Posts Tagged ‘Julia Miller’

From the Valley to the Mountain

The last update from a few weeks ago found Julia in the hospital. She ended up staying for a week for observation. During that time, the doctors closely monitored her blood pressure, fetal heartbeat, and did lab work to see if there was any evidence of preeclampsia or other bad news. Fortunately, Julia’s health was just fine during her entire stay, and her symptoms did not get worse.

Unfortunately, the news was not as good for Ingrid. During a previously-scheduled ultrasound that happened to coincide with the hospital visit, the cardiologist and perinatologist told us that Ingrid was getting worse, specifically the fluid accumulation in her tiny body and around her heart. We had known since we first learned of her condition that her prognosis wasn’t good, but it didn’t make it any easier when we learned a few days later during a monitoring ultrasound that she had died.

Of all the highs and lows in life, birth and death have to be the highest and lowest, and to experience both simultaneously is incredibly difficult. In a short while, we’ll be celebrating both the birth of one daughter and the passing of another that we didn’t get to know nearly as well as we wanted. Ingrid will always be a part of our family and we will treasure the time that we spent together, short as it was.

The doctors are confident that Julia’s pregnancy will likely be uncomplicated from this point out, and Sonja is doing just fine: she wiggles so much that the ultrasound techs sometimes have trouble keeping her in one place on the monitor to check her out, but she’s scoring 100% on the first tests of her young life. Julia hasn’t had any other troubles with her health, but the doctors are monitoring both Julia and Sonja weekly to make sure it stays that way.

Through this tough time, it’s been wonderful to have the support of family, friends, our doctors, counselors, and everybody else who has been there for us. We truly appreciate it. As tough as this has been, we’ve been surrounded by love and we know that love extends and envelops Ingrid and Sonja now, and forever.

When Joy Isn’t

It was the doctor visit that Julia and I had both been looking forward to, that 20 week ultrasound that was going to tell us what we were going to have: two boys, two girls, or one of each (the most probable selection and my pick). No sooner had we learned that we were going to have two girls did we get the unimaginable, horrendous news that one of them was very, very sick, and was probably not going to make it at all. Going from joy to heartbreak is what parenthood is all about, or so I’ve been told, but never did I expect it to happen so quickly or so unexpectedly.

One of our girls, Fetus A in the nomenclature of perinatology, has a failing heart. So weak, in fact, she is not expected to survive. Immediately, thoughts of how we would handle two babies, child care, strollers, car seats, all of that evaporated, and all that was left was the question that no parent wants to ask: will our child die? Not only that, will her death lead to the death of her sister, both of which we had never known except in black and white ultrasound photos?

Since that day several weeks ago, we have taken it one day at a time. Sonja Dygard Hunstad, Fetus B, the one that is doing just great, is still doing well, kicking so hard Julia can see her tummy move. Ingrid Victoria Hunstad, so named because we want her to be victorious and survive this sentence she has had put upon her even before she has been born, is hanging in there, although all of the experts tell us that her prognosis is grave and not improving.

This past Wednesday, Julia was admitted to the hospital. Julia has been monitoring her blood pressure throughout the pregnancy, and it had been creeping up. Because of the situation, her doctors want to monitor her to make sure it isn’t preeclampsia or worse. Fortunately, all of the tests have been negative, but it’s understandably not much fun for Julia to be cooped up, even in a nice place like the Mother Baby Center.

This is where we are now: talking with the doctors (who have been nothing but excellent so far) for updates, running labs, and waiting. We don’t always know what to hope for or what news is good or bad. What I do know is that if our girls are anything like their mother they are strong and they will do whatever they can to meet us, and that if things turn out for the worse, it is not for lack of trying.

Random pictures

Here are a couple of random pictures I took on a dreary day today.

Windows 7 thoughts to come tomorrow.

Misha in the sun


President Obama’s Target Center visit

Yesterday Julia and I had the exciting pleasure of volunteering at President Obama’s first White House rally at the Target Center in Minneapolis to argue for health care reform. We we asked to volunteer on Wednesday shortly after the visit was announced, and we jumped at the chance. Following a training session on Friday night, where we learned that we would be volunteer captains for the VIP section on the floor of the Target Center close to the podium, the rally left us tired, sore, and fired up. Here are a few of our experiences at that rally…

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