Matters of the Heart

My EKG

Oliver and I have known for some time that I am a genetic carrier for a familial heart condition. It had been a non-issue until we became pregnant. Apparently this heart condition LOVES pregnancy because of all the extra fluid you carry around. However, with all of that extra fluid, heart failure during and after labor is a higher possibility. If I had developed the condition since last tested at age 20, I needed to know. This would then label me as a “high risk pregnancy”. On July 5th I went to Stanford’s Cardiology Department to have my heart checked out. Oliver and I really went into this putting it all in God’s hands. If we’ve learned (and continue to learn) anything through all of this, it is that this baby is NOT ours, nor do we have ANY control over what happens. It is all in God’s hands, in His control.

The day was long (5 hours in the hospital) and full of tests. First I had an echo, which was relatively easy. I say “relatively” because they put you in a dimly lit room, laying on your side, under a warm blanket … it was impossible to stay awake. And by impossible, I mean I MAY HAVE fallen asleep a few times. *smile*  Thankfully I had an understanding tech …

After the echo I went back to the cardiology department to get an EKG. The medical assistant doing the EKG was getting very strange readings and couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It was my mom who finally said “wait… is that the baby’s heartbeat??” She was right – the machine was picking up squishy, which was messing with the readings of my heart! It was like a nice little “hi mom! I’m still here!” from the squish.

After the EKG I was seen by a resident, a visiting cardiologist from Italy, my actual cardiologist and a geneticist. Going through my case history, I apparently had all of the symptoms of the heart condition – shortness of breath (I have asthma), chest pains (I have acid reflux), heart murmur. They listened to my heart while sitting, taking deep breaths, and doing squats – it was quite the three ring circus doing this with ALL of those eyes watching you.

The geneticist went through all of the information we needed to know to protect the baby. She offered to do the genetic testing before the baby arrives, but Oliver and I turned that down. It wouldn’t change anything, and there was no danger to the baby if it went undetected. They wouldn’t begin treating the baby until 5 years old if he/she does have the condition anyways. So we’ll wait till after the baby is born to do the testing, so we can be prepared to deal with it as we raise our blessing. A side note: I really appreciate this geneticist – she called my baby a “baby”, rather than a “fetus”. I don’t really care if that is the medical terminology for this stage of my pregnancy … this is our BABY we’re talking about and I’d rather we recognize it as a living breathing little human than a developmental stage.

In the end they seemed quite surprised that, despite having all the symptoms, my heart is quite healthy and fine! I will be checked again in October (6 months) and then after the squishy arrives!

Today was our latest prenatal checkup. It was a quick appointment (15 minutes – wow!), but we were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat again … 146-147 bpm. Always a beautiful sound – from fearing we’d never have a child to hearing its heart beat fast and strong. Gives me chills 🙂 God is so good!

Praise the Lord for a healthy baby – still set to arrive around January 15th.

<3 Tara & Oliver

 

13.5 Weeks

Finally got around to this weeks picture… then finally getting around to posting 🙂

I know, I know. I’m simply glowing! However, we had just finished hanging new curtains, doing a ton of laundry and cleaning in an 80 degree room – so I’m not really “glowing” in the pregnant sense of the word 🙂

13.5 weeks!

 

I just look like I’ve been munching on too many donuts! Haha!

For the record: I haven’t eaten a single donut 🙂 Squishy is being fed VERY healthy food – minus the caffeine free slurpee on 7-11 …

 

– Tara and Oliver

Exercise and Cravings

This morning my friend Wendy and I took the babies for a hike. And by “babies” I mean her 2 year old, the two dogs and “Squishy” (not that he/she really had a choice!). Exhaustion is still lingering for me (I hear I should get used to it…) but it felt so good to get off the couch and exert what little energy I had conquering the lookout trail. It was a steep .7 mile trail that had 5-6 switchbacks taking you straight up to the top! At least I could carry my behbeh  in the front… poor Wendy had her’s on her back! But we made it, and it felt amazing to be at the top!

 

At the top of the lookout!
At the top of the lookout!

Afterwards I fed one of my newest cravings  … this craving has been around a week, I just haven’t’ been the one to go to the grocery store lately. So I stopped at Safeway on my way home and “indulged”…

Carrots and Ranch! Mmmmm!

We are technically 13 weeks today! Yay! So “Squishy” is the size of a peach or a tangerine… bump pictures to come tomorrow probably. We won’t be home till after dark today, and the nursery (our photo shoot location) doesn’t have any lights in it!

<3 Tara (and Oliver!)

The Facebook Announcement

Today we announced it to facebook that…

YES! We’re expecting!

You’re probably here because you saw that announcement or got our e-mail blast about baby. But we want to let you know that this will be our only “Baby update” via social media. Although we will sometime talk about a new “post” going up – there won’t be blatant “BABY!!!” updates. We still have many friends dealing with infertility and we want to respect that they are still waiting for their own blessing. So *all* updates will be here …

Please be sure to read “Our Story” to understand where we’ve come from …

Enjoy!

<3 Oliver and Tara

P.S. We are still in the process of doing some “back posting” of photos, videos, etc. We’ll put up a “new” post telling you when to go look at “old posts”. Confused yet?! Must be the baby brain…

July 4th Photo Shoot

My parents were in town for the holiday, so we wanted to let them “meet” their latest grandchild today via ultrasound (since we’d never really had a first one but for a quick picture at 7weeks). And boy did we get a show! “Squishy” was flipping, hiding, waving and even got the hiccups. I can’t lie, in between giggling at the images up on the screen, I was so emotional. It’s really happening, it is REALLY our turn to welcome our own little one into the world. We have waited, cried, prayed and had our hearts broken so many times. The same bible verse kept running through my mind…

I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. – 1 Samuel 1:27 (NIV)

 

Here are the pictures and video of our blessing. You can click the images to see/save a larger version!

 

Measuring baby from head to “rump” verifying the due date!

 

A strong heartbeat – 149 bpm!

 

“Throw your hands (and feet) in the air… like you just don’t care…”

 

Thumb sucker…

 

Hanging out… upside down…

 

A quick 3D “peek”

 

Video coming soon …

Praying you have a wonderful 4th of July celebrating! We have so much to celebrate this year …

<3 Tara (& Oliver)

12 Week Bump

I just couldn’t get myself to take a photo till we were in the “safe zone”.

I also didn’t have ANY energy.

That being said …..

12 week bump – better image coming later!

<3 Oliver and Tara

Nana and Papa McKinney

My parents were both in town at the same time, so we could FINALLY break the news to them! Now, you know I couldn’t just say it – we had the benefit of seeing them eye-to-eye and watching their reactions (unlike the majority of our family). They are some of the few people who knew of our on-going struggle to get pregnant and were praying fervently for us. So we convinced them to go out to dinner with us to celebrate “mother’s day” and “father’s day”, since they had been out of town for both of those holidays. We met them at P.F. Changs in downtown San Jose. We then brought of the conversation of dates for a trip to Vegas we were going to take in January …. all while having these in our laps:

Nana and Papa x2 (this will be their second grandchild)

I’m not quite sure what my favorite part of this audio is …

  • dad cutting me off when I was trying to get to the big news
  • the dramatic pause where we hold up their shirts
  • dad’s yell of “ARE YOU KIDDING?!” which resulted in the entire restaurant looking at us 🙂
  • Me, being too close to the secret recording, laughing and crying simultaneously through the whole thing
  • Mom telling the waiter when he came to give us our food
  • Ok… I pretty much love the whole thing.

Listen for yourself… Telling Parents Moment

<3 Tara (& Oliver!)

Hearts Beat Fast…

Today we heard a beautiful sound … one that left Oliver’s mouth hanging open and me struggling between smiling and crying. We heard our baby’s heartbeat – and it was the most beautiful sound in the world. Over two years of waiting … it was pure magic.

 

Our hearts beating together … 

 

Click the link to heat the baby’s heartbeat

I keep hearing the lyrics to Christina Perri’s song in my head..

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I’m afraid
To fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt
Suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

Chorus:
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darlin’ don’t be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more
Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything
Take away
What’s standing in front of me
Every breath,
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

Chorus:
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darlin’ don’t be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more

And all along I believed
I would find you
Time has brought
Your heart to me
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more

One step closer
One step closer
Chorus:
I have died everyday
Waiting for you
Darlin’ don’t be afraid
I have loved you for a
Thousand years
I’ll love you for a
Thousand more

 

<3 Tara (and Oliver!)

Verification

Today we went to see my OBGYN for the first time. The first thing she said when she walked through the door was “WOW! What a surprise!!!!” She was the one who had referred us out when she couldn’t help us anymore. And boy was she surprised to find out prayer, and not infertility treatments, had gotten us to this day. A quick check showed that yes indeed, there was a baby! This was also verified by the 4th pregnancy test I had taken this morning… I didn’t want to waste anyones time if it all wasn’t real!

Since there wasn’t an ultrasound tech on duty yet that morning, my doctor did the first quick ultrasound herself.

 

7 weeks old!

We lovingly refer to him or her as “Squishy”. And we can’t stop staring at this image!!!

<3 Tara (& Oliver)

Oliver finds out …

This morning I couldn’t believe it still.. so I took the 3rd (and last) test in the box. Yup. Still said pregnant.

 

Time to begin operation “Tell Oliver”. I’d been planning this for years.

 


The fortune inside the cookie says “You’re a father”

What I love about this: He looks like I’ve just played the worst prank ever … I think this really shows how much we’d been waiting and wanting but still struggling with the “what if it never happens….” question.