Jacob is home!

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After 58 days, Lucy, Samantha, Clare and Issac finally get to meet their baby brother.

No more afternoons in the NICU (and dropping the kids off at friends’ houses.)

Since he came home Saturday morning, many of our NICU nurse friends and our most fabulous lactation consultant, who really held our hands through this whole process, weren’t there to see us off.  But Dr. Cudihy (who attended Jacob’s birth) happened to be there, which was fitting, since neither of us would be here without his help.

Still working on getting my milk supply functional.  I’m making enough in a day to be about half a feeding.  Jacob’s appetite is growing faster than I can keep up with!

Thank you so much for all the prayers you have showered on us during the last two months!  (Not to mention the clothes, diapers, gift cards, meals…it’s a long list.)  Now we just have to work out this whole having-a-baby-at-home thing…again.  It gets easier, but it’s still new every time.  This time around we have so much help – Lucy is preparing formula bottles, Samantha is folding clothes, Clare is (reluctantly) disposing of diapers, and Isaac is showing Jacob his toy power tool set.  My mom and brother are here for the weekend, so the dishes are always clean.  Everyone if fighting for baby-holding privileges.  I think we’re just excited to finally start this adventure together, as a family.

 

Baby Jacob Update

Today would have been 36 weeks.  On Friday Jacob will be eight weeks old.

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We had hoped Jacob might be coming home today, but he had another “brady” episode (where his heart slows down and he turns blue) so the earliest we can hope for now is Saturday.  He is eating like a teenage boy already, and we’re making a little bit of progress nursing, so it’s just up to him now to remember to breathe and keep his heart going until Saturday.  If he makes it five days in a row, it’s very unlikely he’ll have trouble with it again, so that’s when the doctors will feel comfortable sending him home.

Friends, family, and strangers have been so generous.  We have been given clothes, diapers, wipes, a co-sleeper bed, blankets, burp rags, food…and many things I’m forgetting at the moment.  There is no way we can ever be grateful enough for all the love that has been showered on us.

So we’re spending Mardi Gras with friends, and still waiting and praying.  I shouldn’t be impatient – when we started this adventure we were expecting Jacob home a month from now.  Even Saturday, even a week from Saturday, would still be early.  But I am impatient!  I am ready for Lucy, and Samantha, and Clare, and Isaac to meet their brother.  I am ready for all the snuggling.  Not really ready for all the crying, pooping, and waking up at night…but I’ll take it.  I’m past ready for this baby to come home.

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Nap time

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We’re all tired.  It’s been a long six-and-a-half weeks.  Falling asleep in the chair is no surprise.  The real question is: why is he holding earmuffs?

That sounds…delicious?

Me: “Clare, what kind of ice cream do you want for your birthday?”

Clare: “Rock ‘n Roll!”

Me: “You mean Rocky Road?”

Clare: “Yes!”

I’m not sure I want to know what goes into “Rock ‘n Roll” ice cream…

Although Google tells me it is both an ice cream shop in Georgia and a vinyl album.  Of course.

Baby Jacob Update

The writing on the wall:

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Jacob officially weighs 5 pounds!

He would have been 35 weeks gestation today…hard to believe he shouldn’t have been born for another month.

His feeding tube was out when we visited this evening.  Craig loves feeding him (a privilege he hasn’t had often, since we usually try to avoid bottles.)  Jacob has been finishing 7 of his 8 bottles for several days now…as soon as he does 8 of 8, two days in a row, then they’ll let him start feeding on demand.  If he proves he will eat enough that way, not just sleep all the time and starve, then he gets to go home.  We are so close!

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Keep the prayers coming!  His siblings can’t wait to finally meet their new brother!

 

 

Happy Birthday Clare!

Our Little Miss Sunshine is 7 years old today!

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She’s busy with ballet, books, sewing, and drawing.  And, of course, being the best playmate ever for Isaac.  Her superpower: she gives great hugs.

We’ve spent a lot of time counting our blessings lately, and our lovely, loving children are always at the top of the list.

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(Hopefully soon we can share a picture of them all together…)

 

 

The Good Times

This is why I like us all being home.

I’m making lunch and packing up to go visit Jacob this afternoon.

Lucy is practicing violin, working between piano, YouTube videos, and her metronome to get it “just right.”

I walked by the art room, and Samantha (who could not, would not read this time last year) is reading one of my childhood favorite books, Happy Birthday Moon, to Isaac (in Batman outfit) and Clare (caring for a baby bear).

These are the good times.  Lord, help me remember that!

Another Baby Jacob Update

As of last night, Jacob was up to 4 lbs 5 oz!  He is growing really well, praise God.

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He has had some setbacks with his feedings, however.  They went back to tube feeding for the time being because he hasn’t got the suck-swallow-breathe thing working yet.  He’ll start trying the bottle again in the next few days.

He seems to be doing well keeping his temperature up.  They’ll work him a little harder on that once he has mastered eating.

Please keep praying, we are making progress!  Jacob is a feisty little thing, and he gives the nurses a run for their money.  He would have been 34 weeks gestation tomorrow.  It’s hard to believe he could have had six more weeks in my belly…and we’ve already had him for a month now.

Baby Jacob Update

Good news!  The nurses tried bottle-feeding Jacob last night, and it went really well.  That’s the next step to getting rid of his last tube.  Craig was able to be there (it was the 11:30pm feeding, so I stayed home with the kids and slept.)  Jacob is awake more now and feisty as ever.  3lb 11oz, as of yesterday.

Meanwhile, my milk supply keeps slowly increasing.  It’s still nowhere near enough, but at least we’re making progress.

So thank you for all the prayers (I think there have been thousands sent our way at this point – just from the people who have told me they were praying!) and please keep praying!  Your love and blessings have sustained us over this last month.

Happy Birthday Jacob!

Jacob is one month old today.

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As of yesterday afternoon he weighed 3lbs 10oz.

We’ve come a long way. Here are some of the milestones from his first month:

-Ventilator taken off

-Umbilical IVs taken out

-CPAP taken off

-PICC line put in (that’s an IV from his foot to his heart)

-Humidity turned off in his incubator

-Oxygen taken off

-PICC line taken out

-Feedings “compressed” (a step from feeding tube towards bottle/breastfeeding)

The next steps are to learn to eat and to control his body temperature. And to just keep growing!

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One of the best parts of my day is going to visit him for “kangaroo care,” which means they take him out of the box and put him on my chest under a bunch of blankets. We nap, we read, we listen to the nurses gossiping. It’s lovely.

In another month we can start thinking about when he’ll be coming home. They say most premies come home “at term,” which would be March 6 at the earliest.  True this month went quickly…but another month feels like an eternity.

It’s been a wild, difficult month. I can’t pretend I don’t regret the 12 weeks I didn’t get to stay pregnant with Jacob. It’s true I complained about how big my belly was already, and aches and pains. But I wouldn’t have minded putting up with all that a little longer. It would certainly have been easier.

Still, as hard as it has been, I’ve also cherished getting to know this sweet, feisty baby. We get 12 extra weeks with him, even if it’s only a for an hour or two a day.

I wish he had been born later, and I’m glad he’s here now. I don’t know how to reconcile the two.

But Jacob is a joy and a blessing (just like all our children!) and I’m glad to be able to make this journey to health and [something approaching] wholeness with him.

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