Monday, March 22, 2010

The Road to Recovery

I am finally able to breathe again. Luke is walking! It's been a week today. I don't think I've been more afraid in my life...and I can admit that now that it looks like things are back to normal (knock on wood!). I about had a nervous breakdown last Sunday. I just couldn't take it anymore and the thought of having to put Luke through more blood work was absolutely tearing me apart. It had been 11 days of him not walking and more than anything, I NEEDED him to walk again. I was so afraid of what "might be". And of course, I was thinking the worst.... Well, Sunday night Papaw was over and he was determined to make me feel better. He had Luke grab onto his fingers and together they walked from the family room to the kitchen. I was elated but still very concerned because he looked as though maybe he had forgotten how to walk. But....the bottom line was he had taken some steps and that was a good sign.

Monday morning my sister-in-law, Lee Anne, came over to stay with the babies because I was convinced we were going to have to take Luke to the hospital for more tests. Joe and I took him to the pediatrician and he wanted to see him walk. I grabbed Luke's hands and we moved out into the hallway. Luke hates being at the doctor and I swear I have never sen his little legs move so quickly....trying like hell to get out of there! Dr. Cobble decided that since he was improving, we would wait another week and if things weren't back to normal we'd run more tests then. It was such a relief but I was also dreading the wait of another long week. I dropped Luke off at daycare following his doctor appointment and prayed for even the tiniest amount of progress. At the end of the day Joe picked Luke up and I heard them come in the garage door. What happened next was a moment I will hold in my heart forever. Luke walked in from the garage, by himself, and walked all the way over to me in the family room with a huge smile on his face and the most wonderful "Hi Mommy!" I had ever heard!!! My baby was walking without help!!!! He was wobbly but he was walking! That night he was all over the place and he was so happy. It was obvious that not being able to walk was getting him down and we finally were getting our happy boy back!

Here we are, one week later and he's back to normal. He's been a little bit stiff in the mornings but within an hour or so he's perfectly fine. This morning I didn't notice any stiffness what-so-ever. Every day I hold my breath and pray that we won't ever have to face that nightmare again. It was so, so scary. We had the best weekend playing outside, climbing on the play structure and running around in the yard. Ugh......phew.

As for the three other boys....we couldn't have been more blessed. They are the best babies. They fuss when they're hungry but other than that they're content to sleep in their swings or just hang out looking around the room. They're such little angels. (Let's hope it stays that way!) It's so interesting to see their different personalities coming through. Mack is exactly like Luke. He even looks just like Luke did when he was a baby. He is so chill. He never fusses, never spits up, sleeps well, and is just an all around easy baby. His little belly has been bothering him and if not for the little noises he makes, you'd never know it.
Jake is the most alert right now. He's awake a lot of the day and is so aware of everything that's going on around him. He's not much of a fusser either. Nick is our noisy one. He doesn't fuss much either but boy, you know when he's hungry! And when he wants something, he wants it NOW. Hmmm...wonder who he gets that from :-) He makes a lot of noises when he sleeps and moves around a lot. So much so that he was waking his brothers up and we finally had to move them into separate cribs. They all seem to be sleeping well, even though they're apart. Thank goodness.

We hired a nanny to come at night and that was the best decision we have ever made. She is here from 11pm to 7am. She is such a gift. She's a wonderful, caring, thoughtful woman and she absolutely loves the boys. Joe and I both sleep very well at night knowing that they're being well taken care of. Thank you're a lifesaver!

Life is more than great right now. It's so nice to breathe easy at least for today. Mom and Dad will be here in a week and we can't wait for them to get here! If I don't get a chance to update before then....Happy Easter!!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Toxic Synovitis

I have so much to update.... I have all my boys home now!!! Mack came home first on March 2nd after 16 days in the NICU. Jake was next, on the 3rd and Nick came home on the 5th. Nick was there for 19 days. I honestly can't believe the longest stay was only 19 days. It seemed much longer but in the whole scheme of things, 19 days is close to nothing. We feel so blessed that these boys basically just needed a little time to eat and grow. They've all been checked by our pediatrician and given a clean bill of health! It is so wonderful to have everyone under one roof!

Our little Luker....he's our concern at the moment. Last Thursday (the 4th of March)we were playing with him and I noticed he seemed to get "stuck" in a squatting poisition. He needed help getting up. Then I noticed that he looked like an old man when he walked and it looked like his legs were going to give out. Friday morning Joe took him to the doctor while we were waiting for the call to go pick up Nick. They were there for about 2 hours and took four x-rays. They x-rayed his hips, knees, feet and ankles. The x-rays looked fine and the doctor said to give him Motrin and Tylenol for pain relief. It was good news that the x-rays were fine and that he wasn't running a fever but we still had no answers. Saturday came and he wouldn't walk or stand at all. We decided to take him to the emergency room. I couldn't watch him suffer without getting some idea of why this was happening. Thank God mom was here to watch the babies. The doctor there was wonderful and made Luke so comfortable. Unfortunately though they had to take a ton of blood and it took all Joe had to hold him down. It was heartbreaking. His bloodwork came back normal (thank God) with nothing but a little bit of inflammation and a sign of a possible virus. Based on that information and the x-rays, they diagnosed him with what is called Toxic Synovitis. It's basically a diagnosis they come to when they've ruled other things out. It's like a virus in the hip. Apparently it usually lasts a week but on occasion can last 4-5 weeks. We just pray that it doesn't last that long. It's been 5 days now and he seems to be improving some. Still no weight on his legs but he moves them both more often and his mood is great. That kid is such a trooper. He's so frustrated that he can't get around but continues to smile and laugh. We're keeping him busy with walks in the wagon and trips to the backyard to swing. Bubbles are a lifesaver too. If he's not better by the beginning of next week we have to have the bloodwork run again. I'm praying we don't have to do that.

As far as Luke's reaction to the babies.....he's been absolutely amazing. I was prepared for the worst and he has totally surpried me. The other day I was in the kitchen and a baby was crying. Luke fought his pain and hobbled out to the kitchen, in tears, not because he hurt but because he was upset that Mack was crying. He truly is a remarkable little boy.

So.....that's where we are right now. We're elated, concerned, happy, name it, we're feeling it. We're so thankful that mom has been in town especially with all that's been going on. We're hoping for things to get back to normal really soon and we'll definitely keep you updated.

Monday, March 1, 2010

So Close.....

Here we are...Day 15. I hate to even type this, for fear that I'll jinx things but...... Mack might be coming home tomorrow! He has been moved to an open crib which means his environment is no longer temperature controlled. They moved him early this morning and as of tonight, he's managed to keep his own temperature regulated AND continue to finish all of his bottles. That may not sound like much but for a tiny 4lb 14oz peanut, they both require a whole lot of energy! He was given a hearing test this morning and passed with flying colors! Tomorrow he has to pass a car seat challenge. They strap him into a car seat for about an hour to make sure his heart rate doesn't drop. That will ensure that he makes it from the hospital to home without any problems. IF....(and it's a big IF)...he continues to eat and keep his temp up and IF he passes the car seat challenge than MR. Mack will be sleeping in his new home for the first time tomorrow night!!!

Nick and Jake are close. Both of them are taking almost all of their bottles. If they don't finish, there is very little remaining that needs to be gavaged (fed through the tube in their nose). They have to take all of their bottles for 24 hours before they move to an open crib. We're hoping they'll do that this week and won't be far behind their brother.

Our Luker.....he is such an angel baby. He talks about his brothers every day even though he has no idea how life is about to change. I know though that he is having a difficult time with the way things are right now. He cries more and he's much more needy these's breaking my heart. I know in the long run he is going to LOVE having three younger brothers, I just need to get through this transition successfully to help calm these insane emotions (or do we call those hormones???). As much as he's going through right now he continures to get great daily (well....almost daily) reports at school and remains the happy, playful, wonderful light of our lives.

Will post pictures soon but wanted to make sure to send this update. I'll absolutely post again to let you know if Mack indeed made it home! Thanks to everyone for keeping us close in thoughts and preayer. We're in the home stretch!!!!!