Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tyson's Story of Awesomeness!

My dear, sweet, funny Tyson turned 10 years old on Sunday.  I know!  We have a lot of birthdays right in a row.  It's been fun to revisit their births and put them in writing.

Funny Tyson came to family prayer like this one night… as "Uncle Willy???"  What a joy Tyson is!!  Truly!!

Tyson's Birth Story

I became pregnant with Tyson right around the same time that Jackson was going through his major open-heart surgery.  It was a joyous time because Jackson was healing and finally able to get around without purple lips and a long oxygen tube attached to him.

On Sunday morning my labor started.  It wasn't too bad, so I just kept a log of the frequency of my contractions.  After church I went to the hospital.  They sent me home.  I returned the next day VERY ready.  It all happened quickly and smoothly.   Jackson was delivered as an emergency C-Section, so I knew I wanted an epidural with Tyson just in case things didn't go right.

They gave me the epidural, and I almost passed out.  I called out as my world began to fade around me.  They quickly put other medication in me to bring me back to consciousness.  I guess in all the fuss they forgot to put in my catheter.  Uh.. oh...

His Perfect Delivery… with a Little Oops :-)

Everything was going well.  Abe had the video camera out.  The doctor told me to push, so I did.  All of a sudden I heard a strange spraying sound.  Yep… the poor doctor had both his hands up shielding his face from… well it was the result of the nurses forgetting the catheter.  I apologize for putting this in my blog, but I do also write for my posterity.  The fact that I "sprayed" the doctor is one of his favorite parts of the story.  Here I was about to meet my precious little Tyson, and the whole room was in laughter… including me.  I was laughing hysterically and apologizing at the same time as Tyson came into the world.  That was one EXCELLENT epidural!  It was a perfect delivery.

We named him Tyson Rakem.  He shares his middle name with Abe, my husband.  Rakem means "True God."  Ra means "God," and kem means "upright."

My little Tyson was as sweet and precious as can be.  I vividly remember holding my little angel Tyson all through the night while he looked all around the room and into my eyes.  I couldn't believe how alert and curious his eyes were already.  I remember feeling that I would never forget that moment, and I haven't.  My big, 10-year old Tyson was cute to crawl into my arms yesterday to reenact that special moment for me.  He curled his big, long body up into my arms and gave me his same wide eyes.  I won't ever forget that moment either!

The next morning our wonderful Pediatrician came to our hospital room to check on Tyson.  Since Jackson had so many severe health problems, I had a lot of anxiety about this delivery.  He said, "See?  You worried for nothing- he's perfectly healthy."

Our pediatrician left, and I looked at Tyson's lips closer.  I had become an expert at watching for a lack of oxygen because our 1st son had bluish lips often from his heart condition.  I noticed Tyson's lips looked a little bluish.  I asked the nurse to check his oxygen levels.  She left with him and came back about 15 minutes later without him.  She said he was on oxygen tubes in the nursery.  I jumped out of bed to go check on him.

Life Flighted 

When I went into the nursery they told me not to touch him because he was sick.  I had been through months of sickness with Jackson as an infant because of his heart problems.  If there was one thing I knew- I knew my newborn baby needed his mother's touch.  I had waited for what seemed like an hour patiently watching him while he slept.  I wanted to be holding him!  I then told the nurse that I was going to go pump and then I would be back for my baby.  The head nurse said with reservation, "Ok. I guess you can hold him if he's awake."  Are you kidding me?  She was going to give me permission?  That was my baby, and I loved him with all my heart.  We had spent the entire night gazing into each other's eyes.  

In a very low, firm voice, I spoke very slowly:  "I don't think you understand.  WHEN I come back, I WILL hold my baby."  They did not have a NICU at this hospital, and they were not as experienced as the children's hospital.  It was a newer concept to actually let mothers touch their sick babies.  I had already been through this with my first baby, and I knew Tyson needed his mother's closeness… especially if he was sick.  The nurse was surprised by my firm response and agreed to let me hold him.

By the time I returned to Tyson, they were making arrangements to send him to the children's hospital by the Life Flight Team's ambulance.  Our pediatrician returned and assisted Abe in giving baby Tyson a priesthood blessing before he was whisked off to the other hospital.  I gathered my things to leave the hospital.  The nurses tried to tell me that the rules stated I needed to stay in the hospital.

With bags already packed I simply said, "Ok… Um… I'm leaving with my baby."   One look at me and they realized I really wasn't going to stay in a hospital room feeling completely healthy while my precious baby was in another hospital not breathing well.  How could I be separated from my baby Tyson- my dear, sweet love?  The nurses promptly brought me the papers to release me from the hospital.

Tyson spent 5 more days at the children's hospital.  They couldn't determine what the cause was for his low oxygen levels.  Because I was highly experienced with oxygen tubes and medications, they sent Tyson home sooner than they would have and made plans for a nurse to come visit the house and change his IV's.  They even gave me instructions on how to change the medications on the IV's.  I was relieved to be in a hospital where they trusted a mother's intuition.  Because after all… it was the Holy Ghost and my intuition as a mother which guided me to even identify there was a problem with his low oxygen levels to begin with.  What a miracle that was!

The doctors at the children's hospital allowed me to monitor his oxygen levels at home and decide how best to wean him from his oxygen.  Right at about 6 weeks , I took Tyson off his oxygen tubes completely.  We discovered later that the first hospital never gave him a hearing test.  We gave him one several weeks after that, and he failed it.  He had tubes placed in his ears and an adenoidectomy at a few months of age, and his hearing returned fully.

Tyson continues to have problems with his ears and sinuses, but he is healthy and strong otherwise… with those same curious eyes.  What a great blessing and joy he is!

Little Stories of Tyson's Awesomeness

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

*As a baby, Tyson had such a beautiful little face framed by soft, brown curls that people always thought he was a girl.  One time at a restaurant, a man interrupted our meal to say, "Oh my gosh, your daughter is just breaking my heart she's so beautiful."  Of course I didn't have the heart to say she was a he… especially since he was breaking his heart.  Abe and I just smiled and told him thank you.

*As a little 1-year old, Tyson kissed Nanny as if he was in love with her.  He would hold her cheeks in his hands and kiss her over and over again.  Grandmommy said he always pinched her arms gently while he cuddled with her.

*Tyson was ALWAYS dirty.  Jackson would come in from playing and look spotless, but Tyson would come inside with thick dirt all through his scalp… both are wonderful in their differences, but it just gives you a little insight to the way Tyson tackles life.

*Tyson loves to read his scriptures and bear his testimony, and he always asks if he can be the one to give the prayer.

*When our family was in the Nauvoo Pageant the first time, Tyson was only 6 years old.
After the show, he walked up to several strangers to bear his testimony to them about Jesus Christ.  He approached an elderly couple and bore his testimony to them- unbeknownst to little Tyson, they happened to be on their way home from their missions.  They were merely passing through Nauvoo, IL on the way.  This elderly couple told the directors of the pageant that Tyson's testimony was the highlight of their entire mission.

* During that same Nauvoo experience, 6- year old Tyson decided to teach 4-year old Jordan how to bear his testimony, so he took him by the hand and walked up to a young couple.  I watched him do this from afar and then decided I better listen in- I had no idea what they were saying to these people!  Tyson told Jordan, "Tell them what you know about the church Jordan."  Jordan bore his testimony.  Then Tyson looked at him and said, "Jordan, tell them more about what you know about Jesus."  Jordan's hero is Tyson, so he told them more.  The couple's mouths dropped open, and they were obviously emotional as little Jordan obediently shared more about his love for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

*Tyson is also very talented in music.  He isn't afraid to try anything new.  He plays the piano, the trumpet, the mallets, and the drums… all very well with kids several years older than he is.

*Tyson is a great leader in the home.

*He started a wonderful family tradition of writing letters during the night for each member of the family and secretly delivering them.  We all have our mailboxes, and it is his example that gets all the other kids excited about writing the letters.

* He often makes treasure hunts for all the kids too.  He is ALWAYS thinking of the most creative games whenever we have to wait somewhere.

*Tyson's greatest love is ANIMALS!!  I made him a special book with all the crazy pictures of him with animals.  He has a gift with animals.  They are drawn to him.  We have a picture of Tyson kissing a giraffe because he had a cracker in his mouth, but one time a giraffe walked up to Tyson among about 15 other children and started licking him all over his coat and neck.  The other children were squealing with excitement.  Tyson held his head back as if he were in heaven!

*At age 7, Tyson had never played football before.  We put him on the team that didn't hold any practices.  His first time on a football field was to play in an actual game!  He excelled so quickly that he received the award as "Most Improved."  Tyson's athletic ability is superb.  He puts his whole heart into every sport he tries, and he loves competition.  He isn't afraid to ask strangers if they want to play with him.  When he runs after somebody in football, they hardly ever get away.  He's happiest when he gets a pick 6 which is an interception for a touchdown.  He's aggressive.  When Tyson played tackle football, kids cried in practice because he tackled so hard.

*Tyson ran a half-marathon… all 13.1 miles at the young age of 8-years old.  At age 9, his fastest mile was 6:42.

*Tyson has a gift of connecting with people of all ages.  Older people are touched by his sweetness.  Little children love the games he plays with them, and teenagers love him for his enthusiasm to join in with maturity.

*Tyson received one of the lead roles and a solo in the first play he ever auditioned for.  All the teenage girls' parents told me how much their daughters loved little Tyson.  He's very gifted socially. :-)  All the girls wanted autographs and pictures with him after the show because he was soooo cute. :-)

*Every one of Tyson's teachers have told me what a joy he is to have them in his classes.

I love my tough, tender-hearted little Tyson.  He is such a joy in my life.  It's been a fabulous 10 years!

Tyson's Birthday Celebration: Enjoy the Pics:-)

His brothers and sisters made a shrine of stuffed animals for Tyson to wake up to- just like they had done for Mariah.  They also slept right by his side to make him feel extra special.  

For Tyson's birthday, he wanted to eat chicken enchiladas, empanadas, and have the same strawberry cake that Mariah had. :-)

Some neighbors came over to celebrate with us, and we had a great time playing games together.  After the little party, Tyson told me how much he loved just sitting and talking about animals with one of the older boys.  Tyson is good about making everybody feel welcome and part of the group.  It's been a beautiful few days celebrating Tyson.

More Fun Pics I Wanted to Include for Tyson

Tyson, age 5, with his brothers and sister… before Juliana and Jayden were born...

Our cute little animal lover!! 

Lizard mania!!  Do you see it hanging off his ear?

Tyson made an acorn hat for a lizard from the yard.  He is so silly!

 We found this turtle in our backyard!  Tyson did a whole documentary on the specifics of this turtle…. it was VERY cute.

The snakes ARE real!!