Friday, March 31, 2017

Motherly Instinct + The Sweetest Photo Ever

So y'all.

I've actually written several blog posts lately but for some reason never hit the 'publish' button. I guess that I keep thinking to myself that it needs to be perfect or that "what if this comes off wrong?" I am going to try and let my guard down just long enough to publish at least one post a week. Primarily because I want to keep everyone updated on our family and our day to day. I don't feel as eloquent with my words as I used to, so bear with me.

Before the meat of today's post, I'll start by posting something that I wrote in a different post which never got published:

"Last thing that I wanted to say is that I previously used this platform (my blog) as a way to write about really lighthearted things like makeup, mine & Ross' dates, and all things girlie. As if it hasn't become obvious, this blog is now much more personal as a way to update a mass amount of people about our life. Please bear with me as I'm knee deep in this funky phase of life. Love you all! Thanks for following our journey from TTC for two years, to IUI and IVF, and now to the micropreemie world."

Just getting that housekeeping item out of the way. You've been warned. If you're here for some easy reading, this isn't the place. I'm strictly here for updates and praise reports. 

I am not sure if I've ever shared this, but it's a pretty incredible thing; being a mom and all. All of the awesome things that come with mamahood are great, but one of the coolest things is something deeply rooted that only moms have. Sorry dads! I'm talking about maternal instinct. Yes, it really does exist.

The point of this post is coming. Promise. 

Premature delivery - I knew in my gut. In my heart. In every ounce of me; that when I started having complications, I knew what it meant. Every night, the Lord would hear me whisper a prayer begging for viability week. Lord, please just let my baby survive. Lord, I NEED THIS BABY. Of course I would never have admitted it during my pregnancy or week-long labor. "Speaking life" is something that is extremely important to me. I never wanted to harp on what I felt like was imminent because I know words and thoughts are powerful.

Swallow Study - Desperate for answers to Bennett's issues in feeding, I consulted my Micropreemie Mom group on Facebook. Real scientific, I know. After looking over the site for hours, I finally landed on something I could point to: a swallow study. This was the answer. I asked approximately 3 times while in our first NICU about them doing a test. I asked 2 NP's and 1 nurse. Their response was, "Bennett knows how to suck, swallow, breathe, so that's not necessary." They assured me time and time again that an imaginary lightbulb would flick on one day with his endurance in taking a bottle. Eventually, what I knew in my heart to be of importance *finally* was taken seriously and the second NICU we were admitted into performed a swallow study, which showed that Bennett was aspirating both silently and non-silently. 

Hernia - The look on the Speech Therapist's look said it all. She was surprised but I wasn't. Days before Bennett was scheduled for his g-tube surgery, I pulled aside our nurse and ST to ask if they would expect any complications during surgery now that they knew more about Bennett's case. I wanted to make sure there would be no surprises during his surgery. I kept telling them that I had this weird feeling a hernia would be found. They said, "no - we typically are aware of most hernias before surgery." Surgery was at 8am and by 8:15am, the doctor was paging me in the NICU. "Mom, everything is okay, but can you please meet me real quick." Our surgeon was in the middle of working on Bennett when she needed to step out to receive my consent to fix his hernia. I wasn't the least bit surprised and immediately authorized it. "Something" told me he had a hernia and I was right. 

Caffeine - "Only in rare cases, does the caffeine not work." Those were the doctor's words. He meant to help wake Bennett up from surgery. In Bennett's case, since he was oxygen dependent for so long, I knew having him breathe on his own was going to be the biggest hurdle. My gut kept telling me that time would be the only thing that would work. Sure enough, I was right. The team gave Bennett caffeine to help assist him in waking up, but it wasn't working. Of course I was on high alert, worried that my baby boy was needing a ventilator to breathe. But the caffeine didn't work, and I knew it never would. Bennett needed time instead and my motherly instinct knew that well in advance.

Other things which I had instincts about too, were Bennett's vision and his need for a continuous drip instead of bolus feeds. I'm just flat out too tired to write about all of that.

This mama instinct that I've had in Bennett's 6 months of life is proof that God was preparing me for each little thing. The Lord knew that I was the only one who could be trusted to take care of Bennett in the way that Bennett needed. Jesus planned it all. To dumb it down, I'm assuming the Lord said something along the lines of, "Let's trust Bennett to Allison Skinner, because she'll listen to what we (the father, son, and holy spirit) tell her and she'll understand how to best care for Bennett." There is no way on earth that I would've known each of the above would come to fruition without peace and knowledge being put into my heart. The Lord knew that Bennett needed a voice and who better to be the voice than his mom? I wish my poor baby didn't have to endure so much in his short life, but I will always speak up. I'm attributing my motherly instinct to the Lord putting that knowledge into me.

I'm starting to believe I'm the world's craziest mom. And honestly, it wouldn't even bother me if someone agreed. That won't stop me from doing what I feel is right. If that means being a helicopter mom and speaking up for those who can't speak up, I will do it.

Now that Bennett has been home 1.5 months, I've decided that: 1) I'm not willing to share him with the hospital any longer, 2) I have no regrets about "sounding crazy" to nurses and doctors regarding my son's care, and 3) NICU life is done and finished with and I have said goodbye to those awful memories. I see no reason to harp on where we've been because the *only* thing it brings is sadness, regret, and fear.

Life started on Valentine's Day 2017 when we were all under the same roof.

P.S. I realize that this blog is missing a big chunk of info from my last post until this post. The short version is: 1) we got discharged from one NICU very prematurely, 2) we got admitted into another NICU after being home for three days together, 3) Bennett had a g-tube placed & a hernia repair, 4) we got discharged from our second NICU on February 14, 2017.

Now that this post has been sufficiently long enough and I've (hopefully) made my point clear about that neat thing called motherly instinct, I'm going to end this post with the sweetest little picture you ever did see. Thank you Kim at Snap Happy Photography. We're in love with our photos!