Uncategorized

Life Update // Getting Back to Normal

It’s been awhile friends. Sorry – not sorry – for that.

For those of you who don’t keep up with us on social media, Jameson is back home! He has been home for just under a month. I haven’t posted practically at all, because it has been quite the overwhelming, exhausting journey. He was released on a Friday evening and that Monday morning I started back to work. My in-laws were in town. Both them and my mom stayed with us for different periods of time to help out. We learned that week that Hazel had developed hand food and mouth disease, so she had to spend another two weeks with my mom. There were many follow-up pediatrician appointments for both of them. Lots of information to take in. There was a feeding tube and there still is formula thickener.

So let’s just say it took us awhile to fall back into our normal lives.

We were prepared for Jameson to be different than Hazel, but I’d say we greatly underestimated how different he would be. Obviously this isn’t his fault and we had no way of knowing that any of this would happen. It’s one of those things where you never think it will happen to you until it does. But we are relieved to finally have both kids back home with us. I won’t lie – it has been a stressful process learning Jameson. He has gone through so much in his short life so far. Being premature he was already going to be a bit behind for his age group, but then after being hospitalized he has been a bit fussier than before. We have to work extra hard at not comparing him to Hazel, because she was a rare, easy baby who slept through the night within a few weeks, had no issues eating after we switched to bottles and formula, and had the sweetest, easiest temperament. But Jameson is coming around!

Our Fourth of July was a good one! I got us altogether for a little family photoshoot and they turned out really cute. The day of, the kids and I went to a family swimming party. Hazel was a little fish and Jameson got to “swim” for the first time; he wasn’t a fan. That night, the kids had a sleepover with their grandparents and Jeremiah and I watched some fireworks. Then a couple days later, we went to our city’s firework show and it was so so so good! Jameson sported some huge headphones and slept through the whole thing and Hazel was giddy with excitement as she said “boom” between fireworks and proceeded to clap. She talks about them constantly.

I’ve still been reading a lot. Not as quickly as while we were in the hospital, but I still make a point to read every day.

While in the hospital, my health took a back seat. It wasn’t my top priority nor is it easy to be healthy while living out of a hospital room. In the first two weeks being home, I continued to eat like crap, drink way too much soda, and was still overwhelmed, exhausted, sleep-deprived, and stressed. But as things have settled and calmed down, last week I started to be mindful of my health. I have officially cut out soda – Dr Pepper – for 9 days and counting. I also haven’t had fast food in 8 days. For six days straight, Jeremiah and I cooked all our meals at home and did not eat out. Sunday was our “cheat” day… although we didn’t say we couldn’t eat out, we just didn’t and it has felt great! Today we went for a mile long family walk – the first significant walk I have gone on in ages. I’m taking slow slow slow baby steps to getting healthy again, but I want to work hard and lose the baby weight + hospital weight.

So that’s what we’ve been up to. How has the summer been for y’all?

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!

Uncategorized

A Difficult Confession

I feel terrible writing this, but I just have to get it out.

I’m struggling to look at my baby, because he just doesn’t look like himself.

Sure, I’ve only known him for a month. I’ve only looked at his face for the past 30 days. But he was the tiniest little thing I had ever seen when this whole journey started. He was all of 5 pounds and 8 ounces. Tiny little head. Small, but poochy little stomach. His chin was super recessed giving him a very pouty lip. He was just so so small. And the past few days I’ve just been looking at him and he just doesn’t look like the same kid I brought to the hospital 12 days ago. He’s plumped up. His head is super round. He has a double chin thing going on. He just seems fuller and taller. I haven’t seen him in awhile without tape on his face and no tubes coming out of nose and mouth and surrounded by wires. I haven’t held him in over a week or changed his diaper or fed him.

I think it all just hit me. And then I felt guilty for feeling these feelings. But today I have cried multiple times while looking at him. This evening, I just got so worked up, I went and cried for awhile in the bathroom – our hospital room has no privacy. I don’t know where these feelings are coming from, because it truly doesn’t matter what he looks like, only that he is getting better.

But leaving just feels so far away. I need my baby boy to come home!

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.