DAY 31: One month.

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Dear Beckett,

Today you are one month old.  In 4 short weeks, you have captured our hearts and inspired a love beyond measure.  December 28th, I woke up with a splitting headache – unlike any I have ever known.  That night, you were born – another experience unlike any I have known.  Each day, you show me new things.  It started with your tiny hands.  Then you kicked your feet.  One eye opened.  Then both of them simultaneously.  You showed us a silly sideways smile.  You reached out and grabbed my finger.  You stared up at me as I held you the first time.  As daddy sung to you and we rang in the new years together, you fell into a seemingly deep sleep only to arose when he stopped.  You knew he was there and singing to your audience of one.

This past week, we have embarked on the next step in our journey – living our lives together in our home.  You have met your brother, Kemba. You have slept in your crib for the first time.  You endured tummy time.  We have read lots and lots of books.  Sung lots and lots of songs.  Danced around the house – totally free and unencumbered.  No more wires to hold you down, my sweet one.  We have slowly worked our way into a family of three.  And it’s sweet.  So sweet.

January has been the craziest, most exciting, scariest, and joyful month of my life.  Everything about you, the way I feel about you, and how you continue to change my life is unpredictable.  I have seen God’s boundless grace in places I’d never imagined.  As I watch Wade hold you, baby boy, I know more truly how the Father loves us.  I hope that I have shown you some glimpse of God’s love for you in these weeks, little man.  I hope that in the next month of your life, I can be even more of a vessel of that love for you.  And I pray, I pray with all of my heart, that you grow up to know God’s love way beyond me.  That you know His love incarnate and his grace beyond measure.

Who knows what February holds?  Hopefully more calories!  More milk.  More wakefulness.  More sleep (one can hope).  More love.  More peace.  More joy.

Happy 1 month, Beckett James!  We love you.

– Mommy and Daddy

 

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DAY 28: Play time.

We have entered the world of tummy time.  At first go, Beckett would have none of it.  At second try, he persisted – but soon tired of the experiment.  Ever since, total pro.  He’s a quick learner, I tell you.  (And so are we… paci in our right hand, rattle in our left.)  He loves looking at himself in the mirror and reading books.  We plan on making him the biggest book nerd ever – and he’s already showing great promise in the area.

Day 28: Family time.

Last weekend, we had our first family visitors since we’ve been home with Beckett.  Mimi and Pop (Wade’s parents and their selected grandparent names :)) came to visit with Aunt Amy.  It was a sweet time.

Day 28: Bright Eyes.

Your eyes are mesmerizing, sweet son of mine.  My favorite time of day (and luckily, this happens multiple times a day) is when you first wake up and show me your eyes.  We haven’t decided what color they are yet – a blue gray right now.  I can’t wait to know what’s behind those eyes, my love.

Day 28: Eating.

I’m really good at this job too.  Watch me!

Sincerely,

Beckett – bottle pro 🙂

Day 28: Sleeping.

To start with, all my favorite sleeping pictures from the week.  We did a lot of sleeping.  Good thing we’re both pros at it!

Day 28: Settling.

Sorry for the delay!  It’s been a whole week since we got home… and we’re finding our groove (at least hoping so).  It is a joy and an honor to have Beckett home and to be able to care for him – just the two of us.  One of my fears was taking care of Beckett without all of the monitors telling us exactly how he is doing – his heart rate, oxygen level, respiration rate.  But I haven’t missed those as much as I thought I would.  Just staring in my baby’s face, watching his chest rise and fall, hearing his little dolphin squeaks (as we like to call them), I know he is content and well.

Wade went back to work on Monday.  Beckett and I had to fend for ourselves all week.  It was great and went so much more smoothly than I had anticipated.  My sole focus was on him (most of the time at the expense of things that needed to be done around the house) – but it was wonderful.  We had tummy time, we put on some new clothes, we read books, we took naps… and we sent LOTS of picture texts to daddy (a sure fire way to get him home on time!)

This new life is taking some adjusting.  I’m so used to working 12-16 hour days, planning lessons, making phone calls, being surrounded by a gaggle of children — now I have just one.  One child who needs that same kind of energy – but it’s oh so different.  By Friday night, I was exhausted in a new way.  A feeling of accomplishment (we made it through the week alive!) mixed with being emotionally drained.  Last night I handed off the baby to Wade and enjoyed a wonderful LONG shower.  Ahh, better.

I have a ton of pictures, so I’m going to post them in bunches.  The next few posts will be a recap of our week.  Enjoy our bright eyed boy – as he is becoming more so every day!

DAY 21: HOME.

We. are. home.

Our family of four (Kemba included) is together.  wireless.  joyful.  grateful.  in awe.

After three weeks in the NICU, Wade and I were able to bring our son, Beckett James home on January 18, 2013.  His final weigh in showed that he had reached 4 pounds, 12 ounces.  He finished his last dose of antibiotics, passed his car seat test, leveled out his temperature, switched to a different milk fortifier and multi-vitamin (that we can administer at home), passed his hearing screening, received a shot, removed a PICC line, and got the blessing from the head doctor to go home – all in the last 24 hours.  Nutrition came, lactation came, pediatrician representative came, doctor, nurse practitioner, audiologist, even hospital photographer.  It was a hectic day to say the least.

At 3:30pm, the nurse removed the last of his leeds and wires.  He looked even smaller as he lie in his bed, spread eagle – knowing that he was lighter and more disconnected than before.  The nurse let me change his clothes in preparation for the ride home.  And then I held him.  I walked around the room, I walked into the hall – freedom.  I could take him anywhere.  And we will.  We will take him anywhere and everywhere.  First stop… home.

The ride home was somewhat stressful to get going.  The car seat literally swallowed our little 4 pounder (though it specified safety for someone as little as Beckett) – but it just didn’t look right.  It took some adjusting and screaming and adjusting before we could get it right. And then we couldn’t figure out if it had clicked into the car base correctly.  First ride home heart flutters… this is what it means to be a parent.  To want the best for your child in every moment.  To stop at nothing to get it.

We made it home.

And immediately flew into action as Beckett was hungry.  First feeding, first night, first morning, first everything – it’s been a success.  We are just so glad to have him home.

All that to say, thank you for your prayers, your notes, your packages, your meals, your love, your support – we couldn’t have made it through the last 3 weeks without them.  I will continue to update the blog, though probably not daily (we’ll see, mom).  We’ve taken over 1000 pictures in the last 21 days.  I can only imagine the film we will cover as we watch this little man grow over the next few weeks, months, years.  Thank you for following along in our journey.  It certainly does take a village, doesn’t it?

DAY 20: Prep work.

Now that the feeding tube is gone, the nurses and doctors are moving full speed ahead for a Friday discharge.  We are completing all of our discharge requirements (infant CPR, car seat test, follow-up appointments, feeding plans).  It’s a whirlwind to say the least.  All the while making sure the house is ready for such a tiny baby to inhabit it!

I must say, I’m feeling anxious.  I’m ready for him to be home – for sure.  But I’m nervous about something going wrong.  As Wade reminded me last night, he has been relatively worry-free for about 2 weeks.  The nurses have changed him, fed him, and rocked him – all of the things I know how to do.  He has required very little intervention beyond that (just the antibiotic and the feeding tube).  He’s had moments of low heart rate and high respiration rate, but none that ever required stimulation or another kind of intervention.  I can do this… oh boy, but it’s nerve-wracking   As everyone says when they enter our room – “Oh my goodness, he’s just so tiny.”  My itty-bitty-Beckett – you’re going to be all mine very soon sweet boy.

It is such a blessing that we’ll be able to take him home on Friday.  Wade and I will be together for the weekend – thank goodness!  Then Wade’s off to work on Monday.  So Friday is a blessing I hadn’t anticipated when we were originally thinking through all of this.  God knows.  Goodness, He sure does.

One more note – Beckett’s respiration rate was quite high today.  It was consistent, but high (70-90 vs. 30-60).  He was also having a heck of a time keeping cozy and warm (low temperature).  The day nurse seemed concerned and talked to the doctor about it.  When I reviewed that info with the night nurse, she didn’t seem concerned at all and just reminded us to keep him extra warm at home.  I’m going to talk to the doctor tomorrow morning, but please pray that this is not a sign of any kind of sickness under the surface.  That’s the last thing he/we need!

Ways to Pray:

  • Calm our anxious hearts.  This is our baby, small but mighty!  We can do this.
  • That we are able to adequately prepare our home for him in the next 36 hours.
  • Lower respiration rates and more consistent temperatures for Beckett.
  • That we would be able to manage this insurance mess!  Found out some info yesterday that makes it that much harder.