Uncle Peter and Aunt Christa visited us last week. It was so fun to see them! We tried to do a little bit of sightseeing. We visited Boulder one day--We tried to do a family photo but this was the best one we got....
Islwyn wanted to take a picture of us.... We visited the Pumpkin Patch that day too. Islwyn refused to be in any pictures. But here are Amund and Elijah. Thanks for the cool jeans and sweater Mical! Picking our pumpkins. We also visited a small town up in the mountains one day. Here we are enjoying a soda at the soda fountain there. It was pretty cold--you can even see the snow on the ground. Peter and Christa. And Elijah got lots of snuggles. Peter had an especially snuggly spot--whenever he held Elijah he would go right to sleep. Snuggles with Christa.
Elijah decided he needed to show up his big brothers at birth or something. He was born three weeks before his due date. When he was first born he seemed totally fine. Here he is at just minutes old. He was really angry!
But by the next day he was showing signs of respiratory distress and the nurses took him to the NICU at Lutheran (where he was born). They gave him some extra oxygen and x-rayed his lungs. He had a small hole in his left lung that was leaking air out of his lung and causing his lung to partially collapse and it also was pushing his heart over to the right side. So they decided to insert a needle in where the air was and suck the air out. They did this three times, but he kept getting more air. At this point the doctors weren't sure if he had an infection or if he was not making his own surfactant yet.
Since the air kept accumulating outside of his lung, the doctor decided we should transfer him to Children's Hospital on the other side of Denver. It is about 30 minutes from where we live. So we decided to baptize him.
Then the transfer team came. Jonathan rode in the ambulance with Elijah--while my dad drove me to the hospital to meet them.
The first night he was in the NICU at Children's the doctors put a tube in his chest to let the air out and also put him on the ventilator and gave him some surfactant to help his lungs heal until he started making his own surfactant. Apparently this is common in babies who are premature--that they can't make their own surfactant for a couple of days. Although the doctors said they don't usually see it in a baby at 37 weeks--but a similar thing happened to one of my nephews who was born around 37 1/2 weeks....so we don't really know why this happened. He was technically not premature since he was just 37 weeks. They also put him under lights for some jaundice he had.
After 2 days they took him off the ventilator.
Once his chest tube came out I could start feeding him and he just had to show he could eat enough to be able to go home and not need to have a feeding tube. Here he is the day we came home. He had to go home with some oxygen.
Finally, yesterday, on his due date when he was actually 3 weeks old, he was able to go without extra oxygen. Finally he is free of all tubes etc!
He also weighs 7 pounds already. Wow! We are so grateful that he was so well taken care of. First at Lutheran and then at Children's. The nurses and doctors were totally amazing and the NICU was really nice and set up to help families. I was able to stay with him the whole time he was in the hospital. The first couple of nights Jonathan and I were able to sleep in a family room that they have right in the NICU. It is sort of like a hotel room down the hall from Elijah's room. Then after that we just stayed in his room with him. They have a couch that pulls out into a bed and a tv/dvd and a bathroom in his room. We were able to close a curtain around our bed and tv area while we were sleeping. Also, our room just happened to be at the very end of the hall and around the corner so it was very quiet and private. We were really lucky that way as some of the babies didn't even have their own rooms. I can't say enough good things about the NICU at Children's--we are so glad that we were right here in Denver when this happened so it was very easy to transfer him there and close to our home. Now all Elijah has left to remind him of all of this is a tiny scar under his arm where his chest tube was. Otherwise, he is doing really great. Thank you to everyone who was praying for him! And a big shout out to my parents for taking care of Islwyn and Amund the whole time we were in the NICU--8 days!