Thursday, April 28, 2011

30 Weeks :)

I MADE IT TO 30 WEEKS AND PRAISING GOD.  I WILL SAY, AS I FEEL LIKE I SAY ALMOST EVERY DAY, THAT THE ONLY THING THAT HAS GOTTEN US TO THIS POINT IS PRAYER.  I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO THANK EVERYONE WHO IS DILIGENTLY PRAYING FOR US, AND FOR HENRY AND HARPER.  IT IS TRULY HUMBLING AND WE ARE GRATEFUL BEYOND WORDS.  THIS PAST WEEK HAS BEEN PARTICULARLY HARD ON ME FOR SOME REASON.  I THINK THE WEIGHT OF BEING HERE AND THE UNKNOWN OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN WITH OUR BABIES ONCE THEY ARE BORN HAS REALLY BEEN HEAVY ON MY HEART.  ALSO, MISSING EASTER SUNDAY WITH MY FAMILY AND CHURCH FAMILY WAS REALLY HARD, TOO.  I AM JUST CLINGING TO GOD’S PROMISES THAT HE IS IN TOTAL CONTROL OF WHATEVER IS TO COME.  MARK HAS BEEN MY ROCK THROUGH THIS WHOLE PROCESS.  I AM REALLY GRATEFUL TO GOD FOR HIM, MY MOM AND DAD, AND MY SWEET FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO KEEP CALLING, TEXTING, AND EMAILING.  I APOLOGIZE IF YOU HAVE CALLED OR EMAILED AND HAVEN’T HEARD BACK FROM ME.  IT’S JUST BEEN A ROUGH WEEK.  PLUS, ANY TIME I HAVE A MOMENT IN THE ROOM, I FEEL LIKE I AM TRYING TO GET SOME REST.  NOT GETTING A WHOLE LOT OF THAT THESE DAYS.  MARK AND I JOKE THAT WE CAN SLEEP ONCE WE’RE HOME WITH THE BABIES!  (TOTALLY JOKING, BUT HONESTLY, THERE MAY BE A LITTLE TRUTH IN THAT STATEMENT)
 
 
FIRST, WE HAVE A HUGE PRAISE!  THEY CHECKED MY BLOOD PLATELETS TODAY, AND THEY HAVE GONE UP.  THEY ARE STILL LOWER THAN NORMAL, SO I STILL HAVE GESTATIONAL THROMBOCYTOPENIA, BUT THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE INCREASED INSTEAD OF DECREASED LOWERS THE RISKS THAT I COULD HAVE AT DELIVERY.  WE ARE SO THANKFUL FOR THAT. THE BABIES ARE STILL FIGHTING HARD TO MAKE IT AS LONG AS THEY CAN.  HARPER NOW WEIGHS 2 LBS 1 OZ, AND WE ARE JUST PRAISING GOD FOR THE LITTLE GROWTH THAT SHE’S SHOWN.  IT’S NOT WHAT WE HOPED FOR, BUT IT’S STILL GROWTH, AND WE ARE THANKFUL FOR THAT.  EVEN A TINY BIT OF GROWTH LETS US KNOW THAT ALTHOUGH THE FLOW OF BLOOD AND OXYGEN HAS BEEN RESTRICTED IN HER UMBILICAL CORD, SHE IS GETTING ENOUGH TO SUSTAIN GROWTH, SO THAT EASES OUR MINDS A LITTLE.  HENRY NOW WEIGHS 3 LBS 7 OZ!  WOO HOO!  AS FAR AS EVERYTHING ELSE, HIS CONDITION STILL REMAINS THE SAME.  WE WON’T REALLY KNOW ANYTHING MORE THAN WE ALREADY KNOW UNTIL HE IS BORN.  WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE BIGGEST UPDATE I HAVE TO GIVE.
THE DOCTORS HAVE DECIDED THAT IF EVERYTHING CONTINUES TO REMAIN STABLE, AND THE BABIES CAN MAKE IT TO 32 WEEKS, THEN THEY WILL SCHEDULE TO TAKE THEM AT 32 WEEKS.  I WILL BE 32 WEEKS MAY 11TH.  THEY HAVE EXPLAINED THEIR REASONING, AND WE WHOLEHEARTEDLY TRUST THEM.  LIKE I SAID IN OUR LAST UPDATE, GOD HAS BLESSED US IMMENSELY WITH THE DOCTORS AND STAFF HERE AT THE MED.  OUR MAIN DOCTOR, DR. SAMSON, HAS HONESTLY BECOME LIKE FAMILY TO MARK AND ME.  I BELIEVE HE HAS THE BEST INTEREST FOR OUR BABIES, SO IF HE SAYS IT’S TIME, I TOTALLY TRUST THAT IT’S TIME.  RIGHT NOW, WE ARE JUST PRAYING THAT HENRY AND HARPER CAN MAKE IT TO 32 WEEKS.  I WILL UPDATE THE BLOG THE SECOND I FIND OUT THE EXACT DATE.  I FEEL LIKE THE REAL BATTLE WILL BEGIN THAT DAY.  OUR BABIES HAVE A REALLY LONG ROAD AHEAD OF THEM, BUT WE BELIEVE THAT GOD HAS A GREAT BIG PLAN FOR BOTH OF THEM.  I AM GOING TO TRY AND SEE IF I CAN POST A PICTURE OF HENRY THAT THEY GAVE US LAST WEEK.  THEY WEREN’T ABLE TO GET ONE OF HARPER, BUT I KNOW SHE IS JUST AS SWEET.  THIS PICTURE FILLED MY HEART WITH SO MUCH JOY.  I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE DAY THAT I CAN HOLD THIS LITTLE FELLA.  THANK YOU ALL AGAIN FOR YOUR PRAYERS.  THEY MEAN THE WORLD TO US!  

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

29 Weeks

4/20/11
 
I AM 29 WEEKS TODAY!!!  WE ARE THANKING GOD AND GIVING HIM ALL THE PRAISE AND GLORY.  TWO WEEKS AGO, WHEN I CHECKED IN TO THIS HOSPITAL, I WAS VERY NERVOUS THAT I WOULD NOT SEE THIS DAY.  WE BELIEVE THAT PRAYER IS THE ONLY THING THAT HAS GOTTEN US HERE.  BELIEVE ME, I FEEL THE PRAYERS THAT ARE BEING LIFTED FOR US, AND I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THEM.  
 
I AM TRYING TO ONLY UPDATE THE BLOG ONCE A WEEK SINCE IT IS SO HARD TO DO HERE.  ANOTHER REASON IS THAT THINGS HONESTLY CHANGE FROM DAY TO DAY AND I HATE TO GIVE ONE REPORT, AND THEN IT CHANGE THE VERY NEXT DAY.  LAST WEEK THE DOCTORS WERE A LITTLE CONCERNED WITH MY BLOOD PLATELETS.  THEY SEEMED TO BE DROPPING AND THE DOCTORS WERE WORRIED THAT IF THAT PATTERN CONTINUED, AND THEY GOT TOO LOW, THEY WOULD HAVE TO GO AHEAD AND TAKE THE BABIES.  THANKFULLY, AS OF MONDAY, MY PLATELETS HAD NOT DROPPED ANYMORE.  THE DOCTORS NOW THINK THAT I HAVE GESTATIONAL THROMBOCYTOPENIA, WHICH SHOULD GO AWAY ONCE THE BABIES ARE BORN.  HOWEVER, JUST TO BE SAFE, THEY ARE CONTINUING TO MONITOR MY LEVELS.  
 
OUR BABY GIRL HARPER IS SHOWING SIGNS OF GROWTH, AND TODAY, THEY WERE EVEN ABLE TO SEE FORWARD FLOW OF BLOOD IN HER UMBILICAL CORD.  THAT IS HUGE!!!  NOW, THINGS CAN CHANGE IN AN INSTANT, BUT WE FEEL VERY GOOD ABOUT WHAT IS GOING ON WITH HER NOW.  SHE STILL HAS IUGR, BUT WE ARE PRAYING THAT ONCE SHE IS BORN NO OTHER COMPLICATIONS WILL ARISE.  
 
THEY TOLD US LAST WEEK THAT THE CCAM IN HENRY’S CHEST MAY BE BIGGER THAN THEY ACTUALLY ANTICIPATED, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, THEY KEEP REITERATING THAT THEY REALLY WON’T KNOW THE EXTENT OF THE DAMAGE UNTIL HE IS BORN AND WHETHER OR NOT IT WILL BE A SHORT TERM OR A LONG TERM PROBLEM.  RIGHT NOW IT’S LOOKING LIKE HENRY WILL HAVE TO HAVE SURGERY IMMEDIATELY AFTER HE IS BORN.  THE DOCTORS ARE WORRIED THAT THERE IS NO NORMAL LUNG TISSUE WHERE THE MASS HAS GROWN, BUT ONCE AGAIN, WE WON’T KNOW FOR CERTAIN UNTIL HE IS BORN.  IF THERE IS NO LUNG TISSUE THERE, THEN WE PRAY THAT HIS OTHER LUNG IS STABLE.  IF THERE IS SOME LUNG TISSUE THERE, THEN ONLY TIME WILL TELL IF IT WILL FUNCTION PROPERLY.  ALSO, THE FLUID IN HIS AMNIOTIC SAC IS CONTINUING TO INCREASE.  RIGHT NOW, IT IS NOT CAUSING HIM ANY COMPLICATIONS.  HOWEVER, IT IS MAKING IT VERY UNCOMFORTABLE FOR ME.  BECAUSE OF THE EXCESS FLUID, I AM EXPERIENCING CONTRACTIONS, AND THE FLUID IN HIS SAC IS CAUSING HARPER TO BE PRESSED INTO MY DIAPHRAGM.  NOW, WE COULD REMEDY THIS BY DOING AN AMNIO REDUCTION, BUT AS LONG AS I AM THE ONLY ONE IT’S AFFECTING, AND ITS JUST DISCOMFORT, THEN I AM GOING TO ENDURE IT AND NOT RECEIVE THE AMNIO REDUCTION.  I WILL HOWEVER HAVE TO HAVE THIS IF THE FLUID CAUSES ME TO GO INTO PRETERM LABOR, OR IT BEGINS AFFECTING MY BREATHING.
 
WE ARE CONTINUING TO PRAY THAT I WILL MAKE IT JUST ONE MORE WEEK.  MY DOCTORS ARE TRULY AMAZED THAT I HAVE MADE IT THIS FAR.  WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THAT THE FURTHER ALONG I GET, THE BETTER CHANCES HENRY WILL HAVE AT RECOVERING FROM SURGERY.  WE ARE ALSO PRAYING THAT ONCE THEY REMOVE THE MASS, THERE WILL BE A PERFECTLY HEALTHY LUNG THAT THEY WERE NOT ABLE TO SEE BECAUSE OF THE MASS.  BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, WE ARE PRAYING FOR GOD’S WILL TO BE DONE.  WE ARE PRAYING FOR PEACE DURING THIS VERY STRESSFUL TIME.  I AM CONTINUING TO PRAY FOR SAFETY FOR MY MOM AND MARK AS THEY CONTINUE TO TRAVEL TO AND FROM MEMPHIS.  GOD IS SO GOOD, AND I JUST PRAY THAT WHATEVER THE OUTCOME, HE WILL BE GLORIFIED THROUGH IT ALL.  I HAD A FRIEND SEND ME MATHEW 19: 26, “ JESUS LOOKED AT THEM AND SAID, “WITH MAN THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE.”  I BELIEVE THAT WHATEVER HAPPENS, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL OF THIS SITUATION AND WE ARE JUST TAKING COMFORT IN THAT.  THANK YOU ALL, AGAIN, FOR YOUR PRAYERS.  MARK AND I ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THEM ALL.  

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Update from the Med

 MARK AND I ARE SO GRATEFUL TO EVERYONE WHO IS PRAYING FOR HENRY AND HARPER.  WE HAVE BEEN HUMBLED, AND OFTEN BROUGHT TO TEARS FROM THE OUTPOUR OF LOVE AND SUPPORT FROM OUR DEAR FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND EVEN STRANGERS.  THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD WE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO ADEQUATELY THANK YOU ENOUGH.  GOD IS SO GOOD, AND HE HAS CONTINUED TO POUR OUT HIS BLESSINGS ON OUR LITTLE FAMILY.  I APOLOGIZE FOR TAKING SO LONG TO UPDATE THE BLOG.  OUR BLOG ADDRESS, ALONG WITH FACEBOOK, IS BLOCKED FROM THE WIRELESS CONNECTION HERE AT THE HOSPITAL.  I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO READ EVERYONE’S SWEET MESSAGES FROM MY PHONE, BUT RESPONDING TO THEM HAS BEEN QUITE DIFFICULT.  PLEASE KNOW HOW GRATEFUL WE FOR ALL OF THEM.  
 
AS OF TOMORROW, I WILL HAVE BEEN A PATIENT AT THE MED FOR A WHOLE WEEK.  I’M NOT GOING TO LIE, I WAS EXTREMELY DEPRESSED ABOUT HAVING TO DO THIS, BUT GOD HAS GOTTEN ME THROUGH THAT, AND COMPLETELY CHANGED MY ATTITUDE.  ALTHOUGH THIS IS NOT THE PLAN I HAD, OR THE WAY I ENVISIONED ANY OF THIS GOING, I HAVE REALIZED THAT SOMETHING DOESN’T HAVE TO BE “PERFECT” TO BE WONDERFUL.  THE DOCTORS AND NURSES HERE AT THE MED, AND LABONHEUR HAVE BEEN WONDERFUL!!!  I WAS SO UPSET ABOUT NOT DELIVERING IN TUPELO, BECAUSE I JUST ADORE MY DOCTOR THERE, BUT GOD HAS GIVEN US A DOCTOR HERE THAT WE HAVE JUST FALLEN IN LOVE WITH.  WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR THE TEAM OF DOCTORS THAT ARE TREATING HENRY AND HARPER.  EVERYONE ON STAFF HERE REFER TO OUR BABIES AS HENRY AND HARPER, INSTEAD OF “BABY A” AND “BABY B!”  THAT MAY NOT SOUND LIKE MUCH, BUT TO A REALLY SCARED MOMMA AND DADDY, THAT MEANS THE WORLD.  
 
TODAY, I AM OFFICIALLY 28 WEEKS.  THAT IS A HUGE PRAISE, AND WE ARE GIVING GOD ALL THE GLORY.  WE ARE NOW JUST PRAYING TO MAKE IT TO 29 WEEKS.  EVERYDAY, I AM BEING HOOKED UP TO FETAL MONITORS (TWICE DAILY), RECEIVING AN ULTRASOUND, AND MY VITALS ARE CHECKED EVERY TWO HOURS.  ONCE A WEEK THEY TAKE ME TO THE MED PLEX TO HAVE THE “BIG” DOPPLER ULTRASOUND.  
 
TODAY, WE HAD THE “BIG” ULTRASOUND.  THEY TOLD US THAT THEY WERE ABLE TO SEE A SMALL AMOUNT OF GROWTH IN HARPER, WHICH IS GREAT.  HER HEARTBEAT WAS STRONG, AND ALTHOUGH THE BLOOD FLOW IS RESTRICTED IN HER UMBILICAL CORD, THERE IS BLOOD FLOW.  NOW, HENRY IS A DIFFERENT STORY.  ONE THING WE ARE EXTREMELY THANKFUL FOR IS THAT THE MASS HAS NOT GROWN.  HUGE PRAISE.  HOWEVER, THE FLUID IN HIS AMNIOTIC SAC HAS INCREASED FROM LAST WEEK’S SCAN.  THEY ARE ALSO CONCERNED THAT MAYBE THE MASS IS PRESSING (OR DISPLACING) THE OTHER LUNG AND THERE COULD BE EXTRA PRESSURE ON HIS HEART AS WELL.  THIS EXTRA FLUID IS VERY ALARMING BECAUSE IT COULD CAUSE HIM TO HAVE HYDROPS OR SEND ME INTO LABOR.  BECAUSE OF THIS, I WILL NOW BE GOING TO THE MED-PLEX DAILY FOR DOPPLER ULTRASOUNDS.  OUR DOCTOR MENTIONED THAT WE MIGHT POSSIBLY HAVE TO DO AN AMNIOCENTESIS REDUCTION IF THE FLUID CONTINUES TO INCREASE.  THIS WOULD JUST BE WHERE THEY DRAIN SOME OF HIS AMNIOTIC FLUID.  WE ARE NOT CRAZY ABOUT THIS, BUT WE ARE TRUSTING OUR DOCTORS’ JUDGMENT.  THEY WOULD DO THIS TO HELP AID IN KEEPING THE BABIES FROM BEING DELIVERED PREMATURELY.  
 
THIS IS THE LATEST UPDATE THAT WE HAVE ON OUR BABIES.  WE JUST ASK FOR CONTINUED PRAYER.  WE ARE COUNTING EACH DAY A BLESSING, BUT WE ARE PRAYING SPECIFICALLY THAT WE CAN MAKE IT NOW TO 29 WEEKS.  ONE OF THE DOCTORS WHO HAS BEEN IN PRACTICE FOR OVER 25 YEARS, TOLD US THAT HE HAS NEVER LOST A BABY DUE TO IUGR THAT WAS DELIVERED AFTER 29 WEEKS.  THAT FILLED US WITH SO MUCH HOPE.  SO, WE ARE PRAYING FOR 29 WEEKS.  I ALSO ASK FOR CONTINUED PRAYER FOR MARK AND MY MOM AS THEY TRAVEL BACK AND FORTH FROM MEMPHIS.  
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR PRAYERS.    
 
 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Update on Twins


4/6/11

We want to give you all an update on Henry and Harper.  First of all, we can’t even begin to thank you all for your sweet phone calls, emails, text messages, but most of all your prayers.  We have definitely felt them all week, especially today.  Mark and I are completely humbled by the outpour of love and support all of you have given us.   

Today, we met with the neonatologist and high risk OB specialist at LaBonheur.  Mark and I were very impressed with both doctors and feel completely at ease with the care that Henry and Harper will receive there.  After a two hour ultrasound, the doctors concluded that it would be best to go ahead and admit me to the The Med so that they can monitor the babies until they are born.  The mass in Henry’s chest remains the same.  Like we said before, this is not the best scenario, but it certainly isn’t the worst.  We are praising God for allowing it to just stay the same and not be getting any bigger.  In fact, the doctors today even feel like he may be able to wait a few months before having to have surgery.  Now, this is depending on him being able to be stabilized at birth and not be in any respiratory distress. 

The bigger issue now, it seems, is with Harper.  She is still not growing.  The doctors basically said that she could go into cardiac failure at any moment, and that this is the reason they would like for me to be admitted.  It’s not that there is anything wrong with her heart, her heartbeat is strong, just irregular, due to the restricted blood flow through the umbilical cord. They have prepared us for the possibility of the babies being born at any moment.  We are just praying that they can hang on without any complications until I am 28 weeks.  Right now I am 27 weeks.  We would love to make it even farther along than that, but we are preparing ourselves for sooner rather than later. 

We are just taking this one day at a time.  We feel like every week is a small victory.  We don’t have a whole lot of answers right now.  At this moment, we are just praying to make it to 28 weeks.  If we make it to 28 weeks, then we’ll be praying to make it to 29.  We are emotionally exhausted and just feel so defeated right now.  This is not the way either one of us envisioned having our babies, but we both know that God’s plans are far better than our own.  Even if right now we don’t understand.  This week, at times when I have felt myself get angry and upset, I have received his word through a friend via text message or email.  It is amazing what God has already done in our lives just this past week.  Mark and I both know He is totally in control and we are continuing to rest in His promises.  We want His will to be done.  Please continue to pray for our babies.  Also, please keep Mark and my mother in your prayers as they both will be traveling back and forth to Memphis to stay with me.  I am so scared of being by myself, and something happening.  Poor Mark is so torn up about not being able to be there everyday, but he has to continue to work. 

We will try and post all updates on this blog so that we can let everyone that is praying for us know what to pray for.  Once again, thank you so much for your prayers.   

Prayer Request


As you know, with most twin pregnancies, there is always risk of complications. 

About a month ago we went in to see my regular OBGYN, Dr. Hudson, for my routine monthly check up.  I was not scheduled at this date to have an ultrasound, but for some reason he felt like we needed to have one.  That day, we discovered that Harper, our little girl, was not growing at the same rate as Henry, our son.  This is often common in twins, however, our doctor felt like we needed to err on the side of caution and referred us to a perinatalogist, Dr. Hoeldtke, in Jackson, TN.  This doctor specializes in high risk pregnancies.  During our visit to this specialist, Dr. Hoeldtke confirmed that Harper indeed had fetal growth restriction or IUGR.  At that time, he wasn’t sure what the cause was, but he said all we could do was monitor and wait. 

During this same visit, Dr. Hoeldkte noticed that Henry’s heart was displaced, ie not where it should be located in his chest.  Nothing too major, but it caused him to take a deeper look at the ultrasound.  After about an hour of measurements and two fetal EKG’s, Dr. Hoeldke diagnosed Henry with a CPAM or CCAM.  This stands for Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation.  Basically, this is a tumor that has developed in his right chest cavity.  This is very rare, occurring in maybe 1 out of every 5000 pregnancies.  In 98 percent of the cases, the tumors are benign.  However, because of it’s location, there is concern for his lung development.  Dr. Hoeldtke gave us three scenarios or outcomes that will happen after receiving this type of diagnosis.  The first scenario, which is what we are praying for, is that the tumor begins to shrink and completely go away.  He said that this occurs in 20 percent of all cases.  The second scenario is that the size of the tumor stays the same.  If this occurs, Henry would need immediate surgery upon delivery to remove the mass.  The third outcome would be that the tumor continues to grow.  In this case, which is the worst, the tumor, because of its location and size, would put stress on the heart and more than likely result in fetal death. 

We went today for our two-week follow up with Dr. Hoeldtke.  Harper is growing, but not in the way that he would like to see.  She’s about half the size of Henry.  During today’s ultrasound, he noticed that the blood flow through her umbilical cord seemed to be restricted.  Harper and Henry have two separate placentas, and the doctor seems to think that maybe Harper’s is not/did not attach to the uterine wall the way it should have, thus causing her limited growth.  He said this caused concern because she could go into fetal distress or stop growing.  He said if this happens, they would have to take her immediately, thus taking Henry as well. 

Looking at Henry today, we saw that the mass has basically stayed the same.  This is not good, but it certainly is not as bad as it could be.  However, the doctor did see that Henry is beginning to have more amniotic fluid in his sac.  He said this was an early sign of preterm labor. 

Because of today’s finding, Dr. Hoeldtke decided to go ahead and refer me to the Fetal Center that is affiliated with The Med and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis.  He said that in his opinion, Henry and Harper will need to be born there so that Henry will be able to receive surgery upon his arrival.  He said that we are just in a “waiting game from hell!”  We really won’t know what the plan of action is going to be because both babies have their very own set of unique problems that have nothing to do with each other.  Essentially, we are going to have to take it a week at a time.  Out of concern for the risk of me going in to preterm labor, even in the next few weeks, he went ahead and started me on a series of corticosteroid injections which will hopefully aid in their lung maturity. I am currently waiting to hear from the doctor’s office in Memphis regarding our appointment either this week or next week.

We apologize for not saying anything sooner.  It is really hard for us to talk about it!  Plus, we needed time to process everything and do a little research of our own.  We also wanted to wait and give it time and see if anything changed. 

Right now, there is NOTHING we can do but pray.  We know that God is in control of this situation.  He blessed us with these two little miracle babies when I was told my chances of getting pregnant were very slim.  God doesn’t work with statistics and he certainly is bigger than any diagnosis.  We know that God is going to walk with us every step of this journey, but we really need prayer.  We are praying that he will completely heal our babies, but we also know that he has a plan that is far greater than our own.  We know that whatever the outcome, God is good.  Mark and I are also praying for peace during this “waiting game.”  We are trying to keep ourselves busy by finishing the nursery and completing projects around the house in anticipation of bringing them BOTH home.  We are upset and scared, but we have also been filled with so much hope.