Saturday, May 25, 2013

Sweet baby Maryblake

Its taken me a while to get all this down because its been an intense few weeks. But this is an awesome story and one so worth remembering. I want to tell Maryblake all about it someday so she can see the power of God in her life from the very beginning.
About a month ago at a routine OB appointment, our OB and friend--Rod Doss-- found that our baby was measuring 4 weeks smaller than expected. We had a growth scan which showed the baby was in the 2nd percentile which meets the criteria for Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). We were sent directly to the hospital for more testing. Thankfully, there was no need for delivery that day. I had to start going in twice a week for a non-stress test, cord dopplers and a biophysical profile. Dr. Doss consulted with the high risk OB I had previously seen and decided I should be induced at 37 weeks for IUGR. It sounds counterintuitive to deliver a small baby early, but if the baby is not growing in utero, there is a problem and the baby should be delivered at term (37+ wks) so we can start growing the baby in the "outside world." I sure hoped to avoid induction this go round but we accepted this recommendation and planned our induction date. Probably more importantly, I talked it over with one of my best friends who is an OB and she agreed with the plan. We felt at peace about moving forward. 

Excited to meet our baby! A pre-drama snapshot.
I worked up until a few hours before the induction then Rob and I hurried to the hospital at 4 pm on May 14th. I was only 3 cm going in so we knew it would take a while. The pitocin was started and after several hours of having contractions every 1-2 minutes, I had my epidural around midnight. We laughed with Dr. Doss a good bit and awarded him a lovely bottle of Oban single malt scotch for all his trouble. He came in specifically for my induction and that really meant a lot to us.  I was still only 4 cm so we had a long way to go. The baby's heart tones were perfect and I was able to get some rest. Around 5 am, I was still only 4 cm with a fantastic contraction pattern so it was a little odd that I wasn't progressing but Doss broke my water hoping this would get things moving. It was at that point that he suspected he was feeling a bottom instead of a head on the baby. We looked with ultrasound and, sure enough, our baby flipped sometime during the night and was now breech. We knew she was vertex 24 hours earlier by ultrasound and Dr. Doss and 2 L&D nurses felt the baby's head just a few hours earlier. We were essentially committed to a c-section now. In all honesty, I was scared. I had 2 beautiful deliveries with Rowen and Harper, nursed them right away, was up walking within 2 hours...I couldn't imagine not seeing my baby for an hour or more after delivery. I assisted with c-sections in residency and they seemed so barbaric. 2 words: blunt dissection. *sigh* But we knew God was planning for our good. We knew all along this could be a vulnerable baby and maybe she wouldn't have tolerated labor. We were kind of rushed back to the OR because my water was broken and our OB didn't want to risk cord prolapse. Our baby had already shown she wasn't following the rules so he wanted to deliver the baby as safely and quickly as possible.

As I was being scrubbed, one of the L&D nurses looked at by belly and shouted, "That baby's moving again!"  Baby girl was now transverse which further necessitated the c-section. Once Dr. Doss got started with the incision, I could tell I was feeling more pain than I should on my right side. The anesthesiologist was phenomenal and did all he could but sometimes there's a "hot spot" and you just basically have to deal. Plus, I didn't want them to slow down. I wanted our baby to be born.  I remember my body being jerked in every direction and Dr. Doss called out for backup. Two more OB's rushed in and after some time, I remember being told the baby had been delivered. Rob was there but couldn't see much. I was a hot mess so he was graciously tending to me. What followed was an agonizing 30 seconds when I knew our baby had been delivered but there was no crying. My good friend and a gifted pediatrician was there to take care of the baby. Finally, baby girl let out her first cry and I thought would literally pass out from relief. Maybe I did kind of. Then Rob was able to look at the baby and he came back with tears in his eyes and said "It's a girl!" We both laughed and cried. It was wonderful.

Rob left with Maryblake and I was being sewn up. Dr. Doss explained there was a good bit of trauma with the procedure, I lost a lot of blood and he had to make both a horizontal and a vertical incision in my uterus to deliver the baby. He explained my recovery would be prolonged. He was profusely apologetic that things turned out this way but I told him this was God growing us. He joked that it was fine for God to grow us but he didn't appreciate God growing him in this way. He was sweating bullets for a time during the procedure and I'm sure he was happy to be done with us and our misbehaving baby :)

Once I finally made it to the room and was settled, I got to see our beautiful baby girl. She was a sight to behold. Tiny and delicate with a head full of dark hair.  My friend Faith (the pediatrician) came in to talk with me about her. She explained that Maryblake had some bruising from the difficult extraction and was initially having some trouble keeping her temperature up but that resolved with a brief stint under the warmers. I asked Faith candidly what Maryblake looked like when she first came out and she told me she was limp and blue. Her 1 minute APGAR (a quick assessment of baby's health) was a 2 out of 10. This was concerning because you like that number to be higher; Rowen and Harper were both 8 and 9. Maryblake's 5 minute APGAR was up to 8, so I have to believe she was just stunned. After all, the delivery was rough on both of us. Another of my best friends, Ann, is a wonderful pediatrician and reassured me that the low APGAR should have no effect on Maryblake in the years to come.

Maryblake weighed 6 lbs, 4 oz at birth. Much smaller than Rowen (8.5 lbs) and Harper (7.5 lbs) but larger than the ultrasounds revealed. She lost some weight but is now back up to 6 lbs. She is such a gift and I spend a great deal of time just staring at her, marveling at what God has done through this precious and beloved child. We didn't think we needed another child and certainly didn't plan on having another one. But God sent us Maryblake and now we couldn't go on without her. I cringe at the thought of a limp and blue baby then with a heart full of gratitude, I kiss pink and perfect Maryblake. How great is the power of our Heavenly Father!

Finally ready for photos! You can see some of the bruising on her L chest and shoulder.

Lovin' from Gigi and Harper

And lots of TLC from G'mama, too!

Big sister heaven!

Shhh-ing Maryblake

 You may wonder if there is any sign of Edwards syndrome. We believe Maryblake to be a normal healthy baby girl. She has no signs of any health problems and for this we are so very thankful. Even her bruises have healed. Our OB has said there is a chance she may have "some problem some day" which may explain all the scares with this pregnancy and delivery but we are standing on the promise of God. He has plans for this girl. And we feel so very blessed to be a part of her story.  



This delivery experience was the scariest thing that has ever happened to me but one of the most beautiful things in my life came of it...Maryblake was born. 


  1. I'm so sorry it was traumatic, but in the end, healthy mama, healthy baby. Isn't that what you doctors are always harping about? ;) Congratulations, and welcome to the world of being outnumbered. You're going to LOVE it.

  2. She is beautiful!I have been praying for you, so thankful for a healthy baby girl!

    Her bday is May 15?

  3. So very, very happy for you, Rob and your family! God is good!!! You are a precious family and I am blessed to know you and I am so proud of you! We love you all!


  4. This is so beautiful! Thank you for being so vulnerable and yet sharing God's goodness in all of it. I remember how difficult it was for me and my deliveries which were all completely different then I planned or wanted. God is good to grow us through them all. Your story is an encouragement for my own faith walk. Love y'all and miss you more then I can say! xoxo

  5. Dr. Snow,

    I have been reading your blog for nearly four years and can honestly say that your life story is clear evidence of God's Mighty Hand guiding and touching your entire family. It has become one of my favorite reads and I find spiritual encouragement from your trials.

    I stumbled across it quite accidentally one day while searching for answers to deal with my then 21 yr old son diagnosed as schizophrenic. I may have used the Search Words "broken" and "brain" and there you were! Of course it was nothing short of Divine Intervention because it has SHOWN me that the same Mighty Creator, the same God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac is the same God that is with Us still despite our trials, difficulties, tests of faith and setbacks.

    I've been there when Rowen was first learning to read and put his laughable and quirky thoughts into words, as he was being potty trained and the first night he slept without his nighlight. I've been "here" when you announced the pregnancy/birth of your beautiful Harper and all of their nannies from coast to coast. I prayed for your well-being as you moved to Savannah, found new friends, re-established your practice and Rob's deployment and joyous return.

    And now, Maryblake, who is nothing short of a miracle and proof evident of God's Wonderful Purpose and Glory. Matthew 6:33 reminds us to "Keep on seeking FIRST His Kingdom and His Righteousness and all other things will be added to you..." while Proverbs 3:5,6 exhorts, " in God with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings."

    Well Done, Dr. Snow, WELL DONE! Your blog is a testimony of your strength and resolve to NEVER GIVE UP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT and for everything we do, it shall be done in God's Glory.

    My struggles are constant and recently i completed a biopsy, as my GYN suspects Uterine Cancer but I am a fighter and more importantly a footstep follower of Jesus. I will NOT give in. I will NOT give out and I will NEVER give up. (neither shall you)

    Agape' from
    your sister in Christ,

    Sheila Anderson, JW
    Atlanta, Georgia

    1. I am so happy to hear from you again, Sheila! Thank you so much for your thoughts...they mean so much to me. I will certainly be praying that you have good news about your biopsy!! Lots of love, Meryl

  6. Meryl, So happy to hear of Maryblake's arrival! So glad she is doing well and pray you are recovering quickly. The Lord has blessed you with a beautiful family!

  7. Sorry so late in seeing this, Meryl, thanking God for watching over you, Maryblake, your OB and all involved. Hope you are recovering well! Your family is beautiful and Rita, Diane, Pam and Nancy ask about you all the time. I will let them know about everything. Blessings! DES