When we first got to the hospital today Elijah was pretty tired. He wasn’t responding very much and to be honest I was a little bit worried. It doesn’t pay to worry because Elijah is an amazing little man. He was awake and alert for a really long time today. Yesterday he would just barely open his eyes and it wasn’t for very long. After holding him for awhile, he finally started to wake up and open up his eyes…and for an extended period of time. He opened up wide this time and was looking around. He seemed to look in the direction of the person that was talking with his beautiful blue eyes. This is so encouraging to us and wonderful to finally see him awake.
Elijah is being fed quite a bit through his feeding tube and they keep increasing the amount of milk that they are giving him. He is taking to it very well. He is continually being more and more unhooked. Tonight they took him off of his IV which supplemented the breast milk and now he is getting milk exclusively. Now the only thing that he is connected to is sensors that measure his heart rate, respiration, and blood oxygen levels…and the feeding tube in his nose. It’ll be great when he has nothing attached to him but his parents.
I didn’t get to nurse Elijah today like I had hoped. He just wasn’t awake when the time came to try it out. Poor guy, we’re always trying to wake him up. He’s been through a lot and his brain needs an opportunity to recover. I’m really hopeful that he’ll be more awake tomorrow and we’ll be able to learn how to do it together. They have stopped feeding him continuously and instead give him a normal feeding over 30 minutes every 3 hours. This is so he can start to have the sensation of hunger like any baby would every few hours. This should help him have the cues to want to feed and should help with him wanting to nurse. The doctor told us that the next obstacle to overcome is to get Elijah to start eating and then we’ll get to take him home. This is really great news. We’re getting a lot more involved in his care and that feels really great. It’s starting to feel like he doesn’t really belong in the NICU. The doctor said we’d be moved to the ICC soon, which is a bit more of a homey atmosphere. We just need him to learn how to eat!
The doctor seemed pleased with Elijah’s clinical progress. She even said, “Keep proving those tests wrong Elijah.” Even Dr. Gloom was better today. He said something to the effect that he was glad to see him doing so well. I think this means Elijah is doing better than he expected. God sure is great! Elijah continues to amaze us.
A new thing today was a “cry face”. He would scrunch up his forehead and pout his bottom lip telling us he didn’t like something and wanted to cry. He never did it for very long and he’s so cute when he does it. His throat is probably still pretty swollen from the respirator and so it would be hard for him to make any noise. This is yet another thing we would have probably taken for granted if things had gone as expected. Now I can’t wait to hear him cry. It would be music to my ears because I’ve never heard him cry. He is making little noises and it’s so nice to hear.
So, now we’re waiting on learning how to eat, hearing him cry, and having him have more awake times. Please pray for these things and for him to have a complete recovery. I know God can heal him and make him all better. All I know is, we’ve fallen madly in love with him…it’s hard not to.