This picture is hilarious. A friend came by who is a physical therapist, to teach me baby massage. She brought her son along, who is only weeks older than Shepherd. Small size difference, wouldn't you say?
Shepherd went back to his cardiologist for the first time since his discharge. Everything went really well. I am so unaccustomed to hearing so much good news from a doctor. It was quite the refreshment for him to be doing exceptionally well instead of exceptionally not well. In medical terms:
The ballooning of his aorta continues to stay open instead of shrinking back down. Dr.R hopes to get at least a few more months (I'm hoping more) of him growing bigger so that they can go back in and do another catheter with a bigger balloon this time. He talked with the surgeons and they think the area they need to work in is too complicated to try to fix with open heart surgery. A cath is much safer so hopefully that will be enough to fix it in the future.
He is gaining weight wonderfully! As of today, he weighs 8 pounds!! He has consistently been gaining 1 oz day, more than the 20 grams they expect from heart patients.
He is also excelling with his bottle feeding. Today, he took 49mL!! (3 over his 46mL goal), then literally yanked his NG tube out. It was pretty appropriate. Since his skin is so irritated right now from the tape that keeps his NG tube in, we left it off to rest for a few hours till his next feeding, but he continued to take his goal in feeds so we have been able to keep it out till his night nurse gets here tonight (He gets much larger volumes at night).
The hole in his heart was smaller, too and they feel confident they won't have to work on it in the future.
And his Xrays looked PERFECT. I have NEVER seen his lungs look NEARLY that clear. It was a beautiful sight. So they took his diuretics down, hoping to get him completely off of them soon.
It is truly a beautiful thing to watch him grow and to be able to parent him AT HOME,our home, his home.
Well, at least as close to home as we'll get in this life.
God sure has been busy these days. What am I saying? It is really effortless for Him. It's just Him being, you know... GOD. And that, He is doing quite beautifully.
Let me take a few moments to briefly share with you all they ways God is using a MEGAPHONE!!!!! in my life to say I AM BIGGER AND BETTER THAN YOU CAN OR WILL EVER IMAGINE!!!
Just months ago, we gave birth to a baby whom we didn't know if we would ever take home. And as the days and weeks passed by, it looked less and less likely at times. There were MANY things that Shepherd faced. Things that Shepherd could not overcome with his little 5 lbs, that mom and dad could not overcome with all the love in the world, that doctors could not fix with all their education. But obstacle after obstacle God made a way for Shepherd to live and 2 1/2 weeks ago we brought our little boy home- a day I sometimes didn't let myself hope for. Megaphone: "I LOVE YOU!! I AM BIGGER THAN YOUR DREAMS. I AM BETTER THAN YOU CAN DREAM."
God had done what NO man could do. It was clear that HIS hand alone had brought Shepherd to this place.
At the same time all of this was happening, other events were occurring that HIS hand alone brought about.
Noah's parent's were married for a long, hard 25 years. Noah's parents have been divorced for 20 years and have rarely seen or talked to each other in those 20 years.
For the past 10 years or so prayers have been going on that go a little like this, "God, please reconcile their marriage. Please fix what's broken. We haven't got a CLUE how that would happen. You can take care of that part. Just please do what you love to do and make right what is wrong. Make beautiful what is ugly. Amen"
As I have typed miraculous words involving Shepherd, I now type these words, also miraculous.
ON JULY 25, 2009 PEG AND WAYNE JOYNER WILL BE REUNITED IN MARRIAGE.
Megaphone: "I LOVE YOU!! I AM BIGGER THAN YOUR DREAMS. I AM BETTER THAN YOU CAN DREAM."
Within weeks of experiencing the miracle of bringing our son home, we sat in our dining room as Peg and Wayne announced that they were delighted to be getting remarried. And these are not two people going through obligatory motions for moralities sake. These are two people desperately in love and stunned by the goodness of God. Stunned that not only their lives but their selves could change so drastically. That they would have the opportunity to once more unite their lives, to once more live for the other instead of themselves,to wake up to each other again and say goodnight together, to work in the garden together, to love on their grandkids and children together. growing old together. TOGETHER.
This is something we all cannot believe. This does not happen. People do not do this. But God does. And the God we serve is truly BIG. Doing BIG things.
I for one cannot deny this...clearly.
So tomorrow, I am going shopping for a bridesmaid dress. For a wedding. A wedding we could only dare to dream about. That has become reality. Reality written by God. And my son is sleeping in the baby swing, swaying back and forth. And God is near.