succeed some time soon.

You still love to cuddle your Mama at night, and I love that.  You have your bottle and sit in my lap.  One thing you have done since you were a tiny baby is you hold your bottle with your right hand, or I hold your bottle with my right hand you always reach up with your left hand and hold my finger. You have done it from the beginning and I hope you do that always.  It is our special little time and when you are a big, stinky teenager, I hope you still wanna squeeze my finger.

I can't wait to watch you grow, but slow down!  You are movin' too fast for your Mama!  I can't even begin to describe how much I love you.  You are the reason I was put on this earth.  Every time my heart beats, it is for you.  You are my Monster, and I love you dearly.

Happy 1st Birthday Sullivan James! 



P.S.  I adjust the lyrics a bit when I sing this, but this is the song I sing to Sully most nights...

"Joy Of My Life" By: John Fogarty

I tiptoed in the room,

I know you got to have your rest.

She says, 'Come lay beside me,

I've been waitin' since you left.'

She's sweet to me;

Must be the luckiest man alive.

And did I tell you baby,

You are the joy of my life

First time that I saw you,

Ooh, you took my breath away.

I might not get to heaven,

But I walked with the Angels that day.

She takes me by the hand;

I am the luckiest man alive.

And did I tell you baby,

You are the joy of my life.

Some may have their riches;

Some may have their worldly fame.

Long as I have you;

I'll treasure each and every day.

Just take me by the hand;

I am the luckiest man alive.

And did I tell you baby,

You are the joy of my life.

And did I tell you baby,

You are the joy of my life.

Monday, November 12, 2012

You gotta fight, for your right, to PARRRRRRRRRTY!

Good morning and happiest of Mondays to you!  It was quite the morning at my house today.  Sully woke up and is teething like a madman.  He is drooling everywhere, his nose is running like a faucet and he is being a bear.  It was an absolute fight to get him dressed today.  Just as I finally got him fed and settle down, he grabbed his lotion bottle and wanted to play with it and ended up accidentally hitting Robert in the eye.
Robert said it hurt really badly so we brought Sully to daycare and I ran Robert into the ER.
Lo and behold, Sully managed to give Robert a corneal scratch over his whole eye and pupil.  He is getting some antibacterial drops for a few weeks and then gave him a tetanus shot as a precaution.  It was crazy.
He is home resting now and I am at work.  LAME SAUCE!  It should actually be a fun week because it is our prize week from our awesome fundraiser.  I am hoping for an awesome prize! :-)

Now, down to what you all really want to know, right?  Sully's party was an absolute success. Everything went off without a hitch and everyone had a great time.  There was about 45 people there and it was awesome.  Everyone raved about my food and we actually ran out of meatballs towards the end! :-)
Sully was absolutely spoiled rotten and watching him eat his cake was hilarious!  My friend H had a puzzle made for Sully with the letters of his name and I loved that!  It was so special and thoughtful.  He got lots of trucks and clothes and awesome toys.  My friend Eileen and her awesome bakery gave us Sully's dream Bubble Guppies cake!  The candy bar was a hit and I felt so amazingly blessed.  It has been a crazy year and it felt so good to celebrate my happy, healthy boy.
I will be uploading more pics soon, but here are some of the fun that was had by all yesterday:

Sully and my mom riding the train at the mall while we did some pre-birthday shopping. :-)

The candy bar!!

Mmmmm CAKE

Opening the present from Auntie H.  Cool name puzzle!

Excuse the house coat apron I'm wearing and my niece's orange hair.. but this was cute of us. :-)  Teens... whattya gonna do with them right?

It was a great day.  I was so exhausted when I got home.  I watched some RHOA and crashed out. 
Hope you all had a great weekend.  I can't believe it is Sully's actual birthday on Wednesday!  My big 1 year old boy!

Have a good Monday!


Friday, November 9, 2012

It's the big weekend!

Hey ladies!

How was your week?  I have been like an antsy kid on Christmas morning waiting for this weekend to get here.  Sunday is my Sully Monster's 1st birthday party!  Ohmygoodness!  How did this year speed by so fast!?  I usually am hoping time will slow down but I want Friday to zoom by.  I am really not sure how I am going to be able to concentrate on work so I may just fake it, til I make it. Haha! :-)

My Debbiemom is in town and we are going to go grocery shopping tomorrow.  I wanna keep the menu tasty and and simple and easy to prepare since there will be 40 guests.  I'm making southwest pulled chicken sandwiches, meatballs, pasta salad, baked beans, a relish trays, chips and dips and then my MIL is bringing fruit trays from Byerly's in Minneapolis.  I have all the candy for the candy bar.  Since we are doing Nickelodeon/Bubble Guppies theme, I bought Crabby Patty gummies, gumballs that I am going to call Bubble Bites, I have all the coloring pages and crafts for the kid's play area, I have all 4 sections of his timeline done, pictures printed, and about a billion other things.  I have gone incredibly overboard, but it is all worth it.  This kid deserves the party of the century.
And of course, I am driving Robert crazy! Haha!  Just when he thought I was done being insane about this party, I decided to take a quick look at Etsy... :-)

I found these super cute cupcake toppers:

Sully is having a Bubble Guppies sculpted smash cake and then cupcakes for the guests.  These are going to add extra pizazz to the cuppies. :-)

Then I found this lady that makes personalized shirts, so I had this one made for Sully to wear to the party:

He is going to be quite a stud!

We have the Flip charged and the camera charged so I will be taking a ton of pics.  I still can't believe that the party is here!

On a separate note, I am sure you are all sick of election stuff, but I am so incredibly proud, not only to be an American, but to be a Minnesotan. Sully's health care is once again saved because of Obama, and I am grateful for that, but I am also grateful that the residents of my state, voted down two hateful amendments.  One of them was calling for people to have a valid ID to vote.  I am sure that some think, "What's the big deal?  Everyone has an ID so it should be a no brainer to have to have one to vote."  The truth is, everyone does not have an ID.  And yes, while there are some ways you can get one for free, you need supporting documents to get that free ID.  Case in point:  There is a widow that was born in Texas. She came here with her husband after the war.  She lives on Social Security and a pension.  She lost her ID a few months ago.  She doesn't drive, so she didn't rush out an get one.  Had the amendment passed, she would have had to not only get herself to the DMV and spend $23.00 she doesn't have, she would need to call down to Texas, try and get their courthouse to fax or mail her birth certificate, AND then pay for that.  Luckily, that amendment didn't pass. 
Also, we voted down an amendment that wanted to change our state constitution, banning gay marriage in our state.  The citizens of Minnesota stood up and said, "NO!" While same sex marriage isn't legal here yet, this is one step closer.  Love is love.  If a guy wants to marry another guy, that doesn't make my marriage any less special.  And this deficit?  Three words: Gay Bridal Registry. :-)  If someone doesn't like gay marriage, they shouldn't get gay married.
There was a saying during the election that said, "Be Minnesota Nice, Vote NO Twice!"
That is just what we did on election morning!  I am so proud!  Sully wore his 'Future Mr. President' shirt.  Isn't he so cute?

Well ladies, I hope you all have an amazing weekend!  To K, I am thinking and praying for you!  I hope the Saturday report from Dr. S goes swimmingly!  Keep us updated!  And to the Stay at Home attorney.... our babies will be 1 next week... AHHHHHH! :-)