Sunday, November 29, 2009

Good things come in 3's

It has been a few days since I made a post and I should start by letting you know that Crosby is still in the womb. Tara and the little guy are both doing well. Tara is still taking the Brethine pills every 4 hours to keep the contractions at bay. Friday afternoon, despite the medicine, Tara begin having very regular contractions and we found out that she is now 5cm and 90% effaced, which doesn't surprise us given that she has had contractions several times in the last week. They gave her some pain medicine and the contractions eventually faded as the Brethine did its thing.

This coming Tuesday will put Crosby at 35 weeks. We just play it by ear each day with Tara on bed rest, watching to see if her contractions break through the meds and if this deal shifts to the next level. The OB would like to keep Tara on bed rest another week or two, we'll just have to see what Crosby has to say about that.

We have been here in the hospital 12 days now. We are just playing a waiting game and trusting that God is in control and that He knows what is best for us. We do not know how long we can keep Crosby in the womb, every time that Tara has some contractions we wonder, "Will these be the ones that break through?" So in the meantime we will just trust and wait. Duvall is preaching on waiting this morning at Fellowship Church Arkadelphia, something that this advent season and our lives have in common right now. Tara and I look forward to reading a copy of his sermon shortly. It is our prayer that Crosby will have to spend little or no time in the NICU. We want to give Crosby as much time to cook as possible, but we also trust that God is good and he truly does know what is best for his children. We are very blessed and we know that.

Tara did have some visitors Friday and Saturday that could bring a smile to any patient's face, her cousins Michelle and Darrell with their four year old triplets, Julie, Amy, and Sarah. They were traveling back to Texas from visiting family in Mississippi and made a stop to see us. Tara adores these three girls. Tara truly cherished their visit and their artwork now adorns the walls of her hospital room. Michelle, who spent three months on hospital bed rest during her pregnancy with the triplets, passed on her wisdom of how to survive on bed rest to Tara.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Much to be thankful for

We have much to be thankful for today. We are so thankful that the Lord placed Tara in L&D last Tuesday afternoon where we could get her and Crosby the care that they needed, even when we had no idea that they needed it. We are thankful for our wonderful family and amazing friends. We are thankful that Crosby's heartbeat looks good and he is still cooking. We are thankful that our Father in Heaven is both good and great!

We have had a good Thanksgiving day. Tara did not have many noticeable contractions today. Her parents, her brother Chris, his wife Sage, and our nephew Danner (9 months old) came up to the spend the day with us at BMC LR. We got our friend, Mr. C. Barrell, to prepare our meal for us. We brought it back to the hospital room and enjoyed our feast together.

It was chilly and windy, but sunny and beautiful outside so we enjoyed a few minutes out in the BMC plaza. The fresh air felt good and I know that Tara enjoyed it. It was a good afternoon with family. This was certainly a Thanksgiving memory that we will cherish.

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving without a football game capturing our attention.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The more things change the more they stay the same

Since we made 34 weeks yesterday Dr. Wiedower wanted to try taking Tara off of her routine meds every 4 hours that have been holding the contractions at bay. We got an ultrasound this morning to check on Crosby's position and size. They didn't want to let me go back and see the ultrasound, but I talked my way into the room with Tara. The ultrasound tech confirmed once again that Crosby is a boy and he is head down... way down. He looked good. The measurements from the ultrasound indicated that he is between 4 and 5 lbs, confirming we want him to keep cooking.

FYI...As I type this post, I'm laying on the bed next to Tara and Crosby keeps kicking my elbow.

Tara's mom, Marion, spent the day hanging out with us today. Tara got a dose of her routine anti-contraction med at 7:30 this morning, then the doc gave the order to take her off of it for the rest of the day. Things were fine at first but by 3:00 pm Tara begun having contractions again. We watched them for a few minutes, but they persisted and the OB gave the order to give Tara an injection of med to stop them. That stopped them for about 45 minutes and then they came right back. Tara would tell you that they not only came back, but back with a vengeance. Dr. Wiedower decided to punt and go back to the routine doses every 4 hours to keep the contractions away. Tara was pretty uncomfortable when those contractions got rocking, but she was a real trooper! She is already being a great mom to Crosby.

It looks like she plans on keeping Tara on the routine meds for another week or two since her body clearly wants to go into labor without them. It appears that Tara will be camped out in this hospital bed for a while. We have to admit that when we thought Crosby might be born this week we were getting kind of excited, but now realize that him staying put is what is best for him. Certainly a lot of mixed emotions. We are doing well now and are glad to know the plan for the next week or so. We trust that the Lord is in control and He will take care of Tara and Crosby. Tara is thankful to still be in the hospital, because she knows it is the best place for both her and Crosby.

Thanks for all the love and support! We are thankful for such wonderful family and friends.

Last night we got to visit with the Wrights some more along with Jeremy Jackson. Russ, Jeremy and I have done adventure races together as Team Tricord. It was good to have the team together again. Notice that all three of us are wearing outdoor adventure related shirts.

Sheila and Terrell Baker popped in for a quick visit tonight. It was good to see them as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day. We awoke to celebrate Crosby still being in the womb and making it to 34 weeks. The reason that 34 weeks is a big deal is that babies are more developed, bigger, a lot better of once they reach 34 week mark. Our good friends Russ and Shireen Wright who live in Birmingham, AL stopped in LR on their way to Russ' family in Monroe. They left B-ham a day early to be able to make a stop in LR on their to visit their family in LA for thanksgiving. We haven't seen them and their 11 month old son Rhys since this summer. It is always good see old friends and pick right back up where we left off. Rhyswas so happy and well behaved during their afternoon visit. We grabbed the wheelchair and took Tara outside to soak in some sunshine once the clouds vacated the central AR skies. Here are some pics from our time with the Wrights this afternoon...

Shireen sewed these fabulous baby presents for Tara herself. What a talented gal?! A cute seersucker bib w/ hand embroidered sailboat, a seersucker diaper case, & a tote.

We made it to 34 weeks!

We made it to 34 weeks. What an answered prayer! We are very blessed and doing well. As I post this I realize that the baby countdown that Tara has on the top of this blog is wrong, ignore it. Here is a video I took this Tuesday morning, thanks to Lannie Byrd for lending me his trusty flipcam. (This thing is cool, I may have to pick one up.) Watch for Crosby to do some sort of full body at the 18 second mark of the video.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Camp Crosby...Monday evening

It is Monday evening and Crosby is still a womb dweller.

Sunday was a beautiful day in central Arkansas and Tara's OB gave her permission to enjoy a few minutes of it outside. They got us a wheel chair and we were able to soak up some sunshine for 30 minutes. It was good for the soul. Tara was also able to get some rest on Sunday during the day.

She was slept a fair amount on Sunday night. Tara didn't show any signs of contractions on Monday morning's monitoring session either. We spent a while talking about the the game plan for the next few days with Dr. Wiedower this morning. It looks like my predictions of having a son delivered on Tuesday might be a bit off. Tuesday will put Tara at 34 weeks. It has been our goal to make it to the 34 week mark over the last few days. We thought that Dr. Wiedower was going to stop routine doses of Tara's anti-contraction meds on Tuesday, but she told us today that she is going to continue them through Tuesday and likely stop them on Wednesday.

We will just play it by ear after that and see what Tara's body does and what the OB that is on call the next time that Crosby tries to show up thinks is best. Thanks for the love, support and prayers.

My parents, Mamma Roz and Daddy Rick showed up at the hospital today. It was good to spend a little bit of time with them. In the next post or two I will tell you what they are up to while we hold up at Camp Crosby in LR.

Here is a pic from Sunday (I didn't do good about getting Monday pics).

DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT CROSBY. This is little Benjamin Taylor, 3 week old son of James and Amy who came for a visit on Sunday. Crosby is eager to hang out with Benjamin.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Camp Crosby...Saints football Sunday

We woke up this Sunday morning with Crosby still in the womb, not in the bed. Saturday was a good day. Tara was pretty tired from the lack of sleep the night before, but was able to get a couple of small naps in so that helped. We talked with Tara's OB, Dr. Wiedower, on Saturday about the game plan for the next few days. She said that our goal is still to make it to Tuesday which would put us at 34 weeks. Once Tuesday gets here she will stop the routine medication to prevent contractions that Tara is taking every 4 hours. If Tara starts to go into labor after Tuesday they will try giving her a shot to stop it, but if they contractions persist we will just roll with it and move down the hall to L&D.

Tara was able to sleep most of Saturday night which was an answer to prayer. We had a few contractions right before bed, which was nothing major. I think it was when her medication had worn off and the new dose hadn't kicked in yet. They soon spaced out and then ceased allowing Tara to sleep Saturday night.

We had a few more contractions before breakfast this morning, nothing too intense though. Again the timing coincided with Tara's medication wearing off and the new dosing just getting into her system. We'll see about possibly making some adjustments to the timing. We are doing well on this Sunday morning, or I should say about as well as one can be expected to be doing when the 3 loss Dallas Cowboys are on the TV in place of the 9-0 New Orleans Saints! 98% of the time I absolutely love living in Arkansas. I am pretty sure that the 2% of the time I don't is Sunday afternoons when I'm stuck scrounging the web for Saints updates while the Cowboys occupy my TV. Things must be going pretty well in this hospital room if the Saints media coverage is what I am complaining about.

Thanks for the prayers and support. We feel very loved. We trust that Crosby will be just fine whenever he comes into this world, we are just going to try to give him every advantage that we can by buying him time.

Here are some pics from Saturday:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Camp Crosby...Saturday Morning

We made it to Saturday and Tara woke up again without Crosby in the bed with her.

After being hooked Tara up to the monitors for a little while last night Tara began having contractions. The contractions got to less than 2 minutes apart at one point before they got an IV and some additional meds in Tara to slow them down. There were even a few minutes when we thought that the contractions might not stop and wondered if Crosby's persistence was stronger than the meds...but it wasn't. The contractions slowed but hung around in some form or fashion for the most of the night. They checked Tara and she was not progressing, which was good. She wasn't able to get as much sleep as we would have liked but she is doing well this morning. She made it another 12 hours, which will be 36 hours less that Crosby would have to be in the NICU if he does need to go there.

Tara is doing great and quite the trooper. Her comment to me this morning was that if she was contracting without progressing then she didn't mind the discomfort as long as peanut was staying put. My wife is already a fabulous mother.

We've been here in Antenatal Unit at BMC LR for several days now and I've learned a few things. Allow me to share them with you, some are more serious some are less:
  • A smile, a kind greeting, and a word of appreciation go a long way with people. The meal service lady told us this morning what an impression it made on her the first morning. I imagine that a lot of people don't get too excited about hospital food day in and day out. It is now my goal to let everyone here know that what they are doing is appreciated and that they are valuable. It reminded me of the truth from Duvall's sermon last week about how our embrace of our humanity, of human's baring the image of God, should drive our humility and our compassion.

  • There is a stash of over 80 DVD's in the supply closet right next to our room.

  • There is a free washer and dryer on the third floor.

  • McBrides Deli at the base of Medical Towers II makes wonderful food.

  • We are unbelievably blessed and God is taking care of us.
We appreciate the prayers and support. Our prayer for now is to make it until Tuesday and that Tara might be more comfortable today.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Camp Crosby...Friday Morning

We cannot thank everyone enough for your thought, prayers, and support. The Lord has blessed with amazing friends and family and we feel it now more than ever. Thank y'all.

They took Tara off of the Magnesium sulfate Wednesday at 8pm. She did great Wednesday night. She was able to get a full night's sleep (compared to 1.5 hours of sleep the first night). She awoke Thursday morning to sunshine coming in the window and proclaimed that she felt like a new person with a full night's sleep and the Mag out of her system. Thursday was a good day. Tara felt well and had no progression though out the day. We had a few visitors and good a full tour of the NICU and NICU stepdown unit. Tara really liked that the NICU at Baptist had individual rooms for each little kiddo.

The protocol in the antenatal unit is to hook the moms up to the monitors every morning after breakfast and each evening after dinner. Thursday night while Tara was hooked up she started feeling some contractions. Of course our night nurse Sherry had seen them from her station and was in our room by the 3rd one. (Have mentioned what great care we are receiving from these Baptist nurses? They are wonderful.) Tara had at least 9 or 10 regular contractions about 2-3 minutes apart. It was a little scary, but Sherry gave her a shot to stop them and within 10 minutes it was working. We monitored her for a while and the contractions pretty much went away. So we switched to an oral version of the shot b/c it lasts longer and it worked throughout the night. Tara was able to sleep the first half of the night, but couldn't sleep the second half.

Friday morning are were blessed with sunshine coming through the window and another day of Crosby hanging out in the womb. Each day that we wake up and he isn't in the bed with Tara (as she likes to put it) is a blessing and a victory. Tara is doing well, but is starting to have some lower back pain and abdominal pain as well. Dr. Hubach just stopped by on her morning rounds and said that everything looks good and they will keep Tara on the same oral med that we started last night after the contractions.

Crosby looks good and active. Tara told me yesterday that she thinks that he was practicing his cycling in the womb, you know that I hated to hear that. (22 years until he is ready for the Tour de France, glad to see him getting an early start.)

Our goal for now is to make it until Tuesday. That will put us at 34 weeks. Once we hit Tuesday we will celebrate and set our sights on 35 weeks. We'll keep you posted. We will just keep camping out here at BMC LR waiting (patiently) for Crosby. Thanks for the all the support. Tara has been amazing. I cannot tell you what good care she has taken of herself and and this little guy. She has said that she'll stay in this bed in this hospital as long as possible, she doesn't care...whatever will help Crosby be the most healthy. No surprise that she is already a selfless mother wanting the absolute best for her child. We are very blessed and we know it.

Here are some pics from the last day or two:
Tara and her dad, Gerald

Tara and her mom, Marion

Tara and Sara Recktenwald

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Surprise, Crosby is ready to come

I wanted to give you an update on Tara and Crosby. Yesterday (Tuesday) Tara went to the OB for her regular 33 week appointment. While there Tara mentioned that Crosby hadn't been as active earlier in the day. Her OB hooked up her up to a baby heart rate monitor to check things out. The OB noticed that the heart rate dropped briefly while they were watching it so just to be on the safe side she sent Tara over to the Labor and Delivery ward of the hospital to have them monitor her more closely. They immediately saw that Tara was having contractions and 4 cm dilated and 80% effaced. (I cannot believe that I didn't put my truck in the ditch on 430 when Tara told me over the phone that she was at a 4!) They immediately put Tara on some drugs to stop the contractions and gave her a steroid shot to speed up Crosby's lung development. Both Tara and Crosby looked healthy, but he was just trying to show up too soon (7 weeks early). So they game plan is to slow down, hopefully stopping the contractions for now and give time for Crosby to continue to develop.

We've just been hanging out, trying to get Tara some rest and buy some more time for Crosby to cook a little more. Tara has not progressed anymore in labor and hasn't had many contractions today. She and Crosby both look healthy. We haven't seen any problems with Crosby's heart rate since that 30 second blip in the OB's office. I firmly believe that was the Lord giving us a red flag and a reason to come to L&D, otherwise Tara would have been on her way home to Arkadelphia.

We would like at least another 24 hours for the steroids to have their full effect on little man's lungs, but we will let him stay in the womb as long as he is willing to. It may be a few days or even weeks, but it doesn't look like Tara will come home until after Crosby is here. Tara's OB, Doctor Amy Weidower, and the nurses in Baptist Med Center LR L&D have been AMAZING. We are thankful for Dr. Weidower being cautious and attentive. We feel like we have some highly skilled and compassionate people taking care of Tara and Crosby.

Your prayers are appreciated. The Lord has been watching out for us and we trust that He is in control. We rest firmly in the fact that He is both good and great. Thanks guys, I'll keep you posted.

<--This is Tara and Dr. Wiedower

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby Showers, Baptism & Nursery Progress

I'm pretty behind on updating this blog, so this post is probably going to contain too much info and pictures. I have been blessed with 2 very sweet baby showers in the past month. First, my best friends from college came into town and threw me a shower on the day of OBU's Homecoming. It was seriously the cutest baby shower I've ever seen--such precious details. Crosby and I felt so loved. It was wonderful to have a much-needed reunion with my girls...we only get together about once a year. Thank you, Abigail, Kitty, Sara, Anna & Laurin for making the trip and for a wonderful shower! (Laurin even flew in from her new home in New York City!)

Chris and I also traveled down to Rockport, Texas a few weekends ago for a very special event for our family. Our godson, Johnny, became a Christian, and he asked Chris to baptize him! It was a wonderful weekend with Michael, Nichole, and the family. Such a blessed celebration of what God has done and will do in Johnny's life.

This past Saturday I had a shower here in Arkadelphia at Judy Duvall's house. It was so sweet, and I am overwhelmed by everyone's generosity. Three of the hostesses had just had babies within the past few weeks (Terese & Amy had their babies just the week before)! Yay for all of these healthy, precious babies! Amazingly enough, they were all able to come to the shower, and they looked fabulous! Thank you Judy, Mona, Terese, Amy, Lauren, and Barbara, for such a wonderful baby shower. My mom and Chris' mom were both able to be here for the shower, and we had a great weekend "nesting." Probably the highlight of the weekend was when we got home from the shower, we found Chris and some sweet friends up in the nursery painting!!! Thanks to Caitlin, Stephen, Natasha & Wes for spending your Saturday painting our baby's nursery. It was such a wonderful surprise and such a relief to have that project completed! I have the sweetest husband in the world. Now we are in the fun stage of setting up the nursery.

I am 32 weeks in my pregnancy now and actually still feeling good. Just tired. I know that these last 2 months will absolutely fly by, and Crosby will be here before we know it. Things are really getting busy with all of the trips to Little Rock for doctor's appointments and our weekly trips to childbirth class. Chris and I are so thankful for this little miracle that God has blessed us with and for the amazing love and support that we have felt during these past few months.