Belated Birthday Photos And Thanksgiving Wishes
I had hoped to post some photos for Nathaniel's third birthday last week, but a sudden hospitalization reorganized all plans. He had a runny nose and sneezes on Friday, November 21st, and I assumed it was a virus. Nathaniel has had a handful of viruses that come and go like they do for most children. I am always hopeful he will navigate through a cold without extra medical attention. He woke up coughing Friday night and threw up. The night nurse needed to put him on oxygen afterwards - often our first indicator that he aspirated.
We had planned a small birthday party with a few little friends for Saturday afternoon. I let everyone know that I suspected he had a cold; they all came anyway. It is wonderful to have such sweet friends who are eager to celebrate. By mid-party, Nathaniel was feeling very warm, preferred to be cuddled in Daddy's lap, was coughing relentlessly, and seemed to have an elevated respiratory rate. After his friends left, we connected him to monitors and called the physician. A few hours later, despite my best negotiations to keep him home, a high heart rate, high oxygen requirement, high fever, and high respiratory rate demanded an immediate evaluation. Nathaniel tested positive for the common cold and an aspiration pneumonia. He was inpatient until Wednesday afternoon.
I woke up Thanksgiving morning and didn't even know where our turkey was. It has been a hard week. Nathaniel has had eight hospitalizations in eight months. Not only was this another round of IV's, medications, altered feeds, and additional breathing treatments, but there was also a lot of discussion with Nathaniel's St Louis and Cincinnati medical teams regarding a surgery choice. This hospital stay left me drained emotionally and physically. Our older children, led by Bailee, saved Thanksgiving. She planned the menu, completed the shopping, and made the pies with her brothers' help. They literally put the meal on the table from start to finish. The big boys worked retail all Wednesday night and stayed up cheerfully with family all day Thanksgiving. They set tables, washed sink loads of dishes, vacuumed floors, and took out the trash. Far away children used FaceTime to connect and brighten our day. Thanks to our older children, laughter and smiles quickly replaced illness and exhaustion.
Our older children were all working and busy the morning in October that we set aside to take Nathaniel's three year old photos. But yet they are with us in every photo. Their support. Their joy. Their commitment. Their dedication. Their endurance. So much endurance has been needed to get Nathaniel to three. My older children are energy givers and lovers. My older children are my heroes.
Happy Belated Birthday, dear Nathaniel.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving, dear friends.