Friday, April 29, 2011

Did we mention we're having a boy?

This little foot is 5cm long as of last Wednesday. This is my favorite image, by far.

I just realized we never posted that Mason is having a little brother! I guess we've had a few adventures to distract us from this post. I've had two ulrasounds this last month, and here they are! My ultrasound tech likes to type comments on the prints. She's funny. My babies don't like to pose for the cameras the way the techs wish they would, and they just couldn't get images of things they wanted to see, like the connection of the umbilical cord to his body. But, I don't mind going in multiple times to see him. I love being able to watch him move around while I feel him at the same time.
These were taken 28 March 2011- (profile pics looking up for those who can't tell)

These were taken 27 April 2011- He got so big in just one month!

They said everything seems fine so far. There is a fifth toe on that first picture, you just can't see it in the image, lol. Don't worry. As far as size, I don't understand what they are telling me. They say that his is smack on the average line but that his due date is calculating as a week earlier that scheduled. So, whatever that means. Tall and skinny? Imagine that. I can't wait to meet him! What is his name going to be!?! I don't know!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Lessons by Mason

Mason went on his first Easter Egg Hunt yesterday! And he showed his momma how to celebrate Easter.

I was so proud of him. I couldn't stop smiling the whole day, just thinking about him sharing. This was a neighborhood activity and I think the parents were having as much fun as the kids putting eggs in their baskets. It was pretty funny. There were a gazillion little kids all over the place, I was barely looking at what I was recording and focusing more on not stepping on other little toes, so sorry for the poor camera work.

And here are some more Springtime moments of Masonry -
Mason loved his Easter Toys from Opa & Babi & Aunt Sarah.
Daddy took Mason out back to teach him how to ride his tricycle. We're still working on the whole pedaling thing.

Mason loves the slide. Note the bonk mark on the eye - he has at least one of those on any given day anymore. Today he has two or three bruises across his forehead and two scuffed knees.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cashew Catastrophe

I know it's cliché, but how fragile life is! We are so grateful to have our Mason with us today.

Here's the story:
(If you want a summary instead of this therapeutically detailed explanation, skip to the very end.)
Mason inhaled a cashew and it lodged in his lung on Wednesday. I did not realize this had happened, I just thought he swallowed wrong and was having a difficult time clearing his airway. A few minutes after it happened, he was fine. He took a nap, we played on the playground, he played and laughed as usual with his daddy, and he got a really great night's sleep. The next morning, I noticed that every once in a while he would wheeze. Just one wheeze every hour or so. I'd noticed it once or twice the night before, also. Since it was still happening, I called the doctor and set up an appointment that day (Thursday). I did a little research, and realized that it was very possible to inhale a foreign object into your lungs. I'd grown up thinking that you had a little flap on your pipes to prevent this from happening, but apparently it happens quite a bit to adults and children.
Luckily, I packed a diaper bag big enough to last the day if needed.
We went to the doctor at Andrews AFB at 12:30pm, and they noticed a significant decrease in airflow in Mason's left lung. He got an xray. I couldn't go in with him for the xray because I was pregnant. They realized Mason's left lung was taking air in, but the air was not getting out fast enough, so his lung was inflating.This was causing his heart and his trachea to shift to the right side of his chest.

The nurses put an IV in Mason's hand (they had to do it twice because the first nurse had no idea what she was doing. DO NOT USE MY SON AS A GUINEA PIG, YOU CRAZY PEOPLE! I kept my emotions in control in my own, pregnant way.)
We waited in the clinic for a few hours, and then they sent us to ER to wait for a child ambulance to take us to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Mason's oxygen levels were down, so we had to keep oxygen blowing by his nose and mouth to keep it at a good level. I must note: One miracle worker in this whole scenario was our portable DVD player which I'd packed as an experiment to see if Mason would tolerate the doctor's office if he was distracted. That DVD player was sitting on the xray table when he was having his picture taken. It worked like a charm. It seems Buzz and Woody can soothe any distress.
Justin joined us in the ER and made Mason oh so much happier. Did I mention that Mason hates being in the doctor's office? He would sob just from walking into the room.
We waited until almost 8pm for that ambulance.

Mason LOVED the ambulance! He loved riding in the "trucks" and they had a TV with cartoons set up in the back for him to watch on the 45-minute drive. He didn't make a peep; he was completely content. He loved riding on the stretchers, too. He thought he was driving. He still talks about riding in the truck, days later.
We got to Walter Reed sometime around 9pm, and they informed us around 10:30pm that the best medical team would not be in until the morning, so we should wait overnight until they arrived. Mason had not eaten anything since 1:00pm because they told us that his stomach would have to be empty for the procedure. Mason was starving. We gave him food, and he didn't stop eating from that point until 11:30pm when he went to sleep. I slept in Mason's room, and Justin found a couch in a lounge somewhere in the hospital to snuggle up on for a couple hours.
At this point, Mason was covered in little stickers with monitors attached, and he had cords hanging off his body under his shirt, one on his toe, and had his IV drip coming off his hand. Mason typically rolls over several times before he falls asleep, and this night was no different. I had to get up and unwrap him and reattach the monitors several times before he actually fell asleep. Luckily his IV was taped and wrapped so that it couldn't budge.
I woke up at about 4:30 am to Mason saying "off." He'd wiggled around and the monitors popped off again. I took him out of his crib, laid him in the bed with me, and the two of us had our heads on the pillow, playing hide and seek, pretending to sleep, but never getting around to it. I loved those minutes.
At 5:30am, Justin joined us in the room and read a book to Mason.
At 5:45am they sent us to the operating room waiting area. At this point, we had explained the situation to about two dozen doctors and nurses, each of them asking us about it as if they had no idea what was going on. Some really didn't know because they had just changed shifts and there is next to no communication happening in that hospital. I'd dealt with it just fine until the anesthesiologists came in around 7am to let us know Mason was the first procedure of the day, and they asked all the same questions I'd answered over and over and over as if they'd not even looked at the charts. That's when Momma started falling apart. Luckily, Justin was there to take over so I could just stay silent and Mason would not have to see me cry.
We waited some more with all the warnings that doctors are obligated to say about the risks of the procedure running through our minds, despite our best efforts to drive them out. As a distraction, I took pictures. It helped a little. I just couldn't keep the thought out that these could be our last pictures of Mason.They gave Mason some painkillers while we were holding him, and he turned into a newborn again, not able to hold his head up and looking at me through glazed eyes. The Anesthesiologist took him, Mason laid his head on his shoulder, and he carried him down the hall to the operating room. It was easier to see Mason go being held like that instead of being pushed down the hall in a bed.
We went to the waiting lounge and Momma broke down into Justin's shoulder (I am the luckiest woman on the planet to have him as my partner in this adventure called life). Justin went to go get us some food since we'd not eaten all day. About 30 minutes later, the doctor came back to tell me everything was done! It was so fast! Then he handed me a vile with six or seven little chunks of cashew inside. It was about a quarter of a whole cashew nut. Unbelievable.

They did a direct laryngobronchoscopy, which means they took a tube with a camera attached and placed it down Mason's throat into his lungs and pulled out all the pieces of nut. It was one big piece of a nut when they started, but it crumbled as it was removed.
Mason was still out when I got there, and when Justin showed up several minutes later with our breakfast. When Mason woke up, he was surprisingly calm. The nurse on duty gave him as many popsicles as he wanted, and he ended up eating six purple popsicles. If he had run out of oxygen, we wouldn't have been able to tell from the color of his lips. They were almost black. We were grateful that he was breathing normally, his teeth were not damaged and there didn't seem to be any sores in his mouth, which we were warned could happen.
They took another xray and sent us to our room around 9:30am.
And we waited.
We played, we napped, the DVD player went dead the night before so it was no good, so Justin found a TV/DVD player in the hall and snuck it into our room. I kept asking the new shift workers what was up, and they always acted like they'd forgotten we were even there.

Around 1:30 we had one more xray done.
At 3:00 I asked if anyone had looked at the xray, and that nurse tried to reattach monitors to Mason since he was post-op. I told her to not put anything on Mason until she spoke to someone who knew anything about what we'd already had done. She obviously didn't know, and all the monitor stickers had been removed, leaving raw skin underneath. I wasn't about to let someone put more on his baby skin.

At 3:30 they released us (without sticking anymore monitors on him...honestly...), into DC's rush hour traffic.
At 4:30 we arrived home.

Today, Mason is acting as if nothing ever happened. We have a follow up appt tomorrow morning.
I love this little boy.
Mason inhaled a nut, was admitted to Walter Reed Hospital where we stayed overnight. The next morning the doctors put him under general anesthesia, put a tube with a camera down his throat, and pulled these out:I won't be buying cashews again for a long, long, time.