30, Pregnant and Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Welcome to the Oesch Family Blog. This blog will allow you to follow along as our family grows, we tackle my breast cancer and live life to its fullest.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Neck Muscles

Your neck muscles are getting so strong that you are able to left your head up and move it from side to side while laying on your tummy. You no longer like to cuddle and nap after every feeding because you want to play and see what is going on around you. Here is a quick photo that Daddy snapped of you last night.
Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dear Emma

We have had a busy week! Yesterday you turned 11 weeks old (only 4 weeks gestational). You continue to amaze us each and every day and we are reminded of what a true miracle you are to us. You go to the doctor in the next couple of weeks, however mommy and daddy guess that you have surpassed 9 lbs.

Mommy started chemotherapy again this week and although it is only a 30 minute drip she hates being away from you but knows that you and daddy are having a good time together. Chemo was in the morning and then I had to return to the hospital that afternoon as I had to have some fluid removed from my breast. Daddy had to go back to work so you came with me! You had so much fun! First of all, you are really beginning to enjoy your car seat. We went to introduce you to mommy's chemo nurses in the Cancer Center and then we headed to my appointment in the Breast Health Center. While I was having my procedure (ultrasound guided needle removal of 5 oz of fluid that had filled the cavity where the lumpectomy was performed) done you played with the nurses. They wheeled you around the office and took you out of your car seat to have a better look and pass you around!

Then we were off to visit your nurses in the NICU. You saw Cathy, Amelia and Susie! You were so at peace, so comfortable with all of them. I believe you recognized their voices and gentle touch as they each cared for you for the 2.5 weeks that you were in the hospital. They loved seeing you and can't believe how big you have gotten, that you are eating 4 oz at each feeding and how pink your color is! You are our rock star!

We had fabulous weather this week in St. Louis and were able to go to the park for some exercise and fresh air. We met your cousins and Aunt Kristen there. While Cora played on the swings and jungle gym, Avery was very interested in playing with you. Therefore, Kristen and I set up a play date for later in the week. Cora "loves Baby Emma" and continued to give you kisses on your forehead.

Cora holding you.

Cora "loves Baby Emma"

Aunt Kristen and all the girls
Mommy hasn't been cleared by her doctors to begin exercising again after her surgery so we also went to the mall to shop for your Easter basket items as well as let mom get some more exercise. We spent 2.5 hours at the mall! You are such a laid back baby that you didn't mind at all and event cooperated with eating in the Family Lounge.

As the week continued, the weather began to get colder and eventually led to a Spring snow storm on Saturday. We were going to go furniture shopping however because of the snow and cold, we stayed in and had the best family day!
Poor flowers.

The snow looks beautiful on the trees!
Over the past week, you have definitely been more alert between feedings and we are able to get in about three 30-45 minutes of playtime. You have begun to sleep 6+ hours at night too and this is further helping you establish night from day and we are starting to see a nap schedule develop. This is great as mommy returns to work in about three weeks and you will go to school.

You are really vocal and will have a "conversation" with us when you are playing. You are beginning to distinguish the inflections in our voices and will coo in return. Mommy will have to get some videos to share. Here are some things that we do during playtime:
  • Play on playmat and grab the rings hanging from above
  • Play on blanket with rattles and listen to music and watch the flashing lights on your favorite toy
  • Pushing up on tummy to build strong arm muscles
  • Practicing rolling over from back to tummy (with help from mommy)
  • Read books- you really like The Peace Book and Ferdinand the Bull right now
  • You have discovered the phone! It is a rattle too and you like to grasp onto it and shake it

    Hello? This is Emma.
  • Sing songs and dance with mommy. You like a variety of music from lullabies to Kids songs to Lady Antebellum to Garth Brooks to Eminem (I know, a bit much for a baby, but you love the beat of his songs)
  • Look at photos of animals and hear the sounds they make. This love of animals started with the black and white book of the different animals and this week we downloaded an app for the iPad that displays many kinds of animals and plays their sounds; your favorites are the owl and baby chicks.
You really like your binky and it is all you want when you get fussy at night (because you are sleepy) so mommy was working with you to teach you how to grab onto your binky and place it back in your mouth. This is obviously an advanced task, but you did do it once! Here is the photo after you got it back in your mouth. We will continue to work on this.
All your favorite things: Binky, Baby Einstein music and lights, and crinkly blue Elephant.
Aunt Aubree and Uncle Taylor went to Baltimore this weekend to visit her parents and I wanted to show you the ocean, so they sent us a picture from the boat. You were fascinated by it. You are a water baby for sure- it shows in the bathtub! I can't wait for this summer to play in the pool, go on boat rides at the Lake and get you to the beach soon! Maybe we can go with Mumsy this Fall to California so you can play in the sand and see the Pacific Ocean!
Atlantic Ocean!
This next week is going to be another big week too! Mommy starts Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy for her left arm, has a follow-up appointment with the surgeon to be released for radiation and meets with the Radiation Oncologist for a re-consult (as I haven't seen him since my diagnosis) and a CAT-scan to receive my radiation markings. It is like a small tattoo. The only tattoo that mommy will ever receive!!

But more fun, we are going to celebrate Aunt Angela's birthday and you will meet your cousin, Will. All of the cousins will be together for the first time- you, Will, Cora and Avery! I can't wait to take photos!

We love you, Emma!
Mommy and Daddy

Lots of Kisses

Emma was completely spoiled by her family when I was recuperating from my surgery.
Here are some great photos of her with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law:

Emma fell asleep during reading a book with Mumsy.

Snuggling with Mumsy.

Uncle Taylor stealing some kisses.

Uncle Taylor and Aunt Aubree don't want to leave Emma.

Nap time!

Grandpa Jones kissing Emma after arriving to St. Louis.
You are one lucky girl, Emma!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Join our Team- St. Louis Race for the Cure

Registration is now open for the 13th Annual
Susan G. Komen St. Louis Race for the Cure®-
the largest in the nation!

Please join Team Jenna
Saturday, June 11, 2011 * 5k run/walk (3.1 miles) 

Join us on the morning of June 11th as we all
come together and fight for a world without breast cancer!

CLICK HERE to register online for "Team Jenna" or go to 
Please forward this information along to anyone else who may be interested in participating! 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beautiful Inside and Out!

I have the best friends ever! Thank you Natalie McIntosh for donating your hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, which makes wigs for women with cancer, in my honor!


...and After!
You are beautiful inside and out!

Friday, March 18, 2011

"I'm Back!"

I am reality TV show junkie, especially those on Bravo. On one of the latest episodes of Bethenny Ever After, Bethenny screamed "I'm Back!" Of course she was referring to her post-baby body being back; I however am 10 days post-surgery and I feel great! I went to my follow-up appointment with my surgeon on Wednesday and my drain tube was removed and I was released to begin using my arm for daily activities. I am still not supposed to do repetitive movements like vacuuming but who wants to do that anyways? We will assess the need for Physical Therapy at my upcoming appointment in 2 weeks.

A huge thank you to my family for all of their help at home taking care of me and Emma these past two weeks. Without them feeding Emma, changing diapers, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, cooking meals and helping keep my incisions clean would have never happened. I love you all so much and even with the circumstances I am glad that we could spend some quality family time together.

Emma got her first ear infection this week. She was a bit fussier than normal, a lot sleepier and not taking her full bottles. However, she was still a trooper providing entertainment to us all as we played dress up to do some photoshoots. Here are some adorable photos to mark her 2nd month.

Emma is beginning to smile and definitely starting to show her personality. We can't wait to see her grow more and more each day!


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Emma is 2 Months Old

Emma is growing so quickly! At her two month check-up, she weighed 7 lbs 11 oz and was 20 1/2 inches long. She is now on the full term baby charts!

Here are some pictures:

Emma at 2 months old

Mommy and Emma
Daddy and Emma
Daddy likes taking pictures when Emma is eating
"I've got an idea!"
Mommy and Daddy are way too loud!
Emma loves her black and white animal book

Friday, March 11, 2011

Adios Cancer!

I received my pathology report back today and it is great news!

All the cancer is GONE!!!!

I had 19 lymph nodes removed and all of them were clean - the chemotherapy took care of all of it. And my breast only had a 2 mm lump left and it and 7 mm of clean space was removed therefore leaving no cancer in my breast!

Adios cancer! See you later! Au revoir! Sianara! Ciao!

Hope to never meet up with you again!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It is Good to be Home

Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers this week. I have conquered another milestone in beating this cancer. Dr. Yazdi performed a lumpectomy and axillary lymph node removal Tuesday morning. He had to remove more than originally planned from the MRI as my radiologist, Dr. Hammil, found some calcification that he wanted to make sure was removed along with the clear margins. They also only had to go into the first layer of lymph nodes vs first and second.

We will receive the pathology report in about a week to confirm all the cancer was removed. At that time we will also know how many lymph nodes were actually taken as well.

I did fairly well in recovery. I got sick to my stomach from the anesthesia and after a few rounds of nausea medicine we got it under control. I ate a full meal for dinner and then slept from about 8 pm to about 7 am. Good thing because I was placed into a 4 person hospital room and had a roommate that just wanted to talk the entire time.

I am sore but the pain is manageable with my pain killers. The hard part is pretending my arm is broken and in a sling so I don't overuse it and irritate my drain. My drain is so not sexy but will help with a faster healing process. It is really hard for me to rely on others to take care of Emma and my chores and of course helping me shower and get dressed. Oh by the way, did I mention the lovely surgical bra that will be my best friend for the next couple weeks?

It is good to be home and in my own bed. We will keep everyone posted on pathology reports and my surgical follow up appointment. Thanks again for all the love and prayers.

Much love,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Jenna Update

Jenna had her lumpectomy this morning. Dr. Yazdi said everything went as planned and she is doing well. Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers today. We will keep everyone updated once Jenna gets home.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Emma's Bum Makes its Debut!

When I was preparing for Emma's 1 Month Photoshoot I really wanted a personalized pair of bloomers. I went to Makaboo Personalized Gifts and found exactly what I wanted...the Kissy Kissy Fancy Pants. Through a journey in itself, Emma is now the face (or should I say bum) of these great bloomers for Makaboo!


The journey:
Cindy Teasdale McGowan is the founder and owner of Makaboo Personalized Gifts. We used to work together at Momentum Worldwide and since we have both left for other adventures, hers in e-commerce.

I had emailed Cindy to see if the bloomers could be created and shipped in time for my shoot with Kelly. They arrived the day before and they were perfect..just what I had envisioned. After sharing the photos on this blog and on Facebook, Cindy fell in love with the photo for more than one reason!

I am amazed at how breast cancer continues to connect me with amazing women!

I am so happy that our journey continues to reach others and brings smiles to faces when times have been better and in this instance "celebrate birth and renewal in the face of uncertainty and human frailty."

Please read Cindy's blog post at:

Thank you again, Kelly for the beautiful photos and Cindy, for the beautiful post!

xo- Jenna

March for Babies Event


This will be our 3rd year participating in the March of Dimes March for Babies event! The team was first inspired by our dear friends’ daughter, Ailey Hope Fanger, who came into the world too soon and left the world in the same fashion. A year later, their son Kannon was born with minor lung issues but is a healthy boy today!
This year, we have another reason to celebrate this event. Emma, our baby girl, was born at 33 weeks and spent 2 ½ weeks in the NICU where she learned to eat on her own and keep her body warm. Next week she will be 2 months old and is growing and developing beautifully.
We have joined forces in hopes to do MORE! We want to raise MORE money, spread MORE awareness, and gain MORE friends/supporters of our cause. We walk for all babies.
We hope you can join us!
The Details...
·          WHO: Those passionate about making sure all babies are born happy and healthy!
·          WHAT: A gathering of great people walking to save babies everywhere!
·          WHEN: Saturday April 30, 2011 at 9 am
·          WHERE: Forest Park - Saint Louis, MO
·          WHY: Because one day all babies will be born healthy. We just have to walk to get there. And you get a pretty awesome t-shirt while burning calories w/ great company!
Looking forward to seeing everyone!
Love, Rett and Jenna