Four years of hugs and kisses.
Four years of bravery and adventure.
Four years of laughter and tears.
Four years of snuggles.
Four years of pure love.
Four years of YOU.
After I found out Jaxson had gastroschisis, I stopped seeing my regular OBGYN and started seeing a high risk one. They were able to monitor & follow my pregnancy more closely. At one of my appointments a few weeks before he was born, he had a high heart rate so they hooked me up to monitors in the office & waited until it came down. On April 22nd, 2013 I went in to the ER because I was experiencing contractions- different than the normal Braxton hicks I would often feel. They drew labs, checked for infection, and did an ultrasound. Everything came back normal, they told me I was dehydrated and gave me fluids then sent me home. Contractions stopped for the most part, but I would still have one or two every so often. The night of April 24th and into the morning of April 25th, I got absolutely no sleep and was having more painful contractions. I called my doctor and they advised me to be seen right away. So, off the the ER I went, again. *Side note- I didn’t go to the hospital Jaxson was going to be born at, because this one was closer to my house and I figured they’d send me home anyway.
I remember walking in and feeling like he was just going to fall out- (tmi? sorry) Once I was in the ER, they checked to see how far dilated I was, and to everyones amazement, I was at 6 centimeters & 100% effaced. They started IV fluids, gave me one shot of steroids to help his lungs, and terbutaline to try and stop contractions. The terbutaline was the worst, it made me so nauseous. The doctor told me I needed to be admitted, and I was so out of it I just said “Okay.” My mom thankfully chimed in and said if I were being admitted, I needed to be transferred to a different hospital with a level 4 NICU, because of Jaxson’s birth defect. They didn’t feel comfortable transporting me via ambulance, so a helicopter was called in to fly me to the right hospital. It was a quick probably five minute flight, but still pretty scary. My mom went home to grab some things and met me there. Once I was settled in to a labor and delivery room, my doctor came in and told me the plan was to keep him in at least another 48 hours so he could get the second dose of steroids. It was about 12pm now and my contractions have subsided, and I haven’t dilated any further than a 6. I kept asking if I could get some food, but the doctor kept saying no. I was able to eat ice chips and a popsicle. Finally, after no signs of progression, at about 5pm they told me it would be okay to order a light meal. So I ordered soup & a salad. As soon as it arrived, I was about to take my first bite and had a big contraction. The nurse noticed it on the monitor and came in to see how I was. I felt fine. The doctor came in shortly after and checked me and I was dilated to 9 centimeters. She called out for an emergency c-section, and I was being wheeled into the operating room around 6:30pm. The doctor and anesthesiologist argued for a couple minutes about how to administer my spinal; typically they want you sitting up, but my doctor wanted me laying on my side because if I sat up, I would be giving birth on that table. He finally agreed with her, and the rest is a blur to me. At 7:07pm, at just 30 weeks gestation; a warrior was born. He weighed 4 pounds 3 ounces and was 16 inches long. I vaguely remember hearing him cry, and they brought him over to see me for a split second. While I was getting stitched up & heading to recovery, he was on his way to his very first surgery at minutes old. My mom showed me a picture of him & I was able to physically see him for the first time the next morning.
Every time I look at pictures of him in the NICU, it’s like i’m there again. I remember every detail, every feeling and emotion. I can hear the beeps, and smell the smells. That time in our life is one that I will never forget.
Today he is a vivacious, loving, and courageous four year old. I know it’s said by parents everywhere, but It’s so amazing how fast time really goes by. He has taught me so much about love and life, and he doesn’t even know it. His bravery is admirable. His growth is remarkable. He is inspiring. I can’t wait to see what he continues to blossom into. ❤️
Below are some pictures of people wearing their shirts to honor Jaxson.