Month: December 2012

Ringing in the New Year

It’s New Years Eve and my parents and Wendy came over to help us rearrange the house. I have been daydreaming about this rearrange for MONTHS. We finally decided it was going to happen and just DID it. We moved our dining room table into the kitchen, moved in some spare furniture we had from the living room redo, set up the baby swing, took down our tree … it was fantastic! And moved SO fast with all of the helping hands. We *LOVE* our new space!! It gives us a great place to put the baby in the swing or jumper and watch him while in the kitchen. It also combines all of the eating areas into one room, which works since everyone hangs out in the kitchen anyways when they come over *smile*

Dining room table in its new home!
Dining room table in its new home!
Our new "sitting room"
Our new “sitting room”
Mom and Wendy taking down my Christmas tree
Mom and Wendy taking down my Christmas tree
Last time we get our tree from a lot - back to chopping down our own from now on!
Last time we get our tree from a lot – back to chopping down our own from now on!
Ringing in 2013 together - our last time as "two"!
Ringing in 2013 together – our last time as “two”!
How Chief rang in the new year (even with all the fireworks outside!)
How Chief rang in the new year (even with all the fireworks outside!)

<3 Tara and Oliver

More Cardiologists

We were scheduled to have a cardiology appointment on Wednesday, but I was woken this morning to my phone buzzing. It was the cardiologist our OB referred us to! She said her assistant had messed up and we were supposed to come in TODAY, not Wednesday. They then gave us an appointment for 1pm. We went to the appointment with great anticipation of what this cardiologist would say, but also quite worried about what would be said. If you recall, all of this drama was started by a cardiologist – so you can’t blame us for being a tad apprehensive. We arrived, did a whole pile of paperwork and then were led to a room. No one else was in the whole office except the nurse and the cardiologist – which seemed a tad odd at the time. We later found out that the office had been closed that day, they opened simply to see us! Wow!

Soon the cardiologist came in and began reading through our file. We both were slightly irritated by this as we just sat and watched her read through the WHOLE file. But what came next made our jaws drop …

“There is nothing wrong with you … you are a normal pregnant woman … this is just craziness that you are even being put through all of this”

Wow! Two appointments in  ROW saying that we are fine?! What was going on?! She apparently trained under the cardiologist who read our echo (not the one creating all the hoopla) and reiterated that there was NOTHING abnormal about our echo. She could find no basis for the craziness being created for us. Not only was she fine being my cardiologist for the labor and delivery, we could have a much less invasive delivery than was being laid out for us. She said we needed minimal to no heart monitoring, could deliver on the maternity floor, stay on the maternity floor post-delivery, c-section if he stays breech or push if he decides to go head down. She would place calls to both the original cardiology team explaining she was taking me on as a patient and to our OB outlining her recommendations. We were hesitantly excited by all of this, knowing nothing is final until the baby is in our arms. We’ve had too many disappointments and promises retracted during this adventure to allow ourselves to believe everything we hear. But this definitely felt like a step in the right direction.

We are in quite a bit of shock… we don’t really know why we’re going through all of this. Is there something going on with my heart? Is my heart normal? We really don’t know. It’s been such an emotional roller coaster. We realize God has a reason for everything, and we’re hanging tightly to that. I don’t really know how we’d survive all of this without that faith. Please continue to lift us up in prayer, as the c-section is still set for January 7th at this point. And please pray that, if it is the Lord’s will, this baby flips head down. If it isn’t His will, that we move forward with this c-section with the peace that there is a reason for that as well.

<3 Tara and Oliver


Today was a day where I felt like I could finally take a breath. We slept till we woke up, cooked some breakfast, and then went to the late service at church. My mom and I ran a few errands together (baskets for baby’s room, dog food to get us through the next few months, etc) while the boys played on the new x-box and napped. We ended the day with one of my FAVORITE dinners (my mom’s “green chili burros”) and some mindless TV. To top it off I received some sweet facebook messages, had some great conversations with some gals at church and even hung a gift we received in the mail this week..

Our "baby guestbook" - you'll get to sign it with your thumb print if/when you visit him!
Our “baby guestbook” – you’ll get to sign it with your thumb print if/when you visit him!

I am really REALLY enjoying the time I am getting to spend with O this week. Since his company has a “holiday shutdown”, he has been off since the Friday before Christmas. He doesn’t go back to work until Wednesday! We have been quite busy with all the delivery planning and baby room finishing, but just having him around has kept me sane and made me so much happier. I love that man – and I love spending time with him! I’m working hard to cherish the few hours we have left as “just us” before we become “all 3 of us”. I’m sure it will be spectacular, but I know it will be different. So I’m working to solidify the memories of ‘before’ as we head into ‘after’. I’m so happy he is my baby’s daddy 🙂

<3 Tara

Beautiful Bums

We are planning to do cloth diapering on Squishy’s adorable bum after he comes out into the world. We have the supplies, have taken mini-lessons from a friend who successfully did it and YouTube has been quite the best-friend as we embark on this adventure. Oliver installed the “sprayer” on the toilet the other day, all of the diapers have gone through the laundry, and today I made the leap into organizing my cloth wipes. This video was my inspiration …


So I sat this evening and tried her technique out. Wicked fast to get them all folded up and into the containers! We’ve inherited two containers and have filled both, with some extra to go in the diaper bag!

Cloth wipes with easy access!
Cloth wipes with easy access!


We also made a “solution” to moisten the wipes. We’ve done quite a bit of reading on this, and looked through sites (like this one) just full of recipes. An interesting thing we discovered is that, for baby boys, one should NOT use tea tree oil or lavender oil. Now, the research isn’t exactly sound .. but there is a plausible connection between them and weak estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. We decided to just not mess with it, and looked up some alternatives that also have antibacterial properties. The recipe we’re trying first is:

  • 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dr Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap [Baby Mild]
  • 3 drops essential oil (we’re going with lemon)
  • 1 cup water

We put it in a nice squirt bottle (apparently spray bottles take too long to soak the wipe) and we’re ready to give it a go!

… well, once we have a baby’s bum to try it out on!

<3 Tara and Oliver

Trusting and Hurting

We know God has a plan, and we are willing to go with it. But there are also some huge decisions we have to make and we are praying really hard for wisdom in following His will for the baby’s birth. This whole blog has been about us being honest with how this all impacts us. So I’m not going to lie and say we’re doing great. We’re hurting. A lot. We put a lot of effort and planning and dreaming about Squishy’s “birth day”, and a lot of it has been taken away. There have been a LOT of tears in this house, as we honestly and truly go through the five stages of loss.

  1. We have denied that anything was going to be different.
  2. We have been VERY angry at the doctors (especially those who, according to other specialists, are blowing this all WAY out of proportion).
  3. There has been bargaining.. “if only I hadn’t gone to that last appointment, we wouldn’t be dealing with this!”.
  4. Now we are living between “depression” and “acceptance”.

Now hear me out, we aren’t depressed in the sense of needing an intervention immediately. More along the lines of sadness – loss of the plans we had for our delivery. Loss of a part of the pregnancy we had waited for, right along with conception, for many many many years. Now we know, it’s ALWAYS God’s plans over ours. And we are accepting that. But we are still hurting. So a word of advice for anyone offering comfort to those dealing with a loss – no matter how small. If you go back to “Our Story” you’ll see my quote from another blogger about how to encourage others … but to sum it up: we need you to acknowledge our pain and hurting. We know we need to trust God, we know it will all happen according to His plan, we know we are not in charge. What we need to hear is “I’m sorry… this has to be hard” and “How are you doing?” and “This sucks”. Not how successful so-and-so’s c-section was, not your sage wisdom on the topic, not belittling the seriousness we put on this matter – comfort and a listening ear.

I’m not saying this to make ANYONE feel bad, nor do I have any specific person in mind when writing this. And I’m not saying that if you HAVE told us to “have faith” (or something similar) that you are a horrid person. I’m just giving you insight into our perspective. It’s the therapist in me *smile*

<3 Tara and Oliver


Research and a Downer

We are of the mindset that God always has a plan. But we are also NOT people who sit around and wait. We believe God gave us a brain to think and we use it and take actions – always aware that HE is in charge and can veto any actions we take in accordance with His will. I guess you could say we believe “don’t ask God to win the lottery if you aren’t willing to buy a lottery ticket”. With this mindset, we began researching all the natural ways to flip a breached baby (now that we know we can opt OUT of an assisted vaginal delivery AND there is a chance for a natural delivery). All along keeping in mind God can keep Squishy breeched if He wants. There are some crazy ideas out there – but some that at least make sense. In our birthing class they mentioned the site “Spinning Babies” – so we began our research there. We even tried a few ideas including ice, inversion off the couch and laying at an angle…

Just "hanging out"
Just “hanging out”
My view...
My view…


We also went ahead and scheduled an acupuncture appointment. Now don’t get me wrong, we are NOT into “qi” or any of the mystical aspects of acupuncture. But we have seen it work and be effective neurologically for people, and we have preferred non-invasive things for Squishy all along. Interesting fact: by the 2nd or 3rd needle, Squishy went from sound asleep to dancing like a crazy man! He didn’t stop moving until the needles were out, then he slept for HOURS. I didn’t feel him move again for at LEAST 4 hours! Must have been some wild ride for him *smile*


After acupuncture we met up with my parents for lunch and some shopping. While waiting outside a store for my dad I got a call. With all of the random doctors calling me, I’ve quit screening calls and just answer any call that comes in. It was my OB, happy to report that the high risk OB had called and given his opinions of this heart drama and officially gave me back to her as a patient. She was also double checking that I had heard from the cardiologist at Good Sam (appointment set for next Wednesday!) and letting me know about the cardiology anesthesiologist. Apparently he is very well qualified, having been the anesthesiologist for ALL of the heart transplants at UCSF. This is great news … except. This also means he is a bit like the Stanford docs, and can be “over-cautious”. So she is under the impression he does NOT like the idea of a natural birth. *insert HUGE dramatic sigh here* We’ll have to see what the cardiologist says, but it looks like we’re back to assisted or c-section.


It’s like riding an emotional roller coaster I tell ya!

<3 Tara and Oliver

Another High Risk OB Appointment

Today we had an appointment with the High Risk OB for Good Samaritan, the hospital we WANT to deliver at and where our OB is located. We’re getting used to the process now – show up early, fill out tons of paperwork, make sure they have the reports needed, pee in a cup, get weighed, check blood pressure, finally talk to a human being. We were told we would be talking to the one female OB in the office which was both good news and bad. I am really not comfortable with a male OB, just a personal thing. But we also heard she had the worst bedside manner of the whole practice. We were quite surprised to find out there had been a last minute change and we were seeing a different OB in the clinic, a male (ug!) with some of the BEST bedside manners in the practice (yay!). Upon reading his bio later, we foudn out he actually specializes in high risk pregnancies related to cardiac issues. So he was the PERFECT person to talk to. What he said made our eyes bug out of our heads..

“I see NOTHING wrong with you… the changes noted are typical in many pregnancies… I don’t see why you couldn’t push and have a natural delivery if the cardiologist at Good Sam agrees … “


He won’t even take me on as a patient! Sent me packing right back to my OB! Oliver and I were on cloud nine! All we need is for this baby to flip and we are getting right back on track again! Hurray!

<3 Tara and Oliver

Daring Greatly: The Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto

Oliver had this book recommended to him recently, and just started reading it this morning. I’m excited to get my hands on this book, as all day long I have heard “oh my gosh!” and “of course!” and “wow!” coming from him as he stares into his tablet or phone (he’s reading it on his kindle app). A few times he has handed it to me and asked me to read a certain section so we can talking about it. Once such section was the “Parenting Manifesto”. I really like what it has to say. Now don’t get me wrong, I in no way think it will be easy to do any of this or think every one of you agree with it. So don’t feel you have to debate me *smile* It’s just something I think everyone should read and consider. So… consider away! (and click the book cover to read more about the book itself on amazon!)


Download the PDF of this at
Click the image to download the PDF of this. More available at:


<3 Tara and Oliver

Baby Takes Matters Into His Own Hands

Today we had our weekly check-up at the OB office. Our OB is still on vacation, so we had to meet with someone else in the office. The appointment was very clinical, which was hard  for us. After all we’d been through, we really could have used the warmth and friendliness of our own OB. But we just needed to hear a heartbeat and be on our way. We knew we’d see our own OB on Christmas Eve, before we made the switch to a High Risk OB on Thursday. But were we in for a shock when it came time to hear that quick little heartbeat! Initially they couldn’t find it – this didn’t worry me, as he is an active chap and I knew he was “still in there”. When they brought in the ultrasound we found out why…. he’s flipped over and it now breech. (we just got the “head down” verification last week!)

Apparently all this talk of “fully assisted vaginal birth” didn’t sound great to baby boy either. So he decided to take the option off the table *smile*

We probably won’t qualify for an inversion because of our “high risk’ status … which is really actually fine by me. I watched one on youtube… uhhhh… no. Not happening.

A new “twist” to our decision making process has now occurred!

<3 Tara and Oliver

P.S. Oliver has been using his flashlight app to shine into the bottom of my belly and trying to convince Squishy to flip back over… so far he’ll dance and wiggle for daddy, but no flipping!

More Appointments

I have been calling the High Risk OB office for our local office 3 times a day since Friday. I was hitting a wall and not getting through their front desk staff (as a compliment, they do have a great first line of defense…). I finally gave up and called my OB office and talked to my OB’s assistant. She was furious we hadn’t gotten help yet and told me to stay by the phone. Imagine my surprise when my phone rang and it was my OB – from vacation! The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hello?
Dr: Hi Tara, this is Dr _______
Me: … oh my goodness! Hi! Aren’t you on vacation?!
Dr: Yes … but you see, every time I go on vacation I tell all my clients to behave themselves. There is ALWAYS one who doesn’t listen 😉
Me: … yeah… guilty…

I explained everything that had happened and she broke it down into three parts for me…

  1. We can probably still give birth at the hospital near our home!
    However …
  2. We will most likely have to give up a LOT of our original birth plan, if only because of the 24/7 heart monitoring that will limit movement, using the tub, etc
  3. She can no longer be our OB, as she is not “high risk”. This one made me tear up, and she was quite upset too… she’s walked with us through this journey, and now won’t be there for the delivery of our miracle.

After the quick rundown, she promised me a call later in the day. By the end of the day we had an appointment scheduled for the 27th with the High Risk OB at our hospital. Yay!

We are continuing to go to her office until the 27th, just so SOMEONE is checking on baby until we make the switch. 36 weeks today … he can make his arrival whenever he chooses!

<3 Tara and Oliver