Thats the pic we sent to family- Surprise! Baby #5. It was a better surprise for some than for others ;).
I have been wanting to write about Ty’s first months for awhile, I have started to work on it several times but for some reason I am really struggling! It’s been making me really emotional to go back to the pictures of his birth and the following weeks. Maybe its because he is my last baby and I am still sad about the things we missed, while at the same time being extremely grateful that he is still here.
When I found out I was pregnant with Ty I was in a bit of shock- his brother Ben was only 9 months old and had just recently been through a traumatic close call. Jonathan and I both thought we would have another baby- just maybe not THIS soon! But once I wrapped my head around it I had a really strong feeling that this baby was meant to be here at this time. Fast forward to the due date- we scheduled an induction because once again I had excess amniotic fluid which was the only indicator I had with Ben that something was wrong. The end of this pregnancy was mentally really hard- having been through such a traumatic experience with Ben, I was hoping and afraid to hope. This was the stage of my older kids- they were so little! They were excited for Ty to come, but one day in the car Scott said “I hope the new baby doesn’t have a trach too, that would be super hard.” He looked at Ben in the car seat next to him and I heard him say “but look how cute YOU are! Ok I guess it would be ok.”
I am not a fan of inducing labor- but under the circumstances we felt like it was the safest route. Of course no one told Ty he was coming early and he was sunny side up. So after a long day of labor with no progress we decided to do an unplanned C-section. He looked good, 9lbs 7oz! Jonathan brought him to see me as I was getting stitched up and he looked pink and perfect. I was in a bit of a daze still, but so relieved.
When I was in the recovery room Jonathan came in to give me updates about how they were bathing Ty, trying to wake him up a little because he was “floppier” than they liked.
After a few updates I could tell something was different when Jonathan walked into the room, I could see on his face he was not coming to give me great news and he was preparing himself. When he said “Honey, Heavenly Father knew we could handle this” I was so grateful for his confidence because I didn’t feel that way, I felt like a balloon with the air being let out “Noooooooooooooooo!” Another ride in the baby incubator. (Didnt we JUST do this??) They had taken Ty up to the NICU for observation and that was the start of his almost 2 1/2 month stay at the hospital.
Lights for jaundice and more tests…. notice the IV in his head? He and Ben have such squiggly veins, after trying too many time on his arms and legs they went for a vein in his head.
Even though he could swallow a little his airway was too floppy and his reflux really made it difficult for him- he was fed with his nose tube and was having severe re-flux.
The difficult thing about Ty was that he WAS strong, stronger than Ben. So it made it harder to decide what to do. With Ben it became obvious when he kept turning blue that he needed a safe airway. So he got his trach at 7 weeks. The decision was not so obvious with Ty and it wasnt until we had taken him home twice, and had 2 close calls that we decided to place the trach.
The first time we took him home I cant think about without cringing. We had no monitor, no alarms, and in retrospect we realized that was an accident- it slipped though the cracks somewhere. I still remember the first night he was home, he slept SO quietly. He didnt have a lot of energy and we know now that it was because he was working so hard to just breathe.
The first time we called 911 was when I went upstairs to tuck Jack in and had Scotty sit with Ty. Jack had been so neglected by me that I really was trying to give him a little time at night (writing this is making me nauseous, its hard to think about it) and so when I heard Scott say “Mom come down” I thought he was just tired of watching Ty, he didn’t sound urgent. But then he called me again so I went down and Ty was not breathing, he had re-fluxed and couldn’t clear his airway. I told Scott to call 911 and call Dad (Jonathan was over at Scouts, he just ran out the door when he got the call!) I pulled Ty out of his seat and started doing CPR, he was not responding and I couldn’t tell how much time had gone by when the Paramedics got there. They took over and had him breathing again.
Back at the hospital, since we had only been home 2 days they let us go back to the NICU instead of sending us to the PICU. The specialists felt that his airway had been blocked because of his position in his carseat so a few days later we took him home again. This time we DID have a monitor but still no trach.
The second time Ty stopped breathing Jack came to the rescue. My brother Carden had come to visit and we were all standing around talking, Ty was in his carseat by my feet. Jack said “Hey Mom look at Ty, he’s boxing!” I can still picture exactly how Ty looked when I looked down and his arms looked just like a boxers, his fists were just punching the air and I thought how strange that he is doing that until I looked at his face say his HUGE eyes and realized- he couldn’t BREATHE! He was fighting for air- his airway had collapsed again. Jonathan was there so he immediately pulled him out and started CPR and once again we made the 911 call. That felt like forever, I remember saying over and over “Jonathan its been too long!” as he breathed for Ty.
Back at the hospital again we could see that Ty was still just working hard to breath. We were familiar with trachs- and we felt like we just couldnt live like this- wondering every minute if he was breathing…..
Here is what I wrote in my journal the day before he had surgery to get his trach placed:
“It was a basically unanimous vote from the doctors that the best way to keep Ty safe is a trach. Frustrating that it took so long to decide but we just held out hope he would not need to go that direction. He just looks so strong and good. But he has to breathe- so not a lot of options when his body consistently lets his throat close up. Jonathan summed it up when he said yesterday that in a few years it wont matter to Ty that he had a trach for awhile, but if he doesn’t get it, he could die. Again, not a lot of options.
Ty looked so good today. Making a real serious face and making sounds like he really had something to say. It was so sweet and so sad. I kept thinking “I am so sorry Ty!” I wish he could just enjoy his baby life. Walking away knowing it was the last time I would see his perfect little body scar free. Hearing his little voice- one of the saddest things about a trach is that is leaves them speechless. There is a lot we are going to miss. (hmmmm…. throw plates against the wall or cry… both sound good right now)
The good AND bad about having had a trach with Ben is that we know the drill. I know what is going to happen to Ty tomorrow and while we know it is what he needs to have the chance to grow and get stronger, I am so,so sorry it is what he needs. The next few days are going to be rough for him. I will be glad when the next couple weeks are over and he is settled in at home and recovering.”
This was right before his surgery- and then right after.
He looks so wiped out here but within a day he was perking up and so active that it made us realize HOW hard he had been working to breath. Now he could relax, breath easier and be a baby.
I think back to that time and I feel like it is such a miracle that Ty lived. But I also feel like it was a miracle(s) that happened only because it was not his time to go. While he was still in the hospital Jonathan’s brother was on a trip while his wife Marlo took their 19 month old daughter Maddy to her parents to visit. While they were there Madison walked out the back door into the pool and drowned. This was so heartbreaking- here we were taking extreme measures to keep Ben and Ty alive while perfect Maddy was just gone in minutes. There are no words to really describe the emotions of that time. Marlo came to visit us the next year and she told me that when she walked into our home she had an overwhelming feeling that “Ben was supposed to be HERE.” I feel like it was a gift to us both, reminding us that really, this is not in our hands, Heavenly Father knows who needs to be here and for how long. That concept is so hard to keep fresh in my anxious mind but I try.
Welcome Home Ty!