Tag Archives: Dr. Tabsh

“Miracle of Miracles” – Fiddler on the Roof

1 Mar

I have decided to resume by blog and take a break from writing my book to share some extremely surprising news…

I’M PREGNANT!

This news came as a complete shock to me and my husband since I have been told by numerous doctors that it is medically impossible for me to get pregnant naturally without the use of heavy duty fertility drugs and treatments. I spent two years and thousands of dollars to get pregnant the first time with Ella & Ethan due to having PCOS and a defective pituitary gland. Because of my medical condition, I don’t get my period at all because it was determined that my pituitary gland does not produce the hormones necessary to ovulate. Regardless of these factors, by some miracle a single egg happened to make it’s way out and prove all of the doctors wrong.

What’s even crazier is the fact that I had no clue what was going on in my body until 13 weeks into the pregnancy and a psychic was the one to break the news! Let me take you back to the last Friday the 13th we had in December. I woke up that morning bright and early to take a home pregnancy test to prove a psychic wrong…HA! Two days earlier on the 11th, I went to my psychic reading which was an early birthday present from my husband. I had given Brett the same birthday present a couple of months earlier and she seemed legit so I wanted to go for myself to hopefully speak to my deceased parents. I sit down at the reading and the first thing she asks me is “are you pregnant?” and I say no. She keeps pressing me and I finally give up the information of my medical condition and how me getting pregnant without a barrage of drugs would be impossible. She then switched gears and said that I must have a close friend or relative that was pregnant because this vibe was too strong to not be right. I said it could be possible that someone close to me was pregnant and I didn’t know it yet. The reading continued but throughout the time we spent together, she kept bringing up the fact that there was a pregnancy. I left the reading with what she said ringing in my ears. At first I was trying to figure out who could possibly be pregnant in my circle of friends and family and then I started to wonder if by some miracle, it was in fact me.

The home pregnancy test I took two days later comes out positive but I did not fully trust the results due to my prior fertility struggles. Could my hormonal imbalance from the PCOS be skewing the test? I went to see my fertility doctor later that morning to get an official blood test and she was very surprised to see me in her office for this reason after all of the history we have together. A few hours later I got the highly anticipated phone call from her that there is no doubt that I am pregnant and I that I need to come in for an ultrasound immediately. I am in complete shock as I jump into my car to go back to her office. While I was driving there I couldn’t stop thinking about the lack of pregnancy symptoms I had and thought that it must be really early on. No morning sickness at all…but then again, I luckily never had that symptom the first time around. The ultrasound starts and my doctor could not believe how far along I am. She took a bunch of measurements and estimated that I was 13 weeks pregnant! I completely went through the entire 1st trimester without even knowing it and feel like I can now be featured on the show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.” I am in disbelief as I see this fully formed fetus on the screen with a strong heartbeat yelling “SURPRISE!” from my uterus. How did this happen? My stomach was completely flat, I had no symptoms at all, and now in 6 months I was going to become a mother of 3?!?!

The next plan of action was to call my miracle worker OBGYN, Dr. Tabsh who got me through my first pregnancy. Since I was already in my 2nd trimester, the worry started to set in about having to be on bed rest again and if my cervix would start to shorten prematurely. Of course, this was all happening when I was about to get on a plane to vacation in Hawaii with my family. Last time I planned a big trip during my pregnancy, I ended up getting admitted into the hospital for 4 months so my track record was not the best. I was able to get an appointment that night at 11pm so that he could check my cervix and hopefully give me some good news. He was very surprised to see me and husband back in his office after all we had gone through the first time. He did an extensive ultrasound and found everything to be perfectly normal! He even said “have fun on your trip” which was like music to my ears. Dr. Tabsh explained that I will be closely monitored but every pregnancy is different and maybe now that I am only carrying one baby, my cervix won’t be as temperamental as it was before. I never thought that my body would be able to have a normal pregnancy that didn’t involve bed rest. I am not getting my hopes up since anything could happen from now until June. Plus, once you go though a high risk pregnancy that leaves to hospitalized, you are bound to have some post traumatic stress which causes you to keep your expectations in check.

Regardless of what may happen with this pregnancy, this baby is another miracle that we were meant to have in our lives. Brett and I were not sure if we were going to have anymore kids because of the fertility and pregnancy issues I experienced the first time. Now that decision has been made by a higher power and we are slowly getting used to the fact that Ella and Ethan are going to be a big sister and big brother by June 2014. L’Chaim!

*The song “Miracle of Miracles” is from the 1964 Broadway musical Fiddler on the Roof¬†which ran on Broadway for almost 10 years. This joyous song comes at a part of the show where Motel has found out that he has Tevye’s blessing to marry Tzeitel. This is considered a miracle to Motel since Tzeitel would have otherwise had a traditional arranged marriage with a man she did not love. This new pregnancy is truly a miracle because I never in my wildest dreams thought that my body was able to have a baby naturally since my “tradition” has been the exact opposite. I felt like I got my fill of miracles the first time around when Ella and Ethan were born full term and healthy after the tremendous journey we were on. We are extremely grateful that we have been blessed with another angel in our lives and cannot wait to meet he or she very soon!

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Here we go again

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Had no clue this cute baby was living inside me!

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Finally starting to show

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“Happy Birthday To You And To You” – Side Show

21 Apr

I hear people say often, how quickly time goes by when you have kids. I was realizing this back at home as the months just flew by. But maybe time felt a little accelerated since living in a hospital makes time seem to stand still. Nonetheless, Ella and Ethan are one year old today which means they are reaching another tremendous milestone. Milestones were what I lived for while I was on bed rest at the hospital. “If I can just get to 24 weeks so that they are viable…if I can make it to 30 weeks so that their lungs develop a little more…if I can hang on until 34 weeks, they might not need to be in the NICU…” I would lie in bed praying for these miracles and then finally the last miracle occurred on April 21, 2012 when both Ella and Ethan were born healthy and big.

Now exactly one year later, I have two toddlers with completely different and unique personalities. I had always wondered about the nature vs. nurture debate and how much of a person’s being they were actually born with, compared to how they were raised. I was so surprised to see that within the first few weeks of life, the twins were already so different with Ella being strong-willed and independent and Ethan being more sensitive and needy (with a cute worried look always on his face). At that point, there was not much nurture to go off of and it really made me see that these kids were born this way.

Throughout the year, these little sparkles of personalities have become more definite with not much changing. Ella is still very head-strong and when she wants something, she goes for it without a second thought. Ella also maintains her “alfa dog” status by doing everything first before Ethan (rolling over, crawling, and now almost walking). Being a girl gives her most of the advantage but deep down, she is one determined little lady. She loves to practice a new trick until she gets it perfect and then refuses anyone trying to help her. For example, recently Ella has mastered feeding herself by holding her own bottle…with one hand! If I try to hold the bottle for her she starts crying because she wants to do it. However, Ethan loves being taken care of and prefers acting like a little prince. He just started crawling after watching his sister on the move for two months. He loved watching her romp around but never really had the desire to do so. Then one day out of the blue he just started crawling, almost as if he realized mommy and daddy are not going to be around all the time to move him where he needs to go. Ethan is still a sensitive soul and is typically the one crying the most when those cranky moments hit. Nothing that a cuddle can’t solve which he absolutely relishes. On the other hand, when I try to cuddle with Ella, she is squirming away living up to her “mover and shaker” self. I started to think back to their personalities in the womb and how when the nurses had to perform my daily NST’s, Ella was always moving around so much it was difficult to find her heartbeat, while Ethan would stay in one spot…tucked up within my ribs all cozy and content.

It is really hard to imagine life without these two and it makes me think about the fact that we came so close to losing them back when I was only 19 weeks pregnant. Recently, the twins and I went back to the hospital to visit the nurses who had become my family. They could not believe how big Ella and Ethan had grown and how much I had shrunk since the last time they saw all of us. I was also lucky enough to catch the famous Dr. Tabsh who turns into mush when he sees babies. It is so great to watch him when he is in that mood because he is normally known for his unwavering silent focus and lack of bedside manner. Ethan in particular could not stop smiling when Dr. Tabsh was holding him…almost like he knew that this was the man that saved his life. Dr. Tabsh loved every minute of it and I could tell that these kind of moments for him are what justifies the extremely hard work he performs every day. This man probably sleeps a total of 4 hours a night, never takes vacations, and basically lives at the hospital. I know this because I used to literally live at the hospital! I am eternally grateful that today is the first of many birthday celebrations that our family will enjoy thanks to this angel of a man.

*The song “Happy Birthday To You And To You” is from the 1997 Broadway musical Side Show which is based on the true story of Siamese twins, Daisy and Violet Hilton. Luckily, Ella and Ethan are not attached at the hip like those lovely ladies but I will say that I am so happy that they get to grow up together and be each other’s best friend. Sharing not only many birthdays together, but countless life experiences that hopefully will not pass by too quickly. Happy Birthday to the most fantastic “Broadway Babies” in the entire universe! I love you more than words can express.

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My ONE year olds!

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Ella’s famous one-handed bottle trick

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Ethan’s cute “worried” look

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Reunion with Dr. T…and the door to my old room behind us

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Flashback to last year

“Paciencia Y Fe” – In the Heights

2 May

The day had come exactly four months from when the journey began. I was admitted into the hospital on December 21st and now on the very last day of the 36th week, my babies were finally born on April 21st. While being on bed rest, I have listened to the heartbeats of my twins 244 times and felt them kicking and moving inside of my belly more times than I could count. As I was waiting for the c-section to begin, I could not help but think about how extraordinary it would be to able to meet and hold them after all of this time spent lying in bed.

The night before that amazing day, Brett and I decided to have a date night since it would be our last official night together as a married couple without kids. I was allowed to leave my room and have dinner with him in the family dining room at the hospital. It felt so good just to be able to sit in a chair and eat normally for the first time since becoming bedridden. I definitely will not miss eating lying down with a big towel draped over me. He brought in yummy food from Hillstone which is one of our favorite restaurants and we had a feast with filets and loaded baked potatoes. A much needed break from my usual hospital food dining experience. Dinner was really nice and we got to spend some time out on the patio for some fresh air before going back to the room. After dinner, we arrived in the now famous, room 2524 and the packing up began. Brett started taking all of the decorations off of the walls and little by little, this room went back to the way it was 17 weeks ago. It was very bittersweet in a way because our “Santa Monica studio” had become our new home, but we were so excited to be finally going back to our real home as a family.

The next day, when the time came to go to the operating room, they let me walk down the hall instead of being rolled in which made the start of this next chapter just that much better. Finally on my feet again! My doctor told me how amazed he was that I had gotten this far along in my pregnancy. He, along with all of the nurses were expecting my c-section to be an unplanned event. Typically, women in my situation go into full preterm labor where contractions can’t not be stopped by major drugs and the birth commences with an emergency c-section. This scenario had already happened to some of the other moms here on bed rest, so I always made sure to prepare myself for this kind of potentially scary event. Yet as each week went by, the chances of me delivering too early became less likely and the NICU started becoming a maybe instead of a have to.

In the operating room, I was being prepped for surgery and a sense of calm came over me even though I was being poked and prodded. Then Brett came in and sat down beside me in full scrubs and I knew that the show was about to start. At 5:22pm the first cry was heard from Ella Madison and my own tears could not stop flowing. Then at 5:23pm there was another cry from Ethan Tate and my joyous crying began to echo theirs. Two strong crying babies! They are breathing on their own which means that they could be alright. As soon as Brett came back to me after checking on them he confirmed that they were both very healthy scoring an 8 on their first APGAR test at one minute old and then the score raised to 9 at the five minute mark. No NICU!!! Once they were all cleaned up, they brought them over to me so that I could kiss each one and look at them for the first time. After all of the incredible sacrifice and hard work over the past couple of years, we were finally a family and all of the thousands of minutes spent on bed rest just melted away. Not only were they healthy but everyone in that operating room could not believe their weights! Ethan weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces and Ella weighed 6 pounds even. My petite five foot frame carried over 12 pounds of baby not including the added weight of the two placentas and amniotic fluid sacks. What was even more amazing was the fact that this small piece of string which held my cervix shut for the past four months made this successful outcome possible. My doctor is also an expert at performing the cerclage procedure which drastically helped improved my odds. I heard many horror stories online of poorly done cerclage procedures where the stitch comes loose or falls out, resulting in dire circumstances. When I was being sewn up after the c-section, he was also taking out the cerclage and I requested to keep this miraculous piece of string so that I could never forget how Dr. Tabsh saved the two precious lives of my twins.

*The song “Paciencia Y Fe” is from the 2008 Broadway musical In the Heights which won many Tony Awards including Best Musical. The character Abuela Claudia sings this song about her journey to America from Cuba as a young girl, and how her mother kept telling her “paciencia y fe” which means patience and faith since the transition was very difficult. Since being admitted into the hospital, this song has been playing inside of my head because I knew that patience and faith were two things that I would need to survive this tremendous life event. It was so important to stay positive, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and most importantly…stay in bed!

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Brett taking down the decorations

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Me and Dr. Tabsh the night before the c-section

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The Broadway Babies meet Mommy!

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Proud Papa