Joshua and I left early on March 8th to drive up to Duke University Hospital for Marley's second cord blood infusion. To give a little bit more of an explanation, I am going to refer to what Amy said, because she put it so perfectly well:
"Stem cells are "undifferentiated," meaning they can become any cell in the body. The blood from a baby's umbelical cord contains millions, or sometimes even billions, of stem cells. During pregnancy, babies continuously receive stem cells as they grow. Once a baby is born and the umbelical cord is cut, they stop receiving them and the stem cells die off if they are not preserved. Dr. Kurtzberg has found that by giving babies back their cord blood at various points in time, the stem cells can help "repair" damaged brain cells in babies with hydrocephalus. Dr. Kurtzberg is currently the only doctor in the world offering this treatment, so we feel very fortunate that she is so close by."
Our appointment was actually at 1:15 PM, but we arrived at Duke at around 11 AM, but I had a message from the clinic telling me to come on up if we were early. It's a good thing we did that! We checked into our hotel at around 8 PM after 13 IV sticks on poor Marley. She was obviously not an easy stick. It was very frustrating for everyone, but she got her cells and that's what matters!!! The Duke team are all so awesome and they did their very best job to make the sticking minimal as possible, but Marley's veins just weren't behaving.
We had planned to meet up with other moms who have kids with hydro, but two of the kids became sick and had to cancel their appointments. Get well soon, sweet Elisabeth and Blake!!! I am so sad that we weren't able to meet up with Clair Bear, but we will see each other again soon sweetheart!! We did, however, get to meet up with The AMAZING Owen Higgins and his wonderful mommy, Michele. Owen is such a cutie! He has the cutest facial expressions. He was doing some serious texting when we met, but he was able to take a break for some adorable pics with my sweet Marley. I can't wait for Michele to post them, I just know they turned out awesome. So, everything doesn't turn out how we always plan it. We didn't all get to meet up and have a beautiful reunion with our kids who all have something so special in common. We've learned that well through our respective pregnancies. To which I leave you with this:
P.S. Marley's breath still smells like creamed corn. :)