Monday, February 28, 2011

It's here...

Spring, that is!

Well not officially by a calendar but the weather is actually insisting that Spring has already begun, and so has a purely blissful state of mind for me! 

I love EVERYTHING about Spring!  

I love the wind.  I love the blooming trees.  I love the new plants arriving at my local nursery.  I love planting my gladiola bulbs and vegetables and anything in the ground.  I love spring projects.  I love wearing sandals and white clothes.  I love dressing my sweet redhead in jon jons, plaid shorts, boat shoes, and seersucker.  I love fishing and hitting golf balls with my hubby.  I love to hear the birds in the morning.  I love hanging clothes out to line dry.  I love the sound of lawnmowers and tractors.

Speaking of tractors, I am thankful for my very rural residence for many, many reasons.  

One example...

Jude gets regular tractor rides with his Paw Paw Gary!
You just can't do stuff like this in a subdivision.

On other bright news... Jude is still doing AWESOME in preschool!  I just learned today during my first parent/teacher conference that he has a new word approximation- "apple".  I'm so proud of him!  Words just can't express it for me.  

By the way, can I say just how weird it feels saying "I have a parent/teacher conference today." My baby big boy is growing up.

On Sweet Pea/ Butter Bean news... everything seems to still be going great.  The expected baby really just loves Jude because every time I am holding Jude, the baby becomes real excited and wiggly.  This just blesses my heart beyond measure.  

My prayers are changing for this baby everyday.  Of course I pray for health, but I am just mainly giving thanks for this sweet gift God has given us.  When Jude was given no hope three years ago, Lane and I completely surrendered our precious baby to our Savior.  We did not ask for healing, but for only honor and glory be brought to His name through our situation.  We gave thanks for what the Lord was doing in our lives.  

I'm not a saint by any means.  This was the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life.  I have had many moments of faithlessness and doubt, but this was the prayer God gave me on that desperate night.

That was three years ago... and today without even meeting this baby, we are doing the same.  We already love this baby tremendously and that is why we have already surrendered it to our heavenly Father.  Glory and honor will be given to His name, the sweet name of Jesus, regardless of the health and genetic make up of our Sweet Pea.  

All to Jesus I surrender
All to Him I freely give
I will ever love and trust Him
In His presence daily live

I surrender all
I surrender all
All to Thee, my blessed Savior
I surrender all

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Well... I can't believe it, but I am officially nineteen weeks pregnant TODAY!  

It is amazing to me just how fast time seems to be flying by now that I am no longer sick.  One more week and my pregnancy will be at the official midway point.  

So I thought it would be fun to see what new things the Sweet Pea (I guess I should start calling it Butter Bean since I think I'm having another boy) is up to since it has had five more weeks to grow.

Lilypie Maternity tickers

According to my various sources Sweet Pea:
 is about the size of an heirloom tomato (what a weird description)
weighs 8.5-10.5 oz
is about 6 or so inches long
starting to grow hair on its scalp
and is starting to hear my voice

As for me, Sweet Pea has definitely made his/her presence known with kicks and heartburn.  I treasure every little movement and always stop to give thanks to our Father for this sweet baby we will be honored to meet in about five months.

We are still in constant prayer over the baby's health as it is still a mystery.  We see pediatric cardiology for a scan of the new baby's heart in a week.  Hopefully that appointment will only give us confidence in the appointment a week later that will give us the answers we have been praying for.

And I haven't forgotten about Judey Jude!  He is doing WONDERFUL in preschool!  I have some super cute pictures of him coming soon that will get their very own post.

Until then, hugs and kisses!
Friday, February 18, 2011


Hey Y'all!  I have a few free minutes while the redhead is napping to post the results of my "just for fun" baby name survey.  

For Boy Names:

Last place was a tie between "Shaw" and "Scrap all three names" each coming in at 5%.  
That's okay... My dad hates the name Shaw anyway for corporate reasons :-)

Second place was "Boone" with 20%.  
That's our favorite name so far.

And FIRST PLACE with 56% of votes goes to "Sawyer".  Y'all really seemed to like this name.

For Girl Names:

Last place goes to "Anything but these four" with only 2% of the votes.

Fourth place goes to..."Jesse Lane" with only 10% of the votes.  
This was weird because personal response has been overwhelmingly pro Jesse Lane.

Third place goes to "Landry" with 22% of the votes.  

Coming in second place is "Scarlett" with 27% of the votes.  
This was also a girl name I had picked for Jude, but Lane is not sold on it.  My mom's name is Katie, and it may be a little too "Gone With the Wind" but I thought Katie Scarlett and calling her Scarlett would be CUTE!

And FIRST PLACE goes to "Ella" with 39% of your votes.  
Ella was my grandmother's name.  I love the name, but it's popularity has grown quite a bit the past few years, and I'm not sure I want to use a popular name.  But the jury is still out...

Gender Results:

Only 7% of you think it's a BOY!  
I have to side with the minority on this one.  I'll be ecstatic if it's a girl, but I just feel like I'm having another little boy.

17% of you have "NO CLUE".

And a shocking 76% of you think that it's a GIRL!
I sure hope you're right despite my gut feelings.  I guess we'll all find out around mid July.

Well that's it for now.  Thanks to those who participated in the survey and also gave me their opinions and other name suggestions.  I had a lot of fun!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A "Just for Fun" Survey

I put together a survey.  A "just for fun" survey about the baby names we have chosen for Sweet Pea so far.  I mean... I can't call him or her Sweet Pea forever!

Anyway.. The survey does not include middle names (well one does) because we haven't completely decided on them either, and I didn't want the middle name to sway your decision.

I will announce the results of the survey once it has reached 100 entries and closes.  If you get here too late, which you probably won't, feel free to leave your answers or opinions in the comment section. 

You can also email me your suggestions or comments at

If you suggest a name, please include the meaning. We feel that naming a baby is actually blessing the baby, so naming a baby is important business in our family.  (We believe that every spoken word has the power of blessings and cursing) Our favorite names are older and very non popular names.  I probably won't use anything that was in the top 20 names for 2010. 

In case you are wondering... 
Jude's name is 
Steven Jude
which means
one who is crowned (Steven)
one who praises GOD (Jude)

I also cannot promise that we will use the winning names.. Like I said, this survey is "just for fun".  Besides, for those of you who know me personally, the name list will probably change before July and there will be a whole new survey up ;-)

Oh and the survey is anonymous.. so I won't know if you hate (which I hope you don't :) our baby name choices..

My Valentine Goes to Preschool

Happy Day After Valentine's Day

I hope your Valentine's Day was special.  Mine sure was.  I got to bring my little redheaded Valentine to his first day of PRESCHOOL!

I was so excited and nervous to bring him, but when I got there he went with his teacher to play outside.  He smiled at her and didn't even look back at me.  His confidence and sweet socializing spirit made me so proud.

I did manage to get a few pictures before I left...

I cried a little as I took some pictures, but luckily a sweet friend works on campus and met up with me, so I was distracted from leaving my baby. 

And this is a picture of him with his sweet assistant.

Jude was so excited when Mommy and Daddy showed up to pick him up from his first day of preschool.

They left me pictures and a progress note in his little cubby...  So silly but I'm excited over the little fact that he has his own cubby at school.  They were pictures of him throughout the day.  He played so well without any crying or fussing.  I am most proud of his behavior at snack time.  There was a picture of the teacher feeding him applesauce without any fuss!!

On other sweet news, my other Valentine took off work to pick Jude up from preschool, take me to the doctor, and just spend the afternoon with me.

First we saw Dr. Ann for a visit with Sweet Pea.  She had nothing but good news and said everything looked wonderful. So the game plan is to see Pediatric Cardiology and let them take a look at Sweet Pea's heart in two weeks.  Then when I am 21 weeks (four weeks from now), we will go back to Dr. Ann for the big sonogram that will give us the answers that I have been in anxiety over.  One way or the other, there will be tears... I am just praying that they are tears of joy and relief and thanksgiving!

Speaking of Sweet Pea, I gotta feeling that "she" is probably going to be a "he".  The curiosity has me reeling and I hope I don't crumble and find out the gender at the next visit.  I am also trying to get my name list settled down, which is so tough for this indecisive Mama.  We have a couple names for a boy and girl, but can't seem to set one of each in stone.  I don't like trendy names and even if I like a name, if it's popular, then I don't like it.  So trying to name this baby has been difficult.

Well.. I hope y'all are out enjoying this beautiful weather... which is what Jude and I are about to go do.  Bye!!

Angel and Jude

Ps.  I have way more pictures of Jude's first day, but I'm out of space for pictures so until I can buy some more, we might be pictureless for a week or so.
Sunday, February 13, 2011

a fireman's birthday

Well the weather has been just beautiful this weekend, and I've heard it's going to stay that way all week!!

With beautiful days and a Judey Jude on the mend, what better way to spend a pretty Saturday than at his cousin's 3rd birthday party.  It was Fireman themed with a visit from the Central Fire Department to top things off.  All the little kids LOVED getting to sit in the firetruck and work the hose.

I was amazed that this is a FREE community service by the City of Central, and it was such a hit with all the party goers.  I think that a Firefighter Birthday Party may be in Jude's future.

We managed to get some way too cute pictures of Jude with the firetruck.  He was absolutely AMAZED with the shiny red truck and all its noise.  I think we were more excited than he was ;-)

My sweet little family!!
(you can see that Sweet Pea is also making it's appearance known a lot more lately)

It was a great birthday party...

On some other big news...  
Jude's First Day Of Preschool Is Tomorrow!!!!
I am so excited for my little Valentine.  He is such a big boy!!
I have another appointment for Sweet Pea tomorrow afternoon so if you could please say a little prayer for both of those events, I would really appreciate it!

That's it for now... so nice to be able to post some fun things instead of hospital updates for a change!  

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

It's time...


We saw pediatric cardiology this morning and they said we have their okay, but it was really up to the attending doctor.  Well the attending doctor came in and asked if I felt comfortable going home today.  Of course, I gave her a big fat YES!!  So she is working on getting his discharge papers together at this very moment.

It will probably be another hour or two before we are driving out of the garage, but at least I know we will be.  


HOME... I can't wait to be there, even if we are stuck inside due to the cold weather I see heading our way, at least we'll be home.  And sleeping in our own bed!  Let me tell you, my bed is going to feel like it's made of feathers after sleeping on these fold out chairs for six nights...  

Jude will be so excited to be able to play and not be cooped up in a bed watching television.  

I have talked with Jude's preschool teacher and pediatrician.  They both feel like Jude can still attend preschool after taking the rest of the week off to rest.  So Valentine's Day will now be the BIG DAY!  

Thank you for all your prayers and the rejoicing you do with us over Jude's healing.  I can't wait to start posting about fun stuff again and not hospital stays :-)

Lots of love,
Monday, February 7, 2011

Just 1 Step Closer

Greetings from a hospital room!  That's right...  I said "room" not the PICU!  Jude was transferred to a room on the floor about an hour ago!  So, YES, I am much happier.

Now this room is actually smaller than the room in the PICU was, but it has it's own bathroom.  So no more trucking down the hall to shower in the family shower room- UGH!  They also have room service with a larger variety of food than the cafeteria offers and dessert- this pregnant Mama is happy about that.  But, most importantly, a room on the floor is just one step closer to going HOME! YAY!!!!

Since we are not in the PICU anymore, Jude got to come off all the monitors and be tube and wire free.  Now I can pick Jude up and hold him, and pack him around the room, and put him in the chair to snuggle with me.  Those simple acts of are such good medicine for this Mama's heart, and I think it's good for Jude's as well ;-)

We have already had a couple of sweet visitors this morning!  My friend Jodi came by the PICU.  I enjoyed her visit very much.  Then another friend Stacy came by with her friend just as they were moving us to our new room, so they were so sweet to help.  She also came bearing gifts of a ballon and the sweetest softest little lamb for Jude.  And I loved their visit as well.  Getting some adult conversation in was so nice.

Alrighty, well Jude is napping very sweetly, he's humming in his sleep ;-)  And this Mama's eyes are getting heavy so I think Sweet Pea and I might join in on the nap.  

I know I say it a lot, but I can't say it enough... THANK YOU for all your prayers and gifts and thoughts.  Even to my Blog friends who haven't met Jude-your emails and messages of encouragement have really been a blessing to my heart, and I plan to respond to each one of you as things settle down again.


PS. I just want to go ahead an apologize for all the grammatical errors.  My eyes are heavy so I can't promise that one sentence of this post will make sense.. or since?  See I can't even get my diction straight right now ;-)
Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wonderful News to Share!

I am so surprised that I am posting again so soon with new updates.  But I have to share this wonderful news!

Jude's PICU doctor came in and decided that he looked so good that he can go ahead an come off the Vapotherm!  But WAIT... she didn't put him back on a lower flowing oxygen.  Jude is on room air!!!  And his oxygen saturation is staying from 95-100%!!  They left the cannula in taped in place so they can put him on a little oxygen, 0.5 lpm, when he naps and sleeps.  

They also removed Jude from the continuous feeding pump, and he gets to go back to his bolus feeds.  And later this afternoon, I get to try to feed him- if he'll let me (prayers that he hasn't lost the progress we've made with his eating so far).  

After a few hours on room air, the doctor said we should get to go to a room this evening if Jude does well.  Then we should maybe get to go home Monday or Tuesday.  Maybe Monday evening with all this progress!  We shall see!

Oh and I got some cute, but fuzzy pictures of Jude playing this morning..

Now.. I that we are so closed to being discharged, I need to get home and disinfect the house!  So excited to do that though!  

Thank you so much for your prayers!  I hope everyone has a wonderful day on today, the Lord's day!  Love you!

the right direction

Well it seems as if all things are moving in the right direction.

The respiratory therapist gradually moved Jude's Vapotherm flow down all day.  We started at 15 lpm (liters per minute) yesterday morning and was moved to 10 lpm.  By 5:00pm, Jude was doing so well on that setting that they moved him down again to 5 lpm!!!  We were nervous that this quick step down would send Jude's CO2 level back up, so they repeated his blood gas lab last night.  The results were wonderful!!!  Jude's CO2 level has come all the way down to 39%.  A perfect number is 35 and that leaves room for play.  So Jude's CO2 level is now in the normal range.

Jude played hard yesterday and had a bunch of sweet visitors.  First my parents came by to see Jude.  Their intentions were to give us some free time to get out of the room, but we didn't leave and just visited them.  We visited and watched a movie while Jude cat napped.  My mom fulfilled her promise and brought me some hot lemonade with honey and homemade chicken noodle soup.  And I think I do feel better this morning ;-)  I was thankful to see my mom and dad because I don't get the opportunity to get back to Amite very often.

Then Kim, Robert, and Lane Garcia came in along with Sarah and Eric Hodges.  It was so great to see some friends and get some big hugs in.  Plus they were too sweet and came bearing gifts for the family.  Snacks and puzzle books for Lane and me, and balloons, toys, a ball, and books for Jude.  And of course, the basket was loaded down with Jude's favorite stuff in the world- BUBBLES!  Now I am not sure on what the hospital policy on bubbles is, but I wasn't about to ask and be told "No".  So we opened bubbles and Jude became that very vibrant little boy we all love.  He was so loud, I was sure the nurse would come and fuss at us (even though we have had the SWEETEST nurses), but no one seemed to mind that Jude was feeling good.  By the way, we are in the PICU, but not just in a bed behind a curtain like we were the last time.  We actually have our own little room which makes this stay so much more... comfortable... well as comfortable as a family can be in the PICU.

Then some of our family dropped by.  Lane's little brother Joey and his wife Casey along with her parents and little brother.  It was so nice to see them because we are very close to Joey and Casey who also happen to be our next door neighbors, and we love Casey's family like they were our family.  So it was a nice visit.  I wonder if Joey and Casey miss us at the property yet ;-)

Then another couple that we love like family stopped by bearing even more gifts for all three of us.  Can I just stop a moment and give thanks for all these blessings!!!  Mr. Gene and Mrs. Gwen Cummings came in with a gift for Jude and a financial blessing for us to order food from somewhere besides the hospital.  They also brought more quarters- A LIFE SAVER- and some very sweet company for a while.  Mrs. Gwen was even sweet enough to volunteer to come sit with me and help me once Lane goes back to work and Jude gets moved to a room.  While they were here, Jude's IV failed and they had to come put in a new one.  Afterwards, Jude was in hysterics and nearly inconsolable, but Mrs. Gwen sang softly to him until he calmed down.  That family is so sweet and we love them very much!

Then my best friend from high school, Megan flew in from Washington, DC last night and "stopped by" to see us on her way home to Amite.  First let me just tell you that even though she made it seem like it was on the way, trust me it was not.  If anyone knows there Louisiana map, Amite is a straight shot north of Kenner and actually closer to Kenner than Baton Rouge with only about an hour drive.  Megan drove out of her way to Baton Rouge to visit, then headed home to Amite :-)  Seeing and visiting with her was just awesome, and we promised to try not to let so much time go by before the next visit.

Then Brother Dennis and Mrs. Penny came by for a visit after their date for Mrs. Penny's birthday.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MRS. PENNY!  It was so nice to visit and pray with both of them.  They were so happy that Jude looked so much better since the last time Brother Dennis was here.  We had a great visit with them, but can't wait to see them back in church when all is well again.

After they left, Jude passed out and we were quick to follow.  It was a great day and we actually got some good rest.  Well... as much as we can get on those fold out couch beds..  

Today, the plan is to attempt to wean Jude completely off the Vapotherm and back on regular oxygen with a lower flow of 1 lpm- then continue the weaning on the flow until he is completely on room air.  Once Jude weans from the Vapotherm, we should be able to go to a room on the floor.  Then once Jude is on room air, we should be able to go home- probably Tuesday if I had to guess.  We are excited and thankful to God for all the healing.

Well that's it for now... Gotta get Jude in his Steelers outfit and get the place ready for the big Super Bowl Party we're having here this evening!  Haha.. well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.  Have a great day and I'll update y'all with any changes.  

Hugs and Kisses,
Angel, Lane, Jude, and Sweet Pea
Saturday, February 5, 2011

Good Morning!

And I really mean that.  It has been a good morning!

Jude just woke up when they came in to do his "vest therapy", but he slept through his vest therapy last night so he is nice and rested.  His eyes are getting brighter, and his face is getting pinker.  We even caught a glimpse of the red nose last night when we were bathing him.  He is looking WONDERFUL and more like himself every minute.

They came in and took his morning labs earlier.  They are just doing his blood gas now.  The results were so reassuring.  His CO2 level had come down a little bit more to 44!  He is getting closer and closer to average levels!!!  Praise the Lord!!!

The nurse also said that Jude's lungs and airway sound much better and clearer this morning.  He has starting coughing (that is actually a very good thing), and it has been productive.  So all seems to be going in the right direction.

Well the "Great Louisiana Ice Storm" is over.  I heard I didn't miss much ;-) And the sun is out and shining, but I hear its still very cold out there.  My parents are coming in today to see us!  It's been killing them that they had to wait this long, but with them having to travel in possible icy conditions, we decided to wait until it was easier for everyone.  

My mom is also bringing me gifts of homemade chicken noodle soup and hot lemonade with honey.  She said she has to take care of her baby while I take care of mine.  I haven't had time to deal with it, but I have been sick too.  The doctor said it was more than likely Jude's RSV, but it just doesn't have the same severe affect on adults as it does babies and toddlers.  And they said that it should have no effect on Sweet Pea at all; just to make sure I didn't spike a fever.  But thankfully it's only been a low temp.  

That seems to be all for now.  I love that I only have good news to share at this point!  The power of prayer and God's healing touch is completely amazing and uncomprehending!

Lots of Hugs,
Friday, February 4, 2011

that smile

Slowly, but surely we are seeing our sweet boy return to his sweet self!!

He has been more vocal tonight, and hearing that little scratchy voice is music to our ears.

Something else that is making more regular appearances is that smile.  That sweet, one-of-a-kind Jude smile.

These pictures were taken during a "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" song with his daddy.  The song always brings a good smile from him.

We have pictures of Jude throughout this stay.  I have intentionally not posted them because I didn't want anyone to have to see my poor baby on the BiPAP machine.  These pictures are much better and reassuring.

On some more good news, they repeated his blood gas lab about an hour ago, and they were much improved.  Jude's CO2 level has come down to 45.4 (it was 59.9 this morning) and his pH level was perfect!!!  We have been blessed with more healing than we expected and are so very thankful.

We also had some sweet visitors today.  One in particular, representing a family that couldn't be here, was Mr. Jimmy Babin.  He had the kindest words and came bearing gifts that his sweet wife, Ms. Marlene, had put together for us.  It had a sweet gift for Jude in there, some snacks for us, and another extremely thoughtful gift- a roll of quarters!  We have been scraping together change for the drink machines for the past couple of days so this was such a blessing.  

Earlier today, we received a gift basket, from our very, very sweet friends- Hope, Justin, and Little Mallory.  It had balloons and the softest little puppy named Scout for Jude (which he LOVES), and some of our favorite candy and snacks.  We are just beyond blessed by everyone's love for our family!

While I was in the middle of writing this post, I got a text from one of my best friends from high school.  She is flying in from Washington, DC tomorrow and stopping by to visit us here.  This totally made my night!  I just can't wait to see her!  

Okay, well that seems to be all for now and probably tonight.  Jude is getting his "vest therapy" right now, and then we will settle in for the night and try to get some rest for an even better tomorrow!  Love y'all so much and will say a prayer of thanks for everyone's prayers tonight!

Pictures were taken with my iPhone so they are very fuzzy.


It is so nice to write this post.  A post with only good news in it.

A few minutes ago, Jude was weaned completely from the BiPAP machine!!!  They moved him down all morning on the flow and felt like he was ready to be put back on the Vapor Therm machine.  YAY FOR PROGRESS!

Now the Vapor Therm is still set to high flow, but it is definitely a step in the right direction!  Lane and I are very pleased because we just didn't expect this much progress today.  

Another thing we are excited about is that Jude's personality is slowly coming back.  We have seen such sweet smiles today and to be able see them without that BiPAP mask covering his face is such a blessing.  

Well that's it for now.  We are so thankful for the blessings of healing from our Father!  

Morning Labs

Okay.. they just came in a drew Jude's morning labs and gave us the results.  They are somewhat reassuring... Jude's pH level is back to good, and his CO2 level has held on at 59 throughout the night.

The PICU doctor plans to check with the pulmonary specialist to see if Jude is normally a CO2 retainer.  I don't think he is, but I can be wrong.

Other than that, Jude had a pretty restful night compared to the events of last night.  His only disruptions were the respiratory therapists coming in and putting this vest on him.  The vest vibrates roughly to help break up the mucus in Jude's airways.  It doesn't look like a very comfortable process, but Jude actually seems to enjoy it.  

*I have heard the vest running in the PICU rooms all along the hall, so it seems that RSV is hitting our babies pretty hard right now.  So please be careful.  I didn't realize how quickly this virus could threaten a life.  And we have been told that Jude's condition has nothing to do with the severity of his RSV, that it is normal to become so severe in such a quick time.

Well, that's all I have for now.  I will update as I can, but I think Jude will mainly have another day or two of resting in the PICU before anything changes.  Again, thank you for all your prayers and notes of encouragement- it seems we have a long road ahead of us and every word helps.  

Hugs and Kisses,
Angel, Lane, Jude and Sweet Pea
Thursday, February 3, 2011

some news and some thank yous

Ok.. I have some news and its okay.

They repeated Jude's labs to check his blood gas levels and the results were a little disheartening.  It seems that his CO2 level is starting to go back up again.  Not much, but enough for Lane and I to worry a little.

The doctor, however, does not seem worried yet.  They are weaning Jude from some of his respiratory support aka turning the BiPAP down a few notches.  So the doctor feels like it is alright to see an increase in his CO2 level for now, but there are still going to watch him closely.  She explained that if he can maintain the CO2 level as they wean him away from the BiPAP and onto the Vapor Therm, then eventually his CO2 level will come down as he gets better.  But only time will tell and this momma is starting to get a little anxious again.

On a bright note, Jude's Ph level is slowly trending back to normal.  And Jude is more alert and watching TV.  He is nowhere near the spunky little boy we all know, but I did get two smiles today.  (Lane and I miss spunky Jude very much!!)

Speaking of Lane and me...  we are both doing better.  We each managed to get a nap today.  Lane has gone home to freshen up, bring me some clean clothes, and get Jude's favorite blanket.  It broke Lane's heart to leave him and Jude cried as he left, so I had both my guys in tears which makes me cry..  

Okay... I have to give some recognition and a big thanks to some sweet friends of mine...

This afternoon, a friend from high school stopped by to visit and bring us a gift from her and some of my other high school friends.  They gave Jude some sweet books, a toy, and some magic socks.  I can't wait to see him playing with all of his gifts in a few days.  And  there was also a gift for Lane and me... a generous gift card to Subway which will be an absolute life saver to help cover the cost of meals while we are here at the Lake.  If anyone has experience in Peds here, you know that two food vouchers are given a day, but for only one parent.  So that helps tremendously!!!

So to Courtney, Amanda, Latraiel, Erin, and Dana:
Thank you so much!!  We are so grateful for you kind gift.  However, I am more appreciative that in this busy life, you stopped and thought of me and my little family.  I love y'all so much and wish we could see each other more!
Lane and I are very grateful!

They're working!

Your much coveted prayers are working today.  Jude's condition has stabilized!!!


Okay.. some details..

When Jude arrived at ER yesterday, he had some scary stats.  He was retaining his CO2 and his level was way to high at 85.  They got his level to 61 with the use of a Vaportherm (sp?), and deep suctioned almost two ounces of mucus from his airway. 

Once Jude got to the PICU, his CO2 level came up a little to 62, then to 65, and finally to 75.  This was about 6am, and Jude's PICU doctor said they were about to intubate him.  They tried one more effort, a BiPAP machine set to high levels that forces air into Jude's lungs hoping to let the CO2 out of them.

The doctors and nurses stood over his bedside for waiting to intubate him when the test results came back showing that Jude's CO2 level had come down to 61.  They put off the intubation for an hour, but the doctor warned us that we might just be putting off the inevitable. We gave thanks to our Father IMMEDIATELY!

About 45 minutes later they repeated the blood gas and we held our breath waiting for the results.  It came back 52 and we cried with joy again.  They removed the intubation cart from our room.

Jude is still on the BiPAP at a high setting so the doctor said we can't say he's better, just stable.

Pediatric cardiology came by and examined Jude.  They concluded that his heart looked wonderful, and that RSV had not seemed to add any stress to it.  Another "Praise the Lord" right there.

We've talked to the new PICU doctor on shift and she is pleased with him right now.  She said he will probably stay on the BiPAP for another day or two then step down to the Vaportherm.  Then, Jude will step down from the Vaportherm to a regular cannula and we get to move to a room.  Once Jude can hold his own on room air again, then we can go home.  Of course they can't tell us how long this process takes.. it depends on Jude and his healing time.  However, they prepared us for a 7-10 day hospital stay.  Talk about meeting your deductible.

Well Jude is resting well, and I finally managed to get a two hour nap earlier.  So I feel much better.  And even though I hate seeing Jude requiring so much respiratory support, the image is not near as bad as was seeing him turn blue yesterday!  

We should be getting more labs done in a little bit to check his blood gas and hopefully it will keep going down.  I'll keep everyone updated as much as I can.

Once again, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for all your prayers!  They are working for sure!  

Updates and Prayer Requests

Hey everybody..

The emails and texts have been pouring in, and we feel so loved and blessed by all of you.  I plan to respond to each sweet note of encouragement as soon as things start looking better.

As most of you know Jude was transported to the hospital via 911 emergency services and was admitted to the PICU with an RSV diagnosis.  I don't really have the time or the heart to share the details of yesterday just yet.  

I am calling out for my prayer warriors because Jude's condition improved initially, but as the night went on, his stats have declined.  

Please PRAY!  The doctors are trying a last stitch effort to help him improve without the use of a ventilator, but they are not hopeful and have made plans to intubate him and put him on a ventilator soon.  

Naturally, Lane and I are terrified.  Please keep our sweet boy in your prayers.  

I will update when I can, but it has not been very easy.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This is some exciting stuff!

Hi everyone!

First, I need to apologize once more because once again, this post does not have any pictures.  I have officially lost the battery charger for my camera.  I think it happened on vacation, but I just can't be sure these days.  Either way I have to get another one before next Monday, and you are about to find out why.

Okay here's the exciting stuff...

Jude has been on the waiting list for the LSU Language Preschool for some time now.  Well last week I got a phone call from the director of the preschool asking us if we were still interested.  We set up a visit for Monday (yesterday) to see if both parties thought Jude would be a good fit for the program.  We showed up and Jude loved the school and student teachers and they loved him.  So.. guess what??


We are so excited!!! (In case you couldn't tell)  We feel that the program is going to do wonders for Jude and his communication and cognitive development.  He will have his own individual communications student that will give him undivided attention and instruction throughout the day.  His class only has seven children in it, so it won't be overwhelming for him.  Right now we are enrolling Jude in the 2 day program.  We can eventually move him up to a 4 day plan, but 2 days will be plenty for now.  

This Wednesday would have actually been his first day, but Jude has been quite sick the past few days.  We took him to the pediatrician today, and thank goodness it's only a cold virus.  However, it's hit him pretty hard.  Thank goodness for Vicks Vapor Rub, Motrin, Tylenol, Pedialyte, and Gripe Water!!  Please keep him in your prayers.

Alright, more good news...

The same day that the director from LSU called, a teacher called to schedule Jude's IEP! WOOHOO!!  So after visiting LSU Preschool, we attended Jude's IEP at our elementary school.  

Now I have heard that IEPs can be an absolute nightmare... but that was not our case.  It went very well and I just love his future teachers and therapists.  Strange, I was excited about the LSU preschool but felt a little out of place; however, at our local elementary school, I felt so comfortable and easy.

The attendants explained their evaluations and plan of actions- which I felt comfortable with.  They also talked to me about possibly enrolling Jude in their preschool come this fall.  Now this was very exciting because I thought that due to Jude's birthday, this preschool was out of the question for another year and a half.  The teachers told me that getting him in the preschool would be no problem if that was our desire.

They were so sweet and compassionate.  They explained that they want to provide not only what is best for Jude, but also what is best for our entire family.  And that if we chose to put Jude in the preschool this fall, we could work out a schedule that was easiest for us.  The service coordinator sweetly referred to the new baby that will only be about 4-6 weeks old when school starts in the fall. They understood that Sweet Pea's arrival will greatly impact our schedule and are completely supportive of our family's needs during that time.  I left the meeting feeling confident that Jude will be in great hands there because they genuinely care about his well being.  We also set a schedule to start once Jude gets well.  We will be bringing Jude once a week to the elementary school for therapy, and the rest will be homebound services for now.

With all the new stuff going on in our family's life, I am seeing Jude take his natural place as our "Big Boy" and make room for Sweet Pea to be the new family "Baby".  I can't explain the mix of emotions that comes with this...  I am so proud of him!  I wondered if we'd ever get to partake in all this fun stuff such as preschool.  But it breaks my heart that he is relinquishing the role as our baby.
I tear up every time I think about dropping Jude off at preschool.  I have never left him in the care of anyone besides his grandmothers and the nursery at church- and even that, I was always right down the hall.  So, Monday I will be a mess of tears dropping my baby (sweet pea isn't here yet) at preschool.  If anyone wants to join me for my "Boohoo Breakfast", you are more than welcome.

That's all for now.  I will keep you updated on our sick little redhead.  And I PROMISE to have pictures from Jude's big day!