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 here....so 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 purpose...no 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. And...by 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."