Friday phone dump

Lane’s appointment went great yesterday-his lungs sound totally clear & the surgeon said he doesn’t expect him to have any permanent scarring issues! What an answer to prayer. We’re SO glad to finally have all this behind us!

And now, a bunch of random iphone pics…

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First of many bandaids!

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Cullen’s ready to babysit… He insisted Teddy needed a ride in the carrier.

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Our silly monkey, being a monkey, while wearing a monkey.

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Future banker… “Piggy” & some coins are his new favorite toy.

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Triplets! On a trip with their buddy Eli.

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They’re cute. ūüôā “go pack!”

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Yesterday they went in the pantry & each came out with a tomato & dove right in… Interesting snack boys!

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“Huggies!!”

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Rainy day fun

Our weather’s been a mess the past week or so-tons of rain & some bad thunderstorms. These guys hate being trapped inside obviously–so on one of the warmer days when it wasn’t storming, I let them go at it in the puddles, in their diapers (pretty much in desperation from being stuck indoors with two 2 year olds!). Of course, it ended up being perhaps their favorite thing we’ve done since they turned 2, I think! ¬†Lesson learned yet again – it’s pretty much always a win to let boys be boys & become a dirty wet mess. Totally worth the cleanup later, especially when it includes snuggling two happy, soaked to the bone boys in towels.

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Hey, if we’re gonna have a massive puddle in the front sidewalk every time it rains until we can get some drainage issues fixed, we might as well have some fun in it, right? Lemons into lemonade.

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Now, anytime the sun wants to come back out for a while, that’d be cool too!

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a normal week, hallelujah!

I don’t think I’ve ever been so grateful for a “normal” week. ¬†Lane is recovering well, thank you SO much for all your prayers. ¬†I really can’t explain how much it meant to have the support of friends & family while we went through all that & now afterwards. ¬†At our church on Sunday I still had several people I barely know (or didn’t even know!) come up to me & tell me they’d been praying for him. ¬†Wow, what a blessing a great community of fellow believers is.

Like I said, Laner is doing great! ¬†He is still on steroid breathing treatments (Pulmacort) & an acid blocker (Zantac – how old is he?!) to keep any acid out of his lungs while he heals, but is done with antibiotics & he’s definitely back to his silly monkey antics again! ¬†Cullen is so happy to have his playmate back – they have been playing together & laughing hysterically at each other all week. ¬†And taking massive naps to recover ūüôā (I’ve heard him literally laughing out loud in his sleep a few times lately – such a sweet sound!) ¬†Jeff has been such a rock for me and I’m so thankful God gave me such an amazing partner to raise children with. ¬†He loves & cares for these two little boys so much, it absolutely wrecked him to see Lane like that (yes, I could barely read the last 2 posts, he had me balling too).¬†He is an¬†incredible¬†father.

I am working at processing everything that happened – you know, the mommy guilt THAT it happened at all… and just shock at how bad it got – but I’m also overwhelmed with gratitude for God’s protection for him. ¬†It is truly a miracle that he recovered so quickly. ¬†The boy is a miracle all around – I mean first of all for how well he did in the NICU, that he had absolutely no recurring problems from being early (either of them!), and now for amazing everyone & showing them what a mighty God we serve while in the PICU. ¬†I always pray that God would use Lane & Cullen’s lives to show others his glory and He certainly did through this! However, I’m still not ready for him to sit in that chair in the playroom again quite yet…

I find myself hugging the boys more, loving on them, kissing them & telling them non-stop how much I love them – it’s been good for perspective in that aspect. ¬†A typical two year old tantrum hasn’t been QUITE such a big deal lately. ¬†Cullen has been incredibly cuddly lately – I think he knows Mommy needs some extra love. ¬†He may be “strong willed,” but he has such a loving, tenderhearted sweetness to him as well – can’t wait to see how the Lord uses that combination!

They are back in preschool and LOVING it. ¬†I mean could not love it more. ¬†They ask me every morning to go to pee-school, they RUN in excitedly & C honestly doesn’t even want to leave when I get there – ha! ¬†(L is ready for a hug from mama & a NAP :)) He has literally cried in the car on the way home a couple of the days. ¬†“Again peeschool! again peeschool!” ¬†Oh boy. ¬†I guess it was a good decision! They are learning tons & I’m so proud of how well they’re doing – nothing but great reports from their teacher.

Lane has his follow-up visit with the surgeon on Thursday & will hopefully be given a clean bill of health – HALLELUJAH! So now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming…

…of trains, and balls, and dirt, and definitely roughhousing. {but maybe no almonds for Lane until he’s 17}

PICU

We had already had felt like we’d been completely drained by the time we arrived at “our room”… little did we know that the fun was just beginning. ¬†Lane was completely miserable- it was horrible to watch. ¬†We noticed that he had broken out in a rash all over his chest and his back. ¬†Turns out he was having an allergic reaction to morphine… awesome. ¬†They switched up his pain medication and we tried everything to distract him. ¬†He screamed violently for a few hours until we finally were able to get him distracted by videos on our phones. ¬†(Note: Thank goodness for iPhones… and Netflix. ¬†I really can’t imagine trying to “entertain”/distract him without it.) ¬†Not that we didn’t have a ton of options… the nurses and child life specialists (I never knew there was such a thing) were fantastic the whole time and tried to do everything they could for us… from movies to toys to stuffed animals (even one that we were able to take home with us!). ¬†At one point they allowed us to unhook from all of the leads he was attached to so that we could take him on a “walk” around the floor. ¬†He was desperate to get out of the room and I think everyone was a bit at their wits’ end… it didn’t result in much of a transformation, but he was able to get a balloon which seemed to please him at least momentarily.

Lauren and I were pretty involved with his basic care (checking temperature, giving oral medication, etc.) as by the time we had settled into the room he was pretty done with any hospital staff coming near him. ¬†Our poor nurse Anne had to keep her distance from him or he’d immediately start screaming (and this was AFTER she brought him the balloon… our little guy was definitely freaked out by the hospital!) ¬†He eventually fell asleep on me in the rocking chair (wouldn’t go near the crib in his room) in the afternoon and slept for a couple hours. ¬†He was definitely daddy’s boy during the day and was stuck to me like glue. ¬†Lauren’s sister brought us food (we realized at about 3pm that we hadn’t eaten anything since before 6am and were starving) and my sister drove down in the afternoon to hang out and give moral support, but kept visitors to a minimum to try to keep him calmer. ¬†We had figured out that the second pain medication that Lane was on wasn’t working as well as it should either (it made him angry/out of sorts when awake), so we ended up switching to a third one. ¬†Thankfully this one seemed to calm him down more and put us all a little more at ease.

We had a lot of time to think and chat with the nurses about the plan for Lane and why we were in the PICU. ¬†Basically, the doctor was concerned that Lane’s lung wasn’t going to function properly after the surgery (they had him wake up from the procedure in the OR because they thought he would need to be intubated – miraculously, he didn’t) and we were in the PICU for monitoring. ¬†Swelling peaks between 12-24 hours after surgery and if Lane had any issues, they wanted us in the PICU as they had all the equipment on hand to “maintain his airway”… again, not a comforting feeling for a parent (we didn’t sleep much at night). ¬†They did reassure us that Lane wasn’t the “normal PICU patient” and kept mentioning how they would reconvene with the surgeon in the morning to see the next steps which helped to comfort us a little.

Mom and Dad Z came in the evening and spent some time with us as well. ¬†It was great to have some visitors as it helped to pass the time and keep Lane’s attention focused away from being in the hospital and wanting to go home. ¬†As night came, Lane’s needs did as well and now he only wanted mommy to lay with him in the bed (our nurse wisely suggested that we might want to forgo the crib and try for a hospital bed since that had a better chance of Lane trying it out – it worked.) ¬†I got a few hours of sleep and then switched with Lauren so that she could: a) go to the bathroom and b) get a few minutes of actual sleep. ¬†Lane slept pretty well for most of the night… his oxygen saturation dipped a bit during the night (nothing that scary or unusual, but they wanted to keep his up higher to ease the recovery from the procedure). ¬†They gave him a nasal cannula (another reminder of our prior NICU experience – not a fun flashback), but he hated it and it didn’t stay on all that long. ¬†During the night he also managed to ruin his IV as he had been pulling at it and messing with it non-stop and eventually the IV just stopped working.

Morning finally came (after we seemingly watched the same Clifford DVD, Boz DVD and Caillou on Netflix 200+ times) and we got word that we would probably get to go home, or at least step down to the main floor for a while. ¬† The staff still had to get final approval from the surgeon, but Lane had done remarkably well and they seemed satisfied that he was finally “out of the woods.” ¬†By 8:30 we found out that we could actually go home directly from the PICU (the nurses & doctors said this NEVER happens – God is good!) and they started to get paperwork and prescriptions and all the discharge stuff done. ¬†Unfortunately we still had to get Lane one more antibiotic and since his IV was gone, we had to have that done via an intramuscular shot (read: very painful)… just another great experience for our seriously traumatized boy. ¬†He did finally get some food after about 40 hours without anything to eat – and seriously ATTACKED his breakfast – we’re talking eggs flying.

After the shots & paperwork were finally finished, the rest seems like a blur. ¬†As soon as we were able to get the rest of the wires/leads off of Lane and he was free to roam again, his whole demeanor changed. ¬†I went to go get the car and Lauren and Lane hopped in the wheelchair to head out of the hospital. ¬†Apparently he was waving and excitedly saying “bye-bye” to all of the staff as Anne wheeled them out. ¬†She even commented on how she had never even used the elevators that carried them down to the lobby since she had never discharged a patient home directly from PICU. ¬†We drove off and Lane couldn’t have been happier about it. ¬†We had a great reunion with Cullen after he got over being “mad” at us for being gone (he was lovingly taken care of by friends and family: Aunt Ashley, Abby, and Grandma, Grandpops and Uncle Kyle) and we finally got the boys to bed for a nap–with us following shortly thereafter!

Looking back we realize how blessed we all are and just how God protected Lane and the rest of our family through all the events that happened. ¬†It’s so hard to think about your child undergoing surgery and not being able to do anything to fix it. ¬†Praise God for guiding the surgeon’s hands, praise Him for the hospital staff, praise Him for giving strength & a fighting spirit to Lane and praise Him for helping Lauren to save his life in the first place. ¬†What I’m most thankful for now is that I can hold him in my arms and that all of this is behind us. ¬†We serve a mighty God… there is no other explanation for how things ended up. ¬†We went from a possible week in the PICU to a little over 24 hours. That’s not just medicine…

so here’s what happened with Lane…

I’ll admit it… I’m a deadbeat. It’s been almost two weeks since I promised to post here. You see, Lauren and I have this sort of tentative agreement whereby she does most (read: all but a few posts) of the work and I do very little. Ok, so it’s not so much an agreement as me just being lazy and not knowing what to write or feeling like I’m capable, but I digress… Our blog history has been a bit sparse lately and most of you already know part of the reason why. Here’s “the rest of the story….”

A little over a couple weeks ago, on a normal Thursday in the Pyles’ household, the boys were having a snack of crackers and nuts in their playroom. Aunt Ashley was over visiting and all were playing and having a good time. Lane was doing his normal “shove every single morsel into my mouth at once” style of eating when he tipped backwards in his chair and fell onto his back. He coughed a couple of times and then stopped making noise… Lauren was immediately concerned and picked him up. He had stopped breathing and begun turning blue (not just a little blue either, head to toe blue). She sprung into action (like the absolute supermom that she is) and gave him the Heimlich maneuver… only, it didn’t work (note: I guess this thing is no longer called the Heimlich maneuver, but I want to still recognize Dr. Heimlich for his life-saving work). Ashley ran to call 911 & Lauren had the awful realization that an ambulance would never get there in time… his life was literally in her hands. Remembering back to the infant CPR class we learned when the boys were born (and in the NICU), she turned him over onto his stomach on her arm , held him almost upside down and gave him back blows in an attempt to dislodge the obstruction. Finally, after what had to seem like an eternity, he began to cough and vomited up all of his snack and started breathing again. He was terrified and quite upset (naturally) and it took quite a bit of time to settle him down. Lauren was very understandably shaken, so much that she texted me about the incident (note: not at all the text any dad is prepared to receive and certainly phone call worthy). I instantly sent back a text and asked the logical question of why she didn’t pick up the phone and call me… When she replied that she wouldn’t be able to hold it together on the phone and that she was still consoling and snuggling with the now-safe Lane, I knew that this was much more serious than even I had imagined and only later would find out the details of the event.

Lane seemed to be doing pretty well that night when I got home and although I was a little emotional about the event and held him extra tight when I picked him up, I didn’t think much more about it other than how thankful I was to God for watching over my son and how in awe of my wife I was that she saved his life. Cullen was even pretty traumatized by the whole incident and kept repeating various things that happened: “Lane cough… Ashley, towels (to clean up afterwards), etc.” Pretty tough day, but we figured that the worst was over. Even the next day when Lane had a little bit of a wheeze, we called the doctor but didn’t think too much about it.

They wanted to see him immediately, so Lauren took him in and had our pediatrician check him out. He wanted to rule out a foreign body in his airway so he ordered a throat x-ray (negative) and put him on a steroid for any inflammation caused by the event. When he wasn’t better over the Labor Day weekend and his wheeze had gotten more pronounced, we called back and had another appt with a pediatrician. He didn’t like what he heard in Lane’s breathing and referred us to an ENT. We went to that appointment and had to have a laryngoscopy (basically a scope through the nose and into the throat. of a toddler. while not sedated) which was pretty horrific for all involved. That didn’t show anything so a chest x-ray was ordered (also negative) and he put Lane on an antibiotic for a week to clear up any possible infection from the “aspiration event” (we’ve gone from choking to aspiration now for those keeping track).

Needless to say, he didn’t get any better on the antibotic and was just getting more and more miserable (wheezing more pronounced, laboring to breathe, fussy – which is really odd for him, etc.). We called a few days later and got an appt with another ENT, this one a pediatric airway specialist, to examine him and let us know if surgery would be required. Eleven (11!) days after the initial problem, we had the appointment with the specialist who almost immediately told us we were going to have to go in for surgery ASAP. While we knew this was the most likely outcome given that nothing else worked and that he was getting worse, no parent wants to hear that their 2 year old is going to need to have surgery.

sweet boy about to be taken back to the OR

Two days later (lots of breathing treatments in the meantime), we went to the “One Day Surgery Center” (ironic in hindsight) to have a bronchoscopy for Lane to clear out anything that may be in his lungs. We were briefed on the timeframe of the procedure (usually about 20 mins, booked the OR for 45 minutes just in case). They took him back at 8:05am and Lauren and I went to the waiting room. At 8:45 I started to get a little nervous… by 9:00 we were downright scared. A nurse walked by and asked us if we had heard anything. Maybe it was the frantic “no!” in response, but she went right back to the OR to see what was going on. She didn’t come back for another 10 minutes and when she did, all that she said was that Lane was ok and that the doctor would be out to see us soon… That didn’t sit well, but didn’t exactly prepare us for the surgeon coming out and letting us know: it was worse than he had anticipated, there were 3 pieces of almond (one imbedded in the lung tissue); Lane’s left lung was almost swollen shut and we would be heading straight to the PICU for “at least a couple days and possibly a week.” His final words of “We’re not out of the woods yet” still haunt me. We immediately broke down… well, Lauren cried and I held it together for .3 seconds and then started sobbing like a little girl.

After another agonizing hour, Lauren was finally able to go to the recovery area to see Lane and I followed shortly thereafter to find what didn’t look at all like my son. This kid was not only unrecognizably swollen but hysterical – crying, screaming, thrashing about & pulling at all of the leads on his body… a mess. We tried to calm him down, but it was no use… he was as freaked out as we were. Lauren literally had to climb into the hospital crib with him, sobbing, as I held his hand and we went through the entire hospital – finally arriving at the Children’s Hospital PICU.

Realizing that this is already over 1200 words… I think I’ll stop for now & finish the Lane Saga tomorrow with a part II – the PICU.

Grateful.

It’s been a hard couple of weeks around here, but we are finally almost past it–overwhelmed with gratitude for the mighty God we serve, and our family & friends who support us. We can’t thank you all enough (but we’ll try!).

…we praise you Lord, for Lane. He’s a miracle in SO many ways!

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More to come.

first day of preschool!

Today was the boys’ first day of “preschool” – 2 mornings a week at a nearby church. ¬†Cullen was so excited last night that he cried about not being able to leave for “pee-school” right then. ¬†When we told him he had to go to bed then we’d go when he woke up, he was immediately ready for bed!

They did great – I knew they would… I had a little mommy moment but they were so good! ¬†No tears, just ran in, kissed mommy goodbye & started playing with their new “fwiends” & toys. ¬†I mean I love that they’re independent but maybe pretend you’ll miss mommy just a bit?! ha.

After my little emotional moment I quickly realized I had FOUR HOURS to myself… wow, I’d forgotten what that was like! ¬†You can get SO much done with 4 hours sans kids! (starting off with a delicious salted caramel mocha frappuccino from Starbucks – this may be blasphemy, but the infamous [& still amazing] pumpkin spice kind of has nothing on this to me!)

When I went to pick them up they did “indulge” me with the happy, super-excited-run-to-mommy thing. Yay. ¬†They had a BLAST. ¬†Cullen’s favorite things were the trains, the playground, singing songs with friends, and (of course) CRACKERS {snack time}!. Lane seemed to love it too (he talked about singing & coloring), but was a little more quiet – the poor kid was WORN. OUT. He got in the car, asked for his bunny, & said “nap?!” haha. ¬†I reassured him we were heading home for naptime and sure enough, as soon as we got in the house he said “bed mommy.” Only Lane. ūüôā

They can’t wait to go back – I have a feeling they’re going to be bummed it’s only 2 mornings a week!

(always important to start off with a nutritious breakfast.  and then refuse to put it down for pictures.  Oh, Cully)

(probably my favorite photo Рhilarious.  Poor Lane, he was perfectly happy to go, he just did NOT want to take pictures Рhello, mommy!)

(LOVE these boys! When did they get so big?!)

And… a sweet note from their teacher at the end of the day. ¬†So proud of you, boys!