Wednesday, July 25, 2007

So precious...

Laura Grace has adjusted beautifully to having a new baby around. She loves to hold and kiss him. It is very precious!

Gage is doing well. He amazes us more each day, and we are so grateful for him. He is also a perfect sleeper (so far!). I'm sure we have rough nights ahead of us, but he wakes up with a little movement (hardly EVER crying) every three hours to eat-almost on the dot! He is a great eater-rarely spits up anything, and we have semi-mastered breast feeding. We do a lot of pumping/bottles (mainly so Mommy can have peace of mind that he is getting enough), but so far we have not had to "supplement" at all.

My heart is so full, and we continue to feel incredibly blessed. We truly revel in God's goodness to us. Thank you for your continued prayers! I cannot imagine having gone through this without the love and encouragement of so many of you!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Back to work!

Answering your question, Karen and Alicia, yes, I am back to work! Jim and Michelle have been extremely understanding throughout this whole time, and encouraged me to take as much time as I needed, but as soon as we escaped that hospital, I was ready to get back into a routine again.

I know that it probably sounds crazy to most people, but it is just how I operate. Jim, Michelle, and Laura Grace are our family down here, and their home is our "home away from home," so it doesn't so much seem to be "work" as much as "routine."

After being in the hospital for three weeks-one before Gage was born and two after, I just wanted to be surrounded by family again, and I was anxious to have LG and Gage together.
We know that we are very blessed to have such a wonderful situation for me and for Gage.

So...hopefully, that explains the quick return!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Life as we once knew it...

is no more. For the first couple of days at home, I was still hearing the beeps and alarms of monitors, and if I glanced at the clock, I would think things like "It's almost time for his 'assessment' " I was still on hospital time. I am finally learning to relax and just enjoy my baby without worrying constantly about his temperature, weight, or his breathing.

Today was his first doctor's appt, and he is back up to his birth weight (even a tad more)!! His temp was a little low, but nothing too concerning--shocking that his temp is low in this ninety- degree weather! I feel a little ridiculous, wrapping him up so tightly in blankets and hats, but we will do what we need to of course...

We are getting into a new routine with Laura Grace. She loves him dearly already, and fortunately has not shown many signs of jealousy yet (except for the handful of goldfish she threw at him today, but I do think she was just trying to share:). I am surely enjoying having them both together, and I really think that the adjustment will be pretty smooth.

Here are a couple recent pictures of the little guy, and yes, he does open his eyes, but his sleeping pictures are just too precious to resist.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Gage is HOME!!!!!!!!!

We brought our tiny miracle home early this afternoon, and I cannot begin to describe to you the gratefulness in my heart for your thoughts, encouraging words, and mostly for your prayers. God gave us not only the grace to handle this but the faith to maintain an optimistic view through this time. We were "stretched" certainly, but bringing home a healthy, though tiny (weighing 4 lbs, 3 oz) baby Gage brings enough joy to look past the rough journey. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we all strengthen (especially little Gage). This is certainly not the end--it is only the beginning of a whirlwind of change for us!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

In these pictures, you will see our little guy, praying fervently for his release, and through answered prayer, his sweet face, resting peacefully at home!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The "latest..."

The past couple days have been very draining physically and emotionally! Gage is doing so well- his feeding tube is out--YEA!! NO MORE TUBES OR NEEDLES stuck in my baby! That is such a relieving feeling. They also graduated him from the NICU to "convelescent care." We are so grateful that he is well enough to be moved out of the NICU, but we really want him home! He is doing so well feeding, and keeping his temperature high enough--they are basically just trying to move him slowly, because he was SO early, and I don't really think that any of the doctors can "fathom" his being strong enough to go home this early, even though WE know it is possible. We serve a much higher power than these doctors, for whom we are SO grateful! Please pray for continued strength and patience, as we await that glorious day the doctor tells us he can come home! Josh and I both covet your prayers right now.

Laura Grace got to meet little Gage today! She is showing him a basketball here, trying to distract him enough to swipe his pacifier. She was successful, until Mommy made her give it back.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Our little trooper

This little guy has amazed us every step of the way! Gage is now on the project of "maintaining" his own body temperature, and he did great with that all day. We even got to put clothes on him today! Tomorrow, he will have reached his "goal" in feedings (34 cc), which means his stomach is handling the food fine and we can concentrate more on method (feeding by mouth).

He continues to gain weight--he was 4lbs 3oz last night, and he has surpassed any doctor's expectations. We are so proud of him, and we are anxiously awaiting the day they tell us he can come home. The doctor estimated that he could come home in as early as 3-4 days!! Please pray that we do not hit any obstacles on this final home stretch!

Friday, July 06, 2007

More updates...

First, let me explain that my hand is resting ever so softly on his tiny little head--the "smooshing" was all self-inflicted! He was comfortably sleeping... It certainly does help you understand how very tiny our precious little peanut is...
God has continued to strengthen this little guy. Today, they let me "attempt" breastfeeding. I have been pumping, and they have been giving him my milk through the feeding tube, but they encouraged at least "trying." I was more than happy to do that, and he did pretty well, especially considering it was our first time. We will continue to feed twice a day, while he still gets the milk through his tube. Hopefully, we will get the hang of this soon, and they will be able to ween him off of the feeding tube completely.

Tonight, he weighed 4 lbs, 1 oz, so he is gaining weight now, which is also great news of course!

I have been spending most of my day time with Gage and my nights sleeping at home. Josh and I had some sweet time with him this evening. I fed him and cuddled him to sleep, and then Josh "filled him in" on all of the newest sports news, literally. Please pray for continued strength for all of us.

I have truly felt the power of prayer in these past two weeks, and I cannot stress to you all enough how much your encouraging words and prayers have meant to both of us. I plan to save them all for Gage's baby book, so he will know how loved he was right from the beginning!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Great News!

I met with Gage's doctor this morning, and he decided that Gage was ready to be taken off his breathing "help" completely! He had been mostly breathing on his own, but he still had horrible wires taped to his little face and tubes on his nose, so I was VERY happy to hear this. The doctor also decided he was ready to eat, so after they successfully took him off of the oxygen help (he actually started breathing better and more easily when they took him off), he had his first feeding at 3pm. He did very well with that as well, and if this continues, the next step will be to take the feeding tube out and let ME feed him. This is our biggest prayer request at the moment. Obviously, he can't go home until he is eating well without a feeding tube, so this is our primary concern. He has progressed much more quickly than the doctors had anticipated. This is truly a blessing! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth of July!

I had a great day today! I did drop down to 3 lbs
15oz, but my doctors are all saying that this is
very normal. Hopefully, they will let me eat
tomorrow, but in the meantime, they are giving
me nutrition through my IV.
I am opening my eyes and stretching lots in these pictures, so you can see how precious I am.
Don't worry about my ear--the oxygen tube makes it look silly, but it really is perfect just like the rest of me!
Thanks for praying for me. I need to get bigger, so they will let me go home!

Holding hands...

This may help you better "picture" his size. He really is so tiny, but most of his pictures make him appear bigger. At first, I could only put my hands in the incubator, so we would just hold hands...

My boys/ Gage Update

The doctor saw Gage this morning, and said he was doing better with his breathing, so he lowered his oxygen help! Praise the Lord! He is still not comfortable enough to let him start feeding though, so that is my biggest concern right now. Please pray that they will let him eat soon!!! He is down to 4lbs--the weight loss is normal--we are just hopeful that he will not go any lower. It is already draining every ouce of energy I have to watch and hold him, unable to "make him better," but it certainly makes one dependent on God.

I held him yesterday morning for two and a half hours, praying and singing to him, and I know that God is going to give me the strength I need to make it through this. Please keep us all in your prayers, especially our little Gage!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

His First Kiss

This is an even better representation of that precious moment in time...


I probably should have explained the "before he was even cleaned" picture... That was one of the only pictures we have of him before he was all "hooked up!" I love it, because this picture was taken immediately after he was born, and it represents a moment in time I will never forget. I had prepared myself for a tiny baby, likely not able to breath on his own, so you can imagine the joy I felt when I heard that beautiful baby screaming! Nothing can describe it, but that picture will always be precious to me. This picture I am posting now was also taken right after delivery. I will post some more recent pictures soon! I would appreciate your continued prayers, as he is still in the NICU and will likely be here for a few weeks.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Gage Bryant

After some tenderness in my stomach late last night, my doctor decided to deliver my little guy to avoid a potential infection. Gage Bryant was born at 2:45 am. He weighs 4lbs, 5 oz, and he is 17 inches long--an absolutely amazing size for 32 weeks! He is healthy, breathing on his own, and the most precious thing in the world! It was a rough, nauseating surgery, and early this morning, I may have even said "This will be our only child" to my husband:) However, I am doing well now, recovering quickly. I was able to hold Gage for the first time a couple of hours ago, and if I had been able, I would have held him all night. He is a miracle, as every baby is, and we are so very grateful to have our son.

As an added bonus, and many of you have probably already experienced this, I fell in love all over again with my husband as an amazing father!'

Thank you so much for your thoughts, encouraging words, and mostly for your prayers!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Still waiting...

I am going on seven days in the hospital, but my doctor told me that typically for every day I can keep baby in me is two days fewer he has to be in the NICU, so . . . I am trying to be patient and WAIT. What a task that sounds so simple yet proves to be so difficult!
The fluid around the baby is low, so they are keeping a close watch on that.
The doctors are optimistic, and so are we! Please continue to keep us in your prayers. We appreciate and covet them so much!