Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feelin Groovy!

My poor little pumpkin has had quite the rough ride so far in her life, but she still remains to be such a Happy, Go-with-the-flow baby. At the end of last week Hayden started a new round of Bronchiolitis on top of her round that she was still trying to finish up and then Monday morning she came down with the stomach flu and vomited for 24 hours straight. Then she started throwing up again last evening because she was coughing so hard from her bronchiolitis. But through it all she was smiling, cooing and laughing. She is so inspiring to me the way she is determined to be happy and to not complain (total opposite of her mother). Yesterday morning (in between her sick sessions) she decided to be super cute and flash her adorable smiles to let us know that she is doing just fine. Thank you my "sweetie" (Carter's favorite nickname for her) for giving me some peace of mind through your smiles. I feed off of your strength.

Thanks Stac for the cute pants! :)

Help, I Lost my Pants!

Our Big Boy Carter has also lost his diaper!! Carter is now Potty Trained (well, we are still working on some things). He is very proud of himself. And I have to admit when I look at him when he is playing and I glimpse that red waist band of his Lightening McQueen underwear I swell with pride, too. Way to go my little buddy!! Life is a whole new ball game now.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy Easter!! 2010

For some reason our family likes spending Christian Holidays in an ICU of some sort. Christmas was in the NICU and Easter we were in the PICU. But no matter where we were at we still had a good holiday.

In fact, while in the hospital we found the Easter Bunny (please excuse the sideways pic, Matt didn't understand he couldn't hold the camera that way):

Carter got to do 3 egg hunts so he wasn't feeling too bummed about anything. He did our church hunt on Saturday, he did a hunt with me Sunday morning before we went into the hospital and then a hunt with some sweet friends of ours later that day.

Growing up, it was traditional in my family that the girls got Easter dresses so I was set on getting Hayden an Easter dress. But those stores know how to suck you in so of course we had to get Carter the matching sweater vest.

I love this picture because they you can see how much they look like siblings, right down the same facial expression.

So yes, I am the totally lame one that brought a camera to church so that we could get a family picture of us. Hayden was only staying through sacrament and I knew by the time Carter and I got home Matt and Hayden would be changed so it was now or never. Make fun all you want, but dang it I wanted the memory in hard copy form!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy 31st Daddy!

Yesterday, sweet Matty-Matt turned 31! I am a big fan of making birthdays special and in some way different from every other day. This year, Matt's birthday wasn't anything spectacular (other than the fact that this was the day that my baby love was brought into this world), but it did seem to be an easy-going nice day.

Austin Collie's Colts Jersey - Matt is a HUGE fan! From Matt's parents (w/ a little idea help from me).

Matt had to round at work in the morning and as soon as he got home it was present time! Carter asked if he could unwrap Dad's present. We said sure as soon as Dad gets changed out of his scrubs. Carter must have only heard the first part, because in less than a minute I heard Carter running down the stairs yelling to Dad what was in the wrapped (now unwrapped) package. Luckily, I was able to grab Carter and pull him back up stairs before Matt heard him.

This book is from my parents, Remembering Kirtland, along with some birthday mula.

Next we went off to breakfast at our favorite Pittsburgh breakfast joint Pamela's. Oh delicious! And as birthday luck would have it, I think this is the best Pamela's has ever tasted to us.

Matt receiving birthday wishes from family and friends. And how fitting that he would be making the Joe Lowry Jr face seeing as he is on the phone with Joe Lowry Jr himself.

After breakfast, Matt met up with a buddy and went and test drove BMWs. It got Matt even more excited for his own that he will be getting in a little over 70 days.

Next came the birthday dinner: Steak, broccoli and mashed potatoes. A true Nielsen feast, and OH MY was it delish! Matt is one heck of a grill master.

Then came the birthday cake. Matt really wanted ice cream cake. He would have loved his mom's cake roll, but when it comes to things like Heavenly Potatoes and cake roll Matt has learned I am NOT his mother. We got this cake roll at Baskin Robbins. I was planning on picking it up while Matt was test driving BMW's but that is when Hayden decided to nap. So Matt came with us to get his cake. Hayden was crying in the car and Carter would have demanded everything in the store so we decided I would stay in the car so Matt could pick out exactly what he wanted. The guy at the store asked Matt if he wanted something written on the cake. After writing, "Happy Birthday, Matt" on the cake, Matt handed him his credit card to pay for it. The guy after seeing Matt's name on the CC said, "Oh geez, you have to pay for your own cake." I definitely felt like I let Matt down. But Matt came back with, "My wife is out in the car with two screaming kids so I think I got the better end of the deal." Thanks Matt for sticking up for me, even though I still feel bad about it. But the most important thing was that the cake was yummy yum! (Oh yeah, I also forgot I was out of birthday candles, yikes I am loosing my touch!)

Despite all my flaws and how hard being a Dad of two and husband to a demanding wife can be, Matt still comes home everyday with a smile and excited to be with us. He works so hard from early morning to late at night, but instead of coming home and parking himself on the couch, he kisses me, gets smiles out of Hayden and wrestles with his boy. When we got married we received excellent advice of putting everything on the altar. I know that Matt has done that for us and for that we are eternally grateful.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Heading Home

Hip Hip Hooray!! My baby's going home today!
She has been off oxygen for over 12 hours now. They will let her go home in hopefully another 4 hours.
I am so anxious to have all my family under one roof again!

If you want to hear Hayden's story from her perspective, here you go:

At Carter's story time we sing a song about shaking your sillies out. In this video Hayden is shaking her sickies out. And yes, she is still in the PICU in this video. Doesn't she seem just like a baby you would expect to see in an ICU!?! Granted, she looked a whole lot different a few days before.

Because she was so energetic, we had staff coming in and out of her room all day long to play with her. She would always reward them with her smiles and coos. I think she was a therapeutic relief to everyone who was used to dealing with such sickly children all day.

Friday, April 2, 2010

She's so "Boo-ti-ful"

I am so in love with this girl. She takes my breath away. I remember hearing people say that about their own babies when I had Carter and I never believed them. Since then, after talking to a friend I realized I had postpartum depression after Carter and it took me about 6 months to truly love my child. I feel so sad that I missed out enjoying this infant time with him, but it makes me appreciate this time with Hayden SO MUCH MORE! And even better than that Carter and I get to experience it together and fall in love with her together every day. Carter tells her several times a day that she is so "boo-ti-ful." And I agree.

Carter is at the age where he is saying the funniest things. I am guessing someone recently must have told him that he has a lot of energy because right before I took the video above he was running around and then told me that he has a lot of energy (and he does!!).

My friend Jess made Hayden these beautiful bracelets when she was born. I have loved them!

Snug as a bug in a rug.
Daddy bundled up Hayden to take her and Carter out back to play ball.

Hayden has just found her hands and they have developed a love affair:

This was on Tuesday, the day we were in and out of the ER. I was running around the house trying to get their stuff so we could go and Hayden was crying in her swing. Next thing I knew Carter was singing to her and she stopped crying. At first the song was slow and sweet, but quickly it turned into this:

Carter can be such a sweet boy, even when it is his own kind of sweetness. Having two kids is so incredibly awesome! We have our struggles, but my heart has doubled in size since it has doubled in love.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

ICU Anonymous

Hello, my name is Hayden and I am addicted to the ICU. I am only 3 months old and have been in the ICU 3 times already.

This is me in the NICU right after I was born.

Here I am at 5 1/2 weeks in the PICU. This time around I really took my mom for a ride, literally. We had to take an ambulance from my pediatricians office because I was doing so bad. I had Double Pneumonia with RSV Bronchiolitis and a double ear infection with a ruptured ear drum. Mom didn't know I had RSV at this point because all my tests came back negative, but now that we are back here they told her that on my charts they listed me as RSV since I had all the symptoms.

Which brings me to now, 2 months later, here I am back in the PICU with RSV Bronchiolitis.

The Story :
Sunday night Matt and I were noticing that Hayden's cold (the first one since her last stay in the PICU) was starting to take a turn. We decided given her history that we would call her Ped. office the next morning. So I took Hayden in Monday morning and the dr (not our reg. dr. that we see and love) who saw us pretty much wrote me off as an over-protective parent and sent us home. Throughout the day Hayden continued to worsen. Through the night she started to run a fever, we were giving her breathing treatments and Matt stayed up with her for most of the night. Tuesday morning she was still showing signs of respiratory distress so I called the drs again. They told me to go to the ER. We went to the ER and the checked her out and said there wasn't anything they could do for us even though she was showing signs of respiratory distress. I was getting frustrated because she was doing everything that the PICU warned me about to take her to the ER. So off we went. And of course shortly after we got home she started to worsen. I was so confused and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to go back to the ER for them to turn us away again. I called the drs AGAIN (they all know Hayden and I quite well by this point, between the ambulance ride and the phone calls and visits) and they tell me again to go to the ER. I asked if I could come to them first to check her oxygen saturation levels, but they said NO that will take too much time she needs to get to the ER. I am an emotional mess at this point. I drop Carter off at my friends and we head to the ER. I get us in the waiting room, look down at her, and she is doing about the same as she was the last time. I knew they would just turn us away again. So after lots of tears and a phone call to Matt we decided not to pay another $75 just to be sent back home. I knew the road Hayden was on so I told the front desk lady I would see her in a couple hours when Hayden would be bad enough they would have to do something. Hours later she was doing horrible again. I called the urgent care to see if they would do anything for me and they said take her to the ER. I wanted to yell out, "But they won't do anything for her there!" Finally, Hayden stopped eating and was showing signs of being in the danger zone of not breathing and I knew the ER would HAVE TO do something so we were off again. I was getting so mad because after last time I promised her I would never let her get to the point she was at before. And she wasn't quite there yet, but too close for my comfort .
This time the ER responded to her right away, it doesn't hurt that she had a fever of 104. She was modeled and dehydrated and looking in real bad shape. Several of the doctors commended Matt and I for staying strong and bringing her back in. I was glad they were saying that but at the same time I wanted to yell at them and say, "But look at the shape she has to be in for you guys to take us seriously!" Right away they knew she would be admitted and started going to work on her. That night was very rough. We started on a regular floor but she was doing badly enough that we had doctors in and out all night long because they were worried about her breathing. They next morning she was smiling and cooing. They said they wanted to keep us at least on more night. I thought we will for sure be going home the next day (which is now today). I thank my Heavenly Father that they did not send us home. Last night we crashed again and they rushed her up to the PICU to get her on Hi-Flo oxygen. I did not realize it was as serious of a situation as it was until the dr who was with her rounded this morning and told about what horrible shape she was in and how "scared" (his word) he was for her. I am so grateful for those doctors and nurses who worked with her and kept her stabilized. They told me that she had been working too hard for too long and was too worn out. (Sound familiar?!) I am confused at how and why they allowed her to get to this point while she was in the hospital, but she is where she needs to be now and on oxygen now so that is what matters.

Hayden's status at this point is good. But with bronchiolitis it is a constant up and down. She has a pattern of doing well in the mornings and getting bad by the late afternoon/ evening. PICU wants her here at least through the night and then will re-evaluate.

Warning: do not keep reading if you do not want to read some Mommy bragging. This morning when her team of drs rounded on her, they were all loving on her and saying how cute she was. After they moved on, the attending dr came back and said that they had decided that Hayden beat out bed #27 as the cutest baby in the PICU. And since then we have had staff in and out of the room just to look at and play with Hayden.

Here's a video of my baby girl earlier today:

Once again I can't thank our friends and family enough for all the love, prayers and support. I especially want to thank those who have and will take Carter for so many hours to watch and care for him. We could never make it through all the whirlwinds of life without our loved ones all around us!