summer break: 5, 6, and 7 month update

hey y’all. i’m back. after a 2ish month hiatus from the blog (aka summer break), i thought it was time to give it some love. this post is all about months 5, 6 and 7 – the months i am calling the waiting months. the months we spent waiting for brady’s heart surgery to come, attempting to keep him healthy, failing at that, getting surgery postponed 9 more weeks, struggling with bottles, feeding and weight gain, and finally ending with surgery (and summer).

img_6082

month 5: brady celebrated landon’s second birthday and my first mother’s day with my two nuggets. he started giggling more, smiling with his entire body and getting stronger and stronger in PT. we took his first trip to the beach (and really first trip anywhere). we attempted to keep him healthy and ready for surgery that lingered just on the horizon. month 5 was a big one, but we knew (or thought) month 6 would be even bigger.

img_6443

month 6: heart surgery month. not exactly. i know i mentioned it on instagram, but we were prepped and ready for brady’s surgery. we planned a last minute baptism, attempting to fit it into the schedule with most of our family. we had family lined up to come in town and help with landon while we would be in the hopsital with brady. then boom, no surgery. i knew brady had caught a cold the week before. i was emailing with his cardiologist wondering if i needed to speak up to the surgical team or not. we decided to wait it out and see if his body could clear it before surgery. no dice. one nose swab test later and positive for rhino/entrovirus. no surgery. what we thought would be a 6 week bump, turned into 9 weeks thanks to school aged kids planning elective surgeries during the summer months. after this, we decided we wanted to live a little bit. we continued to struggle with bottles, so one day we tried to nurse and he took to it! we went from exclusively bottle-feeding/pumping to nursing after a 5.5 month struggle. things were looking up a bit, until we learned he was not gaining weight. between brady’s heart condition and the calories he burned nursing, he just couldn’t keep the weight on. back to bottles….

img_5390

month 7: living a little bit meant we were finally going to take the trip this summer that we missed out on before surgery. so we went to connecticut to visit mike’s family, have brady meet one of his great-grandmas and his great-aunts. he took his first plunge in the pool and officially became a rolypoly. he would literally roll straight across a room if you put him down! we also started brady on solids! month 7 was a big month for him. solids started off okay, he pushed out more than he was taking in, but he didn’t hate it which was huge! brady also finally got fitted for his helmet to correct his plagiocephaly (this will be a separate post) and took to it just fine. it’s a little hot and sweaty in the georgia heat, but like everything else he encounters, just smiled his whole way through it. he looks cute as ever in his helmet too. as we continued to live life and move through more weeks of waiting, brady continued to get stronger. he started to prop sit and impressed his pediatrician with where he was at developmentally.

month 8 update is just around the corner! this little bug of ours is truly amazing and continues to surprise us with his strength, love and smiles everyday!

img_6797

the present: 24 weeks

hey! remember me? i know, i know. it’s been 10 days since my last post.

suddenly, life was moving at a rapid pace and i couldn’t keep up with it all. between the doctors appointments, closing on our new home, moving, a toddler, and work orders, i was exhausted. still am. but we are finally, mostly, out of boxes and resuming life.

here is the final “catching up” update to get you to the present: 24 weeks pregnant.

weeks 21-23 were exactly as described before. BUSY. we closed on our first real home! we couldn’t be more excited to be be homeownIRRs and create a loving, happy, healthy, home for our growing family. thanks to the help of my parents and brothers, we were able to get the house in a decent place within a week! now it’s mostly decorating and buying new furniture! wohoo! i’ll keep you updated on the home front once things are more settled.

with a new home comes all the necessary appointments and people to the house – aka appliance deliveries, pest control (ummmmmmm California spoiled me for the last three years), locksmiths, internet provider, etc. there was someone new here almost every day to get things up and running. now we are waiting on the final delivery, our washer and dryer. can you believe we have been living without one for over a week now? the laundry pile is HUGE and we are on our last pieces of clean clothes. my wednesday is looking like a day full of laundry…yipee.

somewhere in these weeks, i managed to sneak in an appointment with the pediatric cardiologist. we were referred to Sibley here in Atlanta and according to my research and network of friends, they are THE heart specialists. in the earlier ultrasounds, little bug was 100% showing a heart defect. we did not know the extent of that defect and needed to get the cardiologist to take a look to confirm what was going on.

here is what i knew going into this appointment. it is very common for babies with Down syndrome to have heart problems. i knew little bug had a VSD (hole in the heart) and potentially a much more serious defect called tetralogy of fallot (ToF: basically a combination of four defects present at birth – you can google more about it). i was hoping this appointment would give us a clearer picture of what to expect after birth in regards to his heart.

if you have never had a fetal echo done, word of warning, they are LONG. like 45 minutes of ultrasound long. just looking at the heart. tips: make sure you are hydrated and well fed before you go in there. i was not and almost passed out on the table while the sonographer was taking all the pictures….whoops. and i was solo at this appointment – thanks, NBA.

after a painfully long ultrasound, the cardiologist came in to review the pictures and look more at little bugs heart. after he had everything he needed, we met in a different exam room to go over the results. to my pleasant surprise, the news wasn’t all that bad. if you know me, you know that i worry a lot and typically prepare for the worst (i am constantly working on this).

our cardiologist explained very calmly and in much detail that little bug did in fact have a VSD. it is a large one that will require open heart surgery to repair, usually around 4-6 months of life. they want these little babies to get stronger and fatten up before they attempt surgery (when possible). most VSDs can close on their own (or sometimes people live with them without issue), but it would be extremely rare for this to happen for our baby given its size.  he also explained that he did not see any signs pointing to ToF or a larger problem. yahoo! good news from this appointment! we are not necessarily in the clear, but i am choosing to think positively and stay this course unless someone tells me otherwise. unfortunately, they really cannot confirm heart issues until an echo is performed after birth. i’ll go back to the cardiologist at 32 weeks for another check-in.

today, i am 24 weeks pregnant. physically feeling pretty good, except for the aches and pains from moving, chasing an almost 30 pound toddler and being on my feet too much over the last week. mentally feeling okay. i can’t say mentally i am great, but right now, i am hopeful and doing well in the land of okay. i can feel little bug moving everyday, which makes my heart happy. tomorrow i go back to the perinatologist for a growth scan, so i’ll know more then. there is still plenty of time for things to change in regards to little bugs health, but like i said before, i am staying in my lane until told otherwise.

today, and everyday, i am grateful for my two dudes and little one growing inside me. my family for all the love, support and help with the house and Landon lately. my friends, for continuously checking in on me. i am grateful that we have been blessed with the ability to buy a beautiful home for our family.

IMG_2910
love bugs