My little guy, J., turned 5 years old today!
We went to Utah's Hogle Zoo, which J. requested for his birthday. He just had to have a new map of the zoo.
J and S. rode the newly remodeled train while I nursed the baby, after we saw the new lions and zebras and everything in the new African exhibit. J just adores trains. We had lunch at Red Robin, and visited daddy's fire station quickly so he could drop off paperwork (and shift trade for an extra day off).
How did five years just go by?
Five years ago right now, I was laying in my hospital bed, alone cause my hubby took then 2-yr-old S. home to bed. The numbness from the c-section was wearing off, I was sicker than sick from the anti-seizure meds they were pumping through my IV drip to combat the preeclampsia and blood pressure, and I still had not seen my baby nor held him nor touched him since he was delivered at 5:30 pm (now being 11:30 pm). He was 35 1/2 weeks old, and his lungs weren't ready. By midnight, I caught my first glimpse of him, but he was packaged up in a NICU incubator, more tubes and blankets than baby, accompanied by the NICU and life flight crews. They had to drive him to the NICU at another hospital (the hospital that I now work at) because he needed the ventilator. I barely got to touch his little hand. It was a Friday night. It was a long and worrying and lonely weekend for me, trying to pump and get my breast milk going so I could nurse him. I was recovering from bronchitis, too. My husband was stressed because of the suddenness of the whole situation, a toddler to take care of, and his wife and newborn in two different hospitals.
I'm very proud of the fact that, once my milk came in, little J. never had another drop of formula. I was released Monday night, and we drove over to see our baby. I got to hold him for the first time, and despite the feeding tube, he opened his mouth right up and nursed well! By the next morning, he was off the ventilator and downgraded to a less critical level. By Saturday, he was off all bilirubin lights, air, feeding tube out, sleeping in a regular hospital baby bassinet, and I got to stay overnight. We took him home on Sunday-- 9 days was a miracle, when they wondered if he would be going home by his due date at all.
I have no doubt that God was watching over us, and my doctor, to deliver him and take care of me safely. I also have no doubt that a priesthood blessing from my hubby, his daddy, helped him heal and develop more rapidly. And I also strongly feel that being able to hold him and nurse him was the best thing I could possibly do to help him grow when there wasn't anything else I could do--my body got sick trying to grow him inside. I'm proud that I nursed him for 15 months!
Today, J. is a happy, healthy, smart, growing, energetic, daring, bouncy, and compassionate little boy who is a loving big brother and an adoring little brother all at once. It seems he was determined that being born early wasn't going to hold him back! He loves to play, has an incredible memory and imagination, and he's my little mommy's boy--my helper and companion, my little buddy.
He has recently learned to love Star Wars, like his daddy and I. He wanted a light saber for his birthday!
(He made me a picnic for Mother's Day! This was so cute, I just about cried! Flowers, favorite snacks, drinks, his favorite "cuddle blanket" for the picnic blanket. It was seriously one of the sweetest things I have ever had done for me, and from a 4-yr-old!)
Happy birthday, J !