Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Maxwell is Home!

It's been a long 25 days spent in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit)/NPCN (Neonatal Progressive Care Unit). A MRI, physical therapy, tests, temperatures taken every diaper change, going from a feeding tube to bottle feeding all meals, and beginning to breastfeed, Maxwell has been through a lot and he is truly a miracle baby.









Below is a timeline of all that I did in my journey with Maxwell in the NICU and NPCN.

8/22 changed first diaper
8/28 changed first dirty diaper
8/29 went up to 30ml feedings moved to Progressive NICU will be here until he comes home
8/30 took bottle first time only half
9/2 moved to bassinet.
9/3 taking 6 bottles a day and first time breastfeeding twice.
9/4 moved back to isolet because kept getting cold
9/9 5.5lbs and feeding tube removed from mouth/throat taking all bottles now need to work on temperature control and moved back to bassinet.
9/10 told by nurse practitioner he could get discharged on 9/12 pending he kept his temperature up.
9/11 temp dropped overnight has to hold normal range temp for 48 hours earliest could go home 9/14.
9/12 temp held overnight doctors want to release/discharge him on 9/13. Asked for hospital pics before he left. Below is a few samples/proofs.





Stayed at hospital overnight and woke up every 3 hours to feed him, take temp, etc..
9/13 Maxwell came home. Went through all discharge information and follow up appt with nurse and was excited to leave the hospital with a baby.

I haven't really processed my thoughts on the NICU experience in detail, but overall I'm happy and pleased with the nurses and doctors and the care Maxwell was given during his stay.

Keep the Faith!


Until next time,

~E

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The operation that saved my life!

Knowing that your life has purpose is something you stick in the back of your mind until you hear "you almost died" or "you are a miracle", that life purpose is put into perspective.



Tuesday, August 19 I didn't expect to have a baby nor did I expect my husband and doctor make a decision that would change my life. If you read Maxwell's birth story from last week I mentioned that I had to have a surgery to save my life. I went to the hospital with placenta eruption where my placenta was detaching from my uterus. My uterus would not stop bleeding and I lost a lot of blood. My doctor and husband decided in order to stop the bleeding it was best to give me a hysterectomy or remove my uterus. They airlifted me to the main hospital so that I could receive a blood transfusion and they could close up my incision once I became more stable. I had tubes down my throat in the intensive care unit. I was in an out during this time and don't remember much, but when I did wake up I asked to watch CNN and wanted my cell phone (so I was told). I wasn't allowed to talk because of the tube down my throat. I communicated via writing and texts.

During this time my doctor was nervous about my outcome she even asked my husband to pray for her and the other surgeons in the operating room. My husband really down played the seriousness of what happened and it wasn't until I asked if he was scared that tears started flowing from his eyes and he let me know he wasn't sure I was going to make it.

But God! Everyone may not have that shout, but I do so does everyone who was praying for my recovery. I was able to get the tube out of my throat and was breathing on my own. My blood transfusion, blood count, and platelets were working. I had to have an additional surgery to close up my incision on Friday, August 22, and that surgery went well.

Friday night I was moved from intensive care to a regular OB room to recover. I was given a breast pump and allowed to see my son Maxwell. Friday was my first time doing skin to skin with Max and it was the best feeling in the world.




Now as for my recovery, I'm taking it easy and taking my pain medicine as scheduled. I'm out of work for 8 weeks and praying to take more time off to spend with Maxwell when he comes home. Recovering from a hysterectomy is a little different than recovering from a normal c-section mainly because I don't have a uterus contracting. Taking it easy, making less trips up and down stairs, and not doing any lifting will grant me a smooth recovery.

I haven't fully comprehended the thoughts of not being able to bear another child. It makes me sad to think about it, but I'm thankful for my life and the life of Maxwell. I still have my ovaries, Fallopian tubes and cervix. Who knows what will happen in the future when we are ready for more children. Right now I just want to enjoy raising Maxwell with my husband and defining my success as a mom.


Keep the Faith!


Until next time,

~E

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mommy and Maxwell Blessing Fund!

Mommy and Maxwell Blessing Fund



We need your prayers, love, and monetary support!

Thank you in advance!

Keep the Faith!

Until next time,

~E

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Rainbow Baby is here: Birth of Baby Maxwell McAfee

Where do I begin? Yes baby Maxwell Immanuel McAfee is here. He was born via emergency cesarean section on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 2:19pm. He was 4lbs 7oz 17 1/4" long.













Maxwell means Max's spring or well or capable
Immanuel means God With Us

God was truly with us this last week of the beginning of his life. On Tuesday, I went to training for work and ended up leaving before lunch because I felt bad and like I was having some contractions. The uneasy feeling didn't end after laying down so I called Brandon and asked him to come home to drive to me to hospital. We got to the hospital at 1:45pm, and I was in so much pain the immediately rolled us into triage and began checking for Maxwell's pulse. They couldn't get a strong one so immediately I went into the operating room for an emergency c-section. That's all I remember until I woke up on Wednesday afternoon.



Long story short my placenta had erupted or separated from my uterus and my uterus was contracting to stop from bleeding internally. The bleeding was stopped and I was airlifted to another hospital for another surgery and additional monitoring. Maxwell was recessitated when born, and immediately started breathing on his own. He has shown great progress since last Tuesday, but he still is premature and we don't know the long term effects of him not receiving oxygen for some unknown period of time. But we are faithful and grateful for my life and his life. God truly smiled on both of us last week and we can't give him enough praise!




As for me and my recovery I'll share in another post the details, but I'm getting released from the hospital today and will be home as long I can be and definitely the entire time he is in the NCIU.

I will have time to blog more about my journey as a new mom, NICU experience, and journey from breast pumping to feeding my baby boy.



He is here and we thank God for our miracle our rainbow baby!




Keep the Faith!

Until next time,

~E

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Faith over Fear: 3rd Trimester Blues

With 5 weeks left in this pregnancy I'm still scheduled to have a cesarean section at 38 weeks (date and time TBD), I'm an emotional mess. I find myself just crying for no reason at all, at the simplest things. My body is growing, my limbs are swollen, and I have no energy to do anything, but sit on my butt when I get home from work. Sigh! Below are some worries, fears, and blues I have as I prepare my heart and mind for delivery.


1. Weight gain and excessive swollen limbs - these last 3 weeks I've experienced the worse of being swollen. No matter how much fluid I drink, I still look like the Pillsbury dough girl. I have finally found a balance with drinking water and other fluids and literally sleeping with my feet on pillows to reduce the swelling in my feet and hands. My biggest concern with excess fluid and weight gain is a repeat of having pre-eclampsia which will cause for immediate delivery of Maxwell. My doctors have been watching the protein levels in my urine and I've done my best not to sweat the small stuff. If my clothes don't get folded or the dishes ain't washed or the house is not clean, I could care less. My health and Maxwell's health is all that matters to me in the last few weeks.


2. Movement - as you can imagine not feeling the baby move is heart breaking in more than one way. It's solely your responsibility to know when something is wrong with the baby at this stage in the pregnancy. I still beat myself up for not knowing something was wrong with BJ in the 9 months I carried him. So, not feeling Maxwell move is a major concern for me. I found myself crying and almost hysterical because I forget the last time he moved, but then I just pray to God and he kicks. Sometimes, fear continues to creep up and I remember that Faith comes by hearing and work through believing that God can and will provide.


3. Repeat cesarean section - I've been having day dreams & dreams about this pending c-section. I'm nervous, anxious, and prayerful that I won't have the same experience in the OR. I dream of hearing Maxwell cry. That's all I want to hear is his cry for me to know that he is alright. After that I just want to hold him for hours and just have my time with him. That's all I dream about and all I long for. I haven't even dreamt about breastfeeding, his circumcision, or even bringing him home. My biggest desire is for him to be healthy. Of course my biggest fear is the obvious not bringing him home. The hardest part about Faith is, believing God is good when we've experienced something oh so bad. but the truth remains he is faithful!


Keep the Faith!


Until next time,

~E