First a quick Jellybean update since that is what my world revolves around now!
Looks like Jellybean may need an extra day - he's tuckered out from going to full feeds and trying to stay warm without the incubator so we've had to do his last two feeds with the ng tube. Perfectly normal and ok. We were expecting a lot out of him and knew he may push back on something. He's still quite the trooper and way ahead of schedule! He did start learning to go to breast yesterday and had a great latch at 9pm and even got a few good tugs in. It took him a few trys since his mouth is so little but after that there was no stopping him. His nurse said he did get his whole midnight bottle down by mouth. I don't know about his 3am or 6am yet. I'll find out about those later this morning. So we are slowly getting there. His car seat and baby bag are ready for him whenever he is! He has also porked up to 3lb 6oz now!
It feels odd to be writing this but I have to say that I am somewhat thankful to have gone through this experience. We have definitely been humbled and blessed by it. When the doctor first told me we were doing an emergency C-section and my little Jellybean would be transferred to another hospital I was overwhelmed and terrified. It wasn't time yet, we weren't ready! How were we going to manage? Where would we stay? Would Joey be stuck driving all over Central Florida to take care of me, the baby, our house and our pets?
Then God answered in a big way that we really needed! I haven't beaten around the bush about some of the struggles we have had in our marriage. There were times I wondered whether Joey would ever grow up and step up. Well on December 30 at 6:09pm - HE DID! That man has been amazing since all of this happened. While I was in the hospital he was back and forth between me, the baby and taking care of his son who was still down here for Christmas. He spent New Years sleeping on a couch in the waiting room just so someone would be close by the baby. Poor guy didn't even get to crack a beer for New Year's. He shuttled back to the house to get clothing for us and to clean up. He coordinated with neighbors to get our car's retrieved from the hospital I delivered at to Jellybean's hospital. He has cleaned the whole house and shampooed the carpets and cleaned my car out. Coordinated with neighbors again on taking care of our pets while we are gone. And the rest of the time he is either at work or at the hospital with me and Jellybean. It's been quite the turnaround in a week and I am so thankful for it.
We are also humbled and blessed by the generosity and support of others. I'll start with those neighbors. We have a set of neighbors who live at the end of our street. We had hung out with them exactly once prior to all this happening - you know everyone is busy with their own lives, blah, blah, blah. Since they found out what we are going through - first they drove 45 minutes each way to help Joey out with our car situation. This entailed 3 people to coordinate 3 cars all done late at night. Then they have been looking after our pets ever since then - no easy feat when your house is a veritable zoo of the dog, cat, bunny and bearded dragon. But everyday they show up to walk Blue and feed Cadillac and Phebes. They didn't have to do any of this - I mean we barely knew them. It was humbling to say the least to have someone see your need and just fulfill it from the goodness of their heart. I don't think we will ever be able to repay that. Our other neighbors have been praying for us around the clock and have people all over the world praying too - I know its working with all the progress little Jellybean is making. When Joey and I decided to buy our home we felt like we were moving into a real neighborhood when we saw all the people out walking their dogs and stopping to chat along the way. I am so glad we made that choice because I have to say we are surrounded by some of the best people in the world.
We are also humbled and blessed by the love and support of our family and friends. My sister was at the hospital before Joey even made it. She has been my rock through all of this. Having had 4 kids and 2 emergency C-sections herself - she knew exactly what I was going through. I don't think I could have done any of this without her. From posting facebook updates,to watching Joey's son for us or to picking up socks and groceries for us - she has gone above and beyond in every way possible. I know we are so lucky to have her here for us. My parents have been such a good support team too and get so excited with every update. They drove out to our house one day this week to walk the dog, clean out the litter box and clean up for us. Joey's family has been diligent with prayers and support too. His mom was in Mississippi when all this happened and then had to go back to work when she got to Florida but she called me while I was waiting to see what would happen on Jellybean's big day and talks to Joey daily. His dad happened to be down here for a day and made it a point to visit his newest grandson!
Our friends have to be the greatest ever too - as soon as the news went up on Facebook it has been support central for us with prayers, advice and encouragement every step of the way. Sometimes that is the only thing that gets me through these long days of walking back and forth to the hospital, pumping, trying to nap and just generally being a zombie. Its amazing how quickly that "pregnancy glow" turns into the frazzled new mommy look! Our friends also quickly answered the call when the paypal link went up and we are so grateful for that. It is one burden off our shoulders figuring out how we would pay for the Ronald McDonald house on top of our other bills. I'm including all of our bloggy and SK friends in this category too - I don't differentiate based on how you became a friend - you are still near and dear to us!
Finally - Thank God for the Ronald McDonald house! I wouldn't be able to make it through this without it. I love being a 5 minute walk from my Jellybean. I can be there for every feeding and diaper change and manage to walk back to try to catch a quick nap here and there. They provide dinner every night which allows Joey and I a chance to catch up and feel like humans again if only for a minute. Everyone staying here has such a sense of graciousness for the gift of being close to your child when they are in need. Its like being part of this family that you never had any intention if joining but are part of no matter what now. I know that once Jellybean is released we will become huge supporters of the Ronald McDonald house from the Share-A-Meal program to the Share-A-Night program - we will be indebted to them forever!
So to everyone we have to say once again - Thank you for just being there for us - whether it's kind words, prayers, a paypal donation or a visit - we appreciate it every step of the way!