Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sixteen Whole Days!

On one hand, that seems like a long time!! Luke's already 2 weeks and 2 days!

On the other... S*I*X*T*E*E*N D*A*Y*S! Holy cow, he's so little!

He is still little. We saw the pediatrician on Tuesday for his two week check-up. He was about an ounce and a half shy of his birth weight, so we were ordered to eat more, eat more often and bulk up. In consulting several people, including lots of lactation consultants and moms who exclusively breast fed, Luke's fine. Neither John nor I are big people and long and lean may just be the way he rolls. In fact, he already gained 3/4 an inch in length in two weeks!! His legs are VERY long and his fingers and arms are super long too. I think growth curves are curves for a reason--and not everyone falls right in the middle.

Of course, I'd rather have heard, "Super. Don't change a thing!" but since I didn't, we saw another lactation consultant today. All is fine, we just need him to stay awake longer than 5 minutes and eat more often. He'd go 5, maybe even 6 hours if I *let* him between feedings...which sounds nice in theory for sleeping at night, but I'm constantly waiting to hear him stir or waking him up to make sure he's eating ok that I don't really sleep anyway.

We'll try to eat a bit more often, pump to be sure we make enough, and supplement if we have to--feeding the baby being the first and most important concept. He's doing all the right things with regard to diapers and such; he's just sleepy (still working on the jaundice) and a bit lazy and mostly, a nibbler like his mommy. Daddy is very, very worried about this since my motto is Eat To Live and his is Live To Eat....I'm sure Luke will be fine, as he was ALL ABOUT food in utero!

He is so sweet...so mellow! He still hardly ever fusses, and even when he does, it's not much of anything and usually only with a diaper change or changing clothes. He still has what we are calling 'conversations' with those we don't see. Again, not sure of the theology, but I am just not having any doubts that he's 'interacting' with his angel (Matthew 18:10) and even his cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1), which I know include his brother, grandmas and granddads and I always tell him to make sure they know we love them and miss them still so much. I don't even know how to explain it, but it makes my heart swell every time I see him do this.

The days are still bittersweet. Grief doesn't end because amazing joy begins. They coexist and can really tear one up.

I just love him so much. SO.MUCH.

But, I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being scared. I told John that I sort of feel like I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop...which, if you know me in real life, you know is how I sort of have always lived.

The thing is, Matthew dying WAS the other shoe dropping. There's a big difference between *waiting* for it to drop and actually knowing what it feels like when it drops. Once you know, the fear of it dropping again seems to be magnified about a million times.

Or it seems like it to me.

I know what it feels like to lose a baby. I know what it feels like to not be able to hold him and tell him he'll be ok and to mean it. I know what it's like to ache for the feel of a sweet little newborn in my arms.

It's the most horrendous pain I pray I will ever have to know. Knowing how THAT is, I am just paralyzed with fear sometimes because I can only imagine the intensity of pain should something happen to Luke. I don't know how to word it without sounding like I would miss Luke more because I've held him and 'know' things I never got to 'know' with Matthew....that's SO not the case. It's just now that he's here...and is so full of promise and hope and restoration, I'm terrified to lose that TOO.

It's such a hard thing to describe or explain. In any event, I just pray daily for the ability to just enjoy every moment without apprehension. Okay, I realize that is NOT going to happen, so I actually just pray for the ability to enjoy as many moments as I can without apprehension.

There are so many sweet ones. I'm grateful.

At two weeks:

Luke is still AMAZINGLY strong! He was lifting his head and neck and turning the afternoon he was born and we were all surprised. He only continues to get stronger...he is also sort of rolling to his side, which worries me a hair since he's strong, but not strong enough to pull himself back!

We are working on more feeding...although Grandma called today and told me that his Granddad at 5 weeks was the same way--noted to be needing more nutrition and to be fed every three hours with complementary milk...just like the lactation lady said Luke was like this morning! So...it's not just mommy's nibbler appetite that affects his eating!

He still smiles a lot...and sneezes a lot...and has the hiccups a lot. He does NOT fuss a lot, spit-up a lot or have many blow-outs. He's just such a good, sweet spirited little one.

I know I use it a lot, but don't think this word can be overused:

Grateful.

A few pictures...blogger is driving me nuts with uploading. Someone commented about a better way to upload? Can you recomment and help??!!






22 comments:

  1. Wow, he really looks a lot like his Daddy when you have shots of them next to each other! Such a handsome little thing and I can't imagine how great it feels to hold him and love on him.
    I loved this post. Don't know what else to say, but I think about you Every. Single. Day.
    Much love and many, many prayers.
    xoxo Tessa

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  2. Lori, seriously my girls were the EXACT SAME WAY! I thought there was no way I could get them to eat more often than every five hours in the beginning, and I was nursing as well. They were each 1 oz off of their birth weights at 2 weeks. They are doing great now. Still little, but they were to start with. Even though they are in the 10th% for weight, they are healthy and putting on weight like they need to (Amelia looks downright chunky now).

    You are doing awesome, he is doing awesome and TRY not to worry (haha right...this coming after I had a meltdown about this very thing last week).

    And I'll be praying he stays a good and quiet boy...mine started that way but they are LOUD now, that's for sure!

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  3. Precious pics of you all! You are in my thoughts & prayers as you travel through the ups & downs of your days right now.
    Blogger bothered me too until I realized you can keep adding pics while others are loading. Then when you have them all loaded it will put them all on the post at the same time. Not sure if that helps or answers your blogger question but I hope so!

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  4. I enjoyed this post! Thanks for sharing your joy and sorrow! I read your blog and it's almost like a book. I can't wait for the next post. I'll keep you in my prayers.

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  5. <3 Love him...and i dont imagine the fear leaving, i think the fear morphs into a whole "new" fear...and I pray to anything and everything that you NEVER know what that is like, and I get to watch him grow and be strong each and every day...I almost didnt recognize him without his signature hat pics =) he is just adorable

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  6. It sounds to me like you are doing everything right Lori! Especially getting the Lactation consultants in on the job! Good for you! Remembering that not every baby will fall into a category that a doctor calls "range of normal" is a good thing to be aware of. Each baby grows differently, and the fact that LUKE is growing *taller is evidence that your feeding your baby!

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  7. Believe me, I totally feel a lot of what you're saying :)

    In my experience every baby I know born before that magical 40 week mark has trouble in the beginning staying awake and waking themselves up to eat and therefore gain less weight. he's fine. Give it a couple weeks and he'll be nursing all the time and gaining like crazy!

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  8. That third picture is my favorite. So alert and cute! :D

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  9. Totally adorable photos! I had 4 nearterm babies. Each seemed to "wake up" around their due date - sleeping less but more organizedly, if that makes sense, and eating more vigorously and for longer stretches. I can't remember if you've reached Luke's due date yet, but it could be that he is still just snoozing, thinking he's supposed to still be in the womb and he'll awake soon as well. At any rate, I don't think you have much to worry about, but, given what you've been through, I can understand why you DO worry. Keep on keeping on, and posting the VERY cute photos! And BIG time congratulations!
    Shannon

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  10. Oh he is soooo cute... I love the monkey!!!

    What you said, "Grief doesn't end because amazing joy begins. They coexist and can really tear one up", I couldn't agree more. You said it perfectly... I was trying to explain this to someone just yesterday.

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  11. "Grief doesn't end because amazing joy begins" - I love that. You put it so well!

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  12. Oh Lori, your fear is so normal considering all you've been through, but I am praying specifically for a peace that transcends all understanding to envelop and swallow you into a calm that you can embrace! Luke is such a cutie pie!! And you know I love monkeys, so the last pic is my favorite!!!

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  13. Gosh, that darn other shoe.... I appreciate the way you talk about this. Once something has happened that never should, you know the reality of the pain it brings and you now know that it DOES happen, can happen and you can't stop it from happening. It's a horrible feeling.

    You have such a beautiful little man there mama! (I think he looks like a mini me of daddy:)

    Please send me an address or somewhere where I can send a gift you way!!! (waterford@cox.net)

    XOXO
    Kelli

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  14. It sounds like Luke and Liam are so much alike!!!

    I haven't even had a chance to think about everything else...the ball dropping...all that...I just don't have the energy. I know those emotions are coming...I guess it's inevitable.

    Thinking of you always!

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  15. First of all...gorgeous!!

    Evan wasn't a huge eater either, and even though primarily breastfed I did have to supplement with a high calorie formula twice a day (NICU recommended). Those two feeds were daddy's time as Evan wouldn't eat a bottle well from me knowing he could be having the GOOD stuff instead!!

    You are right...joy and grief are intertwined...and it is a tough road to travel. I live it every day. And you can feel the most unbelievable love and joy...yet still feel that ache and sorrow all wrapped up in one. It doesn't mean you don't feel joy or love for Luke, and it doesn't mean your sadness is more overpowering...it means you are a mommy who lives the life of parenting for an earthly child and angel child...and not many people get that.

    I also know how the fear of waiting for the floor to fall from under your feet can feel. I felt that way after Zac passed away and every 66 of the days Evan was in NICU, and then for a loooooooong time after he came home.
    I remember someone asking me which phase I had enjoyed more...the beginning days when Evan was born, or once he was at that 1 year mark.
    My answer was complicated. I had missed all the "normal" first days. I was grieving one of my two sons. I lived morning to night in a NICU bay wondering if "today was the day" that something bad would happen and I would face another funeral. I got so paranoid that I asked my husband one day if we should but the plot next to Zac "just in case" so the boys could be together again. Nice, hey?? But I was terrified. I was a mommy who didn't know how to NOT be scared after the death of a child. I feel like I missed SOOOOO much of the innocent joys and pleasures of Evan's life once he came home. Trying to figure out how to feel joy without guilt, trying to figure out how to keep going through the pain, trying to figure out how to trust that all would be okay with Evan...and allowing myself not to be terrified of losing him.
    And because he was so early, we had all the other fears and precautions to take once home regarding visitors and outings. Which were limited and next to none that first year.

    I STILL have days almost 2 years later where I feel that chill of fear. I STILL go in to Evan's room at night before I go to bed and put my hand on his chest. I STILL find myself thinking "what would I ever do without him? I would literally die if something happened to him".

    I was just staring and watching him running around and playing today. Studying his precious face and listening to him talk away. Seeing the concentration on his face. And I started to cry. Because my heart just didn't have enough room for the blessing and joy I feel in hearing him call me mommy...yet I also wish I could hear Zac saying that to me too.

    I think that will just always be a part of our lives after we've lost a child.
    But I pray that you will find the joy and pleasure and peace in each moment with Luke. I know that you do. I know how much you love him. There is no question there!

    But know that I get where your heart is with missing Matthew so much too.

    Luke sounds like he is doing wonderfully. And I LOVE seeing all the new pics on FB and here!! Evan is tall and lean as well!! He gained textbook amounts up to a year and a bit and then the height overtook the weight. As long as he is peeing and pooping well, that is a good sign :) He'll catch up!

    Evan's dietician recommended a book to me that has been very helpful. It's called Child of Mind by Ellyn Satter. Check it out.

    Hugs and love to you all!!!!

    Heather (Heathershope - HP / GOL)

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  16. He is so cute and tiny!! But just perfect. :)

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  17. super sweet and adorably fun! and hey, he has his papa's hairline :)

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  18. Praying for you always and lifting you up in these difficult moments.

    On a brighter note, I'm so happy Luke is doing well. He will catch up in his time :) My heart continues to be full each time I see his precious face.

    xxx

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  19. HI Lori,

    Congratulations! I am so happy for you!! I'm just catching up. Will be following along on baby Luke's progress.

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  20. Lord I LOVE the monkey photo!! :-)

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