Friday, December 18, 2009

10 months!

Wow! Eli is 10 months old, now. Saturday, the 19th, he'll have been home from the hospital 6 months, and the following day is 10 months from his first heart surgery. To us it seems like eternities ago. This year has been a big haze and fog to us. Yet at the same time, it all seems like yesterday.

Since coming home, Eli has made great strides developmentally. When he came home, he was 9 pounds and could barely hold up his head. He was essentially a newborn in a 4 month old body. In fact, one of the therapists who works with Eli doesn't "count" the months he was in the hospital when she evaluates him developmentally. She sees Eli as a 6 month old, not 10 months.

Eli is growing stronger by the day. His head control is strong. He'll sit supported for short periods, sometimes pulling away from the back support and balancing himself. Just recently he started bearing a little weight on his legs. Eli likes to grab for things next to him while laying on his back. He has the ability to roll over, just chooses not to. He not fond of tummy time. Mommy was very relieved when he figured out how to put his pacifier in his mouth on his own, especially in the middle of the night.

Eating presents a different challenge. He is mostly fed through his g-tube. We give him the opportunity to drink from a bottle at least once a day, but often he'll only drink an ounce or two before he tires out. Our surgeon gave us a great analogy that helps us understand Eli's feeding. Eli's body is working so hard to maintain his heart, it's like he is constantly running a marathon. When you add in feeding, it's like eating a large meal while running that marathon. It's just too much. For that reason, we don't push him too hard. Eli has been able to explore with a few solid foods. His been given rice cereal, sweet potatoes, plums, and bananas. He'll take a few bites from the spoon, play with it, and eventually swallow it. It's certainly a foreign thing to him. He's not sure what to do with it.

One thing Eli has never lacked in is his socialiblity. When he was in the hospital, he got tons of attention from the nurses, therapists, doctors, and volunteers. He loves to be talked to, and will smile at any movement or sound. He has earned the name Captain Smiles, and wears it well. He adores his sister, Paige. She loves entertaining him and making him happy when he is upset. She is the only one who can do silly things and make Eli truly laugh. They share a great bond.

Eli is fairing well so far this winter season. Becoming shut-ins has not been easy on us, but it is proving to be protecting Eli, so that makes it all worth it. Please continue to pray. Eli is running a race against time. We pray daily for the miracle Eli needs to have to be a candidate for his next surgery.


Kristine said...

Yeah for Eli! He is such a handsome little guy, alway looks so happy. What a blessing he is! and what a blessed little boy to have parents like you!

Bonnie said...

Praising God for His gift of 10 months! Merry Christmas, Little Man!

Tamara B said...

So exciting each time we get to see a picture. I'm praying for you in this season!

Kimberly said...

Oh, I love the video. It's so fun to see your little guy. He looks so happy. We miss you guys so much and are praying for Eli. Praying that God will protect you all from sickness this winter and that Eli can have his next surgery.

Lots of Love,
Kim & Tad