Today marks a bittersweet moment: after more than three years, we are saying farewell to the Bump Watch blog. As we close this final chapter of Bump Watch, Angela Hudson, Hasti Taghi and Rosie Moore share some of their fondest moments about this journey. And we revisit several Bump Watch families to see just how big their babies have grown since we first met them.
How a dusty hospital terrarium inspired Bump Watch
Almost 15 years ago, I was admitted to the antepartum unit at a nearby hospital. I was 21 weeks pregnant and had bouts with pre-term labor for about a week before I was finally admitted. Subsequently, I spent the next six weeks on hospitalized bedrest. My hospital room was small, dingy and nondescript. The compact sofa bed with its vinyl covering was too small for my husband and so obviously uncomfortable that I insisted he not stay most nights. And the only window in my room was a filmy 18-inch square high on the wall. Inside the “window” was what I think used to be a terrarium which housed a plastic cactus and years of dust. I spent most of my six weeks in this room, sometimes in Trendelenburg position, the perfect angle from which to study the details of that awful terrarium.
So when I came to Texas Children’s Marketing/PR department in fall 2010 and learned of the plans for Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women, I was elated. I was so incredibly grateful for what Texas Children’s was positioning itself to do for women and their families. As I fully grasped the experience that we were intent on providing for our expectant mothers, I was so excited, and I really wanted to do something with that excitement – I wanted to pass it on to all of you. That’s what inspired me to give you Bump Watch.
The opening of the Pavilion represented a huge milestone for our organization, as we were venturing into adult services with an incredible vision that others hadn’t yet grasped. It was important that our staff and employees understood this and appreciated how we were going to majorly shift the approach to ob/gyn services. I was clear, however, that I didn’t want us to solely communicate to you about the Pavilion in the way we typically share news about new capital projects – construction timeline, square feet, project dollars, patient capacity and parking spaces. I also wanted you to see the Pavilion through the eyes of the mothers for whom we were creating it. Bump Watch would allow us to share all of the wonderful, thoughtful features of the Pavilion through the stories of the families.
My team started requesting participants for our Bump Watch blog in summer 2011, and many of you generously agreed to share your stories. Several months later, I was fortunate to have Hasti Taghi join our team. She had just the right amount of eagerness and zeal to embrace the idea of Bump Watch, and she breathed life into it as the blog’s first editor.
Seeing Bump Watch launch on March 3, 2012, was so rewarding. It was an awesome communication milestone for us as an organization. We had more than 100,000 views in the blog’s first three months and 557,006 views to date.
I loved all of the Bump Watch families’ stories, especially in those first months as we explored the Pavilion through their eyes. I know I can’t change the six weeks that I experienced in the hospital years ago, but Texas Children’s has changed it for the thousands of mothers who come here each year. And Bump Watch helped tell that beautiful story. I am immensely grateful, and I thank you for your part in the blog’s tremendous success.
Oh, and that’s my NICU graduate above. Clark is now the most amazing 14-year-old. Thank you for that too, Texas Children’s.
Angela J. Hudson, Director, Corporate Communications
Farewell from the Bump Watch editors
The organization hired me just before Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women opened. I was tasked with leading the creation and execution of Bump Watch, our very first internal blog. I hadn’t had any babies, but I was fascinated with the journeys our Bump Watch moms took as they prepared for theirs and thrilled about the journey we took as we completed the Pavilion for Women.
This blog became my first major project here, my first baby. I was introduced to the loveliest employees and fell in love with all of your families. Our moms and dads were so open with their stories. They shared their highs and lows and several even had me on speed dial as they went into labor.
Through Bump Watch, we all learned of the various journeys that are taken to become a family and of the many services available at the Pavilion. Although it’s no longer new, the care we provide here still fascinates me. I am so proud to have experienced the Pavilion in its infancy and so humbled to have met the beautiful families who let me into the most important time of their lives. If I’m ever lucky enough to have my own babies, I will be so well-informed because of your willingness to open up to me. Thank you for bringing us along on your journey.
On May 5, 2014, I joined the Texas Children’s Internal Communications team. Shortly after I got here, I became the second editor of Bump Watch. When Hasti passed her “first baby” onto me, I graciously embraced this exciting opportunity.
Over the past year, I’ve learned so many important lessons from our Bump Watch moms. Perhaps the greatest lesson of all was perserverance. No matter what challenges these moms faced – large or small – they never gave up. They kept on going until they reached that light at the end of the tunnel.
I will never forget the story of Amber Jacques who triumphantly beat cancer and infertility issues and is now the proud mother of a beautiful girl. Or the story of Julia Moreira, who described the unbreakable bond she developed with her extremely sick son in the NICU who she only knew for 29 days. What a strong, courageous mother.
Thank you for sharing your stories with us about your incredible journeys to parenthood. I enjoyed being part of this adventure as you shared exciting news with all of us, like your birth announcements, the big gender reveals, or updates on how much your babies have grown since they were last featured on Bump Watch. So I thought it fitting to bring the babies back for a final – and incredibly cute – farewell.
Revisiting the “Original” Bump Watch families
1. Tanya Butler-Brown
It’s hard to believe our sweet, beautiful baby girl, Cai Amelia Brown, just celebrated her second birthday! Cai is a happy, healthy, independent, busy, feisty but loving little girl. She likes to dress herself in everyone’s clothes. She has been putting on her own shoes for quite some time now and she is really loving this potty training adventure…we’re almost there!
Cai is enrolled in a learning academy where she continues to thrive beyond our expectations. Cai’s teachers enjoy working with her because they say, “Baby Cai always has a great day and she is eager to learn, participate and demonstrate.” Cai loves to sing nursery rhymes. One of her favorites is “I Love You, I Love You, I Love You.” Another is “Ring Around the Rosy.” (Only problem is, daddy and I have a hard time getting up after “we all fall down.”) Cai also loves to dance. We have no intentions of expanding our family especially considering that my husband and I were very “mature” when we became parents to our two miraculous blessings.
2. Jessica Cernosek
Two years ago, my husband, Nathan, and I welcomed our first baby, Lucia Isabelle. Our sweet bundle of joy was a welcome surprise. We had tried to conceive for years and was on a waiting list to adopt when we found out we were expecting.
Today, Lucia is a feisty toddler. She is two and doing awesome. Lucia started school and is learning so much. She says new things every day. My favorite is, “I’m pigging out.” I have no idea who she picked that up from!
This year, we welcomed baby Baby No. 2 to our family. I found out I was pregnant again when Lucia turned one. Thomas is five months old and Lucia is doing a terrific job in her new role as big sister. We are a lively household.
3. Kimberly Clark
Miles has reached many milestones. He is in Pre-K 3 at Wonderland Private School where he enjoys learning and playing with his friends. He loves Spiderman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He has a contagious laugh and smile, and he fills our lives with great joy and happiness. We recently expanded our family when my husband and I welcomed our fifth child, Matthew James Clark, on August 30.
4. Lindsey Gooding
Lindsey and her husband welcomed their son, William James, in April 2012 at the Pavilion for Women. He spent four weeks of his fragile life in the NICU. Today, at age 3, he has achieved so many milestones.
It’s hard to believe how fast time goes by and how much can change in the blink of an eye. You would never know that our little guy spent a month in the NICU. William is the happiest little boy who loves playing with trucks, knows all his shapes, can run, hop, do a front roll on his own, swim and loves spending time with this family. We are so thankful for the great care we’ve continued to receive over the last three years in the Pavilion!
Since our last Bump Watch post, we’ve gotten through several surgeries at the Pavilion, had a miscarriage but I am happy to report, I recently delivered a healthy baby girl in September. We named her Anna Grace, and William is thrilled to be a big brother.
5. Emily Klein
Audrey is a thriving 3 ½ years old. She was an infant when Bump Watch first launched. She is a happy, confident, imaginative and outgoing little girl. Audrey started talking early and has a great vocabulary. She loves to get out and see things, and her favorite place to visit is the Alamo. There is never a dull moment with her.
Audrey recently became a big sister in September.
6. Dr. Susan Leong-Kee
Daniel and Abby just celebrated their two year birthday and are doing great. They just started 2-year-old preschool and their speech and vocabulary have sky rocketed. They love to sing and dance, read books, play outside and play in the pool.
We have not expanded our family yet as we absolutely have our hands full. Grandma (PoPo) is still a very big part of their lives and cooks them gourmet Chinese meals every day. We are so thankful every day she is here to help raise our twins.
7. Veronica Love
Our precious daughter, Logan Love, was born on January 30, 2014 at the Pavilion for Women. Her arrival was extra special for our family as she was born three years after my triumphant battle against breast cancer.
Logan is now 18 months old and she is beautiful, sassy and on the run. She was featured on Bump Watch when she was about two months old and has grown fast and reached many milestones since then. She climbs anything standing relatively still and loves to chase her 8-year-old brother Declan. She has brought so much joy to our lives and definitely keeps us on our toes.
8. Erin McDade
Since Aidan’s debut on Bump Watch, our son has grown up so fast. He walked at 11 months and his first word was “ball,” which is fitting given his love for sports. He enjoys swimming, playing soccer, football and baseball. He went fishing for the first time this summer and caught his first fish. Right now, Aiden LOVES fire engines, fire fighters and any and everything associated with a fire station. He even got to have his third birthday party at the Houston Fire Museum.
Aidan’s biggest milestone to date is becoming a big brother. We welcomed Aidan’s little sister, Addison, into the world in January 2015. He absolutely loves his little sister and is the best in the family at making her laugh. While the last six months with our “threenager” has been a challenge, we wouldn’t change a single second of it.
9. Dr. Joyee Vachani
Diya initially had a bumpy first year with a diagnosis of milk protein allergy and then multiple ear infections requiring ear tubes. Since then, she has grown into an amazing little person – talking, running, singing and dancing her way into the heart of everyone she meets. Big sister Avni (who is older by only 18 months) is enjoying her younger sister and realizing quickly Diya can’t be bossed around for long. Avni is thoughtful, caring and sensitive while Diya is joyous, social and fearless, and they each bring out the best in each other.