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!