Sunday, August 31, 2008

Smooth Sailin'


video

This is Ezekiel and Daniel today. You can see how well he is doing. He loves holding hands with us... or holding fingers, as the case may be. :) They switched him from the high frequency ventilator to a different type of ventilator-- what I call a "step down" vent because he is a step closer to being completely off all ventilators. They are talking about taking him off sometime this week, so pray pray pray! It will be wonderful when he is well enough to come off. They have also increased his feedings to 6mL without any problems. He needs to be up around 20mL or more, so he still has a little ways to go. They have stopped giving him any sedation, so he is just a wiggly little guy now, flailing his arms and legs everywhere. He is starting to respond more to the sound of our voices. You should see him open his eyes and look around when he just wakes up... it is just too cute. He must be the cutest baby in the world. :)

Here is Ezie and my hand.


Our favorite nurse, Jerry, puts Ezekiel on his tummy like this, and he loves it. He's always happiest when She is his nurse. :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

You know you want a mini-cow

My darling husband Daniel has been trying to convince me for a few months that we should get a mini-cow. Yes, a mini-cow. For milk, of course. Notice that the people in the above picture are children, and that is a full sized cow. Well, of course I am fairly opposed since we already have 2 goats, 2 ducks (the newest addition), 3 rabbits, and 5 chickens in our suburban backyard. But maybe someday in the future we will have a mini-cow. Daniel found this article today. You can also read about mini-cows (aka dexter cattle) here if you would like to get one for your own backyard. :)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Open Eyes

video

Ezekiel is doing well today. He is down to 25% oxygen (room air is 21%). His ventilator settings are lower. They have started feeding him milk again, although his digestive system is a little sluggish from a few days without food, so pray that he will start digesting well and eating a LOT so he can grow! You can also pray that he will be able to come completely off the ventilator and stay off of it. :) We will be going to see him in a couple hours and I can't wait--- I miss him soooo much!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

another update today

I'm sure you will all be glad to hear that Ezie is doing really well today. It looks as if the prayers and steroids are working really well-- he is doing better than they expected, and they have to keep lowering the settings on the ventilator! Thankyou Jesus!

This video is from sometime last week.

video

Quick update

We are (trying) to leave for the hospital, but of course I had to sit down to check my e-mail, read friends blogs, etc.... silly me. I wanted to give you all an update though. Ezekiel's lungs haven't been doing too well... he is still on the respirator after 20 days, which is apparently a long time. I guess he has been having some trouble, and they told us he has severe lung disease. Now don't be scared or worried, because God is still good and we are still praying. What is happening is that they are starting to give him steroids to strengthen his lungs. He will get 3 days of full doses, and then they will taper him off for another week.... so about 10 days of steroids. Here is what you can pray for: They said that usually after steroids a baby can come off the respirator, but that Ezie's lungs are so bad that they are hoping to be able to simply reduce the respirator settings. PRAY THAT HE WILL BE ABLE TO COME OFF THE RESPIRATOR!!! Please also pray for no bad side effects from the steroids, as they can do some nasty stuff. We refuse to entertain any negative thoughts and fears, so please do the same. Pray for God's full healing for Ezie. Our healing is what Jesus came to give us, and we are believing that he will give it to Ezekiel.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Two weeks old

Ezie is now two weeks old. He is doing well-- he has had no major setbacks or problems. He does have a small infection right now, so he is on antibiotics. He is also still on a respirator. The most exciting thing that has happened is that he opened his eyes yesterday! He has nice big eyes. I will take a picture when we go see him tonight and stick it up on here later, so check back. :) Ezie is gestationally (is that a word?) 29 weeks and 2 days.... so we will celebrate on tuesday when he turns a full 30 weeks. I'm trying to learn how to celebrate his achievements and look at weeks instead of days. The daily grind of all this is depressing, but when I take it in weeks it's much more manageable. It's been really encouraging that he opened his eyes. Hopefully he will be home in 6 more weeks, and we've already done 2 weeks, so we are a quarter of the way done with the NICU (hopefully!)

Daniel and I are doing ok. It's been a little rough. He is still off work- I can't believe it! Suprisingly, the army has been WONDERFUL to him through this whole thing. They are trying to work it out so that he doesn't have to go back to work until mid-october (when we expect Ezie to come home.) That would be amazing! I can't imagine how hard things would be if he were at work all day, then came home and we went to the hospital for the rest of the evening. After Ezie comes home, Daniel is going to take a month of vacation time and stay home. I am so thankful that the army has been so wonderful. I really am surprised! You all know that I am not a huge fan of army life and the way daniel is treated by the army, so this is completely catching me off guard. I guess the army has some redeeming qualities!

I've been pretty tired with constant pumping. I can skip one session in the middle of the night so that I can get a good 5-6 hours of solid sleep, but the rest of the day it's half an hour of pumping every 2.5 hours..... blah!! It's worth it though, and I will stick with it. Ezie is eating 3ml of milk every 3 hours. Hopefully soon he will be eating a lot more than that! He has gained a little under half a pound since birth.

Alright I gotta get ready to go to the hospital. I will put more pics up soon!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Surprise!

Ezekiel Solace Pike
born August 6, 2008 5:52pm
2lbs 2oz
13"
Ezekiel: God Strengthens
Solace: Comfort in times of distress

video

We had our baby! He is 3 months early, poor little guy. We're still unsure why he decided to come so early. He is doing very well. Here is the story...

I woke up wednesday morning around 3:30am with contractions about every 6 or 7 minutes. I didn't know what was going on as of course, it's not time yet! At 4am I got in the bathtub and stayed there an hour while Daniel went to pt (physical training). When he got home at 5 I was still in the tub and miserable. We looked in our pregnant books to see what was going on, thinking maybe braxton hicks, right? Once we realized that wasn't what it was, we decided to call our midwife, Joi. She said I could possibly be dehydrated (I had had the flu sunday and monday) and to drink as much water as I could in an hour... if I wasn't better by then she told me to go to the ER. Soooo I drank and drank and contractions got closer.... 6:45am we decided to go to the hospital. When we got there contractions were just a minute or two apart and we soon discovered I was already 6cm dialated (and not dehydrated at all). At this point they rushed me up to labor and delivery. They put me on drugs to slow down my contractions and to *hopefully* stop labor (at which point I would have been on bed rest in the hospital until the baby came... as long as 3 months.) The idea was to keep the baby inside me as long as possible so they could administer steroids to him which are needed to help him breathe once he is born. (As you can imagine I was very unhappy to have to take these drugs but my midwives assured me that the things they were giving me were absolutely necessary for Ezie to live.) They hoped to keep him in me up to 48 hours to give the drugs time to take effect. Well, after the drugs my contractions slowed down and I layed in bed all morning. At 2pm they checked and I was 8cm. At 4:45pm I was fully dialated, but my water still hadn't broken. Since they couldn't stop labor they took me to the birthing room to break my water and start pushing. After 20 minutes of pushing, Ezekiel was born. We were only able to touch his head briefly, as they needed to wisk him away to the NICU and make sure he would be ok. That was the hardest part, seeing him being carried out of the room right after birth. But it was necessary and I am glad they were able to help him. He is a strong little guy-- he cried when he was born! Most premies can't cry when they are this early- all the doctors and nurses were surprised. God is so good to us! Anyway, Daniel was able to go watch as they got him stabilized. I, of course, was still in the delivery room delivering placenta. (the placenta was amazing to look at. My midwife and the doctor both said I had a very large and healthy-looking placenta.) I felt soo soooo relieved once Ezie was born. All you women who have given birth know what I mean, I'm sure. I felt empty though... no more baby kicks. :( I really miss him being inside of me.

Today is Sunday so at 5:52 this afternoon he will be 4 days old. Yesterday they took him off the ventilator and hopefully today they will be able to start feeding him some breast milk. It's been a rough couple of days. We just got home from the hospital yesterday.

I'm sure many of you realize that we were planning to have a home birth, and this is not what we expected at all. But God has been so good to us in this whole experience. All of our doctors and nurses were very kind and very good at their job. No one tried to shove an epidural down my throat. No c-section, no episiotomy. Thank God! Overall our stay at the hospital was a great experience, and I really don't like going to the hospital. The only thing that really sucked was the IV in my arm. I am so thankful for hospitals and smart doctors in situations like this when they are really needed.
Now pictures!


This is the last picture of us before Ezie was born. Saturday, Aug. 2 @ camp sychar, under the tree where we met!

Ezie has to have this blue light on him to help with jaundice. To protect his eyes he has to wear a "batman mask".