Today is Josiah’s birthday. He is four years old. Which means that it is four years since I was standing in an operation room in a Kansas City hospital welcoming a 1lb 12 oz little baby boy into the world. We were in the midst of planning to launch The Prayer Room on GOD TV and hiring the first media apprenticeship when Shari, who was coming to the end of her second trimester got sick; it got so bad that we decided to go into the ER to check out what was going on. A few moments after arriving the medics starting acting rather quickly trying to stabilize Shari and save the baby; Shari had pre-eclampsia, the only solution to this condition is to deliver the baby, and so after a few nerve racking days Josiah arrived at 11pm on 26th February.
The last four years have been quite a journey. Josiah spent three months in hospital. He had surgeries, Shari and I got a medical education. He nearly died a few times, we prayed, he survived, we were grateful. We were both prepared by the physicians for all manner of set backs and delays which normally accompany prematurity. The biggest challenge that we have experienced came several months after we were discharged from the NICU. While in hospital he was fed via feeding tube, out of hospital the vomiting and lack of oral intake meant that he was soon back on a feeding tube. Thus began our “feeding journey”, you can read about it more in depth earlier in the blog, the nightmare that was tube feeding did end for us and we managed to get enough calories into him orally, but that was not the end of the journey, we are still very much on the road to recovery with Josiah.
So how is Josiah doing? Well this last year has seen him start pre-school. He goes there four mornings a week (when it’s not snowing). I really think this has helped his social interaction. He loves his teachers, his therapists and his classmates. He has snack time at school, and I think the peer pressure helps him. Regarding his food, the therapy that we do with Josiah still takes a long time. We try to restrict his meal times to 40 minutes, but they often stretch out to an hour. This last year we have tried a new addition of pain killers which are supposed to deaden the “pain memories” in his digestive tract, which have led to the acid build up and reflux. This has meant that while vomiting hasn’t disappeared for us, it has significantly reduced. While he has still been getting the bulk of his calories through purees and formula, he is eating more and more table food. However all this has also meant that we do have a VERY regimented daily routine with only Shari or myself able to feed him. This has certainly been problematic at times and we look for the day when we can easily go out in an evening and leave Josiah with a baby sitter or take the boys with us and not have a trunk load of feeding paraphernalia.
The arrival of Josiah’s little brother Finn, this last year has been a blessing as well as lots of work. I am told the baby phase passes… It was unfortunate that largely due to the regimented feeding regime that we have that the whole family was not able to travel to England for my sister’s wedding in October, but this season will not last forever.
Despite the ongoing challenges, Josiah is growing (big) and learning all the time. He seems to have a very good memory for lots of things and is certainly learning how to be a mischievous little boy, who loves his little brother, his mommy and “Momma Bear” his constant soft toy companion.
I love Josiah – Happy Birthday Son