Collen - Week One

While I have a free moment, I thought I'd update everyone on Collen's first week of life.

Here's what I know about Collen so far:

1. He's super adorable (should have been a given, right?)

2. He's a good sleeper

3. He loves to snuggle...especially with mommy

4. He does NOT like to have his diaper changed

5. He is warming up to "bath" (bird bath) time. I think this will change once he's able to get a real bath!

6. He loves to eat and does so with gusto.

7. He's not very patient when it comes to eating. When he's hungry, he wants his food right at that moment! And there is no such thing as "snack time" - he wants the full course.

Our first week with Collen has been a blur. We're dealing with jaundice issues, and to be honest, it's really stressing me out. He is coombs positive, which was explained to me to mean that our blood types are incompatible, which caused his red blood cells to break down...which led to the jaundice. Because of the coombs positive, he was at risk of his jaundice levels getting very high, so they kept a close watch on it. His levels got up to 19, which led to us having to put him on a bili blanket (a blue light that helps break down the bilirubin, which he expels in his urine). He was on the blanket for about 4 days, and his levels went down. We went a day without the blanket to see if his levels would go down on their own, and they only went down a tenth of a point. We go back in a week to check his levels again, and by then my hope and prayer is that we're finished with this jaundice mess! Like I said, it's stressing me out because, as you can imagine, all that is running through my head is the bad things that can result from jaundice....

I am nursing this time around, which has been interesting. It's HARD WORK! I stay exhausted, and it is so confining. I like that I'm able to feed him, but it's tough being the ONLY one who can feed him. I know I can pump, and I may do that later on. Right now, I'm just trying to get the hang of it all. I plan to stick with it....we'll see how it goes.

Collen is finally back up to his birth weight. Woo! He almost lost a whole pound by the time we left the hospital, so it was lovely to get that news today! We've had to take him to the doctor 5 times since he was born because of the bilirubin levels. Poor guy has had to have his little heels pricked so many times... :( I'll be glad when all of that is over with because it's about to worry me to no end.

We were sent home on an apnea monitor for peace of mind while Collen is sleeping. That has been interesting. Because of the bili blanket, we haven't been able to use the monitor. We put him back on the monitor last night, and I eventually just turned it off. It went off 3 times for no reason (well I guess there was a reason, but it wasn't Collen). I'll have to work on it because the first time we used it, it worked perfectly. Talk about unnerving.....uughh...

Collen and I have certainly enjoyed our time together. Saying that I love him would be a complete understatement. I adore him, and I can't imagine my life without him. I already worry myself crazy over every little thing and pray relentlessly for his safety and his future. I plead with God continuously to please let us keep him....not to take him from us.

Having Collen without Ayden stirs up a whirlwind of emotion in me. Emotions that I don't really allow others to see. I have moments when I just have to let myself break down because I miss Ayden so much....and while I love them both with the same intensity...I love them differently. A lot of you told me that would be the case, and you're right. The love is different, but it's just as strong. It's a strange feeling to be able to distinguish between the two, but I'm glad I'm able to.
I just wish Ayden were badly.

I've shared two really neat moments with Collen that make me sure that Ayden is here with us. On two occasions, Collen has looked "at me" (in my direction) while I've ben holding him, and he has broken out in the biggest grin - an intentional grin. Developmentally, it is way too early for him to smile at someone. The first time it happened, I thought, "That's bizzare! He looked right at me and smiled...on gas or poop behind it!" (haha) The 2nd time, I paid closer attention, and I realized he was looking over my shoulder, and he broke out in the grin again. I like to think he is smiling at his big brother. the way...they share the same smile. That just melts my heart.

I see so much of Ayden in Collen. It's comforting, in a way, because I've missed "seeing" Ayden. But at the same time, it's hard because I look at Collen and see a child I love so deeply and one I miss and love so deeply, too.

I'll be sure to keep everyone update as we continue to learn more about Collen and watch him grow. He's such a blessing, and he is an answer to desperate prayer. Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts. Please continue to pray that Collen's levels will go down and my sanity will level out as well!

Before I go, please, please, please keep my friend, Jill in your prayers. Things aren't looking good. We may be looking at the end, and my heart just breaks to know that she is going through all of this. We've all known that it would end sometime. Jill has spoken to me on several occasions about what is/was to come with the ALS and how she is just ready to go. Part of me is ready for her because I know she's ready. I know that Jill's passing means she will be finished with the body that's failing her. She will have a body that will allow her to walk, run, dance, jump, and worship without ceasing. The other part of me, though, is sad because I'm going to miss her so much. I'm sad for her because she's having to suffer through all of this. She's having to endure a body that's failing her while being completely aware of it all. Please pray for Jill...pray for God's will to be done in the situation and for it all to be a peaceful process. Also, pray for Jill's family as they are watching all of this. You can prepare yourself for this kind of thing, but you're never really prepared for the end result. Jill is a beautiful woman of God, and I know that when she meets Him, He will certainly say, "Well done, Jill."



  1. My brother had jaundice when he was little and my parents treated it successfully with careful exposure to sunlight. Not sure if you've heard of that method yet.

  2. OK, I was so excited seeing the pictures of Collen that I immediately left a comment, only later to see that I completely missed your post. I obviously have poor impulse control issues :)

    Great news that Collen has gained the weight, he is such a cutie. Yes, breastfeeding is h-a-r-d, I didn't find it at all "natural" but finally got the hang of it with the help of a lactation consultant.

    I love the story of Collen's smiling and agree he must see his brother. What a great gift that your 2 boys have given you!

    Again, thank you for posting the pictures of Collen.

  3. my heart is breaking with you as you mourn jill... she sounds precious! i know she is soaking in His presence right now in a way that we can't even fathom but it doesn't help the missing her that you will do xoxoxo

    praying for collen and his issues too...

    wanted to encourage you in your nursing. it IS hard work but it does get easier. i've found that it gets easier at 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, and then another sigh of relief at 6 months. hang in there. find a good lactation consultant if you can. you've got so much on your plate right now! be encouraged (((hugs)))

  4. JUst couldn't resist letting you know that Jonah did the smile/laugh thing over my shoulder for about the first two months of his life and I KNOW IT WAS GABE making him giggle. You just confirmed that again for me tonight, and I'm so glad God is blessing you with that same gift. Breathtaking.

  5. Lindsay - Collen is so adorable. Congratulations! Nursing is hard work, but it is also very rewarding. Hang in there. The first 3 weeks are probably the hardest with nursing. Praying for you all!

  6. He is beautiful :)

    Try not to worry too much about the jaundice, its pretty common.

    My 8 wk old daughter had it and we were sent home with the billi blanket.

    Her number went up to 16.9. The worst part for me was having to have her foot pricked every day for a week to make sure the level was going down. Her poor little feet looked horrible.

    Her number started going down after a week or so and she is perfect now.

  7. "good sleeper" I sure hope that sticks! I'll pray for his levels to go down. My son came home from NICU with apnea monitor too. It was a great peace of mind but it did act up sometimes, which was not peaceful!
    I can't imagine the roller coaster of emotions you go through daily, hourly. In church when we sometimes thank God out loud for various things I often think of being thankful for emotions. We'd rather not feel the pain, sorrow or weakness we sometimes face, but if that means we in turn feel joy and contentment, I guess it's a fair trade. I don’t know. And to think that of all His creation we're the only ones that feel such emotion (more than animals, and of course inanimate objects do) makes me realize just how special we are to God. Enough rambling - I will be praying for you. Praying God sustains you through these days!

  8. Thinking of your sweet friend and you... And happy to hear things are getting better with Collen! You are doing a great job.

    Grief comes... Parenting after loss is full of it. Sending you lots of hugs.

  9. I have to leave a comment about the breastfeeding too. It is the hardest and most rewarding thing to do! I had a "good eater" the first time....which meant he ate every two hours for a few months. I was crazy with sleep deprivation.

    Just remember, this too shall pass. The feedings will get shorter and easier. And you won't be feeding him every two or three hours for forever.
    Belle is right, it gets easier at three weeks, six weeks, etc.
    One thing a lactation consultant told me that was a sanity saver is babies go through a few growth spurts. One around two weeks, six weeks, and four months. During these times the baby will eat a lot for a few days, and you'll be convinced that you aren't producing enough milk. It only lasts a few's the baby's way of naturally increasing your milk production. :)
    Collen is absolutely beautiful!

  10. As others said, nursing is hard work at first. After the six-week growth spurt with both my kids, it got much easier, and we continued to 9+ months. I really hope it works out for you and Collen - and that he happily takes a pumped bottle or formula so you're not on duty 24/7. Plus nursing helped me drop the pregnancy weight in less than two months...a nice bonus to look forward to :)

    I hope that by now you've turned a corner with the jaundice and have the monitor issues worked out. Love the stories about Collen's smiles and the thought that Ayden's checking in on his little brother...a "secret" they share. Continued thoughts and prayers for your family (and Jill's) as life with a newborn turns so much upside-down. Looking forward to more photos of your handsome boy.