Today, Evan is two months old! Crazy how fast time has flown and although it is SO cliche to say how it seems like he's always been a part of our lives, it is so true. It is also true that we are all so stinkin' in love with this little boy!
We are two days away from Surgery Day. This day that I've known about for six months and have been dreading from that first moment when I found out he had a cleft lip is here. So many friends have asked how I'm doing, and I can say that right now, at this very moment, that I am doing okay. I want the surgery to be over. I am ready to put this part of life behind us because I know I will not like seeing my baby being pushed away to surgery. I will not like the waiting. I will not like seeing him frail and hurting and in a hospital. But, I do know that this surgery is what's best for him. I know that he won't remember any of this. I know that no matter how hard the days that follow surgery may be that we will get through them. God will give us the strength to endure the feedings, the lack of sleep, the caring for four children, and the unknowns that I don't even know to worry about right now. I think there is a lot about surgery that I don't know to expect, so I cannot worry about those things because I don't KNOW to worry about them. Right now, I am thankful for that ignorance. I am also thankful that the Lord has taught me so much in the past year about being anxious. I am so thankful that even though I battle anxiety--because I do--that He is faithful to equip us with ways to fight those fears and thoughts. He is the giver of peace, and I know that the God I serve is all kind, all wise, and all loving. He is trustworthy. Knowing that, dwelling on that helps me in those moments. I'm praying that on Surgery Day that I can cling to what I know about my Lord.
So, here's what I do know so far about surgery. We will go in sometime early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday evening, they call us and tell us our tentative surgery time. The surgeries are assigned based on the age of the kids lined up for surgery that day. They do youngest to oldest, so hopefully Evan's surgery will be pretty early. He cannot eat anything up to four hours prior to surgery time, so I will plan to nurse him four hours beforehand. His surgery should last between 1.5-2 hours. We will spend one night at Children's hospital and be released sometime on Thursday. Evan will not be able to nurse or have a bottle until his sutures are removed on December 26th, eight days after surgery. He will be syringe fed using a catheter, so I will be pumping and supplementing with formula if needed. Evan will have some pain medication for the first few days, but the nurse practitioner told us that babies typically do really well and don't need the pain meds for very long.
My mom is coming in town tomorrow night to be with us for a few days, and my in-laws will be graciously caring for Nora, Liam, and Stella while we are in the hospital. We haven't even gotten to the hospital, yet we have felt so cared for. So many friends are constantly telling us they are praying for us, meals have been signed up for following surgery, and people are pouring out care in big and little ways. I definitely do not feel like we are walking this out alone but that we are surrounded by a army of prayer warriors and loved ones who are carrying us through it all.
Now that all of that is out of the way, let me tell you about Evan. What a gift he is!
At two months, Evan weighs about 11.5 lbs. This is such an answer to prayer! Before he was born (when we were concerned that he would come early, which he didn't because the Lord kept him cooking for a longer time than we expected), my prayers were that Evan would not come prematurely and that when he did come that he would put on weight so that he would be a big, strapping boy prior to surgery. I was hoping he would at least be ten pounds by surgery, and by God's faithfulness, he's exceeded that weight! Being breastfed, no less. If you recall, I didn't expect to be able to nurse him at all. But, since only his lip is involved in the cleft, I've been able to breastfeed from day one, and apparently I make some rich milk because Evan has consistently put on weight. This is the faithfulness of our God! He answered these prayers! One less worry for me!
Evan is such a sweet boy. He's very serious, much like Nora was as a newborn. He is not one to crack many smiles, but when he does---WATCH OUT---it's killer! He is a great eater and napper, but he has proven to have a hard time in the evenings. I think that we are through with most of it, but every few days he has a hard time in the evenings where he is hard to console and get down to sleep for the night. Sleep is inconsistent.....he has had a few nights where he "slept through the night," but those nights are very few and far between. I really don't see a pattern, but I'd say once I feed him at his "dream feed" (between 10-11 pm) he typically sleeps a 4-6 hour stretch. Then, when I lay him down he'll sleep for another 3-4 hours. He usually starts his day around 8:30 am. He nurses every 2-3 hours during the day and cluster feeds in the evenings (every 1-2 hours), but even the cluster feeding is getting less. He is generally very content when awake, even with all of the kisses and poking and prodding he endures and the loud, earth-shattering volume that often takes over our house most days. He doesn't seem phased or bothered by the chaos around him. Those kids love him so much and cannot keep away from him.
Below are a few pics of Evan that my sweet friend Suzanne captured last month. These will always be priceless to me!
Here are a few I took on my phone this morning. Stella was getting some loving in....you can see Evan is thrilled.
Here's my stud muffin at two months! Such a handsome boy!