Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hello from the Gibblet!

Today we had our ultrasound and check-up with the high risk doctor and things are going well! The gibblet is weighing in at 3 lbs 7 oz which is right where he should be at almost 31 weeks. As always, he was being a bit of a stinker and making it difficult for the ultrasound technician to get her pictures, he was moving around like CRAZY!! We didn't mind though. It is always so much fun seeing what he is up to in there. He is still trying to figure out how to suck his thumb (we're pretty sure that he got his thumb in his nose instead of his mouth!) and just like last time he had the hiccups. All of his organs and bones that they measure are right on track and where they should be. His ventricles (which is where the fluid in his brain collects) are a bit bigger at 14 and 15 but again, this is to be expected and not too much of a change from last month. He is still considered to have mild hydrocephalus which we are very thankful for. His feet are still looking straight and moving around (mostly kicking me in the ribs!) Andy and I are both feeling encouraged and upbeat with this appointment, much better than last month's. Please continue to keep us in your prayers we certainly felt them today!

Leigh and Andy

Thursday, December 11, 2008

30 Weeks

So according to our schedule January 29 is 7 short weeks away! Its funny, I've just recently starting thinking about how its going to be having a little guy living with us. Leigh and I have been pretty good "housemates" for a couple years and it will sure throw a wrinkle into the flow of the house. But it'll be great, challenging, but really great! We've continued to furnish his room and if he was home tomorrow, he'd be pretty comfy there. So Thanksgiving came and went really fast and now Christmas approaches. Last time I looked under the tree, it appears the Gibblet has the most gifts :)

So next week Tuesday we have another ultrasound appointment. Not really geeked about it, we almost feel it unnecessary, as we know it'll be hard to hear the news again. But, it's always so cool to see the little guy moving around, waving, kicking. Its a very cool moment we get to share with our son. Please keep us in your prayers as there will be a certain level of anxiety going into the appointment.

Last weekend Leigh had a shower given by Leigh's mom, her sister and my mom. Let's just say the Gibblet scored big time! Clothes, toys, shoes, and several other baby devices that I'm very unclear on how to use and/or operate in a safe manner for a small baby. But Leigh's a great teacher. :)

heres a few pics..enjoy

love andy and Leigh

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Surprise Baby Shower!!

Monday, the girls at work surprised me with a baby shower and lunch! It was such a surprise and so much fun! I am so blessed to work with such great people who care about me, the baby and Andy. We also got some pretty great gifts. :)

The past few days I have spent organizing the g-man's room and just getting things ready (I know I'm a bit early, but just can't help myself!) I will have to post more pictures soon.

Tonight, we had the opportunity of meeting with our friends Nate and Emily (the couple who are also pregnant with a boy who has SB). It was so nice to be able to talk with people who truly understand our situation. They have become great friends and God certainly answered our prayers by putting them in our lives.

In Gibblet news: he has been moving, kicking and hiccuping away! All is well there!

We hope that you all have a great Thanksgiving! Love, Andy and Leigh

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ultrasound and visit to the NICU

This morning Leigh and I had an ultrasound to check up on the Gibblet. It had been a month since the last one so we were anxious to see how he was developing. It was great to see the little guy again, this time he had the hiccups for a short time and we could clearly see him sticking his tongue out at us!!! They examined the head to determine if the size of the ventricles had changed. They did slightly get bigger. We were somewhat discouraged by this, but then were reminded that this is normal for a baby with spina bifida. In fact 80-90% of babies born with spina bifida have hydrocephulus and require a shunt to drain the excess fluid around the brain.

Basically we wanted the doctor to come in and say "well kids, looks like everything is ship-shape, no spina bifida today!" :)

As far as growth development he's right in the middle of the charts, which is great! His feet still appear to be straight and theres movement in his legs. The hole in his spine is fairly large. (we knew this already) but it was just hard to hear it again.

We were praying to go into this ultrasound and hear that nothing had changed. Unfortunately it did, but this is out of our hands and we continue to give it to God and pray for peace.

Shortly after the ultrasound, we were able to meet a neonatal doctor and tour the NICU at spectrum hospital. This actually made us feel much better. The doctor, nurses, and staff were so nice and encouraging and it was nice to see where our little guy would be staying after his surgery. It looks as if he will be there for a minimum of 2 weeks, possibly longer. For the first week after his back closure he will need to be on his stomach and we won't be able to hold him. This was, by far, the hardest thing to swallow. Lately we have been having far more good days than bad, however today was one of those hard days. Please continue to keep the three of us in your prayers.

Andy and Leigh (plus one) :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

26 weeks

Here we are at 26 weeks!

No appointments the last couple of weeks, but we thought we'd post to say we are doing well. We'll keep you updated as things come up.


Andy and Leigh :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When it rains...it POURS!!!

How do I even begin this? Monday afternoon I got a call from Andy while at work saying that our house was broken into and that we had been robbed! WHAT??!?!?!?! Not possible, I thought. I was wrong. At around 3 in the afternoon 2-3 people broke in through our side door and took 2 tvs, 2 computer monitors, both of our cameras (lenses, batteries, memory cards, and everything else that goes along with them). UGH!! Luckily, they left our computer so all of our pictures and other stuff that was on there (i'm not really sure, andy does all of that:)) is safe. Our neighbors saw them taking stuff from the house and got their license plate number and called the police. They've located the car and house, but our stuff is gone. It certainly isn't the best feeling knowing that someone has been in your house, but we just remind ourselves that no one was home and that no one was hurt. Andy's dad is helping us out with a new (safer) door, and we're just in the process of filing all of the insurance stuff. Luckily we had some reciepts for our cameras and the monitors so thats good. I just wanted to update you all on our situation and ask that you add another Gibbs family prayer request to the list. :)

No Gibblet news to report, I have an appointment today, but no ultrasound. Just a quick check-up and the glucose test. He is still kicking, moving and growing away!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

our promised pics...

Well, there you have it...the begining stages of g-man's room. Sorry it took so long to post those!

Now...an update on our appt. Tues. IT WENT GREAT!! No real news to report, he is doing fantastic. He now weighs approx. 1 lb 4 oz. His little feet are still straight and he was moving and kicking all over the place! The ultrasound tech had the 3-D ultrasound on for awhile and we even saw him trying to suck his thumb! I know that being his mom, I'm probably a little biased, but I'm pretty sure that he is the cutest baby ever...by far. :) We can't tell you enough how much it means to us knowing that there are so many of you our there praying for us and our family, your prayers are felt each day and we feel so blessed! Andy wants you all to know that he has started growing out the beard...again. ugh! :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Jim and Emily's Wedding

Andy here:

This weekend I had the honor of cleaning up (ie shaving) yikes look at that thing!!! and standing in Jim and Emily's (my sister) wedding. What a great time! Interestingly enough, a number of those attending commented to both Leigh and I about this blog and how they check it frequently. Thanks!!! we appreciate the thoughts. It was great to sit and chat with family members we have'nt seen in a while, thanks for all your encouraging words, it means so much.

In other Gibblet related news...Leigh has her monthly appointment tuesday morning at 8 AM. Please pray that the G-man is growing properly and no other issue creep up.

leigh here: just to let you all know it was NOT my idea to post this picture!!! don't worry, he never left the house with that thing! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Getting the G-Mans room ready

This past weekend we had some time to role up our sleeves and start on the little guy's room.
Painting is something I'm horrible at, I cant just stay in one spot, i have to move all over the room and start in this corner and then move to this wall, its really bad. So thats why I;ve been transfered to the taping crew. For some reason I'm great at this, and actually dont mind it. So thats how it worked, i taped, leigh, her sister and mom threw down the paint and it's looking pretty good. Mallory, our niece, acted as supervisor :)

Coming SOON... more pics of a more "finished" room.

No appointments this week, its been kinda nice. We have one next week tuesday and will keep you all posted on how things go.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

APPT with DR Foody

It's been a while since we've posted and we had one other Dr's apointment last week that we'd like to chat about. It was with Dr Foody, a pedatric neurosurgeon at Spectrum Health. After giving us more in depth detail on what would happen after the G-man was born, we felt confident that he's the right Doctor for our little guy. So this is how things typically work out in a case like this...
Dr. Foody would like Leigh to have the first c-section of the morning (at around 37 weeks), and then that afternoon, he and a plastic surgeon will close the opening in his back. At this time, they may or may not know if a shunt is needed. If they are 100% sure that it is needed, they will do that during the same surgery. If they aren't sure, they will wait. Most likely it will be known in a few days if a shunt will be needed. 80-90% of all babies born with spina bifida end up needing a shunt. Overall, we both feel that having the surgery in GR will be whats best for the baby, having all his Doctors nearby will be what's best in the long run. We've heard excellent things about Dr. Foody and have full confidence in the decisions he will make and the surgery he will perform. Continue to pray for us as we get new information, as it is helpful to know, but at times can be overwhelming.

We get stronger everyday and are more at peace with the situation, please know that is from the prayers we have been receiving. keep it up!

andy and leigh

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

U of M trip

4:15 AM is ungodly early.
This was confirmed by both Leigh and I this morning. Somehow we managed out of bed, into the car, and on our way to UofM hospital to have a consult with a genetics counselor and to have another round of ultrasounds. The reason being is if we plan to have the surgery at U of M this intial consult is required by them. So off we went, not knowing exactly what would come out if it, but we both prayed the news would not knock us down again, as we are currently in a better state of mind and finding peace in the situation.

So, what did we find out... overall, a lot of the same stuff, but were much more prepared to take in any new info they threw at us and were able to ask questions we had jotted down beforehand.

The ultrasound was very complete as they measured all his parts (yes even that one :)

So this is what we know:

1. the opening in the spine is at an L2-L3 level, not the best, but not the worst, right in the middle as far as mobility and other functions are concerned. Good chance he'll be able to walk with crutches and braces , but they said as he gets older, wheelchairs are often the easiest way to get around and keep pace with the world. W'ell cross that bridge when it arrives.

2. His legs and ankles appear straight and were moving all over! We know his legs will not be as strong as normal, but seeing this gave us Hope and we were encouraged!

3. It appears as the G-man is suffering only from spina bifida and not any other chromosonal abnormalites that can appear in instances like this.

4. Heart and everything else looks great and functioning properly.

5. getting up at 4:15AM makes us tired :)

So, overall we felt this trip was positive for us. It shed light on a few new things and we both feel like we can face this situation with Grace.

Thank you all for your love and prayers,

we love you,

Leigh and Andy

Thursday, October 2, 2008


I just wanted to give you all a quick update on what is going on over here, it's been awhile since I've posted. Last night we were able to meet with the couple who is also expecting a baby boy with SB. What a blessing that was!! They are such great people, and it was so nice to talk with someone who knows EXACTLY what we are going through! What was even nicer was that I think that we would actually be friends even if we weren't in this situation together! :) They are pretty much at the same point that we are, just starting to meet all of the doctors and gather all of the information that they can. Speaking of doctors...we have a few appointments next week and could use your prayers. On Tues. we are going to the University of Michigan hospital to meet with their high risk ob, we wanted to talk with their pediatric neurosergeons but in order to do that, I first have to be seen by their ob. Then, on Wed. we will be here in Grand Rapids meeting with the pediatric neurosurgeon here, learning more about the surgery that he will need right away. So please keep us in your prayers this upcoming week. Pray that we know what questions to ask and that we don't get too overwhelmed with all of the new information. On a VERY happy note, the baby has been moving ALL around! Especially at night and in the morning he is just kicking away! What a great feeling, even through all of this he is letting us know that he is OK!

Monday, September 29, 2008


So this is Andy posting...

After making my way back to earth from the hardest few days of my entire life, I realized i had a 5K Race for the Cure Saturday, Sept 27. I was very undertrained both physically and mentally, but there was NO WAY i wasn't going to run that morning. So i met my team runners (the ladies from Designvox) and put up my best time ever! Honestly with all the craziness going on in my head it was a very emotional and meaningful run. But no joke, I was physically done 3 minutes in, but kept going though. Seems like a timely metaphor for whats to come. :)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Andy and I found out yesterday, through a friend of his mom's, that there is another couple in our EXACT situation. They are around our age, pregnant with their first baby (a boy), and they were just recently told that their son has spina bifida. The real kicker is that they live on the street directly behind us and just a few houses down! If I were to go in my backyard right now, I could probably see their house! They will be coming over sometime this week so we can all get a chance to know each other and support each other with all of these tough decisions that are needing to be made (ex. finding the right surgeons and doctors to take care of our little ones once they are here.) OH, and I forgot to mention that they are due 2 weeks before us!! I am not in any way happy that they are going through the same thing that we are, but I can honestly say that I feel God at work, bringing the 4 (ok, 6) of us together in this way. :) We just wanted to let you all know that your prayers are greatly appreciated and definatley being felt. We love you all.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I have to say that today was 100% beter than the last 2! I have started doing some research and have decided that instead of looking at all of the things that "might" be wrong with our little guy, I'm going to focus on researching other parents whose children have SB and how adults cope with it. So far everything I have found is amazing! Every single parent that i have "met" online has said the same thing...that their child is a blessing. This makes me even more eager to meet our little blessing. :) We know that there will be challenges along the way, but we also know that whatever comes up, we can handle it. I have met one women in paticular who has a three year old daughter with SB and she has been such an encouragement. She has answered so many of my questions, and knows exactly where we are. It also helps that my mom, sister, and I all went shopping and picked out some pretty adorable stuff for the little man, funny how shopping can do that! :) I hope that this post finds you all well, and we will continue to update you all. Thanks so much for all of your prayers, they mean the world to us!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


So we went for an ultrasound on Wed. and got the best news of our lives...WE'RE HAVING A SON!!! Followed somewhat quickly with the worst news of our lives...out little boy has spina bifida. Even writing it now it is somewhat hard to believe. So many questions that have no answers. The one thing that we do know is that THIS is our son. The baby that God intended for us to have. No matter what obsticles come up, we will love him always. We saw a maternal fetal medicine specialist this morning and learned a little more about what exactly it is that our little guy has. He has an opening in his spine at the L2 vertebrae. I still don't even know how to say that. This means that the nerves are growing on the outside of his spine and will need to be surgically put back into place within 24 hours of being born. He will most likely be able to walk with the aide of tall leg braces and crutches but may choose to use a wheelchair, I hear that little boys like to go fast! :) His feet and legs are straight which is a great sign. He has excess fluid on the brain, which all babies of spina bifida have, and may or may not need a shunt put in once his is born. As for now, that is all we know. We will be meeting with a pediatric neurosurgeon next Friday to find out exactly what will happen once he is born and to find out what other physical limitations he may have. We know that together, with God, our families, and our friends we WILL get through this. We are still so excited to be having a little baby boy and cannot wait to meet him and hold him in our arms.