In Our Home with PEB Photography


I met Paige by modeling for a local boutique. I loved her photography and her great personality. We've used her for our family pictures a few times now and she will be doing them again for us later this year. These pictures are some of my favorites, Leighton's little personality is showing through so much. His love for his brother grows and grows each day now, and I love that it was captured early on in these pictures.

Enjoy!





















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Hudson's Birth Story: Part 2

Picking up right where we left off here. (Part 1 is here)


April 28, 2017

There is nothing that motivates you to get up out of your bed and recover quickly more than the desire to see and hold your baby. As soon as I could stand to get into a wheelchair I did and we headed up to see our sweet boy. Nate had been going back and forth through the night/day and giving me all the updates as he got them. 

 

After a chest x-ray, they thought he had a pneumothorax (small leak in the lungs). He was also put on antibiotics as a precautionary measure in case it was pneumonia (I say in case because they treat quick when dealing with babies and the test takes a very long time to come back). The antibiotics ended up being a good call as he had a pocket of fluid that was there as well. 

When I went up to see him for the first time that day, they got everything situated so that I could FINALLY hold him. While I was holding him though I could just feel how hard his little lungs were working. It was such a relief to hold him, but seeing him with all the tubes and wires was so very difficult. Even more difficult was seeing how uncomfortable he was and how hard he was working to breathe. 


After trying what looked like an astronaut helmet (keeps oxygen levels more concentrated), they ended up decided they were going to put a ventilator in to give him a break. His respiratory rate was up in the 130's (normal is 40-50) when they told us about the vent. At this point Nate still hadn't been able to hold him. They offered to let Nate hold him before they did these things, he however told them no and to just go ahead with the vent so Hudson could get some relief. It was the most selfless act that both melted and broke my heart. 


At some point during the night/evening they came in and took the bassinet thing out that he would have been in had he come back to our room instead of going to the NICU. All of this was hard to handle on its own, but watching them wheel that out and then staring at the empty space made it worse. 

April 29, 2018

In the morning we went up to the NICU to get an update. His labs cam back normal, respiratory rate was down near the 50-60's and his x-ray of his chest was looking a little clearer. He was locked in for a 7 day stay in the NICU at this point to finish the cycle of antibiotics, but they were actually thinking it would be more like 10-14 days total. 


We ended up checking out of my room this evening. Insurance covered another nights stay for me, but with Leighton at home we knew it was the right thing to do. Hudson was sleeping most of the time and we couldn't hold him or comfort him really, so we decided that we would just come up a few times throughout the day for a couple hours at a time to be with him. We also knew that being home with Leighton was just as important for him. 



Being in the NICU with a full-term baby is a crazy world of emotions, and it isn't something you are prepared for obviously. We would see couples coming to visit their premie babies and they always had smiles on their faces, and there we were with our full-term baby not knowing what was going on and looking incredibly sad. 

I had one moment when our sweet nurse was talking to us about everything and she was just asking us questions in conversation, connecting with us, and she asked me a question and I couldn't answer. Nate noticed my struggle and answered for me so the conversation continued. By the next question she noticed my crying/struggle and sat and just talked with us for a bit, letting her emotions show. (Hailey if you come across this post, please know your conversation and friendship with us while you were with our sweet boy meant the world to us.)

April 30, 2018

Hudson's respiratory rate had come down a bit, still with a little help from his vent. He started to try and take his tube out as he had become aware of it, but the staff wanted it in a bit longer. Because he was fighting it so much they discussed the possibility of needing to sedate him a bit to keep him calm. The x-ray was still showing fluid in his lungs, but it again was improving. 


 


We continued visiting with him for a couple of hours here and there throughout the day, and then went home to spend quality time with Leighton in the afternoons. After he went to bed we would head back to the hospital again. 

At some point I went from only producing a few drops to producing full bottles of milk and I can't even tell you how much of a relief it was for me. Being so helpless while your child lays in a hospital bed is the worst feeling, and when you are able to do something that is helpful (product milk) but can't it makes it all the worse. I felt so, so helpless until that milk came in. 

May 1, 2018

With the ventilator in Hudson was being fed through a feeding tube (both breast milk and formula until I was able to produce enough breast milk to feed him on my own). However over the night/early in the morning the vent came out and the possibility of oral feeds were becoming more real. 

After the vent came out I held him again, and then Nate FINALLY was able to hold him. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life to date. 

 

May 2-3, 2018

The next few days were the same cycle, and I completely believe God was doing everything a certain way so that we had some strands of peace throughout the entire ordeal. Each day was filled with good news leading up to when we would leave for the night, allowing us to go home with clear heads. Hopeful for the next day's progress. There would be a minor setback at night followed by progress again. 

 

On the second though, I was able to breastfeed out little guy for the first time. That was a huge milestone. 

 

 
At some point throughout this week, they placed an IV/PIC line to help get his nutrients and fluids to him. He was on oxygen but wasn't dependent on it, and he was getting oral feeds instead of using the feeding tube (it was still placed just in case).

May 4, 2018

 

We got to the hospital to find out his feeding tube came out during the night (partially his decision as he tugged on it quite a bit). He was off oxygen too. The IV line was still there, but they were hopeful it would come out soon as well. The staff still wouldn't say exactly when he would be able to go home, but we were hopeful that he would be joining us at home sooner than later. 

May 5, 2018

Like normal, we arrived at the hospital just hoping for a bit of good news. We were greeted with amazing news though. Our baby boy was coming home with us. To say we were thrilled is an understatement.
We left the NICU that day with full hands and full hearts. Our baby was joining us on our ride home and he FINALLY was going to meet his big brother. 

 

 

Our original plan was for Leighton to visit in the hospital and meet his baby brother there, but flu season made that impossible. Also, we didn't want him to be scared of all the wires and tubes attached to Hudson either. 

Since bringing him home our lives have been so full. I've said for a while that I just want two boys and I really can't imagine our life any other way. 

We will never be able to fully express how genuinely thankful we are for everyone's thoughts and prayers during this time. The support we felt from friends and family was immense and helped us so much along the way. My heart goes out to all of those who have experienced life in the NICU, from a day stay to months.

Newborn/family pictures are up next! Thanks for reading!
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Hudson's Birth Story: Part 1

Man, think life got the best of me or what!? Hudson is almost 3 months old now, so I really need to get his birth story up. If any of you follow along on social media, you know that his first week of life was not what we (or anyone) planned for. I've gone back through and collected Nate and my thoughts from updates we sent to family and friends and have it all here for you. I'll add in my little thoughts as I think back on everything in italics too. 



April 27, 2018
I was scheduled to go in for my c-section this morning. 10:00 AM was the time scheduled for delivery, the hospital got a bit behind and roughly 45 min later we started the process. We had gotten to the hospital at 8 that morning where we also found out our best friends were in the hospital to deliver their babe too! It made it all the more special that our little babes would share a birthday. 



Once I got into the operating/delivery room, they hooked me up to everything and strapped me on the table. Before they brought Nate in they got my local done and I couldn't feel a thing. He came in and they started to cut me open and get Hudson out. 

Thinking back now, I remember hearing the anesthesiologist talk about my heart rate and giving me something to bring it back up. We ended up finding out it dropped twice before they delivered Hudson. 

After what seemed like just a few minutes he was here. 

Hudson James Blair was born on April 27, 2018 at 11:09 am. 
8 pounds 3 ounces and 20.5 inches long

I heard him before they said anything. It was a sound I will never forget my entire life and I knew at that moment things weren't exactly perfect. 

It was a gargle sound while wailing. You pray to hear the cry as they deliver your baby, and then you hear what sounds like your baby is drowning and it all but breaks you. 

Our plan was for him to come directly to me after delivery like he would have if I had a vaginal birth. Instead they took him straight to the table and started working on him to try and clear his lungs. At this moment I start to get blurry and obviously sad and I don't remember the exact conversation that followed. 



They ended up taking him to the NICU in the triage area where we thought he would be for just a few hours while they got his lungs cleared up. My doctor thought so too. 

The doctor and staff got me closed up, this is still an experience that is crazy to think about, and then took me back to the room. Being completely numb and then seeing the tent/drape shake is a really weird feeling. Eventually they got me back on my bed and wheeled me to my recovery room.

At this point neither of us had seen Hudson other than what we saw of him from the operating room. Nate was able to see him a little more than me since he wasn't laying down on a table, but still not well. The doctors and nurses were coming in and checking on us/me and all I wanted was for SOMEONE to be with our little baby. At this point I didn't care how much pain I could be heading toward or how uncomfortable I was, I wanted Nate to leave and go be with Hudson. 

As we waited for my numbness to go away and for me to get moved to my room for the next couple of days, Nate went and checked in on Hudson in the NICU triage as often as he could. He would come back and give me updates when he learned new things. At this point he hadn't held him or anything. He held his little hand, but that was it. 



When I was cleared to move to my room they took me to see Hudson finally. They pulled my bed up right beside his and I got to touch his back and just be with him for a moment. We still were hopeful that he wouldn't be in the NICU long, that it would just be a quick stay (and in hindsight it still was a shorter stay than many NICU families). After a few minutes with him, they took me to my room and that was that. Nate continued to go back and forth, checking on him and getting updates from the staff. Eventually they decided to actually place him in a room in the NICU.



I can't remember anything from that first night other than the desire to hold my little baby was so strong. They got me a pump and I tried my hardest to get the milk flowing as soon as possible. It didn't happen as quickly as it did with Leighton which was frustrating too. 



That is all for now, it is getting too long so I am breaking it up into two parts. The next will be longer I'm sure, I was just getting really emotional writing this one and need to take a break. 

Thanks for stopping in today. 

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