Tuesday, December 31, 2019

1SE: 2019

Just like I did in 2018, I did another year long project with the 1SE (one second everyday) app: I took a one second (horizontal!) video every day of this year and BAM!  Here we are at the last day of 2019 and all 365 days are together in their wonderful video glory! (psssst! if you get my blog as an email, you won't see the videos embedded...so click on the blog title in the email to go to the web version where you can watch them ;-)

And, just because I shared all of the other individual months for 2019, here's December's video:

2019 was a great year -- one for the books indeed! (I know I keep saying that. haha!) But it truly was a wonderful year and such a great one after the tremendously hard one 2018 was.  2020 has some big shoes to fill and I cannot wait to see what it holds in store!  Stay tuned my friends...I'm sure there'll be another 1SE 2020 edition coming your way soon!!

2019's Black & White 365 Project


Year 4 -- 2019 -- of doing a year long project is in the books!  Another black and white year (just like 2016) and man, it was such a good one.

I've been reflecting and thinking a lot about this year, and trying to come up with a theme for 2020, and I think I've got it.  2020 will be a year of gratefulness.  Each day I'll capture something I'm gratefulness for -- could be big, could be small...but it will be a year of 'grate' and I am so excited to start TOMORROW! EEEKKKK!

#mooneybandw2019 was a good one...a really good one.  I didn't miss any days (wooooot!) and shockingly nothing got out of order either. YAY!

Here's 2019 in 365 tiny black and white squares...

And now, in video form, here's a quickie 1 minute version and a longer version, complete with the dates for each of the year's snaps!

one minute version

full version

And lastly, if you click here, you can scroll through my album in Google Photos if you want to stroll down 2019 a bit slower than those videos.

2019: you were an amazing one.  Definitely one for the books and such an amazingly redemptive year from 2018!  2020: you best bring it!!!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

2019 Year Favorites From Alexandria Mooney Photography

Keeping with tradition here (just like I did in 2018), I present you with my end of the year, year in review 2019 favorites post! WOOT! (You can check out my separate birth stories year in review for 2019 here).

What a year it was indeed! So so so many families and stories captured (I think I took hundreds of thousands of pictures!!) and I picked out just a smidgen above 500 photos to highlight Alexandria Mooney Photography’s 2019 year in review.  I whipped up a quick 1 minute hyperlapse video and then an almost 5 minute full size video too below for your viewing pleasure.

2019 really was an amazing year — one that was very redemptive for me personally from all of the sadness and struggles 2018 brought.  I cannot believe how many people got in front of my lens this year, and I am SO EXCITED to see what 2020 brings in front of it too!  2019 really was amazing and I could just watch these amazing memories over and over again.  So much brightest and love and laughter.  I cannot wait for 2020…so excited to see what unfolds so soon as we greet the year in just a few days!

Thanks for all of the love and support and entrusting me to capture your families and memories — I am forever and ever grateful to all of you!!

one minute hyperlapse version

full version

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas 2019

Christmas was delayed for us by a day this year in 2019...thanks to Teddy's bout with RSV.

BUT! We came home on the 26th and had a wonderful Christmas at home with our whole family, and got to see what Santa brought everyone, just a day later than most.

The big kids were such troopers with our change of Christmas plans.  None of them complained or anything, which made our 26th celebration that much better!

When we got home on the 26th with Teddy, Mike went to his parents' house to pick up the big kids and as soon as they got home they saw the living room and all of their presents and couldn't wait to dive in!

They were all SO FREAKING GOOD.  No whining, just lots of cooperating and excitement for their sibling to open their presents!  All 3 of the big kids helped Teddy hope his and it was so darn cute.

The big kids each got the big gift they asked Santa for: Patrick wanted a remote controlled car, Annie wanted a Calico Critters house, and Rosie wanted a Barbie Dream House.  Seeing their excitement to get those gifts (and all of the other ones) was just pure bliss.

Mike and I exchanged gifts too and hands-down my favorite from him was my new Office blanket, which Teddy helped show off.

Even though my Christmas posts in years past are much longer and full of more details about parties and such we went to as well, this year it was just our little family, celebrating a day later.  And it was perfect.  Not ideal, but we all were together and on the mend from Christmas sickness.  And I'll take it.  Because even though it wasn't how I wanted it, I had all of my babies here with me in our house (and one watching over us) and that will forever and ever make me so grateful.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  Onto 2020, and I have high hopes of what an amazing year it's going to be!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Teddy & RSV

My goodness. What.a.week.

And I realized I haven't blogged in FOREVER (minus the birth stories favorites post I just published) and I'm sorry.  Life is SO BUSY with 4 and photography and yeah.  I've sucked.  I'm going to try and be better about that into 2020.  Hopefully.

Anywaysssss, I wanted to bloggity blog all about the past week with Teddy and his first (major) sickness and all of that.  Definitely not my favorite week, which sucks cause it fell right in the thick of Christmas and we missed SO MUCH but our dude is doing so much better so that's all that matters, right?!  Right.

So let's rewind to a week ago last Friday...I posted this on social media:

"Raise your hand if you have RSV! 😩😩😩 yee haw. And we’re on day 2 so such a fun waiting game these next few days seeing if it gets worse or this is it. 🙃 Merry Christmas and wash your damn hands. And that’s mostly directed at my 3 older germy laced kids who I’m sure brought this fun little virus home to their little brother 😣"

Teddy was on day 2 of RSV...I had noticed a teeny tiny cough Wednesday evening that lingered into Thursday and got worse on Friday.  He was still breathing fine, no wheezing, just this cough.  Our doc actually didn't think it was RSV but wanted to swab just in case to rule it out and to both of our surprises it was positive. GREATTTTT.  RSV usually peaks between days 3-5 (usually day 5 is the worst) so I was hoping and praying he'd not go downhill throughout the weekend.


Saturday and Sunday he was about the same, icky cough but breathing fine (and thanks to the Owlet let me know his HR and O2 readings were okay).  Sunday evening rolls around and Teddy took a turn...he was wheezing a bit and his O2 was dipping into the mid and low 90s.  Uh-oh.  The on call ped checked in with us all weekend and we weren't concerned at all, until Sunday night.  But we knew that we were at the peak day and thought this was just the worst and he'd get better.  Sunday night both Mike and I stayed up watching him all night long.  He coughed and slept but his O2 numbers kept fluctuating and dipping.  UGH. 

Monday morning everything seemed fine, like he was on the upswing...his O2 was back in the upper 90s and just seemed a bit better.  However, lunchtime rolls around and it's like he backslid -- seemed to be working harder to breath and again, O2 numbers dipped.  I called the ped and they got him in.

As soon as we got into the room, they hooked him up to the O2 and HR reader and his HR was in the upper 190s and his O2 was in the low 80s.  OH SHIT.  I immediately felt a pit in my throat and he had gotten SO MUCH WORSE so fast.  I knew what was coming as the nurse left to go get our doc...

^^^ just a glimpse into how he was breathing.  I think he was borderline about to lose consciousness.  It was so scary.

Our doc came in and took one look at him and said she didn't feel comfortable with us leaving, he needed to go to the ER NOW.  And not in my car, in an ambulance.  They called the medics who were there within 2 minutes (they are literally next door) and they strapped me to the gurney and I held Teddy on my chest with an oxygen mask over him.  It was terrifying.  I was holding it together but it was truly frightening.

I told the medics I wanted him taken downtown to Children's Hospital so that's where we went, lights and sirens.  I had called Mike and told him to have my parents pick up the kids and meet us at Children's ER ASAP. 

You know I'm all about documenting things and I didn't get any pics in the ambulance -- that's how emergent it was.  We were flying down the highway and trying to keep Teddy alert and with us.  I later found out they had the ambu bag and intubation supplies out because the medics thought they were going to have to intubate him.  GOOD LORD I am so glad I didn't know that then.

So when we got to the ER they kept giving him oxygen (which did perk him up), an IV (since he hadn't eaten much that day) and ran so many blood tests on him.  They did a chest x-ray and called for respiratory to come down to put him on a high flow O2 nasal cannula. GAH.

This is about the time Mike got there...it was so scary.  Teddy was still not super great and needed that oxygen in him fast.

He looked absolutely miserable. 

We stayed in the ER for maybe 2 hours before they told us we were being transferred upstairs to a PICU bed.  At this point Teddy had been on high flow oxygen and was starting to perk up and HOLY HELL he was starving.  Chomping away on his paci and starting to whine.

I asked the ER doc if I could feed him and she said no, that he was on too high of oxygen that he'd choke.  Dammit.  So I whipped out my pump and pumped (Mike brought my pump with him) instead.  They told us they'd give him nutrients through his IV...which was fine, but also I didn't want him on if he didn't need to be cause I didn't want him to stop nursing and just rely on the IV.  I told myself I'd ask the PICU doc once we got up there.

Once we got up to the PICU and Teddy got settled (he was so starving!) I asked the nurse practitioner if I could nurse him and she said no, same reason as the ER doc.  UGH.  Annoying.  He was sucking fine and truly looked much better like he could eat. 

An hour later the attending came in and I asked her and told her my fear was he would get it through the IV and not want to nurse and honestly he needs breastmilk more than the IV nutrients for the antibodies and such in my milk.  She agreed and told me to nurse him!

She said if he didn't want to eat because he couldn't breathe, he wouldn't.  Just like mama knew he would, he latched on right away and ate soooooo well.  Gosh, what a relief!  And they just saline locked his IV then, so kept the IV in but didn't have it hooked up. yay!

So this was Monday, December 23rd.  By the time we were settled in it was about 11pm.  I had no clue how long we were going to be there but just wanted my sweet little Teddy Bear to get better and fast -- especially since Christmas was so close.

I sent Mike home to get some sleep -- and go pick up my car from the ped's office (note: I told him to pay $3 and take an Uber there but nope. He walked instead at midnight. Only took him 30 minutes. haha) -- and to come back in the morning.

I didn't sleep much -- slept right next to Teddy's bed in the recliner constantly watching him and the monitors with his numbers on it.  All of a sudden the 9 days he spent in the NICU came flooding back and I remember how glued I was to those...because those numbers are what get you home.  My already heightened anxiety was on overdrive again just wanting him to keep those numbers up and get better.

Tuesday, Christmas Eve, came and we were greeted with the yummiest cupcakes from one of my birth clients turned friends.  It was such the most perfect surprise and really perked us up! 

The attending came in and told us if Teddy had a good day and weaned from his oxygen we could be going home on Christmas! EEEKKKKKK!  I was so excited by this and wanted nothing more for that to happen.  So slowly they started to turn down his oxygen levels...

It was AWFUL being away from the big kids.  Like so horrible.  But the chance of being home on Christmas was real and it gave me hope.  Once Mike got back to the hospital I said I was going to run home to shower, wrap the last of the presents, make the food items I promised to bring to different functions, then come back.  I stopped by Target to get a small present for the big kids to open at my parents' house since they were spending Christmas Eve there.

When I was at home Mike text me that weaning had taken a back slide -- that he started at 10, got down to 5, and then needed to be bumped back up to 8 cause he was struggling so hard.  I knew what that meant: probably not going home on Christmas.  UGH.  I was so mad and screaming and crying it was just awful.  Not at all how I expected Christmas to go...two bad Christmases in a row.  Just awful. But I kept reminding myself, as I did in the NICU, that a baby in the hospital is better than no baby at all.

Christmas Eve I sent Mike home to do stuff with the kids at his parents' house and Teddy and I had an evening with cafeteria pizza and watching Elf and Christmas Vacation.  It was definitely not the Christmas Eve I had envisioned but Teddy was weaning well now off of oxygen so I was hopeful about tomorrow.

Christmas morning came (and, mind you, all of this is so blurred together because I never slept more than 45 minutes at a time cause of all the people who kept coming in and out) and the attending came in and said we weren't going home today, probably tomorrow.  He had too much 'weaning protocol' to get through today.  I was crushed.  Lots of tears and crying and just being pissed.  I missed my big kids and wanted out of the hospital SO BAD.

I had gotten this onesie for Teddy and this was how he was going to wear it today...atop himself with his Clark Bear.  I was so upset.

Well, about an hour after this the attending came back and said Teddy was tolerating weaning super well they'd try him on a rapid wean to see if he tolerated it too and if he did we could be out of there late Christmas.  OKAY!  HOPE!  I got so excited!

Teddy was clearly excited too because he went from this first pic to the second while I was in the bathroom...he ripped out his own IV!

BLOOD EVERYWHERE.  I was so scared at first before I realized what it was cause there was so much blood!  But then I saw the IV site was gushing so I hit the nurse button and in she came to take care of it.  And fortunately they didn't have to put it back in so yay for that!

Teddy did so well on the weaning that about 10am on Christmas they took him off of oxygen completely.  YAY!  He was going to need to maintain 90s+ O2 levels for a few hours then we could go home.  Welp, he did this for maybe 20 minutes before dropping into the 80s...so back on a smaller nasal cannula he went...and just on 0.5L of oxygen so the lowest setting.  UGH.  We weren't going home today.  And that sucked A LOT.  But they said we should be going home on the 26th, that sounded as good as it could so I was banking on that now.

Since Teddy was off of the high flow and just on wall oxygen, we were transferred out of the PICU to a step down room.

This room was MASSIVE -- had the biggest two windows, a gorgeous view of Forest Park, and another giant TV perfect for a 7 week old. haha

Christmas was tough being there away from the big kids, but they didn't seem to bothered by it.  They FaceTimed and told us how much they enjoyed their gift and note Santa left and couldn't wait to see us tomorrow.  So that was comforting.

Clearly ^^^ they were both over being there.

About 5pm they took Teddy off of all oxygen.  They left the nasal cannula in just turned it off and we hoped and prayed he'd tolerate weaning again this time.  I perched back up against his crib religiously watching his O2 numbers and praying they stayed above 90.

They stayed up for 4+ hours! YAY!!!  So now he needed to have a good night and not have the O2 turned back on (they turned his monitors off and just spot checked him every few hours with his vitals and O2 numbers) and we could be discharged in the morning! YAY!

In the morning the doc and nurse came by and said they were starting the discharge process which could take all day long (ugh)...I told them we had an appointment to get to in the early afternoon if we could get out of here faster.  They said they'd do their best.

Of course I had my camera with me so decided to take a few bye bye Children's pics of Teddy...

Now this next pic is one I took of Mike and Teddy and he had no clue I took it and it perfectly sums up our week:

Tired. Exhausted.  So over it.

But we were grateful for his care, that he was better (and not 100% -- still had this icky cough that will probably linger for another week or so) and we could go home to the big kids!

About 11:30am the nurses came in with our discharge papers and we signed those so fast and were OUT OF THERE!!!  I snapped a farewell pic of Teddy by his Forest Park window and we ran out of there as fast as we could.  BYEEEEE!

It was definitely a memorable Christmas...but an experience I hope to never ever repeat.  Having a sick kiddo is awful, but having one in the hospital is just horrendous.  We've never done that before and have done it now in less than 8 weeks with Teddy and I really hope it's our last adventure there.

We went back to the doc this morning and Teddy looked good after he calmed down from his coughing spell (which he had that one this morning and another one this afternoon and none since so that's good!).  We're going to check in with her throughout the weekend and hopefully Teddy is fully on the upswing and doesn't have any regression backwards.

I was so scared of sickness having a winter baby and it all came true this week.  I'm going to be a nazi with the big kids (and heck, anyone who comes into contact with him!) about washing their hands and making sure they're not sick.  I DO NOT want to repeat this again, with RSV or any other bug!  I hope this was our peak for sickness this winter (for everyone!) and we're all happy and healthy from here on out.  My fingers are crossed so tight for that.

Anyways, that's our little story of how Teddy got RSV and ended up in the ICU.  Yee haw, please let us never repeat this. Kthanks. And WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS PEOPLE!
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