Friday, November 19, 2010

Most Amazing Husband Ever

We decided earlier this year to do a partial day sponsorship for Praise FM and chose Eric's birthday as our date.   He sent this to my email this afternoon as our sponsorship message:

This 1/4 day sponsorship is in honor of my wife Amy Skillestad who just welcomed our third child Tanner into the world on November 4th. She is selfless in her actions and is the glue that holds this family together. We would also like to take this time dedicate our son Tanner to the Lord as it is only by His grace that Tanner is here. We ask that Tanner would do great things for you and bring you glory. Thank you Jesus for this wonderful gift!

Need I say more!  Eric, you are such an amazing man, husband, and father.   I was blessed far beyond what I deserved when He gave me you as my husband.   I could not ask for anyone better - you make me feel safe and so very loved.   I love you!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More Lights

Well - I pride myself on not being the type of parent that has her kids at the Dr everytime I suspect they may be coming down with something.   But....I forgot what it is like to be the mom of a newborn.   AHHHHH - there is so much to worry about with this little body that can't tell you whats going on.    Anyway, mommy intuition told me that he was lookin mighty yellow again after being off the lights for several days - so we took him in to the Dr for a biliruben check and sure enough it was elevated above where we started the first time.

So back under the lights he goes until Thursday.   The Dr ran some extra blood tests today to see if they could figure out what was elevating his biliruben at this late stage....but they all came back normal so apprently its just my breastmilk.

This whole last two weeks has been really a challenge for me emotionally.  Between the whooping cough - the elevated bili counts - lack of sleep and Andrew issues it has been kinda crazy around here.   But, in between my few crying spells I am remembering to repeat "I trust You, I trust You."   And it helps that Eric is my rock - my reminder that God is in control.   I have the most amazing husband ever.  I love you Skills!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This week has been a tough one.   I am starting to feel the effects of hormone changes and emotional mood swings.  It's amazing how easy it is to worry about this teeny tiny life that has recently come to be.   I was afraid during my pregnancy that if it was a boy I would be constantly worried about his developing Autism at some point.   Not that it hasn't crossed my mind - but I actually feel quite at peace about that for now.  However, on Monday we took Courtney with to the Dr and had her tested for Whooping Cough since she had a nasty cough and we had been keeping her away from Tanner.   Well her test came back positive on Wednesday.   I'm not at all concerned about her well-being, she is fine but for a cough,  but infants that catch whooping cough almost always end up hospitalized.  Now I was worried.  "Lord, we just got home - we just got him recovered from his jaundice and now this."   Eric was quick to remind me that obviously God has a purpose for him here - he is alive and with us despite his rough beginning.  And that He would take care of him.    I kept thinking, "That is easy for you to say - you don't have these crazy hormones running through your body.  You don't have him literally attached to you 8 to 10 times a day."    All I could think to myself was that if something should have happen to him, I could have handled it at birth.  But now I am attached, and I can't imagine our lives without him.  

Courtney has had a mask on since we arrived home from the hospital and will finish her antibiotic treatment tomorrow making her not contagious anymore - and all 5 of us are required to go on them so as to eliminate it before it can take effect if we had been exposed and Tanner and I have been in quarantine in the bedroom.  I am doing my best not to fear, not to worry, to trust Him to take care of our baby.   Some times are better than others - since the very beginning of this pregnancy I have been having to repeat "I trust You, I trust You" over and over to remind myself that I am not in control and that I need to let God have control.

So....tonight I ask for a few prayers.  One for Tanner to remain whooping cough free - and two that I will put my total trust in the One who made him.   That I will not worry or live in fear - but do the best I can to keep him safe and then keep repeating "I trust You, I trust You".

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Skills point of view

Well Amy asked if I would also post, recalling my experience from a few nights ago, so here goes...
Wednesday morning Amy had started having some signs of labor and had called the midwife to see what could be done to slow things down until Saturday, the first day the midwives could deliver the baby.  I got home around lunch and she was having contractions, but they were far apart, and not too strong.  Throughout the afternoon and into evening they started getting faster and about 9:30pm Amy called the midwife to come check on her.  About 10:45 she showed up and calmly started administering some checks on Amy.  Baby's heartbeat was good and though Amy was having contractions, the midwife determined the uterus was not contracting strong, showing she still had a ways to go before she would be ready.  They tried having her take a bath and other calming techniques, but things then just started going superspeed.  While the midwife was on the phone with the other midwife who was out of town (they always deliver babies in pairs), Amy started yelling in pain which is unusual for her.  Jen (midwife) came back upstairs and I told her, "Amy never screams like that, so I know she's in a lot of pain.  The midwife said to Amy, "Can I check you here because even when we go to the hospital they're going to do the same when we get there and at least we can know where you are at and check the heartbeat.  Amy had a couple strong contractions and was able to be checked in between.  The heartbeat was normal and when she checked Amy, looked up at me and said "You need to call the paramedics, this baby is coming now."  I dialed 911 and got them on the phone and they said we'll be there in a few minutes.  Jen noticed that Amy was pushing and said, "Hey, are you pushing?  Not yet!"  Amy said, "I'm not trying!"  Jen then had me round up a bunch of supplies (oxygen, pads for the floor and bed, etc).  I saw at that point the ambulance coming up to the house and then saw them drive right past the house...argghh.  A few minutes later they found the place and came up to the bedroom with additional supplies.  I got out of the way and let them take over the position of assistant which was good as I was a little shaky.  (Guys, think of the feeling when you're in your deer stand and you first spot the buck approaching).  Jen checked the heartbeat again and could not find it, or it was very weak.  She said, "Amy this baby needs to come out now". Amy pushed over the course of 10 minutes and the baby came out very fast, necessitating a few new bedroom purchases :). 
When Tanner came out his color was gray and he was non-responsive.  The midwife asked me to run and grab a breadboard or something hard to put under him so they could start chest compressions.  They were pushing him around and rubbing his chest, hands and feet trying to get him to breathe.  They started chest compressions and administered oxygen, squeezing it into his lungs.  Nothing seemed to work, and at that point I dropped to my knees.  I prayed, "Jesus please breathe life into his lungs.  Bring him back to life."  More minutes passed and no progress was being made.  At that point I struggled with faith.  As I prayed, I would look up hoping, praying that he would start taking breaths.  With each check I wondered, 'Is my faith lacking?  Am I just not believing that the Lord will save him?'  Because we conceived on faith, part of me wondered, 'Is this our Isaac story where God has provided a son, and now is saying, 'I gave him to you, and I can take him back at any time'?'  I was mentally prepared for it to happen and said, "God I know you can take him back at any time, but if it is your will please bring my son back to life".  A couple more minutes followed and he started to take short breaths, but not enough to continue on his own.  Gradually, over the course of the next 20 minutes both at home and in the ambulance his breathing became a little more regular.  His heartrate during this time was slow, but never really dropped below 50 beats/minute (normally in the low 100s).  The midwife said because the cord was not cut during all the compressions and cpr that he was still receiving the vital oxygen he needed from Amy and should not have suffered any ill-effects from oxygen deprivation.  If we had been at the hospital when this happened, they would have cut the cord immediately and began working on him, which would have cut off that necessary oxygen supply.

By the time we got to the hospital there were about 8 people in the ER ready to go and started examining him.  The doctor said shortly after that he looked great and thought he would be ok.  They transported him up to the level 2 nursery and got him under the heat lamps.  Because of all the cpr and a cold ambulance ride, his body was at 94 degrees so he needed to be warmed up.  It was an odd feeling being there next to my son without Amy there.  I knew she still needed to finish up at home and recover slightly, but I guess I never thought about the fact Amy wouldn't be following me to the hospital immediately and that I would be doing this part alone.

Things have calmed down, and for now we are home, assuming his bilirubin levels stay where they are supposed to.  It was just nice to have had everyone in the right spot at the right time and that under the circumstances it went about as good as it could have.  I would not want to re-live that evening again, but know that it was a faith test for Amy and I...just a reminder that God is in control of everything and that His timing is best.  Thank you to those that were praying during this.

Here's a shot of our new buddy lying in the sun to try and get rid of those extra red blood cells and bilirubin:

Friday, November 5, 2010

God's Divine Intervention

So reflecting back to Tanner's birth will be a bit tramatic for Eric and I for a while I think.   I never in a million years expected to be that family that you see on TV or hear about in the news.   I always wondered how you miscalculate so badly that you could end up delivering in a car.   And even though I didn't deliver in the car that is just one scenario that could have happened and could have drastically altered the outcome of our baby being with us today.

I know that especially our parents were a bit concerned about our plan for a homebirth.  Honestly, I was only apprehensive about the pain area since I had had epidurals with the first two.   I guess in the end I did get my homebirth, but certainly not as planned - or as the midwives had planned.   I believe this area is just the first of many that God had his hand in.  If I had been planning to deliver at the hospital instead of at home Tanner very likely would have been born in the car....and since our midwife and Paramedics spent over ten minutes doing CPR upon his arrival - there is no way he could have recieved that from me in the back seat of our van.  The fact that our midwife was with us may very well have saved our little boy.

I also had a remarkably long umbilical cord which stayed pulsing for most of the time he was unresponsive.  Only God could orchestrate that anatomy to keep oxygen circulating despite his distress.

The one other major area that is remarkable is that I had very very little bleeding.   If I had had complications and they were trying to get Tanner to breathe, I could have had serious issues as well.  

For all the crazy, painful, scary things that occured that night - God has brough to our attention all the little miracles that were present as well.   We have said from the very very beginning of this adventure that we would trust Him and He has certainly proven himself faithful to us. 

I've asked Eric at some point to post his perspective about the birth - as I'm sure it is very different from mine.   So there will likely be one more blog entry about our crazy ride - but I want him to write it down, to express what his experience was and to help him have a reminder of God's faithfulness.

Tomorrow is either go home day - or go under the bili-lights day.   I'm hoping for the first, but won't be suprised if its the second.   Thanks again for all your prayers and support.  We are looking forward to showing off our little man very soon.


OK - so these photos aren't the most flattering, but it was 4AM and I was a bit out of it after our ordeal.   But this is the first time I got to hold or touch for that matter Tanner.

I talked with the Neonatologist this morning and assuming his cultures are negative - which they are thus far - tomorrow morning, he should be able to go home.    I know that Andrew and Courtney are very excited to get to meet their new brother and I've heard rumors that my sister-in-law and sister have cleaned my house so that will make it even more enjoyable to head home tomorrow.

Tanner is doing great - he is nursing really well and is such a cutie.   We are praying Courtney (who has a cold) will heal quickly so she can spend some quality time with him.   I know that the next couple months will be a challenge for me, but after watching him struggle so the first 10 mintues of his life, puts in perspective the fact that he is here with us and healthy and beautiful.

We have been blessed with 3 amazing children and I am excited to see what God has in store for each one of them!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Meet Tanner Bryan Skillestad

Well - we had a rather eventful night last night.   Our original intent was to have a homebirth this time.   I needed to make it to 36 weeks in order for that to happen though and I had 3 more days I needed to make it to that point.   So, when I started having contractions yesterday morning we did our best to lay low and try and get them to stop until Sat.   Well - no such luck.   I called the midwife at 9:45pm and told her the contractions had started coming about 5-7 min apart.   So the midwife arrived at 10:35 to assess what was going on with me and prepare us for transport to the hospital.

I had a few pretty hefty contractions right around the time she showed up - but she said my uteris wasn't contracting that hard so they weren't that strong.   Within about 20 min they were stronger and I headed to the tub for some relief.   That didn't help and once I got out they were SOOOOOo bad.   They were so close and strong and I was starting to lose it.   She wanted to do vitals before we headed for the hospital.   She got the heartbeat and my blood pressure and then checked me quick.   I was so afraid she was going to tell me that I was only at a 5 or something.   But her first words were "Eric, call the paramedics - this baby is coming now."     And sure enough it was about 2 more contractions before I was pushing and baby's head was right there.   Not that you need any more of the gory details - but I had a good 15 min or so of pushing - and yelling - and pushing - and yelling - to finally have Tanner Bryan Skillestad arrive at 12:10am November 4th.    He needed 5 to 10 min of oxygen and chest compressions to get his breathing going, and left shortly thereafter for the hospital with Eric.

He is doing great now - but will be in the hospital for observation until Saturday.  I am doing well and we are so thankful that our new little man is doing well.

He is 6lbs 5ounces 19 inches long with blond hair and bushy blond eyebrows.   This isn't the most great picture of him, but all we have for now.  So meet our new son, Tanner....
We will post better pictures when we are able to take some.   Thanks to all of you who were praying for us - we needed it and are so thankful for you.