Melinda Sheree

PHOTOGRAPHY

Everyone Meet Taven Xain Frausto

I left off on the last blog post saying how our excitement was replaced with fear and worry. That happened at our 10 week check up. I wasn’t as far along as I thought I was at our first office visit, so the first few visits didn’t happen when they normally would have. The office I used usually didn’t want to see you until you were 8 weeks and then again at 12 weeks. But since my calculations were off, we ended up having a 10 week appointment. It should have just been a regular office visit and the doctor should have been able to hear the heartbeat on the handheld doppler. However, the earliest they can hear the heartbeat on the handheld ones is 10 weeks and so she warned us ahead of time that she might not be able to hear it and if that was the case, she’d send us to do an ultrasound.

Well, she ended up not being able to hear it. So she sent us for an ultrasound telling us she figured that would happen. We were so excited to see our baby again and had no worries that anything was wrong. We went in and saw him moving around already! It was incredible to see his little body that early! However, the ultrasound tech seemed to be checking things a little longer than I had anticipated. She then told us to hang tight, she was going to check and make sure we were good to go. The doctor had already told us if they heard the heartbeat we were good and could leave. So I immediately got a little antsy but tried to tell myself it was nothing. The tech was gone for a while though and I realized something was wrong. When she finally came back she had a different doctor with her. He came in the room, sat down, and introduced himself. I already had tears in my eyes because I KNEW he was about to give us bad news. I felt like my heart was breaking into a thousand pieces so loudly that I could barely hear what he was telling us. I looked at Usbec and realized he was feeling the same way.

Long story short, he told us that there was fluid behind the neck which could mean any sort of chromosomal abnormalities. It could also be nothing because they don’t normally do ultrasounds at 10 weeks so they weren’t sure if it was normal to see that at this point in pregnancy or not. We left that day having no answers except that we had to wait for blood test results to come back that would tell us if something was wrong.

Usbec and I were devastated. The doctors were very clear that what they saw on the ultrasound could mean nothing at all or it could mean our baby would have down syndrome or it could mean our baby had a “chromosomal abnormality that was incompatible with life” – a phrase the doctor used several times that continued to haunt me throughout the rest of pregnancy.

For the next couple weeks Usbec and I took turns being strong.
We went to multiple appointments with the high risk doctor. They were always the same – really good news, with just enough bad news to make us continue to worry until the next appointment. The fluid got smaller, but then they’d see a possible heart defect. The next time, the fluid was gone, but there were cysts on the brain. The next time, the cysts were gone, the heart issue was gone, the fluid was gone, AND our blood tests came back and showed NO chromosomal abnormalities. It also showed our baby was a BOY! We were ecstatic! We left the office and cried all the way to the car where we both broke down together. To be honest, I still had a seed of doubt. I could remember the doctor saying at one point, that the fact they had seen the fluid at any point in pregnancy meant there was a small chance of a problem even if the blood test came back negative and even if all the issues resolved themselves on the ultrasound.

It was really difficult to fully enjoy the pregnancy because of that, but I just kept reminding myself that God was with us. It was one of the hardest seasons I’ve ever been through, but it was also one of the sweetest because I just felt God drawing me closer to Him throughout the entire 9 months.

Finally we reached the end of the pregnancy and I just KNEW I was going to go into labor early. I also had this incredible fear that he would come super fast and I’d end up giving birth at home alone or in the car! However, I didn’t go into labor until the day before my due date (the same as with Torin!), so still early technically! As for giving birth in the car, that didn’t happen either BUT here’s what did happen!

Around 4:30am Torin woke us up crying. He’s always been an incredible sleeper, but starting a month before my due date he started waking up multiple times a night, started completely refusing his nap EVERY DAY, and had an average wake up time of 5am – 6:45am every. single. day. It’s pretty much sorted itself out now though, thank goodness!

Anyways, he woke up at 4:30 am. At that point we were having to sit outside his door until he fell back asleep. So I sat in the floor from 4:30 – 5:30. My stomach kept cramping randomly and I honestly thought supper the night before had made me sick because I had already been up from 2-3 feeling pretty nauseous. After I thought he went back to sleep, I went back to bed. Then Usbec was up 30 minutes later with him and finally just decided to take him to the couch to sleep. I went back to sleep and was being woken up every 10 minutes like clockwork to those stomach cramps. After 2 of them at 10 minutes apart I realized I was having contractions!!

An hour later, I got up and went and told Usbec I thought I was in labor and if he needed to go into work to get the store ready to open, he should go on. He told me no and told me to call my mom right away. He was ready to hop in the car right then, I wasn’t! haha! I knew contractions were 10 minutes apart and it could end up being a long day. I went and called my mom anyways so she could be ready to come and get Torin, and I started getting ready for the day. As soon as I hung up with mom, the contractions started coming every 3-5 minutes!!! I called her back and she said she’d head to our house to get Torin!

In less than an hour we had the car packed, we told Torin bye, and were on our way to the hospital! I had been TERRIFIED of labor and delivery with Torin and this time was even worse! But once the contractions started, I only felt excitement to meet our Taven Xain! Well, excitement and pain. 😉 We got to the hospital and they took me to a room, checked me and said I was 3cm dilated, and monitored me for an hour. An hour later around 10:15am, I hadn’t dilated any more and so they told me I could stick around or go home and wait. I obviously wasn’t going anywhere because contractions were coming about every 2-3 minutes and getting stronger with every one. So I got up and walked around the room. My water broke about 5 minutes later!
Then the midwife and nurse came in, got everything ready for my IV and told me I had to wait for a room to be ready. About 5 minutes after that, the room was ready. They wheeled me in because I couldn’t walk at that point and got my IV set up. I asked for the epidural right away because I was in PAIN! The nurse came back and saw how much agony I was in and asked if she should check me again. She asked if I felt any pressure and I said “YES! I honestly think I need to start pushing”. The anesthesiologist came in and started preparing me for the epidural.
Usbec saw the baby’s heart rate starting to drop and asked the nurse if he was ok. She told me to lay down to try to get his heart rate back up. Then she checked me again and said I was already at 7cm! Then my midwife came in, they paged the rest of the medical team to come in and next thing I know they’re all telling me to push! I knew before the anesthesiologist ever came in that I wouldn’t get the epidural and that’s exactly what happened. So I now have Usbec and at least 3 other people yelling at me to push and I’m just thinking, “There’s no way I can possibly do this.” I told my midwife that too, but she just looked right at me and said, “Yes you can girl, you can do this! And you have to do it now because his heart rate is dropping and we need to get him out now! So PUSH!” So, I did. And at 12pm exactly our little Taven Xain Frausto was born weighing 7 lbs 7 ounces and 19 inches long. It was the most terrifyingly beautiful moment of my life.


As I type all this out, I still can’t believe how fast he came and that I actually gave birth without any pain medication. I had been so nervous to have to do it without my mom there, but Taven came so fast I didn’t even have time to think about that! Usbec was at my side with tears in his eyes cheering me on though and I’m forever grateful for him and his strength.

The midwife placed Taven on my chest immediately (something they didn’t do when Torin was born) and I immediately felt immense joy. 9 months of fears, anxious thoughts, hot rolling tears, sleepless nights. And yet here he was, laying on my chest, completely and totally perfect. Completely perfect. God is so, so good.

We’re so in love with him already. Including Torin! I had been worried that Torin wouldn’t want anything to do with him or worse, that he’d feel jealous or neglected or think Taven had completely uprooted his life. But Torin is so affectionate and thoughtful and loving with him. He’s constantly getting Taven’s paci if he’s fussing or a blanket for him. He’ll often tell me, “Taven’s crying Mama, maybe he needs to eat.” Haha And he NEVER passes up an opportunity to give him a kiss or lay down beside of him. I’m so, so grateful! He’s the best big brother in the world!

So here’s our sweet Taven Xain!! We’re so excited to introduce him to you!!

And in light of Covid-19 we don’t have as many birth photos as we did with Torin. Actually he came so fast we don’t have ANY birth photos. But we do have some hospital photos that Usbec and I took and I’m so thankful for those!

August 9, 2020

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