Sunday, September 30, 2007

Elijah wanted to let everyone know that he is doing really well. He is having a really good time in the Dells and is learning a lot. He seems to have gotten bigger even in the last few days. He’s a growing, curious, fantastic, wonderful boy.
Andy was having Elijah do some tummy time today and he seems to be trying to learn how to move across the floor. He is just doing so well and we’re of course so proud of him. I think he’s going to be a very strong man someday.
Anyway, that’s all the time I have to write. I hope this finds you all well.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Andy and I have big heads. No, we don’t think we’re the greatest things on earth, but when we give each other a hug or a kiss we think that we are giants. We’re both so used to snuggling with Elijah that our heads seem huge. I just thought that was kind of funny.
Today Elijah got to go shopping with his mommy, his grandma, and his “grand” (great) auntie Peggy. He did really well and didn’t start to fuss until right before we were going to go home. He is such a great little boy and I’m so glad that he does so well out in public. I’m still trying to get used to being a mommy. I have only had him home for three weeks after all. I figure the more he is out, the better. He likes to look around at everything and I’m sure this is good for brain stimulation. (Daddy went on a hike with family. Elijah wanted to go with too, but I told him he had to wait until he can hold his head up on his own).
Elijah needs a diaper change…so talk to you later.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another fabulous day with a fabulous boy… Elijah got to go to church today and meet a lot of people. He does really well in a crowd and soaks in all of the attention. He liked the music at church and woke up when he heard it. He’s generally a happy guy and doesn’t fuss for us too much when he’s out and about. He doesn’t seem to mind that he’s not at home. It’s me that is getting used to all of this new stuff…getting used to things taking twice as long, having to take so much stuff when you leave the house, feeding him in public, being tired, etc. etc. There’s a lot to get used to when you’re a new mom. I never knew how much time I had before I had a baby!
Elijah went to a restaurant for the first time tonight. He did really well. He was awake and alert at first and was looking around at everything. He liked the light fixture above the table and stared at that a lot. He got fussy a little, but Grandma Lausted got him to go to sleep and he slept through the meal. We all ate and enjoyed ourselves. Then, right on cue, Elijah starting fussing when we got the bill. Elijah was just jealous that we were all eating and he wanted to eat too. We were very close to where we were staying, so we headed home and he ate again. He was a good boy for another first: eating out!
Well, I’m tired. Elijah is doing well and that’s all that really matters. Life is good.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I missed a night. Did you notice? J Andy and I were busy packing for our trip to the Wisconsin Dells last night. (For those of you who don’t know, we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. It’s talked about in Lev. 23 and it pictures a time when Christ will rule – something to look forward to!)
We made it to the Dells safe and sound and Elijah did very well for his first trip away from home. He really seems to be a curious baby. He likes to look around and check out what is going on and seems to notice when he is somewhere he hasn’t been before. He gets hard to handle because he’s trying to check everything out and he squirms around. He’s so cute.
We got to visit with Grandpa and Grandma Wagner on the way here. Elijah was glad to see them and so were we. Elijah was giving Grandpa John some legit smiles…and then later proceeded to cry. Babies are so funny like that…happy one moment and upset the next. Sometimes Elijah is hard to figure out. We’re here in the Dells with Grandpa and Grandma Lausted and Uncle Dan and Aunt Darlene. Elijah will get to meet some more family tomorrow and he confided in me that he’s a bit excited about it. He really does seem to like people and I’m so glad. It’s fun to see him study faces. I can tell he’s going to be smart.
Well, I suppose that’s all for now. I’m sure I will have some fun stories to report this week for Elijah’s first time away from home. But, don’t be surprised if I miss a few nights as I’m sure this week will wear me out a little. I’m still getting used to being a mom and it’s hard enough when I’m home all day and don’t take Elijah out and about. I hope you all have a great night!

Monday, September 24, 2007

It is such a joy to be a mom. I can’t even describe it. Sure, I get frustrated and overwhelmed at times, but it is definitely worth it. And there is the worrying too, of course, but mostly these days it’s just the enjoying. It’s so wonderful to be at this place…mostly just worrying about the things all parents worry about and watching our little boy grow and develop more and more each day. I just know he is going to do great things.
This morning Elijah and I found ourselves alone again as the weekend is over and Andy is off at work. We decided it was a good time to do some reading. I read a few books to Elijah and he really seemed to enjoy it. He sat very still for me and seemed to be listening. He was even smiling at times, which I think were legitimate smiles. He is such a smart boy. I think I got through three books before he started to fuss and fell right asleep. It was such a nice moment and it’s moments like these that make your life worth living.
This evening Andy and I took Elijah to the pediatrician for his second appointment. The visit went well. He now weighs 11 lbs. 13 oz. (which is good). The doctor couldn’t see any foreseeable problems. He said that the cup is half full and there is no reason not to be optimistic. Elijah’s muscle tone is still a little slack on his tummy, but the doctor didn’t seem to think it was anything to be concerned about (I guess more tummy time for Elijah!). At this point, I don’t think he looks different from other newborns. That’s good if you ask me, sine he’s not showing any of the signs for things like cerebral palsy. That doesn’t necessarily mean he couldn’t show the signs in the future, but I still believe that my boy is going to be completely fine. The doctor was glad to see that Elijah is opening his hands. I’ve been a little worried lately about Elijah abducting his thumbs, which he has always done. He doesn’t do it as much as he used to, but I was still concerned about it. I mentioned it to the doctor, but he was just glad that he was opening his hands at all. I think it’s normal for newborns to hold their thumbs in; it’s just that Elijah was so conked out in the hospital that he did it constantly and they were concerned his joints would freeze up. Anyway, everything looks good.
Andy heard that I read to Elijah and he wants to read to him too. Elijah is going to be so smart! Time for Andy to read to Elijah and go to bed. Thanks everyone and goodnight!
It’s much too late to still be awake, so this is going to be short. We had a great day and even took Elijah out shopping. He enjoys being out and about. Some ladies commented on how cute he was and made the comment that he was “bright” for a five week old. Elijah liked that. :) Okay, so did his mommy. Anyway, I need to sleep! Sleep deprivation…that’s what we signed up for, right? :)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

What a wonderful day!
If you’ve read the guestbook, you’ve probably already discovered that it is my birthday today. My entrance into this world was complicated. I’ve thought at times in my life that I am lucky to be here since the umbilical cord was wrapped around my neck twice. I was blue and not breathing and my poor mom ended up losing a lot of blood in the process. Thankfully, everything turned out all right. After Elijah’s ordeal, I wondered if I could have suffered from a brain injury. MRIs didn’t exist in those days, so they wouldn’t have known. I did have some oxygen deprivation and I kind of wonder what they would have said if I had been born now. Would they have given my parents a grim prognosis? All I know is that I wouldn’t mind being called brain damaged if that’s the title they want to give Elijah. I’d be honored.
Elijah made his official debut at church today and he did really well. He soaked it all in and seemed to really love it. He seems to like people. He wants to study faces and see what is going on in the world around him. He’s famous because of his website and everyone was so glad to meet him. It was really nice for us to be at church again too. Thanks to everyone for giving us such a warm welcome back. We are so thankful for our wonderful church family and feel so blessed to have you all in our lives. Thanks again for all the prayers and all the love you have showered us with. It has really meant a lot to us.
Tonight we had a house full of family and what a happy, joyful time it was. We had both sets of grandparents, Aunt Casey, Uncle Andy, Uncle Dan, and Aunt Darlene. We had dinner all together for my birthday. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the family was really there to visit with Elijah though!:)) I really enjoyed myself with our families. It is so wonderful to be all together and I think this was my favorite birthday yet since it was my first birthday as a mommy. God sure has blessed us not only with the start of our own family, but with the families we were raised in. What a blessing that we can all get together and celebrate life. I’m so glad our families get along and actually like each other. What a wonderful night and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. (Elijah, loved the company, but was kind of sleepy. He did have a big day after all.)
It’s no longer my birthday of course and it’s time to go to bed. We got Elijah to sleep not too long ago and I’m hoping since he had such a big day and was awake for so much that he’ll sleep really well and long tonight. Goodnight!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Elijah is an amazing little boy and I can’t believe what happened tonight…
Uncle Dan and Aunt Darlene are here. They’ve sold their house and are moving to Madison, WI. They are staying with us for a few days while in transition. While I’m happy for them, we’re sad to see them go. Auntie Darlene has been here the last few days (while finalizing things with their house) and it’s been nice to have the company and help. I sure am going to miss them! (I know it’s not too far, but it was nice having them only 20 minutes away).
We were all hanging out with Elijah tonight and he did something amazing! I still can’t believe it. (I’ll be posting a video on Photobucket so that you will know that I’m telling the truth) Not only is Elijah doing well, he is exceeding the expectations of what a child his age should be doing. Have I made you wait long enough to find out what he did?
He rolled over! He’s not even six weeks old and he rolled over from his stomach to his back. He’s not supposed to be able to do that for a few more months. Then again there are a lot of things that he’s not supposed to be able to do. Elijah is showing those doctors wrong! I feel like God is trying to encourage us by having him develop so quickly. It’s hard to worry when he’s exceeding expectations. He is amazing and I can’t believe he is mine. Something sinister tried to steal him from us, but didn’t succeed. I can’t wait for the day when we don’t have to worry about evil anymore. The day will come.
I am so happy! I want to dance around in circles and sing songs. Praise God!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Elijah is hatless! (Or beanie-less if you prefer J). I have been slowly dressing Elijah in fewer clothes. Today and yesterday I had him without a hat on. I’ve been keeping a close eye on his temp and he has been doing great. His temp has been consistently higher than it has been in the past. Since he was doing well without a hat, today I didn’t put socks on him to see how he handled that. He has been doing fantastic. He seems to be getting consistently closer to that coveted 98.6 degree temp. Yet another answered prayer!
He is just so cute. I just got him to sleep a few minutes ago and now he woke up. He’s stretching and fortunately looks really happy right now. I’m sure it’ll only be a matter of minutes and he’ll want to eat again. His eyes are bright and looking around.
Sure enough, he’s angry now, so I’ll have to cut this short. Goodnight!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I don’t like the words damaged or can’t.
My son is technically brain damaged and according to the neurologist (whom I affectionately refer to as Dr. Gloom) his damage is severe. (Although, I wonder what he would say now if he were to see Elijah) This implies that there is something wrong with him, but to me my son is perfect. I don’t want Elijah to ever think that he is damaged goods. Yes, he had a rough start, but he is by no means damaged. If you break a leg, we don’t call you leg damaged. You simply broke your leg and when that heals, you can almost forget about it. That’s how I look at what happened to Elijah. He had an injury and needed (needs) to heal.
I understand how serious Elijah’s injury was, but I have no reason to think that he won’t be able to do just about anything. Can’t will not be in his vocabulary. I know he doesn’t understand me just yet, but I already tell him this. I tell him he can do anything and that there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. Perhaps it will soak into that little brain of his. So much already has. When he was in the hospital, I used to tell him every night what he needed to work on. It would be anything from getting his gag reflex, to crying, to rerouting his brain. Often I would come the next day and he would have done the thing that I had told him to work on. Now, of course I don’t think I’m the one who got Elijah to do the things I told him to do (we know who did that!), but I certainly don’t think it has hurt to talk to him about these things even when he doesn’t quite understand yet. One day he will understand and I can’t wait to tell him the story of his miraculous birth. I can’t wait to tell him how many people loved him before they even met him and how they prayed for him and God listened. I can’t help but think that God has a plan for the little guy. He has a plan for all of us.
Elijah and I spent a lot of time staring at each other today. We’re still trying to figure each other out. He’s not so sure about me. J One thing he is doing is holding onto my shirt now when I carry him around. I love that. He also likes to hold his head up when he’s being carried around and wants to see what’s going on. I thought it was so cute the first time he held onto my hair, but now he pulls it. He’s pulled out several of my hairs. I don’t care…well, not that much. J It’s been another great day and it keeps getting better.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

It has become my routine to take a bath every night while Andy and Elijah spend some time together. I’ve never been a ”bath person,” but it sure is nice to unwind and spend some time alone. I’m so glad to have a husband who is so supportive…and who’s willing to change diapers! :)
I was awoken last night by thunder and rain. It took me back to the night I went into labor (it was storming that night and the power even went out for a moment). It rained almost constantly for the first week of Elijah’s life and today it was raining again. But today the rain didn’t seem gloomy or sad and the sound of the rain on our roof last night made me smile. It has always been one of my favorite sounds. Everything seems so much happier now that I have my boy home with me.
I think I’m going to skip my bath tonight. I’m really tired and I think it would be best if I would just go to sleep. I think I’m still trying to get caught up from all my sleep deprivation. Have a great night everyone!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Elijah is a good boy! He now weighs 11 lbs. 3 oz! The public health nurse came by this morning for the second time to see how Elijah is doing and to weigh him. He is definitely eating well. I guess I should’ve known since eating is his favorite pastime. The nurse is a really nice lady and she told me that both Elijah and I are looking good. We like to hear that. J She also said that the boy on the report she read and the boy she sees in Elijah are two completely different children. I can tell that she is surprised at how well Elijah is doing and that she thought Elijah is an adorable and fun little boy. I am constantly amazed at this little man. He’s wonderful!
Today was the first day that the two of us were truly alone the whole day (well, except for the visit from the nurse in the morning). We had a good day together and spent a lot of time snuggling. It’s so nice to be able to be together. I didn’t get much done since I held him so much. It’s a good problem to have and I feel really happy.
I have to go now since there is a little man screaming by his daddy. He’s hungry again! Isn’t it great to be a mommy? J

Sunday, September 16, 2007

It’s been another great day with our little boy. He is doing so well and it seems that he has learned how to use his voice even more in the last few days. Maybe he’s starting to figure out that we’re at his beckon call. We’d do anything for him and he knows it. And to think when we first got him home we had to wake him up in order to make sure he was getting enough to eat!
So far Elijah’s favorite pastime is eating and I’m pretty sure he’d be content to eat all of his time that he’s awake. He sure is a squirmy fellow. I was trying to write this while holding him and that was nearly impossible. It’s time to go to bed and the little stinker is lying next to me wide awake. At least he’s not asking to eat…don’t worry, it won’t be long. I’d better make this short since I’d like to go to bed in the next century.
Thanks to everyone who responded to my last journal about anger. I feel a lot better today and it really helped me to get that off of my chest. It’s nice to know that others understand what I’m feeling and don’t judge me for it. Now I can go back to being my optimistic, happy-go-lucky self and look forward instead of backward. I love how healing writing can be. It is such a release.
Elijah and I both have the hiccups right now and I think it’s pretty funny. Well, we should really try to go to sleep the three of us. Goodnight and thanks again.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bear with me as I delve into some negativity. I have been battling with some anger issues over what happened during Elijah’s birth and I’m having a hard time letting it go. I find myself thinking about it every day and I tend to dwell on it and get angry. I’ve questioned if I should even write about this in my journal, but I thought that it might help me release it. I’m sure everyone can relate to getting angry about something that doesn’t go as planned. And my birth story definitely didn’t go as planned…
I wanted so badly to have a natural non-medicated birth and I was determined to do it. Unfortunately, absolutely nothing about my labor was natural and I can’t think of any other way to describe it other than horrible. I endured several hours of a pitocin induced labor, which made the contractions come hard and fast. I held out for as long as I could (about 20 hours of hard labor) when I decided I couldn’t handle it anymore and got an epidural. Eventually I got to push and I was so excited. The ordeal was almost over and I was going to meet my child (we didn’t know what we were having). I pushed for an hour and a half, but Elijah was coming out at the wrong angle and I ended up having a c-section.
To me, it’s insane that every single thing I didn’t want to happen did happen. I didn’t want to be induced, use an epidural, have a c-section, and most of all I didn’t want my child to be hurt. And, I’m so angry that he had to go through that. I’m angry that I trusted the woman who “tried” to deliver my baby because she obviously didn’t know what she was doing (and that’s the nicest thing I can say about her). I’m furious that I didn’t get to hold (let alone see!) Elijah the night he was born and wasn’t able to hold him until three days later. That still makes my heart ache and I don’t know if I’ll ever get over it completely. Whenever I think of the night Elijah was born, I want to cry and not for the right reasons. I have a lot of healing to do, physically and emotionally. My body has been through a lot and I’m not yet completely healed. I suspect that soon I will be back to normal. I will have scars, but I will get better. It might take the scars in my heart longer to heal.
I know that anger doesn’t hurt anyone other than me and I need to forgive. I’ll never forget what happened and I think that the mama bear side of me will always be a little angry over what happened to my son. I know my festering wound of anger will eventually become a scar. It’ll still be there as a reminder, but it won’t hurt anymore.
I look at my boy and I know that what happened made all of us stronger and that I need to dwell on those things that are good, true, and pure (Phil 4:8). He is such a joy and I love him more than words can express. He’ll be all right and I know I will be too. Please pray for me to release my anger and to forgive the person who was so complacent in my birth. And of course, continue your prayers for Elijah’s complete recovery.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Well, my “personal slave” (aka my mom) is officially gone. Elijah and I survived. I was a lot busier and wasn’t able to fit in any naps, but I was able to do it on my own. (Thanks for the help mom!)
Elijah has been really fussy today and we’re not really sure why. He wants to eat all the time and I comply, but he never seems to be satisfied. (Maybe it’s gas? I’m sure Elijah would appreciate me sharing!) Remember when I wanted so badly for him to cry? Well, he knows how to cry now. Remember when he was so sleepy and we were wondering if he was getting enough to eat? Well, now he likes to eat all the time. He is such a great little baby and all we want to do is make him happy. God has truly blessed us.
“Fake auntie” Heidi came to visit this afternoon and got to hold Elijah. Elijah was proud when she commented on how big he is. They seemed to like each other.
Well, I’m really tired and so I’m off to bed. I hope Elijah can fall asleep since he’s been crying a lot this evening. Thanks again for all the encouragement and prayers. Keep them coming! :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

It’s wonderful to be a little family. Tonight Andy, Elijah, and I are watching Indiana Jones together. Okay, Andy and I are watching Indiana Jones while Elijah is sleeping. It’s nice to do something normal and enjoyable as a family. We had almost forgotten how to relax while in the hospital and it’s great to remember what it’s like to live again.
Elijah is doing well. His temp seems to be getting better. We’ve been slowly lowering the temperature in the house and trying not to swaddle Elijah as much. His temp today was consistently closer to 98.6 degrees (but never that high). I hope this means that his body is getting better at regulating his temperature. We will still have to keep an eye on it, but I hope not as closely.
Elijah is still eating like he can’t get enough. I’m curious to see what he’ll weigh when the nurse comes on Monday. I think he’s going to be a porker. :)
Life is good. It’s great to be parents and we feel so incredibly blessed. Elijah is a miracle and I hope that we never forget it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I think Elijah is having a growth spurt because he’s eating all the time! I get done feeding him and he wants to eat again. It doesn’t seem like I can get anything done since it’s a never-ending process. If it means he’ll grow big and strong, I’ll feed him all day long if I have to. I’ve read that babies have a growth spurt at three weeks…I guess no one told Elijah he’s four weeks old. Seeing that he had such a rough start, I think he has the right to choose when to have his growth spurts.
Elijah is such a normal baby that it’s hard to imagine that he went through so much. Not that I’ve forgotten, but it’s starting to fade a little. Or maybe I would just like it all to fade into a distant and horrible memory that I can think of as a nightmare instead real life. It’s amazing that the best and worst day of my life is all rolled into one. I’m still working through that and it’s not easy. I’ll get there.
Uncle Andy came by tonight for a visit and got to hold little Elijah for the first time. Elijah loves the attention. He’s getting really squirmy and it gets harder and harder to hold him. He is really doing well and continues to get stronger each day. God has certainly answered prayers and healed Elijah. I pray for a complete recovery and I see no reason to believe that that won’t happen. Thanks again for everything and goodnight! :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I love being home. It’s great. Elijah is great. His temp was a down a bit again this morning. It wasn’t too low, but it was lower than his normal temp. And then the rest of the day, it was higher than it usually is. I can’t figure it out, but I’m sure it will eventually regulate itself. I hope it’s sooner rather than later so I don’t have to be so concerned about it.
Elijah slept for the longest amount of time he ever has last night. He also kept me up a lot. Thankfully, my mom took care of him in the morning so I got to get some more sleep. I’m trying to take advantage of her help while I have it.
I was a pretty uneventful day since Elijah was pretty tired. I think he was worn out from yesterday. He seems to change his routine every day and I’m trying to figure him out.
Elijah is now one month old as of 10:58 pm. It seems like yesterday and yet it seems like years ago. We’ve also been home now for one week as of this afternoon. Time is flying by.
I need to go to bed and get some much needed rest, so goodnight!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Elijah had a big day today. He amazed me at how much he was awake. It’s so nice to see those eyes of his exploring the world around him. We didn’t see them for such a long time that it’s such a joy when he is awake. Well, except when it’s nighttime. J
The nurse came by this morning to check on our little guy. He’s gained weight again and he’s now up to 10 lbs. 11.5 oz. The nurse said he’s right on for what they want to see a baby gaining. So, that’s great news and puts me at ease a little. He must be getting enough to eat. The nurse was really nice and said Elijah seemed like any other newborn. I obviously love to hear that. She also told us about the Early Intervention Program. We’ll be having someone come to our house to work with Elijah and making sure that he is meeting his developmental milestones. Since he’s making such progress, I can only think that this is going to bring him to the head of the class. He’s a smart and strong little guy. J The nurse will be coming again next Monday. She’ll check his weight again to make sure he’s still on track. He continues to do so well and I’m so proud of him.
We’ve had no temperature scares today, so that’s good. Our house is a bit toasty, but we’re surviving and Elijah is thriving.
Grandpa Lausted came to visit for today and got to hold Elijah for the first time. Now all of Elijah’s grandparents have been able to hold him and start the process of spoiling our little man. Grandma Lausted is here now and will be for most of the week to help me out. It is nice having my own personal slave…I mean helper. :)
The four of us took a quick trip to Target tonight, which would be Elijah’s first outing that wasn’t a clinic or hospital. I thought he would sleep through the whole experience, but he was wide awake and taking it all in. Like I already said, he was awake a lot today. It’s like he didn’t want to miss anything. He wanted to meet the nurse, be awake for grandpa, say hi to grandma, check out Target, do some playing, and not to mention eat. He’s so much fun! Now I hope he sleeps well tonight.
Speaking of sleep, I didn’t get a nap in today so I’d better go to bed. I’m so happy and I hope this finds you happy as well. Thanks for the prayers, the guestbook entries, for thinking of us, and for the cards. The outpouring of love has really meant a lot to us and comforted us (and continues to). Thanks and goodnight!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Please continue to pray for our little Elijah. He scared me a little this morning since his temp was down again. His temperature was 35.9 degrees C, which is 96.6 degrees F. I’m not sure how accurate the thermometer is, but he was colder than he should be. I quickly got him undressed and did some Kangaroo Care to get him warmed up, which worked. The weather has changed now so I’m hoping that is why his temp dropped. The last few days his temp has been great, so we were just starting to not worry about it as much and then it happens again. He tends to have a lower temp anyway. He is usually 36.4 degrees C, which is 97.6 degrees F. I think he’ll be fine and my theory is that he has a little trouble regulating his temp because he was under a warmer for the first week and a half of his life. Thankfully, we’re able to warm him up when he gets cold and he seems to be completely fine.
I was talking to Andy earlier today about how I was worried about Elijah’s temp. I kept bringing it up to him and told him how I didn’t want to worry about it anymore. He kind of laughed at me and said, “We’re parents…we’re going to be worrying about him for the rest of our lives.” I know he’s right, but sometimes I’d just like to relax a little. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually. I still need to remember to put it all into God’s hands.
Grandpa and Grandma Wagner were here with us today. Andy and Grandpa John did some wiring in the basement and from the sound of the music blaring down there, it seemed like the two of them were having a lot of fun. I can’t wait until Elijah can help his daddy and grandpa on projects. I know he’ll love it. Meanwhile, Grandma Teri helped me out and held little Elijah while I got some much needed home organization done. It’s been nice to have help from Elijah’s grandparents. Grandpa and Grandma Lausted are coming tomorrow and so we’ll have help again.
Elijah did a really good job sleeping last night. He woke up once to eat and then he was awake for about an hour because he had reflux. After that calmed down, he went to sleep again. I always worry about him eating enough since he seems to go longer periods of time without eating, but when he does eat, he seems to eat for a long time. A nurse will be coming by tomorrow morning to check on him as part of our discharge from Children’s Hospital. She’ll be weighing him, so that’ll be a good indicator again that he’s doing all right. I hope I’ll stop worrying about it if his weight is okay tomorrow. (And I’m not even that big of a worrier! You’d never know, would you?)
Overall, it’s been another great day. Elijah is such a joy. He likes to grab at things and got a good grasp of my nose earlier today. I had him playing on his wiggle worm gym today and he seems to like it. I also had him on his tummy for some tummy time and he likes to kick his legs around and he can even move his head from side to side in that position. I’m impressed, but I’m his mother and pretty much everything he does impresses me. :)
Thanks once again for the prayers and the guestbook entries. I can’t thank you too many times, so I’ll keep doing it. Thanks! Until tomorrow…
Another great day… Elijah took a lot of naps and so I napped right along with him. It was really nice and I don’t feel quite as sleep deprived. I wonder how long that’ll last…:)
Tomorrow morning the early intervention people are coming to observe Elijah. The point is to make sure that he is meeting his developmental milestones. So far he has met everything in the 0-3 month category. It’ll be nice to have them come and observe Elijah; I expect them to be pleasantly surprised with his progress. If not, they’ll notice things we might not and would help us address any problems. I don’t anticipate any issues since I believe God completely healed our little boy. I know that God knows best whatever happens in our lives.
Well, it’ll be an early morning so I should be sleeping. Elijah just ate and now it’s time for bed. Elijah says goodnight!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Today was another great day at home. I’m feeling pretty fantastic since I got in lots of naps today. I’m a human again and have exited the world of zombies (I’m sure I will return again soon:)). I love being a mom and it’s nice to have Andy home all day with us. We’re a little family and it feels wonderful.
Andy gave Elijah a bath for the first time today. Elijah was awake for the whole thing and it’s so fun to watch him in his bath. He loves it and he’s so fun to watch. Our baby bath tub is great. It has a little hammock in it so you don’t have to worry so much about holding him all the time and he can just hang out in the warm water. I can’t wait until he starts splashing around in the water…and yes, making a mess.
Grandpa and Grandma Wagner got here this afternoon for a visit. Uncle Dan and Aunt Darlene are visiting too. Elijah is soaking it all in and seems to like all of the attention. He’s a popular guy. I suppose I should go to bed soon, so that’s all for now. Keep up with the prayers! We really appreciate it.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Elijah kept us up a lot last night. He just wouldn’t go to sleep despite the fact that he was awake for a really long time yesterday. I thought for sure he would just fall right to sleep last night, but he just couldn’t seem to settle down. I think that’s one of the hardest parts about being a parent…trying to figure out what is wrong. I’m just glad I have something to try to figure out and that Elijah continues to voice his opinion.
Since Elijah was awake so much last night, he slept most of the day today. You know what that means…no sleep tonight. I’m trying to prepare myself mentally for that now. Thankfully I got a nap in today. Poor Andy doesn’t get any naps, but it seems he’s handling the sleep deprivation better than I am. Andy is such a huge help and I’m so glad that I have him. This is a team effort and I don’t know how women would be able to do this alone. It would be really hard.
Elijah’s temp has been keeping up really nice. The last few days we’ve had the house extremely toasty for Elijah while we adults were living in hot misery. Today the weather cooled down a bit and we opened all the windows. We’ve been putting less and less clothes on him progressively. Today I had him in an outfit that I bought while he was in the hospital. It is a warm weather outfit and his temp still stayed up. Of course I wrap him in blankets too. I’m starting to worry about it less which is nice.
The Israelites have been popping into my head a lot lately. They witnessed some pretty amazing things like the parting of the Red Sea and yet they doubted that God would take care of them. I always judged them a bit and now I relate (never judge others!). I have seen God perform many miracles in front of my eyes for my little boy and sometimes I still doubt that Elijah will have a complete recovery. I do sincerely believe that Elijah will be completely fine, but sometimes I let myself go to the “what if’s”. I don’t want to go there.
Thank you again for all of your prayers…for all three of us. We really do appreciate it. Pray Elijah will figure out the difference between day and night soon. :)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I never entirely understood the saying “Home Sweet Home” until now. It is really great to be in our house and enjoying life again. The future looks brighter now that we’re home and Elijah continues to improve each day. I didn’t have to wake him up at all for any feedings today because he woke up all on his own. He had a lot of awake periods today, which hopefully means he’ll sleep more tonight. He kept us awake quite a bit last night and I had to remind myself that this is what I have been longing for. How quickly I forget!
Elijah seems to be getting into a rhythm all his own which is really comforting to me. It’s allowing me to relax a little more and not freak out as much about things. I’m starting to worry less about him getting enough to eat and starting to enjoy being a mom more.
We met Elijah’s pediatrician this afternoon. He seems like a really nice man and we’re glad to have him as Elijah’s doctor. Elijah is now up to 10 lbs. 10 oz. Another reason I’m not worried that he’s getting enough to eat; he’s huge! He’s already in 3-6 month clothes. The doctor said that physically he is doing well. His muscle tone is little lack, but my muscle tone would be lacking too if I didn’t move for more than a week. It seems that this continues to improve and I believe it will continue to do so. The pediatrician also said that since Elijah is doing so well nursing, that implies that he is doing well cognitively. It’s nice to hear that.
Thank you for your continued prayers. I believe that Elijah will continue to get better. How can I not believe it? God keeps answering prayers and it’s important for me to put my son in His hands. I think that every parent has to do that at some point because no one knows what the future holds.
By the way, I finally uploaded more photos of Elijah to our Photobucket site, so check him out. Look how far he has come! He keeps getting cuter and cuter each day! :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It is morning and I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I’m quite the sight…I haven’t showered, my hair is a rat’s nest, and I have spit-up on me. I’m a legitimate mom! I couldn’t be happier to look so horrible. The funny thing is, since I had Elijah, I feel more beautiful than ever. He took a toll on my body, but giving life is such a beautiful and miraculous thing. The stretch marks I despised when I was pregnant are now beautiful to me because they mean that Elijah came into this world. I really can’t imagine this world without him.
Elijah and I are alone right now. Andy had to go back to work. He did have paternity leave and his employer was really understanding with our situation, but it was time to go back. It’s kind of a bummer because we finally get to have Elijah home and now Andy has to be gone. No fear, though, he’ll be back tonight and then we’ll all be together again. I feel like we’ve been robbed a bit since typically that paternity leave would be used when the baby gets home and we would all be getting used to being together. But, on the other hand, I know how fortunate he is to have any paternity leave at all. We’ll have plenty of time to be together while Elijah grows.
Grandma Lausted will be coming today to help me out. It’ll be nice to have some backup while I’m trying to get into a mommy rhythm.
It is now night time and this has been a wonderful day at home with Elijah. He got his first bath at home and now he is all clean and cozy. Our house is kind of hot since we’re trying to make sure Elijah is warm enough. He has been keeping his temp up, but he has to be pretty bundled up still. I believe eventually he’ll be able to wear fewer clothes and keep his temp up on his own. It would nice to stop being paranoid about it. He always feels nice and toasty to the touch and I’m sure he’s fine.
It seems to me that Elijah is just thriving at home. He really likes it here. I don’t blame him, I like it here too. J He has been waking up at regular intervals and it seems to be the only times that he tries to sleep through his feedings is when he’s supposed to get his medicine. Again, I don’t blame him. J He was awake a lot today which was really nice. It seems like he’s getting plenty to eat. We have his first appointment with his new pediatrician tomorrow, so we should see if he has gained weight since he’s been home. I hope we like his pediatrician. He was recommended to us by the doctor at the Children’s Hospital. Every day is a little better than the day before and I hope that this continues. Elijah is such a joy to have in our lives and we love him!
Well, I suppose I should go to bed. I’m really tired, but I think that goes without saying. I hope this finds you all well. It was really a wonderful day at home and I can only believe that things will continue to get better. Please keep praying for us!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We’re home, we’re home, we’re home! It is so fantastic to finally be home with Elijah. He’ll be an entire three weeks old tonight at 10:58 pm. He seems like an old man with all he’s been through in his short life.
Elijah made us a little nervous this morning when we got to the hospital. He wasn’t really waking up for us and it was reminding us of what he was like before. Fortunately we did get him to eat by the bottle even in his sleepy state. He was simply too tired to eat the old-fashioned way. Stinker. J And, on top of that, his temperature was down a little again. It was making us nervous to take him home. He did wake up for us right before we took him home and he wanted to eat. So, he got a full belly before his ride home and he was alert for his stroller ride out to the car. He was looking around as we drove out of the parking ramp and seemed to be taking it all in. The car ride quickly put him to sleep. His temp has been fine since, but Andy and I will have to make sure to check it often to make sure he is warm enough. I’m wondering if it doesn’t have something to do with him being so sleepy, which I think is a result of the Phenobarbital. It’s a vicious cycle. He’ll be on Phenobarbital his first two months of life to prevent the seizures from coming back. It’ll be nice when he’s off of the drug, but of course we don’t want those horrible seizures coming back.
I was interrupted while writing this by a little man crying next to me. I thought he was hungry, but he quieted down before I could feed him. Maybe he just wanted to be held. This whole motherhood thing is a mystery, but I’m figuring it out. It’s just a little more complicated when you have a baby who won’t wake up for you. We just need to make sure he’s getting fed enough and sometimes that means waking him up. I never ever thought that I would be trying to wake up my baby, but here I am. It’s all worth it and so far we’re doing just fine.
Andy is feeding Elijah a bottle as I finish writing this. We gave him his medicine and then I fed him, but he fell asleep pretty quickly. I didn’t think he had gotten enough, so now we’re giving him a bottle and he’s eating that really well. I’m sure he’ll have enough now. I’m hoping as time passes, we’ll rarely have to give him a bottle and he’ll be less and less sleepy as the days go by.
Did I mention how nice it is to be home? We feel like a family now the three of us. It’s great to be together. It seems that Elijah even is happier and maybe picks up on the fact that his parents are more relaxed. He is a really happy baby for the most part any way.
I probably have more to talk about, but it’s time to go and get some rest. Elijah just finished eating and so we need to jump in bed. Hopefully he’ll wake up in the next few hours to eat on his own, but if not, we’ll have to try and wake him up. We want to make sure he’s getting the nourishment he needs to get big and strong. I hate having to have a schedule and would love to just let Elijah call the shots. For the most part, we are just feeding him when he’s hungry. It’s when he sleeps for too long that we get worried and have to wake him up. He’s a good boy and I know that we’ll find our rhythm.
Thanks for all the prayers! I know that we couldn’t have gotten home this soon without God’s help. The nurses are all still amazed at how fast his progress has been. They were oohing and ahhing over Elijah when we left. It’s like his victory is their victory. I know he will continue to heal because God continues to listen. Please continue to pray for us. We sure do need the prayers. I know that you’ve all been praying for us to get home and we did it! Now we need prayers that we’ll be able to do this on our own. Pray that his temp stays up, that he feeds well, and wakes up on his own to eat. And, of course, please pray for a full recovery. I’m off to sleep in my own bed with Elijah nearby. What a joy that I hope I never take for granted!
(Elijah is now three weeks old! It took me forever to write this since I have a little boy to take care of. :))

Monday, September 3, 2007

We're Going Home Tomorrow!

They’re going to let us go home tomorrow. Yes, you did read that right, we’re going home! I’m so deliriously happy I can’t even explain it to you. Elijah woke up for all of his feedings last night…on his own! They called my room when he woke up so that I could come and feed him and so now he has fed for a full 24 hours without the use of his tube. That’s all you need to do to go home. I would come into the room to the sound of Elijah’s cries and it was so great to know that he is telling me that he is hungry. I need to know when he is upset and he’s telling me. It’s the most beautiful sound in the whole world and yet all I want to do is make the sound go away.

When one of Elijah’s primary nurses came back today, (she’s been gone since last Wednesday) she asked if I would like to take him home today if the doctor said it was okay. I said, “Um, YES!” Then I asked her about CPR since we were supposed to take a class on CPR before we took him home. The earliest we could do that is tomorrow morning, so after we take our class we’re going home (assuming he does well tonight).

I had a really long talk with that same nurse this morning and she told me she was just amazed at the progress he has made. He has only been in the ICC a little over a week and when we first got there, she was telling us it would probably be easier and faster to get him home if we just had the tube put in his stomach. Now look at him! He has taken to both breastfeeding and bottle-feeding like a champ. To me, this is a really good sign that his cognitive development is going well since these are learned behaviors. I really like this nurse. She has been so kind to us and you can tell she really cares. When I was talking to her about everything that has occurred in the last three weeks from his labor and delivery to now, she got tears in her eyes. She’s been our cheerleader and I really appreciate that.

Elijah no longer has the tube in his nose and it’s so nice to see him without any contraptions on his face. The only thing that he is hooked up to now is his monitor, which he doesn’t really need any more. They keep him on it while he is in the hospital, but he doesn’t need it because he’s breathing fine on his own and his heart rate is great. He is doing so well. If you told me yesterday that I’d be going home tomorrow and that they would’ve let us go home today, I don’t know if I would’ve believed you. At this point, we so want to go home, but at the same time, I had to ask our nurse, “Are you sure we’re ready?” She said that we are and I trust her judgment. She has seen how far we’ve come. She was there when he was having major temp issues and she let us hold him and try to get his temp up. We prayed so hard and I think we told her we were praying. She told me today that she didn’t think that he was going to be able to regulate his temp. Now, he’s continually wearing fewer and fewer layers and keeping his temp up great. He’s ready to come home!

Can you believe it?! I am so happy right now my eyes are filled with tears of joy. I know all of you will be rejoicing with me when you read this. Tonight, Andy and I are home without Elijah for the last time. The nurse suggested that we go home and get one last good night’s sleep in before we take him home. I was reluctant at first, but decided that it was a good idea. I can’t take care of him if I’m not well and he can be bottle-fed in my absence. I’ve had to remind myself that I’m also recovering from a major surgery. I still have pain once in awhile and I’ve had a few scares with my recovery. Sometimes I’ve pushed myself too much and my body has reacted. I’m going to bed soon and hopefully can get in some good rest so that I’ll be ready for the sleep deprivation that is to come (not that I haven’t already experienced that!).

Thank you so much for all of your prayers. Please continue to pray for Elijah’s complete recovery. I can see already how much God has answered prayers. Science certainly cannot explain why Elijah is doing so well. The future is still unknown, but I believe that my little boy will be completely fine. Look how far he has come already. I can tell you one thing; this is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. It’s also been the best thing I’ve ever been through because I have Elijah, I love my husband more than ever, and it’s proven that God listens to prayers and answers. I hope this has been a faith builder for anyone who has been keeping up with Elijah’s progress. My favorite scripture really does ring true (if you recall, it’s Rom. 8:28).

It may be more difficult for me to write such detailed posts once Elijah comes home, but I plan on continuing to write about our little man, so keep checking in on him via this website. Good night…I’m off to get some much needed sleep for probably the last time in awhile.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Chinese Water Torture

I’m going to have to make this a short entry. Shorter entries are a good sign because that means I’m getting busier because of Elijah’s progress. Right now I am at the hospital and I’m spending the night across the hall from Elijah. He has been feeding really well today and all we need to do is continue. Going home is in the near future, I can feel it. The nurses and Elijah’s doctor have all been really helpful and I know they’re all working with us to get Elijah home.
The head nurse tonight said that at this point it might feel like Chinese Water Torture because we’re so close and yet so far. The good news is that I get to be here at the hospital so that I can try to nurse Elijah during the night. He has a four hour time limit and after that he gets tube fed, so I have to make sure he wakes up every four hours and eats for at least 15 minutes. I’m sure they’ll want to make sure he can do that for a day or two and then we can go home.
Andy has gone back to our house so that he can get some things done. It’s hard for our family to be apart, but we know that very soon all of us will be happily together at home. Elijah seems to be becoming more vocal about his needs and we need him to continue. Pray that he’ll wake up for me and tell me when he’s hungry instead of having me try to wake him up to eat. Not only is that difficult, it’s extremely frustrating.

Please continue your prayers that he’ll wake up and eat for us. And of course, pray for a complete recovery. I know God is answering. I need to go to sleep now. They’ll be waking me up before 1 am to see if I can wake him up to eat. Ah, the joys of motherhood. I really do love being a mom, even if it means I’m not going to sleep for a long time. Good night and thanks again for the prayers!
Here are some pictures of Elijah with his grandparents on both sides of the family...

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wanting to Take Our Miracle Man Home

I want to go home! We’re so sick of being in a hospital that I think it’s starting to drive me crazy. I know this is where Elijah needs to be, but it’s difficult to “live” in a hospital. We try to be with our little man as much as we possibly can, but have to remember to take care of ourselves too. Sometimes that’s hard. Tonight when we left, Elijah was fast asleep. Just as we were walking out the door, he made a little noise and so I had to rush back to him to see if he was waking up or if something was wrong. He was still sleeping, but it’s hard for me to think of him not having me there to take care of him. I know he is in good hands, but nothing is quite as good as his parents. I pray that when we are gone, God holds Elijah in His arms and that makes me feel a lot better. I know Elijah is never really alone because God is looking after him.

Elijah and I were able to breastfeed successfully three times today, so we keep making progress every day. We’re getting a lot better at it and I’m sure that we will only continue to get better. I was actually able to wake him up for two feedings in a row and I was incredibly surprised that he was able to be stirred. Every day it seems like it gets easier for us to wake him up. That’s great, because the more we can wake him up, the more he’ll be able to eat (and the sooner we can go home!).

The concern any mother has when breastfeeding is if their child is getting fed enough. Last night when they weighed Elijah, he had lost a teeny tiny amount of weight. I’m hoping he won’t lose any more weight tonight because then they won’t think he’s getting enough from our breastfeeding. From my recollection, though, most babies do lose a little bit of weight after they’re born and then it takes awhile to get up to their birth weight. Well, Elijah has already gained over a pound and is now over ten pounds. Of course I don’t want my baby to starve, but he’s a big, strong, healthy baby and I’m sure he’d be fine if he lost a little bit of weight while we figure out our breastfeeding rhythm.

Thankfully, it does seem like they’re trying to prepare us to go home. The nurse today was asking us if we knew about SIDS, shaken baby syndrome, etc. She said she had to check them off of her chart. I’m assuming they have to talk to you about those things before you can go home. I’m trying not to predict when it’s going to be, but it’s hard not to. I ache to take him home. Seeing how he is making such rapid progress, I don’t feel like it will be that much longer. Earlier this week when I talked to the lactation consultant, she said next week would be the best case scenario. Now I’m thinking it might happen. We just need to eat by nursing or bottle for a 24 hour period and we can take him home. Like I said yesterday, that’s easier said than done. I had no idea getting him to eat would be this difficult. It’s easier to be patient when I remind myself that not too long ago we didn’t even know if he’d be able to breathe, gag, suck, swallow, or cry. It’s amazing the progress he’s made in a short amount of time. It’s obvious that anyone who has worked with him for any amount of time is shocked by what he is doing. The doctor who was there the night Elijah came to Children’s is obviously impressed with his progress. She told Andy today, “I keep saying he’s making my day, but he’s making my week!” It’s not until I hear comments like this that I understand how little they expected from Elijah. I know that he will continue to amaze everyone because of the power of prayer. I know that God can and will continue to heal him.

Please keep praying for us. We need prayers for him to continue waking up more to eat and that he will gain weight from breastfeeding. Pray that we’ll be able to get him to breastfeed for all of his feedings soon. Also please continue to pray that he’ll be able to regulate him temp. He had a bath this morning and seemed a bit cold for a few hours after. I don’t think that is too odd, but it seems like he is always a bit on the cooler side. Kangaroo care really warms him up, so we try to do that as much as possible. He is a good little man and he keeps getting better. He seems so much older to me than he is. He’s been through more than I have in my entire life and I feel like he’s wise beyond his years. Continue to pray for a complete recovery. He is a miracle from God and we sure do love him. Thank you to all of you who read this journal every day. Thanks for thinking of us, praying for us, and giving us encouragement via the guestbook. I wish we could comment back to all of you individually, but please know that we read the comments often and they give us so much comfort and encouragement.
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