Martin has some really funny faces. What a character!
Here is Martin with his serious face. What a hoot!
Mommy taking Martin for a ride in the stroller around the block.
We've had some requests to keep the blog updated with Martin's progress so our family and friends know better how to pray for him. Sometimes it's easy for us to forget that while we see him every day, no one else knows how he's doing! We'll do our best...
Martin is doing well. In fact, he's doing REALLY well! He has been eating and eating. And he has been gaining weight, growing, and getting stronger every day. At the last doctor's visit, Martin weighed in at just over 11 pounds! Wow! We have to keep reminding ourselves that this is a gigantic blessing as everything we've ever heard before the surgery was how HLHS babies struggle with this aspect of recovery. But Martin seems amazingly normal -- even with half a heart. He seems to have been blessed with a very strong constitution as well. He can cry really loud, he can push with his legs really hard, and he can down a full bottle in just a few minutes without spitting anything up. He eats every 2-3 hours and he just doesn't seem to tire at all. He is still, by the way, on the Elecare formula. Jamie went on an exceedingly strict non-dairy, non-soy diet for 2 straight weeks and gave breast milk another try only to find that Martin was still unable to tolerate it. So we decided it was time to stick with Elecare until he graduates to baby food. Oh well, at least we can say we tried. The upside is that Jamie can finally eat some of her favorite foods again!
Life around the house is fairly busy. The children really enjoy Martin. They enjoy getting to greet him in the mornings and feed him from time to time. They are really good about applying hand sanitizer routinely whenever they hold him or even touch him. Martin can fuss like any other baby I suppose -- usually when he's hungry or tired. But when he smiles, it sure brightens the day for all of us! It's funny how something as simple as that could bring so much joy.
Our next scheduled visit to Charleston will be in July for a heart catheterization where the doctors will determine if Martin is ready for his next open-heart surgery. And if all goes well, his next big surgery will be sometime late summer (probaby August). The date will be nailed down after the July visit. It's hard to think that he'll have to undergo the entire ordeal again -- open-heart, breathing tube, extubation, feeding... But "sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof" so we'll just try to cross that bridge when we come to it. No sense in adding tomorrow's worries to today's burdens. We need to learn the art of enjoying the Lord's blessings every step of the way -- each and every day. And not simply looking forward to the next big step before we feel we can rest easy or enjoy our life and our family.
We still try to keep him away from crowded settings and haven't yet brought him to church. Even though he seems very normal to us, we are very much aware that he is still high-risk and so we will continue to be careful. We visit the cardiologist every other week (and the pediatrician the alternate weeks). So between caring for a newborn non-stop day and night and trying to keep up with doctors' visits, homeschooling, cooking, and cleaning -- Jamie has her hands full. It's a wonder how anyone could think that a stay-at-home mom doesn't "work" a real job. So, for this upcoming Mother's Day -- hats off to all the mothers who do the hard and often-unappreciated work of "making homes" for their husbands and children. Keep up the good work, all you moms!
Speaking of keeping busy, Jamie put together this short video of Martin's first few days before and after his surgery. If you have a few minutes, I'd encourage you to take a look, as it's a compilation of some of our favorite photos.
Thank you for remembering our little Martin!
Martin's 2 month picturesHere are some photos of Martin as he continues to recover and grow wonderfully after his first...