Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Day 11 for Jesse

Many of you have seen brief Facebook posts about Jesse having a rough couple of days this week.

Jesse has had some irregularity in his breathing and oxygen saturation has been unstable. Of course, this is hard to watch. But, it's not unusual for his stage of development, and it's stabilized quickly each time--often without intervention. 

The real scare came in the middle of the night Monday night/Tuesday morning. Just after 2 a.m., JoAnn received a call letting her know that Jesse had perforated his bowel and the pediatric surgeon was on his way to put in a drain. The surgeon was able to clean out much of the contamination from the spilled bowel and put in the drain, and Jesse tolerated the procedure well. He's been on antibiotics for about 36 hours at this point, and we're just waiting and watching.

It's been a stressful few days, but, on a positive note, he's back up to his birth weight--that's a gain of 3 ounces. That may not sound like much, but it's about 10% of his body weight, so it's not insignificant.

And, as always, he's kicking, waving his arms around and trying to take charge. His spirit has not been diminished by these obstacles.

I truly believe that all of the love, prayers and positive energy you are all sending his way are strengthening him. Please keep them coming!

Here's a bonus picture of his foot, just because it's so tiny and cute.

If you missed the beginning of Jesse's journey and want to read the whole story, start here.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's Day 7!

I thought I'd lead with a picture today, because really you just wanted to look at him, didn't you? Though he theoretically can't see yet, he's opening his eyes and turning his head toward his moms.

It's day 7, which is very exciting. Of course, it's exciting simply because it means that Jesse has been holding his own for a week, but it's also an important landmark: 90% of brain bleeds in premature infants occur in the first seven days. Jesse was scanned last night and he's all clear. So, that's one major sigh of relief we can all breathe.

There are still some complications, which are to be expected. He has two small holes in his heart, which are not unusual at this stage and often close up on their own as the baby grows. We're hopeful that they'll resolve themselves, but if not, we have good treatment options.

He's also spilling a little salt in his kidneys, so his sodium levels are low. Again, this is to be expected at this stage and is being treated.

On the upside, he's started to gain a little bit of weight, and he's as feisty as ever. Kicking and waving his arms and making a valiant little effort to remove his equipment. That fighting spirit (and your good thoughts and prayers) have brought him this far--please keep them coming!

On the home front, mom has had a rough week. She had to make a trip to the emergency room two nights ago and was diagnosed with pregnancy-induced hypertension (though I'm pretty sure stress is playing a role in that, too). She's on medication now and doing okay, but I wouldn't mind a bit if you added her to your prayer list, too.

Read the next update here

If you missed the first installment, you can see Jesse's introduction to the world here. We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Would You Like to See a Miracle?

When I let too much time pass without posting on a blog, I start to feel like I need something really momentous to break my silence--and, that often means that I don't post for months. Or, in this case, a little over a year.

Fortunately, something momentous happened.

My fake nephew, Jesse, was born early Sunday morning.

I'm going to show him to you in a minute--he's incredibly beautiful--but first I want to tell you a little about Jesse's arrival.

He wasn't due until March 28.

That means he was only 24 weeks in the making when he made his very unexpected arrival into the world at 4:25 a.m. on December 13. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces. His mom, who has been one of my closest friends for years, went straight into surgery after his birth.

If this all sounds terrifying to you, you're not alone. It's been a very intense few days. He's in an incubator, on a ventilator and getting blood transfusions.

Don't worry. There's a lot of good news, too. But first, take a look at him.

See how he has all those tiny, perfect features? Aren't you a little in love with him already? No? Just me? (I don't even believe you.)

So, here's some of the good news:

His mom is fine and home already.

He's in day four as I write this. Four days! That means he made it through the trauma of being born unexpectedly AND through the transition where he lost mom's hormones and immunities and had to fend for himself...and he's still kicking.

He IS kicking. And waving his arms. He may look like a sparrow, but this kid has SPIRIT. Maybe it's not entirely good news that he's trying to pull out his breathing tube and push the protective pads off of his eyes, kind of is, isn't it? He's putting up a fight. We need that.

Of course, there are a lot of challenges ahead, and a lot of unanswered questions right now. So, if you're the praying type, please consider adding Jesse to your intentions. If you happen to have a prayer circle or Bible study or just a group of friends or family you can ask to do the same, please do. If you're not religious and you have some positive energy or intentions to the universe or any type of good vibrations at all, we'd welcome them, and so would his moms.

The kid is putting in a valiant effort, but you can't do it all on your own when you weigh less than two pounds...or when you've just given birth to someone who does.

Read the next update here.