COVID-19, mommy blog, New Year, prematurity, Tampa blogger

The First Month…

The first month of a new year is always interesting to me. It’s the time for planning out your year and trying to recuperate from all of the holiday activities. This January has been no different in that respect. However, it also almost always feels little long…

Transitioning back to work and our son back to school while still in a pandemic has been tough. With the COVID numbers being as high as they have been, my company made the decision to have all non-essential workers work remotely, which I am grateful for. However, Emerson still has to go to school and my husband still has to physically go in to work.

We were able to be COVID free for two whole years, and then here comes January 2022, and our son tests positive. In that moment, I was immediately concerned for what this would mean with his chronic lung disease history and also with him being too young to be vaccinated. To my surprise, his symptoms remained fairly mild (fevers and vomiting mostly, which is still no easy feat), and were almost completely gone by day 4. We are more than grateful that we never had to put him on oxygen or take him to the hospital. It was a blessing that we were able to fully manage it at home and keep track of his oxygen saturation and heart rate with the pulse oximeter. Now that’s not to say those 10-days of quarantine were easy for us… juggling work and a 4-year-old (especially once he was back to full strength) was a bit challenging. (See the photo below for proof.)

Really? On the sofa table, though?!?

So, I’m not sure if I’m the only one feeling like whew, I made it through January, but I just had to come here and say WHEW, WE made it through January, and I thank God for it! Although, we dealt with COVID head on and have lots of other things going on right now, there were a few positive things in this long month, one of which included me having the opportunity to be a part of my friend’s new podcast, which I am super excited about, and can’t wait for you all to see! I love opportunities to share and create awareness around what it means to be a preemie mom, so I am very appreciative for Tivi Jones and her company, Hey Awesome Girl. More details on the podcast episode coming soon!

Here’s to a positive and hopeful 2022… Stay safe and be blessed. 💜

Holidays, mommy blog, New Year, NICU Life, prematurity

Welcome to 2020!

Whew… time flies! I know it has been a while for my last post, but you would not believe all of the things that have happened between my last post and now:

  • Emerson being sick
  • Travel for work
  • Emerson being sick
  • Travel for work
  • Emerson being sick…

Okay… I think you get the point. Fall 2019 was filled with weeks of Emerson being sick due to catching some sort of respiratory virus. We were in and out of the doctor’s office with him on almost a bi-weekly basis. It sounds grim, but the positive side of it is that during this cold/flu season, we have not had one time where we had to take him to the emergency room! This is completely a step up from last season where we had about 3 emergency room visits due to respiratory viruses. The thing you don’t think about as your child gets older (or at least I didn’t think about because I was more concerned with his health issues as it pertains to him being a preemie) is how much their access to germs increases, which of course increases their likelihood of getting sick. My feelings around this felt somehwat conflicted because while I was celebrating the fact that Emerson was thriving and catching up developmentally, I was also stressed about him being sick so much. However, with a lot of faith and prayer (as well as cuddles with Emerson, date nights my husband, and support from family and friends), we made it through this stressful time.

Fast forward to the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas were great. We were even able to take Emerson to North Carolina to visit family and friends a couple of weeks before Christmas. Needless to say, we had concerns about the weather change and all the things that could go wrong (especially with him having been sick so much in the months prior), however, he handled it like a champ, and we had no issues during our trip. We had an amazing time watching Emerson play with his slightly older cousins (ages 5 and 6) who are so protective of him.

Now, we are on to 2020. I am currently on my first work trip of the year, and missing both of my guys, but I will be headed home soon. Entering 2020 has made me reflect on the past, but also look forward to what is to come. In 2019, Emerson:

  • Began taking more pureed foods by mouth (up to 8 ounces!)
  • Started matching shapes using the block shape sorter toy (we still aren’t stacking yet, but he’s coming along)
  • Started counting to three when prompted (and when he feels like it)
  • Started using his passy-muir valve daily (this device goes over his trach to restrict his airflow so that he is able to talk and project his voice)
  • Came off the ventilator during the day
  • Battled sickness from home instead of the emergency room

This week, Emerson had a sleep study, which puts us one step closer to him being completely off the ventilator. Thinking back to August 2017, I could not have imagined all that we have been through nor that we would be where we are right now. Emerson has been home and thriving in spite of having to spend 191 days in the hospital. We are more than grateful for his progress and looking forward to all the milestones he will reach in 2020. If you are a fellow NICU mom or family, I hope this encourages you. Regardless of what stage you’re in, celebrate the wins no matter how big or small. Here’s to an amazing 2020… wishing the best for you all.

Happy New Year!