Great news: The baby is on track to come home late Thursday night! We’re thrilled.
We still don’t understand what caused the tearing in his lungs when he was first born; the doctors think it was either underdeveloped lungs (which would be weird since we induced past the 38 week mark) or pneumonia or both. He spent a week with tubes in both sides of his chest to release excess air that was building up in his chest cavity.
In addition to our concerns about his health, these tubes meant that nobody could hold him. Seeing my baby crying and not being able to pick him up aged me about a thousand years in the course of those few days.
Because he’s old enough to be quite alert, we’ve tried to have someone there with him pretty much all the time. He was transferred from the hospital where he was born to a Level III NICU at a hospital 30 minutes away from us, which has meant a lot of driving around. With five other young children at home, you can imagine how exhausting that’s been.
One of the ways that I am certain that your wonderful prayers were answered was that we had previously arranged for my aunt to come visit for a week (hey, God is outside of time, so perhaps it was retroactive divine inspiration?). Back when the thought first came to mind it was a spontaneous idea to have her come hang out to meet the new baby and pal around with the other kids. It seemed like it would be a fun little vacation; we could have never imagined how critical her presence here would end up being! She goes home today, and the baby most likely will come home tomorrow. Perfect timing.
I apologize that I have not been responding to emails, tweets, and other kind messages. After all the concerns about my health, all of us were absolutely floored when I was fine and the baby had major problems. On top of a difficult labor and an even more difficult few months leading up to it, it’s been all I can do to put one foot in front of the other to get through this situation. Things have been going surprisingly well and we’ve been blessed with an unbelievable support network, but worrying about the baby’s health + recovering from the birth and all the medical procedures leading up to it + running back and forth to a hospital that’s not nearby + arranging childcare for our five other kids + making sure the other kids’ emotional needs are met + making sure Joe was able do his CPA work before the tax deadline has left me utterly drained all the time.
When I do have down time I’ve been disconnecting and completely losing myself in books. I don’t surf the web, read blogs, get on Twitter, check email, or any of the stuff I’d normally do; instead, I jump into the world of a book and immerse myself in it totally. Normally I’m not a big fiction reader, but in this case it’s just what the doctor ordered to spend a couple of hours a day in a world other than my own. It’s like a balm for my overheated brain.
Thank you so much again for your kind words, prayer, and support. More updates soon!
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