This is the longest I have ever gone without blogging. I'd feel withdrawal pains if I weren't so sleep deprived! I knew three would be harder, but there's something about being in the middle of it all when reality hits you like a brick wall and suddenly you appreciate how simple life was before! ;0) Regardless, this blog is our family journal, something that the kids love to look at and something I hope they will treasure and share with their own families later. Realistically I know I won't be posting 4-6 times a month anymore, but I need to sneak in a post once a month so that I'll have something to read and smile about when everyone is grown and gone.Here's a shot I took of Elias just before we had to go back for the second round of phototherapy. He already knows how to pose for the camera, even in his sleep! Despite all that went on, we did manage to get out and have some fun as a family. We attended a camp Jamboree in Scottsdale where summer camps of all types came to have some free activities for families as well as advertise for their programs. There were bounce houses, games, petting zoo, horses and even a smore roast. Keila's day was complete with the chance to brush a horse and Isaac's mouth was sealed shut with a sticky gooey smore. div class="separator" style="clear: both; text-align: center;">
Elias is as snuggle-able a package as anything can be. Somehow he's taken our entire hearts without lifting a finger. Keila and Isaac are in raptures when he looks at them and I worry more that he'll be smothered with love. Hopefully he'll grow to look on these annoyingly intense expressions of love with pleasure. Despite being only 5 and half weeks, he too has had his own accomplishments. We went to the doctor a week ago and discovered he was only 6 ounces more than his birth weight. Despite the jaundice being gone, his sleepiness was increasing and feeding him was taking an hour and a half to complete. Since I was breastfeeding once side and bottle feeding the other, I had no real idea of how much he was getting. (This is where I'd like to ask the Lord if he could just make my breast see through with little marker lines for the ounces of milk produced .... anyone else feel the same way?!) It turns out that the fatigue was not just due to low muscle tone, but that his sugar levels were dropping which made him more tired, hence he would not feed well and the cycle spiraled downward. I was rather distressed and overwhelmed with how to break the pattern let alone function with the other two children. The doctor suggested that I try pumping entirely at least every other feeding and to get in 3 ounces each time. Unfortunately when we did this, Elias who has a little reflux, seem to aspirate more frequently. I would nurse him and lay awake listening to him gag and choke on whatever came up or I'd 'sleep' on the couch upright to hold him through it. Obviously he couldn't handle more than 2 ounces of anything.
Next we tried to fortify his milk by adding just a small amount of formula to my pumped breastmilk. I also asked for some expert advice from 2 friends who have babies wiht Down Syndrome. We moved to 3 hour feeds and Kent took care of the other kiddos for the entire weekend. I moved from one sleep deprived feed to another and crashed in bed each moment I got, by Sunday night I was getting worried about how long it would take to break this cycle. Thankfully it was that very evening we Elias began feeding quicker and better. I did a dance of joy (in my dreams!) and through the help of friends with a meal and babysitting, we got through it completely and I'm back on my feet. We're officially on 4 hour feeds with it taking only an hour to eat and while that doesn't sound a whole lot better, I feel better. Every little hour and minute helps and it also means our little boy is getting stronger. During his wake periods, everyone fights who gets to be next to him and have his little eyes gaze in concentrated wonder! I learned a few things from the experience, first, despite being overwhelmed and feeling like a first time parent all over again, the Lord does make us able to do things we think we can't do. Secondly, He often inspires others around us to help 'carry' us through reminding me once again that this life is about 'family', those we're born into and those we make.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
For Easter we attended the annual Candy hunt at the Peoria Sports Complex. This year Kent was able to go so the two oldest had the chance to do all sorts of crafts and rides.