We have had so many friends and family praying for us and we are so thankful! This is our second stay in the NICU with a preemie and the circumstances are completely different so I thought I would explain a few things in case anyone has wondered...
First of all, size really doesn't matter much, it's all about development. Yes, Jude weighs almost a pound and a half more than Liam did, but his lungs aren't as developed. This is because the lungs are the last thing to develop and the development can come at different times for each baby. The doctors have said that a lot of times the bigger premature babies have a harder time with their lungs because they've been growing in size and waiting on the last few weeks for that lung maturation. So, if Jude had not been a preemie, he most likely wouldn't have been huge, just more developed. Another thing that develops last is the swallowing and sucking reflexes. While the baby is growing they use the placenta for all of their nutrients, in the last few weeks they start practicing swallowing and sucking. Clearly, Jude has only just now started learning how to do those things.
This whole experience, has been really interesting to us. We are used to a tiny preemie. Liam really had none of the same issues that Jude has had. Liam was small and took a long time to gain weight, he also was jaundiced and that's what kept us in the NICU so long, he was never intubated and only had oxygen for a day or so, he also ate like a champ from the moment he was introduced to breast/bottle. Jude's weight is great, he's only lost an ounce and he isn't jaundiced at all. But he struggles with eating and breathing, even though he had two more weeks of development that Liam. Just goes to show you that every child (person) is truly different and you can't compare them.
Thanks so much for your continued prayers! I am healing well and trying to rest and not worry about cleaning and getting things ready for Jude to come home. My mom is here helping with Liam bird. We are driving back and forth to the hospital a few times a day (which is still really difficult for me to get into the car and to drive over bumps and stuff) and just waiting for Jude to do everything they want him to do so that he can come home! We are so in love with this little boy and can't wait for him and his big brother to meet!
One more thing, we have no idea when he will come home and most likely won't know until the doctor signs the discharge papers. This was something that drove us crazy with Liam because they would tell us what they were thinking and then things would change. So, this time, we are trying to just relax because it's not in our hands. Jude has a list of things that he has to do and if he has a setback then he has to stay longer, so we will keep everyone posted as to what we know!