Friday, October 30, 2015

3 weeks old

Thomas was 3 weeks old on the 26th. He continues to struggle with gaining weight. He surpassed his birth weight Wednesday (3 weeks old, 2 days) but was back down to 2 pounds 14 ounces yesterday. The roller coaster ride continues. He is still off of oxygen but has episodes of desaturations and tachypnea (fast heart rate). His goals in his room in the NICU say "rest and grow."

I find that some days it feels like he has been in the NICU for so long. Today is one of those days. I so badly wish for all of my boys to be home. One day soon...until then I will enjoy one in the morning and two boys in the afternoon.

I'm off to William's Halloween party, followed by James's soccer game. James claims that Halloween is his favorite holiday...hope the rain doesn't spoil the fun!

Monday, October 26, 2015

On the mend

Last week was a doozie. William came down with hand foot mouth, which is brutal. After about a week of crying, sleepless and no daycare, we are back to "normal." Thomas had a good week last week. His oxygen was removed early in the week. His growth continues to be slow. Today he's 3 weeks old and is almost back to birth weight. They have been adjusting the calories in his milk and the amount of milk hoping for the right combination to help him gain weight. Today he weighs 2 pounds, 12 ounces. The goal for the next 2-3 weeks is to gain weight and to slow his respiratory rate. But overall, he is doing great...thank you for praying! God has a plan for this little one and He is confident in his plan, even when we are not. I'm reminded everyday that God loves and cares for Thomas more than I do...I should always rest in that promise for all 3 of my boys.

"We went through fire and water, yet you brought us to a place of abundance."

Friday, October 16, 2015


 This is how I spend my mornings.
 He likes to sleep with his mouth open, like a little old man with no teeth.
One of his sweet night nurses (that I never see, only talk to on the phone) took this and had it waiting for me when I arrived the next day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

great ECHO report

We are so thankful and really amazed...the ECHO showed no pulmonary valve stenosis in his heart. As a friend reminded me when I said it was too good to be true, God is able to work miracles even in this tiny baby. We will monitor the pulmonary valve over the upcoming weeks and months but as of now, it is looking like they will not have to do anything to his heart.

So, Thomas is getting held for an hour and a half each morning by his mom. He continues to have an increase in feedings (through a tube, not from a bottle yet). His oxygen levels are holding steady. He continues to struggle to gain weight. As of today, he was 2 pounds 9 ounces.

Please continue to pray for progress for him. We are so grateful that he is stable and moving in the right direction. I know the road ahead is long. Pray for our little family as we are spread pretty thin between the NICU and home. I never feel fully present in either place.

I'll post pictures tomorrow. Thank you for praying for us, for loving us. We are clinging to His promises for each of our boys and for us. Thankful Thomas is in the hands of his loving Heavenly Father.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Update on Thomas

Here is a quick update on Thomas:
- he's a week old today
- he has started gaining weight back after losing weight most of the week. Still not back to birth weight
- his lines in his belly button were removed today so I was able to hold him for an hour today!
- he was never on the vent but is getting oxygen. They have been turning down how much he gets, and he has tolerated this well.
-He is up to 11cc per feeding (as of this morning)
- He had an ECHO of his heart this morning but we have not heard from the cardiologist.

 This is before his belly button lines were taken out.
Again, this was yesterday, before I could hold him.

I'll try to take better pictures tomorrow morning.

Thomas Clark Byrd

Last Sunday, Isaac and I enjoyed a quiet house as the boys were in Tupelo with their cousins. We read, lounged and enjoyed time together, even on bed rest. Around 7:30 PM, the house was quiet and they boys were asleep. I had another bleed and we called in the troops to stay with the boys while we went to the hospital...again. The doctors thought my irritable uterus might be causing the bleed and they decided to put me back on the magnesium. I took this like a death was too fresh in my mind. So again, I battled "mag," as it is lovingly referred. The flu like symptoms, being bed ridden, the IVs, no food, etc. Isaac held my hand, read to me and talked me off the ledge many times. By Monday afternoon, neither of us had slept, showered or relaxed in almost 24 hours. Isaac was preparing to go home for a shower and to feed the dog when my contractions picked up (from 2 an hour to every 3-5 minutes) and I had a large, scary bleed. 30 minutes later I was being poked and prodded for THREE IV lines. A slew of doctors and nurses were prepping me for surgery. I was freaking out yet again, and Isaac was talking me off the ledge. Around 5 PM we were in the OR. There were at least 15 people present. Thomas Clark was born weighing almost 3 pounds at 28 weeks, 4 days. He squealed (not cried). I saw a blur of his blonde hair as he was wheeled to the NICU. Then Isaac and I waited and waited for my surgery to be completed. After 2 grueling hours, he was asked to leave to they could put me to sleep. The next thing I know, I wake up in the ICU. They tell me I had placenta accreta, a hysterectomy was completed, and I lost a lot of blood. I hurt all over. Apparently my face looked like a tomato (thankfully I didn't see this). And I began what has seemed like a slow recovery. I learned later that there was a group of friends, siblings, family in the lobby praying for me and for my baby boy during my surgery. I still don't know who was there but thank you. The week since that is a blur of headaches, recovery, and yet in the midst of that sweet time with my siblings, parents. Food and drinks have appeared out of nowhere. My boys have had a blast with cousins and grandparents...they are tired and out of sorts but happy. Thomas is stable and we are so thankful for that. Another post to follow about him. Thank you for praying...for feeding us, for checking on us, for loving us. We are weary in every way yet so thankful.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

so thankful to be home

It's amazing what perspective you gain after spending over a week in the hospital. Bed rest at home is not easy, but it is a vast improvement over bed rest at the hospital. Mentally and emotionally I am so much more stable...I see my kids every morning and evening, I sleep in my own bed, I can look out my window and even venture outside to my lounge chair, the sound on my tv doesn't come from a remote control, I can take a long hot bath, I see my husband every day, I can read to my kids before bed and kiss them every morning. I realize that in the blink of an eye, I can and may be sent back to the hospital, so I am trying to count every day at home as a gift. I spend a lot of time obsessing over numbers (such as today is 42 days until 34 weeks and 56 days until 36 weeks). But, every day is a day closer to normal life (or at least normal life with a new baby).

So, what does one do with a day full of nothing: I've read 2 Harry Potter books and watched the first movie, I have watercolored (too bad to show you), I've crafted some Christmas ornaments (everyone will get one for Christmas), I've updated my address book, I've watched some less than edifying Netflix, I have an adult coloring book (thank you Jackie), I'm trying my hand at embroidery, I write thank you notes, I watch the news (although local news is very depressing), I listen to podcasts, I try to play with my kids from a horizontal position (which is a bit challenging).

There is an army of people who are feeding us, taking our kids to bowl, packing lunches, cleaning our house, washing clothes, and keeping me entertained! They are being the hands and feet of Jesus to our family-it is humbling but so good for us to lean on others. So, thank you!!
Magnatiles have been a big hit with James and we can build them from a lounging position

This is what you bed/bedside table look like when you are on bed rest: medicine, vitamins, sound machine, books, crafts, toys, water bottle...anything and everything within arm's reach. Not exactly the peaceful oasis but it works!
Here is the gift that you will all be getting for Christmas...and yes, it looks like a 2nd grader did it. I won't tell you how long it took me. Craftiness is not my gift.

Christ Methodist daycare has come to the rescue for William, letting him enroll mid year. He seems to love Ms. Tracey and is happy to go every day.