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!!!