It is truly amazing to see these two precious, tiny boys who grew from a few cells to living, breathing babies. Just holding their hands, so small in our own hands, makes the miracle of life so much more real. We received these adorable onesies from one of Adam’s coworkers and his wife, who is a NICU nurse. Caleb is our tiny heart warrior, and Gabriel is the perfect support buddy. They are already teaching us so much about life. Life is worth fighting for and the support of others is absolutely essential in the journey.
Humility in the Presence of Humanity
Adam and I have experienced the selfless generosity and kindness of an overwhelming amount of individuals in the past fews days. It has brought us to our knees and left us speechless and in tears. We are not people who like asking for help or putting anyone at an inconvenience on our behalf. This is a completely humbling experience that has forever changed us. You may not realize it, but we read EVERY SINGLE comment, message, text, and email. We cry from being so touched, we just can’t help it. Every time we hear or read you are praying for us and our boys, every time you check in to see how we are doing, the food ordering/delivery gift cards, the cards, the snacks and gifts of comfort, and every single donation to the GoFundMe organized by our dear friend Tina, we stand in awe of each act. Each person took time out of their day and/or money out of their pocket to help support us during this extremely difficult time. We don’t take any of this lightly or for granted. Please accept our deepest appreciation and gratitude for such generosity. We see God’s blessings through each and every act of kindness. It is something we look forward to passing on and “paying forward” to others in our position one day.
After saying goodbye to Aaron (the tears were flowing), we headed back to Charlotte to see the boys and get settled. We went to see Caleb first, however he was getting a new PICC line placed in his arm so we went up to see Gabriel. Gabriel took most of his pumped milk by bottle last night and today. If he’s super sleepy or eating slowly, they will take what is left and use the feeding tube he has through his nose. They have upped his feeds from 25 mL, to 30 mL and tonight at 35 mL. This is pretty quick but he is doing really really well so they are letting him take the lead.
His nurse today said that she calls him, “Dr. Ross”, because he is doing so well and is so “advanced”. Not going to lie, that would be pretty amazing if he grew up to have a job helping heal others. Gabriel no longer has any IVs, yay! He is just the sweetest, calm little boy when we are holding him and feeding him. He amazes us as well as the nurses and other staff with what he is doing at 33 weeks. We were told that if things keep going this well, he will likely be able to go “home” with us in the next week or two!! What a blessing!
We were informed that after a second attempt at getting the new PICC line into the tiny vein in the tiny arm of Caleb, they were successful! This new line being in his arm allows for the doctors to take out the current lines that are running through his bellybutton. It lessens the chance of infection and allows for better levels of medications to be more accurately administered. It will also allow this area of his belly to heal. Caleb’s paralytics (medications that help keep him sedated) are being lowered to allow his body to wake up a bit. Earlier this week he was trying to move too much and breathe too quickly on the ventilator. They want to see if he’ll tolerate it better this time around. It helps us to see how his breathing responds and we are hoping it isn’t too fast. It’s important that they blood gases remain in the specific range they want him to be in, ensuring his body isn’t working too hard and keeping the Co2s and oxygen at the right levels. We are asking for prayers for this process to go smoothly, helping him continue down this path of recovery. If his breathing is too fast, they’ll likely up those paralytics and wait a bit longer, going at his pace and letting Caleb lead the way.
Caleb’s diuretics are still working well and he is urinating that extra fluid and swelling continues to go down! His bilirubin levels are improving and the jaundice is responding to the light treatment! Thank you for your continued prayers! 🙏🏻 We continue to hear positive things and pray that each day he makes these little strides that get him further down the path of recovery. We are celebrating these small triumphs and celebrating each day. God certainly hears all of our prayers!
After our visit with the boys, we were able to come to Homewood Suites to get settled. We want to thank our social worker, Diane, at Levine’s for helping guide us and secure lodging near the boys. We were able to choose between the Ronald McDonald House and Hospitality House. Because of Covid 19 restrictions, both locations do not allow anyone under the age of 18 right now and limit the number of people in each room to 2. Hospitality House however has partnered with two hotels to help with flexibility for larger families. This option allows us to have Aaron to come up and stay with us along with the help of grandparents while we are at the hospital. This togetherness is so crucial right now and will help Aaron with a change that is going to be huge in and of itself- being a big brother! Since Gabriel may get discharged in the next week or two, it helps us have flexibility to stay nearby and not have to share in communal areas during this tough time with the virus. We are so fortunate that Madelyn’s Fund has helped us with the cost of 5 nights here. We will reassess after that timeframe and determine if we will continue to stay here at Homewood.
Several have asked for the address and suite number for where we are staying so I thought I would include it here in the blog.
4808 Sharon Road, Charlotte, NC, 28210
Among the precious gifts we have received, both boys were also given Journey Beads for their time in the NICU and CVICU. Each bead represents a milestone in their hospital journey. I just love that they do this as a way to remember and celebrate the accomplishments of our tiny fighters! We also received two knitted preemie blankets. I can sleep with these at night and keep them close so that when they have them in their hospital rooms, they can sense that mommy is near. What special items that we will treasure forever! ❤️