Faith, Postpartum

This is the Day the Lord has Made…

Last night was my night to spend at home. I thought I was going to get home and get a great night sleep, wake up early, and just be productive and carefree… well, boy, was I wrong!

When I get home – later than expected – I am a little overwhelmed by the state the house is in. It’s not a huge mess, but it wasn’t as in order as I would have hoped it would be. Our playroom wreaked of pee (still does, because I can’t find the culprit), Hazel’s toys were all over the living room, and the kitchen was filled with dirty dishes and a full dishwasher. I decide that since I am mostly healed up that I wanted to spend some time picking up my house; who would have thought I would miss picking up toys and doing dishes? Not me! When the living room and kitchen were in a better place, I went down the hallway to put some things away in Hazel’s room and noticed a wet spot on her Nugget Couch. I was instantly furious. This thing had already been peed on once and I was already exhausted and didn’t want to have to clean anything else, but I pulled the cover off and set it in the laundry room to wash in the morning.

I get all comfy and cuddle up in bed. My nice, warm, cozy bed. And I lay there. And lay there. I laid there for hours before I finally passed out. I jokingly laughed to myself that maybe I was getting too used to sleeping in the hospital recliner and didn’t know how to sleep somewhere normal anymore. Before I went to sleep, I had set my alarm for 8am planning on a full day of productivity.

My alarm went off this morning and I shut it off and rolled back over. By the time I woke up, it was 10:30am. I’m not big on sleeping in, because I feel gross and like I wasted my whole morning. Well that was exactly how I felt this morning. I finally got myself out of bed, let the dog out, and wasn’t sure what to do with myself. I fed the dog, started the washing machine, and decided I was going to watch some TV until the washer was done and I could take a shower. When I walked into the living room, I noticed Winnie, my dog, licking something on Hazel’s little llama chair. I shooed her away and noticed a bloody pee spot on the chair. I literally lost it. If I had to smell pee or clean up anything else I just didn’t know what I was going to do. I started crying and called my mom to figure out how to clean it and to vent. She suggested hydrogen peroxide and luckily that worked to get the blood out, but not the pee smell. I wiped the whole seat down with peroxide and then sprayed the chair with fabric febreeze and then put it in Hazel’s bedroom and closed the door.

I guess I should clarify that all this pee is not from my child, but it’s from one of our cats. A few months ago he started peeing everywhere and then we started seeing blood in our sinks and bathtubs. Every time we try to take him to the vet something happens – first it was that he didn’t get enough of the calming medication; the next time I had to go the ER; the most recent time our son ended up in the hospital. We know we need to take him, but we’re not sure how we will pay for it. It’s just an added layer of stress. I love him dearly, but I’m over cleaning up pee and smelling pee.

I’m crying hysterically by the time I’m done cleaning up the chair and I finally sit down and calm down while I watch the TV episode. By the time the show is over, the washing machine has finished, so I lay out the couch cover and get in the shower. The shower feels nice, but I’m not going to lie, postpartum is the hardest thing I have ever gone through and I thought I had better prepared myself this time around. But it turns out I haven’t. I absolutely dread getting out of the shower and trying to pick something out to wear and today was no different, actually it was worse. Because I spend practically all my time at the hospital, I haven’t done laundry in weeks, so the small amount of clothes that fit me and I feel comfortable in are dirty. It took me a little over half an hour to find something to put on. There was ugly crying. There was imagining myself ripping all my clothes off hangers and throwing them in the floor. It wasn’t pretty, but postpartum in general is hard. Postpartum with a baby in the hospital is hard. Postpartum with added layers of stress is hard. It’s just so hard!

As I’m laying there on my bed, tears streaming down my face, trying to have a pity party, the thought that kept popping into my head was, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Over and over. It just kept interrupting every negative thought I had. It was honestly pissing me off. I got off the bed and yelled that I get it as I turned off the light and walked down the hallway. Are you allowed to do that? Yell at God? I’ve been closer to Him than ever lately, so it warmed my heart that I could hear the help He was sending, but I was also frustrated and wanted to wallow. I think it’s allowed. I think He understands.

I wish that was the end of the frustrating part of my day, but it’s not. I get the car all packed up and am headed to grab lunch (the first thing I’ve eaten all day) when I realize I forgot my sweatshirt. So I have to turn around and go back to the house. I know, not a big deal, but it felt like a big deal. One of those, c’mon seriously!, moments. I get the sweatshirt and make it to Taco Bueno and literally everyone and their grandma is in the drive-thru, so I’m forced to go inside, because I have no patience left and I’m starving. I’ll admit that going inside was the best thing that could have happened. I could sit and eat without trying to balance it in my lap and just take a small breather. That’s exactly what I did.

And you know what, my day got better from there.

I made it to the bookstore across DFW to pick up a book I had ordered and then headed straight to the hospital – my happy place these days, how ironic is that? No traffic, no accidents, no stupid drivers. I surprisingly didn’t yell at a single person on the road. And then once I made it to Jameson’s room, I was instantly relieved. I got the latest update on what they are watching and waiting for. I got to kiss his little head. I got to hug my husband. I got to sit in my favorite recliner. I wrote thank you cards to the nurses. I listened to some country music. I sat on hold with the toll tag people to straighten some things out. Now I’m writing to get my feelings out of my head…

So even if I wasn’t grateful for God’s wisdom earlier, I am now.

Family, Motherhood

Happy Due Date Baby Boy

It blows my mind that today was the day they guessed he would arrive. It cracks me up that I anticipated he would come later than this date. I believed that so strongly that I asked Jeremiah’s parents to push back their trip, because I wanted to time to recover. It makes me smile that I was so excited for Jameson to be the first May baby of our family. It reminds me that God has his own plan and timing.

So happy due date to my little man who was just in such a hurry to start living his best life. ❤

But it also makes me a little sad. Jameson rushed to get out, all excited to begin living, but instead has spent 28 days in the hospital, 11 of those hooked up to a ventilator. How could that not break a mama’s heart?

But instead of focusing on all the sad and hard parts of Jameson’s journey so far, I like to focus on all the things we will do once he gets home. Lots of walks. Lots of sunshine. Lots of warm wind. Lots of snuggles. Lots of kisses. Since he’s been so cooped up – literally unable to even wiggle – inside a pretty blah environment, I see us spending copious amounts of time outside. I see Jameson napping in his basinet next to me, while Hazel runs around squealing with delight and Winnie pants on the concrete. I see lots of good, good stuff happening in our future and I cannot wait until it is our reality!

Family, Motherhood

Oh Hello There Pediatric ICU

Today was a day. Lately every day feels like a day. I didn’t think today was going to escalate as quickly as it did. One minute we are going through the daily motions of the pediatric floor and the next my baby is being intubated in the pediatric ICU.

Let me back up and start from the beginning.

First of all, I know the title of this post sounds light-hearted, but let me assure you there is nothing light-hearted about this situation. But you do what you have to do to make it through. Jameson needs me to be strong, so I put on my chipper attitude and get through the day. Yes, there are breakdowns, but I try to focus on the positives and the blessings in disguise. But in all seriousness, I’m literally crying as I type this, so there’s that.

Anyway, so things have really changed since my last update. On Monday night, Jameson stopped waking up and wanting to eat, so on Tuesday they had to put in a feeding tube. That was the biggest change. So I woke up today (Wednesday) around 9am. We were just going through the motions, I met the nurse and she did her examination. She felt that Jameson was breathing hard, so she bumped his oxygen to 4 liters. Pretty standard. I held him for a little bit that morning and could feel him breathing through the swaddle, putting pressure on my arm; that is not normal. When the nurse came in again to check on him, the charge nurse also came in to take a peek. It had been an hour or so on 4 liters and they didn’t feel like he was getting any better. After the doctor looked at him, they decided he needed high flow, so he would need to be sent to the pediatric ICU (PICU). Not long after that decision was made, we were whisked off to the PICU.

Once we arrived on the PICU floor everything was a frenzy. There were nurses, nurse practitioners, and respiratory therapists in the room getting everything set up and checking him out. He was put on 10 of high flow and all feedings had stopped. The nurses did their examination and ordered a chest x-ray. Upon looking at the chest x-ray it was apparent that Jameson had developed pneumonia. So they quickly switched him off high flow and onto a bubble CPAP. My sister-in-law arrived with some lunch for me, so I took a break and went outside to eat with her. Once I was back in the room, they informed me that Jameson’s temperature was low, so they were going to switch him to a warming bed. I helped them make the switch as Jeremiah arrived.

He had only been in the room maybe ten minutes when all of a sudden Jameson’s oxygen levels plummeted. They were in the 70s (when they should be 100). I found a nurse and asked if that was accurate and then it was a frenzy again. Nurses flooded in the room checking on him. I heard one of them tell someone else to contact the doctor. The doctor comes in almost immediately. Jeremiah and I just stand in the corner waiting to be told what’s going on. Once everything kind of calms down the doctor tells us that Jameson is starting to take breaks where he stops breathing and then starts breathing really fast. This is a sign that he is tiring out. So the decision was made to put him on a ventilator.

It took roughly an hour and thirty minutes for them to get Jameson intubated. Because his airway is so small, they had to put a camera down his nose in order to see where they were going. He had some bleeding in his nose and mouth from the trauma. From there they took some blood and tried tirelessly to get a second IV set up, but no such luck, so a central line is in Jameson’s future. The nurse also spotted some PVCs in his heart rate, but said not to worry; it’s not uncommon in babies, but they will keep an eye on it just in case.

So we are in the PICU indefinitely. I believe Jameson is getting great care here and it was a blessing he was brought to this floor when he was. Please keep the prayers and thoughts coming; I cannot express how much it means to me! ❤

Family, Motherhood

Life Update // Back in the Hospital

I’ve been M.I.A. lately, because we are back in the hospital with our little guy.

It was all so unexpected. Last Friday was a straight up whirlwind of a day. We dropped one of our cats off at the vet and then took Jameson to his two week check-up with his pediatrician. As soon as we arrived, the nurse started checking Jameson’s vitals and weight. Nothing too out of the ordinary for a peemie appointment. Well the doctor comes in and lets us know that she is very concerned about his oxygen levels. She does an assessment and it turns out that he is retracting – which means he is over-exerting himself and using his stomach muscles to help him breathe – this is not good. When babies do this they will tire themselves out; if that happens, their heart can stop and CPR is needed. The pediatrician wanted to exhaust everything they could do at their office to help him relax and start breathing normally. They did some heavy-duty suctioning of his nose, but did not get anything. Then he received a breathing treatment of albuterol with no change. Then they put him on oxygen with little improvement. The decision was made to send him to the hospital by ambulance.

The EMTs filed into his little exam room and everything happened so fast. They were getting information from the pediatrician and then needed a history and some details from me. Jameson was hooked up to a portable machine to monitor his vitals while we were en route. They had us put him in his car seat and then that was secured to the stretcher. He was then loaded up in the ambulance. I was allowed to ride along with him while Jeremiah followed behind in our car. They continued to have Jameson on oxygen on the drive, but his vitals looked good which was reassuring.

Once we arrived at the hospital, the EMTs got him all settled in to the ER and we were on to our next adventure. The ER was a bit hectic. We were in a little room in the corner, but when he was first brought in, there were four or five people all in his room, so Jeremiah and I just stood outside waiting for instructions. Once the EMTs left, we were shuffled into his room and asked more questions while they got him hooked back up to the monitors, put in an IV, took blood, took a chest x-ray, did a COVID test and a test for a panel of all the respiratory viruses. As we waited, different nurses came in and out to check on him. After a few hours, we realized it had gotten late and we hadn’t eaten anything, so Jeremiah went in search of some food. About hour four of being at the ER, he was finally admitted to the pediatric floor.

He’s been on the pediatric floor ever since. His COVID and RSV tests were negative. The panel revealed he has a type of influenza (I can’t remember it’s exact name, but it isn’t the flu). So right now Jameson has the influenza, bronchiolitis, and respiratory distress. His chest x-ray revealed some mucus build-up in his lungs. He is currently on 3 liters of oxygen and they are monitoring his oxygen levels, breathing rate, and retraction. Typically these types of viruses can take anywhere from five to fourteen days to clear up, but since he’s so small, they don’t really know how long it will take him to fight it off. We think he’s on day five or so of the virus.

We are just praying hard for Jameson to recover quickly with little long-term effects as well as for his care team here at the hospital.

Motherhood

Mother’s Day // 2021

At the beginning of the year, I had expected this to be my last mother’s day as a mom to just my precious baby girl – the sweet little lady who made me a mom and has given me two years of motherhood firsts. Even as a baby and toddler, she has shown me so much patience and grace as I figure this whole thing out one new experience at a time. She doesn’t hold it against me that I dropped her once or that I never got my pre-baby body back. She looks up at me with so much love that I want to burst, because I don’t deserve it.

During the month of April, I started to wrap my head around giving birth to my son on this mother’s day. It had been a good pregnancy that took a turn this spring due to high blood pressure. It became a hectic season after told we’d have to be induced at 37 weeks. There were chiropractor appointments to encourage baby boy to get into the head down position. There were 24 hour urine collections. There were appointments with new providers due to having to birth in the hospital. There was not much time to breathe. Lots of messy hair days with a house to match and lots of negative and what-if thoughts infiltrating my brain.

Now mother’s day is here and I have two absolutely perfect babies to love, hold, and cherish. It’s been exactly two weeks of having our baby boy here with us and it already feels like he’s been part of my life forever. This mother’s day I am recovering from a c-section and my own mom is staying with us. As I fight thoughts of feeling useless and frustrated, I look around from my spot on the couch and see my daughter over the moon excited to watch her little brother sleep and my mom helping her, picking up the toys, and reminding me that recovery is part of the birth journey, and I just can’t help but feel so grateful and thankful for the incredible blessings God has given me in my children and my mom.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mommas out there. I see you and no matter what you are dealing with and working through, you are enough! ❤