Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Endings and Beginnings

Forgive me ahead of time if this is not cohesive.

Today is the 16th anniversary of Jonathan Larson passing away due to an undiagnosed aortic aneurysm. Although I have never met the Larson family, I feel a special kinship with them. I loved musical theatre and especially the musical Rent before I knew the Jonathan Larson story, but once I heard Jonathan's story I felt a connection as a Marf. Now, losing Jonah the way I have, I feel an even deeper connection with the Larsons. They have been strong supporters of the NMF and careful protectors of Jonathan's legacy. Even though my Jonah was only 7 months old, and certainly didn't pen any Tony award winning musicals, I hope that I can show the world the beauty of his short life, what he meant to his Daddy and me, and help him to leave a legacy of his own.

2011 definitely ended in a whirlwind for our family. Just before Christmas we were surprised and overjoyed to discover we are expecting a new baby! A new beginning. We felt and still feel so blessed by this news and we look forward to welcoming him or her in mid to late August.

Christmas came and we did our best to enjoy it but we began to notice our 2.5 year old son, Isaac was very sick. We had taken him to the prompt care center for his swollen lymph nodes and he had been given antibiotics but whatever plagued him continued to progress. Isaac slept through most of the Christmas fun. Two days after Christmas we were alarmed to notice he was having long gaps between breaths and trouble getting air. I googled the funny movements his chest was making to find out they were called "rib retractions" and that we had an emergency situation.

We took Isaac directly to the ER, expecting an overnight stay at most, with antibiotics and some fluids since he was clearly dehydrated. By that night, after trying several interventions that didn't work, Isaac was sedated and placed on a vent. This was a very dark time for me. It was around 2 in the morning and my husband was at home with the girls. I was very afraid I was losing Isaac before my very eyes. I had sung "Silent Night" at Jonah and Mom's grave just days before on Christmas. Now all I could imagine was another loss, another funeral, another child gone.

Isaac pulled through though. He spent 48 hours on the ventilator and continuously improved during his stay. It was hard for me being away from home and from the girls. It was hard being in the hospital again, and it was hard seeing my little guy so sick, but I made it through too. Isaac and I spent New Year's Eve at the hospital, but we got to come hone for the first day of 2012. Another new beginning.

We are so grateful for the care Isaac received at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. He had such attentive nurses and doctors who included me in all aspects of his care. I felt completely in the loop most of the time. Isaac was diagnosed with nothing more than rhinovirus, a common cold. His immune system apparently over responded to the infection and the swelling caused his breathing problems. I'm so glad to have Isaac home.

We were able to see our new baby on ultrasound for the first time on January 17th. Baby had a heart rate of 146 beats per minute and looked exactly like he or she should for that age.

We miss Jonah every day, but we are so thankful for new beginnings.

Although it's a little late, Happy and Blessed New Year to all of you.