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

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