Tiffanie :: How I Became a Mother

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Tiffanie’s Story

It was summer of 2010, July 22nd to be exact, I was just over 15 weeks pregnant when I had a follow-up scheduled with my high risk OB for her to just “check my cervix.”  I went alone because my husband was heading out of town to a concert with friends, and plus we had our 13 week, first trimester screening just two weeks before and everything looked great.  I was as calm as could be and was excited about seeing my baby, who we confirmed was indeed a boy that day, on the screen.

The doctor walked in and started performing the ultrasound.  She immediately started looking at his heart, and I immediately grew concerned. Something just didn’t seem right in how intently she was looking at his heart.  I said, “Dr. Adam, I’m a physician assistant, please shoot me straight.”  It was then that she looked me in the eye and said, “I’m sorry, something’s wrong with your baby’s heart.”

Those are the exact quotes.  I have tears in my eyes as I type them because I can still relive that moment just like it was yesterday.  It was then, in that very moment, that I became a mom.

That was when the novelty of just being pregnant completely wore off, and I realized just how much I yearned to be a mom.  It was in that moment that I realized just how much I loved my baby boy.   It was then that my body ached to be able to hold him one day, but it was also in that moment that I began preparing myself to let him go if that’s what God’s will for his little life consisted of.  I didn’t want my baby to experience any pain or suffering, and if letting him go home with his eternal Father prevented him from pain and suffering in this fallen world – then that’s what I wanted for him.   With this, I realized that I had definitely become a mother already, and he wasn’t even in my arms yet.

I was heartbroken.  I can remember feeling a physical pain in my chest that day.  I always say my heart literally broke when they told me that my baby boy’s heart was broken.

After that blow, I called my husband and asked that he turn around and meet me at our house, I scheduled an amniocentesis for the following morning, and then I got in my car and sobbed all the way home in full blown 5 p.m. traffic on 610.  My husband, who was half way to Austin when I called, beat me home.  I was so relieved to see him already there when I pulled up.

IMG_0045my bump just days after the shocking news

Fast forward a few weeks and our emotional roller coaster ride continued.  The amniocentesis revealed normal genetic testing.  We decided on a name {Preston Randal} so that he had more of an identity and so we could pray for him by name.  Multiple trips to Texas Children’s Hospital and a couple different diagnoses given {one which looked promising and one which looked downright hopeless}.  Many tears spilled.  Many prayers cried.

Not only was I becoming a mother through all this, I was completely giving my life back to Christ at the same time.  I have been a Christian since the age of 11 or 12 when I accepted the Lord as my Savior at summer youth camp.  Somewhere between college and 2010 though, I let my spiritual relationship be placed on the back burner.  In July 2010 though, I learned what it meant to surrender all, to kneel in prayer, and to pray without ceasing.  Some might think that this is not a relevant point to this post, but it is, you see, because my son and becoming a mother to my son has become an important part of my spiritual testimony.  His little life, growing inside me, rocked me to the core.


We were finally given the  correct diagnosis in late August or early September.  I was roughly 20 weeks pregnant.  Although I can’t remember the actual date, I can tell you that this day will forever be marked and remembered as one of my most remarkable “God moments.”  Forgive me for leaving you all hanging, but trust me when I say that words just can not justifiably explain what happened and how I felt that day.  I say all that to say that we left the hospital that day with the correct diagnosis, and although it was a very grim diagnosis, I felt this was God’s way of intervening on my son’s behalf.  It was on this day that I learned to trust God’s answer and God’s plan even though it didn’t fit “my plan.”  That was how I became I mother – knowing I couldn’t give upon my son and realizing that as much as I already loved him, his Creator loved him much more than I could even fathom.

Aortico-left ventricular tunnel was the diagnosis he was given. Basically, there was a tunnel that leaked blood back from his aorta into his left ventricle.  We were told that Texas Children’s Hospital had never seen this condition before nor had they ever repaired this defect before.  Definitely not what my mommy’s heart wants to hear.  We met with a surgeon. Surgical repair, we were told, was possible and could be curative, but the problem lied with getting him here big enough and stable enough for open heart surgery.   The doctors feared that Preston would develop hydrops fetalis and heart failure which carries a mortality rate of over 90%.  If that diagnosis is given, then usually just compassionate care is rendered.  I believe the surgeon’s exact words when I was just barely half-way into my pregnancy were – “I can fix your baby’s heart; that’s not the problem.  The problem is getting your baby here.”

PicMonkey Collage

So I spent the next 18ish weeks of my pregnancy going to my high risk OB 1 to 3 times a week for ultrasounds and monitoring.  I loved seeing him so much on the ultrasounds.  Each ultrasound they look for heart failure and signs of hydrops.  Each ultrasound showed no signs of either.  Answered prayers and what doctors called miraculous!!  We did have a couple scares in regards to concerns with my placenta, at which point they prepared me for possible delivery at 28 weeks, but then things seemed to turn around and Preston started “having better days.”

At one point in the course of all these appointments, I made my husband and my aunt promise me that if my sweet P was born and wasn’t doing well and his heart was already failing {which would mean he was not stable enough for surgical intervention}, that they would carry out my wishes for him to be brought to me immediately.  To my arms.  So I could love on him as much as I could before he …  {I can’t even type those words}.   I didn’t want my son to die during chest compressions or in pain or in any type of suffering.  If God wanted to take my son home, then I said I would let him go – but I just wanted him in my arms when he left, being comforted, and hearing me tell him just how much he was loved.  That was how I became a mother.


Miraculously, Preston never went into heart failure or developed hydrops. Doctors who offered no hope in the beginning were now starting to become a bit more optimistic.  Fast forward to January 4, 2011, we left the house bright and early, stopped to buy a lottery ticket, and then headed to the hospital for my scheduled c-section that morning.  So many friends and family came to the hospital and camped out in the waiting room, all wearing their Team Preston t-shirts and all nervously anticipating Preston’s arrival.  I remember lying on the operating table praying over and over again these words, “My God, please let everything be okay.”  At 10:11 am, Preston Randal took his first breath.  My OB held him up for me to see him before the nurse scurried off with him.  The moment I saw him I knew he was going to be just fine.  Peace completely took over and washed over me.  Forget that losing lottery ticket we bought, we won way more than the stinkin’ lottery that day!


The plan was that Preston would go to Texas Children’s Hospital to the CVICU right after initial assessment.  I did not get to hold him.  My heart ached for that moment terribly.   I didn’t think I would even get to see him before they escorted him to TCH, but his lovely doctors and nurses wheeled him in and with family and friends {Team Preston} looking on, I got to meet my baby for the first time.  He was crying as they wheeled him in.  As soon as I started talking and reached in to touch him, he turned his face towards my voice and stopped crying.  That will forever be one of the greatest moments of my life.  F O R E V E RThat was when and how I became a mother.

164180_10150153961234972_4029401_nphoto credit :: Kristy Owens of Owens’ Originals Photography

Preston was a rock star over in the CVICU at TCH, but I knew the day would come.  Sure enough, I was resting in my hospital room when the doctors called me – he was just barely 24 hours old, but they said they needed to move forward with his open heart surgery.  The rest is to be continued …

Please join me as I kick off a special series here on Houston Moms Blog all related to heart disease.  February is heart month and February 7-14th is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness week.  There will be more heartwarming stories to share later this week including the rest of my sweet P’s miraculous story.  So get those tissues ready and come back for more.

Thank you for reading my story and my journey into motherhood.

[hr] Please Note :: Bassett Baby Planning is graciously sponsoring our ‘How I Became a Mother Series’…and we would not have it any other way!  We are passionate about all that they are doing for new and expecting moms, and we encourage you to contact them to help in your journey to becoming a mother too.

To learn more about Bassett Baby Planning

or schedule an appointment, please contact ::

855.455.BABY or info {at} bassettbabyplanning {dot} com

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Tiffanie V
Tiffanie, originally from East Texas, has called Houston home for over 10 years now. She and her husband met during undergraduate studies at Stephen F. Austin State University. They have one son, Preston {Jan 2011}, who was born with a very rare congenital heart condition and underwent a very successful open heart surgery at Houston's own Texas Children's Hospital when he was just two days old. In October 2013, Tiffanie welcomed a daughter, Hadley, into this world. She adores seeing life and this great city through the eyes of her children. She is a practicing physician assistant, passionate about Endocrinology and diabetes. Committed to connecting moms and families to all the fabulousness of this great city, Tiffanie started serving as our Sponsorship Coordinator in January 2014. Her days are now filled to the brim with taking care of her family, her patients, fielding sales calls, and scheduling sponsored posts. Her favorite pasttimes include drinking a full-bodied glass of red, retail therapy, a nice long run, and being near a beach - water soothes her.


  1. Tiffanie … even though I have read this story and followed along for most of the journey, this is a beautiful piece. How very blessed we are to have him here with us (even though I realize I don’t know him in person, I just know he makes his little world a better place). Thank you for sharing your heart!

  2. Thank you for sharing your story! As I read this I am sitting in my hospital bed at 26 weeks on bed rest. It was very uplifting and helpful to hear your story, especially as I am attempting to keep my head up despite bad news after bad news. I know it will all be worth it in the end.


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