Yesterday was a really good day for Jackson! The cardiologist came to visit first thing in the morning and said that all his vital signs looked perfect. She said he was improving tremendously, so she gave the nurses permission to start weaning him off of his oxygen and pain medication throughout the day. He still needs to take pain medicine, but he will take it orally from a syringe, rather than via IV.
By early afternoon, the doctor had instructed for the nurse to take out all of his cords and IVs, including the one that was going through his belly button to administer medication (this was the most delicate of all the IVs, and very bothersome to him, since it’s right around the top of his diaper). We left to run an errand around this time, and by the time we came back the nurse had taken out all his cords except for the IV that gives him fluids and nutrition (the IV will also be there just in case he needs any extra medication during the rest of his stay). He also has a tube coming out of his incision, which is there to drain any extra fluid from the wound (the draining has slowed considerably also, which is a good sign).
Because Jackson’s not connected to oxygen anymore, the doctors were able to take the stickers off of his face, and he looks so different now!! Baby Jackson’s had some sort of oxygen tubes or respirators stuck on his face since the day he was born, and I almost didn’t recognize him without them!! 😉 He didn’t know what to do with his cheeks at first, since he could move them around without the tape pulling at him. Just look at these funny faces he’s making (photos at top of post), right after the stickers were pulled off – it was so adorable to watch!!
Last night, we found out that the cardiologist had wanted us to move back to the NICU for his recovery, but they actually admitted 7 new babies to that unit yesterday, so they didn’t have any extra room for Jackson. Just knowing that he’s ready makes me feel so much better!! It is likely they’ll move him back there today, but we haven’t been told anything yet. I’ll let you know when it happens!
Other than that, Jackson FINALLY was able to drink some milk yesterday afternoon, which was his first feeding since the surgery. He drank about 10 ml of milk from a bottle when he still had his oxygen in. He was a little unsure about it at first, but drank most of it down without any problems. I then started trying out breast feeding with him in every feeding after that, and while it was a slow start, he eventually figured it out and had a good feeding of about 10 minutes this morning around 11:30!!! I’m so glad Jackson has caught on so quickly with his feedings – I was really worried that everything he went through this past week would affect his appetite or willingness to eat. We’re so proud of his determination!! 🙂
So Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and obviously Jose and I have so much to be thankful for this year. We are thankful for this beautiful baby boy who was brought into our lives just a little over a week ago. We are forever thankful for the cardiologist in Midland who discovered Jackson has a heart condition last Thursday, and that he was able to transfer us to San Antonio for emergency treatment within a few hours time. We are extremely thankful to all the staff here at Methodist Hospital, in particular the surgeon who was able to fix Jackson’s heart, and the cardiologist who helped diagnose Jackson with his condition. And most importantly, we are thankful to everyone who has supported us from near and far – to those of you who sent us your kind words, prayers, and love throughout the week, you have lifted our spirits more than you’ll ever know.
Finally, I was thinking last night about a letter I wrote to baby Jackson the day before he was born. I want to post it here because I think he may have secretly read it before leaving the womb. Despite all the hardships this baby has faced this past week, he has been the most strong and determined of us all. He has maintained a calm and peaceful demeanor throughout all the treatments, poking, and prodding he has undergone. Jackson is truly my hero, and he has inspired me just in his first week of life to always be brave in the face of adversity.
November 17, 2014
Dear Sweet Jackson,
I woke up at 4am this morning, too excited to sleep because tomorrow is the day we finally get to meet you. Your Papi and I have waited nine long months for this day, and we spent years before that thinking and dreaming of having you as our child. It seems like just yesterday we learned the good news that we were expecting (March of this year), and your birth date seemed so far away!! The months we spent planning your arrival have kept us busy, and time flew by in the blink of an eye. They say this is what motherhood is all about – that the days are long, but the years are short. I want to cherish every moment we have with you.
At this point, I’m not quite sure what to expect, but there are certain things I hope and wish for as your mother. I want to always be loving and gentle, but authoritative at the same time. I want to be a good teacher, and look forward to teaching you the simple things in life, like how to write your name and tie your shoes. I hope to teach you how to use your creative mind each day, to seek adventure, and to always stay curious about the world around you.
I hope to teach you things that I wish I had known, or at least accepted, when I was a child. I want you to know that life will be challenging each and every day that you’re here, but please understand that the problems you face will only seem impossible if that’s the way you look at them. Your Papi has taught me this lesson in life. He wakes up each morning with a positive attitude and a smile on his face. Regardless of the hardships he has faced in life, he is happy because he chooses to be happy. He does not let the little setbacks bring him down, and I strive to be like him more and more each day. I hope that you inherit that same positive outlook on life, and, more than anything, I hope that you are happy.
Your Papi and I love you so much already, Jackson, and can’t wait to meet you soon.
With love, xoxo – Mom