Adam and I sat in awe yesterday evening, simply floored at the outpouring of love and support for our boys and our family. There aren’t words to adequately express our gratitude. I have been moved to tears throughout last night and all day today. There are times that God watches you, walks with you, and carries you. He has been carrying us through these last few days and He has blessed us with each of you and your prayers to help in doing that. Every single prayer you are praying on our behalf, lifting us up, is something we treasure more than you can imagine. To have friends, family and people we don’t even know take the time to do that, is one of the most humbling experiences there is. So before I update you on the boys today, please accept our most sincere gratitude for the love, support and generosity each of you have graciously given to our little family.
We are technically on the 8th floor of Carolina Medical Center and Levine Children’s Hospital is connected to us. To see the the boys, we have to get daily badges to get into the Children’s Hospital side. It takes a good amount of time to get to the NICU to see Gabriel on the 7th floor of LCH and then to get to the 6th floor to see Caleb in the Cardiac ICU. It’s not easy since they aren’t connected in the way you’d imagine. We went to see Gabriel first. When we got there, he had ripped out his own IV and they were replacing it. It had just been changed and he was getting a diaper change when we got there. He was a bit awake and the nurse asked if we wanted to feed him his first bottle. He did SUCH a great job at taking his first bottle! We are so excited to see his progress and how well he was doing! Adam is the sweetest husband and daddy and asked if it would be ok if the nurses would take up a sign on their beds wishing me happy birthday! The night-shift nurses made signs with footprints and it was JUST what I needed! This sweet boy is definitely helping us emotionally and mentally during the tough moments. Dr. Engstrom was there and walked up to us to chat. I thanked him again for his wonderful visit with us and his prayers. He said, “I never want to leave the Lord out”. He is just the sweetest.
We then went to visit Caleb in the CICU. One thing I know I am going to have to work on and pray about is the PTSD I feel when approaching his room. Our experience the day after birth when checking in on him and hearing Dr. P discuss mortality left me very raw. I have been working to overcome that and remember that God is in control of the plan for that sweet baby. We walked in and saw that Caleb has a new light to help with jaundice and his bilirubin levels. His blood-gas levels are improved (they monitor this for oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood). They gave him lasix to help him pee more and get rid of the extra fluid in his body from surgery and recovery. This made his blood pressure drop a bit last night so they gave him a little epinephrine to help support his blood pressure. This helped his body process the lasix much better today! They noticed some bruising in his belly and wanted to get an x-ray to make sure there wasn’t an issue with the intestines, infection, etc. and they actually got to look at it when we were there and saw that it was normal. This could just be from the blood thinners he is on, etc. We are thankful it didn’t show something alarming. Today he gets the pericardial drain out! This was the drain that was used to remove pooling blood around his heart when it was knicked somehow during the initial surgery. There has not been any more blood to collect around the heart so they get to remove that. He also gets to be taken off of antibiotics today. Tomorrow, they are going to lessen his sedation to see how he does and to see if his stable vitals continue to remain stable (even though it is with a lot of support). They want to go at his pace and they want to make sure that his body’s only responsibility right now is to grow, to relax and recover.
We got to meet some more nurses and doctors today- Sharron and Dr. Jennifer Bailey. She was so great to give us a detailed report and encouraging news today. I brace myself- I think it’s human nature. Even with a strong faith and belief in God’s promises, it doesn’t mean that we won’t have fear or anxiety. What is important is Who you run to or What you run to in the midst of those emotions. I sat and prayed for that sweet baby and spoke out loud about God’s blessings and His provision for Caleb. Proclaiming these things as that fear creeps up has helped me replace those emotions with encouragement.
Many of you have asked for things that we can share for specific prayers. I know God loves when we call upon Him for specific requests, trusting that He can provide what we deem is impossible for us to handle. Giving these things to him, we are asking for prayer for…
-Caleb’s body to grow stronger each day to be able to handle each day.
-For his reports to show progress in the right direction.
-For Gabriel to continue to do so well and to continue to lift our spirits.
-For me to overcome the PTSD that comes with walking into Caleb’s room.
-For our hearts, as parents- seeing a preemie ICU bed with many tubes, lights and machines. Seeing Aaron on Facetime only right now and missing him so much.
Thank you guys for being our village. We are trying to comment and respond to as many messages as possible and just love receiving these bits of encouragement throughout each day! Thank you isn’t enough- you all mean so much to us!!