Friday, May 21, 2010

3 Month Portraits

His Easter Outfit (or what would have been his Easter outfit if it had fit)

Ethan turned 3 months old on the 18th! It seems like everyday he is doing something new. I've been trying to put him on his tummy more often. It's hard to remember to do it since when he is up he's usually eating or having a vest or nebulizer treatment. I try to give him time to play, but sometimes it's not very much time. When I did put him on his tummy a couple days ago he was really close to rolling over. I think he'll be doing it by the end of next week.
Ken & I took Ethan to JcPenney's Portraits to have his 3 month photos taken. He missed his morning nap, so I was worried they wouldn't turn out very good. We didn't get a really good smile, but the grin made up for it.
Who do you think he looks like in this one?

A Family Photo

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ethan's talk with Great-Granner

On Saturday, Ethan got to spend more time with Ken's Granner, his great-granner. He was very into her. I have never heard him talk so much to anyone. He smiled and cooed at her. Ethan hasn't seen her since his 2nd cousin, Gavin's 1st birthday in March and before that it was the day after he was born. He is getting to be so much more fun and smiles more each day. I think he's a very happy baby. In fact, he's wearing his "Happy" shirt today.
Here are some of the pictures of him with his great-granner.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mom Guilt

"Why I outta!"

All smiles

Ethan looks so much like me in this picture.

I've realized in the last weeks how guilty I feel when I leave Ethan. I guess it's a case of mom guilt. I find myself hurrying back sooner than I meant to, mostly because I really miss him, but I think it's also because of the guilt. I can't seem to stop it.
On the weekends Ken tries to let me sleep in, but by 8am I'm downstairs because I feel like I'm taking advantage by leaving Ken with the baby. Ken usually says, "Go to bed. I've got it!" I need to get over it and just sleep in. I totally trust Ken with the baby so that's not the problem.
My main problem with mom guilt is that I can't sit down and do something for myself without feeling guilty. If I go upstairs to read or take a bath, I keep thinking about how I need to get back to Ethan. I have talked to other moms who feel the same. I remember telling my sister last year that she needed to spend more time doing things for herself because taking care of herself would help her to be a better mom. I need to take my own advice. I never knew that being a mom came with the desire to constantly be everything for your kids.
I'm learning to let myself do special things for me. I know that it's just as important to take care of myself so I'm a better mom, as it is to take care of my marriage so we're better parents. I just need to actually do it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Before I was a Mom...

An old friend of mine sent me this today:

Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not
my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind
and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night
watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because
I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces
when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small
could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of
having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel
to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond
between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth,
the joy,
the love,
the heartache,
the wonderment
or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1st Mother's Day

I woke up on Mother's Day all alone. Ethan was still in the hospital and Ken had spent the night with him. We weren't sure if he would be released on Mother's Day or the day after. Once I got up I went to Starbucks to treat myself and get something for Ken. The weather was dreary. That was exactly how I felt too. I'd been looking forward to my 1st Mother's Day since last Mother's Day.
We ended up finding out around noon that Ethan would be going home and after 3 hrs were released to go home. After Ethan threw up on the way home and a bath at home we headed to my parents house to celebrate. We also had to finish my Mother's Day gift from my sister and me.
My mom loved her apron and cried when she opened it along with a photo of 3 out of 4 of her grandkids. This was the first year that I truly understood why we celebrate Mother's Day. As a mother, I now understand how my mom felt while we were growing up and what she did for us. It's overwhelming to be mom, but very worth it. I have such an appreciation for my mom. She is so strong and taught me how to be a good mom. I love you, Mommy!
Ken and Ethan gave me a kit to make a stepping stone with Ethan's footprints on it. The funny thing is I was planning on getting Ken the same thing for Father's Day. I guess I'll have to rethink that.
I hope all of you who are mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day. I can't wait for next year when I will wake up with my little boy jumping on my bed on Mother's Day.

"Mommy, I love my hands!"

My precious boy taking a nap

Notice that Ethan is Superman!!!

He wouldn't let go of the rings.

Ethan is growing so fast! The last time he was weighed he was almost 12 lbs and 23 inches long. He loves to bat at toys and likes to hold his keys. He's starting to master holding his head up for longer periods of time. I think that rolling over will happen in the next few weeks. I feel bad because he's hardly ever on the floor since he's always having some kind of treatments for CF. He loves to kick his legs and chew on his hands. He's getting pretty close to getting his whole hand in his mouth.
I love to watch him talk to the fan and to us. He's such a talker! Just like his mommy! Ken said that he had hoped that Ethan wouldn't be much of a talk until he was older, ha...fat chance of that. He's got Schwiesow genes! It was inevitable.
He's a very social baby. He likes almost everyone, except if he's feeling sick or is really tired. Once he's swaddled and has his binkie he will fall asleep in seconds. I can't believe I have such an easy kid. I know some of it must be dumb luck, but I like to believe that God gave us an easy going baby because of all of the other hurdles we were going to have to jump over. He's such an amazing baby!
I have a calendar in the kitchen to keep track of his milestones and I'm glad it's there because I would completely forget the dates that he has done all the things.
Just in the few weeks he has slept 6-7 hrs during the night 4 out of 7 days of one week before he got sick, started holding his head steady, starting grabbing at toys and gripping them trying to get them into his mouth, talks a lot and mimics whatever Ken or I say. He copies, "Goo", "Uh,oh", "Oh", & "Mommmm". When he was in the hospital last week I could have sworn that he said, "Elllla" when he cried. I know he doesn't associate those words with anything, but it's cute to see him mimic us and see how fascinated he is to listen to whatever we say. His grin makes my day and I just can't help but smile myself.

Great Strides Walk for the Cure

Ethan was exhausted after all that walking :)

I've been meaning to post about the Great Strides walk, but with all that's been going on you can see why it's taken me almost 2 weeks. On May 1st, our team of 12 people met at the Capitol steps in Sacramento along with about 500 other people to walk for the cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Our team raised $3210 between the 12 of us. We brought Ethan along in the front pack to keep him up and away from the germs of kids, but of course, he already had a cold. I thought he was getting better actually.
The walk was about 3 miles long through Old Sac, K Street Mall and around the Capitol. We had a BBQ at our house after the walk to say thank you to everyone.
We made t-shirts with Ethan's photo on the front and TEAM ETHAN on the back. Unfortunately, as soon as many of us put them on the transfer with the picture on it cracked. Ethan even had a onesie with his little face on it. I didn't get a picture of him in his onesie, but we did get some pictures of the day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

We're going home!

We were really happy to hear that we'd finally be going home yesterday. It took 3 hrs to get discharged, but finally about 230PM we were out of the hospital. We will have to continue nebulizers at home for another 2 weeks and he will still have his normal vest treatments 3x a day. Luckily, a month or so ago I bought a whiteboard to keep track of medications, feedings and treatments. I got it so that whoever came in our house to help us would know the dosages and what he needed everyday. It's still a little confusing, but less for us. For now, we're trying to take it one treatment at a time.
Please pray for patience for Ken and I while we try to adjust to having nebulizers, antibiotics, and vest treatments thrown into our already busy baby schedule!
Thanks for your prayers!
Erin, Ken & Ethan

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A small setback...

When I arrived back at the hospital this morning Ethan sounded a little bit worse than yesterday. He's still not on oxygen, and his oxygen #'s are still above 95% which is great, but he is breathing a little harder. He's asleep right now finally after a night of coughing with my mom. It's unfortunate that we have to wake him to eat during the night so he continues to gain the weight back from last week. We have to do 4 vest treatments during the day and they have to be at least 4 hrs a part. Add that to eating every 4 hrs at night and 3 hrs during the day and it gets crazy. He can't do the treatment until 2 hrs after he eats or 45 minutes before he eats. It makes it difficult because it seems like we're constantly waking him up to do something to him.
He's a trooper. He loved reading, "Goodnight Moon" with me this morning. He stared at the pictures and listened intently to the words. I can tell that he's trying to be in a good mood, but he's really tired too.
I think he sounds like yesterday now that I listen to him. Usually nights are worse than the day. The pediatrician will be by in the next hour or so with the virus test results so we can see what exactly this virus is. He should also be able to give us a better idea of how much longer we will be here. I'm still hoping for tomorrow, but he would have to get back to where he was yesterday and then some. I'll send another update in a couple hrs.

He's coming home soon!

Ethan is doing much better. We were told initially that they most likely wouldn't have admitted him if it wasn't for the wheezing and the CF. When we got to the hospital he had lost 6oz in a week, but now he's gained 4 oz of that back. He is still puking up phlegm and some formula because of his treatments, but everytime the respiratory therapist comes in to do a treatment they say he sounds better. Dr. Treis said today that he will be home on Sunday or Monday. I'm still really hoping for Sunday, not only because of Mother's Day, but because Sunday night will be my turn again to stay the night. I stayed from noon Thursday until about 1030 this morning. I slept for about 30 minutes last night because Ethan had something in his throat that he couldn't completely cough up all night. I was completely wiped when I got home. Luckily, because I was stranded at the hospital without a car, my dad and grandma came to get me this morning. I slept from 12-6pm completely zonked out. I will be going back in the morning so my mom, who is staying tonight, can go home to sleep and will be there until late tomorrow afternoon until Ken comes back for the night.

We are lucky that this is just a cold and not bacterial. He does have a viral infection, but because it's not bacterial it will not leave damage on his lungs. Any infant could have gotten the Brochialitis he had 7 weeks ago or this virus. They are just being extra cautious.

For now we're trying to take it as it comes. I have had my moments of completely losing it more this time that last time. I think as a mother you feel guilty when something happens to your child. You want to shield them from everything and wave your magic wand and make it all better. Thankfully, we have great doctors, hospital staff and great family and friends to help us along the way. Thank you so much for praying for our family and our little boy! We really hope that this is the last time he is in the hospital until he's ready for a "tune-up" in a year.

Ethan is still in good spirits. If a man comes in to work on him he doesn't really pay much attention, but once any women comes in his eyelashes start to bat at her and he grins. He likes the ladies! The only time I see him looking miserable is when he is having a coughing fit. He still turns red, but thankfully more is coming out and he's eating better.

I'll try to send out another update as we know more, but things are looking better. We're hoping that because it's spring and almost summer that sicknesses will be non-existent until the fall.

I'll attach pictures later today.

Erin, Ken & Ethan.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mommy's injury

A few days after returning back from Ethan's 1st hospital stay, my left wrist started hurting a lot. I figured that I had held Ethan the wrong way and that his weight on my wrist in the wrong position was what caused the soreness. After seeing the doctor a month ago I was given a splint, told to take 600mg of Motrin 3x a day and that it should be better in two weeks. After two weeks it wasn't better, it was worse. It was then clicking when I used it and it hurt a lot in the morning. I headed back to the doctor a week and a half ago and she told me that it looked worse but I should discontinue using the splint because it looked like the pain was coming from inflammation. She referred me to the orthopaedic surgeon to see what was really going on. Unfortunately, the only appointment they had was a week and half out.
Today was my appointment and because Ken was at the hospital with Ethan I was able to go. The orthopedic surgeon gave me a cortisone shot and told me that I had tendonitis. Evidently, it's very common postpartum to have tendonitis because of all the fluid that you retain during pregnancy and hold onto for a few months after. I have the splint back on my wrist for another month. It's really uncomfortable and more so as I type on my laptop. Hopefully it will heal quickly and I won't need surgery. It takes 3-6 months to heal without surgery. Yuck! No biggie, it's not like I have an infant at home to take care of?
When it rains it poors. Since Ethan was born, I had a 3rd degree tear that took a month to finally even begin to feel better, Ethan was hospitalized for 8 days at 3 1/2 weeks, I was told I have dermatitis on my face and put on antibiotics for a month, Ethan got a cold which sent us to the hospital again, and I have tendonitis. I hope next month is better!

Good news!

Earlier this morning we got the test results back for whooping cough. It was negative for whooping cough. He's been coughing a lot more frequently here, but that most likely is because of the albuterol treatments which irritate his throat so that everything can loosen up. We are continuing his vest treatments at the hospital 4x a day for 10 minutes. One of the pulmonologist told Ken today that he will be here for a few more days, but that he couldn't give us exact date because they need to see improvement first. It looks like we'll most likely be here on Mother's Day. I guess we'll do the baby dedication at church on Father's Day instead.

He's eating a little better now so hopefully he'll start gaining weight again. He was 11 lbs 14.5 oz last Wednesday when I initially brought him in at the beginning of the cold. Yesterday when I took him in he had lost 6 oz in a week. It's weird, I noticed earlier this week that he had lost weight. Luckily, he's still sleeping 10PM-3AM, like at home. Right before he got sick he was just getting to the point where he would sleep 6-7 hrs a night. Hopefully once we are home and he is well we can get back to that again.

For now, we're just taking it day by day and hoping we'll be home by the end of the weekend.
Erin, Ken & Ethan

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back in the hospital...again

Unfortunately, earlier today Ethan and I had our 2nd ambulance ride to the hospital. Ethan has had a cold for a little over a week. I thought he was getting better, but over the weekend he started coughing and by Monday it turned into hacking. He threw up a few times over the weekend, sometimes very little and once or twice big time. Gradually, he's been taking less and less formula and having fewer wet diapers. I was beginning to get worried that he was getting dehydrated and when he would go into a hacking fit his face would turn bright red and it would last for 30-45 seconds. He had a hard time eating, which is very unlike him.
Today I decided to take him in to see the pediatrician. Once we got there they checked his respirations, the pulling around his ribs, and he was at 80 respirations a minute. Normal is 40-50 for babies. They decided to give him an albuterol treatment in the office and after it was over his respirations were at 60, but still too high. The pediatrician called Ethan's pulmonologist who decided that we were going to be admitted to the hospital. As soon as the doctor left the room, I lost it. I felt so guilty for getting sick in the first place and for giving it to him. I know I've tried my best to stay healthy and to keep him from getting sick, but I felt helpless. I want to protect him from everything and it's just impossible. I've gotten very used to washing my hands a million times a day and using hand sanitizer so much that my hands are dry and peeling in some places, but it's still not enough. There are germs and viruses everywhere. How can I protect him from everything? I can't.
After getting to the hospital via the ambulance, which Ethan again slept through, we were admitted to Kaiser Roseville. They had done an x-ray in at the Rancho Cordova clinic before we left so the results were ready later this afternoon. It showed that he has something similar to what he had last time, but it's not nearly as bad. You could see on the x-ray that one of his diaphrams is a little bit collapsed from all the hacking and wheezing. They said it's a virus and they will let it run its course and treat the symptoms. For now, he is having albuterol nebulizer treatments every 4 hours, antibiotics to help get rid of more of the staph aureous he had last time and suctioning of his nose to get more of the congestion out. It amazes me that through it all he is still flirting with our nurse. He batted his long eyelashes at her a few times and gave her his killer smile. What a flirt! Then, he started cooing and saying, "Goo, goo!"
We have been told that he will be in the hospital for 2-3 days at this point. They have decided to run a test for pertussis, whooping cough, because cases have risen recently. We won't have those results for 2 days. If it is whooping cough he will be in the hospital longer to be monitored. For now, they are giving him a med to help him from spreading it to others just in case he has it. If he does have it the main concern is that he could stop breathing and that's why they would closely monitor him.
I am somewhat at peace knowing that he is at the hospital being well taken care and that Ken is there with him tonight so I can finally get a full night of sleep. I have been living in a whirlwind lately and barely sleeping at all. It's starting to catch up with me. No one can live on 30 minutes here and 2 hours there for long. It takes me 2 hours to fall asleep and by then 30 minutes later he's awake or I hear him coughing. The other night I slept on the floor for an hour beside his crib because I had been getting up so much.
I pray that he will recover quickly from this and we'll have him home soon enough with us. I really hope we'll spend my 1st Mother's Day at home, but I'll enjoy it no matter where I am as long as I have my sweet baby boy with me. Please pray for Ken & I as we ride through this rollercoaster of emotions again. Pray that God will give us the strength to keep pushing through and that we won't lose our hope and faith that God is with us and taking care of us every step of the way.
Thanks for your prayers!
Erin, Ken & Ethan