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.

Pregnancy

A Shower Celebrating Our New Muggle to Snuggle

This past weekend, Jeremiah and I had our shower celebrating our precious Jameson Taylor. It was so low-key and fun! I am so thankful to everyone who was a part of making the shower so special.

Theme

A Little Muggle is on the Way!

I have always been a big fan of Harry Potter. I got really into it while visiting family when I was in fourth grade. Reading the books and then enjoying the movies. It’s something I want to share with my kids, so this theme is really fun and special to me.

Decor

The Harry Potter theme was really up my diagon alley. I loved how simple the decor was. Honestly, the decorations were so vintage and sustainable… I think the hosts might have only bought one or two items.

Being a HP fan, I already had the books and onesies. The letter board and ultrasound picture were already decor in my house. My mom wrapped old boxes in butcher paper for the parcels. The red curtains were already in my kitchen, so really only the banner was new.

I truly loved how straightforward it all was. Nothing over the top, but precious and cute none-the-less!

Snacks

Okay, the snack spread was hella good! Let’s start with the speciality Harry Potter themed cookies – I normally don’t eat cookies, but I gave these a shot and wooooooow – not to mention so stinking adorable! My cousin made howlers to go with the theme and they were too funny and cute. The butterbeer was a quirky touch as well!

For the Food:

  • speciality cookies
  • chocolate pretzel sticks
  • popcorn
  • “howler” pastries
  • muffins
  • fruit tray
  • veggie tray
  • cheese and cracker tray

For the Drinks:

  • butterbeer
  • soda
  • water

Games & Activities

In my opinion stuff to do at showers is hit or miss and depends on the crowd, but I think these just right!

  • sign Jameson’s first Harry Potter book
  • late night diapers
  • how big is mom’s belly
  • free dobby – guess how many socks in the jar
  • mom or dad

The activity of signing Jameson’s first Harry Potter book is really special for me, because the first Harry Potter book I received has special meaning to me. On the previously mentioned trip visiting family, I was so bored. We were staying with my PaPaw and I just picked up the first HP book off his shelf. I started it and couldn’t it put it down. I took it with me everywhere we went. I had finished it by the end of the week, so he let me take the second book with me on the drive home – I had it finished in twelve hours. At the time only 4 HP books were written, so he mailed me all the ones he had. From then on, every time a new Harry Potter book would come out, he would mail it to me. It was something I loved and always looked forward to. I don’t know if reading will be important to Jameson, but if it is, I hope this activity will kickstart a special memory of this book series for him like the one I have.

The mom and dad game was basically just a list of questions where people had to guess whether it was the mom or dad. This game turned out to be a lot of fun as people argued about whether they could choose both, read the question wrong, or even add in my mom as a choice. My childhood friend got all but one question right!

A classic shower game is the how big is mom’s belly and it’s truly one of my favorites! It cracks me up that both times a guy has won. Sometimes people go crazy long and it just makes you wonder. 😀

Guests

In the wake of the pandemic, I wasn’t sure how people would feel about coming together for a party. I was actually against the idea of a shower, but my mom really wanted me to have one, so she and my cousin set out to make it happen. I am so grateful for the friends and family who came out to support us and encourage us in our growing family! I love each and every one of you so dearly. ❤

A huge thank you to my amazing mom and sweet cousin who planned and prepared this shower for us. It’s no easy feat, but we had a wonderful time and felt 100% showered with love.