Category: Daily News

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

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

First High Risk Appointment

Stanford officially scheduled our first High Risk OB appointment for today. Oliver’s boss has been unbelievably supportive and gave him the afternoon off. My mom was also able to get out of work early. I had to cancel all of my groups for the day, but thankfully my families have also been fantastic and most rescheduled for make-ups on Friday (my last day before “maternity leave” begins). We all met in Palo Alto at the office to find answers.

Sadly, we walked away with none. Apparently the goal of this appointment was to simply “get me in their system”. They had yet to speak to any of my team yet, and mostly just wanted to see us. They couldn’t even give us a plan for “What if we go into labor tomorrow…” It was really frustrating. So much so that I was almost in tears.

When we walked out, Oliver headed back to work and I rode with mom to go do some Christmas shopping. As we pulled out of the parking lot I said “let’s go talk to the cardiologist…” She agreed wholeheartedly, especially since we were on the campus already. Soon we were sitting in the waiting room, talking to our cardiologist’s assistant. She could immediately tell I was upset and did an amazing job of trying to find us answers immediately. I also complained about the heart monitor. It wasn’t sticking correctly and it didn’t make sense. Why would we put a monitor on that had to remain on for 14 days, then be shipped back to a company to analyze, and then the data sent to my cardiologist. At 36 weeks tomorrow, that doesn’t ensure it will be back before baby is here! One look at it and his assistant realized the lab had given me the wrong one!!! So, while she searched for answers, I went back over to the lab to get it switched out.

I will not go into detail about how much it hurt to have that thing removed (remember… it was GLUED on!). But boy was I happy to see it GONE. The new monitor allows me to remove it and re-apply it each morning. Which means showering like a normal person again!! It also requires I carry an extra cell phone with me every day. This cell phone monitors my heart and sends the data real-time to a lab and to my doctor. Wanna talk “big brother”??

When we were done we went back to cardiology, and they had worked up a tentative plan for moving forward. The doctors were going to talk further and I can expect a call by tonight or tomorrow.

I hadn’t eaten in a while, and had birthing class back in San Jose to get to. So mom and I went to grab a quick bite before she took me to class (Oliver was meeting us there). While pulling into the parking lot, a High Risk OB from San Jose called me (one of the two I was referred to by my OBs office). She actually trained under the OB I had spoken to earlier that day at Stanford and had worked up a alternative birthing plan for us. She was NOT affiliated with the hospital we were planning to deliver at, so she couldn’t speak to their resources. But the hospital she did work in (El Camino) could not handle my “condition”, and so she provided a plan for us involving Stanford. What she said made me sick to my stomach … \

  • Go to the  hospital the SECOND contractions begin
  • Immediate epidural to keep the stress of pain off of my heart
  • 24 hour heart monitoring (so I’d be stuck in bed)
  • Fully-assisted vaginal delivery using forceps or vac (because pushing causes heart strain and c-section surgery is stressful on the heart)

This is nowhere NEAR our original birth plan, and not once was I asked about what we had been planning. Oliver and I are most bothered by the “fully-assisted” suggestion and are looking forward to speaking to the High Risk OB for our own hospital, as well as our OB when she gets back from vacation.

Please continue to pray as we have more questions as the answers begin to be revealed …

<3 Tara and Oliver

A Broken Heart

Today I went in for my final heart “check-up” at Stanford. If you remember, we had a check up back in July and then we’d had another one in October. Everything was normal at both, but the doctors wanted to see my heart one more time approximately one month before delivery. It is rare they get to monitor a genetic carrier like this, and even more rare because they know my specific genetic markers. Because everything had been normal, I went by myself. Everything takes HOURS at Stanford, so we didn’t really see a reason for mom or Oliver to have to take the time off work to go with. I got up nice and early, grabbed some Starbucks and went for my echo then the appointment with the doctor.

What happened next caught us all off guard…

Apparently I have developed a mild form of the heart condition since our check-up in October. The echo detected stiffening of my ventricles in my heart. This officially places me in the ‘high risk labor and delivery’ category. This was quite difficult information to receive while sitting alone in a room with a doctor, a fellow and a nurse. Here’s what we understand about all of the information I received that day:

  • Although I have developed it, they don’t know if it will reverse itself after pregnancy. So many of the symptoms are similar to those found in pregnancy
  • There is NO concern for baby – he will be just fine! It’s only me who broke…
  • The only concern for continuing this pregnancy is that, if its hormones impacting my heart, the heart condition will continue to increase in severity.
  • There is a slight concern about delivery – pain often makes your heart beat harder (which is a strain on my heart due to the stiffening ventricles) and contractions/pushing stresses the heart through exertion
  • The big concern is after the umbilical cord is cut and the 48 hours after delivery. As my body begin reabsorbing the fluid from running 2 circulatory systems the past 35 weeks, it begins flushing a lot of this fluid through my heart. But, because my heart has ‘stiffened’, it cannot accommodate all of this extra fluid, which can cause a LOT of problems VERY quickly.

So what this all means …

  • We now have to meet with a select a “high risk OB’ who will manage the remainder of our pregnancy, as well as labor and delivery
  • I have to wear a heart monitor 24/7. They glued it (literally… I’m not joking) to my chest today before I left the hospital
  • We have to delivery at a hospital equipped with a cardiologist AND a cardiology anesthesiologist … we know Stanford has that, but we have to find out if our hospital, Good Samaritan, does
  • Our “team” has to decide what our new options are for labor and delivery. It might not look like we wanted it to any longer
  • I’ll have to be checked out regularly after delivery to see if my heart reverses itself, or if I officially will be diagnosed with the heart condition and begin working through all the life changes that entails (medication, activity restrictions, etc)

We don’t have a lot of answers right now. More like a million questions. We aren’t freaking out, just waiting to find out what to expect. Our biggest question right now is really “if we go into labor over Christmas … what do we do and where do we go?” Our OB (who has been with us through infertility and this whole pregnancy) is on vacation, so we are walking this alone for right now.

Please pray with us as we seek answers and God’s will in bringing this baby forth. As you know, he is a miracle already and his entire existence is God’s working. Straight through labor and delivery too. If this means we have to use methods we were against before, whatever it takes!

As Oliver says, “I just need you and him to come home with me, and for YOU to be the one teaching me how to change diapers…”

May His will be done …

<3 Tara and Oliver

Corn Maze

*DISCLAIMER* Yes, I have been TERRIBLY remiss in posting – I have loads of belly shots, funny stories and even pictures from our Denver trip. We’ve just been swamped the past few weeks! So here is a teaser from today – and a belly shot at the end!*


Our third annual corn maze was today – it always begins with a big breakfast at our house before we set off on the adventure. Oliver and I see it as a way to share our favorite midwest activities with all these Californians 🙂


Although I got NO pictures at breakfast, I can honestly say the top two favorites were Spicy Sausage and Cheese Tarts and Sopapilla Cheesecakes. Though the Peanut Butter Cheese Ball and Pumpkin Dip got rave reviews as well 🙂 And a special thanks to my parents who stayed at my house after we left and did ALL the dishes. I came home to a perfectly clean kitchen!! *happy sigh*


Although the corn maze was NOT the one I thought we were going to, but it was a nice “short-ish” maze with trivia hints, a cute shop and yummy snack shack.


All the lovely ladies…


Our fella’s 🙂


Us ladies!
(Lauren took one for the team and was the pig!)


Punkin’ Bellies!


A friend put this together.. he’s a keeper 🙂

<3 Tara and Oliver



I am completely overwhelmed by the continued outpouring of love we’ve received. I spent yesterday recouping from all the weekend excitement and unloading all the gifts from the car. Oliver and I are completely speechless as the wonderful and thoughtful gifts people gave to our bundle. We’ve read through every note in every book for baby. Some made us laugh, some made us “awwwwww” and some made us (ok… me) cry. They will be beautifully displayed on the wall  in his room, and we will be able to read the messages to him each time we read that special book. I’m sure many of them will become fast favorites!


*shocked* Our baby is so loved!


While relaxing yesterday, I began sorting through all the clothes baby boy had received. Although his wardrobe has yet to put mine to shame, he has definitely outdone his daddy!  I sorted first by size, then by type to see what we were still short on. Can you believe we are short on almost nothing when it comes to clothes until baby boy is a year old?! It’s amazing! Right now I just need to shop for a jacket or two to keep him warm when I’m “baby wearing” during the 0-3 months, and this summer he just needs some shorts! We’ve already begun putting the clothing through the laundry and then we’ll begin putting them away in his room or storing them in the closet for later. We’re thinking of storing them in some of these..

Plastic Bins


How do you store away your seasonal clothing or your little one’s clothing for later?

<3 Tara & Oliver

Celebrating a Life

This past Saturday was filled with blessings beyond measure! My mother hosted a beautiful baby shower for me, with the help of some of her friends and some of mine. She really wanted my input into the shower, so it was wonderful to see it  all come together and feel that it really represented who I am *smile* The people who contributed to the shower went above and beyond. Kelly came down from Marin the day before to help with prep, stay the night and help out all day at the shower. Wendy and her mother-in-law presented a fabulous idea for quilt guest book, which Wendy then helped implement. Kaitlyn greeted everyone at the door, as she is the one person in my life with the most connections to the multiple facets of my social world. Kathleen, Yasue and Karin all worked tirelessly the day of the shower to make sure set-up, tear down and clean-up went quickly and painlessly! Ashley and Chelsea ran around snapping pictures, making sure to preserve the memories of the day for me. And my mom – I can’t even begin to talk about all the wonderful things she did. She spent weeks working to prep everything to be “just right”. From digging through her book collection, renting a beautiful space at the Larkspur Hotel, staying up late cooking… she made sure it was a perfect day! And to everyone who was able to attend – thank you for doing your part of having fun and relaxing! I can’t tell you how many times I just stood, looking around the room, seeing smiles, hearing laughs and watching everyone being so creative for our little boy! I get teary eyed right now just thinking back to it.


A peek into the party!
(Click on image for larger view!)


All images can be found here.

Thank you to everyone who has, is and continues to shower this baby boy with love. We’ve dreamed of these events for so long while we waited on God’s timing for us to finally overcome infertility and welcome him – and you all are making these moments that much more precious!

<3 Tara and Oliver

Mini adventures

Well this week has held a few of its own bumps and bruises, but we are still going strong! Tuesday I realized how “alien” my own body really is to me when I went to sit down and only caught the edge of the chair. This resulted in me crashing to the ground with the chair close behind for a good whack in the head. And two clients staring on horrified. Except for some bruising and soreness, we are both ok … and MUCH more careful when sitting down!

This morning was the dreaded glucose test. Due to an alarm oops, bad traffic, poor communication between the lab and my doctor and being informed that I had to have the TWO hour test… baby and I went 16 hours without food. I’ve heard from a lot of moms that their babies get rowdy after they eat. Not so with baby boy, he gets rowdy when we’re hungry! So he was dancing like crazy through the whole test! Thank goodness for one of my besties, who arrived on the scene with food as soon as we were released – to my surprise it was my current FAVORITE lunch! <_3 happy="happy" sigh="sigh" p="p">Tonight is the fundraiser where they will be live broadcasting a 3D ultrasound of squishy’s adorable face. Please pray he cooperates!

<_3 tara="tara" _="_" oliver="oliver" p="p">

Taking Some Peeks!

So sorry it has been so long between posts. Really, nothing much eventful has been happening (thank goodness!). I do have belly shots from the past two weeks, but they are on hubby’s phone and he hasn’t sent them to me yet *hint hint!* Tomorrow he is 25 weeks – if born now he would be a “micro-preemie” – but he would have a chance of survival outside of me! Scary and exciting all at once!

Squish has done a beautiful job showing us his VERY chubby cheeks at the last few “checks”, so he will definitely be the model for the Real Options fundraiser on Thursday night! This means they will be doing a 3D/4D ultrasound on him live on the big screen for donors to watch and understand how their money is being used! Today I went by and taught the staff at the center how to take the images they save from 3D/4D ultrasounds and burn them to a DVD for records and such. While there, I was able to burn my OWN to a DVD and take it home! Now some images can be a tad “freaky” … but here are some shots of his face. The “blowing kisses” one seems to be everyone’s favorite so far!

24 week photos
(click image to enlarge)


As if the images weren’t enough to take a new mommy and daddy’s breath away – I was able to work with them and figure out how to burn the video to a disk as well. Be still my heart, there is my baby boy sleeping soundly!
Note: In the beginning they are trying to find him … then when they do, we can see he has one leg tucked under him and it holding one up in the air with his little hands wrapped around it. We have a yoga baby on our hands! *giggle*



Until next time!

<3 Tara and Oliver