Sunday, November 27, 2016

Welcome to our family Levi Ray Decker

Well it has been a long 5 days. I have been meaning to update everyone, put on social media the good news, and just shout from the roof top that our FOURTH son is here!! However...I have been a little pre occupied with much more things than I ever imagined.

On Wednesday Nov. 23, 2016 I woke up and felt great. I was 35 weeks and 5 days pregnant and so excited to spend the whole day with all three of my little guys since it was the first day of Thanksgiving break! We had a great morning lounging around the house and then headed out for some last minute grocery shopping to do so I could get my remaining ingredients for my Thanksgiving dishes. Once we got home the boys all took great naps and after nap time and daddy got home we headed to get our van looked at because currently the break petal was stiff and not working exactly right. The boys had a great time playing around in our friends shop and after getting it assessed we headed home for some supper and then baths and we all snuggled up to watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. I was laying on the couch with Matt and my belly was moving all around even so much I pulled my shirt up to watch it for a few and  I got the bean bag chairs and a bunch of comfy stuff all sprawled out in the toy room for the boys and we just layed there as a family. It was wonderful! When I stood up to go to the bathroom after the show was over at 8pm before I put the boys to bed I felt like a little water may have leaked but dismissed it and went about with bedtime routine. Well every time I stood up, moved, held Lyric swaying and singing by his crib etc....a little more would come out. By the time they were all in bed and asleep I decided to call the on call nurse to see what she thought. She defintley thought I should head to the hospital to see if it was indeed my water having a slow leak or not. At that moment I felt a tad terrified. Of course I didn't have my hospital bag ready, the car seat in the car, or any of my normal preperations done for my big three that I would have had done because I still had over a month to go. So I called my sister and asked her to come over and stay there with the boys so Matt and I could head over. He took a quick shower as I started to pack a few necessities in a bag and get a few things situatiated for the boys and at about 9:15 my water completely finished breaking down my legs while I was standing in my bathroom. My sister got there and of course I was in tears...and as calm as my sweet hubby is he even said "it's not time yet". We both had a stand still moment....then we got in the car and came to the hospital. They admitted me right away since my water had indeed broken and the next morning at 10:30 am Levi Ray Decker was born. He weighed 5lbs 9oz and was 19 inches long. He was so absolutely beautiful. He instantly reminded us both a lot of Lyric but he seemed so so tiny. We were in shock over how little his bottom was and how teeny tiny his toe nails are. You literally can barely even see the pinky toe nail.
Right away he came out crying and pink which was awesome because I had asked since the baby was early if they would take him away right away and they said usually with premies they do...but if he is crying and pink then he should get to stay. I got to put him right on my chest and hold him skin to skin for a while and even got to nurse him for about 5-10  minutes but then they said with him being premature they needed him and  took him for stats and to check his breathing.

At that point they noticed he needed some oxygen. After getting his blood work back they also noticed his glucose was very low so they started him on and IV of sugar water to even that out. They also did chest xrays to be sure there wasn't an infection in his lungs and to see the size of his heart etc. His lungs looked "premature" she said but they looked normal as far as what preemie lungs look like. I did get a shot of steroids right when I got here to hopefully help him breathe after delivery.

Levi ended up needing a significant amount of oxygen as he was not breathing strong on his own very well at all. He also got an antibiotic to add into his IV twice a day to protect him from infection that was unable to be seen in his chest Xrays.
Thursday and Friday were pretty rough with his oxygen numbers. The pediatrician called Iowa City Friday night about transferring him. However since all of his blood work and tests were coming back good they decided that He could stay here another night. He wasn't necessarily improving but he wasn't worsening either. She came in Saturday morning with the intention to transfer him...however she did notice a slight improvement in his oxygen levels and she thought he seemed a little bit calmer. Since he has been born he has breathed each breath very quickly and short. They are testing his levels often to make sure that he is not getting tired out and that his heart is holding strong and can stand all the extra work he is doing to breath. She often brings up that she doesn't want him to "tire out" and that is very hard for Matt and I to hear.
 She decided Saturday again not to transfer him....last night when she came in again....she was on the fence about transferring him. I truly felt she was going to transfer us to Iowa City today. I kept praying all night to not let my flesh and my own desires get in the way (because clearly what mom and dad want to leave their children at home and go to Iowa City) but I prayed instead that God would have Levi be exactly where he needed to be to get the very best care he needs. They also let me hold him finally last night (he was so fragile and hyper sensitive to touch and sound that Iowa City said to leave him lay and mess with him as little as possible for a few even though I got to hold him right when he came out for a little bit we haven't held him otherwise. Matt got to hold his little head in his hand and feed him some colostrum I pumped from a bottle yesterday but that is all he has been able to touch him and let me tell you that has not been easy on him) and I know those extra cuddles and skin to skin contact did him some good. This morning She came in a little later and through out the morning so many nurses said they noticed an improvement too. His short little breaths are still there but not quite as often so that is amazing. That is what we have been specifically praying for...calm smooth breaths. She got here today close to 11:00am and the whole morning was so hard waiting and not knowing if we were going to be transferred. All I could think was I want to see Matt and the boys but we just had to sit tight and wait to see what the Doctor said. Well I personally know that while she was running around and delaying her arrival to the hospital...God was working on Levi's behalf while all our friends and family had been praying through the night and during church this morning....because when she got here she seemed pleasantly surprised and somewhat pleased with Levi. (She doesn't offer up praise, false hope, or really any good news very freely so to see this side of her was so nice). They lowered his oxygen levels today and his IV fluids and have been monitoring him all day and testing his blood before and after feedings. His oxygen went well most of the day but this afternoon they tried to lower it even more and he didn't hold his numbers very they just raised his dosage a little bit ago. Slowly but surely that oxygen level number needs to get to a 21....we started at 50 on Thursday...and we are currently at 28 on Sunday night. She tried for 25 today but it wasn't enough to keep him steady.

Soooo please please please pray currently for that strength in his lungs...and .that he will develop stronger with each and every minute.

PLEASE pray for our sweet three boys at home too as they adjust coming back and forth to the hospital every day...having much  more time away from Mommy than they have ever had, and for peace in their hearts. I am discharged from the hospital....which means I can't shower here or anything so I go home and shower every day and spend time at home with the boys and even got to put them to bed Friday and Saturday night and then I sneak out as soon as they are in bed and sleep here by myself. Today I stayed longer in the morning and went home for lunch time and to lay them down for naps and then came back and Matt brought the boys over after naps. They LOVE looking at him thorugh the window of the nursery and they can not wait to get their little hands on him! They ask about him non stop and Lane and Luke have colored multiple pictures for baby bro that are hanging on his little nicu bed. They are so sweet! Lyric being 2 doesn't know much of what's going on....but he sure is so happy when he see's his momma. I worry about those three soooooooo much more than I'd like to admit. My wonderful hubby has been loving them extra, hugging them tighter, and distracting them the best he can and I am so grateful.(Please keep him in your prayers...even though he has not complained one single time and has only raved how good the boys are, how much people have helped by dropping stuff off, and how thankful he is....I still know that every prayer for him to stay strong and steady is needed. And of course for his job to be understanding of his time off as we so need him around for the boys because they need the steadiness with them right now when mommy isn't in her normal positon.)  He keeps reminding me they are all fine...but it is so hard for me to see that when nothing seems fine right now.
So please pray for me too...Being way from Levi is awful....I race home to see my family and cry the whole way just aching that my sweet baby is at the hospital alone and not in my tummy or with me...and then being with my hubby and big 3 I sob all the way back to the hospital because I don't want to leave my house, and them....or envision them waking up without me again. This will be my 5th night in the hospital and tomorrow will be my sweet boys 5th morning waking up with out mommy being right there to hug and kiss them good morning. It is devastating for me to even type. Oh how I want that back so bad in this moment. BUT I know this is temporary...and I KNOW God is sustaining us all. He is holding us up and giving us the strength we need to go through this and most importantly HE IS Levi's healer and HE IS working this all together for GOOD for our family. He is a SOVERINGN GOD and I am doing my best to have the unshakeable faith that I need for each and every hard moment. With every breath I am praising Him for the life of our new son, and no matter what hard times come I will continue to praise Him and thank Him and trust Him.

I too am praying....for all our awesome family and friends who are so badly hurting for us, for the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that I know who are dying to see his face and finally meet their newest family member. very sorry to anyone I haven't responded too. I am so very grateful for single one of you who has reached out to me and my family! I am so thankful for all the family that has helped us, for our friends who have poured out their offerings and extended their love, and for ALL the prayers from everyone we know and love (and don't even know) that have brought us to where we are right now.

And as of right now....Levi's blood work is still looking good, his chest xrays last night showed that his heart is doing well, and his glucose test is holding strong now that he is drinking colostrum and pumped breastmilk from a premie bottle (I can't wait to try to nurse him...however premie babies are very slow eaters and since his breathing is so hyper active and he is on oxygen.... the little bit in the bottle is all he can go for as of now). What is not the best is his breathing pace, and his oxygen levels BUT they have improved and we would love for you all to pray that they continue to improve so he can eventually get off of the oxygen and we can begin transitioning him to regular care. As of yesterday he would have been a 36 week justation baby (and as you know he should have came out at 40 weeks or shortly before). So he may still have a way to go...but our God is greater and our God is stronger....and we know that He is making Levi greater and stronger every day too!

Thank you all so much for your love, support, and prayers. It is all SO needed and appricaited more than words could ever say!
We love you!!
Matt, Laurel, Lane, Luke, Lyric, and Levi


  1. Hugs to you and your beautiful family. He is gorgeous and he has chosen the best family to be his!

  2. Praying continues and thanking God for his healing power in little Levi's lungs & body and for God's loving embrace around your whole family as they wait like little soldiers for the return of their beloved Momma and newest little brother...All home safe and sound! Praying for Matt, that he has peace in his heart knowing that as a child of God himself he has all that is necessary to keep his family together and the heart to bring that same peace he holds to his boys ! Love you Laurel...Angie

  3. I love you and your family Laurel! You're in my prayers. You're so strong.