Our sweet Baby Asher in now 3 weeks old (or 37 weeks, adjusted gestational age) and has broken the 6 pound mark! He weighs 6 lbs. 3.2 oz and continues to grow and develop each day! Praise the Lord for “His excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:2)
I want to thank each of you for your prayers and support during this busy time for our family! We are diligently trying to balance time with our family and Asher, as well as our daily responsibilities and commitments. Our days consist of getting Faith and Adam off to school and heading up to the NICU to see Asher! When we don’t have other appointments or meetings, we are usually there for Asher’s Cares at 11am, 2pm, and 5pm each day, occasionally staying for his 8pm cares too. We are able to give him his bath every third day as well! We stay in his room and do any work we have on the computer, phone, and other things while Asher is sleeping, and are there to help him if he wakes up and needs something. It is wonderful to spend time with him when he is awake or just needs to be held, and we are so grateful for the wonderful nurses and staff that take care of him when we can’t be there. We are so thankful for Eric’s mom, Linda, spending her days taking care of our house and Ethan and often bringing the kids up to the hospital after school to see their baby brother and mom and dad! We are also so thankful for all the delicious meals and restaurant gift cards being provided that keep us well fed each day! We could not do this without all the love, prayers, and support being shown to us! You are each part of Team Wilmeth and have greatly blessed our family!
In case you were wondering, Asher’s Cares consist of taking his temperature, changing his diapers, and feeding him if he is ready for a bottle at those times. He gets to have a bottle four out of eight times each day at feeding time if he is cuing and if his respiration rates are not too high. We let him eat as much of his bottle as he can until he won’t take any more or he falls asleep from all the effort, and then he gets the rest through his feeding tube. If he’s too tired to bottle feed, he gets it all through his feeding tube. He is now taking 54 milliliters of donor breast milk 8 times a day. He is doing really well with learning to drink from a bottle by coordinating his breathing, sucking, and swallowing, which can be very difficult for a baby with breathing issues. His respirations per minute continue to decrease bit by bit each day toward the normal rate, but he is still breathing shallowly, causing his low oxygen saturation levels. It is exciting to see him do so well at taking a bottle despite these issues, and he is taking in more and more of the food he needs that way each day!
(We qualified to receive donor breast milk while we are in the hospital, and we have a dear friend that gave us about 4 gallons of breast milk to use when we go home. If you or someone you know is interested in donating breast milk to Asher, please let us know! We are so thankful for how God has provided in this way so far!)
Asher did have to go back on some low flow oxygen given through his nose, and he is currently not wanting to give that up. Without this extra “whiff” of oxygen, his oxygen saturation levels drop too low. We have ruled out anything else in his body that may be contributing to his breathing issues, so now we just wait for his premature lungs to develop and be able to work without the help of extra oxygen. It is hard to say how quickly he will progress and how much longer he will need to be in the NICU, but it could be another 2-3 weeks before he can come home.
Six weeks in the NICU may seem like a long time to us, but there are many others who will be here much longer. Will you join us in praying for the other 25-30 babies in our NICU and their families? It is absolutely amazing that a little baby weighing a little over one pound can survive and be so perfectly made! And God has given doctors and medical professionals the knowledge, ability, and technology to help these babies grow and develop to the point where they can go home with their loving parents. These little lives truly are miracles!
God has burdened us to reach out to these NICU families, so on Mother’s Day we are sending each of them a Mother’s Day card along with tissue paper flowers that our church Growth Group made for them this past Wednesday as we prayed for each of them. We want them to know that we are praying for them as they face this difficult time with their little ones. Pray that we will have opportunities to encourage others and share with them the hope of Christ that we can have in any situation or circumstance that lies ahead. God loves each of us and in His power will work those things for good when we trust Him! Are you trusting God and His sovereignty in your situation or trial? I’ve shared it before, but I love the message in the song Sovereign. I pray that you will trust in Him and remain steadfast under your trial, counting it joy!
James 1: 2-5, 12 says:
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.”