Define fine

People often ask how Isaiah is doing, and I feel like typically everyone wants me to just say he’s fine, because he seems, well, fine.

Little guy is 11 months old today. ELEVEN!

You might be thinking, Wow, that went by fast!

I, however, am not.

It’s been a loooong year. People often ask how Isaiah is doing, and I feel like typically everyone wants me to just say he’s fine. Or maybe I just feel like I *should* say he’s fine, because he generally seems, well, fine. He looks fine!

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The truth is, though, that we don’t actually know how completely fine he is, and we won’t for a long time. Fourteen weeks early is a lot of weeks early to be born. And our experience with Ava means that sometimes we worry about this in excess. To be clear, Isaiah does NOT have Angelman Syndrome or anything like it. But raising Ava is exposing us to a wide world of possible things that can go wrong with children, and this makes it a bit harder to just say, “He’s fine.”

To be specific, right now I am sort of DYING over the fact that Isaiah can’t handle textured food. And by can’t handle it, I mean he gags and throws it up. Even itty bitty little amounts of texture. After all Ava’s trouble keeping food down over the past year, this is reeeeaalllly hard for me to swallow.

Yes, I know I just made a terrible pun.

Since he’s not “outgrown” this oral aversion after 6+ weeks, and I’m familiar with oral aversions thanks to my Facebook feeding tube support groups, I finally took to the internet: first to a preemie parent group on Facebook and from there to Google and…yep, it turns out this is a preemie thing. Very early preemies apparently often have a strong gag reflex and/or oral aversions. It seems this is at least in part because they have tubes in the mouth/nose for so long in the NICU. I think it’s funny that 8 months after leaving the hospital this can still be an issue…but apparently it’s a thing. A fairly common thing for a 26 weeker like Isaiah.

Most likely this won’t turn into anything you’ll think is a big deal. In the grand scheme of things, Isaiah will probably be FINE.

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But…what “fine” looks like for me right now, though, is a bunch of work. More calls to insurance, therapists, and early intervention. More frustration, because I don’t think insurance will cover this and early intervention is slow to kick in. More homework from therapists. More tedious food preparation and feeding. More delay in reaching my dream of my three children—or even TWO of them—eating the SAME THING at mealtime instead of having to prep & serve three totally different kinds of food every time they eat.

Of course, we’re incredibly grateful for the ways in which Isaiah does seem fine. He’s adorable and amazing, and has the best laugh. But feel free to pray for my sanity till he can keep his food down. 🙂

Introducing

We’d like to introduce Isaiah Owen Slezak, born this Monday, March 7th by emergency c-section at 26 weeks. He was 2 lbs 4 oz and 14 3/4″ long. So far his vitals are good and he’s breathing on his own. Mom is in pain but recovering and being discharged today. Isaiah will stay here in the NICU at Winnie Palmer for a while. Our best guess right now is 9-10 weeks.

We have a big journey ahead but are grateful our little guy can be at such a great hospital for preemies.

The story of how this all happened will come, but for now, here’s our little peanut: