Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Because I'm Happy!

March 17, 2010 will forever be known as the worst day of my life. Since then, March 17 is my favorite day of the year! The day we celebrate our little miracle! We serve an awesome God and we are forever grateful!

We had a mini birthday party at 6:30 am today. We had presents, cupcakes and loads of fun! Parker is suddenly in love with hockey, so we got him a hockey set. He was thrilled! We had another mini party in his classroom at school! Everyone sang Happy Birthday, as Parker grinned ear to ear! Tonight is yet another party, with just the four of us at the local Mexican restaurant. Our little guy is a huge taco fan! Parker's BIG birthday party is this weekend. This is the first year he's having a 'friend party'. Of course he chose Chuck E Cheese (which is a lot better than his original choice of Taco Bell)!

I love March 17! It literally feels like Christmas today! But then again, it was the day I was given the best gift of all.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Your Love Keeps Liftin Me Higher - March 2014

Our Superhero is 4 today!! We had a great weekend celebrating his birthday! We love the little guy he's becoming. He is smart, creative, sensitive, athletic, kind,- and forever funny! Our lives wouldn't be the same without this bright, little blonde. Thank you God for our miracle!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Forever Young - March 2013

Parker is 3 today!! I can't believe it's been three years. The days seem long- but the years short. The boys keep me busy (hence the delay between posts), and I'm tired A LOT, but I realize it's going too fast! I wish I had a slow motion button like the old VCR's. Or even a rewind button- because we've had some really great times!

Parker is ALL BOY! He loves anything to do with sports, trains, trucks, helicopters, etc. He loves to play ROUGH and especially get dirty! It's so funny because Spencer is the exact opposite. Although we've had some knock-down-drag-out fights, for the most part they love to play together. I pray they grow to be best friends. 

Parker is absolutely healthy and PERFECT! You would never know that he almost didn't survive his birth. We thought he may have a speech delay (since Spencer has struggled with a phonological speech disorder). We began early intervention and even enrolled him into the program at Radford (with Spencer). But after a few months, we all realized he was just a 'late talker'. When he went from not being able to put together 'trash truck' to 'there's Mommy's car, I recognized it', I knew we were good. 

Life hasn't been the same since March 17, 2010. I'm more aware of just how precious life is. There are so many families that struggle with sick children, lost children, dying children. I pray for them. I now understand a mere glimpse of that pain, and my heart breaks for them. But I also thank God for babies that have overcome huge obstacles and continue to thrive every day. I thank God for Mommy's like me, that were given a second chance. And I will forever thank God for Parker. He lights up my world and warms my soul. He is now, and forever will be, my miracle. 

A quick video of Parker's first three years! Pictures follow below.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Got You, Babe - September 17, 2011

Today our beautiful, baby boy is 18 months old! And we are enjoying him more than ever! He is growing into such a lovable little guy. He has this tough outward persona, but is actually super sensitive. He loves to give hugs- and not just any hugs, but the "I'm not letting you go for a long time" type of hug. It's the best feeling! We've had a fabulous summer- the lake, carnival, zoo, birthday parties, vacations and lots of ice cream- all with family and friends who we adore! Parker has especially loved the beach this summer- spending hours in the sand! We've been so blessed to make such wonderful memories within his short 18 months. The pictures below tell the story! Thank you again for playing such an important role in our MIRACLE. We especially thank God every day!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Birthday To You! - March 17, 2011

One year ago today was the best and worst day of my life. I am so grateful to God that He has blessed us with the miracle of Parker. Thank you to everyone who was part of our prayer chain in the weeks and months after Parker's birth. Your prayers, along with God's love, carried us through the most difficult time of our lives. We are forever grateful!

Before you were conceived , I wanted you
Before you were born , I loved you
Before you were here an hour, I would give my life for you
This is the miracle of life.
                                           ~ Maureen Hawkins


Happy First Birthday Parker! We love you!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Awaiting The Big Day - March 14, 2011

We're home! Parker was moved from the PICU (to the regular pediatric floor) on Thursday afternoon- and then we were discharged Friday evening. We have a follow up appointment with Dr. Beazley this afternoon. Parker seems to be feeling better although he's still very tired and a little pale. Hopefully he'll be back to his normal self by Thursday- the BIG day! We can't wait!

As always- thank you for your love, prayers and support! And a big THANK YOU to Jeff's Dad, Ralph. He's now beginning his second week with us! Definitely a brave man! :) 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Not A Moment Too Soon - March 10, 2011

Jeff and I never imagined we would have another life threatening experience with Parker- and especially so soon! We are currently in the PICU at Carillion Clinic Children's Hospital in Roanoke. Parker is stable and slowly improving. So much has happened within the last 72 hours, and I'm running on about 7 hours of sleep since then, so I will try to update you as best I can.

Sunday night
Parker began to wheeze. However he didn't have any other symptoms. His brother had been sick the previous week, so we thought he was coming down with the same virus.

Parker continued to wheeze although he still didn't have any other symptoms. He crawled around and played with his brother like normal. However by mid afternoon I became concerned enough to take him to the doctor. We couldn't get an appointment with Dr. Beazley (our absolute favorite!) but we saw one of his partners. The doctor said Parker's lungs sounded normal and the rattle was from the congestion in the back of his throat. He also had an ear infection so we went home with antibiotics. We were told to check back if things didn't improve.

Monday night / Tuesday morning
Jeff became worried about Parker's continuing wheezing- enough to think we needed to go to the ER. Jeff's background is in respiratory therapy so I didn't question his decision. When we arrived, Parker's oxygen level was a little low but not concerning. His chest X-ray showed some small areas of pneumonia but again, nothing too concerning. Parker was given 2 or 3 breathing treatments while we were there (from about 2:30 am to 8:30 am). At that point, the ER doctor thought we were on the margin of admitting Parker but wanted to refer to Dr. Beazley (which we totally agreed). We packed up and went to Dr. Beazley's office for further advice. Dr. Beazley was not alarmed by Parker's examination, chest X-ray or the sound of his lungs. He thought Parker would do fine at home with continuing breathing treatments on the nebulizer. By the way, Dr. Beazley was involved with Parker's trauma at birth and knows how much we've been through! That being said, he gave us the option of having Parker admitted for closer observation- or the choice of going home. I knew Jeff would have to go back to work so I was hesitant to go home alone with Parker and the nebulizer. Dr. Beazley assured me that if anything changed, or I became uncomfortable, to bring Parker back and he would immediately get him admitted. So in the end, I chose to take Parker home.

Tuesday afternoon
By the grace of God, Jeff's Dad was in town visiting for the week. By the time we got home, he had taken Spencer to speech therapy. So for the next three or four hours Parker and I were alone. I didn't have any trouble with administering the breathing treatment- however Parker didn't seem to improve and he became more agitated as time went on. Once Jeff's Dad got home, I got in the shower because I wanted to get Parker back to Dr. Beazley's office. While in the shower, I heard Parker downstairs crying. I quickly got dressed and ran downstairs to check on him. With one look, I knew something was terribly wrong! So with soaking wet hair, I grabbed a bag and ran him to the car. I called both Jeff and the nurse to let them know something was seriously wrong- so thankfully they were both waiting at the door when we pulled in. I prayed that I had been overreacting and Jeff would tell me everything was going to be fine. But as soon as Jeff looked at Parker, he immediately began cursing, crying and struggling to get him out of the car seat. Parker was in complete respiratory distress, with dangerously low oxygen levels and everyone began to scramble. The nurses, doctor and Jeff were in a panic to get oxygen...and FAST! I just stood there- not being able to move...or believe the fact that we were actually 'here' again. Jeff quickly decided that we needed to be downtown where they had a PICU. While Parker received oxygen and a breathing treatment, an ambulance was called and we waited. Those were, once again, the longest moments of our lives! Of course we couldn't help but think this was somehow related to his previous trauma. Once Parker began responding and was stable, we were transferred to the Carillion Clinic Children's Hospital in Roanoke. He was rushed into the pediatric unit and quickly assessed by about seven different doctors, nurses and staff. At that point it was obvious that he needed to be in the PICU so we were immediately transferred. The next few hours are somewhat of a blur. Parker was in such respiratory distress that things seemed to go from bad to worse. Jeff and I were numb.

Tuesday night 
Things finally began to calm down around 9:00. Thankfully the doctors ruled out any heart issues and/or other problems in relation to his trauma at birth. Feeling more comfortable, Jeff and I decided that he should go home and sleep and I would stay with Parker. It wasn't a good night. Parker was super agitated and fought everything! So by the time morning rolled around, I was extremely sore from 'wrestling' him all night! 

Still quite unsure of Parker's 'issue', I was glad to talk to the doctor during rounds. He described in great detail exactly what happened, where we are now and what we can expect. Parker has been diagnosed with reactive airway disease- a condition where the airways in the lungs overreact to certain things. During Parker's episode, the muscles around the airways in the lungs "spasmed", causing the air sacks to become inflamed and the mucous membranes to swell and produce more mucus than usual. These changes caused the airways to narrow, making breathing not only difficult but next to impossible for him.

Reactive airway disease is a term often used interchangeably with asthma, although it is not necessarily the same thing. Describing a condition as reactive airway disease in part reflects the difficulty in establishing a diagnosis of asthma in certain situations (such as early childhood). Although it's possible for infants/toddlers to have asthma, they usually aren't diagnosed until much later. With that being said, the doctors do not think this is asthma related. Reactive airway disease can be triggered by many things including a virus. They think Parker's issue is viral related and not a future indicator of him having asthma. 

Wednesday night
We're still in the PICU, waiting on Parker to heal. He is slowly making progress. His breathing treatments have gone from every two hours to every four. His lungs are recovering from the inflammation but it will take time. So we wait. Jeff has gone home for the night and my Mom is holding Parker while he sleeps. We're not sure when we'll get to go home- or even to a step down unit. We will definitely keep you updated with his progress.

Thank you again for all your prayers! We have received so much love and support in the past few days. We especially THANK GOD for yet another miracle for Parker! We know that God has a plan for Parker...and at this rate it seems like a pretty big plan too! 

Praising God,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

These Are The Days - February 17, 2011

Let me begin by apologizing for the long absence. With two little ones, we have been super busy! But everyone has been healthy and happy, and we enjoyed the holiday season! :)

Parker is eleven months old today! It is so hard to believe that in one short month, he will be one! We are already preparing for the big day! What a celebration it will be!

Parker is growing so fast...and big! He will surely surpass his brother soon. He is crawling and cruising everywhere- and will possibly be walking by his birthday! He continues to be such a happy baby! He is content to play alone and can easily amuse himself. He also enjoys playing with his brother. He and Spencer get along really well. Although we sometimes have to 'rescue' Parker from too much fun with Spencer! :) We know they will continue to grow close. Spencer is super protective of Parker and everywhere we go, Spencer makes sure people know that Parker is HIS  little brother. It's so cute!

Jeff and I would like to thank you for your prayers over this past year. Parker is our miracle and we know that is because of the love, support and prayers we received from each of you. God has given us the greatest blessing of all- a healthy, happy family. We are so very grateful!

Although March, 17, 2010 seems like a lifetime ago, the pain from that day can easily be reawakened. Especially when I hear of someone going through a similar experience.  I have a friend whose newborn son is scheduled to have open heart surgery on Monday. I pray the Lord will hold their new, tiny family in the palm of His hand. I sometimes forget the pain that some families go through every day. So please continue to pray for children in the NICU and their families.

With all our love and gratefulness,
The Britton Family