Another letter to Levi
I cannot believe you are already three months old. I've never been more proud of you my sweet, second son. I am watching you fight to swallow, cry as hard as you can, and try your best to communicate with all who care for you. I hope and pray that you won't have any more setbacks, that your muscles will develop properly, that you'll come home healthy and able to eat, and most of all, that my voice and my arms will give you comfort even though they've been absent so much these past few months.
Every mother wants jealously to be the one her children run to for love and care, just as our true Father desires for us to run to Him first. I understand that jealousy a little more now as I watch you recognize the voices of your sweet nurses. I want desperately to make your life easier, but I remember that this is just the first of many trials in your life of which I can only sit an the sidelines and call out that I love you! I try not to think too much about how little we see each other in a 24 hour period because I think I would break down in unmerited motherly guilt. You are receiving phenomenal care, and I'm told you are the cutest baby on the floor! Every female nurse from miles around comes to "check on you." This makes my heart smile, but I pray that no matter how little time you spent in me prior to entering the world, you will still know that I have always been and will always be the first woman in your life.
I trust and believe that God's will is perfect for you, and I continue to yearn for the day we can get better acquainted. Thank you Levi for looking at the world with such fresh eyes. Thank you for not following or conforming to the "normal" preemie pattern. Thank you for giving people a chance to see God work miracles. Thank you for letting me love you from afar, and thank you for teaching me so very much. I feel as thought I barely know you, yet I love you as if I've known you all my life. Please never start conforming; rather, maintain a path that belongs only to you!
I love you Levi.
~Levi is 7 pounds!
~Levi started "tastings" successfully. Similar to a wine tasting, Levi gets to start slow with smelling, and familiarizing himself with milk by mouth before they actually give him a bottle or allow him to nurse. They want to go very slow so that he doesn't gag, aspirate, or have a negative experience with eating, which can stay with him the rest of his life!
~Levi is doing great and on the last 1/64 (yes a fraction) liter of oxygen (the very last amount he can get before being on room air).
~The orthopaedist said Levi's therapy and new splints look good, but there is a concern for his hand, so they want him to see a specialized "hand surgeon" just to get evaluated and watch him closely.
~Levi needs to be able to take down a significant amount of milk before he can do the "swallow" study. If he can't handle eating by mouth, then we are back to discussions with ENT, Plastic surgeons, and Neurologists. If he aspirates during tastings, there's a chance he could end up back on a ventilator if it causes him too much stress (imagine the worst case of something going down your wind pipe- terrible feeling). He has a very high palate in his mouth, which could be the root cause of a lot of his swallow issues. We pray he learns to compensate and outgrow this.
~Levi still seems to drop his stats a little when he's refluxing or trying to swallow too much saliva (hence the only reason he's still on a little oxygen because they can turn it up in those moments). He's on a new form of acid reflux med. Prayers this gets under control so that he can be on room air and only worry about his physical therapy and occupational therapy moving forward.
Love you all!