Monday, January 26, 2009

Pictures from the weekend

It was a busy weekend in the McLelland house. We had lots of visitors who were very anxious to see Benjamin. Grandpa Al, Gammy and Aunt Rachel came over as well as Grandma, Aunt Whitney and Bill. Grandpa Joel also came over but I forgot to take a picture. Oops! Caleb wanted some attention too so he climbed into his old infant car seat...which he is much to big for! He loves to hold Benjamin, and we are still working on being easy. Caleb isn't too crazy about Benjamin crying though, he gets upset when Benjamin is upset. Caleb has learned that Benjamin cries when he is hungry so when Benjamin cries Caleb says "Feed Ben mommy".

I do it!!

Caleb is very independent these days. He wants to do EVERYTHING by himself and he gets absolutely furious if you try to help him. He'll say "I do it! Not mommy do it!" Here are a couple of pictures of him taking off his shirt all by himself. He got himself into a tangled mess but he managed to get the shirt off with no help from mommy. It's funny because last month his favorite thing to say was "I need help" but now it is "I do it!" The joys of having a 3 year old!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Welcome Home Benjamin

Yesterday was a good day...after almost 5 weeks in the NICU, we finally got to bring Benjamin home. Caleb got to meet his baby brother for the first time. He was very interested in Benjamin when we got home. I quickly learned that we are really going to have to work on "being soft" and "easy touch". Caleb was a little rough at first but I'm sure that he will learn how to be easy. We are so happy to have Benjamin home but the realization really set in last night. It was a "what do we do know?" kind of moment. It's been a few years since we have had a newborn and we are a little out of practice. But we are already getting into a good routine and things are going smoothly...although we are quite exhausted! Benjamin is absolutely precious. He slept on my chest for an hour this afternoon and it was wonderful. So sweet. Thanks again for all the prayers.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Almost home?

Benjamin passed his car seat test with flying colors last night. Thank you so much for all the prayers...they worked. Unfortunately he still isn't home yet. They want to monitor him for a couple more days. Preemies will often let their heart rate drop which isn't terribly concerning as long as they bring their heart rate back up on their own. Benjamin's heart rate drops occasionally but he recovers on his own, so that is good. I guess the doctors just want to watch him for a couple more days to make sure he is 100% ready to come home. I really thought he was coming home today and I was so disappointed when the doctor said we had to wait a couple more days. So, if all goes well Benjamin should be home this weekend.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Caleb Crawling

Caleb has started doing something new lately...crawling on his hands and knees! He has always just army-crawled on his belly because he has no inner thigh strength. He could get on his hands and knees but has been unable to actually keep his legs under him enough to crawl. Well he has been trying really hard in the last couple of weeks and he is now able to crawl on all fours. He moves pretty slow right now but I have a feeling that he will get faster. We are just so proud of him. I didn't think this would be something he could do but he has surprised me once again. Spina Bifida certainly hasn't stopped him from doing the things he wants to do, even if it takes a lot of work and time to do it. I just can't wait to see him in the role of big brother. It is going to be so fun to watch him with Benjamin. I love that we have 2 boys, we are just so blessed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feeding tube is out!

Look at that beautiful face! No feeding tube! Benjamin is doing great with his feedings by bottle so they took out his feeding tube yesterday. I think this is the first time I have actually seen his face with nothing stuck to it. He is finally taking all of his feeds by mouth which is absolutely wonderful. He does better with the bottle than he does with nursing but since I am only able to nurse once a day he hasn't had much practice time. That is always something we can work on when he gets home. He weighs in at a whopping 5 pounds 3 ounces. There is only one more thing he has to do before he can come home and that is pass his "car seat test". The doctors want to make sure he can tolerate being in a car seat without his heart rate or oxygen dropping. What they do is hook him up to the monitors and have him sit in his car seat to see how his does. They tried it last night but Benjamin didn't do so good, he only lasted about 10 minutes before his saturation levels and heart rate started dropping. He has to be able to stay in the car seat with no problems for 90 minutes!!! They are going to try again on Thursday so please pray that he does well...so we can FINALLY bring this booger home! I guess being in a car seat can be really hard for preemies, I'm learning that there are a lot of things that we need to be aware of when it comes to prematurity. I finally feel like we are actually getting close to bringing him home but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. I won't believe it until Benjamin is actually here. It has been a long 4 1/2 weeks. We so appreciate everyone's prayers. We feel so blessed. God is good. This picture was actually taken last week but I forgot to post it. It's hard to catch him with his eyes open but we were lucky and got a good shot. He's sure is cute!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Hurry up....and wait

God give me patience and give it to me NOW! Isn't that what we want? We all want to be patient but we absolutely hate any situation that requires us to actually be patient. Having a baby in the NICU requires patience. I am really trying to be patient...but it aint' easy. Benjamin is doing well. He had some trouble regulating his temperature yesterday so they had to put him under the warmer but he was doing better today. He continues to nurse well and they are trying the bottle twice a day but he struggles with eating even half of what they want him to eat. He is gaining weight, he is about 4 pounds 12 ounces. I have to remind myself everyday that Benjamin isn't supposed to be here yet. He should still be in my tummy for another 5 weeks. If he were still in my tummy he wouldn't have to worry about regulating his temperature, he wouldn't have to work so hard to get food, he wouldn't have to filter all the sights and sounds around him. We are asking him to do things that he shouldn't have to do yet and it is hard work for him. It is understandable why he is so tired and requires so much sleep. I know that he will come home eventually, but not before he is ready. Until then we take it one day at a time and look forward to the joy of bringing Benjamin home.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

More pics

I don't really have anything new to report. Things are pretty much the same with Benjamin. I did get to nurse him this morning and it actually went pretty well, he did the best that he has ever done. But he wouldn't nurse at all this afternoon. The key is to catch him when he is alert because when he is asleep he won't do anything! It is so frustrating. He has to be taking all 8 feeds a day by mouth before he can come home and he is nowhere near doing that. I know that he will eventually get the hang of it but it is so hard to be patient. We just want him to come home so badly. It isn't natural to leave you baby. Going up to the NICU twice a day is exhausting...thankfully gas is much cheaper these days. Prayers are certainly appreciated.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Update

Benjamin is doing good. They took him out of the incubator so now he is in an open crib. They will continue to monitor his temperature to make sure he is regulating his body temp. They let me try and nurse for the first time today, which I was very excited about. It didn't go as well as I would have liked, preemies sleep A LOT and it is hard to get them to wake up. Benjamin was more interested in snoozing. They will continue to offer the bottle or allow me to nurse once a day until he gets the hang of it and then they will slowly increase the number of times a day they give him a bottle. He can't come home until he is either nursing or bottle feeding for every single feed. That can take a week or it could take a month, it just depends on Benjamin. Obviously our prayer is that he will quickly get the hang of it and will be home soon.
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