Friday, August 31, 2012

August 30th, 2012

Blake had his drain removed yesterday morning. The surgeon came in and literally plucked it right out of his abdomen. Poor blake was in a dead sleep and was completely startled by the removal. It took him a good 30-45 minutes for his vitals to finally settle down. The drain had been making its way out on its own anyway so there really wasn't much left of the tube in his belly, but still. Poor guy didn't see it coming.

All this medical jibber jabber doesn't always sink in and make sense to me. Sometimes I feel like the more questions I ask, the more confused I get. I feel like the last few days, I've been asking the same questions, but rephrasing them so that I finally get the answer or explanation that I understand. Today I had one of those light bulb moments where the confusing part I didn't quite understand finally clicked.

I knew that the drain, or 'penrose', drained fluids and other gunk like blood and stool that had worked its way into his abdomen. What I did NOT understand is why they wanted to pull the Penrose out if there was still drainage leaking out. I thought the drainage would cause infection if it remained inside his belly. Well, I'm glad to finally learn that isn't the case and I can stop stressing. The doctor informed me that the little bit of left over drainage that would be in his belly is sterile so it will actually reabsorb into his body. The penrose drain was simply for the purpose of relieving the pressure that the perf in his intestines caused when they leaked the stool. Now that the majority of all the gunk is out, its safe to pull the drain. I'm so glad I finally worded my question the right way because now I finally get it!

Other than his vitals going crazy after the Penrose drain was removed, he had another great day. He received the last of his antibiotics last night and they are now looking at starting feedings again either Saturday or Sunday. And from there, its another waiting game to see how his body reacts to the feedings. It could take several days to see if this whole fiasco happens again, or HOPEFULLY all is well and healed and we can move forward with his progress. He's been such a little trooper in all this!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kangaroo Care

Today Blake is 2 weeks old! It's amazing how quickly time has gone by already. All my days have blurred into one and I am so glad that I started this blog because it helps me keep track of the days.
I went to see Blake today as I normally do and again, I was told that he's still holding strong and maintaining his progress.  Ever since he's been born I've been asking when I would be able to hold him and start kangaroo care. And each time I asked the doctor, I was told "soon". The last few days I've had several nurses ask me if I've held him yet and look surprised when I say 'no, not yet'. Monday when I spoke to one of the doctors, he told me I would probably have to wait a few weeks. Obviously I was disappointed but I also know that I don't want to push it until I know Blake is ready and stable enough to.
Well, I was asked by the nurse practioner if I had held him yet. And yet again, she looked shocked and confused about why I hadn't been able to yet. Blake's bedside nurse came in and they got together and discussed a few things and came back with the conclusion that I would be able to start kangaroo care today if I wanted to. I've been waiting to hold my child since the moment I found out I was pregnant so it was a no brainer.
My friend Tracy was with me today and she was able to video tape the nurses handing me my little one. It was definitely a tedious task of trying to get him from his bed to my arms without tangling all his tubes and wires but we managed. For kangaroo care you need to have skin to skin contact. The nurses brought me a hospital gown so that I could have him lie directly on my chest. Once he was comfortablely laying resting on my chest the nurses left us alone and I was able to finally relax and just enjoy this milestone with my precious little one.
I was told that daily kangaroo care is very beneficial for both baby and mother. Skin to skin helps the baby regulate his breathing and his temperature. This is very important for Blake right now since he is off of the ventilator and is controlling his own breathing rhythm. It also helps him fall into a deeper sleep. And everyone knows that when you are sick that lots of rest can help you feel better. Well, the same goes for preemies. Skin to skin also helps relax him since he can hear my heart beat and feel my touch. It's the closest he can get to being back in the womb where he should be at this early in  gestation. And its good for me because just the sight, feel and touch of him helps my milk production. And of course its good for me mentally and emotionally because I feel like I can finally bond with him.
I feel incredibly blessed.
Holding Blake and having him all snuggled up close to me was what I needed. I literally felt the stress and worry melt away. Nothing could take away from that moment and I feel so thankful that I was allowed to have this opportunity. I kept thanking the nurses over and over after my hour and a half cuddle session because without them, I wouldn't have been able to hold my son. And the greatest part about the whole thing is that I can do it everyday from now on (as long as Blake is okay and can tolerate it).
I want to thank everyone again for all the support and prayers. I truly believe that God is listening to every prayer said for Blake. I do believe in miracles and my little baby is definitely a miracle himself.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

August 28th, 2012 (pics)

(I already wrote a post for today but of course I did it on my phone... which froze and had to be restarted. So now I have to write it over again. But I'm doing it from my laptop this time so there shouldn't be any more technical problems.)

We are still continuing to receive good news! Blake's head ultrasound results came back last night and we were told that the small amount of bleeding that he had in his brain is actually starting to get absorbed back into the tissue which will make it as if there never was bleeding in the first place. This was great news to hear!

He's still doing really well without the ventilator. He he does have a nasal cannula which is just supplemental oxygen just in case he forgets to breath or it becomes irregular. He has been doing really well breathing on his own though which of course is more great news.

I happen to be there while his bedside nurse came in to clean and replace his nasal cannula so I was able to help contain him and keep him calm. He lets out the sweetest little cries now! It melts my heart to hear him but it also breaks my heart not being able to do anything for him. I can't wait till he gets older and more stable so that I can be more hands on with him. He does have a mini pacifier that he can use when he gets a little fussy. After he was all done getting his new cannula, he was given the pacifier for a bit but had it taken away after awhile because he sometimes forgets to breathe and the oxygen from the cannula would have to kick in to remind him.

But other than that, all looks well! Patrick and I went to see him again this evening and he was SO alert. The nurse had just started doing his 'care' (diaper change, temperature, measurements,  weight, etc.) and when we peeked inside his bed, his eyes were wide awake and looking around at everything! He just starred at me for basically the whole 'care' session. Almost as if he were trying to match my face with the voice he heard while he was in my belly. Such a curious little guy!

 I was able to jump right in and help with all the 'care' activities and when I was changing the diaper, I noticed that the drainage tube in his lower abdomen was taken out quite a bit. The nurse informed us that the surgeon pulled it out a little bit and that he may possibly be taking it out tomorrow or at least here real soon. I still get a little woozy when I see his drain. I have such a weak stomach but its a strange feeling when you are fighting the urge to look away and yet you are wanting to help your child and just want to suck up your fears. Even though the drain is scary to me, I'm just so glad that he has doctors and nurses who stay on top of all and take excellent care of him.

The fact that he is doing so well is such a blessing. The neonatal specialist who gave me all the scary and disheartening statistics when I first got emitted to the hospital came in today with the rest of the doctors during the daily rounds.  And let me tell you, this man crushed our spirits when we arrived at Thunderbird. I know he didn't do it intentionally (in fact its his job to be straight forward with us) but the numbers and statistics that came out of his mouth killed me. He made me believe that my baby didn't have a chance and that we needed to prepare ourselves for the worst. So you can imagine how I felt today when he came in and used words like 'exceptional', 'fantastic', 'fabulous' and he even threw in 'he's a little stud muffin'. The fact that when we first met, his job was to be realistic with me and not sugar coat the situation and now here he was being oh so positive really lifted my spirits and made me realize what a little trooper Blake is. He is a fighter and I've said it all along. Even in my womb, I could tell he was a strong little guy. These last few days have given me so much to be thankful for and I feel very optimistic for my little boy's future.

Blake will be 2 weeks old tomorrow. So hard to believe that he's been here for 2 weeks. Time has gone by pretty quickly and I'm hoping that it continues to fly by. I keep counting down the days until December because I just can't wait to bring him home!

13 days old

Such a trooper!
A quick look at his handsome face without all the tubes

His mini-passy. So tiny!

All cozy sucking his passy after getting his new cannula tubes

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 27th, 2012

Blake made another milestone yesterday! Patrick and I came in and not only were both eyes open, but they took out the ventilator tube! I can't remember what its called but he does have nasal tubes just in case he does stop breathing on his own. But they have said he is doing great without the ventilator!

When I came in this morning, I noticed that he had a little pacifier in his bed. The nurse said that he really likes to suck on it, or he'll suck on his tiny fingers. He is learning how to self soothe which is also a good thing. With that big ol' ventilator tube out of his mouth and throat he has all kinds of new things to do. He yawns all the time, or I've heard him make squeaky noises a few times. Blake is definitely getting more accustomed to his surroundings, and is vert curious. Any time we lift the blanket that is over his bed, he'll peek open his eyes to see where the light is coming from.
I was told Blake had his follow up head ultrasound but we are still waiting for the results. I think I may have mentioned in a previous post about how he had a small amount of bleeding in the right side of his brain. There was such a small amount that the doctors weren't even worried because usually the blood will just absorb back into his blood stream. But this is just a routine check up to make sure that the bleeding didn't expand.

The blue discoloration in his belly is starting to go away. The doctor who put the drain in came to check on him yesterday to see if he could go ahead and pull it out but there was a little drainage making its way out still so he left it in. He came in again today but I haven't talked to any of the doctors yet so I really don't know what the verdict was. But overall, the nurse said he's doing great!

I keep praying that Blake keeps progressing like he has been. The next big step for him is to see if he tolerates feedings in a few weeks or so. That will indicate whether or not he has more serious issues with his intestines. But we are optimistic since he's been doing so well.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

August 25th, 2012

Little man opened an eye today! When Patrick and I arrived, the nurses gave us the latest updates (which really haven't changed besides that they are still weaning the ventilator) and let us know that he had peeked and opened his right eye. He was sound asleep when we got there. But right before we left, we lifted the little blanket that was covering his ventilator and sure enough, he opened his little eye up! Patrick and I were so excited! The left one is still fused shut but I don't think it will take very long before that one opens too. It's just exciting for us because we'll be able to tell when he's awake now. The nurses said that they can see shadows and blurry figures. Every milestone is a blessing, no matter how small. And today was another good day! He's definitely a strong little guy. =)

No More Eye Mask!

I mentioned in one of my posts how they turned off the spot light that was shining on him. Well, since its off we can see his beautiful little face! He looks so much more peaceful with it off. That mask was pretty thick and bulky. Now that it is off, hopefully he'll start to open his eyes. We've seen him lift his eyebrows like he was trying to a few times so I don't think it will be much longer.

Friday, August 24, 2012

August 24, 2012

We are having another uneventful day which is good. Blake is almost back up to his birth weight. He's at 1 pound 7 ounces right now and his birth weight was 1pound 8 ounces.
They said he still has drainage coming out of his drain which I was told was good. The surgeon told me "better out than in" so I'll take his word on it.
No significant changes. He is still stable so that's always good news!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More pics

My handsome little man

Staying Strong

Regular Newborn Diaper compared to Preemie XS diaper which still needs to be folded down in order to fit Blake.

Big Brother & Little Brother

A lady makes and donates these quilts to babies in the NICU. This one is Blake's.

August 23rd, 2012

Blake is still doing really well. There isn't really any new updates. But hey, no news is better than bad news so I'm not complaining.

Patrick and I took Ashton to see him for the first time this afternoon. I was kind of nervous about it. Ashton can get pretty loud and I was worried about him waking up all the babies in the NICU, but he was more entertained by where we were and didn't fuss too much. When we walked into Blake's room, it was pretty dark. Patrick held Ashton up so he could take a peek at Blake but since it was nice and dark in his ventilator I don't think he really saw his brother in there. He seemed curious though! He kept leaning over and trying to figure out what was in the big plastic box. Anytime he would start to get loud I would whisper "We gotta be quiet, baby is sleeping". Ashton would whisper back "ah babys shhh". So cute. I don't think he really knows what a baby is because he has always been the "baby".

But other than Ashton's little visit with his little brother, nothing else really happened today. They did put Blake on his belly for the first time today and he looked so comfortable all nestled in his nest of blankets. Plus, with that terribly bright light off, he didn't need his little eye mask on so I bet that helped make him a bit more comfortable. He has been off his blood pressure medication for the last 2 days and has been doing great maintaining it himself. They are still trying to wean the ventilator but that could take awhile. In order to remove the tube in his mouth, air would be blown into his belly and with the drain and him still trying to heal, it wouldn't be a good idea. He is making progress and I couldn't be happier. We've had two good days in a row and I am praying for many more.

Saying "hello" to his little brother for the first time.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A little kindness goes a long way

Patrick and I just got home from visiting Blake and even though I'm exhausted, I had to write about something that just absolutely made my day. (besides the fact that Blake did well today which is the ultimate blessing)

We walked into his NICU room and sitting on the couch was a little gift bag. I figured it was from my mother in law because I thought I heard Patrick say she was going to stop by. There was an adorable little preemie outfit, a lion finger puppet, and a little fleece blanket. Then I opened the envelope and found a picture of baby Mickey that had been colored with crayons and it was signed "from Marysa" in a child's handwriting. I looked at Patrick confused and asked him if he knew anybody named Marysa and he looked just as confused as me. But then I saw there was another piece of paper in the envelope and this is what it said.

"Hello my name is marysa and I am 12 years old. I was a preemie born here at thunderbird hospital and I know that this must be a difficult time, so I have a gift for you! This is my 3rd year donating these gift bags and I am so happy that I can help you and your baby.

With lots of love,
Marysa's mission to make a heart smile"

I seriously was on the verge of tears. A nurse walked in right as I finished reading it so to was able to compose myself. But that is the sweetest thing ever! I wish I was there when she came by because I would love to be able to thank her and give her a massive and probably an overly emotional hug.

I am so grateful for all the family and friends who are praying for us or keeping us in their thoughts and hearts. But the fact that there are other people who I don't know that are aware of our situation and actually reach out to try and make a difference amazes me. Something as simple as a complete stranger who left a thoughtful little gift for my son warms my heart and makes me so happy and thankful.

After we get passed these next 4 chaotic months, I would like to be able to do something similar. Being on the receiving end of one of these extremely thought gifts makes me realize just how much a small gesture could mean to someone in need of a little pick me up. I want to give back and I think its only fair that I pass along the kindness to someone else who will need it.

August 22nd, 2012

Blake is a week old today! And given the scary situation he faced the other night, he is doing just great.

The doctors havent done their daily rounds yet so I haven't had a chance to get a more detailed summary of how he's doing but the nurses have assured me that he is doing as well as he can and that's all that we can ask for. His vitals are strong, he's still urinating which means his kidneys are functioning and they brought down the ventilator a bit because he's been doing well with the oxygen so they are still going to continue weaning him off. His belly is looking better with each day. It isn't distended anymore and the blue discoloration has started to fade and go back to normal. And this doesn't have anything to do with test results or anything like that but I did notice that he is starting to 'suck' on his fingers and tube which is just adorable. The nurses say its a good thing when they start to suck (even on the tube) because its a way of self soothing.

This has definitely been a roller coaster and its only been a week. I'm physically and emotionally exhausted. This year has been nothing but crazy. We got married in February. We had a month to be newly weds before we found out we were expecting Mr. Blake in March. Then we bought a house so we spent all the early summer months packing, moving and unpacking. We were finally getting settled and all of a sudden, preterm labor made its way onto our path and now we are trying to figure out how to continue living our lives with a micro preemie in the NICU.

One of the worst feelings is not being able to take care of your own baby. Even when I sit here in the NICU with Blake I feel so helpless because I have to watch all the nurses do what should have been my job. Don't get me wrong, they are wonderful! I couldn't ask for better nurses to look after Blake but its hard trusting and leaving your newly born baby in the hands of someone else where I have zero control of the situation.

Every morning I drop Ashton off with my mother in law so that I can spend a few hours with Blake at the hospital. Then I bring ashton home for lunch and naptime. By the time he wakes up, its mid afternoon and we only have a few hours to spend together before its bedtime. Balancing two kids under separate roofs is physically tiring and emotionally trying. Plus I feel like we still have so much to do before Blake comes home in December. We still haven't set up his room, or bought all the stuff we need for him because obviously we weren't expecting him here so soon.

So I do apologize if I don't return every text, email, message, phone call or whatever else. It's just that I'm still trying to figure out my place as a mother of two. I appreciate ALL the support. I seriously do. I feel so fortunate that I'm surrounded by so many loving people who care about our family. It means a lot. So please don't think I'm ignoring you or that you are wasting your time and breath. You are ALL so amazing!

By the way, as I was writing this, the doctors came in to give me an update and Blake is doing great! All his labs are having good results and they basically just confirmed what the nurses had told me when I got here. Hopefully Blake can continue making progress! This has definitely been a high point on this crazy roller coaster so I'm going enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Just a few quick pics I thought I'd share.

August 21st

The doctors came in to update us on Blake's situation. And it wasn't as bad as we anticipated.

His vitals are good and holding strong. He's still sedated because they don't want to stress him out. His acid levels are good which may be an indicator that there isn't a lot of dead intestine if there is any at all. That is what we are hoping for. If that is the case, then the hole in his intestine may only be a tear which may possibly heal. He's on antibiotics and they stopped his feedings for at least 2 weeks while his body heals and fights off any infection.

Last night was a nightmare but if we continue to get good reports like we did today, then hopefully he will be on track again.

Stay Strong

My dear precious Blake,

It's just about 2 am and you have me all stressed and worried about you.

We got a phone call around 7pm on august 20th (your 5th day of life) informing us that your little belly was a little tight and distended. They performed an XRay and saw the reason for the blue discoloration. You have a perforated bowel. They wanted my consent to do a procedure to drain the matter that made its way into your belly. I quickly agreed and let them know we were on our way as soon as possible.

I did the one thing I've steered away from doing and that's google the information I have been given. I sat there helplessly, not really knowing anything and I googled. And I wasn't happy with what I found.

" A perforated bowel is a medical emergency in which a hole in the bowel opens to allow its contents to empty into the rest of the abdominal cavity. The result is frequently sepsis or blood infection, which if not treated can cause almost immediate death. "

And they say not to look things up like this on google because it always sounds worse than it is. Well, not in this scenario. When we arrived in the NICU, they had already begun to put you to sleep for the procedure and give you lots of pain medicine. They then began a lengthy description of basically what I had read online.

According to the doctor, you have a dead peice of intestine which caused the hole and leak. They can't tell how much of the intestine is dead due to the high risk of the surgery. They suggested that we have the smaller procedure done which would be less stress on your little body and pretty much just as effective for the meantime. They put a little incision in your lower groin and inserted a tube to drain all the matter that had leaked from your intestines. They then gave us more numbers and statistics and they were mainly negative. Saying that there are many ways for this to go south and lead to fatality. That is the hardest thing a parent will ever have to hear.

We were able to see you before the procedure. You were already asleep and sprawled out on the table. Wires and tubes attached to every limb. It broke my heart. As your mother, I wish I could take that pain from you. I wish that I could comfort you. I would do anything to make sure you were okay. I hate this feeling of being helpless. All I want to do is help you and make you better. But I'm forced to watch from the sidelines. I'm helpless. I'm a mess.

We were told to sit in the waiting room while the procedure went on. That was the longest 15 minutes of my life. The surgeon came in and informed us that you survived the procedure and that you were still asleep and on pain medicine. They wanted to make sure you were as comfortable as possible. Now the next hurdle was for you to fight off infection and heal with the help of antibiotics. We were told it could take weeks to know if you were in the clear.

Your daddy and I are keeping faith. Not in all the medical mumbo jumbo, but in you. You are the determining factor as to how this will play out. I know you are strong. I felt you in my womb. Kicking,moving and showing me just how alive you are. You faught inside my womb for over a week when the odds were against you and me. You faught when you arrived and showed that you were not ready to give up. You are a fighter. You are strong. And I need you to keep pushing on . There are so many people praying and rooting for you. So many people who already love you and want to meet you. You are quite popular and you haven't even left the hospital yet.

The odds are not in our favor. But Blake, my love, I'm asking you to stay strong. All me and your daddy want is for you to live a long and beautiful life. We want you and your big brother to drive each other crazy but ultimately be each others best friends. We love you more than you could ever imagine. We are praying that God decides to keep you here with us because theres nothing that we want more.

We love you Blake. Please keep fighting. Mommy and daddy need you here and need you to stay strong. Please please please stay strong.

Monday, August 20, 2012

August 20, 2012

Today's Update

Blake has been getting fed 2mL of my breast milk every 6 hours for the last 2 days or so and he seemed to be taking it pretty well. He had some green bile in his stomach but it was just from him not being able to digest it quickly. He had a bowel movement for the first time yesterday and has had one or two since which is excellent because even though its taking a little longer, he is actually able to digest it.

They have noticed a heart murmur but they said its common with preemies because their hearts didn't need the valve closed when they were in the womb. But now that he is out, if that valve isn't closed and is causing problems, they will have to do a surgery to close it. It sounds a lot a scarier than it is. The doctor said that the only real risky part of the procedure is infection while recovering. So as long as they can keep the infection away, then it shouldn't be too bad.

They also noticed that his belly is kind of blue in appearance. They aren't sure what it is quite yet. When I walked in this morning, they were doing an ultrasound on his belly but we won't get the results for a few hours. The said it could possibly be that a tube or IV may have rubbed one of his intestines and caused irritation or made it bleed a little. If that's the case, he would be treated with some antibiotics. Or it could possibly be associated with the heart valve. It may be because the heart isn't pumping enough blood to his lower organs which would be a good enough reason to have the procedure that I mentioned above done. 

An ultrasound was also done on his head this morning to check for bleeding in the brain. It did come back saying that there was slight bleeding in the right side of his brain. They categorize bleeding in the brain on a scale of 1 to 4 where 1 is hardly anything and 4 being extreme. His was luckily only considered a 1. But they said they ranked it a 1 at all because there technically was blood present even though it was a very small amount. The doctor said it wasn't anything to be concerned about. It may even absorb back into his blood stream and go away like it was never there. Even if it doesn't, as long as it stays a small amount it shouldn't even harm him and will go unnoticed. Blake will get another head ultrasound in another week to check up on it.

I asked that they print me up a copy of all this info because it really is SO much to process and absorb. I'll probably have to edit this down the road because I may have mixed up a bit of the terms or said something wrong. But even if I don't relay the exact information back, at least I know that we currently don't have anything too major to worry about. I've been told a million times that this would be one crazy roller coaster ride and the bright side of today is that Blake is stable and comfortable. He doesn't have anything life threatening happening at the moment to keep us worrying. I may not understand all the terminology but they did make sure to tell me that we shouldn't be worrying or stressing at this time. So, we won't. We'll just take it all as it comes.

Welcome to the World

Blake Mathew Jaycox was born on August 15th, 2012 at 5:53am. He weighed 1 pound 8 ounces and was 12 inches long. Blake was born at only 24 weeks gestation and is now currently in the NICU at Thunderbird Banner Hospital.

My water ruptured on August 8th and yet the amazing doctors and nurses I had were able to keep me pregnant for another week. Strict bedrest, fluids, and antibiotics around the clock is how we managed to squeeze by another 8 days. Everyday I was able to keep him in the womb helped him with having a better chance at life after delivery.

August 14, at like 3 in the morning, I had started bleeding. I informed my nurse and she didn't really do much except to me to keep them posted throughout the day if it doesn't stop. It was pretty much steady all day and I was getting frustrated because it is an uneasy feeling to be pregnant and know that you are bleeding. You just know something isn't right. The nurses said it was possibly caused by cervical change and until I started contracting or having cramping or back pain, not to worry. OR if it was clotting let them know immediately because it could possibly mean that the placenta was detaching itself which could lead to delivery.

Later in the evening, I got the clot that I was dreading. I let the nurses know and they STILL didn't seem too phased by it. It wasn't until about an hour later when the night nurse was coming on shift that I was taken seriously. I started getting off and on back pain so she gave me the clicker to mark how far apart they were and we monitored my contractions. Even though there weren't any contractions present, the nurse stepped it up and called for my doctor. My doctor confirmed that there was still a steady bleeding and that my back pain had a pretty steady rhythm. The next plan of action was to move me down the hall to a labor and delivery room to monitor me more closely over night just in case there were any more signs of labor.
We stayed over night and when they checked me early in the morning, we thought all was fine. The bleeding stopped and I didn't have any contractions. However, I still had the back pain and now I felt strong cramps in my lower abdomen. Just to be safe, my doctor checked my cervix one last time and that's when I heard "oh my, there's his hand. Get the O.R. ready, we have to have an emergency c-section." I had been in labor all night even though my body wasn't physically showing it. Little Blake was trying to make his grand entrance without us knowing.

I was rolled into the operating room. Patrick wasn't allowed to go with me since it was an emergency situation so I was all by myself. I was a sobbing mess. Scared and nervous. The whole situation was overwhelming. They didn't have time to give me a spinal so I put to sleep with anesthesia. When I woke up, I was in the recovery room. I've never been in so much pain in my life. Since I didn't have any pain management before I went under, I woke up to the aftermath of the surgery in grueling pain. I couldn't move. I couldn't even talk hardly. They finally placed a button in my hand and told me to click it for the pain medication to be released into my IV.

After what seemed like forever, they wheeled me into the NICU on my bed so that I could see Blake for the first time. My little baby was curled up in a nest blankets with tubes and wires trying to get him stable. I never realized how hard it would be to give birth and never hold your baby. And here he was, so tiny and fragile, fighting for his life in a ventilator box. I couldn't touch him, it comfort him. I had hit an all time low with emotions. You never think something like this could happen to you. And when it does, nobody tells you how to cope. You have no choice but to just be there and figure it out on your own.

The doctors and nurses got Blake stable, however, they informed us about the "honeymoon phase". The honeymoon phase is the first 72 hours of a preemie's where all will look great, baby will be stable and everyone starts to think that they made it through the worst and are on a sure road to recovery, But what often happens after that 72 hour period is that the baby's true colors will start to show and their progress starts to go down hill. I seriously was holding my breath for three days because I wasn't sure how well he would do.

It has been 5 days since Blake was born and he is still holding strong. He's a fighter and we just have to trust and pray that God has a plan. We've been told repeatedly that having a preemie is like being on a roller coaster. There will be great days and then there will be bad days. We just have to learn how to take it day by day and not dwell on the those low days.

Blake Mathew Jaycox
August 15th, 2012 at 5:53am
1 pound 8 ounces and 12 inches long
 My Handsome little man is a fighter. 

Please keep our family in your prayers.


Friday, August 17, 2012

24 Weeks

We successfully reached the 24 week milestone! Theres quite a bit more to look forward to now that I've reached this mark and we can somewhat relax (only somewhat). We are still in a precarious situation but everyday counts and we are thankful for at least reaching the 24 weeks mark.

I know I've already said/wrote about how I could never take life for granted but each day that passes only makes that statement more and more true. I was able to see my son yesterday. And its not that 'im not allowed', its that I've chosen not to because of how emotional I get when I see him. And emotions are great and nothing to be embarrassed about but I don't want my hysterical sobbing when he leaves to start acting up some unnecessary contractions. However, yesterday I needed to see him. As soon as I saw him walk into my room, the happy tears started falling. He came right up and cuddled with me for a few minutes. But keeping a 21 month still is a whole other feat so needless to say, Patrick didn't allow him to sit with me as soon as he started wiggling. But it was amazing just to be able to see and hear him. It's funny because I decided to be a stay at home mom so that I wouldnt miss a thing. I wanted to see every milestone he met. Crawling, walking, talking. I wanted to be there for every moment no matter how big or small. And I thank god that I have been able to do that up until now. But even this past week that I've been in the hospital makes me realize how much and how quickly they grow and learn. I feel like I'm missing out on so much! His vocabulary has like doubled and he's picked up more quirky and adorable little trademarks.

Hearing him call and reach for me kills me. Saying goodbye is the most heartbreaking thing I've had to endure. Seeing his little hands reach out for me while he cries is a mental picture I will carry for the rest of my life and one that instantly brings tears to my eyes. I hit rock bottom when he left last night. Every emotion that I've tried to tuck away was set loose and I was a sobbing mess. But through it all, it made me realize that I need to keep fighting on. I knew once I got the hospital that giving up wasn't an option but seeing Ashton reminded me of how much I miss my family. And as a mother, I need to do everything I can in my power to get my family back to normal. And my normal includes baby Blake. Even though he hasn't made his debut yet, he has left a lasting impression and we have made a future that has him in it. Staying away from my family and my home is hard. But It's worth it because I know I'm fighting for Blake.

It's hard for me to write what about all the medical stuff that we've been dealing with. I had an ultrasound yesterday to check the fluid around Blake and check a few other things like my cervix and what not. I was told at Arrowhead hospital before I transferred that 10cm of fluid is an 'okay' amount of fluid. I had 10cm at arrowhead before I was transfered. When I got to Thunderbird, my fluid had reduced to around 3cm. And as of yesterday my fluid as reduced to 2.9cm. Even though those numbers don't sound too great, they said he has plenty left in there to get him by. He has hiccups yesterday during the ultrasound which is another good thing. They say hiccups count towards breathing points. His heart beat is strong and he is the biggest wiggle worm! The nurses have such a hard time tracking him down when they need to check his heart because he is constantly rolling around and shifting in there. He definitely makes his presence known. He's my little feisty fighter.

Today's plan is to just wait for my doc to give me more orders which will probaby be the same thing as before. "bedrest and antibiotics". Fun stuff. I'll keep this updated as we go.

For the Greater Good

I've made it from Wednesday to Saturday with a ruptured water. So far so good. Infection is no where to be seen and baby Blake's heart sounds great and he's moving around as normal.
I am going a little stir crazy here in the hospital. I miss my son, my dogs, my bed and the freedom of being able to walk from room to room without being monitored. I know that this is all for the greater cause of keeping Blake baking a little longer but man, hospital stays are no joke.

There comes a point where you pretty much lose all dignity and feel less and less like a human being. I haven't been able to shower or do my hair. Makeup is obsolete. I've been ridden to bed and had to use other  means of going to the bathroom which in my opinion is the worst thing ever. You really stop feeling human when you have 6 pair of eyes watching you try to pee. And every time I start to feel myself complain or get irritated, I remind myself.of why I'm here. And as much as I'd like to just pack my bags and go home, I know that the longer I am here, the less time Blake may have to spend in the NICU. And that right there is my motherly duty. To put my child above my own selfish needs. He needs me to be here, and thats why I'm still here. He needs me to fight for him because right now I'm the only one who can.

This experience has really made me see just how fragile life is. How fortunate we are for the little things in life. I miss being able to hug and kiss Ashton and help him brush his teeth before bed. I miss being able to get up and walk to the kitchen for something to drink. I miss my own bed, and being able to fall asleep next to my husband after a long day. It's the little things in my life that I will never take for granted again.

After facing the odds we have been given here at the hospital I feel like I have been spoiled. I've had no real reason to complain about life when my own son's is hanging in the balance. With all the material objects and technologies we have in the world today, I honestly think we lose sight as to what 'real' problems are. People are always focused on what they don't have other than what they do have. And I'm talking about myself here too. I've never realized how lucky I am that Ashton is so healthy and smart. How lucky am I that we don't have to worry about things like physical or speech therapy. Or surgeries and special care instructions. I've never appreciated that. He's just a happy go lucky boy who I am so blessed to have. Blake may not be so lucky. I may be facing therapies, and doctors and specialists for the rest of my life. Am I complaining? Of course not. Because if that's what it takes for him to live a great life, then its all for the greater good. I love both my boys to the moon and back and I am more than willing to do whatever it takes to for them both to happy go lucky just like every child should be.

I'm trying to stay optimistic. I'm living each day one at a time. I don't see an end in sight but that's a good thing. Im going to fight for Blake. If that means I need to stay in this hospital bed til December, then by all means I'll do it. It's amazing what you'll do for your kids. Even ones you haven't quite met yet. I feel him move, I've heard his heart beat, I know he's there and I love him to pieces. We'll make this work. We are fighting on one day at a time.

One Day at a Time

This past week has been the most emotionally trying week I've ever had to endure. Not only me, by for my husband and my family.

Monday morning I woke up with slight cramping and some spotting. Instead of taking a trip down the the MVD like I had planned, I called my doctor's office and made an appointment to be seen. Being that it was my birthday, my family was already planning on coming over for a little cake and dinner, I asked them to come a little earlier so I could leave Ashton with them while I was checked out.
According to the ultrasound, my cervix had shortened to 2cm and I was sent to Arrowhead hospital to be monitored. From there, they confirmed that I was contracting every 4-5 minutes. After two shots of terbutaline and some Motrin, the contractions started to slow down. I was kept over night for observation but all looked well. The ultrasound the next morning showed that my cervix wasn't 2cm, but that it was about 3.2-3.5 cm long. My contracting made it appear shorter than it really was.

I was sent home Tuesday morning only to wake up Wednesday with a strange gush of fluid like I had wet the bed. I called the hospital and they said it could possibly be the lubricant from the gel they use when doing vaginal ultrasounds. Once it hits a certain temperature it will liquify. That seemed to make sense but the water like substance didn't stop. I called Patrick, my husband, who then called his mom to come over and pick myself and Ashton, my 21 month old son up. She dropped me off at the the hospital and then everything turned for the worse.

I did in fact rupture my water.

All of a sudden there were a million nurses rushing in and out giving me shots of this, and taking blood for that. My doctor is explaining the situation and nothing sounds positive. I'm an emotional wreck. Sobbing uncontrollably while trying to process all of the information that I was presented with.  I'm only 23 weeks and this is just too early. I'm not ready to have a baby and he is not ready to come out. I'm rushed from Arrowhead hospital to Thunderbird hospital because they are equipt to handle pre mature births from 24 weeks where as Arrowhead is only equipt for 28 and up.

With all the information I'm being thrown, its hard to stay positive. All the facts and statistics are not in our favor. The options we are given are not ideal. My mind is trying to process it all but it is so surreal. I keep thinking that I'll wake up soon and all will be back to normal.
I keep wanting and waiting for things to be okay. I keep waiting for a doctor to come in with a miracle cure that will ensure that my baby boy is safe and will grow to be healthy and strong. But its not happening. And instead I'm being faced with survival ratings and the chances for disabilities. How did it come to this?

Here are the facts.

I am 23 weeks and 3 days. Babies who are born at 23 weeks have the survival rate of 0-10%. And those who do survive have a 90% chance of having some sort of disability. Babies who are born at 24 weeks have a 50/50 chance at survival and will have an 80% chance of having disabilities. Each hour, each day, and each week play a huge factor in what our son's future will look like.

As of now, I am still pregnant. Although my water has ruptured, he has enough fluid to keep him in there. Amniotic fluid regenerates itself when the baby urinates. So as long as I don't lose too much fluid, we should be okay for a while. There is a small chance that the bag can reseal itself. Even though its possible, its very unlikely. I haven't leaked nearly as much fluid as I did yesterday. In fact, I've hardly lost any at all today. I am currently on an IV with magnesium and antibiotics to help keep infection away. Tomorrow at 8am, I will be taken off the IV because the magnesium can sometimes mask infection. If I get an infection, then my baby boy will have to be delivered whether we would like to or not. This is my situation. I know nothing. I don't know how this will play out. As much as we all would love to be optimistic, we can't deny reality. And right now, I'm struggling with reality.

I can handle disabilities. He is my child who I already love and will love with all of my being regardless of any handicaps. Its the other outcome that I can't imagine.
I can't express the pain that Patrick and I are going through. The fear is in the unknown. We have no idea if our baby will be here tomorrow, or a few weeks from now. We have no idea what complications we will face. We have no idea what sort of outcome we will be given. Not knowing anything is the scariest position to be in. If there was anyway to see into the future and pinpoint what we are facing, I would feel so much better because I could prepare for it. How can you prepare yourself for the unknown? There is such a thin line between life and death and I've never seen it until now. All we can do is go along for the ride and hope and pray for the very best outcome. We never thought this would happen to us. Nobody ever does.
Baby Blake is a fighter. I can feel him. He kicks and moves and is so strong. And that gives us hope. We are doing all that we can to keep him in my womb for as long as possible. Every day is a milestone and blessing. We leave his fate in God's hands and we trust that he knows what to do.