Shepherd is a growing boy

July 6, 2010

Good evening everyone!  We hope that you haven’t been as busy as we have.  Maybe you got to eat some BBQ and take in some fireworks this weekend, as for us, we just laid low and knocked out some projects around the house.  In addition to that, we have traveled to Lewisville twice a day every day since Leslie came home from the hospital to visit Shepherd and spend as much time as they let us touching him and talking to him and just staring at him.  He’s such a little fighter.  He fights with the nurses, he fights about getting his diaper changed, he fights about getting woken up, he’s such a fighter.  Right now, this is a good habit to have, because it means that his body is well enough to expend energy communicating to everyone that he doesn’t always like what’s going on around him.  As for what’s going on inside of him, we have great news to share.  Shepherd is back up to his birth weight and then some.  Babies in the NICU are weighed in grams, so when he was born he weighed 1005 grams (= 2lbs 3 oz).  They weigh all of the babies at night when they the most calm, and so we get reports in the morning about how much he’s growing.  Yesterday was such a great day because they said that Shepherd had not only returned to his birth weight but gained an additional ounce.  Today he had put on another 20 grams (there are 28 in an ounce) and we are so excited about this because he was weighed immediately AFTER he had pooped.  We are so excited about this weight gain, as it means he’s that much closer to coming home, but he had to get some “assistance” from the nurses in order to poop.  We are still praying that Shepherd would being to make dirty diapers all on his own.  But he’s doing so great in every other area, that he’s back to eating milk and they’ve bumped his feedings back to every three hours.  This is all wonderful news to hear for our hearts, and we know that it’s entirely because you all continue to pray on our behalf, for even the smallest things.

Something else that has helped our hearts, especially Leslie’s is that because he’s eating again and his temperature is stable, she was able to hold Shepherd for an hour on Sunday.  It’s called Kangaroo care, and that just means mom and baby have skin to skin contact for a period of time, and it does wonders for the both of them.  As long as Shep keeps up the good behavior, Leslie will get to do this twice a week, if not more as he grows.  If you’ve ever had that wonderful groggy feeling after getting a great massage, that’s what Leslie compares it to after holding the little guy for even just an hour.  Complete bliss.

I want to share with everyone the heaps of photos and videos we’ve been taking of our little son, but it’s quite difficult to put that volume of media on our blog here.  So what I’m going to do is give you the direct link to my facebook photo album, that you can click on at and see all of the pictures, regardless of whether you have a facebook account.  Here’s the link to the photos: click here.

Please continue to pray with us for our family and especially Shepherd.  So much of this feels entirely out of our control, but we gladly trust our Father in heaven to take care of us.  He is our refuge, and He is with us, and His ways are always perfect.  I’ll quickly share with you something that has helped us.  When Moses asked God to find someone else to be his spokesman before Pharaoh because he had a problem speaking, God replied to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who make him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (exodus 4.11-12)  How comforting it is to know that the Lord not only made our son to arrive early, but He is the one providing the way for him to grow.  That God makes all men for a purpose, and He is the one who sees that purpose through.  Rejoice with us that God is good.  Our son is healthy, even though he’s small.  Leslie is healthy and recovering so fast.  Our family and our friends, and especially our church family continues to be our support at every turn.

As for me, it hasn’t hit me that Shepherd is here.  It’s not quite real yet.  My brain keeps telling me that it will be real when he gets to come home and we can relax here with him, but there’s a gut feeling deep down that it might hit me before he comes home.  My emotions don’t lend me to being overly gushy, though I’m not opposed to crying(at least not in public).  My personality is more prone to get frustrated or angry until it boils over.  I’m not excited about reality hitting me in a moment where I might be ugly to Leslie or whoever is around me at that moment.  You could also pray that God would strengthen our hearts, because I know that I’m not going to make it on my own.  Leslie’s heart is much more fragile about being far away from Shepherd, so we are both in need of help in this regard.  As to not leave you on a down note however, remember that there are really cute photos to go look at.

we love you all,
~the janii

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One Response to “Shepherd is a growing boy”

  1. Michelle Mongogna said

    Dear Janis family,
    How precious is our Lord to give Shepherd to 2 more special people than you! The Lord does not give us more than we can handle and He knew you could handle this! I tell you that I have been so amazed at your gracious and positive spirit from the first moment I hear you were going to meet him earlier than you thought. How perfect is our God who knows that you two exude such love for Him and knows that you are always reaching out to the Lost …that He know Sweet Shepherd should be born into your family. I love that you relate your situation to that of Moses. So perfect!! I will continue to pray for you both to have such faith and trust in Him and of course prayers for your growing boy!!

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