A Mother’s Nightmare

About a week and a half ago Bailey came down with an illness. We thought it was a bad virus witht the typical symptoms; cough, fever, and runny nose. That Friday Bailey started wheezing really bad. I called our pediatrician and they were booked so I took her to the Urgent Care clinic. After an x-ray, flu test, and breathing treatment, she was diagnosed with Bronchilitis.

I took Bailey home with a prescription for antibiotics and home breathing treatments on our nebulizer, which we already had because of Brooke’s past illnesses. By Saturday evening she was feeling better but Brooke was coming down with it too. We knew it was not good considering Brooke was within days of getting over walking pneumonia.

Sunday morning Brooke started the wheezing. She was scaring me because I could see she was sucking air really hard and her neck muscles sucking in deep, this is called retracting. By mid morning Brooke started vomiting. She also had a fever of 103. I gave her a bath to clean her up and hope that she would break her fever.

After her bath I saw that her finger tips were blue. She was still retracting so I knew she wasn’t getting enough oxygen. Joel took her to the emergency room while I kept Bailey at home. When they got her on the oxygen machine her O2 levels were in the 70s, normal is upper 90s or 100. She was struggling to breath. The ER doctor admitted her to the Pediatric ICU for the night. They believed that she had the Eternovirus D68. She was receiving back to back breathing treatments and IV antibiotics and fluids.

She coughed a lot throughout the night and continued retracting. I got a call from Joel Monday morning saying that the night was long but they hoped she would go home that day if she made progress. Joel was telling me about her night when he urgently let me go. I figured it was his job calling so it didn’t alarm me.

The next phone call I received was from the ICU doctor. As soon as he told me who he was my heart sank. He told me that Brooke had gotten much worse. She was struggling to breath. He was sending her to the children’s hospital in Lubbock. As he told me all of the details my mind was screaming that I was going to lose her. I was crying and fighting back the screams while on the phone with him. He tried to comfort me but there was nothing he could say to make me feel better in that moment.

When I hung up with him I immediately called my mom. I told her everything the ICU doctor had told me. I was still crying hysterically as I talked to her. The same phone call was then made to my mother-in-law, who was thankfully on her way to Midland.

An hour later I was at the pediatrician’s office with Bailey for a follow up to her Urgent Care visit. The pediatrician had already been called to let her know about Brooke’s condition. Bailey was feeling much better so she no longer needed the antibiotics but had to continue the breathing treatments until the coughing stopped.

By the time I got home with Bailey my in-laws were at my house. I quickly packed for Joel and I so that we could stay with Brooke at the hospital in Lubbock.

Joel called me while I was packing to tell me that they were not going to life flight her. They had her stable so they were going to send her by ambulance. She was currently on a BiPap machine forcing pressurized air into her lungs. Since they were going to go by ambulance Joel wanted me to ride with her. I hurried to the hospital and up to her room.

As I walked in a mix of emotions overcame me. I was relieved to see her alive. To be able to hold and touch her. Then I felt terrified. I was jittery and shaking. I had no idea what was in store for us.

It took a long time for the ambulance to get there and get her prepared for the ride. We headed towards Lubbock around 3 pm. It took us two hours to get there. During those two hours I rode in the front of the ambulance listening to the sirens. Brooke was strapped in her car seat on a stretcher with a respiratory therapist and paramedic watching her. Listening to the sirens and not being able to see or touch her made me begin to cry again. I tried to fight them back but knowing that the sirens I was hearing was for my baby was too much.

Brooke when she was first admitted.

By the time we reached Lubbock’s children’s hospital I was shaking again. We wandered through the hospital with people dodging us and gawking at us like she was a freak. It killed me inside to have her going through this whole experience. I wanted to scream at them and tell them to leave my sick baby alone.

We reached the PICU section and immediately nurses gowned up, wore masks, and gloves to start assessing her. Her room was full of people and I was being asked numerous questions by doctors and nurses. They took Brooke off of the Bipap machine and put her on a high flow oxygen mask.

She remained on high flow oxygen for four days. Throughout the next few days she had high and low moments. When had low moments and was struggling increase respiratory therapy. She had nebulizer treatments, cupping rhythmic therapy, nasal suction, etc…

She started wanting to eat and drink small amounts by Wednesday. On Thursday they told us she had developed bacterial pneumonia on top of the Eternovirus. They started her on IV antibiotics. Thursday afternoon they started weaning her oxygen support every three hours. They wanted to see if she could breathe on her own.

They had her walking around the floor and moving around. That night her IV gave her trouble. They tried to re-stick her twice before the doctor told them to stop. He didn’t think she needed it anymore since she was eating and drinking. So her IV fluids stopped and she went on oral antibiotics. They continued to lower her oxygen levels until Friday afternoon.

She was finally breathing without support. They kept her in the hospital until Saturday mid morning. We left the hospital around 11 am. I was so happy to head home. It had been almost a week without both of my girls. It took us two hours to get home.

I ran inside grabbing Bailey and hugging her so tight. I started to cry again. Then I grabbed Brooke and held both of them. The nightmare was over and we were all home together.

Brooke will still need recovery time but at least she is home.

Bipap machine

 

On our way to Lubbock.

 

Finally eating and drinking.

 

The best mood we had in several days.

 

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Mom Affirmations

As a mom I have found balancing life and motherhood difficult at times. I have to admit I am hard on myself when I cannot do it all or the turns out a little less pleasant. With twins, the terrible twos, and so much more that occurs in our house, I often need a few words of advice, wisdom, encouragement, etc… to keep a positive attitude. I know that my children should be the only positive I need but lets face reality. When the house is a total mess, temper tantrums are occurring, I am trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, and I haven’t had time to shower yet…I need to hear positive words. So, as I was searching through Pinterest the other day, I found a link to mom affirmations.

With many finds on the internet, I was a little skeptical at first that this would have any meaning or be real affirmations. But I was pleasantly surprised. This mom had created affirmations for all types of situations. I found the affirmations on this website.  Affirmations for Mom I am listing the affirmations here as well.

Mom Affirmations

1. If I do nothing today besides hug my kids, then I’ve done enough. 
2. I’m not the perfect mother, but I’m exactly the one my children need. 
3. Today I will see the best in myself. 
4. The decisions made by other moms do not need to dictate mine. 
5. I have been called to motherhood — the most powerful calling in the world. 
6. I respect my children; I respect myself. 
7. Being a good mom takes courage, and today I am feeling brave.  
8. My mothering body is beautiful. 
9. Today I will be the type of person I would like my children to become. 
10. There’s value in showing my kids my vulnerability. 
11. Not loving every moment of motherhood doesn’t mean I don’t love being a mom. 
12. I will teach my child by example more so than by advice. 
13. There is no such thing as “just a mom.”
14. I accept my children just as they are. 
15. I love my kids even when I don’t particularly like them. 
16. Today I will be an intentional parent. 
17. I am a blessing to my family. 
18. As I teach my kids today, I’ll also be open to the lessons they can teach me. 
19. I’m grateful for my life as a mom. 
20. I love my kids, which means I’m doing just fine. 

Not all of these affirmations apply to my life but they are nice to read. It’s funny how when you are pregnant or talking about getting pregnant everyone tells you the joys of motherhood. They never tell you the hardships.

I really loved reading this post from Pick Any Two. She had other great posts on the joys and other moments of motherhood.

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Daily Struggles: Motherhood vs. Housewife

Like many mothers, I have often struggled with the balance of motherhood and being a housewife. I want to spend as much time with my girls as possible but I have cleaning and laundry, etc… to do as well. No matter how much I do in a day one of those things doesn’t get the attention it needs. This is a huge frustration for me. I hate having a cluttered or dirty house. But even more than that I hate feeling I could have played instead of cleaning.

I know this is a huge complex with many other mothers. So I asked friends for advice, I researched methods to help me manage my time. The first thing I discovered was breaking up the cleaning into multiple days. I have started allowing an hour a day for cleaning. Now this does not include the after meals clean up. This includes the major cleaning. I allow an hour because the girls still nap and that is the perfect time for me. If I need to clean more than an hour in a day I make it a game with the girls. The girls follow me around with baby wipes wiping any surface. They have pretend cleaning supplies such as a broom, mop, and vacuum that they use too, just like mommy. We also play pick up games to help clean their playroom. I will admit this does not always work for me but it allows me to clean and play with them when it does work.

One of the hardest struggles I have had is letting my house be messy and spend the day playing and spending time with them. I believe that this will always be a struggle for me.

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The Terrible Twos

The terrible twos have struck my house and hard. For Brooke they started around 18 months of age. At first it was a defiant behavior or telling us no when we told her to do something. Then she started her screaming frustration at us. If she didn’t get her way she screamed as loud as she could. This went on for months.

After her screaming fits she started pushing and hitting her sister. This caused Bailey to start crying and hiding from her sister. Brooke still screams at her sister but does not hit as much.

Bailey has just entered the terrible twos stage. She is very defiant and laughs when you tell her not to do something. Or she will tell you no mam and then do it anyways. She has started hitting and kicking this week. The only difference in this for Bailey then Brooke is that Bailey hits other children too. It’s really hard to understand why she is doing this because she never acted like this before. She was always sweet and loving until recently, not that she is not sweet or loving anymore but this is certainly a big change.

Both girls have started a whiny cry throughout the day. I have no idea why but they think that being whiny and pouting will get them sympathy from Mom and Dad. So they do it all the time. It gets old after the third or fourth time they start whining and fake crying over something.

I love them being two so much. They are no longer babies and more independent. Their personalities are coming out and they are learning and absorbing so much. It is exciting to see and hear them after a day at school. But this stage is not my favorite stage. The terrible twos are hard on the parents. I know that terrible twos are difficult on all parents but I must say having multiple children going through this phase is extra difficult. I am praying each day to make it through this phase and for the strength to ignore the behaviors. It is exhausting and I am ready to move on.

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Pneumonia AGAIN!

In early September Brooke got a tiny cold. It seemed like it was just allergies but I knew it could be more so we went to the doctor. Her allergist requested that any time she was sick like this that we bring her to them to evaluate instead of the pediatrician. They wanted to monitor her and see what happened with her allergies and any “triggers” or irritants. They prescribed her albuterol and a new allergy medicine along with afrin nasal spray for the first three days. So we tried their method. She seemed better with her sinuses but had developed a dry cough. I talked to the doctor three days after our visit and he told me to let her work it out on her own. So that’s what I did. It seemed like she was getting better and then she got worse.

By this time it had been three weeks from the initial visit. So I took her to our pediatrician. My fear was that it was pneumonia again. My fear was confirmed. Brooke once again had pneumonia. We caught it very early but I was still upset. We are now on day 8 of medication and her cough is completely gone. We had a follow up two days after the pneumonia diagnosis. At this appointment I begged the doctor to help us prevent the pneumonia. I wanted the vaccination but she is too young. So they have started her on a daily steroid. This will help her lungs open up and keep her from getting as sick with the weather changes and allergies. We are hoping that once she is older and her long passages are bigger she wont need it. But for now she has this new medication.

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The past five months…

I am so far behind in writing on this blog but it has been a crazy five months. Brooke had pneumonia in my last post. That did pass. It took about ten days but she finally felt better after three months of being ill. It was a hard three months on Joel and I but I am sure it was harder on Brooke. I am so thankful that it ended. The doctor told us that she should be better because the summer months kill off illnesses. So all summer we enjoyed a doctor free zone. It was so nice not having to go in to the pediatrician.

This summer we decided to get an above ground pool. Joel and I debated on buying a house with a pool when we moved out here. As tempting as it was, we both decided that it was better for our family to not have a pool. Then this summer came and we wanted a pool. We searched and searched and then finally found one at Big Lots. The pool we bought is one that you can find on Amazon, Toysrus, and I think Walmart.  But the best price was at Big Lots. We bought a Summer Escapes pool. We put it up at the beginning of July just in time for my Mom, sister, and niece to come in for Independence Day. The pool was certainly an enjoyable moment for us this summer. The girls loved swimming. We would go in the pool every evening before dinner. Joel would come home from work and join us in the pool.

Our summer was pretty uneventful until August. In August we made two trips to Houston and celebrated the girls birthday. It’s hard to believe that they are already two. We celebrated their birthday with a bubble guppies party. They had a lot of fun and so did our family.

The Tuesday after their birthday they started Mother’s Day Out. They now go to “school” two days a week. I was very apprehensive about leaving them and how they would act when left. But they immediately connected with their teachers and have enjoyed every day there. I saw changes in them immediately. Bailey came home after the first day talking and singing more than she ever had. Brooke was singing and saying words she had never said before. It was such a great feeling knowing that they were doing so well so soon.

We have also added weekly Bible Study to our schedule. Once a week we meet at a nearby church for a two hour bible session. The girls have a class that they go to and I have an adult class. Now many people that know me, know that this is a new experience for me. I have not always been the best at being a good christian so this is a way of changing for me. Plus with the girls I want them to have a relationship with the Lord. So, we have started attending the bible study group. It has been a lengthy obligation but one that I have really enjoyed.

So, all in our life seems to be falling into place. Mommy is getting a break and time for herself and the girls are becoming independent. I am hoping that this continues to be the blessing we hope it is.

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