Baby Brennan Eckert

This blog is devoted to Brennan Charles Eckert, born November 16, 2007, to parents Kim and Jeff and big brother Tommy. On January 25, 2008, 10 week-old Brennan was admitted to T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital. He was severely dehydrated and eventually diagnosed with Slick Gut Syndrome. Brennan's doctors tell us he will be here about a month with a lengthy recovery at home as well. This blog is meant to update all those who are loving and supporting us and our sweet Brennan.

UPDATE: Brennan spent 21 days at TC Thompson and was discharged from the hospital on February 14, 2008. He began receiving food by mouth on February 18. His oral feeds were gradually increased as his tube feedings were decreased until he was shifted to 100% oral feeds on February 29. His feeding tube was removed on March 3, and his central line was removed on March 6. According to his doctor, Brennan is now a "normal baby with a recovering gut." He is home with us and doing great! 

Although we never could have prepared for this experience, we are more grateful than we ever could have been for the gift of our son. We have been so blessed by a community of folks who walked with us on this journey. Some were people we hardly knew, and others were lifelong loved ones, but we were given to abundantly at a time when our needs were great. And we are so thankful for how God met us in our need through the hands and feet and love of so many of his people.

"Let the Great Rabbi hold you silently against His heart. In learning who He is, you will find out who you are: Abba's child in Christ our Lord."
-Brennan Manning

Saturday, March 22, 2008

ON VACATION! and enjoying normal life together...

We are currently in Florida at my parents' house here. This was a vacation we planned long ago, but we never imagined we would be able to do it a month ago. Brennan is doing so well. He is a miracle baby and an answer to prayer. He looks amazing with chunky legs and fat little cheeks. He eats like a horse and is so sweet and fun. He is doing all the normal baby things for his age, and he is a strong little guy. We are especially aware of this when he is mad at us for not feeding him as soon as he wants to eat, and he screams and strains in our arms. :) He is still anemic because of all of his blood loss, and he is still spitting up weird stuff, but otherwise he is doing great.

Tommy is doing fantastic. He is so happy and sweet, and he's staying dry even at naptime (which is super exciting after 3 years of diapers)! He loves spending the week with grammy, grampdad, daddy, mommy, brennan, chester and henry (the dogs). He loves to sing - his favorite songs are "hop hop hippity hop" (thanks Jennette!) and "that funny song." He still likes to talk about riding a helicopter up into the sky to see Jesus with Brennan when he gets big, but now he also tells us, "I want to ride up and thank Jesus for our gifts." Earlier today he was consoling Jeff, telling him, "Your team didn't win and you were SO sad!" (If you know Jeff, you know Tommy is referring to the IU basketball loss yesterday). His sweet and tender spirit touches us every day.

We feel so blessed to have both of these boys in our lives. And I continue to be honored that anyone is interested in reading about our little lives. Thank you so much for your love and prayers for us! And wow - I am SO thrilled that I don't have any big concerns or requests. This is a pretty boring blog entry, which is absolutely wonderful.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Saying goodbye to tubes and diapers

On Friday, Feb 29, Brennan's tube feedings were discontinued. He struggled a bit with some vomiting over the weekend but actually did surprisingly well with 100% oral feeds, so on Monday, March 3, his doctor removed his feeding tube!!!

As Tommy told us, "His tube is gone! his bandaids are off!" On March 6 his central line gets removed. According to his doctor, he is now a normal baby with a recovering gut. I never thought hearing the word "normal" applied to my baby would be such a relief. He still seems to have quite a bit of discomfort and struggles with sleep (to put it lightly), but what a huge huge relief to have these very normal problems. We are grateful beyond words for his continued improvement and for the healing that God has done in his little body.

In addition to having Brennan on all oral feeds for the first time, we also engaged in full-on potty training with Tommy. We tried this last summer but he was not quite ready. And he did absolutely GREAT! He is loving his big-boy underpants; he loves his huge basket of Disney Cars that he gets when he accrues enough stickers even more. I've never seen someone able to poop and pee so much in such a short time to get toys! We used the naked technique so have some good pics for bribery in his adolescence, but we wanted to share this one with you.

Tommy continues to crack us up with his endless antics and touch us with his sweet spirit. Tonight he told me as we were praying, "We talk to Jesus up in the sky but we can't hear him. Thank you Jesus for giving us Momma." When he saw me with tears welling up, he then prayed that same thing over and over, ending with, "Cry, Momma!"

Finally, for those of you who know Tommy, you know he has a VERY strong attachment to his little bunny, "Bubba." So strong, in fact, that I special ordered a matching one when he was 10 months old. This double was immediately and continuously rejected and dubbed "fake bubba" by us. Tommy started giving Brennan his own bubba as well as "fake bubba" very early on, which we thought so sweet and tender, as Bubba is his most prized possession. And although I have tried every stuffed animal and blanket in our house, wouldn't you know that "fake bubba" is the one thing Brennan will snuggle? So apparently I can now look forward to searching for not one but two bubbas every time we leave the house. still, seeing our boys with their matching bubbas is quite a sweet sight...

I have been so encouraged by all the positive feedback I've received about this blog, and I am especially grateful to our dear friends, Greg and Joy Ryan, who suggested it and helped me set it up and provided endless support and love to us along this journey. They have a fantastic blog for their little boy, James, who was diagnosed with leukemia last summer. You can learn more about their hilarious and sweet boy at

Even though Brennan is doing so great, I'm going to continue to write about our boys and how they're doing if you're interested in getting updates. Thank you again so much!!!

wishing you every blessing in Christ,
Kim & Jeff