Thursday, September 27, 2007


Donavyn Faith Koehler!!!

Born Sept 25th 2007 at 6:33 pm.
She weighed in at 5 lbs 14 oz and 19 3/4 inches long.

It's been an exhausting couple of days but we are finally home and couldn't be happier!! We really appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. We couldn't have done this without the support of everybody out there!! I hate to lump you all together like this but if I were to list everyone of you I think I would break the internet. You are all so special to us and we are truly blessed to have you as friends and family.

Mother and Daughter are doing just fine and hopefully 0nce we get settled in a little bit more we'll be able to share our story with you. We have most of it already written but every time we would try to finish it and get it posted we would be interrupted by a doctor or nurse. But no more interruptions now!! (yeah right) But we promise we will get more pictures posted and fill you in on the exciting new addition to our family.

God Bless You All!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Happy Half Birthday, to You!

Our dear Gabriel is 6 months today! I wish we could celebrate this with him, but we are happy knowing he's with a wonderful family.


Ok, so this is where I got cut off yesterday as I was typing this out. So YESTERDAY was his half birthday. So, what happened to cut my posting time so short? I thought you'd never ask! The Dr. on call (Dr. Wiggins) came in for rounds and said she thought it was time for us to have a baby. Yup, that's right.

We asked a lot of questions and we are likely going to start the induction this morning at some point. She and Dr. Whitefield (my Dr.) are in surgery starting at 9, and I've been told that Dr. Whitefield is going to try to stop by today - don't know if it will be before or after his surgery though. I'm really hoping that he will be available to deliver our baby girl.

Please pray that everything goes well and that I have a fast, easy labor and delivery. For those of you that have been calling and emailing, thank you so much. It means so much to have friends and family like all of you thinking about and praying for us.

We have been EXTREMELY blessed with some amazing friends and neighbors who are watching over our dogs and house. A very special thank you to Melissa and Aaron, Becca and Jason, and Mary and Keith. I don't know what we would have done without you all. You have all become more than friends (not only through this, but through everything), but are now family. We love you guys! I know there are so many others out there who are doing so much for us and we appreciate all of you.

So, with that said, I'm going to go for now. Zach is off getting me some breakfast. He said he's surprising me this morning, so we'll see what he has up his sleeve. We'll do our best to let you guys know what's going on, but can't promise anything. Next time you hear from us we MAY be Momma and Daddy! Wow....

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Still waiting...

Beth on Bed-Rest

Well no news is good news I suppose...Beth and the baby are doing just fine. Beth is doing a lot better in fact. Her blood pressure has stabilized and her protein has actually gone down. It makes us wonder why we are still here and not being sent home but they said that with bedrest Beth can actually get better but if she went off of bedrest and went home she could get worse very quick so until further notice we're stuck. Beth is really enjoying her bedrest though. She's been able to catch up on her sleep and reading. She's a Sudoku genius too!!! Anyway I've got to go get the laundry out of the dryer now so here's some updated pictures.

Leaving the house as a pair for the final time.

Pretty toes!!! (She is the spoiled-est person I know)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

All In One Update...

Ok here’s the scoop for those of you that don’t know already. Saturday morning we had to take Beth to the hospital and by “we” I mean our very dear friend Melissa had to because I was on duty. Beth had a feeling that her blood pressure was a little high so we purchased a digital blood pressure monitor a couple days before and Saturday morning it was WAY high. We’re talking triple digits high. So Beth called the doctor’s office and they told her to go to the emergency room and NOT to drive herself. That’s when she called Melissa at home and her exact words (okay, so pretty close anyway) to her husband as she ran out of their bedroom were “Gotta go, watch the kids. I am taking Beth to the emergency room” and that was it. I can only imagine what Aaron was thinking at that point. But they made it alright and got checked in. I was able to find a short notice relief from duty and went to the hospital too.

When I got there they had moved her into another room and had her all settled in. She had high blood pressure and they were testing to see if she had any protein in her urine. Two of the symptoms of pre-eclampsia, a very un-understood (new word for the win) condition. Doctors are not sure what causes it but the only treatment is to deliver the baby. Beth was only 35 weeks pregnant at this point so the main concern was how developed the baby’s lungs are. There was some talk of letting her go home and just be on bed rest because her blood pressure, while high, was not in the severe range and was manageable. That was until the Doctor came in Sunday morning expecting to tell us that we were able to go home but instead had to tell us that Beth did have protein in her urine and was pre-eclamptic. To be pre-eclamptic you need to have between 300-500 mgs of protein with severe pre-eclamsia being between 4000-5000 mgs. Beth has 600-700 mgs so is barely pre-eclamptic but that means we can’t go home. In fact they went one further and sent us to Anchorage where there is a very good neo-natal unit and some of the countries best Perinatologists (doctors that specialize in problem pregnancies – shocker considering this is Alaska…why the best are here, who knows?). So that way if our little girl’s lungs are not developed they have the best equipment to care for her.

So I did some calling around. Made travel arrangements to get us on the jet out of Kodiak. Called my work and told them the situation. Said I have to take Beth to Anchorage and I don’t know when I’m coming back. They said that they cleared my schedule indefinitely and they’ll worry about accounting when I come back. I’m on medical orders so our plane tickets, rental car, and my food is all paid for and I’m not burning any of my earned leave. I love the Coast Guard!!

So we got here and talked with Dr. Whitefield (the guy who got Beth pregnant) and he gave us three options to think about. 1- Wait and see if baby girl can get a few more weeks of cooking in. 2- Perform an Amniocentesis and that will tell us if baby girl’s lungs are developed or not and induce labor. (Dr’s choice at this point) 3- Induce labor and deliver baby girl with out the Amnio. He ordered another ultra-sound to check the baby and find out how much fluid is around the baby and get an idea of how far along she is. The Perinatologist herself did the actual ultra-sound and could find absolutely nothing wrong with baby girl!! Can Beth grow them or what!! She was weighing in at a whopping 6.7 lbs give or take a pound!! And there is plenty of fluid around the baby for an Amnio. They also measured the protein in Beth’s urine again over a 24 hour period and found out it hadn’t changed much. So armed with the fact that Beth’s condition hasn’t worsened in 4 days and baby girl is looking really good option 1 of waiting is now our top choice. The risks of a late stage Amnio just outweigh the benefits in our mind right now. We are very comfortable waiting and keeping a close eye on Beth because that’s who’s at risk now, not baby girl.

Now, in other news. We received new pictures of our Guatemalan Angel. We also talked with Sonya and she said that we did receive a kick out from PGN. Apparently Guatemala is now requiring the birth mother’s birth certificate to be signed by the mayor of the city she was born in. And it appears that this requirement is only for some cities. Ours happens to be one of them. This is a new requirement, one that hasn’t cropped up before and caught everybody off guard. But the kick out is actually a positive thing. It means that our case was being looked at and if it hadn’t gotten kicked out we would have been through PGN at this point. Our lawyer down in Guatemala has been trying to track down the mayor every day but the elections down there have put a serious strain on his time and has been hard to get time with. But our lawyer is very persistent and has promised to get the signature

and our case back into PGN this week or next. This will give us time to get baby girl home and settled before I have to go down to Guatemala to pick up Gabriel. Oh, and she emailed new pictures too! What a nice surprise for us!

We’ll update you all again when things change if we can. Love you all and enjoy the pictures!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

One step closer...

Well we are one step closer to being ready to bring two new little ones into our home. We finished painting the nursery and put the cribs together!! Now all that's left is to move the changing table into the room and figure out the layout. Gabriel and Baby Girl will be sharing a room so we had to figure out a theme that would be appropriate for both of them and since I always call Beth "My Princess" we thought that a Prince & Princess room would be cool. Actually, a friend of Beth's on Coastiechicks was the first to suggest the theme, so thank you MamaFox (aka Angela)! We loved your idea and ran with it! It took a bit of research and a lot of erasers on my part but I finally figured out how to draw the murals on the walls. We then had our neighbors scan them into the computer and we borrowed a computer projector to blow the drawings up on the wall. Beth helped me trace them and finally paint them. It took several weeks but we are quite pleased with the result. Hopefully our children will one day appreciate all the hard work we put into their room.

Starting the Dragon and Knight on Gabriel's side of the room.

Unicorn and Princess on Baby Girl's side of the room.

Starting the Castle on the third side of the room (over the changing table).

Finished Castle.

Gabriel's side of the room including his crib.

Detail of Knight. (Look at how well Beth painted his face!!)

Baby Girl's side of the room including her crib.

Detail of Unicorn and Princess.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Gabriel's 5 month check-up

Hi all! We just received an email from Sonya (our wonderful co-ordinator) with Gabriel's medical report from August. We can't believe he's already FIVE months old!!! Please, God, bring him home soon!

He is doing well and is very healthy. He is on a multivitamin with flouride, so he's getting all the nutrients he needs to grow big and strong. As of Aug. 20 he weighs 16 lbs and is 25.6 inches long with a 16.5 in. head circumference. We can't believe how big he is!

Of course I (Beth) cried and didn't want to move off of the first picture. His face is thinning out. It's amazing how fast they change at this age. We were just there a month earlier and he changed so much!

We want to update you on the adoption progress as well. In my last post I mentioned that we had already entered PGN. Well...we didn't enter until this past Monday or Tuesday (the 27th or 28th). Why? Oh, because the US Embassy just likes to make our lives difficult! They decided at the last minute that they were going to shut their doors for the week of the 20-24th and also decided that because they were going to be closed that week that they didn't feel like handing out paperwork the Friday afternoon previous. Great....we (along with our attorney) didn't receive the email that our PA was ready to pick up until Thursday after close of business. Lovely, huh? So yeah, instead of having nearly 3 weeks under our belt, we are only at one.

We have faith though, that God made us wait so we could get on the "right" persons desk. That's about the only thing keeping us sane right now. So pray that we are right and that God had us get placed on someone's desk who will get us OUT quickly! We really appreciate all of your prayers and support. It really means so much to us. It's so hard to be away from our families right now, but it helps to know that we have people all over the place praying on our behalf.

Also be praying for the people of Guatemala right now. Hurricane Felix is downing about 25 in of rain there. We have been assured by Caroline (the PH director) that she has been in contact with the attorney's there and that they aren't seeing too much in Guate City, so that is good for all of our agency's families. Ana and Byron live pretty high above sea level, so I'm not worried about flooding, but I hate that it's going on nonetheless and that I'm not there to comfort my baby.

Ok, enjoy the pictures. We love you all!