Friday, May 30, 2008


The weekend ahead, full of unlimited potential on how to spend it. Should we take a walk and go get ice cream, plan an evening with friends, relax the day away at home, clean up around the house? Work is on the back burner; free time has arrived.
Can you imagine my excitement, then, for next friday? Schools out for the summer.
5 days and counting.

Bryce-y Boy and KK

He looks nothing like what I pictured. I guess I saw him a little whiter with a lot less hair. If he was not so darn tall- already around 25", I might think there was some kind of mix up at the lab.
A bit unconventional, perhaps:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh Brother.

Yesterday was Kayden-Grandma day. Since I started working from home, one day a week my mom takes Kayden so I have one day without distractions to get things finished. I always get way more finished in the day she babysits him than I do working evenings the entire rest of the week.

There they were sitting in the hot tub with my middle brother, Nathan, when their neighbor came over. She is retiring Friday, so I think she is maybe around 55 years old? As she was talking, Kayden kept singing "turn around, turn around, turn around".. Nancy, the neighbor, did as she was told until the next line of the song blurted out...

and give that big booty a slap.

Nice. Apple Bottom jeans, sung by Kayden, with thanks to my two brothers for bringing such a fine song into his repertoire.

Another Uncle moment came when I was swinging him the other day. We have a Little Tikes playset with one of the plastic infant swings. He leaned so far forward that the old swing straps broke and he flipped out of the seat and landed square on his face. He look up befuddled and asked me if he still had teeth. Referencing the video below, is a new favorite of Uncle Justin so Kayden loves it too. I must admit I chuckle as well at just how moronic some of those people are. Who seriously thinks leaping from one building to another or flipping off a house is a great idea?

Failed Roof Flip - Watch more free videos

This one really busts me up though:

Saudi Woman Vs Treadmill - Watch more free videos

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Take one down

pass it around.
Telltale signs of RSV:

a nose that never stops running check
wheezing check
super contagious check
hangs on forever check

Thanks to Bryce for giving Kayden, my mom, my brother, and myself RSV. Tissue, anyone?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Home, SWEET, Home

We are home. Augh! It feels so good to not be limited by any wires or machines! Bryce lived in a 1 foot radius of the sofa bed cot, and it feels good to walk around with him, sit on a comfortable sofa, and be able to dress him. The little things, right?

Our week in Pictures:

Sunday at my mom's house. Now that I look back at this picture, I can see just how sick Bryce actually is.

Waiting in the ER once he was stabilized. He hated the oxygen, and so did I. They had not yet taped it down so he wiggled it off constantly. Just when he would fall asleep, the darn thing would move.

Being moved to the room we would be in for the next few days. I never imagined he would get much sicker before he got better.

Once my Dad woke up, he came down to give Bryce his "blow by oxygen" treatment. See the cup on the wall? There is oxygen coming out of it; real high tech, huh? Shortly after, they decided he needed the oxygen directly so they put the nose line in instead. I have to admit I fought this one a bit. He hated it so much down in the ER, so I saw him not sleeping at all with it on. He actually felt much better once he did not have to fight so hard to breathe.

One of his many breathing treatments. Smoke comes out and blows in his face. It almost looks like he is smoking hukka.

His little IV in his arm with my brother Justin. They put plastic over it so he cannot pull it off. I have to give a big shout out to Justin. He hates hospitals so much that it was a true labor of love for him to come up and see us.

This monitoring device was the source of my frustration. Basically a heavy wire attached by a band aid. It's no wonder it fell off so often.

The Doctor. I cannot remember his name, but he was very nice. They had just deep suctioned his nose and cleaned his face so he was not very happy.

Getting better!

This was the nurse we had - Stacy. She made the stay even easier because she really knew what she was doing so I trusted her judgement.

Waiting for daddy to get the car. We are going home, yippee!


I do have a situation that I need your advice on, blogger nation. When we first found out about the heart condition, it was because our nurse came in to inform us that something odd showed up on the XRays. I asked him if it was serious, to which he replied that it was. I asked him if it was cancer? He said that was not it, but that it would require surgery to fix and he could not elaborate until he confirmed it with the attending physician. He excused himself and apparently confirmed the double aortic valve was the finding.

So, he came back into the room and told us what they found. He did not know that much about it since he had never personally seen a case of it, but he did some research and found out that in order for Bryce to live he would need this surgery. I, of course, got all panicked and asked him specifically, "He will live, though, right?". Well, this nurse kind of looked funny and would not answer the question. I guess being the woman that I am, and wanting more details, I probably asked him five other ways to assure me that it was not life threatening. All he would say is that it was not life threatening right now. He then proclaimed that surgery can be very risky, etc., but that Bryce could be stabilized for the month or so we would have to wait until they did surgery. I asked him if the XRay could be wrong, and he said no way it was wrong because he personally knew the radiologist that read it.

Long story short, for about 40 minutes I questioned him about this illness, and he really made it out that Bryce did not have a good chance of survival. The next fifteen hours were spent crying over this news.

We now obviously know that the diagnosis given by this nurse was completely wrong. So, here is my dilemma. I have no desire to get this guy in trouble, but I would absolutely hate for some other poor mom to go through this unnecessarily. Would you say something to someone, or just let it go? I would appreciate your thoughts!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Today was a much better day. I suppose they get all the testing done at once so it is just one big, long day of crying.

Last night still brought many breathing problems, but as today wore on he started to breathe better. He is now off his oxygen and holding on by himself quite well. With the lack of assisted breathing, though, all interest in eating has been lost as he cannot breathe through his nose enough to eat. Lots of fussiness today, but thankfully no more big tests! I would say today was mostly just monitoring him and making sure he did not relapse with his breathing. I am amazed that so much time can be spent just doing that endeavor. Even making a phone call has been difficult because someone is always here asking how he is doing, feeding, taking temperatures, blood pressure, etc. This may sound trivial, but one huge annoyance is all the tubes and leads he is hooked to. I am constantly stepping on one of them, or getting it stuck to my shirt...leading to lots of LOUD beeping and searching for the problem.

Thanks for all your prayers, e-mails, phone calls, and well wishes. It is hard right now to respond individually, but I will try to once we have more time around here! Some of you have asked if you could come and visit, and as much as I would personally love to see you, we have to ask that you refrain. First, he is highly contagious. Every person that enters must wear a mask, and most nurses and resp. therapists use gowns that are disgarded each time they enter. Second, we are trying to limit how much he is exposed to on the outside. We are told to expect a few weeks of home stay once we are out of here, so it looks like I might be MIA for a while!

Well, that is it for now. Seeing that my mom and I shared a single cot with Bryce last night, I am pretty tuckered. I will update more when I have it! Thanks again for your thoughts and prayers! (and thanks mom for bringing up the blow up bed tonight!:-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

DeVos Part 3: The Good, the Bad, and the Puffy

I am overly exhausted, so I am not hardly even going to edit this post. Some of you have been asking, though, so I wanted to update...

Back up to thursday night. When we left the ER, they told us that Bryce's condition would probably get worse before it got better. His breathing would be congested, so just be ready for a full blown cold. Thus, when Saturday rolled around and his breathing was labored, no alarm bells sounded. Sunday came and during the day he sounded very congested - had a hard time breathing all day, but I was prepared for that after Thursday. We got home from the in-laws and went to put Bryce to bed and I could hardly get him to breathe. So labored, loud, almost panting like a dog. He just could not catch his breathe. His head was rolling around gasping for air. I called the nurse after-hours line who told me to call an ambulance. Fearing I am the dummy who called an ambulance for my child with a cold, I called my mom and we headed to DeVos with my tail between my legs, sure I was wasting her sleeping time...again.

We went to registry, and the nurse took one listen to Bryce and rushed him back to Ped ER, where they worked to stabilize his breathing. Once stabilized and throroughly sucked out, we waited to see if it would get better. We did a few breathing treatments to see if that would help. Nothing worked. Hour after hour passed with us watching him struggle to breathe. Finally, they took Xrays and admitted him around 3am.

The Xrays came back around 4am, and the nurse came and said they showed something very unexpected- that he had a second aeortic valve (we should only have one), and that he would probably need surgery. However, he was stable and they would keep him stable until he was strong enough to go in for it, whether that was a month or a week. The nurse said they would run more tests to see how extensive this condition was and what treatment we would take.

Treatment after breathing treatment, suctions, oxygen, things going down Bryce's throat to try to clear this out or take this culture, and his breathing still was not improving. Plus, the finding from the Xay were just a freak coincience and had nothing to do with the breathing issues. We were told that we would get a CT scan done for that and give us more information on how to best treat that. So, more pokes and pricks- IVs, leads, a pick line in his arm for the dye. 1pm we went for the CT scan and Bryce did incredible. Did not even cry when they put the dye in that supposedly stings. I am not sure who has cried more today, but it is pretty safe to say that many tears have been shed by all.

The good: after hours of waiting and fearing the worst, the second aerotic valve was just a shadow they believe. I am sure many mothers would do the same, but I immediately jumped to the worse outcome and was literally sick for hours. Thank God and Praise God that he does not have to have heart surgery!!

The bad: He does have a pretty kicking case of RSV. Every person that enters this room has to wear a mask, other than immediate family. He is still struggling just to breath and eat, and time just has to help him through this as there is no medication. He is on a steady flow of oxygen that really helps.

The other bad: Oddly enough, the CT scan did show that he also broke a rib during birth. So, we went to Xray again tonight for another agonizing hour of him crying through us positioning him for Xrays. At this point, it seems like every hour of this day has been spent fussing with him for something or another- putting on leads, taking temperature, fixing IVs, watching pulse ox levels, suctioning out his nose, etc. etc. He is at the point where he just gets mad if anyone touches him. Hopefully nothing else is broken, although I will gladly take a broken rib over heart surgery!

The Puffy: 4 hours of sleep within the last 48 hours, crying fifteen hours at the drop of a hat, a kickin cold, and the stress of my newborn going through this whole process has made me look and feel 10 years older than I am. We will probably be here at least one more day, as they like to watch him for 24 hours once he is off oxygen. Kayden was missing him mommy today, too, which breaks my heart.

Prayer Requests: Please pray for us that tomorrow will be better and that my little boy will come out of this and start breathing on his own. That we will not get run down, and that there are no other broken bones. Thanks in advance for your prayers for my sweet boy.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

It just seems like we get sicker and sicker around here. We are all now officially wiped out- excluding Josh. He never gets sick! Newborn sleep is not that great to begin with, but adding a stuffy nose to the mix has made it really difficult for Bryce to sleep. I am just bummed because I really love the Mother's Day service at church, and hate to miss it this morning.
Two things have made me appreciate this day even more this year:
First and most obvious, the birth of Bryce. Becoming a mom the second time around has made me really appreciate the incredible gift that God entrusted us with. When we got Carmelo the dog, many people said that having two dogs was easier than just having one and we found that true. This principle is not the same with kids! Having two, for us, has been so much harder since Kayden was at such an easy age. All the work and crying and diaper changes is worth it, though, to have this incredible gift in our life. I almost forget what life was ever like without him.
Second, I mentioned this on the my business blog, but a friend of mine was about three weeks from delivery and found out Monday her child is no longer living. She just had him yesterday. If you have a minute, I would encourage you to take time to read her journey-- her faith inspires me and makes me appreciate being a second time mom all over again.
Happy Mother's Day to you all!

Friday, May 09, 2008

DeVos Children's Hospital, Part Two

11:30 pm last night, I was packing up a few orders, and heard Bryce coughing quite a bit upstairs. He was so miserable looking that I called the nurse after hours line.

Me: Hello, my son is one month old and coughing, and in a lot of discomfort, I am just calling to make sure I can give him Tylenol?
Nurse: What are the symptoms?
Me: Rattly lungs, difficulty breathing right after he coughs, rapid breaths every once in a while, wheezing
Nurse: Well, when they are this young, we like to look at them right away.
Me: OK, so I will go in tomorrow to see my Doctor
Nurse: No, babies this young do not get colds, so you need to go into Devos Emergency right away, as it is probably not a cold. We like to check them out and make sure there are no other respiratory problems.

I went upstairs to tell Josh, who looked at me like a crazy lady that I wanted to trudge downtown at 11:30 pm. He reasoned that I probably would not sleep anyway if we stayed home, so in the car we went to probably one of the dirtiest emergency rooms ever. While Bryce was in triage, I noticed some other child's poop on the stained sheet. Clean, huh?

I have to admit leaving two and a half hours later with the diagnosis of a common cold made me feel like a naive, first-time mother.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I just took this one for my new website: And these were taken by Katie when Bryce was 8 days old:

Friday, May 02, 2008

I have more photos to share soon.

Things I have learned about Bryce so far:

  • He hates bath time or being naked at all
  • He hates riding in the car
  • He loves to eat...big surprise there, huh?
  • He has a dimple in each cheek
  • He is pretty easy going, seeing as his big brother pesters him a lot. I feel as if I am always saying, "Watch out for his head!" Just wait, Kayden, until the tide turns and Bryce is the one pestering!He has already pee'd on me three times, which is three more than Kayden did.
  • His umbilical cord was two feet longer than it should have been--maybe that is why his belly button/cord seriously stinks right now. As in rancid. How can such a cute and cuddly kid smell so rotten? Is this thing ever going to fall off?
  • He has a raspy cry that is not very loud (thus far!)
  • He sleeps pretty good most nights. I hate to even write that for fear of jinxing it. I usually get up around 3 and then again at 5:30.
  • He makes the Derek Zoolander face...a lot. Just call him Blue Steel.

That is all I can think of for now. Happy Weekend, Bloggers.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rough Birth= Rough Week

When Bryce was 9 days old, we took Kayden swimming at East Kentwood's pool and while we were there Bryce's right arm and legs would not stop twitching. He had done it before, in fact many times since birth, but this one was exceptionally long. For over ten minutes, I watched as his little arm twitched away. When I got home, I called the nurse after-hours line concerned it was a seizure. She informed me that it was not a seizure, but to mention it to my doctor at the two week check up. The twitching continued.

Last Wednesday I went in and was informed that it could be normal twitches associated with development of the muscles, or it could be bleeding on the brain because he had such a traumatic birth. He still has two large bruises on each side of his head (his head actually looks triangle-like because of this--thank God he has a lot of hair!) , so they were concerned that possibly some bleeding internally could have occurred as well. If it continued through the weekend, the plan was to get an ultrasound done through his soft spot to look at the brain. The fear being that cerebral palsey was leading to the twitching because of a neurological disorder.

So, Tuesday we trudged down to DeVos Radiology department. It is a scary place to be. Each parent is there because they fear something is wrong with their child. Whether it be cancer or a problem like ours, the unknowns are palpable and the tension is felt immediately upon entrance.

Bryce did really well for the first seven minutes of the ultrasound. While he was sleeping soundly, it was actually pretty cool to look at the brain and activity surrounding it. Then he woke up and started getting really upset. Come the end of the ultrasound, I think I was crying harder than he was. Since I have not ever had to go through anything like this, I thought they would tell immediately what the results were, so the longer she was silent, the more concerned I was that something was terribly wrong.

Thankfully, I just called today and everything looks great. Please praise God with me that these results came back so positive. I covet your prayers for the future, though, as if the twitching continues we will have to go in for another test to make sure they are not seizures. So far, the last two days have been uneventful, so I pray this will continue. Between the collarbone and this, I am sick of DR's visits!