Posted (jooosh) in All Posts on September-5-2012

“I’ll take that as a rhetorical question.”

Yup, that’s what I asked and that’s what the doctor said. But before I go any further, let me share some details that led up to this conversation.

Some of you have asked if we wanted to have more kids. I think there has always been a desire to, but it has never come about in a positive way. We tried for five years before having Ella and after a rough time dealing with a miscarriage the motivation wasn’t real high.

Tina and I have talked about it off and on, but we hand’t really committed to it. We discussed it more seriously last Christmas thinking that, if we’re going to give it a go we need to soon as time is of the essence. We will both be turning 40 in 2012 so in our minds, this was our last hurrah.

Tina had discussed it with her doctor earlier this year and he had recommended we go to a fertility specialist if we really wanted to try again. This would be our best bet considering the challenges we’ve had in the past, plus the fact that Tina was not on any regular cycle.

We hadn’t really considered anything too invasive when it came to getting pregnant. We figured if it was meant to be, it would happen. Well, the new company that purchased my previous employer the first of the year offered great benefits for fertility assistance. With that in mind, maybe this was the “meant to be” that could make it happen.

Tina was planning on setting up an appointment with the clinic, but I was working from home that day so she didn’t get a chance to before we went to lunch together. We went out to grab a bite, and after she asked if we could stop by the store on the way home. So we ran into the store and I noticed she was going down the feminine product isle. Needless to say I started heading another direction when what I saw in her hand caught my eye…

A pregnancy test.

Uhhh…we hadn’t gone to the clinic yet and she was supposed to make her appointment that afternoon. What the freak? Where the tests on sale or something???

Tina then informed me that while her cycle hasn’t been regular, she’s never gone this long without having it. Wow…could it be!!??!! I was trying not to get too excited, which is why Tina originally wanted to take the test on the down low, but there was no getting around it now. I knew too much! HAH

After getting home, we booked it upstairs and I waited for Tina to perform the preverbal “peeing on a stick”.

We waited…longest 5 minutes ever.

It looked…positive?? This test was kinda defective, so we weren’t 100% sure, but we were pretty sure. The next morning Tina took another…and yes…it showed positive!!! Holy cramole!!!


So, we’re pregnant, but that’s also real scary for us considering our history. After losing the previous boy, Tina’s doctor had given us hope that the defects were random lighting strikes and were not likely to happen again. We were still hesitant, but it was the words he followed up with that really stuck in my mind, “It would be my honor to deliver your next baby”. Wow…what a statement.

Instead of calling the fertility clinic, Tina had scheduled a follow up appointment with her OBGYN. We wanted to verify the pregnancy and make sure things were ok, at least as far as we could tell.

We went to see her doctor and they did an ultrasound and performed some other initial tests (7 weeks along). The doctor came in to review things with us and the first words out of my mouth were, “How did this happen??!!”. “I’ll take that as a rhetorical question”, he replied with a smile.

Well…I knew HOW it happened, but it just seemed very unlikely considering how long we had tried AND the fact that Tina was not having a regular cycle. So it really was “meant to be”!

So far, all looked good with the pregnancy, but it was really too early to confirm any other potential defects. This would happen during the 12 and 20 week checkups. All we could do in between that time was trust and pray. Trust that God was fully in control, and pray that our child was whole.

The 12 week checkup came: All looked good and all tests that could be verified came back negative. So far…so good.

The 20 Week checkup came: This was very nerve-wracking as it was at Ella’s 20 week ultrasound where we found out she had CDH. The radiologist who had been with us thorugh all our previous scans was no longer at the pratice, so this made the process even more agonizing. Ultrasounds are supposed to be a happy exciting time for a mother and father, but it never has been for us. From the time we walked in the room, it was very emotional and the tech didn’t know all of our history.

She began the test, and SLOWLY gave us the news…all looked good…EXCEPT…she didn’t get a clear picture of the heart. The baby was turned and the spine was blocking the shot. Oye, we needed this info, but the baby was not cooperating. So we left the exam room, but once Tina’s doctor heard we couldn’t get the image, he pulled some strings and got us back in for another ultrasound within an hour.

How did the second ultrasound look? All looked good, heart, lungs, DIAPHRAGM!! And…IT’S A BOY!!!

So are you ready for the real curveball…

Tina is due in less than 7 weeks!!!!! October 23rd is her due date. We waited SO long to even tell family. Most didn’t know until we visited them in California when Tina was already 24 weeks along! The other side didn’t find out until the family reunion we hosted, when she was 28 weeks!

At this time, the boy continues to show all signs of being healthy. We’re very excited, shocked, blown away, thrilled, nervous…the list goes on.

So…that’s the “How did this happen??!!” news.

Speaking of visiting California, we took a two week trip to the West Coast during the 4th of July holiday. Our close friend “Aunt” Karen came along with us to both help with Ella and enjoy some vacation as well.

It was a fantastic trip which included Ella’s first time to Disneyland and the beach! Ella did so great at Disneyland and was more engaged that we could have hoped. Her first ride was the Jungle Cruise and she was just enamored! So cool as we had no idea how she would react or if she would even enjoy it. We even took her on Pirates of the Caribbean. Yeah…Dad pushed a little to get her on that one, but she still did good.

We also had a great time at the beach. At first, Ella was hesitant to even touch the sand, but after awhile she shoved her hands and toes right in!

On the way back to Colorado, we took a little detour in Las Vegas for a couple nights. We scored a two bedroom suite at Vdara and we all enjoyed the view.

On top of Ella having a lot of firsts on the vacation, Karen did too. It was her first time to Disneyland, the California beach, and Las Vegas! This made the trip that much more fun and extra special.

Life was pretty bananas once we got back from vacation. Ella’s nanny of the last year was moving back to Kansas so we had to find a replacement. We were hosting Tina’s family reunion, on her dad’s side, in early August which we had to get ready for. We had a rental property that we had to turn for a new tenant. PLUS we celebrated a major milestone.

What is that milestone I speak of: Ella Renae West turned 5 years old on July 24th! What day to celebrate a miracle girl and the 5 amazing years she’s been with us. Praise God for all the blessing and challenges we’ve gone through. As it just so happens, Ella’s nanny shared the same birthday so we all celebrated with a trip to the zoo, balloons and a birthday cake.

We also got Ella a little swimming pool which was a first for her. Very fun.

Knowing that the nanny was leaving us, we’d been looking for a replacement for weeks. Tina had screened dozens of nanny’s and after that we interviewed quite a few in person as well. It was so challenging. We could not find the right fit for Ella. Some didn’t have the desired skills and others had either accepted another offer or even flaked out on the interview! It was so disappointing, and it was all coming down to the wire.

Side note: God works in funny ways in these kind of circumstances. Just when we think things are not going to work out, HE works them out better than we could have imagined.

With that said and long story short, Tina’s mom has agreed to move out to Colorado and take care of Ella! What a deal! Right now she’s staying with us, but come October, Tina’s mom and stepdad will be moving out to Colorado. Ella’s grandma has been taking care of her the last few weeks and she’s doing FANTASTIC! It’s SO great having family here to help out. What a blessing!

Right before Tina’s mom arrived, we had the Snyder family reunion. What a wonderful time to catch up and enjoy family. Most of the time was just spent in the kitchen or on the patio talking. The weather TOTALLY cooperated too as we had 75 degree days during the time everyone was here.

We even took out the whole family in the RV to enjoy the sites around Denver.

After the reunion it was time to start getting the house ready for the new bundle. Tina has really been in a nesting mood and I’m doing what I can to get things swapped around for her.

Our main guest room is going to be the baby room so we had to shuffle a few things around. A bunch of furniture was moved out of Ella’s room. We moved Tina’s office downstairs, and we turned her old office into a guest room. The biggest change came for Ella as she has graduated from her crib right into a queen size bed! Heck of a move up for the kiddo. We did add side rails to keep her from rolling off but she’s not even shown signs that she would.

Either way, she’s taken right to having a big-girl-bed! So that segway leads right into this question…

How’s the BUN doing??!!!

Overall she’s doing great. She had a GI appointment in the third week of July. They wanted us to increase her caloric intake so we added more prescription juice to her diet. The juice/water combo will give her another 250 calories per day. We’ve seen the weight gain over the weeks so it is working.

Ella is also making good progress with new foods being introduced. Previously, it was just a couple items like Cheetoes and such being rubbed around her mouth. Now she is actually eating some small quantity of food! Very small amounts, like an ounce or so, but still she is letting the therapist take a spoon and put it in her mouth! Right now, the items she’s eating includes:

  • Graham crackers dipped in melted ice cream
  • Pureed chicken noodle soup
  • Cheddar cheese soup
  • Brown gravy with extra salt!
  • Ranch dressing
  • Mushed bananas blended with maple syrup

While she doesn’t actually eat the following, she still likes cheetos, triscuits, wheat thins and veggie sticks run across her bottom teeth, including the french fries from In-N-Out.

School has also started up again, which Ella doesn’t go to in person, but some of her therapies have now increased. She now has:

  • OT is now up to 2x per week
  • Speech is 2x per week
  • Physical therapy is 1x per week
  • School District is 2x per week

Something we’re also very excited about is a dedicated communication device for Ella. It has now been funded and we have received it! There were some challenges around the software that was delivered with it, but hopefully we’ll get that resolved soon. This way the therapist to get it set up and we can start moving forward.

Ella has also recently figured out how to open doors! While this is great progress for her, it is now posing a challenge as she gets into the pantry and could take a tumble down the basement stairs! I guess I had to baby proof the place at some point, it was just delayed for her, but out just right for the new bundle on the way =).

One other thing to call out about our 5 year old is that she has acquired quite a shoe fetish. She constantly wants to keep trying on shoes, and if you don’t get the right ones, she’ll make you keep trying till you do. Heck, she even wanted to try on cousin Pete’s shoe’s during the reunion!

One bit of not so good news is that Ella has started having a dry cough over the last 2 weeks. It’s becoming more frequent and is now paired with some retching. We’ve also increased her O2 as she hasn’t been saturating as well. We’re guessing that the increase in her fluid intake could be to blame but we’re not 100% sure just yet. We’re trying a couple things, like going back to her old regiment, to try and rule things out, but we’ll just have to see. We’re hopeful that it’s just that and nothing else major. Please pray that it is nothing more and we can find the right balance to have it resolve on its own.

It’s been a heck of a journey the last 5 years with Ella. A new journey begins soon and we’re not sure how Ella is going to take it. She doesn’t understand or even recognize that mommy is pregnant. I think Ella will only realize that she has a brother once he is taking mommy and daddy’s attention away from her. Hopefully she’ll behave no different than any other 5 year old, which could be a good or bad thing. =)

Thanks for letting us share our journey with you. Blessings to you and yours as we approach the fall season and the anticipation of our new arrival!

P.S. On September 3rd, Tina and I celebrated 22 years of being together. =)

Lia McIntosh on September 5th, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

So thrilled to hear your wonderful news. I’ll bet Ella cannot wait for her baby brother to arrive.

Liz Nelson on September 5th, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

I am so happy for you all. Tina I love your baby belly. You look beautiful and are glowing. Josh you are glowing too! My sweet Ella she is a doll and I love her long hair. I have some books I for her so she gets ready for her baby brother. Did you choose a name? I will be praying for a continued well pregancy and delivery. Hope he gets here on the 22nd same bday as Nayeli. =)

Emmitt on September 5th, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

I’m very happy to hear this news – Can’t wait to tell Jackie! YAAAA!!!!!
You all look so happy !

Allyson on September 5th, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

Wow!!! I am SO thrilled to hear how well Ella is doing, and the news about the new baby is absolutely wonderful!!! Congratulations!!!! I will pray that everything goes well and that your baby boy is 100% healthy!! Watch out mom and dad… Boys are a whole different ball game! :-). Hugs to you all!!

Beth on September 5th, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

Hi Josh and Tina,

I am so excited for you both and Ella, It’s been 2 years ago when we meet and hearing good news from you guys are amazing. God Bless to your family.

Tony Lazio on September 5th, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

Great news! Great pics! Miss you guys! Praying for you.

Pat Hadden on September 5th, 2012 at 10:19 pm #

Oh what wonderful news. Ella is making such great progress and now you will have another baby to love. Just wonderful.

Amy Schulz on September 5th, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

I am so happy for all of you! Thank you for sharing your journey. Can’t wait to hear about all your new adventures! Please keep us updated 🙂

Sara Allen on September 5th, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

Congratulations!!! We are so excited for all of you. It will be a huge adjustment for all of you. But, I believe this little boy will be an incredible blessing to you all and the biggest help Ella has ever known. She will have a little brother who will worship her. That is so very awesome.

Kevin Allen on September 5th, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

Sara & I are thrilled for you three (or four). May God richly bless you with your new addition.

bntwillow on September 6th, 2012 at 5:51 am #

im just so over the moon happyfor your guys it always amazes me how in his perfect time life just flows in such abundence and how he can take so much pain and hurt and turn it into something so beautiful..contiue to be fiathful and please share your joys! im in total shock how much mature ella looks since your last post…sigh thy grow so fast. this lil guy just might be the peer that might engage ella in areas that adults cant, our twins helped our apraxia aughter better than three yrs of speech. its all planned and ella had an amazing babymoon summer! maybe get her a doll and have her mock you?

Ellie on September 6th, 2012 at 6:28 am #

What wonderful news, congratulations!

Kristen on September 6th, 2012 at 6:56 am #

To God be the glory! I am so happy for you, more like thrilled! Know the critters are too! Ella you are going to be the best big sister ever!

Christe Mitchell on September 6th, 2012 at 6:58 am #

Wow, this is amazing news! I am so very happy for you all. Praying and looking forward to seeing pictures of the new addition soon. God Bless, Christe

Eve Johnson on September 6th, 2012 at 7:11 am #

Words are not sufficient for the praises!

Steve and Joan on September 6th, 2012 at 7:30 am #

GOd is Great!!!! Prayers continue as always for the West family….Our 5 yr old granddaughter who faces many challenges (no speech, walking, etc.) welcomed her baby sister with curiosity at first but then adjusted just fine to a new sibling. Ella will as well. So good to hear from you guys as I’ve missed the posts. God Bless, hugs and love to all…..

Marla on September 6th, 2012 at 7:46 am #

Oh BOY that is such wonderful news! So good to get caught back up with you all. Ella is so beautiful and so big now! I hope we can catch up with you all on the phone and maybe get back to Colorado soon. God bless you all in the weeks ahead!

Liz Rich on September 6th, 2012 at 9:02 am #

SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anne on September 6th, 2012 at 9:17 am #

Many blessings to you as you embark on this new wonderful journey!

Heidi Moak (Ham) on September 6th, 2012 at 9:26 am #

Well…well…guess you were saving up for all that wonderful news!!!! Goosebumps through your whole post Josh! I can’t tell you how excited I am for all of you…wish I could hug you all in person! I know it only took me a few minutes to read but took you all so much longer to live it all…wishing and praying for every blessing on God for all your news!

Jennifer Harris on September 6th, 2012 at 9:32 am #

GOD is absolutely amazing! Your family’s journey, through prayers and faith, have enlightened and enriched our lives. Thank you for sharing your blessings…

Julie kirk on September 6th, 2012 at 11:12 am #

Speechless, thrilled, over joyed and so blessed by your family “once again”….(hugs)

Nicole on September 6th, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

Tina and Josh,
I’m so happy for you both! You’ve been through so much and the baby is such an amazing gift.

You guys deserve the best. I couldn’t be more thrilled for you. So great to hear how wonderful Ella’s doing:)

Connie Dyk on September 6th, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

Congrats guys all the way around!! So happy for all of you – WOW, what a God we serve. Thanks for the update – will continue to pray for all!

Rusty Rich on September 7th, 2012 at 5:15 am #

Congratulations!! We are so happy for you guys. We’re keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. We miss you and hope to catch up soon!

Macarena on September 7th, 2012 at 8:42 am #

That is AMAZING news! I am so happy for you and your family. Ella is getting so big! You all look great and Mommy looks fantastic. Can’t wait to see the little man 🙂 miss you guys! xoxo

Linda on September 8th, 2012 at 8:46 am #

I am so happy for you. I am so glad that Ella is doing so well and extremely thrilled that everything is going well with the pregnancy. Keep us posted when your little boy enters this world.

Rupa on September 8th, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

Soooo very happy for you guys!!! Amazing news!!! Thelil’ guy couldn’t have asked for better parents. Ella looks so pretty in her pictures. Good luck with everything in the coming months — Rupa

Virginia Dam on September 8th, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

Congrats! I am happy for you!

Lisa richmomd on September 9th, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

Wow! After not checking on your blog in probably a year, something inspired me to do so tonight. I am so excited, your journey and steadfast strength is so inspiring! Congrats! A baby boy! A whole new adventure is unfolding for you two! Ella seems to be growing up just like the beautiful little bun would as expected!
Out oldest, Kennedy is starting her second year at washington state, and Hannah is a senior this year! We are truly blessed!

Layne on September 9th, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

Congratulations to the whole family! I’m so happy for you and wish you the healthiest and happiest of pregnancies and deliveries. And I can’t get over Ella!! She is such a gorgeous girl. I can’t believe she is 5 years old! In some ways it seems like yesterday I was her nurse in the NICU, and in other ways it seems like a lifetime ago. 🙂 You two have done such an amazing job with her, she is blessed to have you. May God bless you and keep you in your new journey as parents of TWO!!

Michelle Long on September 12th, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

CONGRATS!!! This is so exciting! I’m so excited for all three of you 🙂

Elizabeth Norman on September 19th, 2012 at 7:43 am #

So happy for you!

Tracy Dean Chisum on October 3rd, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

WOW, what an amazing story. Happy anniversary; it’s certainly clear that God is using you all in a very special way! I can’t wait to check back for an update on the new addition in a few weeks.

Estela & John Williams on October 12th, 2012 at 9:33 am #

God is so good! He is amazing and always on TIME! I just loved the updates, photos and videos. Thank you all for allowing us be part of YOUR Journey/Blessing! Truly an amazing privilege.

Estela & John Williams on October 12th, 2012 at 9:35 am #

Just enjoyed the updates, photos and videos. Truly God is amazing and always on time! Thank YOU all of allowing us to be part of your Journey/Blessing… it’s truly a privilege.

bntwillow on October 15th, 2012 at 5:46 am #

UPDATES! come on there has to be lot going on with baby on the way in what….? days now

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