Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Peace and Prayers

I wanted to document our time in the hospital and what all went on so I can explain it all to Aiden in great detail later.  We left on Wednesday November 28 and spent the night in Baton Rouge with a friend. We got up early Thursday morning and had to be at Ochsner at 8am for all his pre-op appointments.  Finding parking was a nightmare so I dropped Ben and Aiden off and went to find a spot. The hospital had just switched to Epic EMR and no one knew what they were doing so it literally took us an hour to get checked in.  After they called us back, the Anaesthesiologist came and gave him some medicine so they could get a sedated echo and really check out the heart before they opened him up.  They decided to go ahead and get the x-ray, draw blood, and the EKG. Unfortunately the doc gave him double the anaesthesia needed and Aiden had an adverse reaction so they were not able to get the echo and draw blood.  He was absolutely inconsolable and screaming as we were trying to calm him down.  The Anaesthesiologist also decided he was going to go ahead and hook up an IV line in his arm since they would need it in the morning.  I politely told him "no sir" but he refused to take it out and maker the poor nurse the enemy. Really, who wants to sleep with one in their arm when you don't have too?  We then met the surgeon, grabbed some lunch and went across to the children's center for his x-ray And EKG.  Every time he would get shut in a room he would freak out and pitch the biggest fit.  By 3 o'clock we were all exhausted. We went to our room, and gave him a bath with some speacial cleanser to get all the germs off his skin.  Poor guy was asleep by 5:30 which was good since we had to check in at 5am the next morning.
Thankfully, Oschner has a hotel called The Brenthouse that is connected directly to the hospital so it literally took us 4 minutes to get there. We checked in and waited for them to call us back.  Everything there is so fancy.  They have a TV that gives you a number so you can follow the patient throughout every phase of surgery.  We were called back to the pre-op room and waited there until the anesthesiologist arrived.  She was not pleased with the way things had gone the day before and was not sure why the other doc had given him so much medicine.  She gave him the appropriate amount and he immediately was so happy. He was laughing at everything and blowing kisses to everyone who came in the room.  Then they whisked him away.  Poor Ben just lost it.  I actually was okay because he was happy when he left and I was relieved of that.  I did reiterate over and over, he answers to Aiden, not Michael.  Worst mistake I made was putting his formal name on our insurance.  Oh well.  The surgery didn't start til about 8. There is a lot of setup required before they can began.  I am so thankful we had not only both if our parents by my sis/brother in law and Ben's aunt/uncle and 2 cousins.  They really helped the time pass.  It also kept us from talking about Aiden the whole time which was a nice break.  The surgeons nurse came and updated us a few times to let us know where he was in the procedure. As they had told us the day before, "no news is good news." Finally about 12:30, the doc came out and said they had finished and we could see him in about 45 minutes.  He kept talking about how much bigger the VSD hole was than they had anticipated.  When I asked him how big, he said that the patch he put over the hole was about the size of a dime.  That's 3 times bigger!  What had happened was that the tricuspid valve had covered up some of the hole and was trying to repair itself so you couldn't see the actual size on an echo.  The PFO hole, however, had actually closed on its own prior to surgery so only one hole was repaired.  By the time the sternum was wired shut and the chest was being closed, the left side of his heart had already shrunk half in size.  I'm sorry but that is so incredible to me! I just didn't know the heart could shrink that fast.  There was one little leak in the patch that occurred and you could tell the surgeon was really annoyed it wasn't perfect.  About 80 percent of the time it ends up closing but if it doesn't, the only consequence is antibiotics whenever Aiden has a dental procedure done.  I think I can live with that.
When we went in to see him, he looked great.  He had a nurse that stayed in his room the first 24 hours and monitored everything.  He of course was on a vent and  had a central line through his neck to his heart, as well as an arterial line in his right arm, and and iv in his left arm and foot.  Then he had 2 tubes through his stomach that wrapped around his heart and drained excess fluid and one more line through his side that had electrodes hooked up to his heart in case he needed a temporary pacemaker.  However, all that being said, it wasn't that bad.  We had to talk Ben's parents into seeing him like that. But I think once they did, it put their minds at ease.  After a short visitation, we went back to our room, showered, and had a decent meal.  We got to visit him one last time and then had to leave.  I felt okay with it because by that time, he was kind of awake and crying when he would see us and I knew we would all be miserable if we stayed. Plus, I knew the nurse would be right there if he needed her.
The following day was super long.  You just sit around all day but somehow it just exhausts you.  I decided I would stay with Aiden and to say it was a bad experience would be kind.  The morphine made him jumpy so every time he would start to sleep, he would jump and wake himself up. Then he would cry, so you would have to rub his head or hold his hand til he would fall back asleep. Then repeat, over and over.  About 9:30 that night he fell asleep and I went over to my little couch and layed down.  Thirty minutes later I hear him, look up, and he has sat himself up and turned himself around in the bed and all his wires are pulling and are twisted. I freaked out but we got the nurse and I finally got him calm.  The bad part about being in an ICU is every hour they are monitoring you for something. So just when you go to sleep, here someone comes to check you for something.  We were up literally from 10 to 4 in the morning.  Thank goodness for Baby Einstein.  Every night did get better. Ben and I alternated and soon we moved to the pediatric floor.  His tubes came out and they transported him to the pediatric floor in a cute little wagon, which he loved.  All that was required of those nurseS was vitals and medicine every 4 hours, which is a lot better than every hour.  There are several child life specialists on site and threre is a huge playroom, donated by Miss Britney Spears, that you can play in. We spent a lot of time there and a lot of time riding in the wagon.  There was even a concert for kids one day while we were there.
Tuesday morning, we had another echo and Aiden was doing so well, they let us go home- 2 days earlier than expected and on no medicines whatsoever.  Also, he went from morphine to Tylenol.  Nothing else for pain.  That also is crazy to me! Ben's parents took their motor home down so Aiden and I rode back with them and Ben followed us in his truck.  It was so nice because we didn't have to strap him in a car seat and we could watch TV and just relax.  Him and I both slept most of the way home.
A child's body recovers so much faster than ours ever could, and it's amazing how the body just compensated to try and fix something that isn't right.  I freaked out about this surgery a lot at first and Ben was fine.  Then at the end, Ben was freaking out and I felt really good about it.  That's why we complinment  each other really well I think.  But I also think I made it through because of all the prayers and words of encouragement we received. Seriously, everyone has been so kind and concerned and I think it just brought peace over me.  I knew everything would be okay, so thanks everyone for praying for us,  it meant the world.
                                                Aunt Emilea walking Aiden to the Pre-Op room.
                                                            Fresh out of Surgery.
                                              Day 3.  I think someone's definitely feeling better.
                                        Transportation from the PICU to the pediatric floor.
                                     Playroom donated by Britney Spears.  Very thankful for it.
                         Up and dancing around like nothing ever happened.  This video is hilarious!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Playing catch up

It has been so long since I have blogged but I just haven't been in the mood and finding the time just hasn't really worked out.  Since Aiden just had a 15 month check up, I thought I would post a few stats and catch up before I forget.
Clothing Size: 12-18 months
Diaper Size: some 3's and some 4's depending on brand
Sleep Schedule: one morning nap around 1-2 hours and an afternoon nap that is getting shorter and shorter by the day.  He goes to bed at 7pm and wakes up around 7am
Feeding Schedule: bottle still in the morning and night with 3 meals and 2 snacks. 

From the time of our first birthday til now we haven't reached the milestone of walking yet, but I really feel any day we might take off.  When Aiden started mothers day out the last week of August, I really thought that would speed up the process but it hasn't.  I can't say I am shocked though.  Aiden basically army crawled til he turned one and then started crawling like a normal baby so I knew his walking would be delayed some.  He walks pretty good holding my hand but refuses to let go.  He will cruise as long as he has something to hold on too.  His MDO teacher says he steals the walking lawn mower at playtime and won't give it to anyone else. Little stinker will walk when he's ready I suppose.
To date, we have 4 teeth.  Two bottom teeth and two top which have come in the last 2 weeks.  Clearly we are a late bloomer! He is not as good of an eater as he used to be. He still eats a ton, just not what we do. Even Aiden's teacher says she's never seen a baby his age eat as much as he does.  At his checkup he weighed 20lbs 4oz and was 31.5 inches tall.  Measuring in at the 5th and  75th percentile for weight and height. His head hasn't grown in quite awhile and the doc is a little concerned so unfortunately we will have to have a full neurological exam the beginning of January from Dr. Pena.  This requires a cat scan so they will sedate him. I think it's unnecessary but better safe then sorry i suppose.  To me, of course, because I am the parent I think he's super smart. I mean, I can't shut him up if I tried. Some of  his words are "Hey Lola (our dog he is obsessed with),"  "bye bye (insert whoever we are leaving behind),"  Daddy, Mama, Nana, Grandad, Memie(for Emilea), Eric,  bubbles, thank you, go go (for anything he can push and make go), racecar.  He also loves to make a rooster sound, moo for a cow, roar like a lion, and bark like a dog.  Everyday is a new word or language I don't understand.  He is obsessed with cows and trucks.  I could barely contain him during pumpkin patch pictures at the Townsend house because of cars going down Bonner Street.   He also attended his first Tech game and many Cedar Creek games and pep rallies this year. I can't watch a single play but I know he loves it so it's worth it and he sleeps so good. 
On October 24, Aiden got his helmet off.  We had a rough September because of illnesses so we didn't wear the helmet as much as we should, therefore, we were encouraged to give it one more month for a certain measurement they were trying to achieve.  Thankfully, we got it and 6 months after we started, we were finally done.  His heads looks so much better.  It is far from perfect but unless you were examining him closely, you probably wouldn't even notice.  That same week, we got a phone call from Dr. King saying he and Dr. Lucas from New Orleans had finally reviewed the results from his Echo and wanted to proceed with heart surgery.  Apparently some hardening around his vessels and valves had developed because his heart was working so hard to to overcompensate for the blood passing though his ventricles.  This happens in 5-10 percent of people that have a VSD and needs to be fixed so the heart can return to functioning normal and the hardening will subside.  Last week, we got a call from Oschner in New Orleans walking us through what to expect and when the surgery would be.  We had to plan around my vacation and football season and we finally decided that Nov. 30 would be best for us.

So many people have already given us support and I know many of you have questions so I am going into a lot of detail here for those interested.  We will go down the day before and do Pre-Op stuff which basically just consists of paperwork and a overall check up to make sure he is ready to go for surgery.  The surgery will be the next day at 7am and last about 6 hours.  They will obviously break his breastbone to open his chest up and look at the 2 holes they are fixing.  We have only been concerned about the hole in the ventricle but they are also fixing one in the upper chambers of his heart while he is there as well.  They will graft a patch to place over his holes and that is what takes so long because until they can take see the holes, they don't know how big ect...to make the patch. After they are done, they will wire his sternum closed and he will live with that in his chest forever.  The part that really gets me is that they will not allow us to stay with him for the first 24 hours.  I understand why, but it is still really hard knowing you can't be there when they wake him up.  Thankfully, there is a hotel connected to the hospital so we are literally right there if they need us.  We will be in the PICU for several days and then a regular room for around 3-7 days depending on how he does.  Once home, recovery is about 2 months and of course there can be no interaction with children for at least a month. We will also not be able to pick him up under his arms or allow him to pull himself up.  This I can't imagine because trying to control a 16 month old is virtually impossible.  Babies have a much higher pain tolerance than adults because they haven't experienced pain before and think it is normal so we have to monitor him closely to make sure he is not doing something that may hurt him.  That's pretty much all we know for now.  As hard as it is, I know people deal with this everday, and I am so thankful we have the medical technology to find the problem and can fix it.  Hope everyone has a good week and will be in touch much sooner rather than later.  Here are some pics of our adventures over the last couple months.
First Artwork!
                                        Aiden and cousin Mia meeting for the first time.
                                      LSU VS. S. CAROLINA. Pre-game meal at George's.
                                Last day to wear the helmet. I think he is pretty pumped.
                                                                 First Tech game.
                               Overtime win vs. BTW at Independence Stadium in Shreveport.

                                                                             Halloween 2012

                                                     Pumpkin Patch pics by Jena Leigh
Gearing up for gameday. Geaux Tigers!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Luxe for Less

It is been so long since I last blogged but frankly I just haven't had the urge.  There is alot I would like to talk about of show you but I don't want to take the time to type or upload it.  Fall is so crazy busy for me that I am just being purely lazy.  I will take a moment to show you some shoes that have been my fav purchase this fall. 

In case you missed the memo, leopard print is back with a vengeance this season.  And so are loafers. I saw these shoes at Target and immediately snatched them up. 

Mossimo "Black Vianca Tuxedo Flat - Animal Print" - $19.99 (at Target)

News flash: They are on sale for $15.99 online.  I had them on with skinny crops and a tee with long cardigan and seriously in 2 hours in Shreveport shopping got 5 compliments on them.  They just go with anything and any color.  Super fun!  Here are some other options.

Steve Madden "Croquet-L Smoking Flats" - $79.00 (at Macy's)

Sam Edelman "Alvin Leopard Slipper" - $150.00 (at Neiman Marcus)

Try wearing them like so:

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Save, Steal, Splurge Sunday

So... It's been awhile since I have done a post not relating to anything baby and I wanted to take a brief moment and talk about some skincare.  When it comes to your face, I believe you should take the absolute best care possible.  For those of you that know me, you know never tan in the sunbed, always wear a hat when at the beach and believe in daily sunscreen and alpha-hydroxy cream.  Recently, I got introduced to a new skincare line and wanted to take a moment to tell you about it.

Rodan + Fields.  If you haven't heard of it, look it up.  It is the two dermatologists that invented pro-active.  I was a bit weary at first but after listening to their story, I decided to give it a try.  They have several different skincare regimen but I opted for the REVERSE since it was summertime and I am no doubt getting sun damage on my face. I kid you not, the 3rd day I was using it my mom told me my skin looked so good.  I didn't even tell her about my new products.  And trust me, if my mom says my skin looked good, she wasn't lying.  She take extraordinary good care of her skin and is a pretty tough critic.  She then went on to ask me, I want to try that, how do I get it?

Well, originally, the line was sold at Neiman Marcus and doing really well but it was pulled and placed into the hands of the customers.  Hence, you need to order from a skincare consultant.  I loved the products so much, I decided to become a consultant myself.  I haven't talked alot about it until now but it seriously is good stuff.  You can log onto my website here (https://lhaddox.myrandf.com) .  I encourage everyone to click on the "Get advice" link under the "our products" tab.  You answer a few questions and it gives you suggestions on which regimen is right for you.  Yes, the regimen is a bit pricey but you are getting several products in each regimen.  The thing about skincare is you need to use not just one, but several products in a specific sequence to get maximum results.  I know many people are only using one or two.  They also offer singe products if there is one specific area of your face you are targeting.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  And as always, if you want to try it out, give me a shout.  I don't think you will be disappointed. And it you are, they offer a money back guarantee. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Birthday Boy!

Aiden turned one on Wednesday and to say he loved having a birthday is an understatement.  Tuesday night Ben blew up 70 balloons and we somehow sneaked then into his room without him waking up.  When he woke up Wednesday morning his whole room was full of balloons.  He loved it! We should not even bought his presents and just gave him balloons.  We are still playing with them. 

We had a small family birthday party at 5 that afternoon.  I hurried up and rushed home from work to get everything together and when I got home, I was informed he hadn't taken an afternoon nap.  Uh-Oh!  I quickly put him down and he screamed and stood up in his crib for about 5 minutes and then just passed out.  It was perfect because it let me get everything in place.  Yes I did go a bit overboard for a family birthday but how many times in your life do you turn one?  I had a theme of "Under the Sea" and because it was summertime it was pretty easy to find decorations for.  At 5pm (party time) he was still sleeping but we woke him up and he was not happy.  As soon as he came downstairs everybody started singing "Happy Birthday" to him and he immediately cheered up.  I fixed him a plate of food and he ate every bite of it.  His favorite was chicken salad.  We then opened presents and it was too much stimulation.  He didn't know what to do.  Next year we are initiating a one present limit from family. Two great-grandmothers, two set of grandparents, mom and dad, aunt, uncle, and a cousin was way too much.  He is just plain rotten. 

After that, we had cake.  I had a small cake made especially for him so he could just destroy it.  At first, he wouldn't put his hands on it.  He wanted us to feed it to him.  Then he realized we were serious and he could make a mess and he went to town.  I'm not sure if he liked the cake or ice cream more.  We were definitely hyper after that and stayed up past our bedtime but I know he had a blast and he is so lucky to have so many people in his life that love him.  It has been a crazy year and I can't wait to see what the next year has in store!

Thursday morning we made our way to Green Clinic for our 1 year checkup.  Here are your milestones:
weight: 18lbs 7oz. (3rd percentile)
height: 30.5 inches (92 percentile)
diaper size: 3
meals: 2-3 bottles a day with 2 meals (baby and table food) along with snacks.  Unfortunately, you are not allowed to have strictly whole milk yet because your weight but I am hoping you will at least transition from Alimentum to  milk based formula and save mommy some money.
clothing size: 9-12 month. 
shoe size: mostly 1's but some 2's
sleep: morning and afternoon nap averaging around 1.5 hours.  Nighttime schedule is 7pm-7am

You cannot walk unassisted yet but spend the majority of your time cruising up and down the couch.  You try and pull up on everything.  No new words to report except for your cousin's name.  You love her and just repeat her name over and over when she's around.  You still love books and music.  You can crawl up stairs no problem and are learning how to back yourself down them.  I know it is just a matter of time before you are everywhere!

I had several foods that went with the "sea" theme.  Thanks to pinterest for some great ideas as well as target, etsy, and hobby lobby for the decor. 

I had to capture this moment.  I was trying to change his diaper and he took off. Not ashamed obviously!
Loving the cake!

The hats were almost as big of a hit as the balloons were.  I think he knew he was special when he had it on.

Monday, June 25, 2012

11 Months

Aiden was 11 months on the 18th! Every month I say how crazy it is that he is so big but I just can't help it.  This year has just flown by.  His personality is so hilarious to us.  He literally eats whatever you put in front of him but he could eat 3 bananas without stopping if we let him.  He loves them!  He definitely has my mood swings and can throw a fit on a dime (we are working on that).  If he is sad we just put him on either mine or Ben's shoulders and he is happy as a clam. He has said a couple new words in the last month.  They include: duck, Lola, book.  He will repeat them over and over again when he sees them or has them in his hand and a couple days later won't say them at all.  I have captured some of them on camera which is good.  He is still army crawling but it is pretty fast.  He can get up our stairs in our kitchen area and can pull himself up to a standing position.  Aiden also absolutely loves the pool.  He kicks and splashes til he just wares himself out.  He even loves when we take his helmet off before bath.  He just rubs his head but never complains when we put it back on.  It has been a blessing with all the falling down as we learn to stand.  More to come on his head after our appointment on Thursday.  Here are other stats:

clothing: size: 9month although he can still wear alot of 6 month shorts or pants.
feeding schedule: bottle every 4 hours and 2 big meals with snacks in between.  You are finally drinking out of some sippee cups and are liking apple juice
sleep schedule: 7pm-7am with 1-2 naps a day, depending
diaper size: 3
height and weight: unknown, although we did have to buy you a new carseat because you were too long for the chicco.
teeth: still just 2 bottom teeth but I really think any day this week one will pop out.  I can feel it trying to poke through.