Samantha: Home on Tuesday?

Maybe! I (Benjer) just got to the hospital, and learned that we have a plan! They will continue to give her higher amounts of formula: today 30mL every three hours, tomorrow 45mL every three hours, and 60mL on Sunday, which is what she'll have for the next eight weeks. I'm still not clear if we are allowed to let her sleep through the night when she comes home, or if we can let her sleep. The TPN (nutrients) she's been getting through her PICC line will continue to decrease until they turn it off on Sunday. They will take a chest X-ray on Monday to see how she's doing and continue to monitor her, and if she continues to do well, we'll go home Tuesday!

The formula really tastes awful, and now that she's getting more, she's having a hard time finishing it, and she is supposed to have the whole amount to stay healthy. So, they may give her a feeding tube through her nose that will be in for the next eight weeks. She will be allowed to eat when she wants to, but then the "leftovers" will be given to her through the feeding tube rather than force-feeding her. The benefit of this (besides getting the food she needs) is that she still can eat and won't learn to hate eating.

This weekend, much of my family is visiting from Colorado and Minnesota. It's not the laid-back carefree family Thanksgiving weekend we had originally planned since Samantha is in the hospital, but there's not much I enjoy more than giving my mom and sisters a hard time and hanging out with nieces and nephews. Oh yeah, and watching the Broncos win. :-) Plus, Bethany adores her cousins. She wants to do pretty much everything they do, which makes for interesting Monopoly games! So all and all, it's a pretty good day! My sister Nan (a professional photographer from Minnesota) took some amazing photos of Samantha, and we'll have them up with a cool video soon.

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement! Everyone says that they wish there was more they could do, but we hope you know that the occasional texts and emails really have gone a long way in helping us through this. I was telling my brother-in-law, Rich, how lucky we are to have such great friends and family, including our new friends out here in Utah. We have a lot to be thankful for!

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