Still Here // An Update on Josiah & Our Lives

Hi world!

(Stay tuned – or scroll down to the end – to see a cute, little sneak peak of what we have been working on with Josiah lately!)

It’s been a LONG time.  Almost three months, I know.  It feels like a lot happened these last three months, but then it also just feels like not much has happened because one day just blurs into the next and then on and on for eternity.  I guess that’s how one could describe motherhood. 🙂

Anywho, I am way overdue for an update on Josiah’s most recent surgery.  Long story short, the surgery itself went well.  It looked like we were smooth sailing until we went to see the surgeon again for our first post-op appointment.  At the time, there was a significant tear near his newly created anus which led to concern that the colon had retracted back in and that everything had not been brought down low enough.  All we could do was wait a few weeks for the new tear to heal and then we would take next steps.

It’s easier to talk about it now because it’s several months removed and the prognosis looks much better now than it did back then.  But you better believe those weeks of waiting and thinking the worst (that he would have to go back in for additional surgery, that his colon wouldn’t be functioning properly, etc.) were hard.  Really hard.  I don’t think it’s been that hard since our initial days in the NICU.

We prayed.  We wrestled with the Lord.  We cried.  We worried.

The weeks of waiting passed and we got several rounds of tests and imaging done.  Amazingly, his colon was right where it needed to be.  Praise. The. Lord!

The surgeon was pleased with the results but is still wanting to be cautious and conservative.  In his words, “it’s good news, but we’re not quite out of the woods yet.”  Next steps are to get scheduled for the final surgery as if we will do the final surgery (reconnect his intestine to his colon and bring everything down…which basically means he will finally pass stool out of his bum!).  During that time, after Josiah is put to sleep, they will do a thorough examination of his bum and if they find everything to be normal, they will proceed with the final surgery.  If not, we jump to plan B or even plan C.  I’ll share details later as we finalize and schedule the final surgery.

Meanwhile, we have been doing dilation in his anus to stretch it out and keep it from closing back up.  That has gone both better and harder than expected.  We are finally on size 12mm (which is where we need to be to get the green light for surgery).  So hopefully, the ball will start rolling again in the coming weeks.

Right now, we are in what I like to call “the calm between two storms.”  The days leading up to surgery, the operation week itself, and the weeks afterwards of recovery truly feel like a storm.  Your body and mind are literally in “fight or flight,” survival mode.

Then things calm down.  We find a new normal.  We kind of forget about life in the hospital.

And then right when we’re getting comfortable, it’s time for the next round.

But I can’t complain.  We’re seeing a light at the end of the tunnel.

Meanwhile, here’s a little snapshot of how this season of “calm” has been for us the last three months…

Remember the total eclipse that happened in August?  Fortunately, we lived within the pathway of the eclipse (see, cool things happen in Kansas City, too!).  Unfortunately, it came a couple days after Josiah’s surgery so all we could do was go out into our driveway to catch a peek at it.  Josiah was a great sport about it, though.  Poor guy was on his back and tummy only for quite a few weeks.  But he was still laughing at daddy’s antics and smiling at anyone who would give him a little love.  He definitely handled it all better than we did.

We also discovered that our child could have a future in the beanie modeling industry.  And perhaps this is how he will fund his college education.

After being cooped up at home for several weeks, both mommy and baby needed some fresh air.  Thankfully, fall came rolling around and we spent some happy days outside.  The one on the left is of us on the train ride at the zoo for the first time.  We also had some other “meaningful firsts.” 🙂  So far, Josiah has gotten several trims and haircuts from his grandma.  But one day, mommy decided to give it a try, too.  And…the second picture on the right was the result.  And yes, that is my husband laughing while holding Josiah.

We got some more monthly pictures.  (I know, I know…November 1st has come and gone and still no 9 month adjusted picture of the little guy.  It’s coming!)

Fall came to Kansas City and we went to the orchard to pick some apples…and came back with no apples but only a few cute pictures.  So I guess we went to the apple orchard for a fall seasonal photo shoot.

In September we finally got the green light to start solids (we had to wait a little due to the timing of his surgeries).  For a couple weeks we really didn’t like the spoon.  Food was weird.  And then, all of a sudden, it just clicked.  And this kid’s been keeping me busy in the kitchen since then.

Basically, these two pictures represent what this little guy does on the daily.  Play, grow ever more mobile, and sleep.  Guess this momma has nothing to complain about! 🙂

And now for a little preview of what we have been working on for the last several weeks…

IMG_3815.jpg

(Picture taken by my very talented husband – thanks babe, for making my vision come to life hehe!)

November 20th marks Josiah’s first birthday (although he will be about 9.5 months adjusted because he was born 10 weeks early).  I cannot believe how quickly this year has flown by.

In traditional Korean culture, the first birthday is a BIG deal and it really is a huge celebration (also known as a “doljanchi” in Korean).  Since infant mortality rates were so high just a couple generations ago in Korea, if the child made it to one year, he/she was more or less guaranteed to survive to adulthood.  Nowadays, it’s a reason to throw a big party, eat a lot of Korean food, and take pictures of the baby wearing traditional Korean clothes (hanbok).

We’re keeping ourselves busy planning for this dol!  But what a blessing it is for us to be at this point already…I could not have even fathomed planning a big party in the weeks following Josiah’s early birth.  But here we are.  By the grace of God…here we are.

If you’re still reading this…wow, thank you. 🙂  I still am floored to hear from so many that our little family and stories mean something to them.  You are a part of our story.  And we are so, so thankful for you.

That’s it for now!  Hopefully, this itch to blog more often will stay for a little while this time and more of my thoughts will make it from my melted mom brain onto the screen. 🙂

Much love,

The Lee FamiLee

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9 thoughts on “Still Here // An Update on Josiah & Our Lives

  1. Catherine Wade says:

    Hi my sweet friend,
    Yes, yes, keep blogging. It’s the only way I get updates on how Josiah is doing and it makes me feel so connected. Love the pictures of you and your family. Keep them coming. Lots of love to you all.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cindy says:

    You must have known I needed an update. Praise God for the present, how He brought us through the past, and is equipping us for the future. The first year was hard, but thank God you all made it through. Now on to toddlerhood – that’s a struggle in itself 😉!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stacey says:

      Omgosh Cindy I know…whenever I think I’ve got it down it all changes! And then I see moms with two and three and more and I’m like what?! Haha we miss you guys!!

      Like

  3. chanchan says:

    Unnie,

    I loved reading about your updates on your family! I’m relieved to hear that Josiah’s progress has been doing well so far. I’ll be praying that he makes it through the next surgery with ease and no complexions. You and DooHwa oppa are such great parents to Josiah. Way to be an awesome mommy Stacey Unnie!

    Also, Josiah is just such a bubble of joy. Your posts of him on instagram when he laughs are super adorable!

    -Chanmi

    Liked by 1 person

  4. wrysfhk3777 says:

    Unnie,

    I loved reading about your updates on your family! I’m relieved to hear that Josiah’s progress has been doing well so far. I’ll be praying that he makes it through the next surgery with ease and no complexions. You and DooHwa oppa are such great parents to Josiah. Way to be an awesome mommy Stacey Unnie!

    Also, Josiah is just such a bubble of joy. Your posts of him on instagram when he laughs are super adorable!

    -Chanmi

    Liked by 1 person

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