13 Days Later

Lucky 13. It's been a ride these past 2 weeks.

Asher continues to spend his first weeks of life in the NICU. I've grown to love his nurses, especially Sherry who's been a NICU nurse for 39 years (!!!!), and adore his attentive doctors. They call us regularly with updates on his progress and are always concerned about how I'M doing, too. Asher's wearing itty-bitty preemie clothes which seem more suitable for dolls and wrapped in his aden & anais muslin blankets. He sleeps 23 hours a day. He poops like it's his full time job. His facial expressions are too many to count and change in a millisecond. He now weighs 5 lbs, having gained 11 ounces in his first 13 days of life. But my best news is that he's taken 5 full bottles since yesterday!!!!! He still needs to finish 8 bottles in a row (1.5 ounces/feeding in 24 hours) in order to be considered to come home. We have a ways to go. All I want for Mother's Day is for Asher to be home. I'm being told it's unrealistic and not to get my hopes up...but what else is a momma supposed to do!?!? Once again we find ourselves waiting...

I can't keep from thinking about how my Ethiopian babies were born on a hut floor with no doctors, no monitors, no prenatal care, and no medications. And yet they are perfectly perfect. Then there's my newest baby born with all the first world privileges and needing every one for survival. It's mind boggling how in spite of where Judah and Addise were born, everything went text book for their pregnancy and birth AND how if Asher was born in Ethiopia he wouldn't be alive. All babies are miracles straight from the sweetest place in heaven...

In love...

Judah was circumcised on Friday morning. I'm still at the "what in the world have we done to our son?!?!" stage. For the most part he's loving watching movies all day and being fed whatever he wants. Mommy guilt. He's had a handful of excruciatingly painful moments that have left me near tears. Overall, he's doing great. We keep saying together "brave and strong like daddy" to get him through the difficult moments.

All groggy after surgery watching TV.

As if we have nothing else going on in our lives, this morning Brian ran his second half marathon of 2012 (he's signed up for 2 more). By 9:30 this morning he'd already run 13.1 miles after barely training. I don't know how he did it, but I'm way impressed he did! He's also been wrangling contractors and construction workers desperately trying to get our master bathroom finished. We are praying it's completed this week.

"May gray" before the race began.

Addise has been bouncing off the walls and has been showing signs that she understands she's no longer the baby of the family. Today she did the impossible and peed in her potty FOR THE FIRST TIME with grandma. Grandma may be a miracle worker and she can stay forever. Her hair is also getting neglected in the craziness of our days. Sorry baby girl. She's talking, singing, and screaming every moment of the day. She even wakes up singing.

Grandma, aka my mom, is here for 3 weeks to love on babies and pull all kinds of weight around our home. She's sleeping on an air mattress, making food, chasing babies, changing diapers, keeping the kitchen clean, and attending to our beck and call. She's also planning on coming out in June and July to keep helping. She loves it and she's exhausted at the end of every day. A most excellent grandma and momma we have!

Someone got in momma's make-up. Safe to say we have different coloring. :)

At the end of the day, I'm doing better than I expected. I keep forgetting I had major surgery and that I left my baby in the NICU. My recovery is going so much better than I was told or anticipated, which for a girl who's allergic to pain is a huge answer to prayer. My incision pain has been declining most every day and I'm getting around pretty darn well. My figure is coming back (YIPPEE!). Pumping has been a pain in the butt but going super well, which makes me abundantly happy that Asher's getting my milk 8 times a day even though I can't physically give it to him. Though I'm so very tired at some point every day, I'm grateful that I can recover from surgery and transition into our new life while Asher's getting stellar hospital care. The highlight of my day is holding my littlest baby. I could not be more grateful for my family of five.

Miraculous. Redemptive. Hope-filled. This is our life these days - bursting full of chaos and drama and oh-so good.


April L. Diaz

April has been a visionary activist her entire life. She has made it her mission to lead high performing teams and develop leaders in the margins of society while caring for our bodies, mind, and spirit. Secretly, she’s a mix of a total girly girl and a tomboy, and is still crazy about her high school sweetheart, Brian. Together, they co-parent 3 fabulous kiddos and live in Orange County, CA.