Update on Shepherd

July 1, 2010

So now it’s officially July, the month that Leslie thought Shepherd would join us at the end of.  🙂

We wanted to give everyone an update now that our little guy has been in the world for a full week, even though his mom and dad can’t believe a week’s gone by.  We can’t say it enough, the prayers and kindness on behalf of our family are the buoyancy in our daily lives.  Leslie especially is sustained by the continued encouragement and kindness of our friends, friends of friends, and people we don’t even know who continue to pray for us and Shepherd.  We’ve been doing great this week, as Leslie’ mom Vicky has been her chauffeur, our personal shopper and chef.  She is the best mother-in-law ever.  There are going to be lots of little things we will need help with, but it has been such a blessing to have them taken care of without having to think through them and delegate them out because Vicky has done them all.  It’s allowed us to catch out breath since we’ve gotten home and start coming up with a game plan for this month until Shepherd comes home.  And I can’t wait for him to come home.  Thanks to all of you who’ve offered their help in a myriad of ways, we’ll be in touch about ways you can help us in the next few days.

A little bit about the little guy.  He is a great baby, even for such a tiny one.  He a feisty, stubborn Janis but he breathes on his own and beats his heart on his own (although he is still getting caffeine to help keep his steady at this point), and these are the two most important things for him to be doing right now.  We are so thankful for this, and it’s so evident in this area that so many people have been praying for him.  But he does have some tiny guy difficulties, which our doctors are helping Shep work though while assuring us that they are relatively normal for a baby his size.  He had been eating breast milk from Leslie via feeding tube in small doses for a couple of days, eating all of it like a champ and keeping almost all of it down.  However, his little body hadn’t been pooping it out.  This is the part that our doctors say isn’t surprising for a 33 week old baby.  They cut back on his food intake (giving him stuff through his IV instead) and are helping him to get the food and air that is still in his digestive track find it’s way out.  It’s not an infection and it’s not that he’s sick, he’s just backed up.  He did poop on his own a bit last night when we went to see him and changed his diaper, which was good to see.  This issue of not digesting his food at the top of the list when we pray, because he can’t eat regularly until he poops regularly, and he won’t gain much weight if he isn’t eating.  We’ve had some great visits with him this week, and love him more and more with every minute we spend with him.  We can’t touch him all the time, only at the times when he’s getting fed and changed, but we’ve been going to Lewisville twice a day.  He’s even getting a bath today, so look for a fun video of him getting clean later tonight.

Leslie is healing up well, and we went to see her doctor yesterday.  We won’t know what the cause of Shepherd early arrival until 6 weeks from now when they can do lab work on her in a “I didn’t just have a baby” state.  Mentally, she is doing great, probably too well because she’s thinking of 900 things she wants to be doing.  Physically, she feels good and therefore wants to do everything her brain is thinking of, and she can’t.  She’s having to work to not overdo things and take it easy, but the pain that comes from doing too much helps remind her to lay down and rest some more.  Rest is what her body really needs.  The hardest thing for Leslie is that she can’t laugh right now because it hurts too bad.  This is hard on her because laughter and her sense of humor is her single biggest coping mechanism, and there is plenty to cope with around here.  You can join us in praying that her spirit would stay healthy amidst being so far away from Shepherd and not being able to laugh things off when it gets crazy.  I am doing fine, mostly because it hasn’t really hit me yet that we are parents.  I get the feeling it won’t be real until he comes home and we get to be with him all the time, but we’ll see….. I may lose it in a week or two. 🙂

Amidst all these things, we are so joyful because are son is here.  God is still our refuge, and He is with us.  The Lord of hosts is with us.  There is no one I would rather be doing this with than Leslie.  We have you all to share in this with, and our family and friends are the best anyone could ask for.  God is even busy in the lives of our friends the Furmans, as Dave had major nerve surgery in his arm in Baltimore yesterday and it went extremely well.  With therapy, he should be able to hold his new child in January when it’s arrives (something he isn’t able to do right now with his two other girls).  God is so good, let us rejoice.  I’ll leave you with my new favorite photo.

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One Response to “Update on Shepherd”

  1. Dori said

    Jess, I’m off of facebook for bar prep, so I cant message you there but I was wondering if you would mind sending me your mailing address? My email is doriboonecostantino@gmail.com. Thank you!

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