We're out of the hospital! In fact, we've been "home" (at our rental place in Cincinnati) for almost a week now, and have been so busy taking care of Nathanael that I haven't taken time to update this page. Of course, I've also taken a little time to sleep, eat, and rest a little. :) It has been great to have a live-in support-system/housekeeper/cook/baby-holder. Since I was on my own with the little guy for 5 weeks in the hospital (don't get me wrong, the staff was great, and many of them helped me out by staying with Nathanael while I ate a meal in the kitchen just down the hall) I have enjoyed the change to a situation with a 2 to 1 caregiver to baby ratio!
Our days are busy: we give 2 medications by IV twice a day (and that process takes about 90 minutes total), four medications twice daily through his NJ (feeding) tube, three more meds three times daily through his NJ tube, and two meds orally (mouthwashes, given on little sponges in his mouth - wish I could catch those facial expressions on camera!). Oh, and we also give him about 24 oz of milk over 12 hours each night through his NJ tube (that means getting up once or twice overnight to add milk to the feeding bag). Did I mention that in between we need to wash syringes for his oral meds, clean pumping supplies and milk storage bottles, do laundry, dishes, cook, eat and sleep? No wonder I need a helper!
Of course we do find time each day to play with Nathanael, and he is a delightful little boy. He is starting to "talk" a little more, he loves to sit up (supported), grab toys, and watch things and people. When we go to the hospital (2-3 days/week) the nurses love to see him. He seems interested in everything around him, and in most ways is growing, healthy, and thriving. The doctors are very pleased with his progress.
Here are a few recent pictures: going home from the hospital, posing for a picture at home with Santa (Uncle Jeff), who came in from Columbus for the afternoon/evening to help us move. It was great to have help with all the stuff we had accumulated in our room. It was also really nice just to order carry-out Chinese for dinner - we ate while Nathanael slept in his car seat. My parents arrived later that night while the visiting nurse was here, and both of them spent the weekend with us. We decided that we didn't want my dad to leave, as we had dubbed him the best baby-soother around - every time he held Nathanael sleep came quickly...sometimes for both of them!
In other good news, Nathanael has remembered how to eat! He is now nursing half a dozen times a day, and doing well! Of course, we continue to feed him milk through his NJ tube, but have reduced his tube-feeding time from 24 hours two weeks ago, down to 16 hours last week, to 12 hours now...yea! Thanks for your prayers! :)
We still miss Brad and Jamison like crazy, and try to talk with them by phone or skype every day, but so far things are going fairly well. God's goodness has been so clearly demonstrated to us in many ways: gifts, letters, packages, prayers, phone calls, good lab reports, strength through tiring days, etc.
We do love to hear from you, and enjoy knowing what is going on in your lives as well. I am thankful that even from a distance we are able to share - even in some small way - this leg of the journey together. Just think of us when you hug your loved ones, and remember to be thankful for them even when they drive you crazy...it's good to have them close enough to hug! I look forward to having that problem again!
Our other good news is that we've had two birthdays and an engagement in our family this week! Joyce's birthday is today (Happy Birthday Nana Joyce!), and Jeff celebrated his birthday on Monday by asking Julie to marry him! We had all been waiting and wondering when this day would come, so we're very excited, and hope to be together to celebrate their wedding day sometime in the next year or so. :)