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Friday, February 11, 2011

Good Morning

Good morning everyone,
I feel like today is going to be a very good day. I am up having my cup of coffee and my quiet time. The snow is still covering all the trees and ground outside and I can't believe how many beautiful Cardinals I have seen. Come to think of it we rarely ever saw Cardinals till Mamie died. Now we see them everywhere. I looked up the symbolism of a Cardinal and this is what I found.

Animal Symbolism of the Cardinal

The symbolic meaning of cardinals deals with vibrancy and brilliance.

As we observe the cardinal – particularly against the backdrop of the stark winter months, we are reminded that even when things appear bleak or isolated, there is always the presence of beauty, hope, and love.

Cardinals encourage us to express our brilliance and reveal our truest selves. Their radiant red is a symbol for us to recognize the gifts in our hearts that we have to give to others in love and friendship.


Pretty cool right :) They really are so beautiful and amazing to watch. I believe this is just another sign sent to Taylor and I from Mamie. A sign that she is okay and that her baby brother is going to be okay.

We have received so many positive emails and stories for people all over that have run into the same issue with soft markers in their growing baby. I can't tell you how good it makes us feel to hear from you all.

Lets all raise our coffee's this morning to a good day :)



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Little Note

Yesterday I went to check our P.O. Box and found this sweet letter from a mother that has received one of our plates. I wanted to share it with you all. These plates are making a difference and that makes me SO happy.

- Sarah

Choroid Plexus Cyst (CPC) & Hydronephrosis

I have heard from many of your wondering what exactly these markers are and what could they mean. We received an information sheet from our genetics doctor that I can't seem to upload but I found this write up and thought I would share.

The Choroid Plexus and Choroid Plexus Cysts

The choroid plexus is an area of the brain that makes cerebrospinal fluid. Cerebrospinal fluid is the substance that surrounds the brain and spinal cord. The choroid plexus is not an area of the brain involved in thinking. Choroid plexus cysts are fluid-filled spaces in the choroid plexus kind of like blisters or bubbles. Choroid plexus cysts are not tumors or cancer, and they will disappear on their own usually between 24 to 26 weeks of pregnancy. Choroid plexus cysts, in and of themselves, are NOT a problem and do not interfere with brain function.

They are seen in about 1% (1/100) of all second trimester ultrasounds. Choroid plexus cysts may be seen in one or both sides of the brain and the number, size, and shape of the cysts may vary. Choroid plexus cysts are also found in healthy children and adults. Although they sounds alarming, they are not associated with any impairment in brain function. The bigger concern with choroid plexus cysts is that they may be a “soft marker” for Down syndrome. A “soft marker” is something that in and of itself, won’t cause your baby a problem, but it might indicate that the baby has a more serious underlying condition. Other soft markers for Down syndrome include a shortened femur measurement, renal pelvic dilatation, echogenic bowel, echogenic foci in the heart, an increased fetal nuchal translucency (the area at the back of the neck), and an absent nasal bone in the first trimester.

Ultrasound During Pregnancy and Choroid Plexus Cysts

An ultrasound is a test done during pregnancy. It uses sound waves to view or visualize the fetus during a pregnancy. No risk to the baby is associated with ultrasound during pregnancy and most women will have one or two ultrasounds, for a variety of reasons, over the course of their pregnancy.

It is most likely that the choroid plexus cysts are normal for you baby and you will have a normal, healthy child. However, some researchers have seen an association between these cysts and chromosome abnormalities like Down syndrome and trisomy 18. When choroid plexus cysts and/or other markers are seen on an ultrasound, you may be offered further testing such as alevel 2 or detailed ultrasound, or an amniocentesis.

What is the chance that the Baby has Down Syndrome or Trisomy 18?

The chance that a fetus with isolated choroid plexus cyst(s) has a chromosome abnormality is felt to be about 1% or less, if the rest of the ultrasound exam was normal. This means that there is a 99% or greater chance that the baby does not have a chromosome abnormality. Some researchers have reported risks greater than 1% and yet others have seen no association between these cysts and chromosome abnormalities. It is best to discuss this ultrasound finding and your risk with your doctor.

Can Down syndrome and other trisomies be diagnosed on ultrasound?

No. Ultrasound allows a doctor to visualize a fetus and to detect some physical markers that might indicate an increased risk, but ultrasound alone can never make a diagnosis of a chromosome abnormality such as Down syndrome or trisomy 18. The only way to make a diagnosis of Down syndrome or other chromosome abnormality in a pregnancy is an amniocentesis test.

It is important to remember that while an ultrasound cannot diagnose Down syndrome or other chromosomes abnormality, a normal ultrasound is reassuring but it is not a guarantee there the baby is perfectly healthy. There is not prenatal test that can rule out all birth defects or forms of mental retardation.

How Are Chromosome Abnormalities Diagnosed During a Pregnancy?

The only way to tell is a fetus has a chromosome abnormality such as Down syndrome or trisomy 18 is to perform an amniocentesis which is usually performed in the second trimester. During an amniocentesis, a thin needle is inserted through the woman’s abdominal wall into the uterus and a small amount of the fluid surrounding the baby is removed. The fetal chromosomes are studied using either a FISH test and/or a karyotype test. The results from FISH testing, while limited, are usually available in 3 to 4 days and the results of a full karyotype analysis usually take 2 weeks. The results of this testing are over 99% accurate in diagnosing Down syndrome and other trisomies.

Because choroid plexus cysts are not seen until the second trimester of pregnancy, CVS testing (done in the first trimester of pregnancy) is not an option. If you have had a normal CVS test, then there is no reason to be concerned about the finding of choroid plexus cysts on your ultrasound. The choroid plexus cyst is then considered a normal human variation which is not known to be harmful to the baby.

If you decide to have an amniocentesis and the results are normal, no further testing is necessary. The choroid plexus cyst is then considered a normal human variation which is not known to be harmful to the baby.

The Bottom Line

Choroid plexus cysts, while sounding scary, are a common ultrasound finding. Most often they are a normal findings that has no significance for the pregnancy. Rarely (less than 1% of the time), they can be a marker that the fetus has an underlying chromosome abnormality such as Down syndrome or trisomy 18. If chroid plexus cysts are seen on your ultrasound, you should discuss this finding with your doctor or a genetic counselor to see what your risk is and to discuss further testing options if appropriate.


What is hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis is a swelling or dilation within the kidney or the ureter, which is the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder and moves the urine the kidneys produce to the bladder. Hydronephrosis generally results from a blockage at the top of the ureter near the kidney (known

as the ureteropelvic junction, or UPJ) that traps urine in the kidney, causing it to build up and stretch the kidney or ureter (see picture). Less commonly, urine backs up from the bladder and leads to hydronephrosis. Generally only one kidney is affected. The severity of the condition

depends on the extent of the blockage and the degree the kidney is stretched, and can range from mild to severe. In the most severe cases, the UPJ obstruction can lead to abnormalities in the amount of amniotic fluid, and this in turn can impair fetal lung development.

How common is hydronephrosis and what causes it?

Some studies suggest that as many as 2% of all prenatal ultrasound examinations reveal some degree of hydronephrosis, making it one of the most commonly detected abnormalities in pregnancy. It is not clear why the ureter becomes blocked during development. It is more often seen in boys than girls. Babies with severe UPJ obstructions have an overall increased chance of having a chromosomal abnormality (like Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome).

How is hydronephrosis detected during pregnancy?

Ultrasound can detect the fetal kidneys and bladder by 14 or 15 weeks gestation, though 20 weeks of pregnancy is the ideal time to detect hydronephrosis on ultrasound, since the fetus is larger and the kidneys can be visualized in detail. When a UPJ obstruction is identified, the kid-

neys are closely examined for other findings more common with UPJ, such as cysts (known as multicystic, dysplastic kidney) or an abnormal shape (commonly called a horseshoe kidney).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Customized Plates

We have had many mom's contacting us wanting a plate made for their precious baby. We are excited to say this can be done. All we need is a copy of the foot prints. We are so excited that we can offer this. To purchase a custom plate you will need to click on the custom plate tab on the right hand side. You can choose and extras that would like to painted on your plate. If you decide to just have your prints transferred you will still get to choose a color for the rim of the plate. Please feel free to send us an email if you have any questions at all.


Some of your sweet comments

  • We are so thankful for all of you out there. Your love and prayers for our baby boy give us hope. You don't know how much it means to us. Here are just a few messages from Facebook and email that I wanted to share with you. Thank you, thank you, for your texts, emails, phone calls, notes and messages. They have truly lifted our spirits. - Sarah Tricia Mariani Hudson likes this.
    • Lindsey Erin Wheeler I'm praying Sarah!!! I won't you friend.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Kate Carter Thoughts and prayers coming from our house to yours!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Zach Gump Praying right now
      19 hours ago ·
    • Heather Monk Patterson I'm on my knees praying for you Sarah! You are right...God is good. I pray that He rains down his grace and healing powers over Baby Burke and your family.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Kelly Longinotti Nelson Sarah just read your blog - so sorry you are having to deal with this! Bless your heart, I will definitely pray for you guys and only positive thoughts sent your way!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Natalie Scott Praying extra extra hard sweetie!! Nothing but positive thought and prayers headed ur way!!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Courtney North Sending lots of prayers your way!!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Meredith Woodruff Lots of prayers being sent your way! Love you!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Tina Bowers Lee Sarah, I will keep you, Taylor, and Burke in my prayers.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Rachel Addie Sending a million thoughts and prayers your way each day!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Karrie Nuckols Praying for you and your sweet family.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Traci Burleson Sending prayers and positive thoughts your way!!!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Maria Rossi Praying for you, Taylor and baby Burke.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Eva Melisa Barlogie praying hard sarah.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Ashley Adams Anderson Prayers and positive thoughts coming your way!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Lyndsey Dumas Thinking about you all and praying!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Clark McCarley Sarah, we are thinking and praying you you taylor and Burke, it is all in gods hands. Love y'all clark and Carolyn
      19 hours ago ·
    • Ashleigh Gasaway Adams Thinking of you and praying for a good outcome!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Lindsay Outten Gullett prayers coming your way!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Chase Keet Crocker Praying for you all and sweet Burke!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Aaron Wage Nixon Praying for you and your families!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Jayme Biggers Jones Praying for Baby Burke and for your peace of mind! Love y'all!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Mandy Osborne praying!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Veronica Paulson Keeping everyone in my thoughts and prayers.
      19 hours ago ·
    • Carolyn Williams McCarley Praying for you, Taylor, and Burke! Much love sent your way!!!
      19 hours ago ·
    • Jayna Weber Sending lots of prayers your way. Love all of you!
      18 hours ago ·
    • Heather Lawrence Continuous prayers for you & precious family!
      18 hours ago ·
    • Chad Smith We will be praying for you and baby Burke
      18 hours ago ·
    • Maureen Depsky Please God make it right.
      18 hours ago ·
    • Jacquelyn Ralls Praying for you and your strength through this time, God has you in his hands
      18 hours ago ·
    • Heather Jones Praying for you, your husband, and baby Burke! Miracles happen!
      18 hours ago ·
    • Beth Hudson Ingram Sarah, I'm praying for you, Taylor and baby Burke during this time. You have so much love pouring out your way!
      17 hours ago ·
    • LauraBeth Holden Vogel Praying for you all and sending love your way!!
      17 hours ago ·
    • Meredith Craig Sims I am praying for you and your family, Sarah.
      17 hours ago ·
    • Karen Hindsley Hosey Sending you love and prayers!
      16 hours ago ·
    • Anne Fulgham Gill We will be thinking about you guys and sending lots of prayers Sarah!!!
      16 hours ago ·
    • Jacquelyn Compton Pittman Thinking of you and praying for peace of mind for you and the health of Burke. Love to you and Taylor.
      15 hours ago ·
    • Jessica Ayecock I'm sending up more prayer than imaginable!!! I love yall!
      15 hours ago ·
    • Shannon Fitts McNulty Love you Sarah, and praying so hard for you, Taylor, and Burke.
      15 hours ago ·
    • Beth Russell Saviers We are thinking and praying for baby Burke!!!
      15 hours ago ·
    • Courtney Roberson Praying so hard for u!
      14 hours ago ·
    • Becky Kell Bussey All positive in this house, Sarah and Taylor! Will be on my prayer list before I fall asleep tonight......for all THREE of you! Love you.....
      13 hours ago ·
    • Carrie Calhoon Praying and thinking of you...
      13 hours ago ·
    • Angie Staley Johnson Prayers for all of you! We will continue to be in prayer for you guys in the weeks ahead.
      12 hours ago ·
    • Bonnie Hosey Fraiser praying hard for sweet baby burke. love you guys!
      19 minutes ago ·
      Gretchen Davis February 3 at 9:15pm Report
      I posted your blog to my facebook page so that more people would be praying for you. One of my sweet clients just sent this message. Here is her baby on my blog Her message is below. I'm praying for your sweet sweet Burke with all my heart friend.
      Hey, I don't know Sarah, but I know of her story. If you think it will help her, please tell her that Norah had a choroid plexus cyst too on her brain. My dr said they almost always resolve by birth. We had extra ultrasounds too and it was terrifying. But everytime it got smaller... And she's perfect. Something like 30% have these cysts and they are only seen bc our technology is so good. No follow up was needed. I know a cyst on the brain sounds so bad but if you think it will help her, show her Norah.
      Courtney Wrote:
      Just wanted to let you know that after our 20 week ultrasound with Hunt his kidneys appeared enlarged too . . . . we went to LR for ultrasounds twice. The ultrasound also showed one of his brain ventricles close to the "enlarged" stage -- another soft marker. He, of course, is fine -- praying that baby Burke is too!! Courtney
      Emily Wrote:
      Sarah, I will be praying so hard for you and Baby Burke. Try, try, try not to read about what "could" happen. Our litttle Fuller is proof that miracles do happen. God will bring him to you safely if that is His will. God is obviously using your family and mine for special reasons. It's just not always so easy to understand his plan, it it? Be strong - you have lots of love and prayer coming your way. Love, Emily
      Judy Lee Adams February 3 at 1:56pm Report
      Oh Sarah, You definitely have all my thoughts and prayers. I do know people who have had exactly the same thing. Babies are fine!! so sorry you have to go thru this.
      Ellen Wrote:
      I love your attitude. Thank you for handling yourself with so much grace. You are such an inspiration to me. I am praying for you, Taylor, Mamie and baby Burke. - Ellen
      Kristen wrote:
      Prayers, prayers, prayers coming your way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thinking about you all.
      Susan & Vernon wrote:
      Sarah and Taylor,
      We are thinking and praying for you and Baby Burke.
      We love you, and let us know if we can do anything for you.
      Susan and Vernon
      Crystal Goss wrote:
      "Thank you, ladies, so much. I'll definitely share information as Sarah shares it so that you can follow the progress. I am certain God is working a miracle. They will have a beautiful, healthy baby boy - in Jesus' name!"
      - Crystal Goss

      The Gasaway's Wrote:

      Sarah & Taylor,

      Please know that we are earnestly praying for baby Burke, as well as you and Taylor.

      May the God of love and peace be with you. The Lord is our comforter and our healer and I know with all certainty that he hears our prayers.

      May the strength of God’s loving arms support you throughout these next weeks and months.

      Hugs to both of you,

      The Gasaway’s

      ML wrote:
      Sarah - I will certainly be praying for strength and calmness and for the markers to go away. Oh, how I was hoping that this would be an easy go for you. You derserve that. Can we add you to the church prayer list or would you rather I not share it?
      Dawn wrote:
      Praying for Baby Burke, please tell her on my 20 week US with my Morgan, they saw a Choroid Plexus Cyst and it had disappeared (as they usually do) at my next US. Now she's a happy 12 1/2 year old but it was very scary at the time. I will still pray for this baby, they certainly deserve some happiness!"
      The Simmons Wrote:
      Sarah, the Simmons family is definitely thinking about you all and lifting you up in our prayers! We love you guys!
      We are praying and we love you!!
      “Fear not: for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” – Isaiah 43:1-3
      - Kristin & Ryan

      Kristie Wrote:

      Absolutely – blessings and prayers will be surrounding Sarah, Taylor, and Burke. May God’s grace, peace, love, and reassurance be with them.


      Casey wrote:

      Wow! Will do! Bless you and Taylor, you will need much strength right now! I will pray for your precious baby boy as well as that strength! Casey

      Leanna wrote:

      I love the name! BTW J Burke…that’s great!

      I know it doesn’t help much to say “don’t worry.”

      I have a friend…I may have told you about her, who I went to college and med school with…she had all sorts of problems in utero---cysts in the brain, she got stuck with HIV infected needles a couple of times in the ER and she thought that Madelyn would born with AIDS. She spent 7-8 months in crazy fear and Madelyn miraculous turned out just fine. It was truly a miracle. I do believe miracles happen.

      We love you…you’ll have lots of folks thinking and praying for you. You are so loved.


      Holly wrote: "Sarah - keeping you, Taylor & Burke in my thoughts & prayers. I love his name - just beautiful, as I am sure he will be!"

      Jennifer wrote:

      Jennifer wrote:

      Oh, Sarah. I will pray as hard as I've ever prayed for anything. I can't imagine how difficult the waiting is for you. Please let me know if there's anything I can do.

      • Thinking of u guys today. Still praying extra hard!!!
      • Sarah - I'm so sorry you are having to stress right now - I am keeping you and your family in my prayers.
        • Sending love and prayers to you, Taylor, and your baby boy!
        • Keeping y'all in our prayers!
          • Thank you all for your sweet comments. We are having a better day and our spirits have been lifted by your incredible support. Thank you thank you. We truly believe our baby Burke is going to be just fine. Please keep praying.
            Yesterday at 4:49pm · Privacy: · ·
              • Lindsey Binz I admire your strength and courage!
                Yesterday at 4:52pm ·
              • Heather Pilkinton Hanes I am praying for you all! And I Believe Baby Burke will be just perfect too!!! I hate u even have to have this worry! Hugs!!
                Yesterday at 4:54pm ·
              • Cope Hughes You guys are an inspiration to us all. You are definitely in our thoughts and prayers.
                Yesterday at 4:54pm ·
              • Brooke Stowers Warnock Sarah, I just saw all of your posts and know you are prayed for by many in you dear friend!
                Yesterday at 5:01pm ·
              • Lindsey Morton McGough I believe he will be too!
                Yesterday at 5:02pm ·
              • Bob Black-Ocken I am praying with you. Hang in there girl. Gods speed. Can you feel the unbelievable love and support? You have many people who love you.
                Yesterday at 5:05pm ·
              • Brooke Cockrell Wyatt Saying lots and lots of prayers for you, Taylor, and Baby Burke. I have faith that he will be just fine. Prayer works!! Oh... and I LOVE the name Burke. Adorable!
                Yesterday at 5:11pm ·
              • Lynette Spruiell you have been on my heart all day--now my laptop is back! Praying for you all , and little Burke! These things can be so scary, but especially for those who have been through what you have. Our Lord is watching over all!
                Yesterday at 5:12pm ·
              • Kelly Fraiser Sarah, we are praying for you, Taylor and baby. You two have such amazing strength and faith, I know everything will be just fine. Will continue sending our prayers.
                Yesterday at 5:16pm ·
              • Heather Holden Munson Sarah, a friend of mine was told her baby's brain wasn't developing normally, that he only had one kidney, an enlarged heart, and that there wasn't even enough amniotic fluid for him to survive. They said she would miscarry, she never miscarried. They said with all the other issues with the baby that he would die shortly afterbirth, he survived!!! Six months later he is a healthy little baby with no health issues! The power of prayer! Hope this story was uplifting to you.
                Yesterday at 5:41pm ·
              • Amber Haynes Sarah, we are praying for God's healing hand for baby Burke and for patience through all of this for you and Taylor...constantly praying.
                Yesterday at 5:53pm ·
              • Ginny S. Heiple You guys are so much in my prayers. I am so lucky to have you as relatives.
                Yesterday at 6:30pm ·
              • Allison Dillier Wood You are in my prayers Sarah. Think of you often. I admire your faith so much. You are an amazing woman. I too believe baby Burke will be just fine! Praying for him and for peace for you as you wait.
                Yesterday at 6:43pm ·
              • Audra Gillis Hines Saying a prayer for you, Taylor and baby Burke.
                22 hours ago ·
              • Beth Hudson Ingram We are only thinking good thoughts and sending prayers your way Sarah!
                22 hours ago ·
          • Annabel and I included you, your family and baby Burke in our prayers last night. We will continue to pray for health and that God gives you peace of mind through the wait.