Monday, December 3, 2012

Jack is hanging on

I called the NICU and they said Jack was doing ok today. He had a blood transfusion, his second so far. They didn't tell me how much this was was but the last one was 8cc. That is less than 2 teaspoons. He is getting blood to replace the blood they are drawing. He also received sodium bicarbonate (IV) today due to being slightly acidotic. He is still on the ventilator.

On Saturday they advised me that he had a heart murmur and they suspected he may have a PDA. That is a patent ductus arteriousis. That means that the hole for his fetal heart circulation likely did not close. That means he has a hole in his heart. They gave him medication to try to close it and he had an echo cardiogram today. We will not get the results of the echo cardiogram until tomorrow. I am hoping the medication worked and that it is fixed. Tierney came to the hospital to be with Jack during his echo cardiogram. She also brought more breast milk since she has been pumping for him.

Jack has not yet eaten. He will not be able to eat anything until they remove the umbilical catheters. He has one in this vein and one in his artery. After that they will put 4cc of breast  milk down his oral gastric (OG) tube. Then they will wait 4 hours and aspirate the tube to make sure he digested it. If he did he can continue with small feedings. If not, they will stop. Feeding a preemie that is not ready to feed is a huge big deal. They can get necrotizing enteric colitis (NEC). This is a huge killer of preemies and they have to be super careful with him. Even with the utmost care some babies get NEC and most do not survive it.

On Wednesday Jack is having an ultrasound of his head to make sure he does not have any bleeding into his brain. Intraventricular hemorrhages are very common in small preemies. They are graded from 1 to 4 with 4 being the most serious. They are most common in the first 4 or 5 days of life which is why they scan them when they turn a week old. The doctor said some babies with severe brain bleeds do very well because their brain is pretty plastic. In other words, their brains are still capable of making alternate pathways at this point. However, some babies do not do well with even small bleeds and develop cerebral palsey or other difficulties. The doctor said it is very rare for it to effect their intellect, it is usually physical.

It is all very scary. It is a bummer not to be there with him. I have scheduled a trip back for 12/14. Please pray for him.

 Jack's bear next to his monitor. The bottle next to it is 1/2 liter.

 Jack with his teddy bear. It is much bigger than him!

 I am holding Jack's hand when I had to say goodbye.

The priest baptizing Jack. He will have a real baptism when he gets home.

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