Tynlee's Birth Story

I was 35 weeks 5 days on Wednesday, February 16th, when I got admitted to Doctor’s Medical Center, anti-partum floor.

Wednesday started out like just another day, on bed rest. This was my 2nd week on bed rest and I still was feeling crummy. The headache I constantly had seemed to have gotten worse that day. By 3pm, I could barely see straight. The blurred vision had overtaken me and the upper-gasteric pain was coming on. I took my blood pressure at home, like I’d been doing for 2 weeks, and it was rather high. I laid down for 30 more minutes, took it again, and high. For being on bed rest, it was way too high. I did what I was told to do and called my doctor, of course, she said “Go right in to hospital”.

Stephen and I both felt like we lived at the hospital lately with the condition I had, preclampsia or pregnancy induced hypertension. Between the high blood pressure and low platelets, we were there a lot. We didn’t want to go, thinking they will just observe me, and send me home in a few hours. So we dragged it out at home and went in 2 hours later. Hospital bag in hand as well as Tynlee’s bag just to be prepared. (But I really didn't think I would go into the hospital and come out with a baby) My house wasn't even cleaned yet!!

I got there about 5:30pm, Wednesday evening... and got hooked up to monitors in Labor and Delivery. My blood pressure was still high, not wanting to budge. My midwife came in and suggested that they once again, keep me over night for observation.(by the way, she just delivered my friend Annalisa's baby from Bradley Class at Memorial Hospital) So up to anti-partum we went.(Where my mommy worked) They did more blood work to check platelets and had me on a 24 hour urine, once again to check how much protein I was spilling out. I was only allowed to get out of bed to go potty, I couldn’t even shower. :/ (luckily, I took one before leaving for the hospital) And let me tell you, brushing your teeth in bed is a difficult task! Lol. My wonderful mother, who works on this floor but on the other side in post-partum, worked a deal and got us a private room so Stephen was able to stay with me. Poor Stephen was fighting a bad cold and barely had a voice. He took a sleeping pill and slept great! I was up a lot of the night, worrying. Typical right. I was nervous for myself, thinking this is only getting worse and my baby is at risk as well. What if I die and Stephen raises her alone. What if I have a seizure and my baby girl doesn’t make it? So many horrible thoughts ran through my head.

As I layed there in silence, hearing my husband snore, I began to pray. I heard the Lord say, “Be anxious for nothing but in everything, in prayer and supplication make your requests be made known to God.” Tears began to roll down my face. How silly of me to worry about these things. God is in CONTROL. He brought us THIS far! We are so close. We will get the victory in this! About that time, my mom came in about 3am to spend her lunch hour with me. What a joy it was to sit there with her and share arum sandwiches with her! How comforting she was to me. I realized through all of this, how much I really do NEED my mom and how special she truly is to me. I was able to sleep a few hours after that. Thursday morning, my doctor came in and my midwife, and they were still concerned with laying in bed all night why my pressures were still way too high. Blood work came back and platelets continued to drop. Another night of “observation” was in my future.

The nurse came in and said doctor wants me to go ahead and get a hep-block just incase I need emergency medication with the high blood pressure. I got pocked a total of 17 times in 6 days. Which included, hep block, platelet count, magnesium check, blood type, Rhogam shot, Spinal, etc. My arms and hands, bottom and back were pretty bruised or should I say, NUMB. I began to not feel the tiny “bee stings” after the 10th time of being pocked. I mean, I felt like a blood donor throughout my whole pregnancy anyways!

Stephen decided to go to work for a few hours on Thursday which was good, he needed to breath and get out of the hospital. I had wonderful visitors come and give me encouragement. My sister and Brody brought me and Stephen, a UCLA cheerleading uniform for Tynlee, which stayed hung up in each room I went to ;) two DS’s, portable DVD player with movies like the Office and Annie. LOTS and lots of candy, including CADBURY eggs, my favorite!!!! Card games and so much more! My sister truly went above and beyond in making me comfortable. I have the best! Other visitors that day included, my wonderful daddy, my father in law, my uncle/pastor Rick, my mom of course, and the best visitor, my husband. Thursday seemed to drag on, not knowing what would happen the next day. Either be sent home on bed rest, once again, or be induced. Being induced was TOTALLY against my birth plan, but my life and my baby's life was in danger with this HIGH BP. Stephen and I talked and talked about our options and PRAYED and PRAYED and both felt induction, in this situation, was necessary since things weren’t getting better for me and doctor’s said Tynlee will be fine being born at 36 weeks. We prayed and prayed and felt peace about talking this over with our doctor. Well we didn’t have to even tell him, Friday morning, 8am rolled around, I was eating breakfast, when Dr. Clare came in and said my platelets had dropped to 83 and my blood pressure was getting higher(159 over 102). The only good news was no protein in my 24 hour urine so it meant my kidneys were functioning well. He said it’s best we induce you today(36 weeks on the DOT). With some relief, Stephen, my mom, and I agreed. I was excited but nervous with so many emotions. I wanted a vaginal delivery with no medication SO badly and I was going to try my best, even with the induction, to have that.

Around 11am Friday morning, they wheeled me down in a wheel chair back to Labor and Delivery. I got in the room and there were 2 nurses scrambling around getting my bed ready, all the IVs I needed, monitors, etc. (I was not looking forward to the MAGNESIUM, because I heard it was HORRID) As I sat in the wheel chair, and overwhelming feeling came over me. I began to feel white as a sheet, short of breath, like I was going to pass out. Never felt like that before. And as they took my BP, it was 70 over 35 :/ SUPER high to SUPER low? They layed me down and told me to take a few deep breaths and close my eyes. I could see the look in my husband’s face, he was scared. This was only the beginning of the “scares”. They hooked me up to regular fluids, magnesium sulfate(for the high blood pressure, causes you not to have a seizure, but the side effects are absolutely horrible, I had never felt so terrible, my face was on fire, I felt nauseous, shortness of breath, and totally dizzy.) They hooked me up to a catheter. Which was beyond the worse thing they hooked me up to. (most woman get the catheter AFTER they got an epidural so they couldn't feel it) It meant I had to stay in bed and labor, which was totally against my Bradley birth plan. I was already getting induced which I didn’t want to do, then this! Seriously! They don’t let you walk on magnesium because it’s a muscle relaxer so the cathetor was the only way to go. I struggle with UTI’s very frequently and this felt like the worse one ever.

11:30am Friday- Midwife came in and started the induction with a tiny little pill called CITOTECH. She placed it on my cervix. I was currently 75% effaced and about 1 cm dialted at the start of induction. Hours past and cervix was getting softer but no more dialation. They came in 4 hours later and did it once again. Around 8pm, midwife tried the CERVIDILL, which is also inserted by cervix to ripen things. 11pm came, and I was exhausted. Had a few minor contractions here and there but nothing I had to breathe through. They kept asking me, do you want a sleeping pill??? I kept saying no because what if I went into labor? Laboring super drugged up already on the magnesium, then a sleeping pill, staying in bed, and a pushing with a catheter, no thank you!!! I know I had barely slept but come on people?? I tossed and turned all night. Mom was there with her Pandora music playing for me and Stephen was able to catch a few hours of sleep!

I begged my night nurse to allow we go sit on the bedside comode to get some relief from the catheter pushing on me all night. So several times, Saturday early morning, I spent on the comode. :) It was the only relief I got from the stupid catheter pushing inside of me. Finally, around 5am, I asked for the Benedryl to catch a few winks. Within 15 minutes, I was knocked out and got 2 hours of sleep, all night. I woke up around 7:30am, and felt a little refreshed but was definitely ready to get things rolling, I didn’t want to go through last night again!

I had the BEST nurse on Saturday morning. It was truly a blessing to have her that day. She did everything to make me comfortable, always encouraging me and assuring me I was doing a good job. I couldn’t have asked for a better nurse that day. She stood with us through every situation, never leaving my husband’s side. Doctor’s decided to start Pitocin. It seemed to work pretty well, they cranked it up every 30 minutes. I was having contractions throughout the day. Around ten minute spans on 2-3 minutes apart, then they would be 8-10 minutes apart. Again, things were progressing slowly. Tynlee was doing great though, her heart rate was steady and she seemed to be enjoying all of this! That was the good thing about this situation, baby was great! I got checked by my midwife around 4pm and there was no change in dialation, STILL, besides being 100% effaced. I seriously wanted to cry. She gave me options, 1) let’s just shut everything off, give your body a rest and start again tomorrow. 2) crank up pitocin and keep praying things happen. Well, I didn’t want to stop things because it just meant another night, glued to bed. So I said crank it up and let’s hope and pray things happen soon! She of course, willingly agreed. She wasn’t out of the room 2 minutes and all the sudden a huge gush! Uh guys, I think my water just broke. It wouldn’t stop coming out. We all began to laugh and smile because this was a GREAT sign. The only thing natural about my birth story, my water broke on it’s own! YAY!!!!!!!!!! 30 seconds later, I had the worse contraction I’d felt yet! Wow, so this is what they feel like! I remembered my Bradley class, needing to relax and not tense up. My husband was the BEST coach I could have ever imagined! He really did pay attention in class! He was perfect!!!!!! He reminded me to relax, held my hands, got in my face and breathed with me, told me how good I was doing, rubbed my back, my hands, etc. And my wonderful mom massaged my feet and my mother in law constantly putting cold wash cloths on my face because I was on fire from the magnesium.

 Every 1-2 minutes the contractions came, stronger and stronger. My wonderful nurse and midwife allowed me to sit on the bedside comode and labor cuz sitting in bed was not cutting it for me. With Stephen in front of me, leaning on him, and mom behind me, I felt like each contraction got more and more painful but CLOSER to meeting my girl. Looking into my husband’s eyes during each contraction was so comforting to me. As I sat there, I was getting very nauseous, I threw up a few times, who knows why, transition maybe?! My nurse asked me if I wanted to be checked and I really wanted to have as less intervention down there as possible, so I said no. But she felt like it was best thing since I was already feeling the URGE TO PUSH, 2 hours after water broke, SWEET!!!!

so I got back in bed and she checked me. Oh goody you've progressed, but wait, “I think she’s trying to hold my hand”. WHAT!!! I thought. No way!!! That’s good right? I can push? Cuz I felt like I needed to! Let me call in another nurse, she said. The charge came in a checked and said Tynlee’s arm was out and her other hand. My mom, Stephen and Karen all had a look on their faces. I didn’t know what was going on. I was excited cuz that meant she was coming soon! But no, I was wrong, SHE WOULD BE COMING SOON BUT NOT VAGINALLY :/.  

Doctor came right in and said c-section, emergency.

I was signing papers left and right, Stephen was changing, anistetheiologist was in there talking to me saying your platelets are now 102, so I can do a spinal, you won’t be knocked out. They have to be above 100. We barely made the cut. God’s hand was in this situation, only 2 points above. WOW! They began wheeling me down to surgery room and contractions got more and more intense every 30 seconds. I was alone. Without my husband, mom and mother in law, just nurses I didn’t know. I felt like I couldn’t bare the pain anymore. I was nervous. I really didn’t want a c section. I was scared. But as I sat there in the operating room, by myself, besides nurses and doctors running around the room, I thought, I am not going to see my baby, I was so nervous that spinal would cause bleeding since it was only 2 points above 100. I was nervous for Tynlee, my family waiting in the waiting room. I closed my eyes and heard the Lord say, “Do not be afraid for I am your God.”

As I was laying on my side getting the spinal( I didn't get to sit up because I wanted to push), and just trying to breath through the contractions and trying to sit still so she could place it correctly, I got pocked 3 times. I instantly felt tingling all throughout my body, no more contraction pain. No feeling anywhere. Literally, I was numb to my nose. I had an oxygen mask on, a sheet right over my nose, my hands and legs were strapped down to tiny little bed and I felt like I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t even talk. I kept trying to tell the anesthesiologist, I can’t talk, I can’t talk but she said relax your vitals are good. I was just really numb. I felt so out of it. It was the SCARIEST feeling ever! I felt like I was dying, seriously.

I rememeber seeing Dr. Clare walk up...And Stephen still wasn't there...Then FINALLY, Stephen sat down next to me and was rubbing my head, telling me we are going to meet Tynlee so soon!!!! He looked nervous but he was my strength. I didn’t feel anything, no tugging, no pulling, no pain what so ever. (I guess I'm a light weight when it comes to pain meds since I never take them) It seemed like 5 minutes but it was really over and hour and 20 minutes until I was in recovery room. I hardly remember anything. I remember hearing Tynlee let out a small cry but I felt nothing. It was so scary. I felt out of my body. I asked Stephen, is she okay, is she okay? And he said she’s fine honey. I said where is she? Please let me see her! And about that time, Stephen left.

I was sitting there once again, all alone. Not knowing what was going on. But unable to feel emotions cuz I was so drugged on everything. As I layed there, still without seeing my daughter, Dr. Clare came up to me and said, we are all finished, everything is great, your daughter is beautiful but she does have something coming out of her mouth but she is okay, breathing great, etc. Once again, I started to cry, seriously!!!! Why is this all happening!!!!!! I was pretty prepared to hear that though, because I remember at her 32 week 3D sono, I saw something on her mouth and began researching but I thought it was something totally different.

On Stephen’s side, he said Tynlee was tossed right from my belly straight to NiCu. He saw what was on her but he didn't know where it was coming out of and thought it was an organ outside of her body. So that's why he had that scared looked on his face. He walked into the NiCu room and saw our baby kicking and squirming around and crying. He didn’t know what to think about it. He didn’t know if it was an organ or what. But she was great besides the mass coming out of her mouth. Doctors had never seen this before probably because there’s only 127 cases of this reported. The NiCu man took a guess and said Congenital Epulis. Stephen went into waiting room and got Karen and my mom and explained to them, Jessie is fine and Tynlee is fine but Tynlee has something coming out of her mouth and needs to go to Stanford ASAP. My mom broke down but Stephen told her, she needs to be strong for me. And she was!

I got wheeled into recovery and my husband, mom and dad met me in there. I could tell tears had been rolling down there faces but they assured me Tynlee was so beautiful and healthy! Stephen explained to me how she needed to go to Stanford for surgery tonight. He asked me if I wanted him to go with her or stay with me and I knew he needed to be with her! His parents and him decided to go with her.

They got me to my post-partum room an hour later. But on my way, I was wheeled to the NiCu to see my baby girl. There she was. Beautiful, eyes wide open, kicking around. There was tons of people in there starring at us it seemed. I didn't get that time with just our family of 3 like everyone else gets. I had to spend our first moment together with tons of people around watching us then getting her taken from me for 2 whole days without seeing her, nursing her, holding her. They let me hold her and it was the most amazing thing EVER! I didn’t care that she has something coming out of her mouth, she was still the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!!!!!!!!!!! She looked at me with those beautiful blue eyes and right then and there, I knew God’s hand was in every single trial we faced that day! From getting induced early, to my walking breaking, to Tynlee’s arms/hands coming out, to having a c section. Having a vaginal delivery could have busted the mass and caused major bleeding. Waiting to deliver till term, it would have grown more cuz these grow with babies. It could have began to grow inward instead of outside and probably obstructed her breathing. So it was a blessing, I delivered when I did and had a c section. The Lord’s hand was with us every single step of the way. Our faith was tested,  but our trust in the Lord only grew stronger through all of this. Giving Tynlee back to the nurses was the hardest thing I ever did. I just had my beautiful daughter 1 hour ago, and she has to leave me. And not only that, by my husband had to leave too. God’s peace overtook me. He brought us this far, he will only deliver us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was time to put my faith in action and truly show I trusted Him! I got into my post partum room and had family in there to meet me. Everyone showed me so much love. They brought Tynlee back in one more time before leaving. The Stanford transport guys explained everything to us.

Just moments after being born


Stephen and my mother in law :)

Stephen and my mama :)

First time seeing Tynlee!

Take my breath away!

First Family Picture



Saying "see ya soon sweety!"

My little girl getting ready to head to Stanford

About to go home!!! FINALLY!

Carseat test at Stanford
They brought Tynlee into my room in a huge adult size gurney but in a tiny baby incubator. She had so many cords on her. But she still looked at me with those eyes and I immediately fell head over heels for this baby. It was time. Time to say goodbye for a few days. Stephen and I hugged and cried and prayed. As I watched them leave, the Lord spoke to me once again, “Be still and know that I am God.” My family was so strong, so encouraging and so loving. I couldn’t have asked for a better family. Every single person showed me what family was all about. Facing this trial together only has brought us closer.


As most of you know, my daughter was born with excess gum tissue coming out of her mouth, or in doctor language, a Congenital Epullis.

It never showed up on ultrasounds, being that it is tissue. It did though show up on a 3D sonogram I had done at Peek A Baby at 32 weeks gestation. But being that doctors don't work there, they can't tell you anything. I did keep asking her "What that thing is on her mouth" but she just kept saying it's her hand I think. But I knew something was up, cuz it didn't move. I thought it was cleft lip or something.

Never in my life had I, or anyone I know for that matter, heard of a Congenital Epulis. The doctor who delivered Tynlee said it's the first he's ever seen.

Our little sweetie is SPECIAL in soooo many ways!

So when they took Tynlee out of my belly, cut the cord, and sent her right through the NiCu doors, my husband knew something wasn't right. When he left to be with Tynlee and Dr. Clare came up to talk with me, he told me about the growth but didn't know what to call it.

SEE! I wasn't crazy! Mama knew!!!

The NiCu guy at Doctor's Hospital(he's from Stanford), took a guess and said "Congenital Epulis".

He was RIGHT.
she actually had 3 in her mouth but only 1 could be seen outside.

Facts about a Congenital Epulis:

-Grows with baby in the womb(in late pregnancy)
-It's excess gum tissue
-8 to 1, it's found in females
-First founded, in 1871
-Only 186 cases ever reported
-SO RARE!
-

Tynlee was taken 2 hours later to Lucile Packard's Childrens Hospital in Palo Alto. Well known hospital nationwide. People with high risk children travel all over the country to bring their child here and we are the lucky ones who are only 2 hours away!

They didn't know how serious it was but it was too severe for her to eat by mouth. We were BLESSED to see she was breathing WONDERFULL and her vitals were great. She had an apgar score of 9, both times. She had no signs of being a preemie, born at 36 weeks, just this massive silver dollar size growth on her mouth. She was still the most BEAUTIFUL thing we'd ever seen!

When I saw Tynlee for the first time, I didn't even notice that. I was just so happy to FINALLY have her in my arms. I knew she would be taken from me soon, so I soaked it up as much as I could being so drugged. :

Her and my husband were then dragged off to Stanford.
They transported Tynlee in an ambulance from Stanford but they didn't have sirens on because "Thank the Lord", it wasn't an emergency.

Before they left though, (about 11pm at night), they came into our room with Tynlee on a HUGE adult size gerny in a little baby incubator, with all the family and stated the risks of driving her there in the rain and stuff I was nervous to here. But thankfully, they made it safe and sound and had no problems with my sweetheart.

My husband texted me when they arrived and got Tynlee all situated in the NiCu there. He was sad he already had to leave her side. He went back to hospital and got about 4 hours sleep and was back to hospital by 7am. Never left her side. He was such a trooper about sending me pictures, cuz you know I asked for them ALL day.

My beautiful MIL sent me a video of him and Tynlee, that was it for me, I lost it. I wanted to be there with them so bad.

My gorgeous, amazing mom and sister barely left my side. My mom stayed overnight with me and gave me the royal treatment there.(So glad she works on postpartum)!!!! I had wonderful visitors who encouraged me, prayed with me and brought me some very nice treats.

Sunday dragged on slowly but I got up and walked as soon as they took me off the Magnesium. I was so happy to get out of bed. The pain didn't even faze me. I couldn't wait to get out of there and be with my baby and hubby. I was determined and VERY motivated. All you mommy's could understand that!

I walked several times to get my strength back. I wanted to show my doctor I was strong enough to leave. I took a shower, FINALLY. It had been almost 4 days :( Brushed my teeth for over 4 minutes haha...and I begged to go home.

So Monday morning, my doctor came in and said I was free to go whenever. My mom MADE me wait another 6 hours. Can you believe it? lol. I look back now and think WHY ON EARH DID I LISTEN BECAUSE I WANTED TO GET TO MY BABY!!!

But she thought it was best for me to rest a little more while I could.
Earlier that day, my sweet dad brought Tynlee all of my colostrum I had been pumping just in case they would be able to feed her bottle after surgery.

She only got a little bit of electrolytes through an IV. No food. and she only lost 2 oz! AMAZING HUH!??! And only GAINED from there. That's the MOST she lost.

We weren't sure when Tynlee's suregery would be on Monday. they thought between 10-2pm but then they had an emergency that had to be done first.

Tynlee finally went into surgery at 5pm.
Stephen called me and I could tell he was a little choked up.
It was practically(besides him sleeping for a few hours at night) the first time he HAD to be away from her and he felt helpless. I would have been a mess if I was there for that.

I was being forced to take my pain meds. I didn't want to. To be honest with you, I was feeling great and healing wonderfully.

After I got off the phone with Stephen, I was the only one in my room, I sat on the edge of my bed, and prayed...harder than I'd ever prayed before.

20 minutes later, Stephen called. "She's out and doing GREAT!"
That was fast!!! They weren't sure if it was going to be 2 hours or what.

PRAISE GOD!!!!!!!!

He then sent me a picture and you couldn't even tell anything was EVER there!

They just shaved it off..not even a stitch!

AMAZING!

Healing hand of God??? YES!!!

At 6pm, my brother and mom drove me up to Stanford to be with my baby and hubby. It was the longest 2 hour drive, EVER!!!

I got there and they "wheeled" me up(since it's such a big hospital), to the 2nd floor, NiCu and once again i was reunited with my husband and my sweet adorable Tynlee. I cried my eyes out. I kissed her continually and my husband, of course. He was my ROCK. He amazed throughout the whole process. FATHER OF THE YEAR AWARD!!! I fully trusted him there with Tynlee.

Three hours later, about 2am, we went to the hotel and slept till 6am then headed back to see Tynlee. She was still kinda out of it, on the breathing tube. Around 11am, they finally got the okay to take it out.


My little girl is a TROOPER AND A FIGHTER. She was under COMPLETE anestesia at 2 days old!!!

I then go the okay to try nursing....it was hard at first...she showed no interest because she was sooo jaundice and soooo tired. Sleepy sleepy girl....

I kept trying. I was deteremined. THAT'S WHY GOD gave us those things right??
I knew it was BEST for her and I was gunna work my booty off to give it to her.

Lactation lady helped me a lot. Tynlee finally started doing pretty good.

I was so nervous I wouldn't be able to nurse because we didn't get to try RIGHT AFTER BIRTH like they say you should but seriously, we are still GOING STRONG at 5 1/2 months and that's all she gets ;)

Wednesday came around and Tynlee had to do a 2 hour carseat test being premature. She passed it with flying colors. Then, we got discharged around 3pm.

We were finally together. Us 3, as a family!

We had a follow up appt. a month later with the wonderful "Ear, Nose & Throat" doctor who did her surgery. It was great to see them again and they were very impressed with Tynlee's healing.

We know see a "Ear, Nose & Throat" doctor here a couple times a year for a while. They said it shouldn't affect her at all in the future but want to check her frequently to make sure.

If you didn't know us, and our story, you wouldn' even know she ever had a problem or a preemie for that matter. Tynlee has more than TRIPLED her birth weight a 5 1/2 months. She is a chunky monkey and her mouth is PERFECT!!!

They checked the tumor for cancer and it was totally BENINE!!

Being at Stanford was a humbling experience. Our baby was the biggest and healthiest baby in the NiCu. Thankfully, Tynlee's problem was only cosmetic.

Several babies were 25 weeks gestational. Barely weighing in a 1/5 lbs. Then 26 week old twins came in on Tuesday night and one weighted under a 1lb! It's amazing what doctors can do these days! They were the size of a water bottle. So so so tiny with so many cords. We watched as the parents would sit there by their baby and not even be able to hold them.

Stanford staff was AMAZING. Top notch! They were so sweet and answered ANY question we had.

All in all, they decided to do a CASE REPORT on Tynlee since her condition was SOOO rare!! They sent it to us and it will be in medical journals all over the world.

She's FAMOUS!

2 hour carseat test before we could go home!

Our wonderful NiCu nurse!

My cute mom and Tynlee!

Headed home! Thank you Stanford for taking such good care of my baby!

The Howard Family of THREE!

I am glad to say my little girl is perfect and truly a gift from the Lord.