Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Day for Benjamin

Here are some pictures from today. Benjamin is doing great. He continues to tolerate the increase in breast milk through the feeding tube. The nurse gave him a bottle for the very first time today and I was thrilled. I am so glad they are trying to bottle feed and eventually allow me to nurse him. He did pretty good with his first bottle feed, he ate about 7 cc's. It is hard for preemies to coordinate the suck and swallow reflex so it may take some time for him to really get the hang of it. But I was so impressed that he was able to eat what he did on his first try. They are going to try to take him out of the incubator tonight and see how he does at regulating his own body temp. Hopefully that will go well. He was so alert when we went to see him today. He had his eyes open and was just looking around, taking it all in. Then he fell asleep and slept the rest of the time we were there. Glenn and I just take turns holding him. He is just precious and we can't wait to get him home.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Benjamin update

Hello everyone, I just thought I would give a quick update on Benjamin. He is doing well and he is absolutely precious. The doctors are slowly increasing the amount of breast milk they give him at each feeding, and he is tolerating it very well. They are still feeding him through a small tube but hopefully they will begin to introduce nipple feeding soon. Since he is digesting the breast milk so well, they will be taking the IV out tomorrow which is wonderful news. He did have jaundice (not a surprise) but after a couple of days under the lights the jaundice has cleared up. He is about 4 pounds 3 ounces now so he has gained some of the weight he lost after birth. We have no idea how long he will be in the hospital. I know that he has to be eating well and gaining weight before they will send him home, he also has to be able to regulate his body temperature (right now he is in a incubator which keeps him nice and toasty). I imagine that he will be there for a little while but we are hoping and praying that he will come home soon. He is so beautiful and we just can't wait to get him home. Caleb hasn't gotten to meet him yet because the NICU won't let anyone under 13 in since it is RSV season. So Caleb is understandably confused. I will continue to post updates. Thank you for all the prayers, we believe in the power of prayer!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas pictures

Since I was in the hospital during Christmas we didn't get the chance to let Caleb open his presents until this morning. He was very excited when he saw the presents under the tree. The best gift he got was a portable DVD player for the car, actually the DVD player is more for Glenn and I since Caleb chats constantly in the car. We think having a DVD player for longer car trips will keep us from going crazy with all the chatter in the back seat. I also include a couple of pictures from last weekend at Granny and PawPaw's house. Caleb got to spend some time outside playing basketball and riding his tryke. He had an absolute blast that day. The last three pictures were taken at Grandpa, Gammy,and Aunt Rachel's house on Christmas day. Uncle William was there too and helped Caleb open all of his presents. Caleb spent most of Christmas day at their house since I was in the hospital. He got some great toys and had a lot of fun that day. Caleb has gotten to spend a lot of time over there lately so that Glenn and I can go to the hospital to see Benjamin. He always has a good time over there.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Beautiful baby boy

Here are some new pics of Benjamin. These were taken today. He is off the oxygen so we were finally able to get some shots of his face without all the tubes. He is doing well, he is still being fed through a small feeding tube and they are slowly increasing the amount of breast milk they give him. He has lost some weight (which is pretty normal), he is about 4 pounds right now. He will be in the NICU for a few weeks at least, there are several milestones he has to hit before he can come home and it will take time for him to get there. I was finally released from the hospital tonight, and while it was incredibly painful to leave Benjamin it is really good to be home. I know that me being gone has been hard on Caleb (and Glenn too). Caleb needs his mommy too. I am recovering fairly well, I am getting around pretty good, although I move very slow. My mind is still reeling from all that has happened, this was truly unexpected, I'm trying to wrap my brain around the fact that I had a hysterectomy at 31 years old. Glenn and I were pretty sure that this was going to be our last baby but I kinda feel like the option has been taken from me. But I truly feel blessed to have the 2 wonderful boys that I have. I am so thankful that I was already in the hospital when things started going downhill because time was truly of the essence and the situation could have been absolutely disastrous. We praise God for the wonderful staff at the hospital who acted so quickly and did what needed to be done. We praise God that Benjamin is doing so well even at 8 weeks premature. We have so much to be thankful for. I really appreciate all the e-mails and comments we have received. I know so many of you have been praying for us. Please continue to pray that Benjamin will just blow us away and come home sooner than anyone could expect. We will continue to post pictures and updates.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

New Baby Pics

So things are starting to settle down now. Benjamin (or Ben as Caleb calls him) just started to open his eyes to whole new world. Cassie is doing much better and will hopefully be coming home on Friday. We can't wait to introduce Caleb to his to new little brother. Notice how big Benjamin is compared to our hands. It won't be long before he plumps right up like Caleb did when he was a baby.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Early Arrival of Benjamin David

Hello family and friends. I think most of you know that I am pregnant and that I have had a few issues pop up with this pregnancy. The biggest high-risk issue I had was placenta previa which is when the placenta is covering the cervix. Well one of the symptoms that come with placenta previa is heavy bleeding during pregnancy, I started bleeding at 3am Sunday morning so Glenn rushed me to the hospital where they made every effort to stabilize me because I was not quite 32 weeks pregnant. The goal was to stop the bleeding and to keep our baby in me as long as possible. Things seemed to be improving until last night when I started bleeding very heavily and had to have an emergency c-section. It was a very scary situation and everything happened so fast. The put me to sleep for the c-section and I had to have a blood transfusion because of all the blood I lost. And when they got me open they realized that the situation was much worse, my placenta had grown outside of my uterus and had actually attached itself to my bladder. Basically my uterus was so badly damaged that I had to have a hysterectomy. The good news is that even though he was born 8 weeks early our baby boy is doing well. He weighs 4 lbs, 7 oz. He is breathing on his own which is a good thing. He will have a lengthy hospital stay though. He is absolutely gorgeous, and his name is Benjamin David McLelland. We are just so happy that he is ok. I am asking for your prayers for our baby boy, just that he would continue to do well and come home in record time. Also prayers for me and my recovery, I am in a good deal of pain right now.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Party at school

Caleb had a Christmas party at school today. I went up there to help with some of the activities. I think I probably get in the way more than I help, Caleb acts a little goofy when I'm around and doesn't stay on task. He did a few craft projects and got to eat some sweet treats. It's fun getting to see him in his classroom. He is so independent there and really seems to know what is expected of him. His wonderful teachers really push him to do things on his own and he is doing a great job. He has the next 2 weeks off from school for Christmas vacation, it will be nice to have him home for awhile. I really want to get lots of one-on-one time in with him before his baby brother comes. It might be a little bit of a shock for Caleb to not be the complete and total center of attention all the time!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Early Christmas with Grandma

Grandma is going to be out of town during Christmas so she came over last night for an early Christmas with Caleb. He was very excited about the enormous box! Of course when I saw the huge box my first thought was: "I don't know what is in there but I'm certain we don't have room for it!"Caleb got a "Grow-to-Pro" basketball goal. It is adjustable from 3 feet up to 6 feet. I guess a basketball goal is a must have for every boy.And here is Caleb laying in the box that the new toy came in. I don't know what it is about boxes but kids sure do love them.
I think that he is really going to like his new basketball goal. Maybe we can start practicing for some wheelchair basketball!

Monday, December 15, 2008

SB Christmas Party

Yesterday was the annual Spina Bifida Christmas party. Caleb had a good time, he got a candy cane painted on his face and he got to do some crafts. All the snacks were gone by the time we got there so we missed out on the food. But we did get to see some of our friends from family camp. It's always fun getting together with everyone. The party was about an hour from our house so it was a little bit of a drive, and of course Caleb gets very chatty in the car so he talked the entire way there AND the entire way home. I almost began to wonder why we wanted him to talk in the first place! It is hard to believe that 3 months ago he said only one word sentences and now he says 4-5 word sentences all on his own. It's like he was taking it all in for 3 years and then decided one day that he was going to start talking. We are so proud of him. Such a good boy!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Daddy's Home!

Daddy is finally home so Caleb got some much needed "daddy time" yesterday morning. For some reason Caleb wanted to play in the bathtub (no water) so he and daddy climbed in and started playing. Both father and son had a good time playing in the empty tub with their P.J.'s still on.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caleb's new wheels

Caleb got a new toy today. It is an Amtryke bike, which is a tricycle with hand and foot pedals. It is designed for kiddos like Caleb that are unable to pedal a regular tricycle. The best part is that the tryke was free through a local organization that provides these bikes to kids like Caleb. Gammy and Aunt Rachel took turns pushing Caleb around the kitchen. After a few circles in the kitchen Caleb was beginning to get the idea that he had to use his hands to make the tryke go. I think he will get the hang of it in no time at all. He certainly seemed to enjoy it. Gammy and Aunt Rachel are staying with us for a few days while Glenn is traveling. They are here to help me since I'm not supposed to lift anything over 15 pounds. I saw my doctor yesterday and our baby boy looks great. My placenta is still too low and since I am now 30 weeks it doesn't look like it is going to move. So, my c-section has been moved up to 36 weeks which is Jan. 20th. Only 6 weeks from now!! Yikes! In the meantime I am supposed to be taking it easy. Gammy and Aunt Rachel have been a big help and Caleb has loved having them here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ethan's birthday party

We went to Ethan's 3rd Birthday party today. It was at a park so it was a little chilly but of course the kiddos didn't care. Caleb enjoyed being outside and seeing his friends. I tried to get some pictures of Caleb with Ethan and Nathan but the 3 of them are always on the move and it is usually in different directions! We got to eat hamburgers and hotdogs hot off the grill and of course some yummy birthday cake. Caleb had a really good time.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Family Camp 2008

We went to Camp John Marc this weekend for the Spina Bifida Family Camp. We had a great time. We got to see familiar faces from last year as well as meet several new families. It is always such a treat to connect with other parents that have a child with SB, they understand immediately what challenges we face on a daily basis because they go through them too. We don't have to explain anything because we are all in the same boat. Caleb really enjoyed himself this weekend despite it being quite chilly and he had a little bit of a cold. We went on a scavenger hunt, made s'mores at the campfire, played games, and Caleb got his face painted. Caleb also got to touch a snake..well he was supposed to just touch the snake but he actually squeezed the poor thing (Glenn said the snakes eyes practically popped out). It was a fun-filled weekend and we were all pretty tired, Caleb fell asleep on the ride home.

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