It’s amazing how quickly life can change. This last week has been one wild ride. It’s been so emotional. Couple that with my lack of sleep I’m probably too emotional to write this. But I’m going to anyway, I want Emery’s incredible arrival and story told.
I arrived in Utah on Tuesday of last week. Tawny’s due date was the previous Tuesday. So we were in high hopes of Emery coming soon.
We spent a lot of time in the pool. Tawnymara could bounce without high impact.
We walked all through the aquarium.
We hiked Prov Canyon.
We went to the temple. We also visited many shops and delicious restaurants.
Day after day we planned fun things, then – finally- Tawny started feeling contractions. This was on Saturday. We decided to help time pass by watching a movie. We saw Tolkien (amazing movie BTW)!
Sunday around 2:00 am Tawnymara woke with heavier contractions, they were keeping her awake, so we made sure we had everything ready. She did a home-pool-birth.
From here on out it was eager anticipation. If I were a gambler I would have put good money on Emery arriving on Mother’s day- good thing I’m not a gambler! By 9:00pm Tawnymara called the midwife and a group of 5 ladies came over ready for action with duffel bags of equipment for any conceivable situation. After checking her though they thought it might be a while longer and left us to have an enjoyable night in labor, and watching Scrubs.
Dallin was an amazing ‘daddy doula’. Throughout every contraction he would put pressure on her hips or stand so she could lean into him.
It was a long hard night. Around 2:00am things cranked up, it had been 24 hours since Tawnymara woke with contractions, and now the real work was going to start. A call to the midwife brought the crew and duffel bags back.
From then until 7:00am it was full of hard labor. Tawny would try to catch mini naps between contractions, it was excruciating watching my daughter go through this kind of pain and work and not being able to do anything for her – truly excruciating!
Dallin was able to deliver her. It was such beautiful event. Emery was immediately brought to Tawnymara’s chest and all our hands helped to rub her little body and get the circulation going.
Soon Tawny got up on trembling legs and made the trek to their bed. Mom and baby had the go over check up and while some of the midwives did that others were in cleaning up the birthing area like champs.
The midwives came back on day 2 and checked Emery over. Then again on day 3. It was during that check that the midwife felt she should be taken in to the hospital for more in depth oxygen tests. Nothing was glaringly wrong – it was a feeling. They went in and found Emery has Tricuspid Atresia. This is a heart disease that basically means only half her heart is working.
She was life flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. This is where my heart crumbled. I knew Tawny was still in so much pain from her 30 hours of labor. Then all the pain that come with healing and breastfeeding. Adding on the nights full of waking to feed I knew she was on the point of collapsing. Getting the news that her infant had this disease that will require many surgeries and hospital stays then she was told she couldn’t ride with her baby to the SLC hospital because the pilot said there was an imbalance. It seemed too much! I was back home by then feeling very useless and helpless.
I am in awe of Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s strength! They have taken every step of this with faith and courage. I don’t know how they’re doing it. I think I’d be in a fetal position in a corner somewhere- in fact I feel like doing that now. I think there are now hundreds of people praying for them . I know there’s such power connected to that, and I attribute so much of the fact that Tawnymara is smiling and loving on her baby in their last Marco Polo, and Dallin’s voice is upbeat and positive.
Dallin’s amazing family is heading out to rally around them. I’m so grateful they will be there to support and love them through the next little while. The future plans for Emery include many surgeries and the possibility of a heart transplant. It’s going to be a long journey. I’m hoping to get back out there and help through some of this. The distance sucks!
Between getting back so late on Tuesday, then teaching early morning seminary, then finding out about Emery the last night around midnight, my sleep has been very minimal. I’m kind of a wreck. I’m yearning for the peace of the temple and Bill and I will be going tonight. I’m trying to balance all this with the faith of knowing Emery is in Heavenly Father’s hands, and what ever transpires is part of a bigger plan. I got to spend a day with this precious angel and I feel so blessed for that.
If you’re reading this- chances are you’re praying too, THANK YOU! Thank you .
I will share more of Emery’s story as it unfolds.