Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Bonnie the dog: 2004-2008

This past Monday night while we were eating supper our dog Bonnie was hit by a car. Our new house doesn't have a fence so she had the run of the yard (and road unfortunately). Bonnie was a Australian Cattle Dog (Red Heeler). We got her in January 2005 when she was just a few weeks old. She was very good with the boys and was very loyal. The boys took the news very well -- so well that Eli is already planning and naming our next dog.

Bonnie as a puppy.

Snaggle Tooth Eli

To my surprise, Eli lost his first tooth this week. Kevin and I did not have a clue that it was loose. I didn't even knew that a child could loose teeth this early. He turns five this month. I was in the kitchen getting supper ready and the boys were watching Jungle Book. Eli was eating an apple and he came to me and said "Momma, my tooth came out". I was in shock. My first initial thought was all that rough housing that he, Kevin and Luke do had some how caused his tooth to be knocked out. Unfortunately, I had to realize that my first born is just growing up and isn't a baby anymore. A hard lesson for a mom. :(

Eli put his tooth under his pillow. He says that his tooth turned into money!

Pictures from the past month

Seth in NICU on the day he was born.

Momma finally gets to hold her baby!

This pacifier is specially made for preemies but it still takes up half his face!

Striking a pose at 2 weeks old.

All dressed up to go home!

Big Brothers are so happy to see their little brother.

Family picture. Eli is already showing Seth his superhero moves.

Eli dotes on Seth!

Luke loves to sing to his baby brother.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Now for the Rest of the Story....

A month later you are getting the rest of the story! We have been "internet challenged" since we moved to our new house. So without internet readily available to us and plus spending more time on the road and at hospitals rather than at home, is the reason for the tardiness of this story.

Seth was born seven weeks early at 33 weeks gestation. We knew that their was a chance that he would have to be transported to a NICU nursery due to the fact that lungs aren't generally fully developed at this stage of gestation. Also white males have more of a problem with lung development (nicknamed Wimpy White Boy Syndrome). Thankfully, Longview has a NICU at Good Shepherd Medical Center. Seth's lungs, as expected, were underdeveloped. He was given surfactant to keep his lungs from collapsing. The transport team from GSMC came and took him to the NICU. Before Seth left Longview Regional, they started him on iv fluid and intubated with a ventilator. He was only on the ventilator for 24 hours but had oxygen support for a week. He dropped a bit of weight while in the NICU. He dropped down to 4 lbs 6 oz. before he started to make turn and put on weight. He was in the NICU for a week before he was moved to the NIMC (intermediate care) nusery. He got to start "nipple"(bottle or breastfeeding) feedings every other feeding when he was moved to the IMC. He had a NG tube that they feed him the other times. When I was there at feeding times, I got to breastfeed him. Nursing would wear him out very easily because nursing takes a lot of energy for preemies. Also with him being a "wimpy white boy" did not help. After a week and a half, they decided to let him be on full nipple feedings to see how he would do. At full nipple feedings he was able to maintain and gain weight. So on Good Friday, March 21, (exactly on month to the day that I was put in the hospital for the first time) Seth Benjamin was discharged from the hospital! He was in the NICU/NIMC for a total of three weeks. His discharge weight was 5 lbs 2 oz. A week later at his one month well visit, he weighed 5 lbs 12.5 oz. A pound over his birth weight!

He is 5 weeks old now and doing great. He is starting to fill out. He is nursing much better now. The nurses keep telling me as he got closer to full term he would start to nurse better. They were right. Last week I could tell a big difference in him. He was 37 weeks gestation, which is considered full term, and he started nursing much better and started doing more newborn type things. It is amazing how God created babies in the womb to do certain things at just the right time.

Eli and Luke have been troopers through all of this. They have dealt with this as well as any 4 year old and 2 year can. They did not understand why they could not go to the hospital to see their baby brother. Once Seth was moved into the intermediate care nursery, they could peep in at him through a window. After seeing him, Eli started praying that Seth's nose and feet would feel better. Eli took it that since Seth had the feeding tube in his nose and a band aid on his foot that Seth had a hurt nose and foot. Luke would pray that the doctors would make Seth feel better. Luke also would sing a song about Baby Seth and the doctor make him better. Such sweet boys we have! They were very excited when we drove up that Friday afternoon when we brought Seth home. Both boys ran out and met us. They climbed into the van and started loving on baby brother. The loving has not stopped either! Eli helps me burp Seth. Luke is amazed that Seth has the same number of eyes, ears, fingers, etc... as him.

Kevin and I are so thankful for such loving parents and grandparents. Both of our parents took time off work to help us with the boys and with my recovery. Our loving church family also stepped up to help us by providing spots for the boys in the church's daycare facilities while Seth was in the hospital. Our Bible Fellowship group brought us supper again when Seth came home. I honestly don't know what Kevin and I would have done with out such a wonderful support group. We have truly been blessed and ministered to over the past six weeks.

Kevin mentioned in the first post that I was tired and ready to go home as to the reason for ending his story. I had a horrific headache and was just generally tired. I didn't realize it at the time but I had spinal headache caused from a spinal fluid leak in the injection site of the spinal block. Every time I was upright, I had a terrible headache that would at times bring me to tears. When I would lay down, the headache subsided. On Wednesday, March 5, I went in as an outpatient to have a procedure called a blood patch to stop the spinal fluid leak. Using a real time x-ray, they went back into the injection site and injected the site with my own blood to cause a blood clot to stop the leak. The procedure took probably 10 to 15 minutes and the headaches were gone. But other than a few minor and pesky aches and pains I am doing great. I probably have about 85%-90% of my strength back now.

We are glad to all finally be together as a family. We give God the glory for all that he has entrusted and blessed us with.