Thursday, March 25, 2021

Asher's first bottle!

It's been an amazing few days for Asher this week as he continues to awe us with his strength and determination to come home as soon as he can.  Even though it looks like we are still 4-7 weeks away from brining this big man back to our house, he is showing a lot of big strides in the right direction.  Each step, big or small, does wonders to our excitement and anticipation in his success.  It's a long and tiring journey, but we are right there with him every day in support of his growth.

Asher has now graduated to a less intensive isolette! Part of that transition is the nurses are now slowly lowering the ambient temperature around him as he learns to regulate his own body temperature.  Right now he is rocking it at 30.9 degrees, and the goal is for him to be able to self regulate his body temperature to maintain somewhere between 36.5 and 37.3 degrees with an ambient temp of 28 degrees while swaddled with a cover on.  He is well on his way towards achieving that milestone.

He has also began to demonstrate his strength in breathing as the air flow of his nasal cannula has been weaned from 2L to 1L at regular room oxygen levels!  He still tries to pull it out, and soon enough we'll be able to let him pull it out and keep it out for good!

The most exciting achievement in the past few days with this big man are that he has already begun to take his food through a bottle!  This is an epic step for him as he took and tolerated his very first bottle at 32 weeks and 5 days old.  Such an inspiration to see him fighting hard every day.  There is no doubt to us that he knows he's a tough one and is doing everything he can.

Julia is also continuing to heal wonderfully and is still doing so much for her family every day.  She is such an angel and is already the best mom sweet Asher could ever have.  It is of course the best part of our days to go in and hold our tender baby to our chest for as long as we can.  He even made it 6 hours straight skin to skin with us a few days ago.  People always say that there's nothing else in the world like having your own baby, and it's totally true.  We aren't even able to be with our little person all day long and still there is the wonderful feeling of helping to grow a little spirit of a human into something amazing.  It is magical to hold his little body and stare into his little eyes and just take it all in.  We always wonder what's going on in that brain of his, but we believe that he can absolutely feel our presence, hear our voice, sense our touch.  We even feel that he is starting to express more and more in his face, and an occasional smile appears at times when we're talking to him.  Maybe it's random, maybe it's the beginning of him recognizing the immense love that we and all of you wrap around him.  It's a gift and a blessing to be a parent and we are so excited for the many lessons, adventures and joys we will experience and share with Asher and with our friends and family.  It's going to be a beautiful journey!

With all of this inspiring progress on Asher's part - it helps make everything easier for Julia and me.  Of course we are still sad to leave his side every day.  It doesn't feel natural to say goodbye to our baby and drive away until the next day.  It doesn't get easier to hear Asher's alarms go off when we are with him - notifying us that his heart rate is too high or his respirations are too low.  Each alarm still jilts us, still fills us with momentary fear, still makes us question our every move when we are holding our baby.  But we know it will be better in time.  We know that he is gaining strength every day, and we know that with patience he will be as strong as anyone can be.

Through our fatigue we are continually blessed by so many loving people who help to prop us up and keep us going.  Even in our exhaustion, our hearts and souls are full because of all you wonderful people who selflessly care for our baby boy.  Through this experience there is no doubt that this world is a most magnificent place full of possibility, kindness and compassion.  If ever you are doubting the goodness of life, just think of all the people who spend their lives healing and protecting other people.  It is incredible beyond words.  The support we have received from family, friends, nurses, doctor, doulas and strangers is monumental and reaffirms the magic that is our shared experience in life.  Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts and know that we too will be here to support you if ever a difficult time arises.

my favorite happy people

all tucked in with his special sheets

julia is reading The Witcher to him

bottle service!

Asher's first time being swaddled <3

a precious mother baby moment

those ocean eyes

he loves it

drank the whole thang

clapping his hands in delight after eating

he says thank you for cleaning me up

now i shall resume snoozing thank you

Jordan's office view

baby boy all tucked in for the day

Asher is coming home today

 The day has finally arrived for us to bring our baby home and we are over the moon thrilled.  We are here on day 38 of our NICU journey, an...