Friday, June 22, 2007

keep those prayers going...

thank you so much for the many prayers that have been sent up over this past week and months...and thank you for continuing to pray as we are on this new part of the journey with sweet baby sam...
he is still a little fighter...his nurses even say so! his weight today was
3 lb, 8 oz...just a little peanut, but a strong one...he is still in his isolette getting phototherapy for his jaundice, but this is very normal, and hopefully he will be out of there very soon where we can touch him and hold him...he can't have his clothes on in there so they have to keep him closed up so he won't get too cold...they did wrap him up in about 5 blankets and let me hold him for awhile today, so that was the best thing ever...of course, i could hardly feel his tiny little body under all that blanket...
his biggest issue right now is learning to eat and tolerating what they feed him through his NG tube...he is getting better and they are giving him the milk that i am pumping so i can feel like i am contributing somewhat to that...
his withdrawal symptoms are still there, but still minimal, so that is a huge praise...he's still having some irritability, vomiting and tremors, but overall is just doing amazingly well...which we know is because of all of your prayers and because of the power of our GOD.

i am walking around in a fog right now- after these many months of what we have been through, i have to keep reminding myself that i just gave birth four days ago...i am trying to journal down some of my thoughts as i go through this part of the journey and maybe someday i will be able to share them, because i know that when we look back on this season we will see nothing but blessings from the LORD's was very very hard to leave the hospital last night and tonight and not have my baby in my arms...but i am confident that the LORD is holding him when i cannot. and i am thankful to have my other two men at home to love on...i am very blessed...

we have taken lots of pictures and will post them as soon as we can...i'll try to update as much as i can without having the internet at our new house yet...we can't wait for the day that our little family of four is all at home and we can introduce sam to the many people that have been praying for him for so long before he was even born.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sweet Baby Sam

I know that it has been awhile...okay, a LONG time since I last blogged. And yes, alot has happened in that time. This pregnancy has been one of the hardest times of our life, as most of you who read this blog know. I promise that I really have sat down MANY times with the intention of blogging, and the words just won't come. I am still not sure that I have words adequate to express what is on my heart, but when I do finally write it is always somehow therapeutic for me.

The last time I posted we were overjoyed having just found out that baby #2 would be coming this summer.
We are still overjoyed...and now it is because HE IS HERE. Samuel Ray Pinson was born yesterday.

The little man that so many have brought to the feet of the Father has made his entrance into the world. The only sustainance our little family has had over the last many weary months has been the faithful hand of our Father and the prayers and support of so many family members and friends. I will sit down soon and attempt to write more about these experiences we have endured, and the faithfulness of our Lord that we have witnessed over and over...but at this very moment I know all you want to do is hear about our little guy and, of course, see some pictures! I believe these stats and pictures are some of the greatest testimonies of God's faithfulness anyway...

We checked in yesterday morning at 7AM, prepared for a long day. After months of hospitalizations, home health care, hyperemesis, pain, infection, and premature labor...our doctor had made the decision, along with the neonatologists, to induce labor at exactly 33 weeks. We weren't exactly sure how my body would want to progress, as they had given me shots so many times to attempt to stop labor, and now they were trying to start it. But once again, the Lord was faithful. The day started off pretty slow, and we expected it to be the middle of the night before our little guy decided to make himself known...but he wanted a grand the span of about an hour, I went from being dilated to a 4 to the nurses trying to hold him off from coming out before the doctor made it to the hospital in Arlington from their second office in Mansfield. That was one of the longest and most stressful hours of our lives, and yet it also felt like a whirlwind. Sam's heart rate began to drop very low, into the 80s and 90s. The room began to get more and more crowded with nurses, all doing different things to try and keep him stimulated and get his heart rate back up so that we could try to avoid a C Section. They were flipping me over into every different position, giving me oxygen, massaging my stomach, massaging his head...his little tiny head was so small, he figured that he could just make it out at a 6 rather than waiting till I was dilated all the way to a 10! I finally ended up flat on my back with the bed tilted backwards and head down. Labor and delivery nurses are truly amazing. Thankfully, the doctor made it, and within about 10 minutes of him getting in the room, baby Sam was here. I only got a very quick glimpse of him, while they layed him on my stomach for about 3 seconds and Matt cut the umbilical cord. He only needed a little bit of oxygen right at first, and then they whisked him away to the NICU. We wanted to go with him of course, but were mostly just so thankful that he was here. Matt did get to go down and see him pretty quickly and was able to get some pictures to bring back down to the room for me. I was anxious to see my little boy, and as soon as they could get me into a wheelchair, I got to go to the NICU, and was especially excited to get to touch him! He was perfect, he was tiny, and yet so strong. We spent a little bit of time with him, and then went back to see him again last night before going back to get a little bit of rest. He was still having some trouble breathing, doing alot of grunting and just having to work very hard, but so far, he is still on room air. His biggest trouble right now is eating, but of course this is very normal for his age. He still has to work on that suck-swallow-breathe coordination. It will just take him awhile to learn how to do all that at once, and his little tummy is just very tiny, so they have cut back trying to feed him, only giving him about a teaspoon through a tube in his nose. But also amazingly he has not had to get an IV yet. He is definitely a little fighter...the neonatologists had warned us that little white males for some reason tend to have the most trouble getting going...but we knew better. I still need to post the last sonogram we had taken before he was born, where behind his head it looks like he is being held by a very large hand...which he, of course, was. And we know just whose Hand is carrying him through right now.

The doctor said that he is looking good. They will be looking next for symptoms of withdrawal from the strong medicine that the doctors have had me on throughout the last several months. Unfortunately, if he does have problems from that it will be a long slow process to correct. We are confident that he will be just fine and that he will have no effect at all, and of course ask you to pray with us that even if he does, that it will be treated easily and he will suffer no long term effects. The doctor told us this morning, these signs do not really show up until day 3 or 4, so they will be looking for that in the mean time. The first 72 hours are most critical, so they just want to keep him stable for now. They will also wait until the beginning of next week to do a scan of his brain and check in out how things are going in there. So over the next few days, his biggest jobs are breathing, working on digesting his food and maintaining his temperature. Please pray that all of this will continue to go just as smoothly as it has so far. The nurses and doctors continue to comment on how amazing it is that he is doing this well for being so early and so tiny and, while it is amazing, we are not at all surprised. Please continue to join us in prayer that the LORD will sustain Samuel, Matt, Jack and me. Please pray for the doctors and nurses who are taking care of him and for our families who have altered their own lives to bless ours.

When we went to see him this morning, I did get to hold him and it was the most wonderful thing in the world. I continue to be very exhausted, overwhelmed and in pain, but we know that God will continue to sustain my health and pray for continued recovery and strength. I am just so blessed to have the most wonderful husband in the world, and now, my TWO precious little boys to remind me of why this fight is so worth it.

We continue to be so amazed and grateful for the support we have received and continue to receive from so many, and will have many many hugs to give, tears of joy to shed and thank you's to say. For now, I will stop rambling and give you what you really of this little guy who has stolen all of our hearts!

We continue to claim this verse spoken in God's word by Hannah...what joy it brings us to say it now as we look at our precious little one
"I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD."
~ I Samuel 1:27-28a

Samuel Ray Pinson
Monday, June 18th at 3:51 pm
3 lbs 13.6 oz
16 inches long

    What a precious moment of joy.

    The proud big brother...what a blessed woman I am to have three men to love now!

    Jack really liked the soccer ball that Baby Sam got for him!

    First glimpses of our sweetie in the NICU.

    Mommy's hand is really not very big, but it sure looks huge here!

    So tiny next to Daddy's strong hands. And look at that head full of DARK hair...he definitely looks like a Pinson...he looks alot like Jack did, and ALOT like Matt as a baby.

    Working on eating through his NG tube.

    First chance to hold my angel. Nothing beats that.

    Winking at mommy...he doesn't have to work too hard to charm me.

    Enjoying some kangaroo time.

    You can see how tiny he is here up next to Mommy. We remember Jack looking so tiny, and he had a good two pounds and 3 1/2 inches on Sam! It's amazing what a difference two pounds makes at this age!

    I can't wait to spend lots of time like this.

    Look how huge that "micro" paci looks in his mouth! I forgot how tiny those preemie diapers are, and he is wearing them folded in half right now!

I'm sure we will have many more to come... I figured that this would be a good amount to get started!
We will try to update more often than every 6 months now...sorry that this one got really long and's been a long few days...a long year really!
Again, thank you so much for your love and prayers...and please keep them coming, because we will continue to need them to get through this next part of the journey. We are overwhelmed and exhausted, and still feeling very helpless, but so very glad to be to this point in the journey where we can actually see the little one we have prayed over for so long. Words are not near enough to say how thankful we are to have such wonderful family, friends and to be a part of a wonderful and supportive community of faith. God's love and power is amazing. We are so very blessed.