Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Feeding Progress and More

Hi Friends,

I first want to thank y'all for praying.  My heart is sad and I know that it's just going to be this way for awhile.  I'm trying to focus on the positives, and there are so many of them in my life.  There are times though when it is just hard.  My dear friend Catherine will be moving in 2 weeks.  It's just too close now to deny any longer.  We don't talk about the emotions too much - but they are still there.  We can each see it in the other's eyes.  The words unspoken yet still there.  I knew when she hugged me at her daughters's party that she too was thinking of it being the last.  The last one where we will run around helping each other to prepare and pull off a party. 

As I go through my days, so many memories come flooding back.  Memories made over many many years.  Sweet memories of times spent together.  Also memories of trials and walking those together as well.  We have been so blessed to have had 17 years of friendship so far.  We know God will work in this, though it's hard to understand from this point what His plan entails - and how good will come from it.  Please pray for my precious friend as this is a very hard time for her.

Feeding - I'm so excited to be able to share good news!!!  I've hesitated in posting, in getting my hopes up that perhaps things were really changing for the better.  I do think that they are though!

I think I shared that we met last Tues with the feeding therapist and she had her first good feed there - ever.  One small change we made was in holding her hands in front of her during the feed.  She used to do this herself.  I loved the way that she would put her hands on mine as I held the bottle.  She hasn't done this for awhile.  Since that feeding she has taken food from the bottle EVERY time I've offered it!!!  This was not the pattern before at all.  She has taken at least an ounce at all but 2 of the feeds since then too.  (Both of those feeds she fell asleep and couldn't be wakened.)

She has also taken several feeds of over 2 ounces!  This is so encouraging!  She has eaten 7.5 to 9 ounces per day over the last three days.  Before a good day was 4-5 ounces.  We are definitely improving!  Now we need to work on building up her endurance. 

I asked her feeding therapist today if she thought Eliana would ever be able to eat fully from the bottle or if we would just end up transferring to eating other ways.  She said that she thought Eliana would learn to eat!  I can't tell you how many happy tears I've cried when she has drained her bottle.  This prolonged period of success (one week) has given me hope - hope that my little girl will learn to eat.  Thank you God!

G-tube - We haven't had the button pop open all the time.  I'm trying to keep her in a onesie to hold it down or using paper tape (which isn't as irritating to her skin).  It does still happen though.  One night she pulled the connector tube out - during a feed - which made a colossal mess!!!  She was asleep - in wet clothes, a wet diaper and on a wet bed.  Poor baby.  Lots of changing and cleaning and then rocking back to sleep.

 A new problem is that there is a red place under her button where the skin is irritated.  This showed up on Fri - after I had seen doctors and people every day of the week.  *sigh*  Isn't that the way that it is sometimes?  I thought perhaps it was due to the "belt" I'd had around her to keep her button closed.  I stopped using this and waited a couple of days.  It hasn't improved.  I called the ped office and was encouraged to put bactraban on it.  I do hope that it will clear it up and that the area wouldn't get infected.

Schooling - We have started back and are easing into things gradually - or at least we are trying to do it slowly.  Isaiah read his first words yesterday in his reading lesson.  Way to go!  That is always an exciting milestone.

I'm reading a book to the boys that I wish I hadn't started.  I had given the boys a choice of which book we would study this week and Joshua picked Amber on the Mountain.  I have frequently chosen this as a start to school book since the main character in the story learns to read.  I thought it would be a good choice since Isaiah is learning to read also.  The part I had forgotten about were the lessons on friendship and the pain of a friend moving.  I could hardly make it through the discussion.  It is appropriate in the timing, but hard too.  Maybe it is something that needs to be discussed with the boys.  Joshua has such a tender heart.  I remember once he asked if it was alright to cry when our friends moved.  I of course told him that it was.  He then asked if it was alright if he cried bucketfulls of tears. 

Christopher is starting high school.  Things are going well.  It's really just an extension of what we have already been doing.  We aren't going to change what has worked well for us thus far and one day hope to start back on the many field trips and the travelling that our family enjoys.

Not surprisingly, it is late.  I'm headed to bed soon.  I would love to share a few prayer requests with you.

Prayer requests:

*Continued success for Eliana in eating.  Pray that her endurance would improve and that her desire for food would grow as well.

*Healing around her button and no infection.  Wisdom in knowing if/when she needs to be seen by a doctor.

*Catherine's family as they prepare to move and all of the difficulties in entails both physically and emotionally. 

*The hearts that are aching due to this move and the changes that will ensue.  It's going to be hard on our children too as they are used to running back and forth between our houses many times a day.  I was listening to Catherine's daughter reading a Bible story to one of my boys today.  She asked him questions about the story and personalized it with names of extended family and where they lived.  It vividly reminded me of how much we know about each other's lives - from having lived them side by side - not just Catherine and I, but our families as well as many other friends.

I've said these before, but I think I need the reminders.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Job 1:20-21

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.   Romans 8:28

Thank you for your prayers and encouragment.

With love,