Monday, February 20, 2017

The Difference 4 Years Makes

On Friday, Connor celebrated his 4th birthday.  I remember before we had him, probably before we were even married, when Matt brought up how funny it was that we celebrated birthdays and one more year of being alive.  I don't know why him saying that has stuck with me, but it's something I've always remembered.  

I feel safe in saying that both of us understand truly how celebratory a birthday is when you have a kid like Connor.  One who sees a multitude of specialists, has numerous health and medical issues attached to his name, and requires therapists and other adaptive equipment to help him thrive in this life.

Perhaps it was because I was always overwhelmed, but this year, I have pointed out each event since the 16th of February in 2013 that I remember.  How we were eating spaghetti and his family was over when my water broke.  I didn't even say anything...just went upstairs and started going through the information from my doctor.  #sosociallyawkward

 Oh boy...we had NO idea what was in store for us...

To the 17th when, in the early hours of the morning, I needed oxygen because Connor wasn't tolerating labor.  Before I left for work Friday I was telling Matt that it was around that time they decided to go ahead and do a c-section.  It was the first time I cried for my baby.  I was worried about him.  Would he be okay?  That was all I wanted.  I remember crying tears of joy when I heard him cry and then I just kind of went numb in the recovery room as I began to find out that everything wasn't okay, and he wasn't the healthy 7-8 lb. baby we were expecting.

I wasn't able to see him until I could lift my legs and I did that pretty quickly out of recovery.  The rest of the 17th was a blur, but being together made it seem better.

The 18th was what I thought to be the hardest day (at that point at least, ha!).  It was when Connor was transferred to MUSC.  Since I had a c-section, I hadn't been discharged yet, so I reluctantly told my "boys" bye and it was emotional to say the least.  Luckily, I had been walking around back and forth to the nursery and they ended up discharging me later that afternoon.  I was relieved to get down to MUSC and see Matt and Connor.  I remember sitting in a pumping room and someone coming in to tell us that he had a fever.  How that wasn't normal for a child so young and they were running tests.  He would need to be "isolated" and we would have to wear special gear to see him.

The 19th was a regular day, but Connor did have an MRI late at night that we hung around for.  In fact, some of those pictures from above may even be from that day.

The  If I thought that the 18th was hard, I was not prepared for the 20th.  Connor kept desatting throughout the day, meaning his oxygen levels were not staying up.  Matt and I went for a walk and when we got back, there were so many people surrounding Connor.  We found out he had about a 5 minute long tonic-clonic seizure and was being transferred to the NICU.  Our hearts broke.  We walked with him there, an emotional wreck as you can imagine, and then had to walk back to where our parents were in the waiting room to tell them.  They looked so confused when we got off the elevator and I'm pretty sure I just burst into tears.  It was a definite bottom point for us.  After the 20th, the days seem to blur together.  I can't tell you how long we were in the NICU, when we got moved to the Special Care Nursery, or even when we got discharged...I know it was in March and was about 3 weeks later.

 Last pictures in the Level 2 Nursery

 Pretty sure all these first day NICU pics are actually from the 21st, but whatever...we'll go with it.

I brought all of these memories up the past few days and Matt made the comment that I remember, and he tries to forget.  That's why we're good for each other.  I don't want to forget.  I want to remember how tough Connor is and what we've been through as a family.  This birthday is one I am thankful for, not just because it's another year in the books.  I am thankful for how far we have come.

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