The Details...

Thank you so much for all of the sweet comments and emails!  We love hearing from you and knowing that so many people are exciting about "meeting" and praying for the new baby!!

We've had lots of questions, so I'll try to (remember them and) answer them for you.

First of all, I will be 12 weeks Monday and I'm due May 23.  Yes, that means that Derrick will turn two in April and we will have a new baby almost exactly one month later.  We may be crazy, we haven't decided yet. Ha!  We think the two year difference will be good once they're a little older.  D likes to be a "melper" {helper} so maybe he'll stay in that stage for another two years or so.  :)

I have been feeling fine, just really tired.  It's much different this time around!  When I was pregnant with Derrick I would come home from work and nap or hang out on the couch when I wanted to.  BIG difference now!  Chasing an 18 month old isn't exactly relaxing, but I wouldn't have it any other way.  I haven't gotten sick at all (I only did twice with D), but I've been on the verge many times.  As long as I eat every couple of hours I'm good to go.  Very thankful for that!

When we found out about Derrick's heart, I told Justin I wasn't sure if I wanted to have any more children.  As time went on and we accepted what God had given us, I realized that He had a plan for us, even if it wasn't MY plan.   {That seems to happen often, doesn't it?}  We met with a genetic counselor shortly after D came home from the hospital to see what the odds were of having another heart baby.  Given Derrick's defects and our family history (which has no heart defects that we're aware of), we have a 5-8% chance of having another child with some form of a CHD.  The likelyhood of having another "complex little heart" like Derrick's is pretty slim.  Anyone has a 1% chance of having a heart baby, and the likelyhood does go up if you've already had one (even though most CHDs don't have a genetic link, which I find strange seeing that your chances of being the 'lucky one' go up with another child), but it's a chance we're willing to take. Also, the data they have to go on with CHD stats is slim.  There aren't years and years worth of family history of CHD patients to look at because the record keeping and research for CHD is all fairly new.  So how accurate is the prediction really...

Before becoming pregnant, or even deciding for sure that I wanted to do it again, I prayed about it a lot.  Neither of us want to ever hear, "There's something wrong with your baby's heart," ever again.   I have asked God, once again, for a healthy baby.  I sure hope our ideas of a healthy baby are the same this time, but if they're not, we will accept what He has given us, and we will do our best and give Him the glory.  That's all we can do.  We pray.  We would greatly appreciate your prayers for this baby just as we appreciate them for Derrick.  They are powerful, we have seen that first hand.

So to answer the question about being worried about the new baby's heart....
Yes, I am nervous.  However, I try not to think about all the time.  I'm sure we'll both be really nervous going into that 20 week appointment and waiting as they do the ultrasound, but there's nothing we can do about it.  We will enjoy this pregnancy just like we tried to do with the second half of Derrick's.  The innocence and blissfulness of pregnancy was ripped away from us two years ago.  But we will enjoy this, no matter what.  :)

Do we want a boy or girl....
Ha!  Ok.  I can tell you that one half of our family is shouting girl.  There are four grandsons on Justin's side of the family, so they're all cheering for a girl.  On my side there are two granddaughters and three grandsons.  It doesn't matter either way, this one will just be one of the crowd.  With that being said, it would be fun to have a girl because, well, we already have a boy and she would be the first girl on Justin's side of the family.  BUT...we already have a BOY, so it would be much cheaper to have another boy!  Either way, we honestly don't care.  And we can say this time, even more than last, that all we want is a healthy baby!

The plan...
The plan for this pregnancy is just like any other.  I have an appointment next week and we should be able to hear the baby's heart beat.  :)  I will have the standard 20 week ultrasound to check out all of the organs (and find out the sex!!), then, even if everything checks out fine with the heart, we will see D's cardiologist at 24 weeks for a fetal echo.  That's it.  Just regular monthly (then bi-monthly, etc) checkups with the OB with an added fetal echo.  We've already made the appointment for that.  Next time D goes to see Dr. Shuler (in February), so do I!

I think that's pretty much everything, but if you have more questions, let me know!  

This guy has NO IDEA what's about to happen, but trust me, he does not need to be an only child! :)



  1. I love all of the answers to the questions you got. Holy cow there are some nosy people on your blog. LOL!!! TEASING!!!! I would ask the same thing too!

    I know it is a little worrisome thinking about possibly having another heart baby but I do now several families that have gone on to have healthy babies. I have faith.

    Congrats on your baby to be. Being the mother of two boys you know I am rooting for another boy. It is just soooo much fun watching brothers playing together. However I know it would be fun to have a little girl to doll up too.

    Praying for you guys!!

  2. My Luke is 26 months older than Emma and it is true, they fight. BUT, they also love each other, snuggle on the couch to watch PBS, give kisses, and Luke's prays for Emma to be happy every time she cries.

    SO excited for you in this new chapter! Saying many prayers for this new life. :)

    Cassie Bradley

  3. Wonderful! All of the questions I wanted to ask have all been asked by others and now answered. That worked out well. ;) I'm glad that you are feeling good! :)

  4. I'm with Steph on rooting for another boy, lol! Carter and Mason are 18 months apart. It is sooo hard right now BUT I'm so happy they'll be able to play together and we can plan family activities that can include both boys and be age-appropriate.
    I'm praying for the health of your new little bean!

  5. Shannon,
    I have kept up with your family since before Derrick was born. I have an almost 5 year old boy with HLHS. He has done very well this far with all of the surgeries. He is a little small. But that is about it. He can keep up with any kid his age. He is a miracle! After he was born, we were not sure that we would have other children. There is no history of heart defects on either side of our family. We were just not sure. After lots of prayer and talking to some doctors, we decided that our family should have one more. So about a year ago, we had another boy! And he is heart healthy! I know that it is a hard decision. And that you will be worried until the baby is born. I just wanted you to know our story. And to let you know that I will be praying for your new baby, and for the rest of the family! Have only positive thoughts! Best of luck!
    Leigh Ann Corbitt

  6. I remember so well those doubts about having more children after Jessany and then Emily, my niece who also has TOF, were born but, like you and Justin, sought genetic counseling and left it in God's hands. I really wanted a sibling for Jessany so of course, I wholeheartedly agree that Derrick needs a little sister or brother and will be a great "melper." Jessany adored Kayley and they were the best of friends. Yes, it is stressful when it comes testing time, but we had lots of people praying for us and you will, too. As you said, prayer is a powerful thing that you've gotten to see firsthand. Your family is always in our prayers and we've already added the newest member of the Carter clan (don't you love the southern sound of that? :) to our prayers and can't wait for updates, as always.

    Hope you continue feeling well because there will be no rest for the weary this time around :)

    And a HUGE congratulations again!
    Kati, Rocky, Evan & Brycen Dun

  7. So happy for the news- what a miracle! I am praying with ya for a healthy baby. I tell you though, having a boy then a girl is wonderful! He will always takes care of her. The age difference is great too- Cameron and Reagan's birthdays are actually four days apart (and two years).

    What a blessing for your family!

  8. I hear your heart girl! Praying for a peace that passes understanding as you embrace this pregnancy and grow to love this wee one. Trusting the sovereign hand of God as he knits this precious one together in your womb. Cant stop smiling thinking of you!:-)

  9. Hi Shannon! Thank you for your sweet message on our blog. It is so nice to "meet you" and I can't wait to continue to get to know your sweet family through our blogs. Thank you for this honest blog post. These are all things I have wondered and worried about should Brad and I be blessed to have more children. It is scary to take that chance again, but as you have said, all you can do is trust in Him. We will pray for that baby in the womb and of course for Derrick. He'll be a great big brother! Take care! Hugs, Lisa Johnson

  10. I have been following your BLOG for several months now. I have a little girl with HRHS who is 10 months old now. How excited I was to read your post about your new baby. Congratulations! I will be praying along with you for a healthy little baby - boy or girl :)

    Love in Christ,
    Tina B.
    Mom to Anna Grace (HRHS)

  11. Shannon, Justin, Derrick,
    I bought a pair of pink shoes and crossed my fingers. Nana would be thrilled with one great-granddaughter. Love all of you a bushel.
    Aunt Shirley or MIMI