Levi has been doing really well during his time in the NICU. For those of you that are checking this blog and praying for his continued growth and development, we want to say thank you and take the opportunity to give a couple updates on his progress/status.
- Levi has been off of the CPAP machine that was helping him breathe for almost 3 full days now. The nurses tried to take it off early in the morning the day after he was born, but we wasn't ready for that yet or able to manage his breathing independently yet. They tried again several hours later and he did great. After a couple hours, they put away the CPAP machine and thought that if he needed help, they could intervene with temporary assistance. For the past 3 days (since 10am on Sunday morning), Levi has been breathing completely on his own and has not needed any interventions! Praise the Lord!
- A couple days ago, Levi measured high on his bilirubin levels, so he has been enjoying a "tanning bed" for the past couple days. This seems to be going well for him, but I don't yet know how long he will need to do this. He "wears his sunglasses at night" (yes, I have been singing that song to him) and during the day and seems to not really notice the tremendous amount of light shining on him. In talking to the medical staff today it is likely that they will remove the light tomorrow. Pray that he will not have to go back under.
- Sarah and I have been able to hold Levi several times a day for the past several days. Sarah is working hard with him to try and get him interested and accustomed to breast feeding and he is making a few small movements in that direction. He has a feeding tube that runs through his nose and into his stomach and so he is getting breast milk that way several times a day as well. Today they attempted to increase the amount of milk that he was getting. He did handle the digestion of the milk very well and they needed to empty his tummy. Please pray that his system will start digesting the milk properly. The goal is to be able to increase his feedings so that they can remove his IV (mommy & daddy look forward to this day, since they have had to move the IV several times due to swelling). Increased feedings = decreased chance of jaundice, increased bowel movements/wet diapers and weight gain! Please also pray that Sarah's milk comes in. Sarah is praying that it flows to the extreme!
- He seems to maintaining his body temperature pretty well also - though this is not completely clear yet because of his light treatments.
- Levi has some pictures of his sister and a couple books and a little stuffed animal to make him feel a little more at home! :)
We are being told that the main challenge for Levi to overcome in order for him to be able to come home is that he will need to be able to eat well and maintain/increase his body weight. He is taking small steps, but this is still a significant journey for him. We are thankful for the excellent care that he is receiving, and we are working hard to be patient, but we are also excitedly awaiting the day when we will be able to bring him home and introduce Levi and Naomi to each other and continue this journey at home! Please pray for this reunion. It is hard for Naomi to understand why she cannot see baby Levi. It is hard as parents to not have the siblings meet.
Again, we appreciate your thoughts and prayers! We have told Levi several times that he has a lot of people praying for him and that he is living out a great story of God's faithfulness and compassion through His people! We will try to post several photos in the next few days.