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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Journey Part #3

A lady named Tanya Siekman had heard news of my pregnancy and happened to know a member of my parent’s church. At the age of forty-eight, Tanya had welcomed triplets just 2 years prior to my pregnancy and had also been a patient of Dr. Spence. I found it deeply comforting to talk to someone who was familiar with the risk and stress that waited ahead. I shared my initial perception of Dr. Spence and she related her own experience. I inquired if there were any other high risk pregnancy doctors to be found locally. As luck (or maybe God) would have it, Dr. Turnquest-Wells was the doctor at St. Mary’s Hospital. I spoke to my gynecologist and asked about Dr. Turnquest. He had little faith that Dr. Turnquest’s outlook would be any different from Dr. Spence’s. I didn’t expect him to understand my hesitancy toward Dr. Spence because even Rob didn’t understand.

During this time Tanya ran into Dr. Spence and mentioned that she knew me. Dr. Spence then told Tanya to advise me to selectively reduce because it was not possible to have all of my babies. As I’m sure you can imagine, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. What happened to professionalism and patient confidentiality? I was officially done with Dr. Spence. In the end I had to do what I felt would be best for me and my babies, and I set up a consultation with Dr. Turnquest.

This turned out to be the best decision I made throughout my entire pregnancy (other than keeping all of my babies!). She was wonderful! She was as honest about the risks and possible complications as Dr. Spence, but with one minor exception that changed everything. She believed in me. After we told her that we were going to keep all of them she was on board with our decision 110%. She gave me hope that I could carry my babies and they could be normal. It took Rob meeting a different doctor to realize how unnecessarily negative Dr. Spence was, and he was completely supportive of our move to Dr. Turnquest.

The most helpful thing Tanya did for me was to explain the difference between Deaconess Women’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital. We had originally planned to have our babies at Deaconess Women’s Hospital. Although Deaconess Women’s hospital is an excellent facility, being a new hospital at that time, they did not have an “in-house intensive care unit” and would not be able to take care of me there if I would develop a life threatening complication. I would possibly have to be taken to a different hospital downtown. If that happened they would have to send nurses to monitor the babies, and then if I would deliver there, there was no NICU and the babies would have to be transported back to The Women’s Hospital. On the other hand, at St. Mary’s they would be able to take care of all of us in the same place. I believe God brought Tanya into my life to help with that decision. She never told me what I should do, but she talked to me from her own experience and her own near life and death situation and helped me understand that if I was to pull this off successfully …. The key would be great prenatal care and to be prepared for all scenario’s that could possibly arise.

After we were established at Dr. Turnquest’s office the smooth sailing began. We finally found out that we were absolutely having five babies. While I had been in turmoil, they had been busy growing and it was easier to see them on the ultrasound screen now.

I was 11 weeks 3 days along here. See baby B sucking her thumb?


The FarmHouse Triplets said...

Wow Emily ... reading this brings it all back as if it were just yesteday when I met you, your Mother, Mel and your Mother in Law.

I can still see all of you in my living room and can almost remember what all we talked about.

Mainly, what I remember the most is the way you watched my kiddo's play and interact .. and I knew then that you were so determined and had so much confidence that you could and would give birth to five perfect babies ... and you did.

Thanks for letting me a part of it as you traveled down that road.

I have to say that being in the delivery room with you and Rob and photographing the birth of your babies, as one by one they each took their first breath, was probably the most spectacular thing I've ever gotten to do in my life outside of having my own babies.

Thank you for your friendship and still yet allowing me to watch them grow up.

You're a wonderful Mother ... even on the days when it's "Hairy." Ha~


Annie said...

I'm anxious to continue reading your story. I like it.