Getting Into The Swing Of Things

Today was day two in the NICU, and we are slowly starting to get the hang of things around here.

If you’re wondering why I’m wearing that scary-looking face mask, it’s because I woke up in the middle of the night with the feeling of a cold coming on, and it’s way better to be safe than sorry — Ambrose doesn’t need to be fighting off a cold in the middle of all of this!

I decided to take the morning off to work on healing myself. My kid may be gravely ill, but I’m also in recovery. Birth is no walk in the park on its own (let alone with an infant as huge as Ambrose!), and having to take an emergency flight to Utah and bop around the hospital all day yesterday really wore me out. I’ve also been working on establishing a milk supply for the nurses to use, which means a lot of pumping. Fun fact: they’ve been swabbing his mouth out with my colostrum! Not to feed him, but just to prevent things in there from drying out too much, but the fact that they’re using my colostrum means that he gets the added immunity benefits from it.

As for Ambrose, he’s stable and making continual albeit very gradual progress. He’s slowly being weaned off of the sedatives and ventilation that he’s on, which means that he’s starting to wiggle his limbs around. He even briefly opened his eyes today. If all goes well with the weaning process, we’ll be able to get him in for an MRI within the next week to further assess the damage to his brain.

Another exciting update: I might get to hold him soon! So far I’ve only been able to lay my hands firmly on his chest and head (as in the picture above), but as soon as he’s off the ventilator I should actually be able to hold him in my arms. I can’t even imagine what a mess I’ll be that day.

And speaking of ugly crying: The Little Engine That Could is the most ridiculously, unexpectedly poignant children’s book in the world. After I asked about reading to Ambrose this evening, the nurse on duty brought it in to me. A random selection on her part, but I know that as of today, it’s officially Ambrose’s special book.

For anyone concerned about our family’s financial situation in all this, don’t be. I try not to talk too much about J on here as per his request, but rest assured that the military is treating us very, very well, and we are sincerely grateful for the support we’re receiving. Not having to think about how our finances are taking a hit with all this specialized care is a huge load off our backs.

Another organization we’re grateful for: the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Funny story: we actually just volunteered at the Las Vegas house for the first time a couple months ago — we helped a group of church school kids make dinner for the families staying at the house. We had no idea until we got there and were given the grand tour of the place what the organization was. And now here we are, ourselves benefitting from the incredible generosity of RMHC. Just a floor down from Ambrose is a place for us to relax in any time. There computers we can use, cell phone charging stations, showers, a laundry facility, hot meals on the regular, snacks and fridges for storing our own snacks, and — get this — nap rooms. Hospital burnout is a real thing, and it’s nice to have a place to decompress when we need to.

Anyway, tomorrow is a new day that we hope and pray will continue to see Ambrose improving. In the midst of all the cords and tubes, I look at him and I see such life. He is the Little Blue Engine. And we all know he can.

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21 thoughts on “Getting Into The Swing Of Things”

  1. Emily, I am in awe at your bravery and strength and amazing writerly abilities in the midst of all this. Sending love and healing thoughts out for Ambrose 💙

  2. Love your amazing writing! And thank you for the updates….your LV kaia family is praying for you and sending you love!

  3. Emily and Jarrod, continuously thinking and praying for you and precious Ambrose. Thanks for these updates. Our God is a God of love and compassion and He can do amazing things. Our hope is in Him.

  4. Emily, you having been amazingly strong. Glad you are taking care of you as well as Ambrose. Lots of love and prayers being sent your way.

  5. I’m thinking about you and Ambrose. Hoping for the best possible outcome and good news. It’s good to hear that you are taking care of yourself, he needs you to be healthy. Hugs ❤
    (Yellingbanana)

  6. (Maamawaabangi here) Its good to read how things are going… the Little Engine that Could brought tears to my eyes! I’ve been praying day and night for you all and that God (who loves mankind) would mercifully restore Ambrose fully… every little bit! You’re wise to take time to heal yourself, though I’m sure it’s very hard.

  7. YES! To the little engine that could – we got that for our son for Christmas and reading it I couldn’t believe how subtly wonderful so many of the little details are 🙂
    She thought she could.

    I was thinking of you today and had the remembered that with my son was born, I spent some time writing little books with little pictures for him. I thought about the fact that you are a writer and that having a baby in the NICU must feel somewhat helpless a lot of the time – and you may be feeling like you wish there were something you could do for him. They even sell sets of blank board books on amazon and stuff. Anyway, just a thought.

  8. We are so thankful for rmh in chicago. Our daughter who is 16 has undergone many hospital visits and we are grateful for a place near the hospital to stay.

    Blessings to you and your family as you undergo this new journey. Praying for all.

  9. Emily, may God give you and Jerad the strength to get through this tough time in your life and may his healing hand be upon little Ambrose
    Our prayers are with you 🙏🏻
    Litsa

  10. Prayers from Ohio for Ambrose and you all! You’re in our minds and hearts continually. May God give you peace and comfort. I’ve got to say, Ambrose just looks tough. I think he can, I think he can! 🚂🚂

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