The word "longsuffering" is synonymous with patience, yet it wasn't until this season of my life that I understood how they could share the same meaning. At times I may not feel as if I am truly suffering in any way, but my patience is forced to grow because our length of suffering is extended. People continuously ask me if I have any idea when Levi will be at home with us. Unfortunately, I really don't know, nor do any of the doctors or nurses caring for Levi. Only God and Levi know that one.

I didn't get a great report today from the doctor.... not bad.... just not awesome. Just the same minor setbacks and waiting, waiting, waiting on what will happen next. Levi's abdomen is not 100 percent clear, but looking much better! They do believe he has a minor case of NEC colitis, but because of so much prayer (in my humble opinion) it is a very very minor case. Thank you! They believe it's this minor colon infection because his white blood cell count was so low. Thus, he will finish his antibiotics on Wednesday and reintroduce his feedings with a "hypoallergenic" human milk fortifier on Thursday (just in case they are wrong and it's an allergy). Because he doesn't have food going into his stomach, he had to stop his "secretion" medicine (the stuff helping lessen his excessive saliva). The frustrating part is that with excess saliva, Levi is now needing more oxygen support, so they had to turn the bubble cpap up. Another little setback. I asked the doctor if he will eventually outgrow the secretion issues, and she said that they hope that's the case because otherwise it could be indicating a swallowing issue. Babies are usually able to start feedings my mouth by 34 or 35 weeks gestation. Levi is 35 weeks and some change, but he has not been able to do anything but a feeding tube because he's still on the bubble. Until his lungs are stronger, we won't know if he's able to swallow well or not. However, he'll have to have his very first feedings done by bottle from a food therapist for sure.
There are so many conflicting factors that slow down Levi's recovery process, yet without the slowness, we would be pushing an already fragile life too far. So I am thankful beyond belief for each and every doctor and nurse that cares for our son, but after almost two months living at Northside, Levi could still be there for several more unless miraculous strides occur. I trust and believe God's perfect plan for little Levi, and I cling to these truths for fresh air while I develop my own longsuffering:

Psalm 46:1-3
Psalm 71:20-21
Matthew 11:28
Lamentations 3:22-23
Isaiah 26:3

This video gives my heart a happy dance every time I watch it... I have so much to be thankful for...

~ Levi just hit the 5 pound marker!
~Levi's tummy is getting better daily!
~Levi's white blood cell count is back up!
~Levi smiled at me again when I sang Amazing Grace!

~For Levi to learn to swallow his saliva better so he doesn't choke
~For Levi to have stronger lungs
~For Levi's tummy to be completely clear and ready for food by Thursday
~For Levi to be able to nurse well one day soon
~For Silas' and my cold symptoms to be completely gone so I don't have to wear a mask around Levi
~For our family to stay close during this period of patience

Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.