Before I begin the Nutrition Nazi and I would like to express our immense gratitude to all of the family, friends, and hospital staff at Texas Woman's that have made the last week and a half go so smoothly. We knew that our family was great at helping us, but we can't express how thankful we are for everything they did from picking up the Team Leader to bringing food to getting to the hospital with about 30 minutes notice for the C section. Our friends have been absolutely amazing, as well, offering up homes, meals, and most importantly thoughts and prayers. And lastly the hospital staff, especially the NICU staff, have been phenomenal at helping us to comprehend and make sense of it all, but most importantly taking care of Brady and helping him work towards coming home.
So I should know better by now, but my hard-headed self refuses to learn that I am not in ultimate control of my path. So here is the story of how our lives changed 360 in a matter of hours. In the middle of May my doctor discovered that my blood pressure had risen to a very high level and put me and my BFF Type A on a modified bed rest schedule to see if it would go down. Two weeks later and an two ultra-sounds later I had developed preeclampsia and the baby was in the 11th percentile on size. My doctor and a specialist from Texas Children's tried to buy themselves some time with steroids to help the baby's lungs develop, but warned me on Wednesday that delivery could be as early as Friday morning because I was a 'ticking time bomb' with my liver and kidneys not functioning properly and the baby's health in danger.
So the preparations began. We were paid a visit on Wednesday night from the one of the Neonatologists, a saucy little minx as Jeff would coin her because of her personality. At least we still had our sense of humor! She explained about how they brought five staff members to the delivery and how things were going to work. It all seemed very surreal, but when you are given no other choice you have to just go with it.
Friday morning comes and my doctor makes her rounds. I think she really wanted to wait to give Brady's lungs more time, but after discussing it with the expert from Texas Children's they decide today is the day, and in about an hour. It is amazing how quickly we called everyone and I was sitting in the operation room being hooked up to everything. I never knew how quickly my heart could love someone and the level of love I could give to someone that I only got to see from a distance.
Brady Jackson was born at 10:09 am on Friday, June 8, 2012, weighing 3 lbs 13 oz and 15 inches long with feet the size of a full term baby! He along, with his over-the-moon father went off with the NICU staff to be assessed.
The grandparents could not be prouder! My mother-in-law says that Grandma is the best title she has ever been called. This little one has no idea that he already has these people wrapped around his finger!
He initially started off in NICU 2, which is the less critical care, but late Friday was moved to NICU 3 because he was struggling with his breathing. The Nutrition Nazi was amazing because he ran from place to place trying to get everything situated for me as well as Brady.
When I finally got to see him on Saturday this is what I find. I would be lying if I said I wasn't freaked out. It is not as actually as bad as it looks. The breathing apparatus is what is called a CPAP, or continuous positive air pressure. It helps him keep his lungs open and not have to struggle when exhaling. The little snuggle thing that he is in is actually really cool. The nurses put them in different positions every three hours so that they learn to work their muscles against the bumpers.
The Nutrition Nazi looks like a giant standing next to Brady. It won't be like this for long, though!
On Saturday night we finally got to hold him for the first time. It took about 10 minutes to get all of the wires and tubes situated, but well worth the wait for this priceless picture.
You are looking at the happiest man in the world. He proudly rolls up to the phone outside the NICU every day and announces he is there to see Little Pope and paces to be buzzed in!
He's getting a tan...I'm jealous. (Name that movie.) He had to undergo photo therapy for a few days for jaundice, but finally finished it on Wednesday morning and is back to just growing and getting stronger!
I love this video! He is such a serious person sometimes, like his mom, but hopefully he will slowly get more of the Nutrition Nazi's light-hearted-ness
We are also very happy to say that Brady got moved from NICU 3 from NICU 2, less critical care, last night. He still has a bumpy road ahead in trying to get his respirations more stable and learning to bottle feed, but we are hopeful he stays on the fast track to come home soon!
I am going to try to get updates on here as much as possible, but be patient some days are longer than others.