Micro-preemie

Micro-preemie

That’s what Joshua is – a micro-preemie! It sounds kind of like the name of a science experiment to me. Then again, I didn’t really do that great in science, so what do I know?

Thank you for your prayers. It’s been great knowing how many people want Josh to be well and strong. And I’ve heard so many stories of people in our situation whose children grew up to be big and buff and that’s nice to hear, too :)

Josh is doing well! He is mostly stable. Bp is good – he’s still on meds for that but it stopped fluctuating so much. His little heart is beating strong and he is only using 25% oxygen, which means he needs almost no extra oxygen to help him. He is enjoying his baby spa and getting all cozy and warm. They said in a few days I can put a little hat on him and give him one of his blankets so he can feel at home. My Mamaw made him a tiny one and I think it will make him feel better!

I got to hold his hand again last night. This time he responded and wrapped his little micro fingers around my finger! I know it’s a reflex but I like to think that he knows I’m there and he’s glad to see me. Daniel held his hand, too, and is teaching him about physics. Never too early, I guess.

Daniel and I are okay. It’s a roller coaster of emotions. I’d heard that phrase before but I didn’t fully appreciate it until this week. In the same hour I am elated, devastated, angry, excited, glad, and confused. That’s the hardest part – not knowing how I’ll react. Sometimes when I leave Josh I sob. Other times I am overjoyed to have seen him and can’t stop smiling. It’s weird and I guess I’ll either get used to it or I’ll be more consistent.

But we’re hanging in there. Thank you again for the prayers and cards and messages. We read every single comment and it is really uplifting to see how many people care. I’ll update again when we have some more info.

Seacrest out.

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Joshua Michael Eleveld

Joshua Michael Eleveld

Oh, heyyyy. Fancy meeting you here. I thought an update on my fabulously exciting life might be in order, no? Plus I just took some Percocet so this should be fun.

The last post I wrote here was to Joshua. I didn’t expect to be able to read it to him so soon!

So if you haven’t heard, here’s what happened:
On Friday, February 22, I went into my doctor’s office for a routine appointment, just a monthly check up for me and Josh. After realizing my high blood bp and other signs meant the baby could be in danger, the nurse-midwife sent me to the hospital to do some lab work. She is the person responsible for starting the care Josh and I needed so much and she is getting a big batch of cookies as soon as I find time to make them.

At the hospital they said I needed a specialist. Josh looked a little small, a little tired, and he was having to work too hard to get the nutrition he needed. They didn’t know why but they said the specialist could help. So off we went to another hospital, Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs. If I don’t remember to say this later – Northside staff, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are all the reason Josh is alive right now.

At first the specialist said the baby was doing okay. Not great, but he could stay and bake for a little while longer. Then one of us asked a question about the results, and when he went to show us an example of what he was talking about, he noticed that Josh wasn’t getting nutrition anymore. There were a lot of medical terms tossed around but the short story is that the placenta wasn’t giving Josh the oxygen or nutrients he needed. He was small and inactive and they decided he would be born that day.

That is still one of the most surreal moments of my life. I never, ever expected that to be what happened. But it was best for Josh and dang it all if I wouldn’t do anything for that little cutie.

So we did a c-section, like, the next hour. That was hard. Surgery itself wasn’t as hard as trying to wrap my mind around what was happening… We were becoming parents and welcoming our baby a whopping 14 weeks early. It was like I was trapped in a nightmare. I kept thinking I would wake up any minute or someone would tell me it was a joke.

At 7:08 pm, Joshua Michael Eleveld was born. He weighed 1 lb, 7 oz. They brought him to me and I had never seen such a tiny little person before. He could probably fit inside my shoe. And, yes, my feet are huge. I don’t wanna talk about it. :)

Then they took him to the NICU and he’s been there ever since. His heart rate is good, his temp is good, they are controlling his blood pressure with medicine, and they said he X-rays look incredible for someone born so young and early.

He’s so tiny.

Yesterday I finally got to see him. They let me hold his hand and talk to him. Y’all, I know I’m biased, but he’s so precious. He’s perfect in every way, just a little miniature. He kicks and wiggles and is sticking his tongue out at us. I might get to hold him in the next week or two if he continues to improve.

We’re here for the long haul – like most preemies, Josh will be in the NICU until his due date (May 30) and possibly a little later. That could change down the road but right now that’s what we know.

This is now the depressing part of the blog so feel free to skip it: A lot of you have asked how I am. Thank you for asking. Physically, I’m pretty good. Sore and tired but I can handle it. But emotionally… I feel defeated. I feel worn out and confused and terrified and overjoyed and excited and angry. I look at other babies in the hospital and look at their moms taking them home and I get jealous. People keep telling me I will get used to life in the NICU. But I don’t want to get used to it. I want to bring my baby boy home like the other babies. I want him to see his room and his toys and his house and everything that shows him how much we’ve been looking forward to seeing him. That sounds shallow but it’s true.

I don’t understand this. The last few years have been so difficult for my family and I thought we’d served our time, so to speak. I feel like the world’s worst Christian for thinking that but it’s the truth. I’m trying to pray but it isn’t working. So right now I am just taking it one day, hour, minute at a time, and letting others pray instead.

That has been one amazing thing to come out of this experience – the overwhelming amount of love and support from my family and friends and hospital staff. Thank you so much to all who have prayed. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My in-laws drove ten hours overnight through a storm to get here. My parents have come by every day. My sister has stayed up with me all night to encourage me. BFF Jen is currently laying in the fold-out couch in my room – she stayed overnight so I could get some rest s while she checked on Josh. My aunt drove two yours, my brother spent his only few free hours to see me, and my grandparents are on the way. My friend Lee stayed at the hospital for 12 hours and then drove 20 miles out of his way at midnight to walk and feed our dog. Coworkers and friends and even complete strangers have stopped by, prayed, and are pulling for my little guy.

Thank you all so much.

It would be impossible to do this without you.

And I cannot forget Daniel, who has shown me the living example of faith through trials. He has put on his bravest face and is leading our family through this time with strength and integrity. I am so blessed to have married him. He has been here for me, cried with me, told me jokes, and held my hand through all of this. I love him so much and I can’t tell you how glad I am to have him here with me.

Please keep praying for Joshua, Daniel, and me. I’ll keep y’all updated as soon as we know anything. Thank you again.