It really is hard to believe it has been 8 months since we walked out the doors of Children’s Hospital. It has been 8 months since the nightmare ended and life for my baby began anew.
Things haven’t always been easy over the past 8 months. Jemma had severe withdrawals from her medication and was on a round-the-clock dosing at home for over 2 weeks after we left the hospital. At times she fought it and I was scared she was going to have to go back to the hospital. But, she and I worked it out and she finished her medicine as prescribed.
She lives her life as she wants but we are always extra cautious with her. We nearly lost her. I watched my baby girl die right before me. I fear for her safety. I fear for her well-being. I worry about her constantly. But, she is a normal little girl with no worries, no cares, and no concerns. I want her stay that way. I hope she never truly knows the fear and anxiety I carried for 32 days. I will continue to have fear too because it will be years before we know the full extent of her lung damage. But, I am okay… she is here and she has no idea that she is sick.
She was diagnosed with asthma a few months ago and started breathing treatments. After our trip to Chicago, I stopped giving her the treatments. I did this as a test (as they were testing to see if the meds even would help her). What I found is that Jemma didn’t need those treatments. She still has times when she seems short of breath, but after checking her lung sounds and pulse oxygenation, I have found there is no reason for a treatment. We just deal with it. I hold her and force her to calm down and then we go about our day. It works and there is no daily struggle for her treatments to be given.
Her language has blossomed lately and her new favorite word is “both”. I may ask, “Jemma, do you want a banana or apple?” Nearly every time, her answer will be “both”. She uses it constantly and it is rather cute. In addition though, she has really gotten back to what I remember from before she went in the hospital and lost a month of her life. She is a fun-loving, silly baby with a lot to say. She is busy but she is the most loving little girl you will ever know.
In just over one week, Jemma will turn two. This truly is a very exciting thing for us. We really didn’t know if my baby girl would live back in January. We didn’t know if we would get to see her breathe another breath on her own, let alone turn 2 years old. I am so proud of how much my sweet girl has accomplished in the last 8 months. She went from not bearing weight on her legs to now running, jumping, and being silly. She went from not speaking to having a full vocabulary and speaking sentences.
We do still deal with anxiety often. She is very, very attached to me. She still sleeps with me with no desire to leave my bed, despite my trying different things. Honestly though, I can live with that. I still have flashbacks. When I hear her cry from being hurt, my heart races. I cry when she hurts. The memories of her hospitalization and everything I saw while there are going to be with me forever. I can’t look at her and not feel such great relief and love for her. She is the most precious baby girl.
She really is an amazing baby and an amazing, beautiful blessing. Happy 8 months out to my baby girl. I am really so proud of all she has accomplished!
My heart goes out to you. I know what it is like to see your innocent child in the ER and fighting for life. There is absolutely nothing that can prepare you for it. I cherish my son more than ever, and find it difficult not to be “overly cautious” or worried about another frightening event.
Thanks for sharing your story. I celebrate with you that your precious, sweet baby is thriving after that nightmare.
Very cute! Glad to hear she is doing ok!
What a doll! I am so glad she is doing well. What you went through was heartbreaking and so scarey.
That it was. I am so glad it is over, even if I still live with the memories. Thanks for stopping by today Jackie!
So glad to hear she is doing good. Asthma is such a scary thing! Such a strong gorgeous little girl 🙂
She is definitely strong! Thanks for stopping by today and seeing what she has been up to.
The Famous Ashley Grant says
It’s amazing how strong kids are. Yay for 8 months out! God bless and hope she stays healthy and strong 🙂
Alana (@RamblinGarden) says
There was one point in my life (long story) where I found myself staying at a Ronald McDonald House for a couple of nights. What an eye opening look into a totally other world I had in those two nights, meeting parents of medically fragile children and speaking with them. And, also meeting some of the volunteers who did so much for those families. I was able to leave “that world” after those two nights but I still think about the people I met, and their children, and wonder how the children, who would probably all be adults now, made out. I wish you and your family, the very best.
Ronald McDonald had a parent’s room at the hospital where we could go and have snacks, watch TV, do laundry and shower. We didn’t go there to hang out often because I always tried to stay on Jemma’s floor. But, I did go there to shower whenever possible. They were the nicest group of volunteers and always made me feel comfortable and cared for. It is a great, great place.
Lorelle Mac says
What a cherub, she is so obviously full of life now. It will take time to get past the panics everytime something happens but I’m sure you’ll manage well.
Thanks Lorelle! Every day seems to get a bit better. When she gets sick though, ugh, it is hard.