But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD's love is with those who fear him and his righteousness with their children's children . . . Psalm 103:17

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Allergies!


Apparently, our kids are starting to show some serious signs of allergies-- well at least we're 99.9% sure that's what they're experiencing.  We were hoping that we would be able to avoid them altogether, but with five we should have known at least a few of them would have some issues.

Putting a finger on what the allergens are is a bit more of a challenge.  Isaac was allergic to oranges for a while, but the babies haven't started solid food or juice yet, so that can't be it.  We have had them outside a lot more, due to the beautiful weather, so maybe there's something in the air that is doing it.

The symptoms they display are sometimes fleeting and almost imperceptible, sometimes much more obvious.  The funny thing is that they each have very different symptoms. We were able to catch them on camera during some of the more "blatant" episodes.  Sorry for the fuzziness of some of them, but we did the best we could.

Grace kind of drops into an apathetic malaise, being moody and ill-tempered.  This was pretty much a warning to "back off!"  Weird.


Seth's symptoms are hard to describe.  Goofy?  Loopy????
David's allergic response can only be described as "unrestrained euphoria."
Will just leans to his right and lets the milk dribble out.
Marcie's the hardest to endure: outright rage.

If any of you have any suggestions as to what might be causing these issues, please let us know.  We are open to any suggestions, no matter how seemingly ridiculous.  We're confused and, I guess, befuddled as well.

Gavin

Saturday, March 30, 2013

P.S. regarding Easter

First of all, THANK YOU whoever sent the lovely Popcorn Factory tin full of delicious goodies! They've been a huge hit in our family! :)

Also, we are taking the kids to church for the first time tomorrow. I am SO excited! How perfect that we got the go-ahead from the doctor in time for Easter, the holiday during which we celebrate the new and eternal life we can have in Christ because of His resurrection from the dead.

And now, the Easter dresses the girls are not wearing tomorrow (theirs match the boys' outfits) but which I just had to dress them in today as a sort of pre-celebration:



 We could not for the life of us get Grace to smile! Marcie did double duty, or tried. This last picture is the tail-end of a Gracie smile that I missed, I think. :)

Love,
Carrie







Saturday March 30th

Have I mentioned how grateful I am for volunteers? And for my husband, who had yesterday off? We've had no overnight help the past two nights, and after Isaac's ER adventure that had us out past midnight and up past 1 am, with babies waking up at 5 am to eat, I was ZONKED yesterday! And two volunteers couldn't make it, which reminded me yet again how amazingly blessed we are by our usual team. Our parents have also been amazingly helpful. Thank you God!
One of our regulars, Gladys, handily managing all five before 8 a.m.! She comes at 4 a.m. every Thursday. Isn't that amazing!?  Left to right: Seth, Marcie, Will, David above Will, interested as always in something/someone else, in this case Gracie and her bouncy seat.

Lynette's mom LOVES our babies and is a big help at holding, feeding, folding clothes, etc.!

Isaac was pretty darn tired too yesterday and requiring pain meds pretty regularly. He had to go to the orthodontist to fix some damage to the work he'd had done, and while his lip was being held way up and he looked super funny in the chair, he said, "Thank you for your service." Which sounded more like "'ank you 'or your ser-iss." Thank YOU for your kind messages to him! He is touched and grateful, too. He got to go see a movie with my parents yesterday, so that was a happy experience anyway. :)

Isaac's room at the Children's ER was identical to Seth's room there earlier this month. He also got X-rayed on the same table as little Seth. Gavin and I both said how grateful we were to NOT be visiting our baby boy or bringing him in for more treatment! It's much happier to come with a 9-year-old who can be fixed immediately. He still has some looseness in his jaw and it hurts to eat, plus his laceration hurts continuously, but he's managing okay. He is very appreciative of all your prayers and notes!


Okay, on to baby reports: Seth had his pulmonology appointment on Wednesday and got an excellent report, praise God! His lungs are nice and clear, his weight and length are following a good curve (THANK YOU for praying, THANK YOU Lord for answering with a yes!), and his oxygen has been halved as a result. He's tolerating it great, still growing an amazing amount - he's starting to look really fat again! - and breathing well, not too fast.

Another therapy session: Check out that great neck strength!




The fun part of Wednesday was that my in-laws had the other four babies, enabling us to head over to the Dallas Arboretum for their Dallas Blooms event. What an amazing plethora of tulips and all other kinds of spring flowers! The trees were almost all in bloom or in leaf, waving in the wind. We had a blissful time just sauntering through the gardens and paths, pushing a very happy Seth in his stroller. He didn't cry or even fuss once! It was PERFECT weather. Wow, what a gift that was from the Creator of all the beauty around us and the Sustainer of Seth's life. We were overwhelmed with gratitude.


Not the best picture of Seth, but the tulips are beautiful and Gavin is handsome :)

This was our favorite blooming bed of tulips - what amazing Easter egg colors! I liked the pink most.
There are a couple of new things to report about the babies and what they are doing: Will rolled from back to front earlier this week. David has gotten VERY baby-talkative, with real intonation like he's having an animated or emotive conversation. He was SO cute this morning (even though it was only 5:30) babbling away and making extended consonant-vowel sounds to himself after he was done eating and back in bed while I was feeding Will. Seth is hilarious when he plays, making super intense and happy faces and kicking and grabbing away. It's so wonderful to see him be a REAL baby! :) He's vomiting so much less and just seems to feel so much better, praise God! The goat's milk does not smell good when it does come back up a couple of times a day, so there's a certain semi-permanent odor of feta cheese around Seth. He gets a lot more baths and clothing changes than the others. He no longer needs to be vented at all, just burped; a huge blessing! Gracie is back to being very calm and happy. Marcie is still the screamer/squealer when she wants to communicate, be it happy or sad or mad. Generally she's very contented. We are blessed with mostly happy babies! :)

There is an advantage to being asleep when the other kids and grandparents head out for a walk: You get one-one-two time with Daddy and Mommy when you wake up. Marcie is a charmer!


Friday, March 29, 2013

Isaac update

Thank you all for praying for Isaac.  He hit the ground so hard that there was some concern about his jaw being fractured due to the pain he had on the left side by his ear.  The x-ray showed that everything was as it should be, praise God.  He's got four stitches in the deep laceration on his chin.  He had oral surgery and stitches last week in his mouth.  He got knocked over onto his face at school when playing baseball yesterday.  Then he had the big fall yesterday evening.  He summed it up well, "Dad, this hasn't been a very good week."

He's feeling better today, though not moving his mouth if he can help it or eating much.  Thanks again to all.

Gavin

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Please pray for Isaac

He just tripped over a truck's tow bar and fell HARD, busting his chin and jaw. He needs stitches and an x-ray. The worst pain is at the joint near his left ear. He's in a lot of pain and has been somewhat hysterical. I told him I would ask you to pray.

Thank you!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Great Cry of 2013

 I hope there's not a cry that's greater. Tonight was The Night. We realized that we could not keep on with the not-so-merry bedtime dance of down, up, down, up, down with five different babies (although David is actually really good about going to sleep and staying asleep). Gavin said last night he wished he could grow his hair long so he could pull it out in frustration! Even the babies who have slept pitiful amounts during the day decide, as soon as they realize they are asleep, that it's actually a lot more fun to be awake, when it actually isn't - for them or for us! Everyone is miserable and tired! So tonight we did the whole bedtime routine, put them down, they all fell peacefully asleep (with the exception of Seth, but he got there), and then the screaming started about 15 minutes later. And went on and on. For an hour, in Marcie's case. Wow. She wasn't hungry. She wasn't wet. She wasn't dirty. She just plain old didn't want to sleep. So we kind of lost the battle with her, but four out of five ain't bad, right? Tomorrow night we will meet again, my pretty . . .

David slept through this one, and Isaac was the one getting the babies to look at the camera. He and Gavin had been working on homework and I had quite the nice little social group going on. Sometimes it's really FUN around here!

Who is the girl in the front room?

Hi again!

This is a question several of you have asked regarding Samantha (Sam), who does indeed live in our front room. I have hesitated to say too much about her because it's so completely atypical of a live-in nanny situation, plus I haven't known how much to share about her personal life; like, why can she just up and leave her job and life in Michigan to come join us here in Texas and take care of babies? It's a bit complicated and very sad. To try and explain as briefly as possible: She has been a member of our same mission organization with the desire to do linguistics overseas, but just when she was trying to raise her monthly support the economy in Michigan was tanking thanks to the downward spiral in the car industry at the time. So she eventually let go of that dream. She became a nursing assistant and phlebotomist at the University of Michigan hospital and fell in love with a guy named Teddy (named after a hockey player!) who happened to have cystic fibrosis. Teddy was very healthy when they met and dated and got engaged, thanks to a lung transplant a few years earlier. However, in July of this past year his health plummeted, he ended up back on the transplant list for another set of lungs, and he died of an infection before that could ever happen. That was on December 16th. Sam decided after much prayer that part of her healing from this awful grief needed to include getting away from her life there in Ann Arbor and Michigan. So even though she LOVES Teddy's family and her own more than life itself, not to mention misses her friends very much, she felt the Lord leading her to Texas to work with the quintuplets for whom she had been praying all those months and whose parents also served with the organization of which she too had previously been a member. What's even more "cool" (in a really hard way) is that Teddy had a g-tube like Seth and was on oxygen like Seth, so Sam had a ton of personal experience she could put to use in helping us care for Seth at home.

Sam is still grieving and still healing and can definitely use your prayers. I can't believe it's been only a little over three months since Teddy went to be with the Lord and she is functioning as fabulously as she is! Despite the wearing load of sorrow and just plain ol' missing him - not to mention living with five very active 4 month olds! - she does superb nanny work (just not in the morning if she can help it, but she'll do the odd overnight, God bless her!). She mostly ends up working at night or filling in for volunteers who can't make it in the afternoon. She, too, gets weary of the babies and maxes out after several hours, so she is not "full time" meaning 24 hours, 7 days a week, she's "full time" in that she averages a 40-hour week. Some weeks much of that time is not at the house because she is also my go-to for everything doctor-related, something Gavin really appreciates as it allows him to work for our organization during the day with fewer interruptions. It takes two people to get Seth to appointments, thanks to the vomiting, oxygen, feeding apparatus, etc. One of us has to ride in the back with him. It takes two people to take three or four of the other kids to their appointments. This week we have 4 doctor appointments! It's very rare to have a week without any. Most week we have at least 2. All this to say, Samantha's presence and joyful spirit (despite deep sadness) have been a huge blessing!

Another thing about Sam as our live-in nanny that is VERY atypical is how much we pay her. Basically, we pay her nothing. We give her a small stipend that pays for car insurance, her cell phone bill, gas for her car, etc. out of the "nanny fund" we set up all those months ago. Thank you to the generous folks who gave us a total of about $3000; not enough for a typical nanny for more than a month or two, but a HUGE help in allowing us to meet Sam's monthly needs!

So that's the answer to the question "Who is the girl in the front room?" And it wasn't very short or concise after all, because I am the one writing the post, not Gavin. :) Thanks for praying for her!

Love,
Carrie

Bathing David, who has a MAJOR crush on Samantha!!!




Bubble Boy

The things we do for fun around here! I tried to make Easter bunny ears on Will, but the soap suds weren't behaving. :)




Will looks very pensive here.

Monday, March 25, 2013

"Is them all twins?"

- asked of one of our volunteers when she had them out on a walk. Another funny way people ask if they are all the same "litter" has been: "Were they all born at the same time?" Usually when I tell people I have quintuplets, they think quadruplets - "That's four, right?" It's fun. :)


a few more pictures

What's wrong with these pictures? Hint: There is one helmet too many, and it's not on the right baby. ;)
Will's new helmet is a camping/outdoors theme, better seen in the top picture. Gracie is sporting David's old helmet.


Will was so cute after his bath!

Poor Seth looks overwhelmed by the "divas" on either side of him. Gracie on left, Marcie right.
 I bet you all already knew that though, didn't you?

Good update!

Hey everyone,

I was so happy to find out at Seth's weight check for his GI doc today that he has gained exactly 2 pounds in the past 28 days, which means he's averaged more than an ounce per day, which is excellent! Thank you God! Thanks to all you who have been praying and advising us! He has vomited a few times still today, but he's definitely happier and less sick and gassy on the goats milk. He is in the 50th percentile for height and the 75th percentile for weight among baby boys weighing less than 3.5 pounds at birth. They use a different growth chart since preemies don't tend to grow as fast as full-term babies. Will obviously breaks that mold, and all of our boys are in the normal range. We were told that Marcie is actually FAT and we need to feed her less! I couldn't believe it, but she's 89th percentile weight-for-height. They also told us to stop feeding baby food. Formula/milk only until 6 months adjusted age. That's different from what we were told when Isaac was a baby. His pediatrician really pushed me to start at four months, and I was SO bummed by how time-consuming it was! Multiply the time consumption by five and you'll believe me when I say that I am glad we've been given a reprieve with these babies for at least another 6 weeks. :)

There's been lots of cuteness round these here parts, but not a lot of good sleeping. They are jack-in-the-boxes when bedtime comes at night, and we don't have enough rooms to let them fuss it out without waking the other babies! Arg! It's very tiring, but we are blessed and love them despite their annoyingly wakeful antics. ;)

This is another FB photo of Gracie (on left) and Marcie in their matching "diva" outfits from Lynnette (who is crazy and has taken David for an overnight tonight; she wondered what she's going to do in lieu of painting his toenails?)

And yet another cute outfit from Lynnette (she's crazy in a good way) on Seth today - after he vomited on the first one while still at home there were two more identical ones waiting for him! We were waiting for his ROP exam which came back as an "excellent! No sign of ROP or any other eye issues, praise God!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Saturday March 23rd update

Hi everyone,

Sorry it's been a while. I haven't really known what to write re: Seth as he'd started doing a lot better on the Neocate, but was still vomiting enough and having enough gas to incline us to switch to goats milk, which we did about 36 hours ago. At first we thought it was nearly miraculous, the difference! Then he started vomiting again. However, he hasn't had the gas he's had with all the formulas, so that means he hasn't had the screams of pain, a HUGE blessing! And he's not vomiting more than he was with the formula, plus the other babies have had some vomits in the past few days and just seemed out of sorts, so I wonder if there isn't a bug bothering him too. He seems happier and just more comfortable on the goats milk. He also isn't having the huge residuals he was having on the formulas. (I.e., it was taking him a LONG time to digest his food to the point we had to turn off his feeds for an hour or more to let him digest.) Now he's digesting the goat's milk beautifully, thank God! His diapers are looking a lot better, too, much less runny and a lot less mucus. (Sorry if that's too much information!!) I took the plunge and returned the GI doc's call to let her know we switched him (against her advice). We are going to mix in enriched powdered goats milk too so he can get the folic acid that goats milk doesn't have. And of course he'll be on his vitamins. We also have to add carbohydrates (some type of non-allergenic sugar/syrup) to the goats milk to increase the calorie content as he's on a much higher calorie diet due to the increased metabolism of kids with broncopulmonary dysplasia, who have to work harder just to breathe.

Which reminds me, the other night I was watching him sleep peacefully and breath very gently. I counted his respirations at just 20/minute! I've NEVER seen him breathe so slowly and gently before, and he was satting 98% on blood oxygen!

So suffice it to say we're encouraged right now. He still has reflux related to prematurity as all the kids do, and because there is no anti-reflux (added rice starch) goats milk formula he is going to have more spit-ups and vomits than the others. Their formula turns semi-solid when it hits their stomach acid, so they have a distinct advantage over him in that way. Goats milk is thin and soft and curdy, so comes back up a lot more easily than Enfamil AR. :}

He's mouthing things, including his pacifier and food and our fingers and his, quite a bit now. He still manages to gag himself, but it's a huge step forward in overcoming his oral aversion! He doesn't seem to have any aversion to sticking stuff in his mouth. It's going down the back of his throat that gets him.

Thanks for your continued prayers! The other kids are fussy but fine. Here are some pictures:

Our beautiful Marcie so cute and chubby I just had to snap this picture! She'll be so embarrassed one day.

Grandpadad with Seth, Marcie, Grace, David and Will

They no longer fit perpendicular to the tub length! Good thing Marcie was at Lynee's house or we never would have fit her too! Or at least it would have been very tight. L-R: Will, Seth, David, Gracie. They all kicked/splashed like crazy!

Cute little Easter outfit with eggs on the bottoms of the feet. Only Marcie fits in it so far. Thanks, Lynette!


Love and gratitude,
Carrie

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Up and down again

Seth's weight, that is. He gained over 6 ounces but has started losing again as the vomiting has increased again. It's like he honeymoons on any given formula for a few days (we had a few good days after my last post), then tanks. Goat's milk is next! I'll report soon. :) Thank you for praying!

Please also keep praying for Gina and family, for peace for them all and protection over them as a family as they grieve their little boy's death together.

David and Grace had their first ECI appointment at home. David promptly did three times in a row the test he "failed" in the office, and was scoring actual age (7 months) vs. adjusted age (4 months) on several areas, and in one area was doing stuff they only start to worry about if they don't see it by 11 months! So he was a bit perplexing for them as they tried to decide what to work on when they come out, since he wouldn't have qualified in the first place if he had simply performed in the office like he did at home! :) Grace does seem to lag behind the others, but it's so much fun to see her do a week or two later what David (usually) started, Will followed, then Marcie and Seth came behind. :) The newest thing is manipulating objects with their feet and grabbing their own toes. They are getting SO interactive, too! They love to laugh at and play with each other's limbs. :)

It is BUSY around here. They are getting more difficult in some ways as they sleep less and what more stimulation. Whew! I am GLAD Spring Break is over; I missed the volunteers and am super behind on some stuff! Today is a great catch-up day, including sleep. :)

Regarding the toys I asked for (used, garage sale, from people in this area), it's not that we can't go out and buy new ones as some sweet people have offered to do for us; it's just that I figure why not get more use out of washable used ones people don't need or want anymore? The kids outgrow them so soon, it's a shame to pay full price unless you have to, right?! ;) Maybe that's the missionary in me talking . . .

I can't post pictures as normal because our silly photo program isn't working, but I have some cute ones! The ones below I managed to get onto FB and then screen shot into this post. Getting creative in my attempt to show off the babies . . . ;)

Love,
Carrie

Tummy time is much easier with Baby Einstein! But it still doesn't last really long. The therapist recommended this. Who knew TV could be a good thing?!

Since Seth missed out on the tummy time photo due to sleeping, here he is with his bib only half off and looking really cute! :) 


Saturday, March 16, 2013

I thought we were off the roller coaster!

Hi everyone,

They say the NICU is the roller coaster ride of your life (and they were right!) but this tummy trouble of Seth's has been pretty nuts too. He had a really good day yesterday, very little vomiting, lots of happy playing and vocalizing. I kept thinking and saying, "He's like a real baby!" It made me realize how much his tummy must bother him most days, he's so much more sober and less active than the other babies. But yesterday he was just like the other ones; such fun!

The GI doc switched him to Neocate. So far, not good. In fact, much worse than the Elecare (both are amino acid based formulas with no protein of any kind in them.) We are planning to try goat's milk next if this doesn't work in the next 3 days or so. The doctor said it can take that long for his tummy to adjust. So I hope our doctor doesn't read this (ha, ha!), but I have a friend whose friend made her own goat's milk formula, adding the elements goats milk doesn't have that a baby needs. Lots of other people have weighed in too with suggestions on what to add to enrich it, and everyone is saying the same stuff, so that's good! :) I really, really want to avoid the surgery since it's irreversible!

Regarding our appointment on Thursday: After ten days Seth hadn't gained an ounce (still 12 lb 12 oz), but his primary care provider wasn't too concerned because his brain/head grew nicely. She said he's definitely not malnourished; he's still got some good fat stores. However, he DOES need to start gaining again! So please keep praying.

Lest any of you fear he is wasting away, here's a picture from his helmet imaging yesterday:

You can see his "sobriety" as he focuses on the whirling lights. He was the winner of the four (over Grace, Will and David) for the baby who sat the most still, but in the office he was a total cutie, playing with and gnawing on the toys and yelling with happiness and talking constantly.

Which reminds me: If anyone in this area (Dallas) happens to have used baby toys or can find them for good price at a garage sale, I'd love to buy them off of you! We don't have enough of the "explore" and play type, and they are already getting beyond some of the younger baby things (although we're still short of teething rings). I am looking for big, medium and small toys, just so long as they are for babies and not 3+ year olds. Thanks! :)


When we got home yesterday I put Seth in the Johnny Jump-Up, then David and Will both woke up, so I took them over to visit with their brother. Big brother was willing to get in on the action at least long enough for Gavin to get a picture, but not without being goofy, of course. ;) Actually, he did smile very nicely for a couple of other pictures, but the little boys weren't quite so cooperative, so I'm choosing the best one of the babies. Those are harder to get!

Isaac is very patient with all the babies' many and constant needs pulling us in all directions, and he tries to help out by running and fetching and entertaining. He's such a great kid! We are so proud of him.

Will and David have discovered each other and were lying facing one another on the floor this morning at Deb's, laughing at each other. So cute! All the babies gnaw on each other whenever they can find a sibling's hand or foot or arm.

Love to you all, with gratitude,
Carrie

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

a few more funny pics

Will being 3D imaged for his head "DOC" band today


Grace in blue, Marcie in pink, both dresses of mine when I was a baby in Lomalinda, Colombia.
David wanted to get in on the fun in his onesie from Aunt Courtney. I, of course, like what it says ("Mommy's 1st Mate"). He's the only boy who can wear it anymore! The others are in 3-6 month clothing. Seth is losing weight but still weighs more than David.



Marcie is screeching for me to save her from being licked and chewed on by Will.
Only a good mother would laugh and get a picture first. ;) Her head was so wet afterwards!
That's Gracie on the right in a dress that was my sister's as a baby! I'm giving it back to her. :)




Still waiting and praying

Hi everyone,

There's definitely been some struggle with discouragement the past couple of days as Seth continues to empty his stomach several times a day and continues to lose weight rather than gain. The GI doc changed his Prevacid to Nexium, and she is considering another formula change (from Elecare to Neocate; some babies like it better). I asked her about goat's milk, but that's not complete enough nutrition; soy allergy usually goes hand-in-hand with milk protein allergy in her experience, and she has yet to see a baby with corn allergy at this age. This formula is essentially pre-digested, but Seth still has a hard time digesting it! In addition, we're still seeing blood from time to time. I know this is a chronic condition for many preemies and may necessitate surgery to help correct, but it's of course hard to see MY child suffer in the meantime, and the surgery is not without its own complications, including severe stomach bloating and pain. I wouldn't want it if I didn't know we could vent him manually using the syringe and his g-tube. We have a general health check-up tomorrow, during which they will note his weight loss and hear the laundry list of ongoing symptoms, so we'll see what the pediatrician says.

On a much happier note, he's doing really well with his various therapies. Also, Gracie rolled over on Monday! Seth is the last hold-out. It's hard to do tummy-time and practice rolling over when it makes him vomit. :(

Spring Break has made things a bit busier around here, especially as we've have lots of appointments to get to. Seth and Will are also being assessed for head re-shaping bands. Their right ears are markedly displaced and lopsided when seen from above, and they both have a noticeable flattening on the right side of the back of their heads.

Will and Marcie were assessed for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) yesterday and happily did not qualify. It was so cute to watch them be put through their paces. :) They are adorable as they play with and explore toys and faces and surfaces with hands and mouths. I really hope the plastic mat in the room was disinfected because Will kept licking it. Last week David and Grace qualified for ECI just barely, David because he didn't track a toy from above his head to the floor when it was dropped (Will and Marcie, on the other hand, knew to look on the floor to find the toy.), Grace because she doesn't make consonant sounds like the other kids do.

That's it from here for now. Thanks so much for praying and caring!

Love,
Carrie

Clearly HANDSOME runs in the Peterson family ;) This is my brother, Kenneth, holding Will


Going . . . 

Going . . . 

Gone! (But not without swiveling around first in one final gasp of tired effort.)



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Poor baby Seth; new baby antics

Hi everyone,

This week I was convicted by the verse in James 1 "You have not because you ask not," because I feel like I've been approaching this whole feeding intolerance of Seth's as just a problem for doctors and time to fix. Granted, I've asked for prayer, but I feel like my own prayers haven't been as straightforward and faithful as they should have been.

Lord, if you are willing, please heal Seth's tummy for your own glory! And also for his good, that he won't vomit several times a day [a very upsetting, gut-wrenching (literally) experience sometimes]. Please heal him so he doesn't wake up out of sound sleep screaming with severe gas pains.

The other day there was so much pressure build-up from gas that before I could even get the venting syringe inserted into his g-tube the gas came hissing out of  the clamped tube like an untied balloon having the air slowly let out. We have to use a 60 ml syringe because there is often a lot of residual undigested elemental formula (i.e., the kind that shouldn't require much digesting as it's already broken down!) that bubbles out with the gas. A couple of times it's almost filled the tube. So we have a baby who isn't growing adequately but we can't increase his feeding volume because he's not even digesting the food that's going in. Which of course then results in vomiting.

I know I am not alone in this; there is information and tips all over the Internet. My latest "what if?" is corn syrup solid intolerance. I can't find anything about gastroesophageal disease (GERD) causing such bad gas; that seems to be a symptom of reactions to ingredients in the formula/breast milk. I am going to call the GI specialist tomorrow to see what she thinks of trying a soy formula.

One interesting thing I found in my search for answers online was a strong association between feeding intolerances/GERD and breathing disorders. They tend to exacerbate each other. There are special sensors on the top part of the esophagus that react to the vomitus and trigger a reactive airway response. (I'm practically a doctor. Ha, ha. Hope I got that right!)

A lot of what I read says it just takes time and patience for babies to outgrow this. If that's how the Lord wants to work in this situation, He's clearly got our best in mind and He is trustworthy. But it's not going to hurt to ask Him to mercifully heal Seth sooner. We're told to boldly approach the Throne of Grace to find receive mercy and find grace in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) There are hundreds of "yes" answered prayers from the past year (not to mention my whole life and the whole of history), so I'm approaching the Throne again, grateful that I have Jesus at the right hand of the Father as my Intercessor who ever lives to plead for me. (Hebrews 7:25: Therefore he is able to save completely[a] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.") However, I do realize that "no" and "wait" are also answers, and it doesn't mean He loves me or Seth any less. His love is perfect and infinite, unaltered by my faithfulness or faithlessness in prayer or anything else.

By the way, Marcie rolled over on Friday and has several times since. So that's three out of the five so far! Seth loves to climb/crawl up his Boppy or up my chest, digging his head in the whole way. It's so cute! Gracie likes to sit in her seat and watch everything and or lie on the playmat and hold on to toys above her; when put on her tummy she just lays down and cries. :)  David loves to hold his feet and stick his toes in his mouth. He also loves to grab and hold toys dangling above him using just his feet. Will and David and Seth are starting to feel our faces with their hands a lot. Will got the Johnny-Jump-Up going so wildly he banged his head on the wall. :} Oops.

So that's the scoop from here. Love and gratitude to you all!
Carrie

David and Marcie



One of my all-time favorite pictures. The speech therapist is working with Seth learning to eat sweet potatoes, and Marmi (Gavin's mom) is having a great time while Seth looks rather stunned by the new experience.
Seth appeared to need to hold on




Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

Gavin, Carrie, Isaac, Will, David, Marcie, Seth, & Grace Jones

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