So after a few days of being in Louisiana, we have decided to head home, and unfortunately without our son. “How can this be?” … You might be asking us. Well, the bad news is that Eli, although healthy and doing well, is simply not ready to be home with us. Although Eli is gaining weight, and looks rather handsome, his doctors think that he needs to progress more in his ability to self-sooth, develop a more consistent sleep pattern, and feeding abilities.
The crazy part about Eli’s short history on this planet is that he was doing great when he was first born. He was sleeping well, eating well, and quite calm. But some things have changed over the last couple weeks. Unfortunately for Angie and I, it took us going down to Louisiana to receive a more clear picture of Eli’s progress within the NICU. Because we are not his birth parents, we were only given limited information, regarding his stay in the hospital, from the paralegal we are working with. Now, let me be clear, she gave us all the information she had available, and never withheld the good or the bad. We just did not get a full picture until we were introduced to his caregivers, because we were not entitled to his complete care information.
Basically, we visited Louisiana without knowing a true end date on Eli’s release. We left yesterday, obviously upset Eli was not heading home with us. But about half way home, both Angie and I were more at peace with our decision, knowing he was in the best place he needed to be, at this moment. Eli has some more progress to make, and is safely held in God’s loving hands, and in the capable care of his loving nurses. Moving forward, we basically have all access to his care, and are being treated by the staff as his parents … Because that’s exactly what we are, and we could not be more excited to eventually have him home, in our arms.
From Angie …
Anticipation is a funny and interesting concept to me. Often times, my anticipation of events or situations results in increased anxiety and sometimes in disappointments. The anticipation of meeting our son, Elihu James (pronounced Eli-hue), included a lot of angst about my ability to connect or bond with him. I believed that God provided this child for us, and that this was all apart of His plan for our lives, but generally, I am not the most maternal person. I have always felt rather awkward holding babies and engaging in baby talk has never really been natural for me. I was nervous that the nurse would hand me my baby and I would be a mess instead of a mommy, but God intended for Eli to be mine all along and squashed these nervous feelings and wonderings immediately.
As J mentioned, we are now at home in Indiana, and Eli is still in Louisiana. While this was extremely difficult for the both of us to acknowledge, Eli requires further time in the NICU before coming home. We are hoping and praying that, through the amazing nurses’ and doctors’ interventions and treatments that he will be ready to be discharged in the coming weeks.
We are beyond grateful for the nurses who are lovingly treating for our son. One nurse, Rachelle, has loved on Eli from the moment he was born. She is kind and concise in communicating with J and I. She told me that it was easier to let her baby boy go, knowing that he was going home with a good family. Rachel shared that when Eli fusses, she always sings to him. Dawn, Debbie and Janelle all bring in their personal CDs to play for Eli while he sleeps. These nurses told us that Eli prefers a wide selection of music to sooth him to sleep, and will become fussy when the music becomes redundant. Debbie taught me how to properly burp my baby, and giggled when she said, “You’re not gonna break him!” in her sweet southern drawl. Maricia gently explained the ins and outs of the NICU and the life and cultures of New Orleans, her hometown. The social worker, Linda and nurse Janelle, held me as I said goodbye to my son and promised to take good care of him so that I could bring him home soon. I will be forever indebted to these amazing, skillful women and am blessed that they are loving treating my sweet son.