I haven’t been wanting to share my art journaling lately is it’s become very basic. And I finally accepted that that’s how it’s gonna be for a while. I just don’t have time to get very fancy with it these days – baby and all – so I’m pretty much sticking to my favorite super fast way to achieve the look and feel I want: Watercolor.
I also moved my art journaling out of my Kikki K. as I’m currently using it as a planner (and loving it!). Instead I just punched holes in my art journal paper pad and bound it with two creme colored rings by 7 Gypsies (can’t find them online – sorry).
If you’ve ever read one of my art journaling blog posts you know I them as an opportunity to share a bit of me. I don’t kid myself that everyone’s interested in my personal stuff so you may skip reading and just look at photos if you wanna. :)
As you may know I gave birth to little Anders on February 17th, two months ago now. And those who follow me on Instagram may be aware of our birth story and more specifically what happened after.
Long story short, we had an amazing birth. It was a little over 5 hours from the first contraction until he was out – tiny, slippery, warm and crying on my chest. It was early morning and we were exhausted, happy and ready to go home. Within a half hour of his birth we noticed him getting a little pale, even blue, and limp at times. They asked us to stay the rest of the day for observation.
Anders kept turning blue and our joy was quickly turned into fear when he was taken into the emergency room and they started to closely monitor his vitals. It seemed like he had trouble with his breathing. The monitors showed how bad a state he was actually in and it felt like the ground went out from under out feet. It’s the most surreal thing I’ve ever experienced.
He was rushed to another bigger hospital in an ambulance. Steffen and I were driven there by his parents. We weren’t sure what we were facing once we got there.
We found ourselves in the dark and foreign rooms of the NICU. There were more than a handful people standing around his tiny crib, looking and talking and noting things down on clipboards. They gave him oxygen and that helped him but it didn’t solve the underlying problem.
I’m going into way too much detail now but I don’t know how else to tell the story. When you’re living hour by hour every detail seems important.
At this point we thought we’d be in the hospital overnight, nothing more. So we got settled in a room just down the hall from where he was and basically just did everything we were told. Dinner’s at six. Pumped breastmilk goes here. Diapers and towels are there.
At 4AM we were told that he had suffered a brain hemorrhage – most likely at birth. To this day we still don’t know what caused it. Aside from the brain hemorrhage he’s perfectly healthy – a big, beautiful boy.
He started treatment which was a sedative to keep his activity levels down and thereby prevent stress on his wounded brain. This helped his breathing and at around four days old he started making huge improvements in his overall health. As they gradually took him off the meds he became much more active and soon he fed solely at my breast, eating like a champion.
I’ve never been more proud and happy in my life.
We’ve been to several checkups since we were released from the hospital at eight days old and he’s acing every exam. And they’ll keep checking on him. The hemorrhage has quite severely damaged his brain and we were told from the beginning that he will most likely experience some developmental and/or behavioral challenges. He may have disabilities.
My heart breaks for him all the time, but I’m also so happy. I’m forever grateful for him. For the doctors and nurses who literally saved us. For Steffen who is the best person I know, and for grand parents who helped us in ways they don’t even know and made an impossible thing possible to bear.
Yes, this is very sentimental for me. Perhaps it’s oversharing. But I like being transparent and so far it’s only been rewarding. I don’t feel anyone taking a distance or feeling awkward around us, only compassion.
I will likely be art journaling mostly about this for a while so bear with me. I hope you liked these simple pages.