Drake Standefer

First post: 6/23/2016 Latest post: 8/2/2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge site for Drake.. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.  Thank you for all of the continued prayers!  The 1st posting is made on June 23rd.  Now that we found this blog, we will be able to update frequently.

Feel free to share with those who may be interested in receiving updates.

Hello all friends and family.  We have created the website/blog so we can share information regarding Drake.  Katie and I will do our best to keep it updated with Drake's progress.  All the milestones and even the setbacks that will come.

This will make it much easier for us to relay information to each and every one of you.  This doesn't mean we do not want to talk/text each one of you, but many times there are 10-12 different people a day inquiring and there are times we fail to respond and it is overwhelming.

I am going to give a brief summary of events that have taken place and then we plan to update the blog frequently with Drake's progress.

-Katie was 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant when her water broke.  Katie put herself on full bed-rest.

-At 20 wks there was zero amniotic fluid around the baby and the high risk Dr gave a 60% chance she goes into labor in the next 3-5 days.  We were given the option to terminate and we strongly disagreed and knew it was in God's hands.  -Katie continued on bedrest.

-23 weeks Katie went to hospital with complications thinking there was infection coming.  She received antibiotics for 2 weeks.   Stayed in hospital the next 3 1/2 weeks on full bedrest.

-26 weeks and 3 days Katie's placenta began tearing.  Baby Drake was on his way!  Dr did a C-Section.

-Drake Enters the World June 2, 2016   6:25pm  2lbs 8 Oz  13.75" long.

-Drake's first 24 hours were very scary.  Took 24-36 hours to get his breathing stable on the ventilator.  Katie and I were filled with emotions.  Joy, fear, anxiety, a lot of everything.

-Day 2-6 Drake seemed to be doing well on the regular ventilator.

-Day 6 Dr.'s did a brain scan (Which they do to all premature babies) to check for bleeding.  We did receive unexpected, and unfortunate news.  Drake does have a level 4 brain bleed.  Level 4 means it entered in the brain matter.  But, of the amount that entered, it was a relatively small % of the brain as best the can tell on the ultrasound.  The MRI in a few months will tell a lot more.   Good news is, it looks to be only in 5-10% of the brain, and only on the left side.  The Dr's said after looking at the color on the ultrasound, the blood looks to be old blood and the bleeding probably occurred before Drake was born.  Long term prognosis is undetermined and in God's hands. Dr did say that is good it is only on 1 side of brain.  The right side of the brain will be able to compensate for the left.  Also, this is not likely to affect analytical and cognitive thinking.  More motor skills if anything.  One of the doctors said "there is a reasonable chance" there is some motor skill deficiencies. But then said there is no guarantee you notice anything.  Also a higher chance of Cerebal Palsy.  That won't be identified until 2-3 years.  We are not even thinking that nor going to talk about it. 

-  The next 8 days waiting until day 14 were painstaking.  We were waiting on the next brain scan to see if the bleeding had worsened.  Dr.'s didn't think it was going to since it was old blood, but did say 20% chance it could.  We received GREAT news that the bleeding did not worsen.  Also, showed signs that the bleeding was being absorbed in the body.  The ventricular that does have the blood in it was not enlarged so that means there was not increased pressure which was good.

-Just to mention, the brain does not re-grow the brain matter where the blood has entered.  There will be a hole there.  But the Dr re-iterated, Drake will be able to talk, think, read, write etc.  More likely motor skills can be affected if anything but no guarantee. 

-That night the Dr who has atleast 26 years experience said guys, "FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES.  FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES. You will not love him any more, or any less.  He has a great heart, he is a fighter, and there may be zero effects from any of this brain bleeds."  That being said, Katie and I are determined to not think about the What If's, etc.  Only positive thoughts and if/when a Dr. tells us Drake has XYZ, we will battle that challenge(s).

-From Day 10-16 Drake had a very rough time.  They could not get the P.I.C.C line in.  That is like a longer-term I.V.  There were failed attempts as they have to get a tiny line threaded through his veins.  They ordered an even smaller one and got this to work.  Now Drake gets all of his nutrients through this line.  (They did have an I.V like line going into his umbilical cord for 1st 14 days. But that comes out on day 14).  They finally got all of his longer term lines in.

-Drake doesn't like to be touched much. Even touching him with your hand, picking him up causes his breathing to suffer.  Dr and nurses reminded us many babies are like this.  Their body is not ready yet and meant for them to be out in the real world and breathing through their tiny lungs.

-Drake was born at 26.5 weeks, but they said his lunges were very immature like a 24 week old.  We knew this going in, as the amniotic fluid has surfactant which helps the lungs develop. Without the fluid around Drake for 7 weeks is didn't allow the lungs to be as developed.  But, good news is, lungs continue to grow and mature for the next 8 years.  :)  He may have chronic lung disease, more likely for bronchitis, etc.

-@ Day 14 Drake was diagnosed with PDA.  (Patent Ductus Arterious) This link here explains it much better than I can.  Basically, a valve stays opens and good oxygenated blood mixes with outgoing blood.  This causes low oxygenation and low blood pressure. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pda

Doctors gave Drake 3 doses of medicine which should close the small/moderate hole he had.  They can't do a new Echo test until he gets off the high powered ventilator.  Good news it, almost 7 days later his breathing has improved and no longer on blood pressure medicine.  So there is a good chance it has closed up.  If need be, he can have surgery down the like to permanently fix it if need be. 

June 23rd - Today marks Drake being 3 weeks old.  :)  He is still on the high ventilator, but the last 72 hours they have come down on his settings.  His breathing has improved.  The doctors and nurses continue to push him, but do what Drake wants to do.....  Katie had been breast pumping every 3 hours around the clock.  Drake will have a good supply of milk which is vital to his health.  Kudos to Mama for preparing that milk.  Once off this higher ventilator they will begin feeding him again small amounts of milk.  They did start 2 weeks ago and he handled it well.  But had to stop once they switched to a higher ventilator.

Summary -  Drake is DEFINITELY a Fighter.  He has defied the odds already and showing no signs of quitting.  The entire staff in the NICU department at Clear Lake Regional has been outstanding.  Katie and I are hanging tough.   Drake has shown signs of improvement the last 5-7 days.  They plan to start feeding again soon.  Drake weights 3 lbs as of today. He has opened his eyes a few times.

 Parker continues to light up our day, even when Drake doesn't have a great day.  We are so thankful to all of our Family, Friends, co-workers, clients who have prayed for us, brought us food, texted, called, emailed, ran errands, babysat, and much, much more.  They said this would be an emotional rollercoaster and that has been an understatement.  We will continue to update this blog frequently. Even if it is saying "No change, he is stable."   Drake's due was Sept. 5th.  That is our target goal to leave the hospital.  Could be sooner, could be later.  Drake will tell us when he is ready.

Many have asked what they can do to help.  I would say the best thing is cooked meals in which we can freeze.  We have a big deep freezer and especially once Katie goes back to work here in a few weeks it would be very helpful to have prepared meals.  Other than that, continued prayers.

Katie and I are going to continue to focus on the positives, and keep our faith in God and we know God will not put anything on our plate that we or Drake cannot handle.

With Love,

Brian, Katie, Parker and Drake.



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