The snow in the snow globe is settling

Wow, what a day we've had! We arrived at St. Luke's this morning for a sonogram, then met with Dr. Wickstrom and several others. According to their measurements, the mass is larger (4 cm), but so is Kristen (over 7 pounds!). This doesn't necessarily mean the mass is's probably just that it's been measured by yet another person on yet another machine. Because they have to peer in between her ribs to find the mass, it isn't exactly easy. Everything else looks great.

Dr. Wickstrom (who was wonderful) gave us some options. We could go home and deliver in Great Bend, knowing that we would have to fly Kristen to KC should she have problems at birth; wait in KC and let the baby come when she's ready; induce on the 11th, but only if an amnio showed that her lungs were mature; or wait and induce on the 18th with no worries about lung maturity. None of us liked the first option. An amnio at this stage of the game does have risks and really wouldn't buy us that much time, so we set an induction date of May 18th, believing that, based on my history, I'll go into labor on my own before that (likely within the week).

Thanks to the graciousness of the Castiles, I will stay in KC until Kristen is born, then deliver at St. Luke's. Will is planning to return to Great Bend on Tuesday, then head back this way when I go into labor.

The doctors really can't tell any more about the CCAM than they already know until Kristen is born. Once she arrives, they will assess her lung function, then do an x-ray and possibly a CT scan to see what the mass really looks like. If she's having trouble breathing on her own, they'll stabilize her and transfer her to Children's Mercy (which is not far from St. Luke's). They may need to do surgery right away, or they may be able to wait a couple of weeks or a couple of months. It all depends on how well she's breathing.

Dr. Wickstrom's office was able to set up a consultation for us at Children's Mercy this afternoon. We met with a neonatologist and a surgeon, plus a couple of other people for over an hour. They reviewed my records and explained the process of what would happen if Kristen was transferred there from St. Luke's. We also toured the NICU. I pray we don't ever need to go back to Children's Mercy, but if we do, we are at least familiar with the facility. They were truly amazing! The doctors were great about explaining things to us, didn't rush us out, and answered all of our questions as best they could.

As much as this has shaken our world (we feel a bit like we're inside a snow globe), things are starting to settle a bit. We have a plan we're at peace with, one that will ensure the best care for Kristen, should she need it. No, it's not convenient, yes, I miss Emily and Grace so much, and yes, I'll miss my husband immensely when he leaves, but we do have so many positives. Friends that we were so sad to see leave Great Bend last summer are here now and have so graciously opened their home to us. The same friends have friends who work at St. Luke's. (Laura came over last night to meet us. She gave us great directions, set our minds at ease about the doctors, and prayed with us before she left.) We have so many friends back home who have been praying for us and offering to help with the girls. Some have even offered to bring them to KC! Our church family has rallied around us and shown us the love of Christ time and time again. We can see God's hand in every step along this bumpy path and are so excited to see what He has in store for our little Kristen.

We thank each of you for your support, your concern, your prayers and your love. We look forward to having our family back in one house very soon!

Much love,
Will & Kim


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