Wow we made it 1 whole year!!!!!!!! On November 14, 2015 Jaxson was discharged from the NICU where he spent the first 119 days of his life.
FUN FACT: Jaxson was discharged the day BEFORE his due date!
Jaxson was given a 20% of survival and he showed the medical staff and the world that he would beat the statistics. The first couple of weeks were by far very scary and a lot of touch and go, but our faith remained. Day in and day out my husband and I traveled 10 mins away to spend time with our baby boy. We advocated for him daily, learned a plethora of medical knowledge, experienced what it truly means to sacrifice, grew as a couple and watched God perform an amazing miracle in our baby boy.
Tears well up in my eyes when I think about how far we have come. When the Doctors said NO, God said YES! Not all babies come home from the NICU. Not all 22 week babies are saved and given a chance to live. Statistically, 24 weeks is viable and nothing less. I am VERY thankful for my OB Dr. LIpeles who took the risk and listened to me through tear stained eyes and the desperate pleas of my heart. All I wanted was for the team to give my baby boy a chance. What they gave us is a gift that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.
God truly gave us beauty for ashes and used our pain for purpose. My son has been an inspiration to many near and far, his determination and fight for life has blessed me. In the last year life has changed so much for us. I am not the same woman I was last November. I am stronger, wiser and better. When we first brought Jaxson home I experienced a little PTSD. I had a lot of anxiety, trouble sleeping, and even fear. I was in state of joyfulness because my baby made it home, but I also had some dark moments. I was afraid something would happen to Jaxson that would require another hospital stay. By the grace of God my fears didn't come to pass. The NICU journey for me was mentally exhausting. The constant rollercoaster that your on, the 2 steps forward 2 steps backward, the machines, tubes, all of it is a lot for a mother or father to go through. Prayer and writing is what got to go through. I knew I needed to be healthy for myself and my family and anything less wouldn't be acceptable. So I pushed myself through PTSD, I spoke positivity over my life prayed A LOT and really just embraced my blessings.
Thankfully, I was able to take "baby bonding" time which was definitely needed! Jaxson remained on a 3 hour schedule for a few months and I was trying to keep up with pumping, his weekly appointments, oxygen levels, plus oximeter and 4 medications. Not to mention, we were in isolation for 8 weeks due to it being cold/flu season. Talk about life changing! My mom-in-love would come over every Tuesday or Thursday to travel with me to his eye doctor appointment and hubby would go to the Pediatrician appointments every Friday. We also had weekly blood draws at the hospital lab to make sure we were on the right track with his medication dosages. So the first couple of months were definitely a whirlwind on and getting out of the house was a task- it required lot of "night before" preparation! I think back to those moments and smile because we made it! Some days were very hard and even frustrating but we made it!
People often ask how we resumed normal activity while got acclimated to home life. Well, my husband and I took turns staying with Jaxson so that we could run errands without having to expose him to germs that could potentially be harmful for him. Once his 8 week isolation was up, we slowly integrated into going out in public (other than appts.) as a family and it was really nice. I remember the first time the 3 of us went to eat. We kept him bundled up and covered in his stroller lol but just being able to do something normal as a family was truly a great feeling.
In the last year we've experienced quite a bit. We've created memories that we will cherish for a lifetime. Jaxson has undergone 1 surgery which thankfully was an outpatient procedure, he is no longer on mediation or oxygen, he's grown leaps and bounds also!
As for new experiences, we have gone to the zoo, he's had his baby dedication, taken swimming lessons, gone on family trips over the Summer, rode the Carousel for the first time, A real pony, a choo-choo train, visited the Pumpkin patch and so much more! He is a healthy and happy little 22 weeker who we are so very proud of! He is now 12 months adjusted and 16 months (on the 18th) learning to walk, climbing on everything, babbling, loves food, his parents and having fun! He is truly the light of our lives and such a miracle!
WE HOPE YOU ARE INSPIRED AND ENCOURAGED BY OUR JOURNEY. MIRACLES DO EXIST AND WE WANT YOU TO THINK OF US DURING THOSE HARD TIMES AND REMEMBER THAT ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE!