Monday, April 25, 2011

Three months old

I have been asked many times lately for an update on how Caleb is doing, and we just went to St. Vincent's to see the cardiologist for a checkup this week, so it's a good time to share how baby boy is doing.  We hadn't been back to St. V's in 6 weeks and this was a very short visit.  Dr. Kumar, Caleb's cardiologist, is pleased with how he's doing.  Before the doctor came in, I was nursing Caleb under a cover-up and when I pulled him out, Dr. Kumar had a genuine look of surprise on his face when he smiled and said, "Oh, he looks really good!"  Caleb now weighs right at 11 lbs. and is a pretty normal baby.  (Well, with the exception of the giant scar that takes up most of his chest.)  The doctor said his color looked really good, and his oxygen levels were good.  We didn't even have to do an echocardiogram!  We were only there for a total of about 20 minutes, which is great in my book.  Dr. Kumar said that Caleb's next surgery will probably be around the beginning of August.  This surgery will be a more extensive procedure than his first one.  The short story is that they have to go in and re-wire some of his major blood vessels, connecting his superior vena cava directly to his pulmonary artery, effectively bypassing the part of his heart that is defective.  It's hard to know exactly how long his hospital stay will be next time around, but a decent estimate is 1-2 weeks.  Of course, we've learned to hold on to that expectation very loosely.  Caleb will have one more surgery after that, when he's about 2 years old.  At that point, his heart will be as fixed as it can get and he will be a relatively normal child.  He will always have to go to the cardiologist, for the rest of his life, but his heart will be fairly strong and able to do most of the work that a normal heart can do.  He won't ever run track, but maybe he can be a good golfer. 

The night before we took Caleb to the doctor, I was putting Jonah to bed and I told him that in the morning he would be hanging out with Grandma Amy because Mommy and Daddy were taking Caleb to the doctor.  He asked if he was getting a shot and I said no.  Then I asked him if he remembered when Caleb was in the hospital and Jonah got very serious.  He said, "Caleb go back to the hospital Mommy?" and I said no, no, this was just a check-up and we'd be right home.  Jonah immediately relaxed and we went about our bedtime routine.  But while I was reading to him, I thought about how much I am not looking forward to that day in August when we DO have to go back; when we have to step back into that world where Caleb is a patient and his little heart, and life, are completely in the hands of doctors.  The normal stress of having an infant and a 2-year old has allowed me to forget about what's ahead for a little while, but that night I got a little glimpse into how it will be when I have to tell Jonah that in the morning we're going to the hospital, and that we won't be back for a while.  God give us the grace when we need it...

For now, you'd never know our family is any different than any other family with a new baby at home.  Parenting is demanding enough without having to worry about the future.  We're taking it a day at a time and thanking God that we've already had 3 whole months to enjoy this amazing little boy.  3 months old!  Before I know it, Caleb will be the 2-year old and Jonah will be 4 and they'll be best friends (or partners in crime) and running all over the place.  And Daniel and I will ask each other, "Remember how hard those early days were?"  God has already walked with us through so much and I know He is going to walk us through much more. I wish sometimes that this was all over and Caleb was 100% well, but at least I know that we aren't alone on this road.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I can't decide if he looks like any of us... but he sure is cute.  And getting more chubby by the day.

Sweet little smiles.

Jonah can hardly stand to be left out of the action.  He was just getting out of the tub and had to run and give me a hug, apparently even before getting dressed.

Look at those cheeks.  They beg to be kissed.