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17 September 2007

How it All Begins: Situation Report (SITREP) #1

Friends and Family:

To capture the relevant updates and send them out efficiently without forgetting facts, people or call back numbers, I will send out SITREPS to commemorate Tonya and Baby’s status. This first one will be longer and include more in order to catch everyone up. Future SITREPS will be shorter.

If you want a different email address used, have others you want me to add or prefer to not receive these updates, please reply with your wishes.

First, THANK YOU all for your thoughts, prayers, calls, visits, food and well wishes. They ALL help and they – and you – all matter. We are fortunate and grateful to have such awesome support.

BACKGROUND:

Tonya started having pre-labor contractions last Thursday night (Sept 13th). [Hospital] admitted her and started running through their playbook of treatments to keep our baby boy in her uterus. At the time she was 30.5 weeks pregnant … she is not due until November 19th.

At the time of admittance, her cervix was effaced 85%, her contractions were rapid fire and 30+ seconds in duration each, plus she was already dilated 1 cm. The nurse who performed the initial tests remarked, “his head is face down and is ‘right there’ for delivery”.

In order to avoid an unwelcome and premature delivery, and the obvious complications that go with it, the awesome staff in the Nursing & Delivery Department worked through the entire playbook including their “last resort” - an evil cocktail delivered continuously to Tonya over 24 hours called Magnesium Sulfate aka “The Mag”. Though it drugged Tonya – and the baby – into a dreadful stupor, fortunately, it suppressed the uterus from further contractions…at least for awhile. Our son also received 2 separate does of steroids to help advance his lung development in case he is born early.

Her contractions started up again Sunday morning (Sept. 16th) so the pros in L&D along with our doctor utilized an additional combination of drugs to settle the uterus down again, including max-ing out the 4x daily dosage of Procardia in addition to injections of Terbutaline. All of this while Tonya stays confined to strict hospital bed rest (bathroom visits only).

STATUS:

As of this writing, her contractions have subsided and she was finally allowed to take a shower. (At some point I am sure I will be scolded for sharing so much personal information!) If she is able to maintain a contraction-free 24 hours in a row, it has been suggested that other privileges are possible, such as being released to come home for bed confinement; at the moment though the pregnancy is considered too much at risk for her and our baby to be anywhere but in the hospital. We don’t disagree.

Tonya continues to adjust to each new challenge in this pregnancy and her strength, courage and commitment is truly awe inspiring. She is the most incredible person I know. Emily has risen to the challenge of not having her Mom at home and has also been courageous in dealing with the many frightening, unpleasant and confusing features of this current situation. She has not hesitated to tackle extra chores at home and she has been especially service minded and action oriented when at the hospital. I am very proud of her.

NEXT:

Monday the 17th (our 31st week of being pregnant) we will meet with a perinatalogist and our primary baby doctor/gynecologist. Tonya and our baby will undergo tests to determine the extent of damage - if any - the weekend’s events have had on them. We also expect to learn what our doctor’s recommendations are to manage the rest of this pregnancy (hospital v. home, length of drug treatment, modified delivery date, etc.)

For those that wish to reach out to her directly... [info edited for privacy].


When I know more and can send an update I will, hopefully tomorrow (Monday the 17th). Now that everyone should be up to date, future SITREPS will be much more concise.

Thank you all again for your tremendous support.

Mike.

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