Our Christmas…a Poem

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Christmas stockings, Christmas lights
Christmas music played at night,
Angel ornaments made by (great) Gramma
(no we don’t believe in Santa)

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Dancing on our living room floor
Snow falls just outside the door
Taylors come to celebrate
And all the presents are homemade

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Cookie cutter biscuits, those are neat
Hurry up, it’s time to eat!
Exchanging gifts is so much fun
We made something for everyone.

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A calendar made with Lydia’s hands
so Grandma T can keep track of plans
Grandpa got some special tea
Grown and homemade by Mommy

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Too soon it was time to go
So no one gets (too) stuck in the snow
Goodbyes are always very sad,
but there was more fun to be had.

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Christmas morning is coming quick
The roads are getting pretty slick
Christmas eve we head out the door
because we need just one gift more.

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Christmas morning comes at last
The night did not pass all to fast
Except for Mom, hope she’s not crabby
She was up with hungry Abby

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Christmas pjs, pretty dresses
Lots of wrapping paper messes
Candles in the morning dark
The party is about to start!

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Lydia can’t believe her eyes
A big girl bed! What a surprise!
Now Daddy reads some from God’s word
Stockings are second, presents are third

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Abby’s gift: to be snuggled all day,
She wouldn’t have it any other way
Mommy got a pretty coat
Daddy got some workout clothes.

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Christmas came and Christmas went
But the best gift was still heaven sent
Baby Jesus come to earth
We love to celebrate His birth!

Abby Update: 4 Weeks Old

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Weight: Just under 3 pounds, 6 ounces
Feedings: 30 milliliters fortified to 24 cal every 3 hours given over the course of 1 1/2 hours

Well, that’s right. Abby lost a little weight. It’s nothing to be concerned about, especially because her digestive system decided to kick in and she’s had three very full diapers in the past couple of days. Overall her weight trend is increasing, so no one is worried.

We’ve finally surrendered to the fact that Abigail has reflux. She just spits up. She especially spits up if you move her when she has recently eaten. She’s a strong breather though, and even when she does spit up she manages to (usually) keep her oxygen level, breathing and heart rate up. Often spit ups trigger respiratory and cardiac events, which is when the heart rate drops very low, the breathing slows down or stops, and the oxygen level in the blood drops. Lydia had more events than Abigail has so far and on one occasion Dan was there when she started turning blue. So, we are grateful that Abby doesn’t seem to have the same troubles.

This morning Abby had an eye exam while Dan was holding her. It is very common for preemies to have eye troubles, but some of them can be corrected if caught early enough. Todays exam was normal. Her eyes are developing just how they should.

The doctors and nurses are full of encouraging words for Abigail (and us). She’s right on track and, mostly, we’re just waiting for her to get a little bigger and a little older. Then the next hurdle will be learning to eat.

On Monday night we had our first real difficulty with Lydia. She’s been a trooper all along and has even enjoyed spending so much time with other families while Dan and I go to the NICU. This Monday we decided to let her stay up a little later while a couple from church came over to babysit. We got her ready for bed but told her she could play for a while after we left as long as she would go to bed when she was told to. When Dan and I were about to walk out the door, Dan turned to say goodbye and Lydia suddenly realized we were leaving and just lost it. Dan held her while she cried for a while and eventually we were able to distract her a little, and then we left. I guess she was fine after we were gone, but Dan and I think she’s getting just a little tired of spending so much time away from Mommy and Daddy. Having to leave a crying toddler to go see your other baby makes the goodbyes a whole lot harder.

On the other hand, Lydia absolutely loves her little sister. Often when we are in the NICU together, Lydia asks if she can “hold her!”. At home, she asks to and practices sometimes with her dolls. When we leave the NICU, Lydia insists that we all hug and kiss Abby’s isolette. When we have her out, Lydia often gives her a kiss or pets her head. When we read books, Lydia points to the girls in the pictures and says, “Abigail”. And when we pray for Lydia at night, she interrupts our prayer whispering, “Abigail! Abigail!” until Dan prays for Abigail too. We try to encourage her to look forward to when Abby can come home and then we’ll let Lydia hold Abby.

Praise the Lord
We are thanking God for:
-the good report from Abby’s eye exam
-Abby’s strong lungs, able to keep her going even when she spits up
-that Lydia loves Abigail so much

Please Pray:
-that Abby will not have any more weight losses, only gains (and big ones!)
-for Lydia as we continue to leave her for a few hours almost every day
-for us as we often have to leave one daughter to be with the other, Dan often tells people this feels like having two separate families and it really wears you out (in every way)