Friday, July 3, 2009

The NICU and beyond...

He's finally here! It's been a while and most of you know, our little Elias Reid was born right on his due date on May 24 after precisely 24 hours of labor (it seems he was content to ride along with Mommy for a while longer...I disagreed). Yes, his coming was an incredibly joyous thing, and yes, there were complications. Sparing pages of details, he had some problems with his G.I. system that required immediate surgery. Surgery that the local hospital I gave birth in was not equipped to do. So, after an hour-long ride in an ambulance, Elias and I arrived at Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland, OR with Daddy following with all our things that I don't even remember throwing into the van.

Elias went straight into surgery and frankly the surgeons were not optimistic about the severity of his issues. We were given two potential prognoses: either the problem will be in his upper bowel (98% likely and causing a need for a colostomy bag and several subsequent surgeries throughout Eli's life) or lower down, closer to the anus (an easier surgery that would require no additional treatment, but a rare problem that they simply never see without an additional upper bowel problem. A 2% chance that this would be all).

We signed a release form for the latter: upper bowel surgery and placement of a colostomy bag.

We walked (well, Logan walked. I hadn't recovered enough from labor/delivery to be so lucky, so I was wheeled) with Elias to what the surgical staff refer to as "the kissing corner," where they told me to say goodbye to my son, not 36 hours after I had first said hello to him.

"Goodbye?" It was at this point that my world fell apart and there was nothing left to do but cry for our son and pray desperate prayers that I never thought would have to come out of my mouth.

Until the surgical team emerged from the O.R. to say that Eli was a member of that 2% of babies who would need only this surgery. The problem, it turned out, was much less complicated than they had originally thought. They literally crossed out the surgery we had signed for on the release form and had us re-sign. 30 minutes later, we were saying "hello" again.

I guess I tell this story for the sake of what Logan and I know God has done for our son. Because we have a God who can do wonders with 2% chances and because I would be cheating the miracle to claim it was anything but that: a miracle; a resounding "yes, granted" to some new parents' prayers. I do
n't think of it lightly because there is no part of me that forgets that some parents get a "no, not this time" answer to the same types of prayers. I don't pretend to understand why that is, nor am I so arrogant as to question something so much bigger than myself--I only say "thank you."

We're not out of the woods yet. And I say "yet" very intentionally. Elias and his mom and dad are still forced to make very good friends with doctors in a couple of cities now, but he's on the up-swing. We're all learning and adapting--there's just a little more of a learning curve for us than with usual new parents. That aside, we are in awe of the new little life in our home and the joy that he brings us every day.

The following are a few pictures from his time in recovery in the NICU and since being home. Oh, how good it feels to have him home!

To those of you who have helped us walk this journey, we can never thank you enough. You can never know how helpful it is to have dinner appear at your door when you've been so overwhelmed you haven't even realized that the day has come and gone already without a thought to food. You'll never know how thankful we are that we've yet to have to buy diapers, that our fridge was never empty de
spite our inability to go grocery shopping, and we have nev
er been in doubt that Eli is lifted up in prayer every single day. Thank you that we have never felt alone on this very bumpy road.

Now, take a look at our beautiful boy!