Ty’s third surgery in 37 days. I can’t believe all that he has had to endure and he just takes it. No whining. No complaining. I hold him and wish I could just take the pain away. I wish it was me and not him.

Rocky, Emma and I headed to the hospital at 5:15 am. They thought they would begin prepping him at 5:30 or 6:00. When we got there Ty was awake but peaceful. We just loved on him until everyone was ready to go. My heart broke once more as they wheeled him away on his warmer, off to go to sleep. And I couldn’t keep the pain inside anymore as the tears streamed down my face once more as my son rolled down the long hallway and through the double doors.

We went to the waiting room until they were done. The doctor came out a little after an hour to say that he was done with the scope, pictures and insertion of the new stents. He also wanted to take Ty’s adenoids out. He was able to clear out a lot of tissue and get the bigger stents in, but thought the adenoids would eventually create problems. We agreed even though we didn’t really know. Our doctor had been great and we trusted him tremendously, so we agreed with his judgment. One more thing for Ty to go through.

We went up to see him after his surgery was over. He was restless, off his ventilator but very uncomfortable. Emma had a hard time seeing him like that. She lost it. We went down to the cafeteria to wait for the doctor to talk about the pictures but he never came back because he had to go on to another surgery. We hoped we could talk to him soon.

Rocky and I got to the hospital to see Ty that evening and chills went down my spine. One of our favorite night nurses was on and she was very stressed. She told us Ty had been busy and causing some excitement – again.

He apparently had some issues with his fentanyl – pain medication. In trying to control his pain, he’d been given too much in his system which caused him to relax so much that he stopped breathing. He need to be stimulated to take a breath with the oxygen mask covering his mouth and nose, pumping air into his lungs to bring his heart rate and oxygen levels back up. He had several episodes before he got back to normal. They immediately took him off the fentanyl and while we were there, he was not on any pain medication at all. His eighth fight for life. My heart hurt for him. To watch him struggle so much just to breathe. An involuntary action we all do without even thinking. He struggled to eat. To survive. I wished it could be me and not him.

When we left, he was still on an IV, hadn’t had any feeds, somewhat comfortable but they were running some additional tests on him. His hematocrit test came back with a high white blood cell count and low red blood cells. The high white they were afraid might be due to infection and they started him on antibiotics just to be sure. They tested his urine by taking a sample by a catheter and took a blood sample too. They would culture those to see if he had anything more serious.

His red blood count was low and could be due to his prematurity which they expect to happen. But he was pale and he’d gotten cold (96.7) and couldn’t warm up, so they moved him back to a warmer bed.

Needless to say, Ty struggled through his surgery and his recovery. This surgery had been the biggest one yet and I felt like we were gradually sliding backwards. I didn’t want to panic. I just wished there was something I could do for him.

I called to talk to Ty’s nurse and check on him. She said he did great. He slept good and woke at 7 am ready to eat. She gave him a bottle which he liked but only took about 10 ml. But that was such a relief. He was only requiring Tylenol for pain and didn’t need any oxygen.

When the girls and I got there for his 10:30, he wasn’t too interested in eating which was fine with me. We just held him while he got his milk through his tube and just loved on him.

The girls and I went in for his 4:30 and helped his night nurse suction his nose and he did well. He was wide awake and took about 16 ml from his bottle. He stayed awake for his full feed and the girls had fun playing with him. He actually stayed awake for 2 ½ hours, almost time for his next feeding. Rocky came and held him while he slept, we helped the nurse get him ready for his cares at 7:30 and left him content and sound asleep.

Surgery was scheduled for 7 am Thursday morning. The doctor wanted to scope him and take pictures to see what the problem was, then place his official stents. Sometimes I felt like we were starting back at square one, but I reminded myself that he was bigger now, stronger and he should recover faster. This was not a major setback. Things could be worse.

Ty’s O2 blood levels came back showing Ty was in danger of dying. His blood showed not enough oxygen and too much carbon dioxide. Had that happened when we were home, he could have died. His 7th time to cheat death.

The fire was at 46,820 acres and 10% containment. Glacier View was on alert now for evacuation which was where Tim’s parents lived.


I apologize for the pause in telling Ty’s story. Day 35 was a very difficult one to relive and definitely one of the most difficult ones in the NICU. I took a break and was inspired by Ty to write some children’s stories. If you want to find out more about them, please like this facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/inthebackyardseries

But I am happy to say that I will get back to telling Ty’s story and his 62 days and then some so stay tuned!

Thank you so much for taking the time to ready about my amazing son and family. I can’t tell you how proud I am of them!

The fire was up to 41,000 acres and only 5% contained. The latest map showed the ranch might be okay. We crossed our fingers and prayed.

The NICU doctors raised Ty’s feedings to 71 ml per feeding. They had added a high protein 30 calorie formula to his milk to build protein and keep up with his weight increase.

The girls and I went for Ty’s 10:30 feeding and he didn’t do very well. He couldn’t really breathe and only drank about 12 ml. One of the nurses we’d bonded with was on today and she said she would try to suction him really well and see how he did at his 1:30. She’d contacted the ENT doctor and he was going to come by at lunch and see Ty.

His nose sounded worse so we didn’t even try to work him up with a feeding at 1:30. It was discouraging. I then got a call from the ENT doctor. He’d been up to see Ty and said that he thought Ty needed to go back in for surgery so he could scope him, take pictures and possibly place new stents. I was devastated.

Mom took the girls to karate for me, then they went home with Tim from there. I had planned to spend the night with Ty at the hospital in the side room in the NICU to prepare for him to come home. Even though we got the news that he may be having another surgery, we thought my spending a night with him would help. I was so excited!

But when I walked to Ty’s bed, I felt like I was walking into a nightmare.

Our nurse, the neonatal nurse practitioner, the charge nurse, the neonatal respiratory therapist, and another nurse all filled Ty’s bed space. Something was wrong. Very wrong. My heart raced. I set my overnight things by the chair and turned to see the look on the nurse’s face. She was focused and stressed and not at all her cheerful self. She saw the panicked look on my face as well. She explained that Ty was struggling to breathe. He had gotten considerably worse over the last 2 hours. She’d called our ENT doctor who was on his way but Ty’s condition had become an emergent situation. He was not getting oxygen into his system. They drew blood to test his oxygen and CO2 levels. This was the 7th time Ty had faced death. Because he did not yet automatically breathe through his mouth when he couldn’t through his nose, he felt as though he was suffocating. The ENT doctor had ordered that a ventilation tube be inserted in Ty’s mouth to open his airway. My heart shattered.

I knew inserting the tube would be difficult to watch so I went to the room where Ty and I were to spend our first night together while they worked. I knew I couldn’t watch helplessly while the nursing team hurt my son to help him. I tried not to cry while I called Rocky who was immediately on his way. I hung up with Rocky and tried to get myself together. I looked out the window. There were no windows anywhere else in the NICU, but there was one in this room. It overlooked the courtyard below. Ash fell through the air like snow. It looked like I felt. Devastated. Broken.

They came and got me when they were done. I held Ty for over an hour as we waited for the doctor, watching him struggle to breathe. The tube was a little larger than the one he had the day he was born. And he hated it. It hurt and gagged him. He did everything he could to get it out. And he fought and he cried. Only to give in and accept defeat. I cried with him. Not only was he struggling to breathe, but he was struggling because he was hungry and he couldn’t eat.

The doctor arrived and said that he needed to insert stents in Ty’s nose so that he had an airway. Then we could take the vent tube out. The problem with inserting stents was that they would have to do it with him awake. I hated the thought of inserting the stents, but I also hated that he had the tube in his mouth. How did he close up in 5 days?! I was so glad the girls were not with me. They didn’t need to see him like this, or what he was about to go through.

Rocky had arrived and we went to our little room because again, I knew I couldn’t watch what the doctor was going to do to Ty. I sobbed. I could hear Ty screaming. I cried harder. I didn’t know how many times I could do this.

The doctor came and talked to us when he was done. He would schedule the surgery for probably Thursday morning, two days from now. He said that Ty’s nose had closed up again, quickly, and he wanted to scope and take pictures to see if he could find out why. Ty would have stents in for a month and would probably go home with them. He asked if I had suctioned the stents yet and I said no. He asked why and I said that we all thought that Ty would go home without them and we didn’t think I needed to learn but I said that I would start.

We then went out to see Ty who was in a lot of obvious pain. Our nurse was visibly shaken. She had gotten so close to Ty that it hurt her deeply as well to watch what he was going through. The insertion of the emergency stents was traumatic for her as well. She was getting him ready for his feed and had Tylenol set up for him to take during his feeding. I held him while he took his gavage. He would cry out then sleep periodically, definitely in pain. When he finally slept, we laid him in his bed and left, exhausted.

I called to check on him later that night before going to bed and they said they’d given him a dose of morphine to make him comfortable. They said he was sleeping well and they planned to disrupt him as little as possible so he could sleep.

I think I would have cried myself to sleep if I had any emotional energy left in me. I prayed for Ty as I drifted off.

The fire was up to 37,000 acres. The smoke in town was incredible. It was not at all contained. Evacuations had increased. We were worried about Rocky’s family’s property. We found maps on the Larimer County website and they updated them almost daily. It showed the burn areas and where the hot spots were but it was so hard to tell where the beast was going. The firefighters were working so hard to save as many lives and structures as possible. It was so hard to watch.

Ty did well at his 10:30 feeding. I picked the girls up from Tim and we headed to the hospital. He ate his whole feeding then the girls played with him for awhile. It was so fun to watch them interact with him and he seemed to love it.

We ran errands, got lunch then went back for his 1:30. He didn’t each much, so we left and went back for his 4:30. He ate about half of his feeding, but he seemed to struggle with it. One of the nurses we knew was not his nurse that day, but she came by and saw that Ty was struggling to eat so they put in his feeding tube. He had a hard time with it and needed oxygen.

When we went back for his 7:30 feeding, he struggled again, but drank the whole bottle. I was hopeful that it was just some secretions they could suction out and he would be fine. It really felt like he was on his way to coming home.

The fire was over 20,000 acres and not at all contained. Evacuations ran from Poudre Canyon down to Bellvue, Lory State Park, Redstone, Horsetooth, Buckhorn and Rist Canyons. It started in Paradise Park and ran through Stove Prairie. Unbelievable.

Our nurse called this morning and said that Ty was wide awake at 7:30 so she gave him a bottle and he took 54 ml. She was afraid that we would be upset that he may not eat at his 10:30 feeding. I told her that we prefer he attempt to eat all he wanted when he wanted. If he was awake and wanted to eat and we weren’t there, we wanted them to feed him. That was the best way to get him home.

He did end up eating 48 ml at his 10:30 feeding. They gave him a bottle at his 1:30 feeding and he took 40 ml. Then at his 4:30 he took 36 ml. Even though he didn’t take a full feeding today, he ate more than half his feeding four times in a row which was an AMAZING thing!

I was extremely hopeful that we would be bringing Ty home next weekend, his due date, Father’s Day.

Happy one month birthday Ty!

I got to the hospital today and our awesome nurse had made Ty another scrapbook page for him with footprints and his weight. She was so thoughtful. Those small things meant so much.

She said that he was really hungry so she started his bottle with him and he took about 25 ml in 8 minutes. I sat down with him and he took another 20 ml from the bottle with me. All in less than half an hour. Then he crashed. He slept better. He ate better. He was like a whole new man with the stents out.

A fire started today up the Buckhorn and Rist Canyon roads west of Fort Collins. Rocky’s family had property up there and his aunts were staying there for the summer. They had been evacuated. I saw the smoke as I drove to the hospital that morning. It grew from 50 acres to over 5,000 acres by that night. Crazy day.

Rocky and I went in for Ty’s 4:30 feeding and he was doing awesome. He was breathing on his own with no oxygen and he did again with the 4:30 feeding. He drank his entire bottle. I couldn’t believe it. In half an hour again. No struggle. And he was drinking with a regular nipple, not the slow flow nipple they usually used for premees. We were so excited for him! One more major step accomplished for Ty to come home.