Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1

Abe’s First Months at Home

Abe Is Rolling

Pita Pit A Tip A Tip

EKG Happy Time

Four Months

Dear Family & Friends,

We had a full day of doctors’ appointments on Tuesday, but Abe checked out well!

We started out with the gastroenterologist who was pleased with the effectiveness of the Prevacid in managing Abe’s reflux. Dr. Nanton is fine with Abe’s weight gain. He anticipates that Abe will have to be on Prevacid for 1-2 years, but if that’s the biggest complication we have it’s nothing to complain about. He also suggested starting Abe on solid foods because he thinks it will help reduce his reflux even more. So rice cereal is in Abe’s near future.

Next we saw the cardiologist. Abe had an EKG done (It took longer to put all the stickies on and connect the wires than to actually run the test) and another echocardiogram. This is the first time his heart has been checked since he was discharged from the hospital. Abe was not very cooperative with the echo, but the ultrasound tech was patient with us and eventually she was able to get what she needed. Dr. Sami said that Abe’s EKG showed a variation of normal, and that his hypertension was within the normal range (that was the big issue at the hospital). Big news: Abe doesn’t have to go back to the cardiologist (unless, of course, there are concerns that develop later)! We’ve graduated from one specialist!

Our last appointment was with our pediatrician. Dr. Sami had mentioned a “vertebral anomaly” noted in the chest x-ray he had in December. We asked Dr. Kooima about it, and he said that whatever caused the diaphragmatic hernia also likely caused a couple of his vertebrae to not completely fuse together - instead of complete rings, there’s a little gap in them. There’s nothing that can be done, but he doesn’t anticipate major problems. We’ll just have to watch him for scoliosis at a younger age. Dr. Kooima is satisfied with Abe’s development and weight gain. This is the first set of appointments where anyone’s given us Abe’s percentiles. He’s about 12th percentile for weight, 25th for height, and 50th for head circumference. He’s on the low end of the curve, but the doctors are okay with that as long as he gains weight steadily.

Our next appointments are in March for his 6-month check and another chest x-ray and follow-up with the surgeon. Thank you for your faithful prayers. Please continue praying that Abe grows healthy and strong and there are no complications. We appreciate you!

In Christ,
Joel, Holly, & Abe

P/S – My mom recently had a check-up at Mayo for her cancer, and her cancer numbers went down again! In fact, there were no measurable cancer protein cells detected! Praise the Lord!

Play Time In Bumbo Seat

A New Year: 2012


Three Months

Merry Christmas!

Abe had several check-ups on Wednesday, and they all went well. The surgeon is pleased with his weight gain, and said his chest x-ray (taken earlier that day) showed that his lungs were filling up his chest and his heart is where it should be. Abe will continue to have chest x-rays and follow-ups with the surgeon every 3 months until he’s at least a year old. He gave us orders not to baby him and treat him like a normal baby. We also met with the pediatric gastroenterologist for Abe’s reflux. He recommended trying Prevacid once a day to see if that helps. Reflux is the most common issue for babies with diaphragmatic hernia, so it’s nothing major. We also saw his pediatrician who is also pleased with Abe’s progress. Before our appointments, we stopped by the NICU to say hi, and the nurses and neonatologist were all happy to see us. They were impressed with how much Abe has grown in the last 6 weeks. As of this past week, Abe has lived at home longer than he lived in the NICU! At the end of January, Abe will have a follow-up with the pediatric cardiologist to check his heart, the gastroenterologist to see how the Prevacid is working, and have his 4-month check-up with his pediatrician.

Abe weighs 10 pounds, 12 ounces now. He still just takes cat-naps during the day (with an occasional 45 minute nap or if we’re really lucky a 2-hour one, which is very rare), but he sleeps well at night - just wakes up to eat then goes back to sleep. Abe is smiling and cooing and gurgling. He especially likes silly noises and funny faces. He’s starting to watch his toys more and can entertain himself for a little while, and he does well with tracking objects. We’re trying a few different styles of cloth diapers, and we really like them!

Please continue to pray that Abe keeps gaining weight at a healthy rate (3/4 to 1 oz a day) and that the Prevacid will help with his reflux. We’re excited to spend Christmas in Hendricks with Joel’s family. His sister and her family are here, so Abe got to meet 3 of his cousins. They were eager to see him in person and are already loving on him. We pray that you all have a very Merry Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus.

In Christ,
Joel & Holly & Abe