Thursday, May 29, 2008

Moving Forward

Eli continues to do well. He is still getting one bottle a day and is getting the rest of his seven feeds through his feeding tube. It is interesting that now he realizes when it is time to eat, even if it's through a tube, and he gets really fussy right before it's time. His suck-swallow reflex is developing really well, which we're thankful for. He just has trouble breathing during the whole process. The doctor says that it is around this time that the brain really starts sending strong signals to the lungs to breathe deeply and regularly, so we are praying that Eli learns to do this quickly. It is discouraging sometimes to watch his oxygen saturations fall, and sometimes scarcy.

We tried breast-feeding for the first time yesterday, too, and it went really well. We're going to try again today and are hoping that he does as well today as he did yesterday.

I am feeling really worn down by all of this. Though Eli isn't experiencing any set-backs, he isn't moving forward as quickly as I'd like. I keep reminding myself that this is normal, that he just needs time, but it still takes a toll on both of us emotionally. I feel so tired, emotionally and physically, and I am just longing to bring him home with us.

Please pray for Eli...
1. That his oxygen saturation will increase and stay high all day, and that he won't experience desaturation, particularly when he eats.
2. That he is a quick learner with bottle/breast feeding and that he'll be able to start eating more than one feed a day from the bottle.
3. That he will gain weight. (He's been holding steady at 3 pounds, 10 ounces this week.)
4. That he will be able to regulate his own temperature.

Thank you so much!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

So Much Progress

Eli is doing so well, and we couldn't be happier! Today he officially reached "full feeds," which means that he is getting all his nutrition from breast milk and no longer needs the supplementary IV nutrition he's been getting. He eats 1 ounce every 3 hours, and that's about all his little tummy can take right now! :)

Tonight they will take out his IV, which makes me so happy- the only tube left will be his feeding tube! He has continued to gain weight- he's up to 3 pounds, 9 ounces.

Today he also tried "nipple feeding" for the very first time. The suck-swallow-breath coordination is developed in premature infants, so they gradually teach it to them using a bottle. I got to give Eli his very first bottle today! He did really well- he has the breathing and swallowing components down, which is rare for babies. Usually they have trouble breathing and keeping their oxygen levels up during feeding, but Eli had no trouble. It was the sucking part that he had a little trouble with. :) He couldn't stay awake, so he didn't eat very much from his bottle. But for a first attempt, it was a big success! Tomorrow he'll get another bottle, and I'll be there to give it to him! All other feedings are done through the feeding tube, as well as whatever they don't take from the bottle.

We held him all afternoon- we love him so much! He slept for me the whole time, but he opened his eyes for Eric, as usual. He loves to listen to and watch his Daddy, which is so sweet.

THANK YOU for your prayers! Please keep praying that he is a quick learner when it comes to feeding- he needs to get all his feeds without the feeding tube before he's allowed to come home. Pray also for protection from infection, illness, etc. and that Eric and I will have strength, endurance, and peace. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Eli graduated! On Monday when I got to the hospital the nurses were getting him all ready to move to a new nursery- one that is part of the "Feeders and Growers" wing. This is a big step in the right direction! The nursery is less of critical care and more of just teaching the babies how to eat and fattening them up a little so they can go home. We are so happy that Eli is doing well enough to be in this new place!

He's doing great. Every day they increase the amount of milk he eats, and he's growing really well and gaining weight. There haven't been any problems this week at all, and we are so proud of his progress. We love holding him and cuddling him and interacting with him every day. He's fiesty and strong, but really sweet too. We love him like crazy, and are praying so much that we can bring him home SOON. The nurses and doctors never say a date except my due date (June 25), because they don't want to get our hopes up with an earlier date. But we are begging the Lord that he can come home sooner- maybe by Eric's birthday (June 7) or Father's Day???

THANK YOU for your many prayers on our behalf. The Lord is answering, and we are so, so thankful. Keep praying that Eli tolerates his feedings well, that he is protected from infection and other complications with prematurity, and that he learns how to eat quickly and easily so that we can bring him home soon. Pray also for strength for Eric and me. Thank you so much.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Eli's Good Report

Praise the Lord, who hears the prayers of His people and answers so generously! Today we found out that the extra artery valve in Eli's heart has closed up, thanks to the medicine! I cried when we found out- the Lord is so good to us.

Eli is making so much progress in every area- he's gained 5 ounces already, chunking him up to 3 pounds, 2 ounces. :) He got taken off the ventilator on Friday, too, which makes him so much more comfortable, and so much more vocal, too. :) We can hold him now any time we want because we don't have to worry about the ventilator tube in his throat. He's eating again and doing great with that. And they say that in a couple days he'll "graduate" to the next nursery level, where they just focus on fattening the babies up. He's so cute! We are absolutely in love with him.

THANK YOU for your prayers. We can't express how grateful we are.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Update on Eli

My doctor told me that in the NICU it is always "Two steps forward, one step back," and to not be shocked or worried by little set-backs. I am trying to remember his advice now as we are experiencing the "one step back."

Eli is doing great in so many ways- he is breathing so well and is ready to be taken off the ventilator, which is such a praise! He is eating well, too, and has made it up to 3 pounds! His jaundice is gone, so he doesn't need to be on the UV lamp any more. And then there's the fact that he's just so cute!!!

But yesterday (Wednesday) we found out that he has a little heart murmur. All babies in the womb have an extra heart valve that helps support the extra blood flow they get when they're growing. The valve closes by itself around 35 weeks gestation, so when a baby is born the valve is no longer there. But in premature babies like Eli, the valve doesn't have time to close before they are born, which creates a heart murmur. Apparently this is a really common problem with babies born before 35 weeks, and Eli has it.

The extra valve isn't causing problems now, but it would if left untreated. It needs to be closed. There are several options for treating it- surgery or medicine. The surgery is a simple procedure where they just put a tiny staple on the valve through a tiny incision in the baby's back. But still, surgery is surgery. The medicine is obviously far less invasive, but the risk with it is that as it closes the valve it might close another artery in the gut that could potentially cause bowel perforation, which would require surgery to fix. This usually only happens in the tiny tiny babies- those born around 25 weeks, so Eli is in a low-risk category for this. The doctor decided to start the drug therapy.

He had his first dose yesterday and will get another one tomorrow and another on Friday. He doesn't get to eat during it, which is sad. So far he's doing really well- no side effects of the medicine so far. After his third dose he'll get re-evaluated to see if the valve has closed and what to do from there.

This is so, so scary for Eric and me. We love this little guy more than anything, and our hearts are breaking for him. Our little son needs a miracle- he needs the Lord to put His finger on that little valve and close it up. God put the stars in the heavens- He is absolutely capable of healing a little baby's heart. We are begging the Lord to close this valve for Eli so that he doesn't need any more treatment and so that he can continue his progress forward.

Will you join us in praying for our son? Pray that the Lord will close the valve in his heart so that he doesn't need more treatment. Pray that there will be no negative side effects of this drug. Pray that Eli will be comfortable and at peace during this, that he will feel God's presence so close by him. And pray that Eric and I can handle this with grace, peace, and faith. Thank you so much.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Eli is here!

On May 9, 2008, at 5:04am, our little son, Elisha Dane Wilson, was born! He was 7 weeks premature, weighing only 2 pounds and 13 ounces, measuring 14 inches long. He has to be in the NICU for a while (hopefully not longer than 3-4 weeks) until he can learn to breath and eat well, and then we can bring him home. We are so in love with him!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Time has Come

I am thinking of that old "I Love Lucy" episode when Lucy goes into labor and Ricky keeps saying in his loud Cuban accent, "The time has come!" The time has come for us, too- Eli is going to be born tomorrow (Thursday)!

I went to the doctor today for more tests, and, long story short, it's time to deliver him. My physical condition (blood pressure, organ function, etc.) is quickly deteriorating, and the baby isn't growing like he should any more. This is the point where he is better off in the NICU than inside me. We are so thankful that we made it to 33 weeks- this all started at 27 weeks, and we praise the Lord for the 6 good weeks that He gave to us!

I go to Baylor Dallas tomorrow to be induced around 3pm. Hopefully, if all goes, well, the baby will be here by midnight. I can't wait to meet him! I feel relieved that this period of uncertainty is ending, but I am anxious for the health of our tiny little son, who will have to be in the NICU for a while. We are so thankful that the Lord has him safe in His loving hands.

We would SO APPRECIATE all your prayers on our behalf- especially on behalf of little Eli. We look forward to announcing his birth!