Jason left town to go back to work on Tuesday morning so I've been trying to juggle things at home, caring for Jamison, pumping, work, and visiting Cayden at the hospital with marginal success. I've come up with a good analogy: when Cayden was born 15 weeks premature and I realized what life was going to be like for as long as it took to get him home, I felt like somebody gave me three 10-pound bowling balls and said, "Here, juggle these!" As ominous as it looked, I figured out how to do it, slowly getting stronger and able to deal with those heavy balls.
As new things came up - Jason and I both getting the stomach flu for a day the week I came home from the hospital, Jason having to leave town for work for a week while I was still healing from the C-section and unable to care for Jamison fully, my going back to work - I felt like those were more bowling balls (and maybe even a flaming torch or two) thrown at me to juggle along with the already heavy enough stuff I was trying to keep in the air. Somehow, I've managed to keep all of those balls and torches in the air, but some days, I feel like they're all going to come crashing down on me because I don't have the strength to do it anymore. It's on those days when I'm certain everything is about to crash down that someone steps in and takes a couple of the balls out of the mix for me.
Now that Jason is out of town again, I'm having to scramble to recruit friends to watch Jamison for several hours at a time so that I can go to the hospital on the days he isn't in daycare. Last night's visit to see Cayden was made possible by Johnny and Diana Adams. Johnny stayed with Jamison while I went to the hospital. I couldn't ask for a better babysitter than a father of three boys five and under!
I am indescribably grateful to them and so many others who have taken time out of their busy lives to help us. It may not seem like much to the people helping, but it means the world to me to be able to go see my baby at this critical time when we're working on learning how to breast feed, or to not have to worry about cooking dinner, or to not have to worry about cleaning our house.
I know this blog is supposed to be about Cayden and his progress, but I had to take a moment to acknowledge that without everyones' help and prayers, I don't think he'd be progressing as well as he has been. Thank you all.
And now, the actual updates on Cayden . . .
Breast feeding has been going slow but steady. Today he latched on and sucked for a considerable amount of time with the aid of a "nipple shield". It's a device that covers the nipple and gives preemies the exact shape, size, and pressure points they need to latch and suck easier. When I explained it to Jason, he said, "like training wheels?" Yeah, like training wheels for breast feeding!
Now that he's actually nursing at a full breast, he has the potential to ingest some milk, so the lactation consultant said it's time to start weighing him before and after each session to monitor how much, if anything, he's consuming. Today, he gained four grams after nursing, so he got something!
He gained weight again tonight - up to 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Seems like he's really packing it on lately!