Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome Iraq!

We'd like to welcome Iraq to our visitor countries. May God bring peace to all of us.

Not Alone

I just received a blog comment from Kenzie Stanfield, who was blessed with her baby, Maddox, for just a few hours. To read about her loss and pain is...tough. Tough. I pray for Kenzie and her family, and I know you all are praying for us.

Hug your kids. Go home and hug your kids. God has given you these moments with them, and I pray we never take those moments for granted.

Zoe Pictures

Here's some pics of Selah and Elise's first visit with Zoe, on her seventh day of life. She's actually up a few ounces and eating pretty well at this time.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

8 Days Old

Zoe saw her eighth day come and she continues to grow and progress bit by bit.

Before I go further, I'll try and briefly touch on the hardest part of being Zoe's dad - talking to doctors. They're good people and very good professionals, but they ask some tough, practically impossible questions about how she will live and be treated.

So when Zoe's bilirubens went up, they asked us if we wanted to use phototherapy to reduce or eliminate them. Isn't that an obvious question?

In some doctors - and some parent's - eyes, it is a tough question. They'd ask: we know how this will end. Are you treating her so she'll get better? Or just treating her because that's your instinct?

Jen and I have slowly fashioned a philosophy that is essentially that we'll look at this event by event, but our instinct is to keep her alive until trisomy 18 takes her. Not bilirubens.

The people at our church have been so kind and shown so much love to us. More on that later....

Saturday, March 29, 2008

8 Countries, 48 States: What A Little Baby Servant Can Do

Hello Everyone....Above is a map of the world showing who has read the blog. In Australia, in Egypt. In Canada and the UK. In 48 states. All because of a little girl named Zoe.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Zoe Update

Hi everyone...

Our minds have expanded to understand a little better just what our child is going to endure. We're happy to report that our earlier entries that she'd go through pain were incorrect.

Trisomy 18 means a lot of grim and dark things, but pain isn't one of them.

Zoe will very likely die before she's 1 year old. When...who knows. How...probably because her brain will forget how to breathe and then she'll go home.

For us, just the thought that each day isn't one of pain and battle is a relief. We were under the impression that her daily life would be one of suffering. It won't be. It won't be a life like we'd want, but it will be one where we can enjoy her face each day, enjoy her fiery spirit, know that we're blessed, and celebrate her life.

Pray for us...tomorrow is 7 days. That's a milestone of sorts for babies in her condition.

Kuro - The Devil Is A Liar

The devil is a liar

Chorus the devil can fool you
the devil is a liar
and he will take you to hell
if you are not careful

During the time of the war
nothing happen to us
because the Lord protected us
with his hands

I want you to know
that the devil is
defeated forever
he can not save you

Why? Part 2

1As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" 3"Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

Still wondering why? Why would something so terrible happen to a family like ours? Zoe is going home. One book we look at says that one study shows that 50% of babies with trisomy 18 die in their first week. I wish it weren't so, but then I think my wish is for me, not her. If you know Zoe's mom and dad, then you know that Zoe will be singing loudest and longest and with the most passion at Jesus' feet. Would I rather she sings in a pew next to me at St. John's? is that fair?

Why? Read this story:

Just got home from the prison and it was an amazing night. I shared about Zoe and Jen and Greg and family. And to be certain, there are 40 some God-fearing men who are lifting the entire family up in heartfelt prayers.
This may be a very stupid question, but is it possible to copy the most recent entry Greg has on his blog? Do you know how to do that and can you do it for me and forward it to me or is it not feasible? I want to read it next week at the prison. It is such an unbelievable testimony of how God works.
So glad I went tonight even though I felt crumby physically. The spiritual part of me overshadowed that. Praise God!!!!!!

How about this:

Greg, Jen, and family: I simply want to share testimony to the truth of how God is using your beautiful Zoe. I left a meeting this evening in another companies' offices in Minneapolis. I shared I couldn't commit to a meeting because my schedule is uncertain. I then shared about Zoe. Another man I only recently met closed the meeting and then around the big conference table he led those attending in earnest prayer for you, for Zoe and "every circumstance around this little girl". Your Zoe - she really is amazing. We love you and little Zoe.

Who am I to decide? My prayer for my children is that they live lives of faith and servanthood to our Father. If each one of us could say that we touched as many lives as Zoe has touched in 6 days, we'd feel like true servants. I wish she were singing in the pew next to me, but Jesus needs her in the front row sooner. My little tiny loss compared to Heaven's gain.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


If you're anything like me, you're going to try and break this down and figure out why. Why?

Here's my answers:

About five years ago, my friend wept and told me how deeply saddened she was that we would never sing together again. I called her two days ago and asked her to play for Zoe's funeral. She said, "Greg, you know I'll do anything for you."

My friend at work told me months ago that she doesn't pray. She thinks. So she was thinking great thoughts for me. What a wonderful, caring friend! Today she writes, "Greg, I am praying that Zoe goes home quickly. I am praying that peace comes to all of you – maybe not quickly, but I pray that it comes.

Peace, hope, love. I pray that it is all yours, always. "

A few months ago, my former mother in law caught me in the hallway outside of diabetes class. I was walking away and she put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Greg..."

Now, I have to admit, my first instinct was to duck. And that's not to say that I didn't deserve whatever she was swinging at me. Just to say that that would be the appropriate instinct given what I've been in her life.

"Greg..." she said, "I just wanted to let you know that we're praying for Zoe."

Praying for Zoe?

Could a little tiny 4 pound girl change so many people?

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe... 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

And the kicker: 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

There's a parable in the Bible about a shepherd who loses a sheep. So he leaves the flock and goes out searching for that missing sheep. The question might be - what kind of shepherd is this that leaves 99 sheep to find one? The answer is - a shepherd who knew the 99 were safe, but the one...the one wasn't.

Zoe is one of the 99. She's going to heaven. Her name has been written in the book. And Jesus is turning to us, the lost and confused and wandering. The selfish and bitter and pained and broken. The sinners - the multiple offenders, like me. And he's calling us home. And he's using his wisdom to show how foolish we were. He's choosing a four pound baby to show how secure his promises are. So we can abandon doubt and our superior thought processes and rest in simple truths and promises.

Maybe that's why.

It may be miles and miles before the journey's clear
there may be rivers, may be oceans of tears
but the very hand that shields your eyes from understanding
is the Hand that will be holding you for miles


I'm reading many of your blog comments and if you'll allow me to guide your thoughts and prayers, let me help you with this reality: there will not be a miracle where Zoe lives.

The miracle is that she came at all. An inordinate proportion of babies with her condition never are born. Zoe won round 1.

I can tell you that when someone with the experience, heart and resume of Dr. Basir, who works at a top 5 children's hospital in the country, looks you in the eyes, and apologetically, but still firmly, tells you your daughter is not going to live, you accept that.

When you sit at a table with 8 medical professionals who are discussing the coming days and the path to Zoe's return to her Father, it puts out any hope of a miracle. And honestly, I'm thankful for it. It helps us to refocus and to accept the reality of what is to come.

I ask you all to do that, too. Zoe's not going to make it. They've begun removing monitors from her - no more pulse/ox, no more renal, no more iv's with medicine. We've told them not to intubate her, and not to use invasive means to revive her. We're doing that out of love and care for our daughter, our very own daughter.

Our prayers have turned from miracles to : come quickly. Come quickly. I talked to Jen last night and her prayer, through tears, is that God comes and takes our little girl home quickly. This is for Zoe, and for her mom and dad.

Don't stop praying.

The Outpouring


You guys are pretty amazing. Thank you so much for thinking of us, for the calls and the food and the comments here.

Thank you to my work for what you've done and who you all are. Thank you to Pastor Rafferty who jumped in his car at the first call, even though we don't even attend your church anymore. Thank you to our families for just loving on us.

Thank you to the incredible team of doctors and nurses at Children's.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Agony Of Letting Go

Yesterday I was called to run back to the hospital and meet with a doctor. He had bad news.

He told us that Zoe has trisomy 18.

30% of children with trisomy 18 will die in their first month.

70% die by their sixth month.

Those who live on don't do well. Some will make it to their teens with severe neurological disease.

I'm not going to lie, it's 2:50 AM and it's the first time I've had a chance to get to a computer since all of everything. I didn't read the link up there, and I don't blame you for not wanting to. This is grim stuff.

Grim stuff when you meet with the head of the NICU to discuss a Do Not Resuscitate for your 3-day-old girl. Grim when they tell you their recommendations for a DNR.

I went to tell Zoe's biggest brother and sisters about Zoe. And as they wept, I asked them what they believe. What do you believe? Do you believe that Jesus is the resurrection and the life? That this baby is His? That she's going home? If you believe, we can deal with the agony of letting go. This world, take it from me, is a brawl with sin and the devil. He gets some rounds. But thanks to God that the fight is won through Jesus.

It was the devil who invented the word "corny." It is his hope we avoid saying simple truths because we're so scared of being "corny." But right now, it's the simple truths that work. There are no complex answers.

My heart breaks for those whose hearts are broken: Jen, who struggles to lift her head, but is determined to give her daughter all the love she can in however many days she has left; my 3 big kids who have surpassed any measure of bravery and love and courage and faith. Little Ethan who keeps asking when he's going to get to meet Zoe.

You all out there have surpassed any measure of nobility and friendship. I am so grateful for your thoughts and prayers.

So Jenny is holding her girl as this doc is breaking the news, and he tells us he's sorry and he leaves. And for some reason, the song I used to sing for other people is in my head, so i sang it through tears. Because i'm the other people.

This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...

We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again

And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...

We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...

So we can cry with hope
And say goodbye with hope

We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Zoe B Video

Table For One

Zoe digested the food she was given last night, and the food she was given at 6 am. She's still under the lights (the two pictures you see I took by basically removing that spectrum of light).

Zoe Update

I have been warned by my friend who is a lifelong healthcare worker - even in a NICU - to not get too far ahead of myself. The ride in the NICU is a rollercoaster and you'll have ups and downs.

Day 3, then, was another up day. Doctors reported that Zoe's kidneys were undersized but functioning well. They saw no signs of problems there. They want another scan before she leaves to look again, but see nothing to worry about in initial scans.

Zoe has been off of dopamine with no adverse effects to her circulatory system. Another monitor was removed from her - this time her head - so she looks even more like a little baby. A little, little baby - 4.5 pounds. (The "goggles" you see on the banner picture above is actually just a kind of soft blindfold for her as she sits under lights to help reverse some jaundice. The goggles are printed on the outside of the eye covering)

Zoe's big obstacle before her is learning how to eat. She's had a tube down her mouth that has fed her and they are slowly starting to transition her to eating.

Kellen has offered to help Zoe learn how to eat. Just two weeks ago, Kellen ate fifteen pieces of pizza. He has offered to give his secrets to science.

Jen spent the night at Children's in a sleeping room on their NICU floor.

Monday, March 24, 2008

8:00 Zoe's First Monday

Doctors checked Zoe's vitals and see no change.
This is good. Her blood gas and ability to take in oxygen have been good, really since birth.
I guess what I'm saying is Zoe is being...pretty normal. Like a little kid.

Jen's being released this AM.

I had pictures of the first time holding her which are lost. This is sad. But in light of what is really sad, it's not that sad.

The 1:15 AM Report

Zoe is off her dopamine...something prescribed to help her with circulation. There has been no change in her vitals, her heartrate or blood pressure.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

All The Zoe News That's Fit To Blog

When Zoe was born, the immediate assessment on her included a percentage called the "ejection fraction." I think of the ejection fraction like the quarterback rating - a weird algorithm that equals a number. And people end up using the number to compare to other numbers, and few really know how you come up with the number.

So next time you watch NFL, you'll hear an announcer say that the QB (sadly, not Favre, sniff) has a QB rating of 120. But if you stopped things and asked him how you come up with QB rating, he'd have no idea. He just knows 120 is pretty good, and say...80 is not so good.

A good ejection fraction is 60. If you are a newborn, and everything in you is healthy, your ejection fraction will be around 60.

Zoe's was 25 when she was born. was 43. That's way way better, but still not great. Then again, as intimated today by the doctor, a baby with Tetralogy of Fallot isn't going to hit 60. So previous blog posts where I told you that doctors told me that they didn't think the heart problem was related to Zoe's condition, yeah...they're not sure anymore.

The new set of theories is that maybe it just took a bunch of time for Zoe to get it - get being in this world. That might also including breathing issues. The hope is that her ejection fraction will continue to rise and/or she'll continue to show stability. Right now, we're getting both. There's a chance we'll see her fraction rise less now and her stability continue.

It sounds now like she's in NICU for at least another week. Pray...we all just want her home.

Breathing tube out, Jen and I were allowed to hold Zoe today. First time. That's a little tiny little peanut.

I think Zoe's lack of dealing with this world is clearly because of the snowstorm. Zoe was told there was going to be some kind of global warming, but was deeply saddened to see all this snow.

Easter Blessing

Zoe's latest echo shows increased cardiac strength and activity. It's performing better. Doctors will continue to monitor her heart by looking at her many many monitors hooked up to her. Our hope - and your prayer, please - is that her heart continues to perform well and gets back to pre-birth form.

Again, she'll still need the surgery in a few months. The heart trouble they were concerned about yesterday was not a product of Tetralogy of Fallot.

Her breathing tube has been removed. Zoe hasn't needed it. As strange as it sounds but unless she's not breathing, she doesn't need the tube. The ventilator hooked up to the breathing tube was supplying room air...not specially oxygenated air or anything.

So, if you saw her today, you'd see her under some special lights - she's a little jaundiced - and you'd see her mouth for the first time. Well, there's a little tiny capillary tube for feeding her. And a bunch a bunch of wires and lines for monitoring and measuring.

Zoe's punkiness is obvious. This morning i tried to get her finger from where she had all lodged it - under a piece of medical tape - and she erupted. If the breathing tube wasn't in at the time, the whole floor of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit would have paid.

All better? No. Fatal problems? Well, she's breathing. And peeing and pooping and very irritable if you try to move her fingers. So she's definitely way ahead of day 1.

If you were following the live blog, you saw this situation happen: we'd be elated about good news, lose our balance, and topple to the ground when we got some bad news. Gotta keep our feet under us in order to fight. So...we win this round. You all, your prayers were the strength of a little girl who hasn't eaten a crumb or drop of food yet.

Easter Waiting

A cardiologist will be performing another echo on Zoe today to compare to the previous echo when she was a few hours old.

Zoe is pink and blood gases show that her lungs and heart are distributing her blood and oxygen throughout her body. Why did she stop breathing twice? Why did the first scan show reduced heart function, particularly in light of previous ultrasounds in utero which showed a strong heart?

Doctors only have theories. For them, it's really important to find the answers before anything else is done.

In the meantime, her heart is working well. She will still need surgery, but we always knew that.

This scan today is another chance for doctors to a)discover if there is a problem with her heart or b)discover whatever was observed is no longer there.

At this time, we're anticipating Z being in the hospital for the next few weeks. Jen will likely be with her for much of that time.

As soon as we know more, we will let you all know. We just don't know anything accept for anecdotal evidence that she's ok.

You Can't Take My Joy, Devil

Resurrection Joy is what we share, dear reader. Joy that this is not the end. Any hope I have today isn't in a doctor or a hospital or your love for us. It's not in a little girl with a frail heart.

My hope is in the irrefutable truth that Jesus is alive and His promise to be with me through all of this.

Don't let anything take your joy today.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Zoe's Baptism

Using nothing but water and the word, I answered Jesus' command to all of us and baptized Zoe this morning.

When God takes the simplest things and makes them beautiful He shows his awesome Love and creative power. He took something normal and changed it into something incredible. It was water in a styrofoam coffee cup. But it was a promise offered by Eternal God that beckoned Z into His family.

So close my eyes and hold my heart
Cover me and make me something
Change this something normal
Into something beautiful

A Mostly Unclear Update

Zoe's doctors are trying to determine why she stopped breathing twice since she was born. They are drawing spinal fluid to test and see if there are any clues there.

They also noticed that her heart is not performing as strong as observed in utero. Doctors are huddling on next steps and have not told us their thoughts yet.

Zoe's Health Trouble

Zoe stopped breathing last night and the doctors had to put a breathing tube in her. The also have put what they call "umbilical lines" in so that if something happens, they can get medicine into her quickly.

I don't know what this means in regards to her health, or when or if she leaves with us. I'll go meet with doctors this morning and ask.

Thank You Everyone!

Thank you everyone for being so kind. For the texts, the calls, the prayers. Oh my goodness the prayers that lifted me and Jen. For the prayers that delivered our daughter to us in three pushes.

Thank you for the gifts and the time. The love. Thank you for being Christ to us.

-liveblog out

Zoe Elizabeth Batiansila 1:30 AM

Mobile post sent by gregwork using Utterz Replies.  mp3


zero stage

Jen's Contractions

Are pretty close together. Some big ones in there. And they're pretty regular. AND she was at -1 station at last check. I missed that detail. This is going to happen...sometime.

Midnight Check....

Jen is dilated further...4 cm and 90 % effaced. They'll check again in 2 hours. And if you were wondering, I did slip into a necessary coma since the last update. Apologies if you were waiting for more thrilling reporting from the frontline...

Friday, March 21, 2008

Buh Bye Katie!

Jenny to Liz to Katie to...who knows. We're on to shift 4, nurse 4. I'll keep you posted.

The Way To Look At It

Since Jen's still at 3.5 cm and same effacement, the doc will continue to increase Jen's pitocin to encourage bigger and longer contractions. Water breaking was a surprise, and the next break - changing from -2 station or another change in dilation/effacement - will have to surprise us as well.

What I"m saying is...go to sleep. I'll mind things and keep updating throughout the night. Breakfast baby? That's my guess.

Comfortably Numb

The meds are finally taking effect, which will let Jen rest up for final approach. Cervical check showed no change.

Epiidural Issues

The Epidural didn't immediately work like it should have. They pulled it back 2 cm and put some faster acting anesthesia into her her left leg is numb, but the right still feels ...and she's getting hit with some bigger contractions.

They are less organized in rhythm than before. Big ones, but less regular...


Every 2 mins, lasting one minute. tough ones.

Joe Vs. The Volcano

Well, up till now I've lived
on a tiny island called Staten
Island, and I've commuted to a
job in a shut up room with
pumped in air, no sunshine,
despicable people, and now
that I've got some distance
from that situation, that
seems pretty unbelievable.
Your life seems unbelievable
to me. All this like life,
seems unbelievable to me.
Somewhat. At this moment.

My father says almost the
whole world's asleep.
Everybody you know, everybody
you see, everybody you talk
to. He says only a few people
are awake. And they live in a
state of constant total

Not Much Room Left

To hook up any medical equipment. I guess if she wore a knee brace?

Blood pressure sleeve left arm. IV right arm. Tummy mon, internal mon. A lot going on here.

Z's pulse, a cool 127.

jen's eyes shut, breathing her way through. not much i can do in terms of coaching. the mask kinda steals that. but this is one brave chick. frankly, i have little to do.

Alrighty Then

INternal Monitor is in so we can better observe...her contractions were back and tummy external monitor didn't get them correctly.

Pain is slowly dissipating.

Jen is back to the Vader mask...

Still 3.5 cm 50-70% effaced.

C'mon baby Z....

Epidural on the way!

Yeah, this is going to happen. The real contractions are here. Epidural guy is here. JEn's at her pain threshhold right now.

Epidural is in...but meds haven't fully started working yet.

She's fighting through.

C'mon, baby Z.

It's On

Doc King went to break water but ....water was broken. -2 stage...70% effaced. Baby is in good position. We'll go epidural and get going on this.....who knows how much longer bu tthis is a mammoth step from -3 and 50%

Game Plan Time

katie's going to talk to dr. king about next steps.
jen's running out of energy. experiencing bad back labor.

Lord Vader

I just asked Jen to say, "Luke, I am your father..." with the mask on. She did not think this was funny.

Full Disclosure

I haven't been telling you that Zoe's heartrate dove to around 100. If you've been reading the blog, that was the impetus for the docs to do something like give Jen oxygen and turn off/down the pitocin.

Now she's back to a normal 129.

I wrestle with how much to share. I am sitting facing her heart monitor read out now.....

Never Mind.

Dr. King says to not take Jen off pitocin. So, the nurse came back in and turned it on at a low dose.

That's right, that just happened.

Pitocin Off. Again.

Doctor has decided Zoe doesn't like pitocin. Off it goes. And Jen is on oxygen now. Apparently they'll put her back on it.

Jen just growled through her mask at "Sound of Music" on ABC Family.

Still Nothing - 3 cm & Holding

Doctor noticed the baby's head is still not in position. So we can't break the bag of waters. So we wait. Contractions have slowed to nothing so they've decided to increase pitocin to 14 milliunits per minute.

The method here is the same method that has been employed since this morning: pitocin to make contractions, that will make baby get in position, then break the bag of waters, which will really make her body go.

The trouble is the process has proven to be excruciatingly long long long. So here we we wait. Zoe does not want to get out.

Dr. King was just in and she said she'll check herself in a while. I imagine that'll be 8 or 9.

And Then There Were None

No Contractions for the last fifteen minutes. Doctor will come in and check cervix at 6 pm. We might have got into a time machine.

If You're Looking For A Good Sign

Maybe we got one...nausea. Last time, with Aidan, it was a sign of cervical change. So...I"ll go with that. They gave Jen something for it.

We're waiting for the Nubain to go away (it really rocked Jen's world) and then we'll move to the epidural.

And Our New Nurse Is....Katie!

It's a little hard to deal with when you go from shift 1 to shift 2 to shift 3. In this case, Jenny to Liz to Katie. But here we go.

Hour 18 or So...

Jen: lying on left side, off pitocin. No contractions recorded on the monitors.
Zoe: ok. Pulse 120

Gave Jen's left side a hard hard backrub for as long as I could. Her left side is hurting more than her contractions and they know they can't continue to up her pitocin while she's hurting so bad.

I'm beginning to think that if you had me in Gitmo, you might be able to break me easily by keeping me up all night and then running a loud fan the entire time. Then randomly having different beeping alarms go off without anyone turning them off.

I'll confess! I will. Turn off the beeping noises!

Right now two sets of alarms are sounding.

Pitocin Turned Off

They're turning the pitocin off for now....and after some time will go towards giving Jen and epidural and then going back towards pitocin. For now, Jen's off it...

Still Less Than 3 cm

No change since last cervical, which was a few hours ago. Baby is still "bouncy" which means she isn't physically ready to come out.

Lotsa Pain

Jen's experiencing significant pain in her side. Right now, I don't know the timeline on bag of waters. She's really uncomfortable and has taken some narcotic to help her cope.

Zoe's pulse is at 120.

Cranberry Checkin' In

Cranberry checked up in here, a little disappointed that nothing's been happening. He's not alone, trust me.

No Rupture

Z doesn't want to go. Still to high ...still bouncing. No rupture. Pitocin to 11 milliunits per minute. They'll wait an hour.

Jen is about 3 cm / 50% effaced. Moving along, slowly.

For those scoring at home, this all started about 9 pm last we're almost to hour 16 or so.

1 PM Bag of Waters

scheduled to be broken after a cervical check. the next wave will begin.


some contractions stronger, but now disorganized. pattern is lost as body deals with increased pitocin. BP fine, baby fine. Doc will check soon to see if bag of waters should be broken.

Grandma Waiting

...patiently in the waiting room. She's got her coffee. She's got her book. She's reconnoitered the NICU.

Zoe's Sinking Feeling

Jen says Zoe is very heavy and low and has slowed down. pulse is 127. I'm going to go recon a pic of Grandma....

Pitocin Up to 6 units

bp 116/69. Some good ones now. Back aching.
Z fine pulse 139

Contractions Getting Worse

Last one over a minute and half and harder to concentrate through.

The only trouble is, it was like this for over 12 hours last time.

Sound of Music on ABC Family

Every time Jen sees the commercial, she growls. This time: "Barf."

Jen: one minute contractions every 2 mins.
Zoe: quieter, pulse 131

Next on ABC Family: Full House. AAH COUSIN JOEY.

Cranberry Returns

My man Cranberry back up in here to find out how Jen's doing. Talking about how impossible it would be to live in a condo that used to be a church. Can't do certain things.

Also gave advice on how to deliver: turn the game on...put your feet up....

He promises he'll be back.


Walker, Texas Ranger. " should not have come here..."

Looking Out At Tra's House. Hi!

Baby Monitor I'm pretty sure I can operate.

Pitocin increased to 4 Milliunits/minute. Zoe pulse: 138

Um, It's Pitocin. Not Whatever I Was Calling It

Doc shooting for contractions every 2-3 minutes. They're not very intense, but close to that often right now.

Tracey's Comments

Thank you for the updates. The city at night is quite peaceful. We are of my favorite verses:

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

—Isaiah 40:28-31

Thanks Tra! Your words reminded me of this video. I know it gets technical on the actual performance of the song, but to hear how the song came about is cool....

Let's Get This Party Started

Jen: lying on her back. hooked up to potosin via iv drip, low levels at first. goal is contractions that last and will really move things.

Z: pulse 138. Still not quite sure what's going on.

*The great thing about Walker, Texas Ranger is you can start watching it at any point and it's just as rewarding. They play bad guy music for bad guys, and Norris is good for one solid kick every few minutes.

*I went with the grilled chicken salad and raspberry chocolate coffee. Jen -cinnamon toast crunch. I know you were wondering.

My Man Cranberry.

Cranberry was up in here to change the garbages and catch up. I think he does this with everyone. He explained that he gives doctors advice on how to talk to their wives. He kidded me about answering the door. He talked to Jen about how far along she is. He joked about great places to give birth. He said he'd talk at us later.

I highly recommend getting Cranberry up in your room if you are delivering. My grade of Froederdt/Children's just went up a full letter.

Thus Sprach Dr. Castro

Doc Castro was in and she performed the exam on Jen on Monday, too. Based on her take on the data, and the changes she sees, she said that once Jen's ready to go, they'll get the potosin in her and then break water and then let all baby break loose. She said she can't promise a lunch baby...but she thinks it'll go fast.

I weird this is. Potentially in four hours - what it takes for, say Dan to write a smart-alec comment in the blog, or, long it takes a roomful of Batiansilas to decide what they're going to do - Zoe could be here. Go figger.

Thank you for your prayers. And let's keep it up. For all you novice prayers, just reach out. Jesus on the line, tell him what you want.

The 8 O'Clock Report

Jen: Cervix is thinned and stretchier. 1-2 cm. they think the progress is good.
Z; floating away during exam. still moving and not on final approach. she doesn't know she's being evicted.

One hour off and then they start the potosin. The real anguish begins then.

The Longest Possible Wait

Jen: right side, sleeping?? not sure.
Z: flopping around. keeps kicking the monitors. Save some of those kicks for jerkface men, Z.

It's still not 8 AM? How is this possible? The fan in this room...i think it's the constant white noise of driving me insane. Then there's the white noise flying sideways outside.

My mother in law is here in the waiting room outside. Jen's mom is a sweetie. She probably coulda got more info by curling up with her laptop.

Dan has written in to advise me to watch many seasons of Buffy and Angel. I will admit that by the end of the show, I realized that this particular character's overacting was part of the plot. I will instead of taking Dan's advice outright...will have him nominate two episodes for me to watch. So my judgement has been vacated until further investigation.

Waiting on 8

Just saw the doc. Cervix medicine comes out at 8 (please don't ask me what that means, except it can be removed). They'll check her then, and proceed at that time. So, induction will begin around then but we dnot' know direction yet.

Jen says she doesn't want to go another 12 hours after the first 12. She is tired. Pray.

Started Snowing

Jen sitting up, glasses on. SEems like contractions are further apart.
Z - quiet. pulse 140.

Snow starting to fall. I didn't know that Milwaukee skyline goes almost completely black in the late morning.

We're watching "Angel" on TNT. Overwrought schlock from what I can see.

No Snow Yet

Jen: really uncomfortable. Can't stay on a side.
Z: active. Pulse 128.

rubbing jen's back. I'm quitting trying to grab some winks between shifts from one side to the other. You know you're at that weird part of the morning when you try to convince yourself that you can get a few secs of sleep....

Ambien has obviously worn off. Wonder what the timeline is....The snow was supposed to start at around 4. I see it has been shifted to more like 6.

I turned on the tv to help myself pretend that i'm awake. dreaming of a coffee. no wait, no dreaming. i'm WIDE AWAKE.

Intern Visit

Jen: Back achin'. They put a heat pack on it. Contractions continue, same severity,s ame frequency as far as she can tell from the fog.
Z: pulse 129 and i think she's kinda resting

The intern came in. I think he looks like his name might be Chris or Cameron. I'm leaning towards Cameron. He struggled with the last name which made him even more dork-lovable. Also set off the monitor alarms and didn't know how to reset them and had to get the nurse. I didn't have the heart to fix it in front of him.

I did get a good 35 mins of shut eye there. Miss me?

I just realized the clock thingy on this is off. It's 3:15ish...So I think it's two hours early.

Shoes OFf

Jen: says she's in a haze, like a limbo land
Z: says she's in her mom, a comfortable 140 pulse

Yeah, I'm tired. But just as I drifted, Jen stirred and had to get to pee. So I disconnected her and now they're back in bed. What would have happened if I would have been out out? These are the things people like me think about.

Why Phil Vischer Emailed Me

Jen: just stirred, asking for a backrub
Z: comfortable. pulse 129

Phil Vischer has a new idea. It's not a big idea. Or better put, it's starting little with hopes and dreams of becoming big. He's been rolling the idea out on his blog.

I responded to one of his posts by challenging him on his idea. Basically, he was explaining how he was going to start a Nickleodeon. I told him that TV as we know it is dead. Why not make a web platformed video site...and then track what was successful? You could even make DVDs based on views and popularity....

And Phil emailed back! :) Since his email screener had already answered me, I'm sure it was him.

He wrote...

Thanks, Greg!
That's exactly where we're headed. Whether I can pull it off or not,
of course, is another matter entirely!

AS you can see, Phil and I are on a first-name basis. I think the cool thing is that I just was promoted to be the head of web/video and web video at my company. So maybe Phil and I can take this thing further. I'll email him and find out...

All Hail The Right Side!

The right side is working for Jen. She's still snoring.
Z: seems still. A comfortable 140 pulse...


Jen: Snoring.On right side.
Z: Steady 129

Is it bad that when she shifted, the machine went off and I knew how to reset it and keep the alarm from ding donging? yeah. Not sure.

They have updated the alarm on them and now it's an annoying - but pleasant two tone thing.

Restless Ambien User

Jen's breathing kind of regularly and kind of talking/humming in her repose with each contraction. Baby's heartbeat a very regular 127. They might both be resting. Big day ahead.

I think if I spoke loudly I could get Jen's attention. But she definitely is kinda knocked into rest. A good thing.

The nurse's name is Jenny.

Cool Link 1

Mandi sent this one to me. I had seen it before on a blog, but forgot I saw it. I love what they did's really really beautiful.

Maybe That Iced Coffee Was A Bad Idea

Jen: lying on left side, two fetal monitors on her. Awake. Lights off in da room.
Zoe: heartbeat 140ish. Very upset at the stupid monitors. Swishing Around and kicking at them.

I took a break to rub Jen's back.

And realized you probably don't care much about my rantings, so I"ll try to at least head off each post with a status.

As I rubbed I saw the city skyline and thought how hypnotic the red blinking lights on towers are. Cinematic even, in an odd way.

Checked the forecast: supposed to get 5-7 by us but some forecasts have up to 14 milwaukee and south. HAPPY SPRING, EVERYONE!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Would You Take Your Shoes Off?

I'm realizing I'm gonna stink up the whole room if I take my shoes off. So looks like they're on for the duration. Whatever that means.

It brings to mind one really important thing to remember: Throughout the entire pregnancy, nothing happens for the men. You have the same needs, the same stinky feet. The same complaints. The same job. The same friends. The same clothes. Nothing changes, and everything changes for her.

This isn't a complaint.

Jen went with the Ambien. I think she was surprised by the contractions but they aren't the real deal. I think about a 5 on pain, a little too short and close together to be much. She'll need the rest for the stretch run. Doc has assured her there's no possible way she'll sleep through the bad ones. But this might help her through this initial stuff.

As my pa used to say, repeating from his old days as an air traffic controller, we are not beginning final approach. Landing gear is still up.

Back to above: so Jen's taking the drug to sleep. But shouldn't someone be up to kind of take care of everything? If it were you, wouldn't you think that maybe you'd just stay up and kind of watch the store for a while? I didn't take any drugs. All I know is I don't know what Ambien does to Jen. So I"m gonna stay up.

You all will have to deal with me running at the mouth - or blog - like this. Maybe i'll hunt down some links or something and share.


Backrub completed, we've assumed some stasis with a little "Who's Line Is It Anyway." It makes me wonder how much I'd pay to see that live. I think I'd pay 50.00. So 100.00 with Jen. Not a farthing more.

I"m going to go back now and think of things i forgot.

1. Our window faces due east, so I can see Miller Brewery and downtown Milwaukee. I'm waving, Tracey.
2. The moon is up there somewhere. It was beautiful at first and now it's kind of diffused by the growing clouds.
3. I wouldn't pay 30 bucks if Wayne Brady wasn't in it.
4. The cord to my puter is awfully short. So perhaps my posts will be, too.
5. There's this fan blowing non stop here. It's loud. It reminds me of the fan on an airplane. Annoying but has a purpose.
6. When I picked up the camera from the kids, I went with an iced coffee at McD's. That's because I think this is going to happen sooner than later. That's based on nothing but instinct.


Given everyone's interest, BNS has decided to go wall-to-wall with you all and liveblog as long as we can.
Greg, your interepid reporter and Father of Nations ,will do his level best to fill you in as details come.

I'll try and work backwards since I'm sitting next to a very uncomfortable woman asking for a backrub. She kindly has allowed me to write this for you first. That's what a nice chick she is.

Zoe has been swimming around like a crazy whack kid tonight, feeling the change in her surroundings.

We got to the hospital and were disappointed to find out that they didn't seem to know much about us or Zoe or anything. We sat in the room for 1.5 hours until someone came in and had Jen sign in and officially get the party started.

The doc came in, checked Jen, and she was 1 cm already. This is fantastic news, since previously, like with Ethan, that was about 11 hours of labor. The doc confirmed head down, then put some kinda strip or something in the area part of her area. I think right now we'll agree to not include the kind of medical details i'm uncomfortable writing.

then we watched lost. REally good lost. I'm really glad Michael is back.
I also think we can safely not trust Ben. Ever. Please, no one trust him. He's a jerk.

Then, we talked about Lost.

Then, I ran up to get a working camera (the other one didn't work). I met Josh, Teia and Kellen along the highway and then ran back.

Jen was having cramps when i left. on return, she's contracting for real, and they hurt. and they're pretty close together.

doc asked if she wanted ambien to sleep through it? i'm thinking...these are pretty strong. is it going down now? we'll find out.
backrub time folks. i'll keep you posted.

peace and love

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Today's visit at Children's Hospital revealed the following truths:
1. Zoe is no longer breach
2. A heart arrhythmia was no longer observed
3. Zoe is low and ready
4. Zoe's mom - physically - is not as ready
5. Jen will go in at 6 PM on March 20th to begin - BNS is not making this up - "ripening."
6. Early March 21 she will begin "sauteeing." Ok, that was made up. Early March 21, induction will begin.
6.5 Once Zoe is born, she''ll be whisked to the Natal Intensive Care Unit on a separate floor of Children's Hospital/Froederdt Hospital. That's where she'll stay for a number of days.
7. Zoe will likely be in the hospital after her mom is released
8. Zoe's mom and dad have asked Grandpa Du to baptize her at the hospital
9. *To dispel any misinterpretations* Zoe will be going back to the hospital between her 6th and 9th month to have heart surgery. She'll likely be in the hospital a number of weeks. (This link is for a hospital in Texas, but it does a nice job of explaining what's to come, and it has a link to the expected impact of open heart surgery on an infant).

Monday, March 17, 2008

Pledging Allegiance To Black Leadership, Blah Blah Blah

Even though those rascals over at Trinity United Church of Christ( the Church that Obama only attended when they shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ but didn't attend when they were being racists) removed this webpage from their site, it's still on the ol' web archive.

BNS thinks Obama might have only read this particular page of his church's website when it was not racist.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

BatPolitik: Interview With Christa

A lot of you might be wondering if the views expressed on this blog reflect the politics and views of the bosses: Bat and Christa. Give this a listen and find out how BNS is doing. When you've seen the effects of Stalin and Hitler firsthand, BNS figures you've got something to say. And something that should be heard.

Mobile post sent by gregwork using Utterz. Replies. mp3

Planned Parenthood: Death To The Black Children!

The Advocate, a whistle-blowing group that acts as a watchdog on the abortion industry, recently had the following conversation with Planned Parenthood (only part is here...the rest is here):

Donor: Hello, Autumn, I'm interested in making a donation today.

Kersey: Fantastic!

Donor: What about abortions for the underprivileged minority groups?

Kersey: Oh, absolutely. We have, um, in fact, uh wonderful, fantastic news. We just received a very generous donation to our women in need fund.

Donor: Wonderful. I want to specify that abortion to help a minority group - would that be possible?

Kersey: Absolutely.

Donor: Like the black community for example?

Kersey: Certainly.

Donor: OK, so the abortionI can give money specifically for a black baby, that would be the purpose.

Kersey: Absolutely. If you wanted to designate that you wanted your gift to be used to help (an) African-American woman in need, then we would certainly make sure that that gift was earmarked specifically for that purpose.

Donor: Great. Because I really face trouble with affirmative action, and I don't want my kids being disadvantaged, you know, against black kids. I just had a baby; I want to put it in his name, you know.

Kersey: Mmhmm, absolutely.

BNS wants to catch you thinking: hey - one random abortion clinic worker. C'mon. Well....this is big business. And Planned Parenthood, when tested, shows corruption and the stink of evil.

More Questions About The Science of Global Warming

This editorial in the Washington Times shows the "science" behind Al Gore's "hockey stick."

An excerpt:

The IPCC published its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 predicting global warming will lead to widespread catastrophe if not mitigated, yet failed to provide the most basic requirement for effective climate policy: accurate temperature statistics. A number of weaknesses in the measurements include the fact temperatures aren't recorded from large areas of the Earth's surface and many weather stations once in undeveloped areas are now surrounded by buildings, parking lots and other heat-trapping structures resulting in an urban-heat-island effect.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

"I Didn't Inhale"..."not statements I personally heard him preach"

"I voted for it after I voted against it." "Read my lips."

Obama's chickens are coming home to roost. You see, his pastor, Jeremiah Wright - who calls, from the pulpit, our country the "U S of KKK A" -didn't ever utter any racist remarks through the 20 years that Obama went to church.

So, when Obama went to church, Wright was a Gospel-preachin' non-racist. When Obama missed church, Wright was talking about Black Power, blaming 9/11 on America, using anti-Semetic language, and saying "God damn America.'

That's some lucky church attendance. Obama should be elected president based on how lucky his church attendance is.

Greg - Associate Creative Director

Greg just was promoted to Associate Creative Director at his job, Avicom Marketing Communciations. It's been an incredible arc. God is good.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Email Interview With...Danny Batiansila!

BNS had a chance to talk to Danny Batiansila. Uncle Walter's son. You probably have never had a chance to hear much from or about him, so let's see what we can find out!

1. wis bats have about 1000 great stories of our dad, and i'm sure you do, too. i know it's mean to do, but gimme two or three of the best ones.
A: 1. Stories of your dad? I have to say the ones of them growing up with nothing but still managing to figure out stuff to do to amuse themselves out of nothing. Also, the time when your Dad was building his 1st crib with my Dad's help was a nice laugh.

2. who's the hottie on your facebook?
A: 2. As mentioned, the hottie on my facebook is my girlfriend Lyudmila Trost.

3. what was it like at your school when you beat michigan?
A: 3. What was my school like when i beat michigan? pretty much a 14,000 student mosh pit. It was incredible and the school moral was soaring. Better tune in end of August when we play LSU!

4. did you or do you play sports? what are you good at athletically?
A: 4. I don't really play sports, i did in Louisiana (flag football). Now up here and in college i've been focusing more on academics and trying to get involved in clubs and internships, but i still workout with friends

5. are you a christian? i know your facebook says your jewish but i'm just asking to find out what that means. gotta understand, the wi bats all want to know. we're nosey like this.
A: 5. I am Jewish, one of the clubs I belong to is Hillel (jewish student organization on campus) and my girlfriend is the president and i'm the ambassador for the school.

6. ru ever going to come up to visit wi bats? your uncle just turned 76 and they are having their 50th wedding anniversary this summer. what do ya think? road trip?
A: 6. This summer will be difficult because since i'm a rising junior, i want to get a job that doesn't involve making sandwiches for others. So an internship is long overdue and I think i've found a pretty good one helping out part time at a nursing home. Also, Brandon is coming up sometime and we have to figure out when they're coming, and going on a cruise later at the end of summer.

7. can you sing? do you sing? can you play any instruments?
A: 7. can i sing? of course i can sing, you didn't ask how well i can sing though. I was in the school choir in 3rd grade but since then i've just sang in the car when a cool song comes on and goof off with friends.

8. are you left or right handed?
A: 8. i am right handed

9. who would you get to play you in the movie about your life?
A: 9. even though he's really old, i really like jack nicholson.

10. what spice or seasoning could you not live without?
A: 10. hmmmm i really like pepper

11. favorite three movies ever?
A: 11. matrix(any of the 3), saw (any of the 4), 1408

12. how close are you to lauren?
A: 12. I'm very close to lauren, we're best friends

13. can you do any really good impressions?
A: 13. i don't really try for impressions but i'm good at making people laugh

14. what book would you recommend to anyone?
A: 14. angels and demons by dan brown

15. complete this sentence: you never know why you're alive until you know who or what you'd die for. i would die for...........
A: 15. you never know why you're alive until you know who or what you'd die for. i would die for the safety of the ones i love

Selah Turns 9

Selah turned 9 today and Greg and Jen celebrated by taking the family to The Mine Shaft. It's a pretty well known spot with good pizza and a huge game room. Kellen beat his dad at football throwing, tickets were traded for fake Dracula teeth. Temish came along to celebrate.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Danny and Uncle Walter

Found this picture of Cousin Danny and Uncle Walter on his Facebook page. BNS will see if we can't get some good talkin' outta him.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Barack and Iraq

BNS reports Greg's co-worker, Ted, is a Hussein Obama supporter because he's the only guy who will get the troops out of Iraq. Good luck with that.

BNS encourages Ted types to do some rudimentary study: is the USA out of...say...Germany? Japan? Cuba? are we out of Kosovo? Certainly we're out of Africa.

Why do you think the U.S. would remove troops from Iraq? Baracks' former foreign policy advisor has similar thoughts.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Reporting Correction. They Just Got A Few Things Wrong.

I am not making this up. Ladies & Gentlemen, the reporting at the Las Vegas Sun.
Honestly, I didn't believe it when I saw it at first. But these guys back me up.

Interview With Selah - The Diabetes Scoop

Mobile post sent by gregbat using Utterz. Replies. mp3


Who's Dan? It's a question BNS heard over the past weeks from Bats hither and yon. BNS reports that Dan's one of the blog's favorites - a hippy Christian. After reading the most recent comments, perhaps the question should be "Who's Kevin?" We'll all piece it together as time goes by.

Dan is a strong believer that, if implemented correctly, socialism would be a healthier environment and system in which to live. Greg has responded that in a broken world, no system will be better - and some will be worse. Heaven will be achieved in heaven, and not a second before.

BNS has stumbled across this quote from C.S. Lewis that is somewhat appropos:

Since the Fall no organization or way of life whatever has a natural tendency to go right. In the Middle Ages some people thought that if only they entered a religious order they would find themselves automatically becoming holy and happy: the whole native literature of the period echoes with the exposure of that fatal error. In the nineteenth century some people thought that monogamous family life would automatically make them holy and happy; the savage antidomestic literature of modern times - the Samuel Butlers, the Gosses, the Shaws - delivered the answer.

In both cases the "debunkers" may have been wrong about principles and may have forgotten the maxim, abusus non tollit usum* but in both cases they were pretty right about matter of fact. Both family life and monastic life were often detestable, and it should be noticed that the serious defenders of both are well aware of the dangers and free of the sentimental illusion. [...]

That is the first point on which we must be absolutely clear. The family, like the nation, can be offered to God, can be converted and redeemed, and will then become the channel of particular blessings and graces. But, like everything else that is human, it needs redemption. Unredeemed, it will produce only particular temptations, corruptions, and miseries. Charity begins at home: so does uncharity.
~C.S. Lewis, "The Sermon and the Lunch", The Grand Miracle (1970)

*"The abuse does not abolish the use"

Please Pray For Zoe. Zoe Update

Jen went to her twice-a-week session with the doctors last week and found that Zoe's size was now 20 percentile. This week, they discovered she has a heart arrhythmia. Please pray for Zoe. And her mom and dad.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Obama And Those Obscure Romans Passages

Barack Obama spoke to Gay/Lesbian Marriage (he's against it - sort of) and abortion (he's for it - sort of). Honestly, BNS is less likely to hold him accountable for flim flamming on those issues. But what about an "obscure passage in Romans"?

BNS wonders if someone might want to grab America's sweetheart and tell him he's going down a path from which he cannot return. Who decides what verses are obscure?

"People are being killed for nothing."

Who's talking? An American war protester? Sean Penn? George Clooney? Um, nope. Turns out that there are some Iraqis who see evil for evil.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

David Hasz

Please keep David, Carl's brother, in your prayers. He is in critical health and his brother is concerned for him. More to follow...

Saturday, March 01, 2008


Bat turned 76 yesterday, and many of his children and grandchildren were on hand to celebrate with him. Here's a link to an album of pictures...

Apolinario Batiansila, Sr.

Christa shared the above picture of Apolinario's gravesite described here. Andreas fashioned the cross out of sticks he found. The marker you see is for the gravesite next to his.

Deirdre supplies the below pictures showing Apolinario Batiansila, Sr.


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