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2/11/2017 Latest post:
Ellis Samuel Beck was born on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 10:04pm in Dubuque, Iowa. He was 8lbs 9 oz, but had many complications before and following delivery. At 38 weeks gestation I noticed that little Ellis' movements had slowed and I began having was a assumed were minor contractions. They were very slight and non-concerning, but Michael and I agreed to go right away to Dubuque to be checked out as we were more concerned that he was acting a little different than normal. Upon being attached to monitors at Mercy Hospital, it became clear that although Ellis' heartbeat was normal, is was responding poorly to the contractions and would drop off significantly at times. The doctor on call quickly decided that an immediate C-Section was necessary and within minutes we were rushed into the opperating room where Ellis was delivered. We were expecting there to be complications, but we were not expecting them to be as life-threatening as they were. Due to a low heart rate of 80, CPR was administered and a breathing tube put in and he was rushed to the next room where the team of doctors and nurses worked to stabilize him. Tests quickly found that Ellis' hemoglobin level was 3 g/dl when it should have been 15 g/dl. This meant that somehow soon before birth he lost nearly all of his blood and was at a near-fatal level. At this point it was decided that they would immediately fly him to University of Iowa Hospitals where the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit would take over his care. Before leaving on the helicoptor, Ellis was given blood transfusions and would continue to receive them upon arriving in Iowa City. We were allowed to spend some time with Ellis before he was transported, although he was being attended to by his entire team of doctors and nurses. Although I was forced to remain in Dubuque for my C-Section recovery, Michael was able to drive immediately to Iowa City and be with Ellis as doctors continued to treat and assess his condition. Since his little body had gone through so much trauma, as well as a massive loss of blood, he was immediately placed on a special cooling system where his internal temperature was slowly lowered to 92.3 degrees. This cooling has been found to help children in such conditions recover more fully from their trauma. This is a 72 hour process which will last through Sunday morning around 4am. In Iowa City, after hours of receiving more blood, his hemoglobin has been brought back to a normal level which he is now sustaining on his own. Besides receiving blood, Ellis is also on several medications to address other complications brought about by the prolonged blood loss. These medications are now being weaned off slowly since he is beginning to maintain normal levels on his own. One specific medication in being given for minor seizures that the EEG sensing. For what he has been through, these seizures are not abnormal according to the doctors, and are not visable to the naked eye. He continues to be sedated during this cooling period along with having the ventilator for his breathing in order for him to receive optimal rest. Yesterday and Today (10th and 11th) were slow days with him cooling and resting where he has appeared both comfortable and peaceful. More activity will be expected Tomorrow when they begin slowly returning his body back to a normal temperature. Seizures are not abnormal during the warming period, and he will most likely be more active with movement as the sedation will decrease. He has been shown to be capable of breathing on his own, but was kept on the ventilator to give him optimal rest. Tomorrow or Monday the doctors will most likely begin having him breathe on his own and if seizures cease he will most likely receive an MRI to look at brain function and note if there are any damages. We have much confidence in this area as he initiated much movement on his own after being stabelized and worked on in Dubuque. He was feisty with doctors and also enjoyed sucking on their fingers while they held his breathing tube in place. I, personally, look forward to seeing that feistiness return after being warmed and removed from sedation. There is no way to tell how long Ellis' recovery will take or how long we will remain in Iowa City, but we will continue to provide updates on little Ellis' condition as we go. We ask now that you pray specifically for his rest at this time, and also that in time he will have a full recovery, and that God may be glorified in this time. We sincerely thank you for all your support and prayers. We currently ask that only family visit us here in Iowa City while Ellis is in the NICU. Once he is healthy enough for other visitors, we will gladly make that known on this page. Until then, we will compile journal entries to keep everyone updated on his progess and how the Lord is already working in his life in a mighty way and has richly blessed us as a family.