Wednesday, December 27, 2006


What an eventful weekend. This year was Gracie's turn to be at her mom's on Christmas morning, so we started the festivities on Saturday, the 23rd. We went to Memaw T and Papa B's for the day. Gracie got a lot of great gifts and of course I think she played with about everything while we were there. Daddy wasn't feeling well so he slept for a good chunk of the day. As for me well I just tried to find a comfortable spot to relax, I fell asleep for about 45 minutes. It was really nice just to be able to get together and relax. Daddy and I did do something that will be really cool when it is finished. We made a body cast of my belly, I had seen the idea on tv and thought it would be an awesome keepsake. Little did I know it would make for a very uncomfortable hour. You have to sit really still and let the mold set and dry...that was terrible because I sat up against an ottoman and it kept slipping which made me slip and oh the pain on my lower back. I can only imagine how much of a baby I will be during labor.
Sunday, the 24th, we woke up early, Santa had come to our house early since Gracie wouldn't be there on Christmas morning. He left Gracie so many presents, her favorite is the Bratz ipod. There is nothing that little girl doesn't have, especially after this Christmas. We then quickly rushed around the house to get cleaned up and went we to church. After church we went to Freddie and Ginger's for the Acker family Christmas celebration. It was so fun watching Gracie and Zach open gifts. As soon as Zach would open one he had to get it out, play with it, then move onto the next. It was yet another relaxing day we family, I just love days like that!

Monday, the 25th, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Jason and I got to sleep in a bit, it was great we never get to do that. Then we cleaned up the house and started laundry. It is amazing how Christmas can make a house so messy...we had gifts and wrapping paper everywhere. He took off about 11 am and picked up Gracie. She is spending the next week with us. She is out of school till the 4th, so this week she is ours. I feel bad for her though she is not feeling 100%, but she has been good and taking her medicine. We still have a lot planned and lots of stuff to play with at home so we will make the best of it.

Tuesday, the 26th, the BPP. Today Miss Gabriele was definitely showing off for sissy. It had been a long time since Gracie had gone to a doctors appointment, so she was excited to get to go. And Gabi was happy she was there, she passed her test in 25 minutes. The cutest thing though when the nusre was showing Gracie Gabi's face and hands Gabi gave Gracie a thumbs up and she waved at her. It is like she knew Gracie was there and she wanted to say hello to her sissy. So things are going great and we are getting closer so we are getting really anxious, me more so than Daddy.

Overall it was a great weekend and now we are counting down. Christmas has come and gone and now our next big event is the birth of our little angel...only 5 weeks left if we go as planned.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Taking her time...

Yesterday was our weekly BPP test. Gabriele was being a little stubborn today. She passed her movement. flexibility, and fluid portion right away, but we could not get her to practice breathing for any longer than 4-5 seconds. In order for her to pass she must practice for at least 30 seconds. Since she would not do it I had to get hooked up to the fetal monitor. It was actually very relaxing though, Daddy and I got a quick cat nap in while we waited during the test. So this week since we had to do all five test she got a 8 out of 10, which is still passing so we are go to go for another week. Here is a quick look of me at this point. I am becoming very uncomfortable. I hate to say I am miserable at this point because I know the best is yet to come. From beginning to now I am definitely noticing a lot more pain, mostly my back and some contractions... it's exciting though cause it means everyday we get closer to seeing our baby girl.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Another Big Weekend...

I can't believe it, Michael is married! Saturday, December 16th, Michael and Laura exchanged their wedding vows. I am so excited for them, they looked great and seemed really happy. It's hard to believe that we are both married now, but I also think it is great to see us both growing up and starting the next chapter of our lives with someone very special by our sides.
Later that night we took Gracie to see the plaza lights for the first time. We wanted to take her on a carriage ride, but there was an hour and a half wait. So we decided we'd try that another time. She wasn't as impressed as we hoped, her mom said she said it was neat, but just a bunch of lights on buildings. Not as exciting as what she had seen with her mom in Topeka at a lake, but we really wanted her to experience it from the carriage, so hopfelly we can make up for that.

As for me and Gabi, things are getting very uncomfortable. I am officially 8 1/2 months now, so things are slowly coming to an end. I am so thankful I don't have to much longer. I can tell she is getting bigger, but it doesn't seem like my tummy is so I am close to miserable. I have a feeling the best is yet to come. I think this time next month we will have a little one to hold, I don't know why, but I think she will be a week or two early...maybe that's just wishful thinking? Either way it won't be long and I can't wait. I have to admit though, the thought of labor scares me to death. I know it is natural and if she can fit she will, but it's strange to think that she could. Hummmm, I know it will be perfect and if it were so terrible there would be a lot less women doing it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Meeting the Neonatologists...

Yesterday was Gabi's BPP, it went very well. She was definitely showing off for Daddy, she passed within 15 minutes...she is such a strong little monkey. After her test we finally met the neonatologists, he is the specialists that will take care of her in NICU, he works with the cardiologoist, but we didn't meet him yet. Anyways we had a great conversation with him, oh yeah, his name is Dr. Ragavear (no clue if I spelled that right). Anyways he said the only things we have to watch once she is born is her feeding, that she has gained weight, and that she can maintain her body temperature, at that point she can go home. He said most babies with her heart condition go home with no problem. Once she is born the pressure in her lungs is still really high from being in me, but about 4-6 weeks later it goes to the normal low pressure, which if she has heart failure right away this is when it would happen. We asked a lot of questions, like what happens when she does go into heart failure? He said there is no need for us to worry, because it is a slow process and we will be taught what to look for and have plenty of time to react. It was a very postive, up lifting meeting. Daddy and I are definitely seeing things in a brighter light now.
When we met with Dr. Ragavear we had to go through the nursey to get to NICU and we saw a few babies. Wow, they were beautiful and they had so much hair. It was awesome to finally see some newborns, I cannot wait to see Gabriele, she will be the most beautiful...of course I am not parcial or anything. Dr. Ragavear did say Down babies are the happiest...he said we're lucky...we already knew that though!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

100 %

Memaw T and Papa B came with me to the visit, Daddy was out of town. Yesterday was our first Bio Physical Profile Test (BPP), this is the test we have to go in for on a weekly basis now. Gabriele scored 100%, 8 out of 8. The nurse had to observe 4 different functions: muscle tone, muscle flexibility, her respiratory motion, and the amount of amniotic fluid. The tests can be as short as 5 minutes or as long as an hour and a half. She passed within 26 minutes. It was a very comforting visit today...FINALLY!!
Then I met with Dr. Bennett, he has no concerns at this point. I asked him more about the potential liver problem, he said it is nothing I should consume myself is not a major focus. That was a relief I had been worried since last week. Unfortunately we were unable to meet with the neonatologist, but I will see him next week. Jason will get to be at the appointment next week, so I am kind of glad we didn't meet with him this week, I didn't want Daddy to miss out.
I cannot believe I have officially entered into my 8th month, 32 weeks and 2 days to be exact. It is so exciting to think that in about 7 weeks we will get to see Gabriele for the first time. She is constantly kicking, punching, and stretching inside of me, but to see her and hold her for the first time...I CANNOT WAIT!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Another appointment

Well I had another doctor appointment today. Gabriele is approximately 3lbs. 10 oz., she is right on track. Today was another emotional visit though. There is a possibility that she may have a problem with her liver. I am absolutely beside myself, every time I start to get comfortable something else appears to be a concern. The tech said there is no way of knowing until Gabriele is born, but it is just another stab at my heart. I mean I know she is developing well and moving like crazy, but the thought of another complication tears me up inside. She is so small and so fragile I just want nothing more than for her to be born so we can fix it all. So from this point on Dr. Bennett has suggested that we have her under surveillance to make sure there are no further complications...biggest concern there is a higher risk for still born birth. So if we are able to monitor on a weekly basis there are things that can be done if further complications arise to prevent that from happening. I want to scoop her in my arms hold her tight and protect her. I just want my baby here with us.
I am so scared, I am so afraid of losing her. We are getting so close and yet things still keep happening to her. She is such a strong active little girl, I know she will pull through and we will have a long happy life together, I am just scared of the unknown. The doctor would not go into detail about her liver other than the color is brighter than it should be. Next week I meet with the neonatologist which hopefully he will have a better explanation of what we saw today.
Please God watch over our baby and protect her from any pain and complications. Jason and I promise to give her a wonderful life, just get her to us. I will ask nothing more than for strength through this emotional time. I need to stay strong for Gabriele, but each day I feel I crumble a little more, please help me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Being Thankful...

It has been a little while since I have written, things have been very hectic. This past week was Thanksgiving, so we have had a lot going on. Gracie got to spend a long week with us, which is always fun. We went to Hobby Lobby on wednesday and bought a few things for sissy. Her and I decided that we will make a scrapbook. It was so much fun picking out all the cute stickers and fun paper to go in it. We also bought wooden frames, one for her mommy's birthday and one for sissy. She and I worked on her mommy's, but her and daddy worked on Gabi's. It is so cute and made with lots of love. On thursday morning we put up the Christmas tree. That is always an adventure. We decided that we will buy new stocking for everyone. Gracie wants her and Gabi to have matching stockings, so she picked out megaphone stockings that say CHEER, of course I am all for the cheerleading stuff.
Thursday evening we spent at Memaw T and Papa B's house for turkey. It was amazing food as always. Then on friday we went to Mema and Papa Ackers for more turkey, the food is never disappointing there either. It was perfect to celebrate on 2 different days because then we were able to enjoy both. I have to say even though we do a lot of running back and forth with both families, I wouldn't have it any other way. We are so blessed to have each other and have the opportunity to enjoy each others company as much or a little as we want. Jason and I are both very close to our families so it means a lot to us to take Gracie to visit, and soon Gabi will experience the same.
As of today I am 31 weeks and I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has gone. We have had so many life changing things happen since finding out we were pregnant that it has keep me very occupied. In a few short weeks we will be bringing into the world our little bundle of joy. I am most anxious to see what Gabriele looks like, of course she will be beautiful, but I can't wait to see her features. I hope she has her daddy's eyes. I want to know her personality, I know she will be very active, that I can tell you is a given. I am convinced she is a natural born cheerleader. Tomorrow I have a doctor appointment, I have a ultrasound schedule, hopefully it is in 3D again. So until the next time...

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Fathers Perspective

Well...this has been up for a few days now and daddy hasn't had a chance to write in here so I figured now would be a good time.

There is so much going on in the world and there are so many things that we allow ourselves to be overwhelemed by that sometimes we lose site of what is really important. I married an incredible woman in Micah. She is such an amazing wife to me and has never faltered in showing her love. We have so much fun together and we truly are best friends. When we are feeling happy, sad, frustrated, or plane upset we have no problems talking to each other and making sure we understand where the other stands. When the news of Gabi's uniqueness came to us we were shocked at first. Not because of how it was going to affect us or our loved ones but because of the incredible strength that little girl is going to need to deal with the worlds ignorance. As each day passes and we get closer and closer to the arrival of our little miracle I become more confident that everything is going to be OK. There are several reason why I know that. The first of course is Gabi's Mommy. Micah is such a strong and loving person. She understand what it means to have to deal with ignorant people every day and she has shined through it. She has been on ESPN as a college cheerleader and won a National Championship ring for cheerleading. She has looked ignorance in the face and said..."Watch This". She has accomplished things that athletes twice her size have only dreamed of doing and she continues to move forward. I know that regardless of the adversity that little Gabriele may face having a mother like Micah to show her and teach her that regardless of the limitations that the world puts on her the only limitations that really matter are the ones she will put on herself! Another reason I know everything is going to be ok is because of our family and friends. We have such loving people all around us that are not criticizing or sympathizing with Gabi's uniqueness but encouraging and supporting us by being blessed with such an incredible child. As a father all I want is the best for all of my children and my wife. There isn't much I won't do to make sure that happens either. As Micah said before I have encountered many obstacles in life but there are only two things you can do when that happens. Either let the obstacles take control of you and destroy you or you take control of them and live life to the fullest no matter what!

I am sure I will add more entries as time goes on but I want to make sure that I put my thoughts in here as well. Gabi will be loved and taken care of just like Gracie, and for those of you who know how much attention and how spoiled little Gracie is...I have a feeling Gabi will be just fine! Until Next Time!

A Big Weekend...

November 18 2006

Baby Shower for Gabi...

This weekend was very exciting, it was the Baby Shower. It was held at Memaw T's house, given by Memaw T and Aunt Laurie. We had so much fun celebrating Gabriele's arrival. We played some really fun games...Match the baby name to the celebrity, they have very unusual names. Gabi will be glad we are only spelling her name unique, instead of naming her something like Moondoggie...hahaha...Aunt Tonya won this game. We also had to smell the dirty diaper and guess what candy was in it. The candy bar was smashed and melted it really did look like doodoo...Mommy won this game. Then we had the alphabet down the sheet of paper, we had to write something for each letter that was baby related...Aunt Amanda won this game. And there was a diaper raffle...any one who brought a box of diapers got to enter a drawing. It was great cause we won't have to buy diapers for a while...Aunt Tami won the raffle.

After the games were over we opened gifts. Everyone was was so generous, Daddy and I loved everything. Gabriele will be a very warm, well dressed baby. She got 10 blankets and tons of clothes, among other things. I would say Daddy was most excited about the Hawkeye t-shirt Aunt Tami got and the Hawkeye cheer uniform Aunt Tonya got. The most special gift came from Big Sissy, she got little pink ballet slippers, butterfly slippers, a classic pooh blanket, and a bear that she had when she was a baby. The blanket is sweet because she had a pooh blanket she loved when she was a baby and she wanted sissy to have one too. As far as the little white bear, Daddy said Gracie never went anywhere without it. She wanted to pass it to sissy cause it was so special to her. We got a few gift certificates and Mommy didn't wait long to spend those, we went to Target on Sunday and got a bunch of goodies. All in all it was a great day and I was so glad that those who attended were there it meant so much to us!

On Sunday, after shopping at Target we took Gracie to see Happy Feet. What a great movie, it had a wonderful message which brought tears to my eyes. It comes down to this, just because someone is different doesn't mean they can't survive and make a difference in everyone's lives. That really hit home and I think everyone should see the movie. Not to mention it is super cute...Gracie had Happy Feet afterwards and couldn't stop tapping her was really funny!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I have read and reread yesterdays entry several times and it made me think...who defines what is "normal"? Who is to say that our little girl will not be normal? She may develop a little slower and she may look a little different, but who wants to look like everyone else. Take me for example, people stare at me all the time because I am only 4ft. 8in. tall. People are so close minded to think that something is wrong with me because I am short, but really it is people's ignorance that defines who they are. So if we all looked at people for who they are not what they are then wouldn't life be more enjoyable?
I know that we will go through life looking at things a little differently, up until this point I took so much for granted. I did not realize how quickly one day can change the rest of your life. But now that I have had time to process I realize our lives will only be better for we are being blessed with a little angel to remind us of what truly matters...
Jason has been my rock. He has such an amazing outlook on life. He has gone through things most people ask, how did you do that? His answer I had to... You don't stop living because you are given challenges. You face those challegens and continue on with the next day. I feel bad because he travels a lot for work and I am home alone alot. I don't want to call family or friends everytime I am sad or scared, so I usually wait until he gets home, I cry to him. I find comfort in the fact that we are strong enough as a couple that we will be so good for Gabriele. It is still a struggle everyday knowing that I cannot do anything to help her at this point, but as soon as my baby is here I will do everything to give her a wonderful life.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

In the beginning...

Welcome to our special page for our special little girl! Throughout the entire pregnancy I have been filled with an overwhelming amount of emotions, some of which I must apologize to my husband...haha!! When we first found out that a baby would be coming into our lives well honestly I was scared, Jason was happy, and Gracie was super excited! I was scared because we had just gotten engaged, this was not planned and that is not how we expected things to go. But as soon as we told our families I was relieved of the scarey parts and now I was excited. I have wanted to be a mommy for a while and now it was going to happen.
We immediately got married and then we went to our first doctors appointment. It was absolutely amazing, we heard the heart and we found out we were 7 weeks along. Our due date is January 30, 2007. What a great way to start off a new year!
So the doctor visits begin...
September 11 is a day many of us will never forget, but to Jason and I it changed our lives in more ways than others. We went in for a follow up to the AFP test, which tests babies for abnormalities. We were going in for a level 2 ultrasound, to further look into what may or may not be wrong. As soon as the tech started looking at our baby, she detected a few indicators of what is known as Trisomy 21 or more commonly Down Syndrome. We were overwhelmed with several emotions, mostly sadness and a sense of helplessness that I cannot describe. At that point we had no clue the sex of the baby but because we had been given what at the time was devastating news we decided to find out...IT"S A GIRL!!! That was something we were and still are extremely excited about. The doctor then confirmed what the tech had seen and we scheduled to go back for an amniocentsis, which will give us a definite answer to what we think is her condition.
The amnio came and went and the results came back that our little girl, Gabriele Sheridan Acker, has Down Syndrome. We cried because of course you want nothing more than for your child to be healthy and "normal". Well that is when we started doing research, there are a lot of great organizations to help with this. I immediately wanted to be educated and know about the development and challenges that we will face.
Not a day goes by that I do not still fear a bit of the unknown, but what I am sure of is that God never gives us more than we can handle. I believe that Jason, Gracie, and myself are a strong, stable family and we will give Gabriele the best love and support any family could provide.
We are blessed now that we have been chosen to take care of such a special child. I just hope she realizes how many people love and support her already. This is going to be an amazing journey and I am just so excited that we will get to share it together.