30 weeks

Life for us has been about as crazy as you might imagine over the past few weeks. I can hardly believe it’s been 3 1/2 weeks since Isaiah was born. Today he’s 30 weeks gestation – still 10 weeks away from his due date. But it sounds nice to be in the thirties at least. 
The part most of you want to know is that yes, overall he’s doing well. He still has trouble with his breathing and several other things could still go wrong and change the course of the long-term. But right now Isaiah’s doctors are positive and encouraging. They say his issues are really typical for a premie so young and that he should outgrow them. Last I checked his weight is up to 2 lbs. 13 ounces – about 10 ounces more than his birth weight. He takes a little over 3/4 an ounce of my milk at each feeding (still through a tube) and seems to poop every time I hold him. The nurses said he poops a LOT. Seems like a good thing. 
So many of you have been helping us…thank you for the gifts to help us with food, gas, valet parking (since it’s still hard for me to walk from the parking garage & back), new medical bills that have just started coming in, etc. We’ve also had some help with the kids and with moving. I know more of you would like to help, too, and honestly it’s just quite hard for me to get organized enough for more help. Those of you who pray, thank you for that. As well as Isaiah is doing, a number of things can still happen that affect his health and the length of his NICU stay. So, thanks for all the ways you’ve been holding us up (literally and metaphorically). 
My daily visits to the NICU take a lot of time and coordinating, but they are also feeling fairly routine. A lot of the valet, registration and security people recognize me now. There are a few other NICU families I see often and we ask about each other’s babies. Winnie Palmer used to seem like a big building, but seems to be shrinking all the time as I learn my way around. Now I see people’s badges and can guess what sort of thing might be happening based on their floor number.  
Every day I see moms being discharged with their newborns in the pickup area. At first I watched them with a fair bit of emotion…sadness, jealous, maybe a tinge of resentment, depending on the moment. Now, if I’m having a good day I just think it’s fun to watch. Sometimes a mom is holding twins; one day I saw 8 adults crowding around one newborn getting snugged in her car seat. And then, just when I think I’m getting used to it, I have a bad day and just try not to glare at the moms cruising out of the hospital with a chubby-looking 3-day-old.
Yesterday I was waiting outside near a mom who had a 9th floor badge on. That’s the floor where I stayed after Isaiah came. There’s no nursery on the 9th floor, so you only stay there if your baby is in the NICU or I suppose if something else has happened. An older woman, probably her own mother, was helping her, and celebratory balloons were attached to her going-home bags…but no baby. I wondered what happened, whether she had a NICU baby now too.
After I head home from my visits with Isaiah, I’m transported into a world of Elijah’s silliness, Ava’s sweetness (and the piles of paperwork and phone calls she requires on a regular basis…this month has been no exception), and a disaster of a house as we are in the midst of moving. (Actually, we currently have TWO messy houses…but let’s not dwell on that.) Craig reminds me there will be calmer days than this and that we’ll make it through. 

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