Friday, May 2, 2008

Hope and Becca are Born ... but not without complications

A quick update as of about 6 PM Friday ....

Hope Marie and Becca May entered the world at 10 AM this morning.

What often comes after that is mother and babies are doing well.  Unfortunately, we had some complications.

Hope has had to be transferred to Johns Hopkins as of about 4 PM today.  Hope was born with her lungs full of merconium (from having a bowel movement in utero) and while this is not uncommon, the merconium was unusually thick and difficult for the doctors to clear out of her little lungs.  It took them five minutes or so to clear it out.  (You could tell something was wrong because you never heard her cry and all these people were huddled around her working fast to try and help her.)

They took Hope to the NICU and worked with her and put her on ventilator there, but later determined the best course of action to be to send her to Hopkins where they have access to treatment options not available at Franklin Square -- infusing nitrous oxide with oxygen helps breathing and they can do that at Hopkins. They hope this will help her to get her lungs cleared out.

The doctor likened this to water going down the wrong pipe only it gets all the way down in the lungs and it's not water its feces!  It's equivalent to her having pneumonia.  He said the stuff obviously tastes horrible and she is trying to get it out but her lungs are all filled up with the gunk so she struggles to breathe on her own.  They gave her antibiotics to help her fight off the pneumonia but they've also sedated her so she doesn't struggle as much.  Full term babies with this condition are actually more difficult to deal with than premature babies because their lungs are mature and they want to breathe on their own and it's hard with all that junk in their lungs.

So, we have no idea what this means long term, we just focus on doing what they need for her to survive. There were some positives.  Through it all her heart has been beating strong and blood pressure is good.  Early test indicated that oxygen is flowing despite the struggle to have her lungs function. We just have to take it day-by-day right now and see what happens.  I'll probably go down to Hopkins and see her tomorrow.

Becca meanwhile also went to the NICU.  She came out rather anemic and apparently despite what seemed like 500 trips to monitor them, they did in fact have twin-to-twin transfusion going on and Hope was drawing blood away from her sister, which may have exacerbated Hope's problems breathing.  Becca seems much better overall than Hope.  She is in the NICU at Franklin Square and she has a tube, but it is to help slow her breathing a little -- she is not getting oxygen.  She actually reminds me of how Brady was when he was first born -- he spent a few days in NICU because he came out with some struggles breathing.

So, I never would've guessed all this was in the cards when I went in at 7 AM today. I was all worried about having twins; I never considered there would be health complications.  I guess I assumed after all we'd been through, we would have one part of this pregnancy not be complicated, but it seems this is not the case.  So you try and trust God to work this situation through.  What else can you do?!  As a parent you feel POWERLESS.  You just have to sit and watch the doctors and nurses do their work and hope the God BREATHES for them and supplies what they can't supply on their own until they can start doing it themselves.  You pray they won't have longterm health problems as a result of this ordeal, but like I said, you really have to focus on the present moment right now, and then deal with tomorrow and the next day when they come.

It's been quite a day and we are all exhausted.  Laurie is recovering from surgery so she in particular is tired out from the physical stress and the emotion of the day.  Please keep us in prayer -- especially little Hope who seems to be really struggling.  I pray she is in good hands at Hopkins.  It's so hard to figure out just "how serious" this is and whether she will get better in time.  Babies tend to be fairly resilient so I hope so.  It looks like her name 'Hope' is more apt than ever! I think Becca is going to be fine, but they will keep watch on her as well.

ALAN (For Alan and Laurie)



Back to work after baby– how do you know when you're ready?

1 comment:

PAT MILES said...

Alan, Laurie & Family - Our hearts and prayers remain with your family. We just cannot imagine the sorrow. I passed the information about Hope on to our daughter Denise. She remembers Alan from church and Sunday School. She comment was "Alan was always so kind and spoke to me everytime we saw each other. Prayers for continued blessings.

Pat & Buck Miles