Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Normal Yet

5 weeks. It's been 5 weeks since Levi was born. I figured I'd surely be back to "normal" by this point. I was wrong. It has been a crazy 5 weeks. I was hoping to be running at least 2 miles by this point. I'm not. I'm running a good, oh 90 seconds at a time. I'm not back into all of my pre-pregnancy pants yet. I still have some extra "Levi weight" following me around. I don't ever get enough sleep. I constantly smell like formula and baby. There are times that I have to wonder what were we thinking?!?!? The thing is, I'm okay with that. I've spent the last 5 weeks caring for a boy that has changed my world and taught me how to love and care for someone without the "what about me" question lingering in my mind. I'm excited because I am running a little. I'm having to really listen to my body, it tells me when to quit, which is sometimes much sooner than I'd like. I can't get into all of my pants yet, and I still have some extra weight, but I feel better. I feel better than I have in months. I'm starting to eat better again, and get back to the basics on a lot of things. I'm trying to remind John how thankful I am for him and how much I love him. He's made all of this so much easier. So, hopefully in 5 more weeks I'll be back to my old "normal" but for now, I'm really enjoying my new "normal".

Friday, December 16, 2011

Made to Crave

I've written about this book before, but I'm at it again, so I figured that I'd write about it again.

For any lady out there that fights the battle with food, I highly recommend that you read Made to Crave. My husband bought me this book about a year ago, and let me tell you, I was greatly offended. I thought that it was so rude of him. I didn't need a diet book! As I got into it I started to realize that this book was not about another fad diet. This book was about my journey with the Lord. The author, Lysa, talks about changing our lifestyles so that fill our voids with God, not with food. The more that I read out of this book, the more that I realized that she knew. This gal seriously understood about my battle with food. I run to food all the time, when I'm happy, sad, stressed, celebrating, and any emotion in between. I can always find a reason for "just one bite". Where in that am I turning to the Lord? I have a food addiction. I crave food to meet my emotional needs. This is not healthy. My cravings need to be for the Lord. I need to have a desire to get on my knees and turn to Him, not McDonald's. God gave me, ME, this body. If I don't care for it, who will? I have to care for it so that I can care for Levi. My food choices have not been healthy, they have not made me care for this body as God has always cared for me.

At four weeks postpartum I've decided to pick up the book and begin my journey again. I'm making a commitment to start trusting His strength instead of my own. I'm going to turn to Him in times of need, not to a bowl of Blue Bell. So readers, I'm asking you to please pray for me. There will be hard times, and there will be tears. Yes, I will cry having to pass up french fries at some point. In the end, being able to crave the Lord will be so worth it!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1 Month

Levi's 1 month old today! He has had such a big first month! We've spent 21 days in NICU and 10 at home. Levi is 19 inches long and weighs 5 pounds 14 ounces. In the past few days he has become much more alert and loves to watch everybody work! He spends time in his bouncy seat and makes googly eyes at the nurses all day long. Levi loves it when John talks to him. If someone else is holding him and hears John, he'll whip his head around to see him. Music helps to calm him down and get to sleep. Any kind of music, it doesn't matter. Today we also got the BEST blood work results that we've had yet! It has been one of the hardest/best months of my life, and I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. We go home on Monday, so hopefully the next month will be a little less busy than this first month.
Levi doing one of his favorite things- eating!

Family picture taken yesterday, don't judge, a nurse took it with my cell phone!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Bravo Zulu, Sir

On Thursday I had a voicemail from John's dad saying to tell John to bring a suit to the Carson Christmas party, things weren't looking good with Grandpa. Okay, I thought 'Well, anything's possible'. I got this call around 11am. Later that afternoon I get a call from my sister-in-law letting me know that Grandpa Carson has passed away. My brain immediately went into overdrive, as it tends to do when I'm freaking out. When John finally got off of work around 3:30 he had already been called by one of his brothers and his sister telling him the news. By the time I got to talk to him we were just trying to figure out our plan of attack. We decided that it would be best for John to come to KC that night, then we would both head to Omaha for the weekend. Thankfully, he made it here safely and he got to see Levi.

Friday morning John and I headed to Omaha. We left Levi in KC at the hospital. I was a hot mess! As odd as this sounds, we had a wonderful weekend. It was a good service and Grandpa would have been happy that we were all there. We had our family Christmas party, as planned, Saturday night. We had such a good time. As we were standing around our aunt's house laughing and telling jokes and having a good time I realized how lucky we were to have each other. There's a lot of love, laughter, tears, anger and hope. There's a family, a place where we all fit. There's 88 of us when we're all there and we owe it all to Grandpa Carson. He started this family and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

Saturday we mourned Grandpa Carson, today we buried Commander Carson. It was a beautiful military burial, simple and sweet. He gave his life to this country and his family. He was a good man. Bravo Zulu, Commander, may we honor your legacy and live up to the Carson name.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

But once they actually say it...

We've known in the back of our minds that at some point Levi will have to have a new kidney. How far off was always the question. A big part of me thought that maybe once he got here, the damage to his kidney would be less than anticipated, and we could wait a good 15-20 years before we had to look at transplant. Today the APRN at the hospital actually said the words "kidney transplant" out loud. Well that changes everything. Now it's a reality. We're still looking at a couple of years down the road, as his body will have to be big enough for an adult sized kidney. We will probably have months, or years of dialysis before transplant. I realize that kidney transplants are one of the easiest, most routine things to do, but forgive me for not being excited about it.

I hate the fact that my baby is sick. I hate that he'll never get to play football or baseball. I hate that he'll be on medicine for the rest of his life. I hate the fact that all of my organs work just fine, and I've used and abused most of them, and my baby, who should be perfect, was born with his organs fighting against each other. I hate that I can protect him from so much, except for his own body. I hate that I feel like a bad mother for this.

I really wish that we were at home, decorating the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, going to the mall to shop and walk, getting ready to head back to work. I wish that our sense of normality and routine did not involve a hospital. I wish that my friends were the ones that we were spending time with, the ones that were getting to know him, instead of a team of doctors and nurses.

I'm thankful that we have all of this. That we're in a place that can give him this care. I'm glad that there's something that they can do, even if it's just to make him more comfortable. I know that God is protecting Levi and watching over him, and us, and I'm grateful for that.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

5 pounds!

I can't believe it! Our tiny boy broke the 5 pound mark today! Tonight he weighed in at 5lbs 1oz. Considering when we got here on Thursday night he was 4lbs 10oz, I'm very excited!

On a negative note, we are back in the NICU. Thursday we went in for a routine pediatricians appointment which for Levi, always involves blood work. His blood work did not look good. The electrolytes were way out of wack. For a kid with one kidney and chronic renal failure, this signals to the doctor that the kidney is failing. Off to KC we go. Once we got here everything happened so quickly. They started running labs again and scheduling ultrasounds and getting him all checked out again. Come to find out, he has a uti. This is not good because that means that the antibiotic that he was on for his reflux was not doing the job. Once we got the labs back, we found out that the infection was actually in his bloodstream as well. This infection is similar to an E. coli bacteria. It can be common in kids with the reflux and hydronephrosis. Tomorrow they are going to do a spinal tap to make sure that the infection has not spread to his spinal column or his brain. If it has, the course of action is still the same, it just extends the process 11 days. His little body has done such a great job of fighting the infection. The doctors all kept asking us what signs of infection he was showing and the truth is- NONE! His body was fighting so hard against the infection, that it kept it at bay for days. It only truly showed itself once he got here and they pulled him off of his routine antibiotic and started letting new medicines and IV's do the work for him. Turns out, this infection is what was throwing his electrolyte levels off, and what was causing him to not gain any weight for a week. They have also put him on some mineral supplements to try to get his electrolyte levels back on track. So far, they need to work harder, but we're making steps in the right direction. The procedure on discharge for him is that he has to finish all of the antibiotics, get his electrolyte levels back in order, go two days with no signs of infection in his blood or urine, then be under observation for a few more days, then we'll be discharged. This comes out to 10-25 days. We're hoping to be home by Christmas. There's so much to tell about what's going on and how we're adjusting to life with a chronically ill kid. It's frustrating and scary to know that every time he gets the smallest germy bug, it could land him right back here. This is all part of our journey with Levi. We knew when he was still in utero that there was a good chance this would be our life once he was here. I hoped and prayed that this would not be the case, but God chose differently. I'm amazed that he trusts me to handle Levi. That God has given us HIS strength to make it through these trying times with Levi. I am so blessed to have a God and husband that trust me and empower me to be a good Mom to him.

Listening to music with Daddy today