How Are Things Going on This Walk?

Several of you have sent emails and asked how things are going this week with Seth home. So, I’m going to share with you all now.

We ended up taking Seth to the doctor on Tuesday as he had become extremely stuffy in his nose. Turns out it was the dry mountain air causing issues. We bought a humidifier and he seems to be much better now.

While we were there, the doctor talked to us about Seth’s compromised immune system. Because his birth mother is Hepatitis C positive, took high doses of methadone, Xanax, and Xoloft, his body has already been hit pretty hard. Throw in the possible amphetamines that she did and his immune system is really a mess. The doctor said that formula is only going to give him calories, not the antibodies that he needs. He told me I should try nursing him and also beg for donor breast milk. I have been begging and hopefully, will have more donor milk soon. We received some this week, but still need lots more over the coming months. I am trying to nurse him by taking herbs and using a Lact-Aid (interesting tube thing), but it is a fight every time. He is so rigid that his arms/hands are clenched tightly against his chest and face, his neck is rigid, and he arches his back at times. This is not an easy feat. And I do this repeatedly throughout the day to help him, but I am needing encouragement at this point. We have six other children that need my time and attention and trying to nurse Seth is taking about 45 minutes to an hour each time. Shew! Am I exhausted? YES!!!

The donor milk has helped immensely though. Seth has had less gas pains and crying and been able to sleep a little better at night. Thank God! God knew what He was doing when He made human milk!So, if you know someone that could donate some human milk to Seth, we’d be EVER so grateful as this means a LOT to his immune system! I am dreading when we run out of the donor milk and have to try the formula again. 😦 (and an aside note on the study that is floating around about bacteria in breast milk…I learned a long time ago from a judge that taught my law class, to not believe every thing the media tries to sell you…they’ll never tell you the good stuff…they’ll always find the bad stuff to share and this study was done by a milk bank that charges for milk! Not donated! Big difference. God knew what He was doing when He created human milk!)

Seth is hyper-sensitive to every thing. Change his diaper and he has a heart rate that goes over 200 from panic. Make a loud sound and he does the same then. You name it, any change brings a lot of stress to Seth. This is normal for withdrawal babies. He cannot sleep on his own. He needs to be inside my wrap and carried around all day. At night, he needs a pacifier and has a fit if it falls out. He grumbles about being in the bed. Not your usual baby grumbles either. I am sick right now and Steve volunteered to take the whole night of feeding him last night so that I could sleep some. Thank you Lord for my beautiful husband! Steve said it took 45 minutes to feed him each time and he fusses the moment he has a burp. He had to burp him 7 times through one bottle he said! Very true! He is extremely sensitive to every thing!

All of us, except Steve are sick. We have two things going around- one is a fever and sore throat and another is a sore throat with a nasty, painful cough. It seems we are all trying out both sicknesses. 😦 So, we are all exhausted!

Pray Steve continues to stay healthy and that the rest of us get healthy! Pray also that Seth does not get one bit of sickness!

Anyway, we are thrilled to have Seth home with us, but are in the extreme exhaustion stage at this time.

We know we will get through this tough time, but appreciate your prayers for our family during this time. We also have shared with others that we are open to speaking about adopting withdrawal babies. Several people have come forward and asked us to share insight and be “real” with them about what all this entails as they are looking into adopting too. We are more than happy to speak with you and your friends about this. We are in the throes of this walk right now and would be glad to share. I’ve said it before, I am not holding back on this walk. I am being upfront and sharing the nitty gritty, real, fleshly stuff. No fluff here! If you have several people that are looking at learning more about adoption/withdrawal babies, etc., we’d be glad to come and speak to them as well. We don’t have all the answers, but we sure have some experience under our belts already in a very short time!

Seth’s birth mom called the other night. She told me she is looking into going into rehab. We are thrilled to hear this. However, halfway through our conversation, it became clear that she was high at the time. She was slurring her words, unable to even say words clearly, and kept repeating the same things over and over. Wow. After I got off the phone with her, I turned and looked at Seth and thought, “where would he be right now, if she had decided to parent?” “what kind of life would he be living?” “would his needs be met?”. I just wanted to cry.

It hasn’t even been a week since Seth came home and I feel like we have already lived a year’s worth of lessons!

Please keep letting us hear from you! It gets kinda lonely when you fade into the woodwork and stop encouraging us or talking to us during this tough time. Please don’t think that we do not want to hear from you or don’t have time for you. We do want to hear from you, even if it is just a 5 minute phone call or an email to say, “hey, we are still here and praying for you”. No, we do not have this parenting thing down to a science, even after 7 children. We are normal, fleshly humans struggling to walk this walk. We’d love to hear from other fleshly humans. 🙂

That’s the answer to “how are things going on this walk?”

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