Family Turmoil
Well, I donít know if turmoil is the right word, but itís getting there. So Tuesday afternoon Dr. Carbonell calls to give us some information about Dawnís blood work. Apparently, there is a 1 in 68 chance that the new baby has Down Syndrome!!! He says we can come in tomorrow morning at 7:30am to have an ultrasound and if we want to proceed from there we could get an amniocentesis (where they take some of the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby and analyze it).

Dawn and I donít sleep well that night and wake up Tuesday morning at 3:30 or so and are both up by 4am. So we talk more about it, do some research and a little work and take Aiden out to Joe and Mindyís (since they are used to being up in the early hours). We go to the Drís office and they begin the ultrasound.

Everything looks good on the ultrasound. There is no extra skin build up along the back of the head, no webbing along the back of the neck, no abnormalities apparent in the brain or hypothalamus (that big chunk of stuff at the base of the skull responsible for a lot of involuntary stuff), heart looked good (4 chambers, no left ventricle or atrium spots Ė apparently a big deal), lenses in the eyes appeared clear (looking for cataracts), and the over all body structure looked good Ė although I guess its still early to measure lengths of the femur (big bone in your upper leg) and humerus (large bone in upper arm). Statistically this only improves the odds by 50%. So we are still looking at 1 in 100ish. Down Syndrome complications also include a wide variety of other issues beyond just physical characteristics. These can include DNA synthesis difficulties and DNA repair problems, premature aging, immune system problems, general organ problems, mental retardation, etc.

The Doc gives us the run down on the odds of a miscarriage due to the amnio (he puts it at 1 in 200, but believes that statistic may not be corrected for using the ultrasound since in the past they just shoved a needle in there until they found fluid) and then he gives us some time to talk amongst ourselves. We had decided the night before to do it so we sign the paper work.

They use the ultrasound machine to watch the position of the baby and needle. Actually quite cool, although not the most painless process from what Dawn tells me. They start in to an open area, but before they can get there the baby moves his little head into the area and they pull out. Find another spot, and this time hit pay dirt. All in all they take 22cc (I think) of amniotic fluid. Seems like quite a bit when you consider that the baby weighs about 4 oz right now.

Dawn is instructed to take it easy for the next 3 or 4 days. We are definitely working on it.

One other thing that came up in the ultrasound, was HIS compliance at revealing the sex! So we know that it is actually a he. We will know preliminary results from a FISH test probably next Monday and the ultimate results will be available in about 2 weeks. Below are some pics from the ultrasound.


Clearly, it is a boy


Look 5 toes...


A heartbeat of 142 (it was 146 after the amnio)


About in the middle is his head, you can make out the skull, but most of the soft tissue doesn't show completely in the ultrasound. The mass on the right is the placenta (I think).

  - Richard on Thr October 2, 2003 at 8:26 am
     - Aiden is 12 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 months) before begin born

No FISH!
So we arenít going to get FISH results after all. The thing is that the Drís office used this other lab since our insurance (Lifewise) wonít cover their regular lab. Apparently, this Lifewise friendly lab doesnít do FISH. We asked if they could send the material to the non-friendly lab for FISH results (at our expense), but they had used it all so that was out.

In the meantime, Dawn is feeling pretty good lately. Hopefully, we will have the amnio results around the 15th.

  - Richard on Tue October 7, 2003 at 10:39 am
     - Aiden is 12 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 months) before begin born

Amnio and the flu
So, no amnio results yet. We are just waiting.

In the meantime, last night Aiden got a little flu thing or something. He was all hot and toasty and about 100.5 degrees. Dawn spent most of the night up and down with him and took great care of him. He seems to be doing better today and they are both down for a nap at the moment.

  - Richard on Thr October 9, 2003 at 10:32 am
     - Aiden is 12 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 months) before begin born

Aiden gets a little rash
Still killing time waiting for that Amnio info Ė wonít be available until the middle of this week at least.

So we spent some time at the hospital the other night. At bath time (7:30-ish), Aiden had a little rash on his leg. After bath was over we got the camera and took some quick pictures, just so that I could give them to the allergist if necessary someday. Dawn went and found his information from his last set of shots and the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) shot that he had on the first has a bunch of warnings (they all seem to). Anyway one of the things that it talked about was a rash and a fever. So we called the peds ward at RMVC (they are always awake). They basically said that if his fever was higher or if the rash spread then take him in.

About a half an hour later, Dawn looks and behold it has spread all over his legs and arms and some on his stomach. So we call Southern Oregon Pediatrics phone number and ask for a nurse to call us back. Two minutes later we decided skip this we are taking him to the hospital. So we load up, forward the calls and take off. Of course, the nursing people call back (some contract thing in North Carolina or somewhere that I hated the last time they called because they were oblivious, annoying and clearly English was not their first language). The ONLY thing I donít like about sopeds. Anyway, I tell the nice nurse lady that Iím going to the hospital, but thanks for calling.

Basically, the doctor told us no big deal. Give him some Benadryl. If the rash was red/purple or if his fever was higher then we could freak out. The rash is just him fighting off some miscellaneous viral infection and we could expect him to have a higher temperature at night since apparently kids do that. If I ever get to become God, kids will get a manual (and a good support FAQ).

Thatís the latest.

  - Richard on Sat October 11, 2003 at 11:18 pm
     - Aiden is 12 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 months) before begin born

The Rash
Here is a pic of the rash:


The start of Aiden's rash on 10/10/03

  - Richard on Sun October 12, 2003 at 8:24 am
     - Aiden is 12 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 months) before begin born

Amnio results
So, we got back the results of the amnio and they are saying the baby is fine. Yeaaaa!!! So that's a bit of a load off the old shoulders. Of course, the big question of what his name will be remains. Any ideas, let me know.
  - Richard on Wed October 15, 2003 at 2:32 pm
     - Aiden is 12 and 1/2 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 months) before begin born

We have returned
Last week we went to South Dakota for a while, so here is a rundown on what happened. We left at 5am from Medford and Aiden kept us (and especially Dawn) up all night the night before. He knew something was going on and wasn't interested in sleep. Dawn got about 2 hours of sleep and I had 3!!!

On the plane, he decided to stay up and move around the entire time. It looked like:

He never stopped moving!!!

We flew into Portland knowing we'd have to kill about 3 hours. While walking around we found an earlier flight to Minneapolis so we took it (figuring that would be a bigger airport and therefore easier to kill time). They have a play area which we found and played in:

Dawn and Aiden in Minneapolis

After flying into Watertown, SD, we met up with Keith and Char and headed to dinner. Here we were introduced to Sparky's truck named Clifford (after the big red dog). Sparky was very generous and allowed us the use of his truck during our entire stay.

On Wednesday, we did some goofing around (only after the daily donut run for fresh long johns Ė all hail Auntie Lila!!!), then we went to dinner (they call Lunch that back there) with Dawn's Grandpa (or Aiden's Great-Grandpa depending on how you want to look at it).

After dinner (aka Lunch) we did some exploring. One of the towns, Albee, has an interesting sign:

The outskirts of the Albee metropolis

Of course, we also found the town of Watson, MN!!! Watson is "world famous" as the Goose Capital of the USA and for having the oldest farmer's elevator in the United States (since 1886).

Watson has a massive population!!!


Uh, suppose all 209 are still there?


Aiden and his Grandpa Keith in front of the Watson sign

Watson is also the home of the "Loose Goose" bar.


One of the highlights in Watson!

After that we headed back to the house.

On Thursday, after the now customary and required trip for fresh Long John donuts. We met up with Sue and got a tour of Marvin (where Dawn's mother lived before moving to Oregon). This included the town cemetery where Grandpa Howard Wartenbee is entombed. If you ever hear us say that Aiden has Grandpa Wart hair, this is who we are referring to.

We also checked out the Wartenbee farm which is in a state of decay. While we rarely hear of people letting farms go like this in Oregon it is apparently a semi-common thing in South Dakota.


The house is still occupied. Yes we checked with the owners first


The old barn


An out-building of some sort

After returning to Sparkyville, I helped pull start an old tractor using a bigger tractor. Aiden thought it was fun to ride around in the tractor and really enjoyed the suicide knob on the steering wheel (which didn't help me steer much, but I was going slow).


Me and Aiden driving tractor

After that, we did some eBay stuff with an old 1936 John Deere and basically goofed off around the farm. We did run into town a few times, but I don't remember what for.

Anyway, more on the vacation tomorrow.

  - Richard on Thr October 30, 2003 at 5:55 am
     - Aiden is 12 and 1/2 months
     - Keenan is 1 and 1/2 years (19 and 1/2 months) before begin born