Monday, September 26, 2011

Hope you like the new layout! I thought I would switch it up a bit for the fall. Not to mention the fact that Jacob's picture was from almost a year ago! Hope everyone has a great week.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Walking for a better future.

Happy Autumn!
This is my favorite time of year. I love the Fall! Pumpkins, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin candles (Notice a theme here lol), the perfect cool weather. I just love it! We took the boys to Gritts Farm today. They have a giant pumpkin patch and other fun things for the kids to do. I got some great pictures of the boys but you will have to wait until the end to see them. I have much to catch up on so here it goes... 


Last Saturday was the American Heart Association Greater Charleston Heart Walk! We were blessed with beautiful weather and they had the biggest turn out they have ever had. I am so excited to report that Team Jacob raised $4,293.00! We more than doubled what we raised last year!

Equally as important we were able to set up a table at the walk and have information for people to take about congenital heart defects. We had pictures showing what our boys have gone through. We were also able to speak at the walk. We talked about how important funding is so that medical advancements can be made, advancements that could one day save thousands of children.

Jake waving to the crowd
(Such a superstar)

This smile is everything to me!

It warmed my heart to see everyone come out and show their support for Jacob. Jacob even walked some during the 5k. Seeing Jake walk just filled me with more pride than I could ever express in words. It was very emotional for me. I made custom shirts for both Jacobs that said "I'm a Survivor". They had a custom made heart sewn from different fabrics. It was beyond awesome to see the boys walking with us sporting their shirts with pride. They are a picture of strength and an inspiration to all of us.

I have said this before but I don't think I can say it enough. We walk not only for our boys but also for the thousands of babies who are no longer with us. 4,000 babies do not make it to see their first birthday. This is not acceptable and we have to keep fighting for research and for medical advancements that can save them.

I want to say a special thank you to an amazing woman I met recently. Her son Corbin passed away due to a CHD after a few short months of life. He was such a brave boy and he fought a valient fight. In the end it was just to much for his little heart. His mother Ruth has been at the forefront of Pulse Ox Advocacy. Despite her own pain she fights for all of our children. Ruth came out to walk with us on Saturday. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to come but she wanted to support Team Jacob. Ruth drove over 2 hours to walk with us.

Jacob, Myself and Corbin's mommy Ruth

I believe Corbin's spirit was there with us as well. He knew that we were walking for him. I know he is so proud of his mommy. We were walking for every life that has been lost due to a CHD and for every life that may be saved from the funds that were raised and the awareness that was spread. I am so blessed to have Jacob here with us. We almost lost him multiple times, his future is uncertain (more so than most) but I will always cherish each day, each minute, each second I get to spend with him. I plan on raising them to know how precious life is and to never take anything for granted.

Lori just had a hip replacement 12 weeks ago.
She walked the whole 5K. Lori you ROCK!
Thank you to each and every person who helped us raise funds and who came out to walk for our boys. I can't tell you how much it means to our entire family. I am already looking forward to next year! Go Team Jacob!

Meet Bella

Ok so everyone is going to think I have lost my mind and I quite possibly have. We got a kitten. We didn't plan on getting a kitten but we have one and I have to say she is ADORABLE. I had been talking with my mom about how we get these jumping spiders downstairs and how when we had cats I never found them (alive). Now that we don't have a cat we can't ever seem to get rid of them. The other day one made its way upstairs and some how made its way into MY SHIRT! I felt something strange and scratched, imagine my surprise when a spider fell out of my shirt. Lets just say my husband woke up to me screaming for him to kill it lol.

So we were talking about this and then realized that we were right by the animal shelter. So I decided to take Aidan to see the kittens. I should have known I wouldn't walk out empty handed. I have to say it was a touching moment I will never forget. Aidan picked her out and instantly fell in love. There were about 30 kittens but he went right to this gray and white one and wouldn't look at any others. I think he picked the PERFECT one. First of all its a girl so I am finally not the only female in the house lol. She is quiet and very lovable and social.

She and Aidan play all day long. Jake doesn't give her a second glance lol. He is not a big animal fan.  He pushes the dog away anytime he comes near him and he acts like the cat doesn't exist lol. The dog even likes her and she doesn't mind him. She has even cuddled up to him a few times. So our family has grown with a tiny 2lb kitten named Bella.


Last but definitly not least...

Jacob is 18 months old!

Happy year and a half birthday to my beautiful baby boy. Many people probably don't think a 1/2 birthday is a big deal but for our little miracles they are something to be celebrated. Each day is such a gift and each day represents another day our heart warriors are beating the odds. Time is precious and I hope if Jacob's story has taught you one thing, it is to slow down and celebrate the little things in life!

Now, here are those pictures I promised...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Breaking out of the bubble (Cautiously)...

Hi blog world! I know it has been awhile since you have had your Jacob fix so here is what has been going on in our world.

Motor wise Jake is right on track. He is all over the house. He loves playing with trains, trucks anything with wheels. He lays down and watches the wheels move just like Aidan used to. He smiles and lights up the room. His laugh just echos through the house. He has learned to blow kisses and is becoming so much more cuddly. He is OBSESSED with his shoes lol. If they are off for even a minute he throws them on me over and over until I put them on. He even holds up his feet for me to put them on.

Speech wise we are not doing so good. Jake still doesn't say much. He mainly says "mama" and "dada". He should be saying about 25 words by now but who is counting lol. His therapist is not to concerned, everyone agrees that they think it is due to his work of breathing. He works so hard and makes so much noise just to breathe that it makes sense it is hard for him to "Talk" a lot also. Don't get me wrong I am so proud of him and even if he never talked I would be proud of him. That being said I want him to talk because he gets so frustrated. The good thing is he is communicating other ways. If he is done eating he shakes his head no, he has started to sign some. He hands me things he wants like snacks and his shoes lol.

His speech therapist recommended taking photographs of objects he uses such as his binky and bottle and holding them up to give him another form of communication along with saying the words. Hopefully once he has his airway surgery he will start talking so much that I will read this post and laugh at the fact that I was begging him to talk.


I spoke to GI and the results from his GI probe were great. His reflux medication is controlling the reflux well so there is no need to go up on his medication. They also cleared him from a GI stand point for his airway reconstruction.

After I talked to GI I called CHOP's ENT department to discuss when his surgery will be. The nurse scheduling his surgery told me it looked like it would be January before they could do the surgery. I was not ok with this. Having Jacob admitted to the hospital for a non-emergency procedure during the peak of flu season is way to risky. I told her how I felt and asked if she could talk to his cardiologist at CHOP and his ENT surgeon to see if we could wait until spring. His last heart echo looked great and had not changed from the one they did in March. Both ENT and Cardiology had told me that it doesn't look like his labored breathing is affecting his heart at this point. They do want him to have the surgery because as he gets older he will be moving more air through and the work of breathing is not good for his heart. That being said neither doctor seemed to think it was something that we needed to do immediately.

I have not heard back from CHOP yet but I am hoping that his surgery will not be until next spring. The nurse said they do get a lot of flu patients so my concerns were warranted. The downside to waiting longer is that Jake will go through another flu/cold season with his airway. He will once again be getting Synagis shots to help protect him from RSV and he will also be getting his flu shot. Still it is always a concern especially since his airway is so small.


A few weeks ago the cold went through our house and the boys both had a bad cough. I immediately took Jake in to the doctors to make sure he was ok. He sounded great and his oxygen levels were in the mid 80s which is good for him. I monitored him on the pulse ox machine overnight and he continued to keep his oxygen levels up. Jake once again has shown me how strong he is. A few days ago, Aidan got the same cold AGAIN! Jake has just started coughing again but so far it seems to be pretty mild. (As I am typing this he just woke up coughing again. His oxygen is actually 90 which is amazing for Jake and his doctor said as long as his oxygen is ok then she is not worried). So looks like he will be hooked up to the pulse ox at night for the duration of the cold. Please pray it doesn't get worse.

After A LOT of going back and forth and discussing it with Jake's doctor and our family we have decided to send Aidan to pre-school. I had thought about it a while back but decided not to do it because I worry so much about Jake being exposed to germs. This is actually a HUGE step outside of the bubble I have been living in for so long. We got a call a few weeks ago from the Head Start program in our area about enrolling Aidan. My first reaction was no. The more I thought about it the more I thought it was a good idea.

I want my boys to grow up living normal lives. I know our lives are NOT exactly normal but I want to do everything in my power to give them both the best of everything. Yes, there will be hospital stays, doctors visits, lots of non-normal things however I feel it is my job as a mother to make it all alright for them. There is so much I can't change but this is something that would be so great for Aidan. He is the smartest 4 year old that I know but socially I worry about him. He has such separation anxiety. I can't go to the store without him crying and begging me not to leave. Can you blame the kid? This past year and a half he has had to deal with so much. His mommy has had to be in the hospital with his brother while he and his father were back at home.

I have started taking Aidan with me when we go out of town to the hospital and trying to do something fun before we go home so that he doesn't view it as another "Medical trip". That has helped but he still needs to be around other kids and do kid stuff. Aidan is such a serious child. I took him to the dentist a week ago and when the hygienist told him to open wide like a lion he looked at her and said "I'm a person". From then on she would say "Open wide like a person lol". I know that most of it is his personality. Everyone tells me that his vocabulary is so advanced and he seems like a little adult. I love that he is so smart but I also really want him to have fun. Going to pre-school will help him learn to just be a kid and will also help with the transition to Kindergarten.

I talked to Jacob's pediatrician and she agreed that we have to live our lives. We can't live in a bubble, it wouldn't be fair to any of us especially Jake and Aidan. We discussed things that I can do in order to help prevent the germs from coming into our home. When Aidan gets in the car I sanitize his hands and we change his clothes when he gets home. Is it fool proof? No. But lets face facts the boys have had two colds the past few weeks... all BEFORE Aidan started going to school. So even staying home doesn't prevent Jake from getting sick. I also talked his teacher and she is going to call me if anything is going around like the flu so I can keep Aidan home from school that week. That is the great thing about pre-school. We can be flexible. I don't HAVE to send him if it is not safe for the boys.

Aidan went to pre-school twice last week and had a very hard time with me leaving. He cried so hard it broke my heart. It didn't help that he had a cold ( I know, I was the mom bringing the sick kid to school but his teacher said to bring him and he wasn't that bad at the time.) I kept him home on Thursday because he was up Wednesday night coughing a lot. He is having a hard time, mainly with nap time lol. They don't have to actually sleep but have to have quiet time. It is right before he leaves for the day so I have been trying to pick him up before then. I know that it will get easier and honestly it is probably harder on me leaving him as he is crying. I know once I leave he has fun.

We are going to stick with it and see how it goes. If he is sick too much or it starts to become a problem for Jacob we will reevaluate but he has to go to Kindergarten no matter what next year so it is inevitable. I just have to find the balance between giving my kids a "Normal" life and protecting Jacob's health. It is a fine balance but I will do everything in my power to protect my kids and give them the best life possible!

Oh as if we didn't have a busy enough week last week our only car decided to die WHILE driving on the interstate. It was 100 degrees and there I am on the side of the road with Aidan eager to get to a birthday party. Thankfully I got it started (after 5 tries) and made it to my parents house. So on Aidan's first day of school I had to borrow my brothers car take Aidan to school, take Andy to work, get my car towed, found out they couldn't fix it, got it towed again to the Toyota dealer and found out it was the computer (Went into panic mode) then found out it was recalled, Praise GOD! So they fixed it for free and covered the (Second) towing bill!

So there have been a lot of changes going on but I really think that we are finally living life instead of fearing it. I am proud of that. We will see how it goes but I feel in my heart that we have made the right choice and that both boys will benefit from it. So here we are breaking out of the bubble (cautiously). Wish us luck!

The Baker Family