Saturday, April 16, 2011

What a week can do...

Just before they extubated him on Thursday
I think back to what I was doing at this time last Saturday and I am just blown away. Our sweet little Callum was in critical condition and the doctors were doing everything they could to save our little boy. My eyes were swollen from crying. I had been up for 42 hours. We were a mess. We were in disbelief watching our sweet boy go through so much. But now, I sit here with Callum in the very same room and things are so different. He has come a long way. A very long way and I can't express how thankful Kevin and I are to have the people we do in our life who have all come together to help Callum, our girls, our family.
Breathing tube OUT! 
So much has changed since Wednesday when I blogged last. I've wanted to update but, honestly, things have been busy, and now my "free" time isn't spent staring at my little boy hooked up to a ventilator, it is spent holding. loving. kissing. nursing my sweet little boy. Looking at him in awe of just how far he has come in just one week.
Holding Callum for the first time since birth

Daddy lovin' on his little boy

Sweet little Callum
On Thursday they were able to extubate (remove breathing tube) and he did wonderfully. They put some low flow oxygen on via a nasal cannula just to make sure he kept his sats up. The nurse removed his arterial line in his belly button, and then I left. When Kevin and I returned later that evening, there was our sweet boy breathing all on his own, looking absolutely beautiful. The first thing I asked was to hold him. I got my wish. I was in heaven. When the nurse told me I could put him to breast I couldn't believe it - really? I asked...I thought it would be a few days until I would be able to do that. I didn't waste any time and put him right to my breast. He sucked away, but I didn't let him get too carried away. It was one of the most special moments ever. Kevin and I just stared at him in amazement. He was perfect. Kevin got his turn to hold his sweet boy. The moment we had both been longing for since the day he was born. It was so hard to put him back in his warmer and leave for the night. I just wanted hold him so tight and not let him go. Ever.

Yesterday morning I rushed back like a little child excited for Christmas. There he was on no oxygen looking perfectly. I was able to nurse him. I nursed him four times yesterday and each time he did better and better. The docs and nurses are in absolute amazement with Callum. The doctor said that his progress has been amazing and has recovered faster than any child with Pulmonary Hypertension he has seen. He said he is amazing, and I would have to agree. Every time a nurse hears Callums story, they are in disbelief. He is a fighter.

So, here I am, one week here in the NICU and it has been a week of tears. joy. guilt. relief. a little laughter. pain. and growth. Kevin and I have grown as a couple and our little (okay, big) family has learned there are a whole lot of people who love us and will drop anything to do whatever we needed. Honestly, we can't thank them enough. They have made our week more bearable knowing our sweet girls were cared for, and us thought of from near and afar. While we may not have called you back, your notes, voicemails, etc have not gone unnoticed.

Tonight I will be spending the night with Callum here in the hospital in preparation for him to go home very soon! He has done a great job nursing with me today, and officially has no tubes! He's had his first bath, too! He looks like a normal baby, and I pray this is just a larger-than-normal bump in the road and Callum grows into a very healthy, normal little boy - of course, Kevin and I wonder if there will be any lasting effects from what he has gone through this past week, but, for now, we are just thankful we have Callum with us and doing well.

Kevin and I are so anxious to get Callum home so we can be together again as a family. I cannot express how difficult it has been for me to be away from our girls so much. I feel like the "working mom" - I don't get to put our girls to bed every single night, and I feel guilty when they ask me why I have to leave again. They are used to me being there every day. every night. And I miss them. I hope they understand why, and I know Mairead does (to a point), but it doesn't make it any easier. I know Kevin has grown as a daddy spending lots of time with his sweet girls, and I know they have grown closer to him, too. I can't wait for this wild roller coaster ride to be over and for us to be together.


  1. Stephanie & Kevin,

    Our thoughts and prayers have been with you this past week. Thank you for sharing your story. I know how happy you will be to get your little prince home. Our love to all,
    Sherry & Sam McMaster

  2. I've been following Callum's progress and I'm praying for his speedy and steady improvement. Last year at this time I was a NICU mom for a month and my memories keep flooding back in reading your updates. Thanks for sharing your journey. Enjoy your beautiful boy.

  3. been following closely and thinking of you often, so glad things are looking up, happy to see all the progress the little man has made. Hugs, Heather L

  4. Steph, I can only imagine how difficult this has been for you and I'm so happy to see your beautiful baby off the oxygen! Congratulations on such amazing progress.

  5. Callum is looking amazing, and so are his parents! He is clearly a very strong little boy, good job to Mom and Dad :)


Have a COMMENT or QUESTION? Leave one here!