Hi everyone. All in all, Isaac is doing well, and much better than he was in the first week of his life. We can say, and we believe wholeheartedly, that he is doing good, and growing.
Isaac is 15 days old today (Friday, June 4th), is free of chest tubes, ventilator, and PICC line, and had his first swaddle bath on Wednesday, June 2nd. Sarah and I are taking turns with skin-to-skin time (often called kangaroo time, which helps with relaxation, brain development, and growth), and he is taking increased breastmilk feedings with Sarah’s breastmilk through a feeding tube. (This will continue for a few more weeks, and then they will experiment with the next step in moving towards natural breastfeeding). Perry and Donna, my parents, were here from Texas for several days to spend time with their new grandson, and with the family altogether. We did care times with Isaac, a picnic, and ate out together. It was a joyful time of good bonding all around.
Pictures from the past week have been included/attached to this post.
Isaac’s 2nd brain ultrasound taken yesterday shows that although the bleeding has stopped, one of his ventricles (on the side of the brain with the Grade 4 intraventricular hemmorage) is enlarged, which can happen with brain bleeds in premature babies. The doctors have decided to order a CT scan of his brain and also consult the neurosurgeon at the hospital, to determine if the scans indicate that his brain fluid levels are at a point where it makes more sense to wait to see what happens, or plan for an intervention now or by a certain date.
Brain bleeds in babies is one of those subjects in medicine where there is as much that is known as there is that is unknown. How well any premature baby ends up doing depends on two things: 1) how premature they were when they were born. And 2) the grade of the hemorrage. Less than 50% of babies with lower-grade bleeding (Grade 3 or lower) have long-term problems. However, severe bleeding often leads to developmental delays and problems controlling movement. Up to one third of babies with severe bleeding may die. Unfortunately, NICU medicine will never be able to tell us how much time is needed for a brain bleed to cause developmental problems that will show up in the first 5 years of the child’s life. One brain bleed for a day could cause serious problems after the clot forms in a bad place in the brain, or a fluid-drain treatment from several weeks of a brain bleed could end up solving the problem to where they grow up fine with no problems. How the brain grows and develops is one of the most complex and unknown frontiers of knowledge in the world today. But we go with what they tell us, trusting God for all things.
Our prayer requests are:
- For Sarah and I’s relationship, to grow in wisdom and understanding as husband and wife in the Lord, and as new parents in the Lord, putting the Lord first in public worship, the sacraments, and devotional life. Who you become during times of trial makes all the difference in handling later storms that come your way in life. Whatever happens in life, we, and Isaac, belong to the Lord and His purposes.
- For Isaac, quite simply that the brain bleeds heal completely and totally, with not a single problem to remain in his body. God is not, and has never been, one’s genie, yet we nevertheless pray what we desire for our son, knowing that His will must be done in all things.
- For the doctors and nurses in the NICU at Methodist Women’s Hospital. As often as we can, we will try to post the whiteboard for the day, so that you can know the names of the nurses and doctor who will be caring for him that day, in order to include them in your prayers. It is true that sometimes a single decision or set of decisions at the right time can save a life or prevent a big problem from happening.
Sarah and I are back into the swing of things at home. I am working again from my home office. Sarah is setting up and organizing all the remaining baby shower gifts that we have yet to open, which her and I will open together soon.