Seek and you will find

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Joshua Michael Eleveld

Oh, heyyyy. Fancy meeting you here. I thought an update on my fabulously exciting life might be in order, no? Plus I just took some Percocet so this should be fun.

The last post I wrote here was to Joshua. I didn't expect to be able to read it to him so soon!

So if you haven't heard, here's what happened:
On Friday, February 22, I went into my doctor's office for a routine appointment, just a monthly check up for me and Josh. After realizing my high blood bp and other signs meant the baby could be in danger, the nurse-midwife sent me to the hospital to do some lab work. She is the person responsible for starting the care Josh and I needed so much and she is getting a big batch of cookies as soon as I find time to make them.

At the hospital they said I needed a specialist. Josh looked a little small, a little tired, and he was having to work too hard to get the nutrition he needed. They didn't know why but they said the specialist could help. So off we went to another hospital, Northside Hospital in Sandy Springs. If I don't remember to say this later - Northside staff, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are all the reason Josh is alive right now.

At first the specialist said the baby was doing okay. Not great, but he could stay and bake for a little while longer. Then one of us asked a question about the results, and when he went to show us an example of what he was talking about, he noticed that Josh wasn't getting nutrition anymore. There were a lot of medical terms tossed around but the short story is that the placenta wasn't giving Josh the oxygen or nutrients he needed. He was small and inactive and they decided he would be born that day.

That is still one of the most surreal moments of my life. I never, ever expected that to be what happened. But it was best for Josh and dang it all if I wouldn't do anything for that little cutie.

So we did a c-section, like, the next hour. That was hard. Surgery itself wasn't as hard as trying to wrap my mind around what was happening... We were becoming parents and welcoming our baby a whopping 14 weeks early. It was like I was trapped in a nightmare. I kept thinking I would wake up any minute or someone would tell me it was a joke.

At 7:08 pm, Joshua Michael Eleveld was born. He weighed 1 lb, 7 oz. They brought him to me and I had never seen such a tiny little person before. He could probably fit inside my shoe. And, yes, my feet are huge. I don't wanna talk about it. :)

Then they took him to the NICU and he's been there ever since. His heart rate is good, his temp is good, they are controlling his blood pressure with medicine, and they said he X-rays look incredible for someone born so young and early.

He's so tiny.

Yesterday I finally got to see him. They let me hold his hand and talk to him. Y'all, I know I'm biased, but he's so precious. He's perfect in every way, just a little miniature. He kicks and wiggles and is sticking his tongue out at us. I might get to hold him in the next week or two if he continues to improve.

We're here for the long haul - like most preemies, Josh will be in the NICU until his due date (May 30) and possibly a little later. That could change down the road but right now that's what we know.

This is now the depressing part of the blog so feel free to skip it: A lot of you have asked how I am. Thank you for asking. Physically, I'm pretty good. Sore and tired but I can handle it. But emotionally... I feel defeated. I feel worn out and confused and terrified and overjoyed and excited and angry. I look at other babies in the hospital and look at their moms taking them home and I get jealous. People keep telling me I will get used to life in the NICU. But I don't want to get used to it. I want to bring my baby boy home like the other babies. I want him to see his room and his toys and his house and everything that shows him how much we've been looking forward to seeing him. That sounds shallow but it's true.

I don't understand this. The last few years have been so difficult for my family and I thought we'd served our time, so to speak. I feel like the world's worst Christian for thinking that but it's the truth. I'm trying to pray but it isn't working. So right now I am just taking it one day, hour, minute at a time, and letting others pray instead.

That has been one amazing thing to come out of this experience - the overwhelming amount of love and support from my family and friends and hospital staff. Thank you so much to all who have prayed. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My in-laws drove ten hours overnight through a storm to get here. My parents have come by every day. My sister has stayed up with me all night to encourage me. BFF Jen is currently laying in the fold-out couch in my room - she stayed overnight so I could get some rest s while she checked on Josh. My aunt drove two yours, my brother spent his only few free hours to see me, and my grandparents are on the way. My friend Lee stayed at the hospital for 12 hours and then drove 20 miles out of his way at midnight to walk and feed our dog. Coworkers and friends and even complete strangers have stopped by, prayed, and are pulling for my little guy.

Thank you all so much.

It would be impossible to do this without you.

And I cannot forget Daniel, who has shown me the living example of faith through trials. He has put on his bravest face and is leading our family through this time with strength and integrity. I am so blessed to have married him. He has been here for me, cried with me, told me jokes, and held my hand through all of this. I love him so much and I can't tell you how glad I am to have him here with me.

Please keep praying for Joshua, Daniel, and me. I'll keep y'all updated as soon as we know anything. Thank you again.


  1. Kristen, thank you for being honest and sharing how you really feel. I can completely understand why you would be jealous of other moms getting to take their babies home! You've been preparing for him since you found out you were pregnant, so of course you want to be able to take him home and care for him! Jason and I are praying for you, Daniel, and baby Joshua and will continue to! Joshua is a miracle- all babies are- but he has experienced so many miracles already in his first couple of days of life. What an amazing story you and he will have to tell others about God's amazing work and glory! I love you.

  2. Kristen we are praying for you.....Josh......and Daniel. That God will give y'all strength. We pray Josh gets strong everyday. He is a precious little boy and a miracle from God. God wll carry you through and he will give you the strength. God bless you and your beautiful family.

  3. Kristen I just wanted to let you know that a room full of people prayed for you all this morning. We prayed specifically that they would get Joshua's PICT line in. When I told everyone his name there were smiles and nods all around the room. What an appropriate name for a little guy with so much on his tiny shoulders. I was reminded of Joshua 1 where God is telling Joshua over and over to be strong and courageous,that He,God was going to go before Joshua and fight battles for him. Joshua goes on to tell the people to be strong and courageous. That the LORD was going to go before them. He told them do not be afraid or discouraged . For the LORD your God is with you wherever you go. Then the people turned back to Joshua and reminded him to be strong and courageous. Whe are praying for Joshua's little namesake to be strong and courageous and the same for his mommy and daddy. We want to hold up your arms just like Joshua did earlier for Moses. You are in our thoughts and prayers!

  4. Kristen, I don't know if you remember me or not. My kids went to CHHS with you, and Sarah told me about your blog and asked me to pray. I want you to know that I will be doing that....a LOT. I also direct the choir at our church (and we are a big time praying bunch) and I am going to lift you and Joshua and Daniel up to them as well. Don't feel bad about how you are feeling...we got this. We are going to pray, pray pray and your little Joshua is going to grow , grow, grow. As you so wisely said, take it minute by minute and hour by hour. Take care, sweetie.

    Dru DeWitt

  5. Kristen, I went to school way back in the day with your sis-in-law Sara. You, Daniel, and Joshua are in my constant thoughts and prayers.

  6. Beautiful words from the heart. Many friends of your mom and dad are praying for you your husband and sweet baby Joshua.

  7. Kristen, You don't know me, but your aunt Shonda is a great friend to my husband and me. We are praying for you and your family.

    ~Janice Pendergrass

  8. Kristen, You don't know us, but we are close friends of Daniel's Aunt and Uncle- Linda & Doug Bruder. You and your precious family are in our prayers through out the days. We are praying that the Lord will blanket you with peace, and strength to get through each and every day - no matter how difficult.

    gail schoolfield

  9. Praise God! You're probably tired of reading my comments by now, but I just want you to know you're not alone. Reach out, I'm here, my daughter will be there for you too. Also, I already told you I have a Joshua, I have a Michael too! Ok, this is more than just a "glitch in the system," this is destiny! Hello new friend! Reach out :)

  10. "I look at other babies in the hospital and look at their moms taking them home and I get jealous. People keep telling me I will get used to life in the NICU. But I don't want to get used to it. I want to bring my baby boy home like the other babies. I want him to see his room and his toys and his house and everything that shows him how much we've been looking forward to seeing him. That sounds shallow but it's true."

    My prayer for you is to stay strong... i think the most difficult thing i have EVER had to do is leave the hospital w/o my son. You don't have to get used to it, just get thru it. And he will see his room and everything that shows him how much you have been looking forward to seeing him... and it is not shallow at all, it is natural. that is what most women do and it is what we expected to do.

    hugs, kisses and prayers for your little man!