Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Boys

When Eric and I announced last October that we were pregnant, everyone was shocked. When Heather and Jonathan announced three weeks later that they were pregnant, everyone was even more shocked. When Kelly and Phil announced three weeks later that they were pregnant, we had to peel ourselves off of the floor. Three sisters pregnant at the same time, all within a month of each other- had it ever been done before?

And tonight, nine months later, we had all three boys together for the first time. It was such an amazing moment to line them all up and look at them. We pray that these three boys grow up to be best friends and lifelong followers of Christ. May the Lord use their lives to bring glory to Him and His grace and truth to others.

Eli Dane Wilson, May 9, 2008
Cooper Davis Manning, June 16, 2008
Timothy Stephen Heinz, July 25, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Timothy is Coming!

Kelly and Phil (my sister and brother-in-law) are at the hospital now to have Timothy Stephen Heinz, their first child! She went into labor tonight and things were progressing pretty quickly, from what we could tell, so I hope she didn't have him in the car! :) I'm so excited to meet our little nephew. This will officially complete the trifecta of boys that my sisters and I produced this year. Eli and Cooper are 5 weeks and 3 days apart, and if Timothy is born tonight, he and Cooper will be 5 weeks and 3 days apart too. I am so excited to meet him!

In other news, Eli is doing really well. We've been out three times this week. Today's outing was to Northpark Mall with Sarah and Titus and Rye. He did great, as he always does in public. He's so perfect when we're out that no one believes me when I say that he fussed all morning, kept me up all night, etc. They think I'm lying. :)

He's a really good baby overall. And now he is smiling! I can't always get one out of him, but when I do it is like sunshine. Yesterday I heard Eric laughing from the nursery and went in there to find Eli just beaming up at him. I loved seeing the joy on Eric's face watching his son smile at him. He's starting to vocalize more now, too (Eli, not Eric. :) ). He hasn't learned to "coo" yet, but he's perfected this cute little "aaaaooooo" sound that makes me smile every time I hear it. I love watching him grow and change every day, though I know I will miss my little tiny baby. He's almost 7 pounds now!

I am so thankful for Sarah. She makes life so much more wonderful. It is always an uplifting joy to be with her. God is so good to give us the friends we need.

I should be in bed now because I've been up since 5:30am. This is Eli's time to wake up. He refuses to sleep later, much to my chagrin. But I can't sleep because I'm so excited about Timothy coming!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


On Friday I felt, for the first time, like life is handle-able. Eli is starting to get into a schedule, which helps, and the Lord has really been answering my prayers for freedom from guilt, expectations, etc. I felt happy and free and truly excited about this new season in life for the first time, really, since Eli was born. Of course I've been thrilled to be his mom from day one, but the stress of the NICU and then the emotional adjustment of having a newborn in the house sort of beat the joy out of me for a while. I am so thankful to the Lord for sustaining me throughout this time and always- He is so faithful.

Now that Eli is free from his oxygen tank, I can take him places, which will be so fun. It helps to not be cooped up in the house all the time. I am excited to hang out with friends and find things Eli and I can do every week to serve and help others. I really want to instill servanthood in him early on so that he grows up putting others above himself.

Today we took Eli to church for the second time. It is crazy how hard it is to get a baby out of the house and manage to look at least somewhat put-together ourselves. My admiration for parents of more than one child grows exponentially every time I take Eli out of the house. I was so proud of us for making it there clean, dressed nicely, and on time this morning! Small achievements, I know, but I'll take every little victory! Eli made it through the worship and prayer time but started fussing during the sermon. I took him out into the lobby and fed him a bottle and was about to go back in when Eli spit up the ENTIRE bottle, all over himself and me. Right as he did it Josh Winn walked by and promptly got me paper towels, saying, "I've been there many times." Bodily fluids are the bond of all parents everywhere. :)

It was so good to see everyone and catch up with those we haven't seen in a while. I am so incredibly thankful for such a wonderful church family. I am especially thankful for the support and encouragement of the other young moms at the church- I have been so blessed by the understanding they offer. I loved what Carolyn said this morning about Wayne only asking ONE time after her first baby was born, "What did you do today?" That made me smile for hours, because it's so true! Many days all that I achieve is the changing of ten diapers, the cleaning up of spit-up, the changing of tiny onesies, burping, rocking, and singing to sleep. And yet not one more thing could be squeezed into the day! I love that all moms understand that. I had NO IDEA until now. :)

It was a really good weekend, complete with a really great Saturday-morning date with Eric, and I feel ready to start another week.

Friday, July 18, 2008


Here are a few pictures of Eli's room, for those of you who have been asking. Sorry it's taken me so long to get them on here. Eli slept in his crib for the first time today. We've kept him in the bassinet because of all the medical equipment he was hooked up to at first. It was easier to just wheel him and all the monitors around in the bassinet. But now that he's free, it's time for the crib! He looks so small in it! :)

I am SO GLAD it's the weekend. I am pooped! Hopefully I can get a little more sleep these next couple of days, and maybe even go swimming. I used to spend every summer in the water, either teaching swimming lessons or just plain swimming, but this year I haven't been swimming once. I will hit up friends with pools so that I can take advantage of them. :)

I think a schedule, or some resemblance of one, is being formed for me and Eli. Though our day begins much earlier than I would like, I think he's into a good pattern with a couple of long naps during the day and two 4-hour stretches of sleep at night between feedings. Then, regardless of when his last feeding was, he'll wake up like clockwork by 7am. That means that many times I'll finally crawl back into bed at 6:15am only to be woken up 30 minutes later because Eli's ready to start his day. Seriously, what does he have to do that's so important? I long for more than three hours of sleep at a time, but I am trying to really soak up this "newborn" phase, because he's growing so fast. I will miss my little baby.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Upshot

Vaccinations, while painful to the child, do have their benefit. And I'm not talking about the fact that they prevent said child from contracting some horrible illness, though that's alright too. I'm talking about the fact that one of the side effects, at least for Eli, is that it makes the child sleep non-stop! He had a normal night and a slightly fussy morning, but since about 10am, after a particularly disgusting spit-up incident, he's been out like a light. He'll rouse every few hours to eat, but he barely even opens his eyes. He burps and goes right back to sleep. It's been heavenly. :) I feel bad saying that, because I really do enjoy interacting with him, but it has also been SO NICE to get things done around the house and be, albeit seemingly, alone! Maybe I'll have him vaccinated more often...

I took Eli on his first real walk this morning. I have been debating whether or not to do this- it's so hot outside and I don't want to overheat him. But this morning after he woke me up at 6am and refused to go back to sleep, I decided enough was enough. He loves to be outside, so I figured a walk would calm him down. We walked for almost an hour. It was so nice! Again, one of those "real mom" moments. I have always wanted to be a mom so I could push a stroller around. :) And let me just advocate the "Snap-n-Go" stroller. It's amazing.

Here's something wierd... Last night I went to bed around 11pm. Eric had been in bed since 9pm since he was up late the night before with the baby and has to be at work at 5am. So I went to bed, read for a little while, and then went to sleep at about 11:30. At 1am the baby woke up to be fed. I fed him and put him back to sleep and then went to wash my hands in the hall bathroom. To my surprise, the soap was missing. It's just a normal bottle of pump hand soap. It sits there all the time. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what had happened to it. It was about half-full the last time I saw it, so it's not like it ran out and someone threw it away. I couldn't think of a reason why Eric would move it. I was baffled but too tired to really think about it, so I washed my hands in the kitchen and went back to bed. And on my nightstand what do I find? The bottle of soap. STRANGE. So the only thing we can conclude is that I sleep-walked (slept-walked?) and got the soap and brought it back to bed with me. Strange, no? This lack of sleep parenting thing is really getting the best of me. Who knows what will be missing tomorrow. I can't be trusted around bathroom products, apparently.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Poor Eli got his 2-month shots today! I had no idea when I took him to his appointment that that's why we were going- I just thought it was a check-up! He did so great the whole time we were there- not a single moment of fussiness. And then as a reward he got 4 shots! I couldn't look- it brought tears to my eyes. He SCREAMED, but the moment I picked him up he was fine. I like that about being a mom. :) But this afternoon he has been super fussy- I guess he's just hurting, and he's running a low-grade fever, which is a typical side-effect of vaccines. Hopefully it all resolves tomorrow. I feel so bad for him. And for me, because I'm the one who has to listen to him. :)

Eli is up to 6 pounds, 6.5 ounces, and he's 19 inches long. He's the size of a normal newborn! His stomach issues are resolving, too, which I'm so thankful for. We tried so many different things and he was miserable for a few days, but finally we got him to take this specialty formula that is hypoallergenic. We have to mix a little Karo syrup in it to make it taste good enough to drink (the stuff is AWFUL- we tasted it.), but at least he'll drink it. The other specialty formula he flat-out refused. So his stomach is getting better, and the doctor is really pleased. As are we! Now we just have to finance this formula- it's so expensive! But the doctor gave us "samples" today- 5 whole cans of it! It's almost $30 a can, so she just saved us $150. We'll take it! We see the GI specialist on Monday, and hopefully he tells us that Eli is all better.

The doctor's appointment today was the first time that Eli and I have been out all by ourselves. All the other outings we've made have been with Eric, too. I felt like a real mom today- lugging a diaper bag, my purse, and the car seat. Those things are HEAVY! I'll have buff arms before I know it. My admiration for mothers of more than one child grows daily. I have enough trouble with one!

I am so, so thankful for my sisters. Heather has two kids- Jacey, who is 2, and Cooper, who was born on June 16. She's a wealth of good mom advice, but she's so kind and non-condescending in giving it. She helps me so much. Kelly is pregnant with a boy also and is due any day now. She and Phil live two houses down from us, and she has been a LIFESAVER to me. She comes and visits and brings meals and watches Eli and just lifts my spirits by being around. I am so, so blessed to have such wonderful sisters!!! I hope I can help them as much as they help me.

I was watching these two boys play in the street tonight. Our street is intersected by another street that is a really steep hill. They make a "T" with each other. The kids were walking to the top of the hill street, sitting down on a skateboard, one behind the other, and FLYING down the hill into our street and then into the neighbor's driveway. So dangerous. My heart was beating so fast just watching them- I was sure that at any moment they were going to tip over and scrape all the skin off their legs. Then I thought, "That will be Eli in a few years!" Yipes!

I was also reminded of the time that Kelly and I decided to ride our bikes as fast as we could down that hill. We walked them to the top, gazed down at the sharp right-angle turn we would have to make onto our street as the hill ended, and we went for it. I rode down first, as fast as I could. I miraculously was able to make the right-angle turn at top speed. Kelly wasn't so lucky. As I slowed down and turned around I watched her fly down the hill, gain too much speed to make any turn at all, and plunge head-first into a bush and telephone pole. :) It was quite the accident, poor thing! How fitting that now Kelly owns that bush and telephone pole as the owner of that house. :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Free at Last!

This weekend Eli had his "sleep study" to determine whether or not he's ready to be off of oxygen. It was supposed to happen last week, but there was some equipment malfunction that resulted in Eric and I standing bleary-eyed at Eli's bedside in the middle of the night, in the dark, changing batteries, whispering about which buttons to push, and banging the stupid little machine for all we were worth to get it to work. It never worked. So that resulted in two more days of phone calls and visits from the respiratory therapist to try to get the right machine at our house. Finally on Friday night we were able to hook him up and have the pulse oximeter work for ten solid hours, which was plenty.

He did so good, as far as we can tell. Eric and I decided to take him off of his oxygen on Saturday, and he's been doing great. I still haven't heard the final word from the pulmonologist, but I am thinking that Eli is finally free of oxygen, not to mention the ginormous tank that we always had to wheel around with him! It was like we had two babies- Eli and the the oxygen tank. That sounds like a children's book.

We brought him to church yesterday for the first time. It was so special. All those people have been praying for him since day one, and it was a joy to show him off! We are so thankful for such a wonderful church family in which we'll get to raise our son.

Today marks a joyous occasion for me as well- I am done with pumping! (You probably want to quit reading now if you are male. Not that any males keep up with this blog.) I have been pumping breast milk since the day Eli was born. I HATE it. Sitting by that machine for 20 minutes eight times a day, listening to the eeee-rrrr-eeee-rrrr sound, washing the stupid little pieces eight times a day, etc., etc., etc.... all of it was taking such a toll on me. I had wanted to nurse Eli so much, but after getting all of his feedings by bottle in the NICU, he doesn't know how to nurse, and I can't seem to teach him. I had then thought that I could pump until he was 6 months old, but it is just causing too much stress. I feel guilty because I know that breast milk is best, but everyone keeps assuring me that I just need to do what works for our particular situation, and formula is what will work best for us. I feel guilty about the cost, too, but Eric tells me that the money spent each month is worth a saner, happier, less stressed wife! :) Plus Eli has been having all these stomach problems and we need to try him on a specialized formula, so this is the ideal time to quit. For the first time in months I feel relaxed! I am no longer tied to that machine! So long breast pump! (I'm giddy.) It's a big day for both me and Eli- he's free from oxygen, and I'm free from the breast pump. :)

And the perk is that now I get to eat dairy again. It's only been four days, but man is it hard to give up dairy! It's in everything! Tonight I am having a big bowl of ice cream in celebration. :)

Thank you so much to everyone who has posted comments and written me messages of encouragement. You have all been incredibly uplifting to me. I am so, so grateful to the Lord for such dear sisters in the Lord. I need you all so much!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Can't Think of a Good Title

THANK YOU to those of you who have been so encouraging to me with regard to how I've been feeling lately as a new mom. It's been so good to be reminded that I'm not alone, that this time is only a season, and that I'm being prayed for! On recommendation from a friend (thanks, Carla!), I bought the "Ministry of Motherhood" by Sally Clarkson and am finding time to read a little bit here and there. It is reminding me that Eli is my ministry and that what I'm doing is not meaningless, even though it seems that way after ten diaper changes, eight bottles, etc., etc., etc. I am learning!

I want to again ask for prayer for Eli. This week he has been having some stomach problems. We took him to the pediatrician yesterday, and they found trace amounts of blood in his stool. (Sorry to be gross!) The first course of action is for me to stop eating dairy, which passes into breast milk. He might just be having a lactose intolerance issue. If this doesn't work, we'll have to see a GI specialist to see what's going on. It might be something as simple as Eli needing to be on a highly specialized prescription formula that is easy for his little system to digest, or it might be something that requires some sort of "procedure," which really scares me. I am trying hard not to think the worst. I have known and been told from the beginning that premature babies have all kinds of little problems like this in the first two years of their lives, but it is still hard to deal with when it is MY baby. I hate that he's not feeling his best, and I hate the thought of him having to go to another specialist and go through more tests, etc. Will you join me in praying that the Lord just clears up his stomach/intestinal problems with His healing hand? I am asking the Lord once again for a miracle! He healed Eli's heart, and He is healing his lungs, and I'm asking Him to heal Eli's intestines, too. Thank you for praying with me!

On the bright side, Eli continues to gain weight really well! He broke the six-pound barrier yesterday- 6 pounds, 1 ounce! :) He's the sweetest baby- he has such a gentleness about him that I love. He's learning how to "coo," I think- I have heard him several times make a cooing noise, and it's exciting to see him develop!

It is hard for me not to compare him to other babies his age. Technically he is more than two months old, but gestationally he is only two weeks old. I have been told over and over that preemies develop along with their gestational age, not their true age, meaning that Eli will be about seven weeks behind developmentally until he is about two years old. I am trying to remember that he is right on track with his gestational age, but it is hard not to compare him with other babies who are his "true" age.

Yesterday a respiratory therapist came to the house, and there was some confusion about medical equipment, etc., so we had to just sit and wait on phone calls to be returned. While we waited, we talked for almost an hour! She's new to the area and really lonely and looking for a church, and it was such a blessing to be able to encourage her and minister to her. When she left she said, "We should go shopping tomorrow!" :) I am SO THANKFUL that the Lord gave me that opportunity to just be a friend to her. I have been feeling so isolated and really missing being able to minister to others, and it was so kind of God to bring this lady right to my house and to give us time to talk. God knows EXACTLY what we need and when we need it. He is so good.

I am so glad it's the weekend. I look forward all week to getting to sleep for more than 3 hours at a time- Eric does the middle-of-the-night feedings for me on the weekends! What a great husband and father! Really, Eli is a good sleeper. He goes to bed between 8 and 9pm and wakes up around midnight and again around 4am, then he's up for the day between 7 and 8am. When he wakes up in the night, he eats quickly and goes right back to sleep- I'm really thankful for that! I just wish he would go back to sleep after his 7am feeding. That's the hardest time to get up, and I always hope I can get him back to sleep after he eats so I can go back to bed! I change him, feed him, burp him, and then lay him against my chest, thinking, "Yes! He's asleep!" Then I'll look down and his BIG blue eyes are looking right up at me. It makes me laugh every morning. He just has the cutest wide-eyed look, and those morning eye-locking moments are the funniest thing to me. It's like he's saying, "So, what are we going to do today?" That's when I give up the hope of getting back into bed and go into the kitchen and get a cup of coffee instead. :)

I am so thankful to be Eli's mom! Even though it's been difficult in various ways, I feel like the Lord has given me a special assignment with Eli. He has special needs and requires special care, and it is a privilege to be the one that God entrusted these things to. I pray every day that I rise to the occasion and honor the Lord with the way I take care of the little blessing God has entrusted to me!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Today was both a good and bad day. The good first... Eli went to the opthamologist today, and we got the report that his eyes are no longer premature. All the blood vessels have grown normally! This is a really good report, because premature babies frequently have eye trouble. We also took Eli to the pediatrician today, and he weighs 5 pounds, 15 ounces. He's growing really well, and everyone is pleased with his progress. Tomorrow night we're having a "sleep study" done here at the house with a fancy piece of medical equipment that will monitor Eli's oxygen levels all night. When the pulmonologist reads the results, he'll determine whether or not Eli is ready to come off of oxygen, which we're all thinking he is. He's making so much progress! Please pray that he does well on his sleep study so that he can come off of oxygen! It will be such a wonderful thing to not have to wheel around his giant oxygen tank all the time!!!

The bad part of the day was what framed the time that we were out of the house. All the time we were at our doctors appointments, Eli did great- no crying or fussing at all, with the obvious exception of when they were poking his eyeballs with sharp instruments. :) But this morning he was inconsolable. I had no idea what was wrong. He cried and fussed for hours, and I was beside myself. The same thing started again as soon as we got home. Finally, after he woke up 5 minutes after I finally got him to sleep in his bassinet, I broke down in tears and Eric took the baby to my mom's house for an hour.

I feel so "small." All I do every day is feed, burp, change, sing, rock, bathe, soothe, coo, etc. I am not using my brain at all. I am lucky if I get a shower by the time Eric gets home. I rarely get to cook dinner for Eric or clean up the house like I want it. I have a list of cards I want to write to people that haven't been written. I haven't read my Bible in weeks. I haven't done anything to serve anyone else. I am so tired. And then I feel guilty for feeling all of these things, for not feeling completely fulfilled and at peace with my role as a mother.

Don't get me wrong- I am so thrilled with the privilege of being Eli's mom. He is a gift from God, and I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. I am really enjoying motherhood. But I am also having a really hard time with this new season of life.

I know that things will get easier as Eli gets a little older, and I also know that every mother that has ever existed has probably felt some mix of these same emotions. But it's still hard for every mother who goes through it. And that's me! :) I am so thankful for my mom's help tonight. She gave Eric and I an hour to be alone and talk and process with each other. I am also so thankful for my wonderful, godly husband who listens to me, comforts me, and always points me to Christ.

I feel better now, especially because Eli is sleeping soundly in his bed. Tomorrow is a new day, "fresh, with no mistakes in it." (A quote for all you Anne of Green Gables fans like me.) I had always heard that motherhood was difficult, full of sacrifices, etc. I am learning that now. I am trying to have an open heart, a teachable spirit. I would appreciate ANY advice you mothers can give to me. I love to see moms who have walked through the newborn stage with grace and godliness, and I am so blessed to have wonderful friends and family to help me through this time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Ode to Eric

The greatest blessing in the world has got to be a good spouse. Though I have been so thankful for Eric since the day I married him, these last few months have made me even more thankful to be married to such a godly, selfless man.

When I was put on bed rest, he cooked for us, cleaned the house, ran errands, and cheerfully waited on me hand and foot, all the time thanking me for taking good care of our baby by staying in bed. Can you beat that?

When Eli was born 7 weeks premature and was in the NICU for 6 weeks, Eric was a rock for me, supporting me in every way imagineable and thanking me every day for being such a good mom, when really all I was doing was sitting by Eli's incubator day in and day out. What a man!

Now that Eli is home Eric is just as involved with him as I am. He works from 5am until 3pm every day and then comes home and takes care of the baby all afternoon so that I can take a nap, run an errand, or just be lazy. He is tender and fun and so attentive to Eli's every need- Eli couldn't ask for a better father. And I couldn't ask for a better husband!

The icing on the cake came when Eli had his second of two horrible nights on Monday night. I had been up all night on Sunday night and was up all night on Monday night. By the time Eric walked into the nursery at 4am on Tuesday morning, all I could do was cry. Eric kissed me and said, "Just make it to 9:30am." He went to work like usual at 5am, but he put aside all the stuff he had to do at work (which was a TON on Tuesday!) and came home at 9:30am. He took the baby from me and put me to bed. I slept until 4pm, and he dealt with Eli all morning and afternoon, all with such a cheerful heart.

And to top it all of Eric is super fun, goofy, funny, and my very favorite person to be around.

I am so incredibly grateful for my husband who loves me like Christ loves the church. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be married to him!

P.S. Eli is up to 5 pounds, 10 ounces, and he's almost off of his oxygen! He's doing great!