Saturday, November 28, 2009

Obstetric Cholestasis

Also known as Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP), this is a potentially serious pregnancy-related disorder of the liver. It is estimated that 7 out of every 100 pregnant women are affected in the United States each year. In short, this condition affects the flow of bile (a liver-produced substance that aids in the digestion and absorption of fats) to a woman’s body. It results in a build-up of bile acids in the blood, which in turn can lead to severe itching, and in more rare cases, jaundice. More importantly, if left untreated, this disorder could lead to pre-mature birth, hemorrhaging, fetal distress, or even still birth.
I am writing all of this because Leslie was recently diagnosed with this disorder. Although it was caught early, and has been closely monitored for the past several days, it is yet another layer of uncertainty in the whole pregnancy process. The past two fetal monitor tests have given us comfort because little Ellie seems fine; but if things start to go south, they will have to induce labor and get her out. Thankfully, today marks Leslie's 36th week of pregnancy, a crucial milestone since 44% of all cases with ICP don't make it past 36 weeks before they have to induce.
Other than having very itchy hands and feet (a common, yet annoying symptom), as well as bouts of fatigue, she's in good spirits.
The immediate future holds a couple of scenarios, but the likelihood of her carrying to term is slim to none. Although we've been hoping to have our baby girl in this world before Christmas, our main concern is good health for both mom and daughter. Our biggest prayer is that the good Lord continues to guide and protect us all in the days and weeks to come, in the hope that we will meet our newest addition on His time and no one else's.
We will continue to keep you all posted on this process, but please don't get upset if I can't post again before anything happens!
Take care.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thoughts On Thanksgiving

It's hard to believe that I've already been home for a year now. I remember seeing my family for the first time on Thanksgiving Day for the first time since I went on the deployment and the joy in my heart as we embraced. Although I was only gone for about half the year, it felt like such a long time since we'd seen each other.
I can't help but think that this memory will always come to mind every Thanksgiving from here on out. Frankly, it's EXACTLY what I'm supposed to remember because it's what this holiday is all about. As everyone says, it's about giving thanks for all that you've been given in this life. For me, I can't help but thank God for the new life he's about to give me in my first child, Ellen.
It is my sincere hope that each one of you will give humble thanks to our Creator for what He has given you, whether good or bad. I know it's been a tough year for a lot of you, and there are so many reasons why shouldn't give thanks. However, in spite of all that, I pray that we can given Him thanks for letting His will be done on earth. I don't think I've ever heard someone say that we never learned anything through the tough times, and I seriously doubt that trying times don't contain any important lessons.
So, give thanks to all that He has done and all that He will do in the days, weeks, months and years to come simply because He is the giver of ALL things. I thank Him for the memories of last year and those I will cherish in the years to come. I hope the same for all of you as well....except for a deployment to Iraq!
Take care and Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Eagle Flight II

Sorry for my absence over the past several weeks, but I spent a couple of weeks "in the field" up at Fort Knox, KY. No, it wasn't a lot of fun and I didn't even get to "play Army" while up there, but some of the Soldiers got to and that's what most important.
Being a non-platoon leader officer in the field isn't very much all. Most of your time is spent trying to make sure everyone else's training is productive. In other words, I spent two weeks as an "event planner".
Eagle Flight I (back in July) was spent at the same place, but at the time I was still with my former Troop. This time, I was with HHT; yet, somehow I managed to do practically the same ranges! Every range that is occupied by a unit has to have an Officer In Charge (OIC). This is a somewhat dubious honor for any senior enlisted or officer, but the fact remains that we are ultimately in charge of everything that happens out there, good or bad. In July, I was the OIC for 4 separate ranges, while everyone else got to shoot weapons. This time, I got to watch platoons drive down a range in their trucks and shoot at pop up targets. Exciting? No. Monotonous, redundant, time consuming, and about half a dozen other synonyms? Yes. The only shining light in the whole ordeal was getting to spend time with the Soldiers. When you're stuck behind a desk all day, every day, it gets lonely and boring. So, having some down time where I can get to know them on a personal level is always a treat (no matter how messed up they might be).
In the coming weeks and months, I'll have a lot of updates on my personal life that I'll be discussing. There's just something exciting about starting a new chapter of my life that I can't wait to experience. If there's anyone out there that still reads this stuff, it will be a chance to find out what I've been up to...or will be up to soon.
Take care.