Finally home in San Antonio.

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{Jackson before his pediatrician appointment last week}

Hello!! I’m so sorry for my absence online lately. I’ve been writing this really detailed post on what’s been going on here for a week now, so today I just decided to scratch it all and do my best to give a quick summary* to let everyone know how we’re doing these days.

*After proof reading this post, I realized it’s totally not what you would call a “quick summary”. I actually got a little long-winded here so please proceed with caution, and maybe an extra cup of coffee. 😉

It’s been 5 weeks already since Jackson’s surgery. He recovered very quickly and was released from the hospital just six days after surgery!! I’m still amazed at how fast he bounced back. His surgery was on a Tuesday, and by the weekend his vital signs were excellent, and he was back to eating like normal again. There were no complications in the days following his surgery, which we are so very thankful for. The doctors requested that we stay close in Houston for several weeks in order to come back for some out-patient appointments, but they told us on Sunday there was no need for us to stay overnight in the hospital any longer.

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{photos from the hospital, post-surgery}

Jose had to drive back to Midland to return to work on Sunday, and my Dad had flown back to Tennessee the week of Jackson’s surgery. So on Monday when Jackson was discharged from the hospital, he and I went back to stay at my sister-in-law’s house in Sugar Land, where we would stay for the remainder of our time in Houston for follow-up appointments.

I’m not going to lie, these next few weeks at home were probably some of the toughest I’ve experienced in motherhood to date (and I feel like we’ve had our fair share of difficult weeks). The first week was tough because of the care and attention he needed after surgery. Jackson was released from the hospital on about five different medications a day (just one heart medicine, but also medicine for pain, reflux, and gas). He also started acting like a brand new baby. This is a good thing – his fixed heart meant he had a new appetite, new energy levels, and new sleep schedule. But, all of this I had to navigate on my own, which was really really tough for me. So, it was that same week I decided to switch him from breast milk to formula. We’d been giving him bottles of breast milk supplemented with formula since before Christmas, to help with weight gain, but pumping at each feeding was getting to be too much, emotionally. It was a really difficult decision, but I knew at that point it was the right decision in order to keep my own sanity.

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{Jackson had a major increase in appetite the week after surgery}

So two weeks after his surgery I started weaning him off of breast milk, and increasing the amount of formula in each bottle. I thought he would do well with the formula, since we’d been mixing in formula with his breast milk for so many weeks without any problems. But after just a couple of days, he starting having a lot of trouble with his feedings. I could tell he was hungry, but it was a struggle to get him to keep down anything. At first I thought he was reacting negatively to the increase in formula, so I went back to just the supplemented breast milk, thinking this would solve the problem. But the problem persisted. So finally that Friday, I called the nurse practitioner at TCH to ask what we should do. Since we don’t have a pediatrician in Houston, the only thing we could do that day was take him in to the emergency room. That way the cardiologist on-call could come down and take a look at him.

Luckily, the problem had nothing to do with his heart – his vital signs and blood pressure all still looked good. So the doctors determined it was severe acid reflux, and they increased his current reflux medicine and also prescribed him a stronger medicine to take as well. Unfortunately, the new medicine had to be specially compounded (not really sure what this means, but basically it took a couple of days for the pharmacy to have the medicine ready). And then the medicine took another 3 to 4 days to take effect. So we struggled with his feedings for another week, but luckily, after that, his feedings became a lot easier – for both us. 😉

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{Smiling and giggling the morning after our visit to the ER}

By the time Jackson’s reflux got better, it was time for us to (finally!!) move to San Antonio!! We announced in February that Jose’s work approved a transfer to San Antonio, so that we can be closer to the team of cardiologists that have taken care of Jackson since he was born. After the approval went through, the moving company had to get in touch with us to coordinate a moving date, and they were able to move our stuff to San Antonio on Monday, February 23rd. Luckily we found a house to rent before Jackson’s surgery (we requested the move in December, after his first surgery, so we knew we’d be moving to San Antonio, but didn’t have a date finalized until February). We decided it would be easiest for Jose to coordinate the movers, and then spend a couple of days in the new house organizing. That way things would be somewhat settled before Jackson and I made the move down from Houston.

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{Ready for our trip home to San Antonio}

So finally… on Wednesday, February 25th – after living out of a suitcase since December – Jackson and I headed home to San Antonio. I sort of had a feeling when we left Midland on December 13th that I would never be back, and I was right. It is still a little sad to think about. We bought our first home in Midland, our first child was born at the hospital there, and we will never go back. But… we know this was the best decision for our family. I feel so much better knowing that if anything were to happen to Jackson, there is excellent care waiting at the hospital just down the street. That emergency flight we took when Jackson was 3 days old was the scariest thing I’ve ever had to live through, and I hope to never have to go through that again.

Since then, we’ve been busy unpacking boxes, sorting out bills, and spending quality time as a family of five (that includes our two dog-daughters, of course). 😉 Moving is always stressful – I realized this is the sixth time we’ve moved since we’ve been married (not counting the extended stay hotels and company apartments we’ve lived in, for months at a time!). But, no matter how many times we do it, the unpacking is still the worst. I know it will take some time before we’re finally “settled”, but we’re finally at a place this week where I feel like things are looking up. These past few months have taken a toll on us all, and I can finally feel my shoulders relaxing again.

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{Jackson’s older sisters, Blanca and Canela, becoming acquainted with their new backyard}

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{New bouncy chair}

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{Hanging out with his older sisters}

Thank you so much to everyone who has messaged and texted me these past weeks to check on Jackson. He is doing really well, thank God, and we’re just happy to all be back together again so we can enjoy this happy, growing baby. He has been progressing so much these past few weeks – he’s started laughing and giggling, which of course makes my heart melt. He’s starting to sit up a lot more – we bought him this Bumbo chair that’s helped a lot. Because of his surgery, we still have to scoop him up from behind, and still no tummy time until next week, not until his sternum is completely healed. So he hasn’t really had the chance to practice rolling over yet, but I know that he’ll catch up in no time. 🙂

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{Jackson and his Papi}

With all that we’ve been going through lately, springtime definitely took me by surprise this past week. Between the time change and beautiful weather here in Texas, I can definitely feel a change in the air. Same thing with our little family – we’re feeling just a little bit lighter these days, fresh and ready to move forward. It has been a long, cold journey these past months, but I feel like that season in our life has finally passed, and we’re ready to start anew.

With love, xo – Jose & Amanda

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2 thoughts on “Finally home in San Antonio.

  1. Hi Amanda so good to hear your good news- he is a doll baby!! And how can he be so happy with all he’s been through! You are super woman and super mom! I saw Heidi and her baby Jonah last week at a baby shower for tracy gibson- having a girl, Virginia, in may. Haley and Hattie will be here Easter for her spring break- I miss them sooo much. If you come back to tn- if you ever leave your house again- give us a call. My heart goes out to you all- and so thankful you are getting back to normal!! Take care – hugs becki

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  2. Hola Amanda! : )

    I have been following Jackson’s incredible journey from day one reading your blogs and getting updates from Gaby. I am so glad your beautiful family is doing so well, and I just know that more blesssings will come your way.

    Sending good wishes (and a hug for cute baby Jackson),
    Zenilda :))

    Like

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