Little Brother 

Thanks for coming back to read part 3 of our gastroschisis journey! 

In my last post I wrote about how I was finally able to hold Deckard once he was two days old. You always read about how babies start to thrive when they are able to do skin to skin with mom or dad and I feel without a doubt that kick started Deckard’s healing.

On day three the doctors and nurses noticed how all the IV’s were going bad really quickly so they decided to put in a central line called a PICC line. This meant no more trying to find good veins to poke, and a direct line for all of his medications and IV fluids. I was grateful they were no longer going to poke him everyday to find a new “good” vein but watching the doctors perform the procedure was terrifying. 
When you’re baby is in the NICU everything looks so scary. Putting the PICC line in is considered a sterile procedure. So all the doctors and nurses were done up in all their gear looking like they’re about to head into a surgery! 

In total it took about 20-30 minutes for the PICC line to be placed, and for them to take an x-ray to make sure the line wasn’t too far in. 


A few hours after the PICC line was placed Deckard was still oxygenating really well on his own so they turned off his oxygen. 1 less wire! 1 step closer!

Things pretty much stayed the same for the next two days. 

On day 5 we figured Deckard was doing well enough and didn’t look so scary that it was time for Jaxon to meet his little brother. 

I made a point to talk to Jaxon about Deckard a lot while I was pregnant and why my belly was so big. 

When we brought him into the room I said “Look that’s Deckard” and he immediately recognized what I was saying. As soon as he was close enough he tried giving his little brother kisses through his isolette. My heart could’ve burst! 


We let him touch his hand and the look on his face was priceless. In that moment Deckard wasn’t just our second baby, in that moment he became Jaxon’s little brother. That is a moment I will never forget. 

As the days went on after this we would bring Jaxon to see his brother as much as possible. But with living over an hour away it was a little difficult. 


The following days Deckard improved tremendously and then there was what we thought was a set back. There’s was still some output from his replogle line and he stilled had not pooped. 

I remember crying to my mom on our walk to lunch. What did this mean? Was part of his bowel dead? Was there a blockage preventing him from pooping? Would he need ANOTHER surgery?! All of these questions were rushing through my mind and I was so scared. 

The LAST thing I wanted was another surgery for him. I was almost broken. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without my mom by my side. She was so comforting and I knew we would get through anything. We prayed on our walk to lunch and God answered our prayer! 

As I walked back into his room in the NICU our favorite nurse David said “Look! He pooped!” And it was a real baby poop! The gross black tar like stuff babies usually poop at just a few hours old. It may seem gross or insignificant to those who have had healthy babies but him pooping was almost the most amazing moment during his whole NICU stay. It may seem weird but the fact that David saved his first poop diaper to show me meant the world to me! 

The next big milestone would be getting Deckard to take a bottle. I could not have been more anxious for that moment. But it was so close, I could feel it!! 

During our time in the NICU I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly blessed. This may seem odd to some of you. Why would I feel blessed with everything my baby is having to go through? I grew up going to church with my mom and had always heard stories of people feeling Gods presence during hard times, but I have never experienced it. Until now. There was a calm I could feel. Which most of the time was my mom comforting me, but I just knew that he was going to be okay. God was telling me everything would be okay… and so far, it was. 


Check back later for part four of our journey and to hear about Deckard’s first time eating and being held by his Daddy! 

Thanks so much for reading. 

LO 

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Our 1% chance: Our gastroschisis journey part 1 

I’ve sat down many times to write this post and I never know where to start. I’ve decided it’s time for me to get it all out, so without further introduction, let’s just jump right in. 

As many of you may or may not know, we are expecting our second little one. Another boy! That’s right I’m going to be a mom to 2 boys under the age of 2! Yikes! I couldn’t be more excited though! Well, actually I probably could…

 Like any other pregnant woman we had an ultrasound at 13 weeks to check up on our little bundle of joy and going in I never expected it to show anything, but that our baby was perfectly healthy. You’re probably guessing now, that that is not what the ultrasound showed. 

I had an appointment with my OB right after my ultrasound appointment so he could go over it with me. I remember sitting in the chair blissfully unaware that anything was wrong with our little boy. When my doctor came in the room I remember the look on his face and his words “Now we found something, but don’t freak out.” Don’t freak out?! Now i love my doctor but, come on dude… don’t freak out?! Yeah… okay. 

As he sat down he pulled up my ultrasound on his computer to show me exactly what it was they had found. He pulled up the picture of the baby’s tiny little belly and if I looked hard enough I could see what he was talking about. A part of my baby’s intestines were outside of his stomach. 

For those of you that don’t know, because I didn’t until this day. During about 10-12 weeks of pregnancy the baby’s intestines develop outside of their stomach, rotate and then go back inside the abdomen and then the abdominal wall closes keeping everything inside where it should be. In our baby’s case his bowel didn’t make it back in in time before his abdomen closed. My doctor told me they would check again at my 16 week appointment to confirm their findings and to discuss what our baby’s future would look like. 

I went back at 16 weeks and it was confirmed our little man had gastroschisis. Immediately my heart dropped. What did this mean? Was is something I did? Something I could’ve done to prevent it? And that’s when we were told there was only a 1% chance this would happen to our baby. ONE PERCENT. I was a little angry after hearing that. Why? Why did God pick us and our baby to have to go through this? 

Thankfully, as we have been told by multiple doctors, babies with gastroschisis tend to do extremely well. He will have to have surgery no later than 6hours after he is born to put his bowel back into his abdomen. Now this means he won’t be able to eat anything and will be receiving 100% of his nutrients from an IV till about 5-7 days old. He will have a NICU stay of about 2-6 weeks. But he should make a full recovery. 

I honestly didn’t know how to feel about any of it. This was good information right? Our baby would eventually be fine. While I am so grateful that in the end we will have a healthy baby it was hard for me not to be emotional. I won’t get to hold him after he is born, I won’t get to see him until after his surgery and even once that’s over we still wouldn’t be able to hold him for almost a week. A whole week without getting to hold my baby. 

As soon as I found out I was pregnant again I couldn’t help but think it was going to be just like when I was pregnant with Jaxon. Easy. I would give birth and he would never leave my side. 

Wrong. 

So wrong. 

I was now considered high risk and  it was serious enough that my doctor requested my husband stay back from a field training operation in California. That’s when I knew this was some serious shit.  I’m checked twice a week to make sure nothing is preventing our little man from growing normally aside from the gastroschisis. I will be induced at 37 weeks at a hospital in Denver where after he is born one of the best pediatric surgeons around will take him and perform his surgery. Then the real adventure begins! 

I will be writing future posts about delivery, our NICU stay and life after the NICU. Posts that will hopefully reach other moms out there who have a baby diagnosed with gastroschisis and are looking for answers. 

If you’re reading this I ask that you pray for us and our little man during our time in the NICU. This is something neither Avery or I have ever experienced and we know our baby boy will have to fight his first few days and weeks of life. 

In the end we know that this is God’s plan. Our baby will be okay, and our marriage and our family will come out stronger because of it. 

We only have 9 weeks till his arrival! So the countdown is on! 

Check back for updates and more as we navigate a wild 1 and 1/2 year old and a newborn in the NICU 2 hours from home (like I said, pray for us!). 

Thank you so much for reading, and if your a parent reading this because your baby has been diagnosed with gastroschisis know that we’ve been there and it may seem scary now, but everything will be okay! Have faith and know that your baby is a fighter too! 

LO