Category: Daily News

Blessings through tears

News and debates between doctors continue. We’re learning to guard our emotions and instead approach each new piece of information with calm and wisdom. Now, this doesn’t mean there aren’t still heated shouts of “why!” or tears. But we’re realizing nothing is set in stone until baby boy arrives.

  • We have another echo scheduled for Thursday with the Good Sam cardiologist. We are hoping to get any last pieces of information from her that we need to know for the surgery on Monday.
  • We also got an e-mail from our OB – she has TENTATIVELY regained permission for Oliver to be in the OR for the delivery. This still can be revoked at any time, so we’ll calmly wait and see.
  • She also says that the CURRENT mandated time on the cardiac floor has been returned to 24 hours. Again, this can be changed at any time. But people are at least asking questions and trying to find us answers, and for that we are grateful.

We asked our OB about hiring a “private duty nurse”. We are wondering if that would increase our chances of having the baby with mom more, because it wouldn’t demand time from their nurses to come to the cardiac floor (if that is even allowed). She didn’t seem to take our request seriously, and we realize she has more pressing matters she is dealing with regarding Tara’s care. And we understand – her responsibility really is Tara, not baby boy. So, we’ve taken up that as our own task. God really lead the phone calls through the right channels, and we’ve already spoken to the head of case management at the hospital. He actually sounded excited about our idea and is seeking out the right people to figuring out if it’s doable.

We have also been working hard to educate ourselves on c-sections. There is so much more to take into consideration. What can we do to increase our chances of a VBAC next time? What will the healing time look like? How can we increase our efficiency with the healing process? What will all of these things make more difficult for us after delivery?

One thing is clear – this has a STRONG chance of making breastfeeding more difficult. We are passionate about ONLY breastfeeding our son. So, this is another task we’ve taken up and are seeking information on our own. Tara had already attended a La Leche League meeting, but she went to this month’s meeting and received some great information from the leaders and other moms there. We’ve had our pump checked and it is in great working order. Tomorrow Tara is going to the hospital to get “measured” for the best fit for the pump, as well as discussing whether it would be best to use ours or the hospitals to ensure baby gets the most colostrum possible while away from mom. We’re also hoping she can meet with some of the Lactation Consultants and schedule for them to meet her as soon as possible on the cardiac floor.

A lot is happening, a lot isn’t… but this is the path we’ve been set on. So we will continue to walk forward, knowing we can rest assured Someone bigger and wiser is guiding our steps.

A more personal note …

I posted back in September about songs and lyrics that have meant a lot to us during our battle with infertility. Silly me, I thought “Blessings” was an anthem for our past. But it hit me yesterday, as I sat crying in my car, that it is still my anthem. And it will probably continue to be my anthem as I am a mom to this precious little man.

‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

There are mercies hidden in this trial … we just don’t see them now. But hopefully we will soon. If not, it’ll probably one of our top 5 questions for God when we get to heaven *smile*

Please continue to lift us up – we covet your prayers as we head into the last week preparing to meet our son …

<3 Tara and Oliver

Maternity Photos

We have known Scott and Stacy for 3-4 years now. They went to a home group we used to be a part of, and are amazing people. They have two of the cutest kids on the planet and these amazingly HUGE hearts. I mean, they met working in an orphanage in South Africa! WOW! They own Urban Earth Photography, and have photographed a LOT of our friends’ big life events. We were so excited when they offered to do our maternity shoot! This pregnancy is something we feared would  NEVER happen, and now we have photos to remember this amazing time waiting for Squishy to grow big and strong so we can welcome him into the world.

As you know, this blog has been about me being real, not “perfect”. As a perfectionist, this isn’t easy. But God really laid it on our hearts to tell our story when He blessed us with baby boy after those 2.5+ years of waiting. So, in continuing in ALL honesty, I am posting ALL of the pictures. They are all BEAUTIFUL, but I can honestly say I look at some and think “ug – I look huge!” or “wow… big butt much?” Now, this is nothing to do with the photography (again, Scott and Stacy are amazing) and everything to do with my own insecurities. But here they ALL are … enjoy 🙂

Forget answers, more questions

Last night we sat down and created a list of 32 questions for our OB today. It was our last appointment before the c-section next Monday, and I needed to have a ‘picture’ in my head before I arrived at the hospital next week. I was feeling ready, and strong, and excited to know what was going to happen. I just wish I hadn’t left crying and defeated once again…

Our scheduled c-section time shifted slightly, it has now been pushed back to noon (meaning we must arrive at the hospital at 10am). That was no big deal. Our OB also informed us that the anesthesiologist was hand picked by the cardiologist and is supposed to be absolutely fantastic. More good people on our team! But the good news stopped there…

  • We’ve been booted back to the OR and no permission has yet to be granted for Oliver to join me. So I am facing not only a c-section, but a c-section alone.
  • Because it’s in the OR, they will take the baby straight to maternity while I get “stitched up”. No skin-to-skin … I can’t even touch my baby. I’ll get one look at him before they take him, when the OB holds him up for me to see before giving him to the nurses.
  • I’ll be then put into recovery and eventually transferred to the cardiology floor, where my stay has possibly been upped back to 48 hours again.
  • Currently no permission has been granted for the baby to visit me on the cardiac floor. They are trying to get permission for him to have short visits with a nurse from the nursery. Without the nurse, he cannot come to my room, and he can only stay as long as she can.
  • It is not known whether anyone can stay with me on the cardiac floor, and no one can stay with the baby overnight in the nursery.

It’s amazing how much our priorities have changed the more this has developed. From a 3 page, all natural, birth plan with detailed instructions … to begging hospital administration to allow my husband to be in the OR with me and to be allowed to even see my baby. Oliver has been amazing through it all, constantly my rock and my support … and my optimism. We know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that there is a reason for all of this. Our God is not one to abandon us in our time of need. If anything, we are learning to rely on Him more and more.

<3 Tara and Oliver

 

In Search of a Plan

Oliver couldn’t attend today’s OB appointment, as he was just returning to work and they scheduled the appointment for late morning. My mom went with me instead. Right before the appointment I received an e-mail from my OB explaining that hospital policy would NOT let us have the type of c-section experience we were hoping for. I’m not going to lie, I arrived to the appointment with puffy red eyes from crying that one out. By the time my OB came into the room I was barely holding it together (despite my mom’s best efforts to distract me). The news she had for us simply made me cry again. Apparently the original cardiologist at Stanford (let’s call him Dr. S) had sent an e-mail outlining interventions necessary for my labor and delivery. It included:

  • c-section performed in the OR (where Oliver could NOT be with me)
  • a PICC line put into my heart
  • 48 hours post c-section spent on the cardiology unit where babies are NOT allowed

To say I had trouble handling this news would be the understatement of the year. I just sat and silently bawled. Two and a half years of waiting for this child – not only was my labor and delivery turning into a mess, they were going to take him from me! My OB reassured me time and time again she was fighting for us. She already had an e-mail out to the COO of the hospital outlining the reasons Oliver should be allowed in the OR for the delivery. She was having a back-and-forth with the cardiac anesthesiologist for our hospital who was siding with Dr. S despite a lack of evidence to support the intervention. She even showed me the e-mail from Dr. S, which included words like “I have seen patients die…” and other such threatening words to defend his extreme intervention recommendations. His fellow wrote a note saying “While I appreciate her autonomy with the decision that she prefers to deliver elsewhere, I think it would be unwise…” My OB explained that by putting all of this in writing, they were backing my entire team at Good Samaritan Hospital into a corner. The Good Sam team were having to go with his recommendations or set themselves up for malpractice lawsuits if something did happen (which hospital administration would not be willing to risk) and continuing to build a case for me to deliver at Stanford. From the beginning I had asked Dr. S for a birth plan to give to my team. Instead he insisted that my team present one to HIM for approval. Each time they do, he comes back with another demand – it truly feels like he is seeing how far he must push to get Good Sam’s team to drop me. We are SO SO SO blessed to have the OB that we do and that her team is so willing to go above and beyond for us. Our OB had yet to touch base with our cardiologist for Good Sam, so depending on that conversation a lot could change.

With all of this I dropped the big bomb – I wanted to move our c-section date. I just did not feel we had enough information or answers to head into a c-section. That is major surgery – I needed to know what was going to happen in that room, when I could see my baby, what they planned to do to me … all before I let them just hack into me! Thankfully my OB again saw my point of view and assured me we’d move it. She promised me a call this afternoon.

Update:

Our OB called after speaking to the Good Sam cardiologist. They had come to a compromise that would keep hospital administration, Stanford and the cardiac anesthesiologist out of our way. There will be NO PICC line put in, the c-section (assuming baby doesn’t change positions) will be done on the Labor and Delivery floor with Oliver at my side and by changing the date we would be able to change anesthesiologist (to a less fanatical one). But I will have to spend one night on the cardiac floor. My response? “Well as long as the hospital understands that my husband will be sleeping in the nursery at that baby’s bedside then.” My OB assured me she is working with them to get a neonatal nurse assigned to the cardiac floor that night, which would allow the baby to stay with me. Have I mentioned lately how great my OB is?!

As we stand now, unless baby switches positions (which is less and less likely each passing day), we will be having a c-section on January 14th at approximately 11:30am. *deep breath* We will find out more information as the week progresses and as we near the 14th (our next appointment is on January 7th). But for now we pray for peace and God’s will. The Lord knows we need a bit of a break right now.

In happier news … a sneak peek at my bump *smile*

38 week bump!
38 week bump!

<3 Tara and Oliver

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

Refreshing

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*

OUCH!!
OUCH!!

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