Monday, April 21, 2014

Six Months in Pictures

So much has happened in the last six months. I can not believe our baby is half a year old. Time has flown by so fast, and yet on the other hand I hardly remember life before Chase. What a rollercoaster his life has been so far. 
Just days before his unexpected arrival, I thought I has 11 weeks of puking left to do. I had *finally* started showing and was excited to sport the belly.
But on October 7th, we welcomed the tiniest little person I ever did see. And though he was tiny, he was perfect. We named him Chase Albert and knew he'd be OK, but had NO IDEA what the road ahead of us held. 
The first few days were mostly a blur as we struggled to learn the medical terminology that now flooded our lives. So many prayers and well-wishes came our way. 
Nearly a week after we welcomed our little miracle, I got to hold him in my arms for the first time. I can't put into words how I was changed that day-but it was incredible. 
For two months, we watched him take steps forward and backwards. He had a bowel infection, a blood infection, a spinal meningitis scare, several blood transfusions, digestive problems, acid reflux, more apnea and bradycardia than I can count- several oxygen desats, and despite ALL of this, he has thrived. 
I had a new relationship in my life- with a breast pump. Every two hours, around the clock, for two months. I was determined for him to get the breastmilk his fragile body so desperately needed and I clung to the LAST detail of my postpartum experience that had not been thrown away. I got quite the freezer stash going- most of which has since been donated to mothers of adopted babies. 
On December 4th, 8.5 weeks after his birth, my little Buddy came home. It is, to date, the single best day of my entire life. Walking out of those hospital doors- WITH my baby- knowing we did not need to come back in a few hours for the very first time was such a relief. Sure, he had monitors and oxygen still, he was finally ours, finally with us. Finally ours, all 5lbs 1oz of him. 
We were so blessed to have Chase home for his first Christmas. It was a beautiful day spent with family. 
Surrounded by family, Jon and I have learned how to fill our new role as parents to the best of our abilities. Sometimes we do better than others. One month after his homecoming, Chase finally passed his second oxygen study and we were able to go wire and tube-free! No more monitors, leads, oxygen tanks and tubes!
Around the same time, he also *finally* learned to breast feed and we were able to kick the pump to the curb! It took a lot of work, a ton of tears, and a bunch of patience but we did it! 
In March, Chase took his first trip to Las Vegas to visit Jon's family! We hit bad weather driving and ended up spending the night in Saint George for a night. We learned the joy that is road tripping with a baby, and how it extends the travel time.... by a lot. 
March also brought with it a case of RSV. We spent three weeks back and forth between the doctor's office, suction clinic, and home... constantly wondering if we were making the right choices. We held him while he coughed, soothed him as he cried. It broke my heart to see him so sick. Breathing treatments every 4 hours, medications, and Essential Oils seems to make little difference most days. He spent most of those three weeks teetering between needing to be hospitalized and being OK to watch from home. My weight plummeted as I could not sleep in fear that he would stop breathing. Luckily after three long weeks of sickness, he got better. 
When he was healthy again, we went on our first stay-cation as a family of three. Along with my sister's family and mom we spent the day poolside at a hotel in Midway. Chase enjoyed the water so much!
He continues to get stronger, and healthier. He is such an important part of our family. He fits right in! He loves his cousins, and we spend a ton of time at Grandma Sharlyn's house. He is fascinated by our dogs and Annie and Mousse have taken a particular liking to our new little Buddy. 
Most recently, he celebrated his first Easter! We're glad the Easter Bunny found his way to Grandma's house- where we stayed the night. 
I can't believe 6 months has come and gone. He's come so far, our family has grown so much. I can't wait to see what the next 6 months hold... but if they could go by a bit slower, that'd be OK with me

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