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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Parents of Preemies Day

Parents of Preemies Day is coming up on May 4! I will do a proper post on my thoughts and feelings about being a proud preemie parent on the actual day, but for this post, I just wanted to throw awareness out there about what's going on and how you can be involved!

Are you a parent of a preemie? Graham's Foundation sponsors a wonderful day that is just for YOU! I have been blogging about this special day since it all began 2 years ago, and every year it has gotten bigger and better. 

Please support Parents of Preemies Day, a worldwide day of awareness produced by Graham's Foundation. Parents of Preemies Day recognizes the courage and commitment it takes to stay strong and resilient when premature birth turns a family's world upside down. Each year, 13 million babies are born prematurely across the globe and though medical breakthroughs continue to improve outcomes for preemies, experts are only now beginning to understand the intense psychological effects that premature birth has on moms and dads.

Here are just some of the ways you can celebrate Parents of Preemie's Day, whether you're a preemie parent or someone who cares about a family with a preemie:

    • Check to find out if there is an event happening in your area and if so, register. May 4th is going to be a great time!

    • Connect with other parents of preemies at the next #ParentsofPreemiesDay Twitter chat! Jump into the conversation using hashtag #ParentsofPreemiesDay to talk about how moms and dads can celebrate being parents of preemies.

    • Bloggers, visit the Parents of Preemies Day website and grab a badge for your sidebar – then create a Parents of Preemies Day post to tell the world why you're proud to be a preemie mom or dad. Email a link to your post to christa @ and we'll post it on the website!

If you have any questions, please let me know. I'd be happy to help you get in touch with someone from Graham's Foundation if you wanted to start your own event or have issues finding an event near you. A few days before the event, I'll be sharing my story of why I"m a proud preemie mom and what being a preemie parent means to me.  

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Long Week

Well, I'm almost all caught up with everything going on in our house lately. This update isn't quite as fun as the Disneyland update though, fair warning.

My kids have all had colds all winter long, especially that baby of mine. I figured he was building up his immune system and being around toddlers 24/7, he was getting hit pretty hard. He was diagnosed with asthma in January and since then has been on breathing treatments daily to help fight off all of these chest colds he's been getting, or at least keep them from getting too serious. The most recent sickness that plagued our house wasn't started by him was that other little boy in the house.

So go back 2 weeks ago, between Thursday and Friday, I noticed Jackson started to get really grouchy. Like REALLY grouchy. He was so upset about everything and nothing could calm him down. Friday evening I took his temperature and sure enough, he had a fever and I knew then he was coming down with something. He seemed alright though and the fever wasn't too high so we settled in for a quiet weekend at home.

Well the sickness came on quick because by the next morning, all 3 kids were down and out. And by out, I mean OUT. I have never seen them so quiet and still for such a long time.
No one's fever was very high and everyone was breathing alright so we continued on with a quiet weekend of movies and relaxing.

Monday morning, things changed. I made a doctors appointment for around 10am and by 9am, Jackson and Ben both started breathing really heavy. I went into the doctors early, and luckily, we have a great pediatrician who got them back and taken care of quickly. Jack's oxygen saturation was in the 80s, numbers I hadn't seen since his NICU days, and Ben had a fever of about 103 degrees. Amelia just sat there quietly, too sick to move. The doctor gave Jack and breathing treatment and kept him there for a little bit. His oxygen went up to the low 90s but she still wanted to get a chest xray and keep a close eye on him. So we went off to xray and the doctor told us to come back in a few hours after we'd gotten something to eat and the kids had rested a bit and she wanted to see him first thing that afternoon when we'd have the xray results in. So we did all that and about 2pm, we headed back to the pediatrician. Jack's xray showed pneumonia and his oxygen was back in the 80s so at that point, she said she had to send him to the ER, he needed more help then we could give him here. Again, being the awesome pediatrician's office, the nurse helped me take the kids all over to the ER (Tom was at work for all this, I REALLY didn't think it was that serious and would escalate so quickly). By 3pm we were checked into the ER for Jackson, getting breathing treatments and oxygen, and about 30 minutes later, after just seeing Amelia and Ben sitting there all sick and pathetic looking, the ER doctor insisted we check the other 2 in to make sure they were taken care of too because she didn't think they looked well at all either. And here's where things got really crazy,

We assumed Jack would be admitted for the night since his oxygen levels were so low, but after checking Amelia and Ben out and seeing their chest xrays and RSV test come back positive, the ER doctor decided it was best to admit all 3 kids! Yikes! There was no pediatric unit in the hospital we were at (which is our small neighborhood hospital) but luckily, there is a children's hospital not far from us in Long Beach so we were transferred over there on Monday night.

As you can guess, with 3 kids in the hospital, we got very little sleep and were busy taking care of them all. They were really, really sick. Amelia tested positive for RSV in the ER and later Ben tested positive on another test at the hospital. All 3 kids had pneumonia and were having trouble keeping their oxygen saturation in the 90s without help. I was hoping we would only be in the hospital for a day or so but it took until Saturday to get everyone home! Saturday! Wow what a long week! Luckily, my mom was able to fly in on Wednesday to help with everyone as they started coming home. We spent all of last week relaxing and recovering from our long week in the hospital. It wasn't until last night, over a week after their discharge, that I finally let them out and near other kids. Another cold would have sent them back to the hospital quickly, and they were still very tired (and so was I!) from the long week.

We have had lots of friends bring us meals and help us out through all of this so a big thank you to everyone who has helped us! We really appreciate you all taking care of us while the kids were so sick! I'm so glad they got better because after 2 years of synagis shots and the fears beaten into me of preemies getting RSV, I was quite nervous when they told me it was RSV and pneumonia. But we are all home, doing well and hopefully that will be our last sickness for a VERY LONG TIME.