Sunday, January 31, 2010

PICU - Day 4

Holding pnut for the first time in 4 days!
Its day 4 in the PICU at Phoenix Children's Hospital. The staff here has been great. Two of our other children were able to come and visit Nicolas for awhile today. Our youngest wasn't allowed in as he is only nine years old and you have to be 12 to visit. Nicolas is doing well. He no longer has the fever that he had immediately after surgery and for about 2 days afterwards. He has gained weight also and that is really good news to us. He weighed 9lbs 3oz before surgery and is now weighing 9lbs 11 oz. They don't want him to gain too much too fast so they will have to adjust his food accordingly. They are giving him 24 calorie formula with added rice to thicken it to help with his reflux. I think it might really be helping as his reflux symptoms have seemed to decrease. He has a swallow study this week and we are consulting with specialists about his spine(kyphosis and scoliosis). It gets so hard to hear the negativity of some doctors. That is one thing I can say about this hospital, we are yet to meet a specialist that gave us the "your kid is probably not going to live" speech. Hopefully that will continue. I mean, we all know that he has campomelic dysplasia and that the odds aren't in his favor. But we also know that there are children living with this condition, not only living, but thriving. They must realize that we didn't relocate our family 1500 miles away to hear negativity, we came here for hope! Well, little sweetie is waking up so I have to go. Please keep praying for us. Prayers that Nicolas wont need surgery for his spine, for protection from infection, for strength and healing for our little guy. Thanks friends! Love, Jenna

Friday, January 29, 2010

We knew it was coming

We just didn't expect a phone call at 4 pm saying that Nicolas was scheduled for surgery at Phoenix Childrens Hospital the next morning at 8 am. We were a little disappointed that he wasn't able to get into the GI doctor and so he was unable to get his G button in his belly(to replace his ng tube we feed him with now through the nose) I spent the evening trying to get everything together, my clothes and shampoo and stuff that the last time I spent a couple weeks in the hospital I really wish I would have had. Then I got Nicolas's things together and all of the paperwork we needed and in the back of my mind all I could think was... just go hold your baby.. if something goes wrong tomorrow you are going to wish you would have just held him tonight. But when I am nervous I cannot just sit.. I have to do... and the baby was sleeping peacefully in his swing(if you know P you know that is a rarity) By the time I went to bed it was about 2 am, we had to feed him at 3:30 am so he could finish by 4:0t.0 am as he couldn't be fed after that due to surgery, so we set the alarm for 3:30 and snoozed for a bit. Morning came early and we packed our stuff into the car and set off to Phoenix children's Hospital(PCH). We had to leave by 6:00 am in order to get there in time. It was raining really hard as it was the last time we took him to his doc in Phoenix(so much for the dry desert) We arrived on time and jumped through some hoops.


At 10:00 am I handed our little angel baby over to the OR nurse and kissed his head what felt like a million times. I felt like I might never see my sweet P again. He is a high risk anesthesia patient and that worried me. I LOST IT right after I handed him off and cried my way to the waiting room where Nick and I hugged and prayed for our Nicolas. It was almost two hours before we heard anything. Every minute felt like an hour! Finally Dr. Schraff came out and told us that the surgery went fine, they placed the trach, did the bronchoscopy, the other scopes the ENT needed to do, and now he was in having his hearing tested. We were both so relieved that he was doing ok. About half an hour after that we were able to go back and walk beside him as they moved him to the ICU.He looked so cute and pink. They told us they needed to get him set up and that we could go to the family waiting room and wait. We finally got to go back to be with him, when we got there they were taking x rays and he wasn't happy. Seeing him in distress was hard. When a baby is on a vent you cant hear them cry, they open their mouth to scream but no air passes their voicebox so no sound comes out and to me it seems like they are choking and gasping for air. It takes some getting used to and I am still not used to it. He has to be watched constantly because if you aren't looking at him you wouldnt know he was in distress, that is until the alarm sounds on the vent. He pulled it off several times, the alarm is SO LOUD. My nerves were already shot and that was about to put me over the edge!
I could go on and on with the events of the night, how Nick and I took turns sleeping and watching him. He had a fever of 102.5 so we were extra worried about him. Today that fever is getting better and is THANK GOD... totally normal the last time we took it. So one day after the surgery we have a little guy that breathes comfortably and that looks so good.

Nick and I suctioned his trach for the first time today! They did an echo on his heart and the cardiologist came by to say that the defect in his heart is small and he doesn't need to be followed at all by a cardiologist. That was a huge relief. Right after that the hospital Chaplain stopped in to introduce himself as he made rounds through the PICU. We feel that God has been present in much of what has gone on here and we are so grateful for that. Prayers have been answered. But, don't stop praying just yet! We have a long road ahead of us. I have to sign off as the nurse wants us to help give him a bath. I am so so so tired and my feet hurt from standing bedside that I am a little hesitant to assist! I will try and keep the blog updated more as we are here in the hospital. Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Gearing up for a long week

We are enjoying the weekend and getting ready for what will most likely be a long week! I love weekends because of how the medical issues, problems, etc., seem to get put on hold. I have always loved things that COULDN'T be taken care of on Saturday and Sunday. This week we will be calling a few more doctors and getting more opinions regarding little Nicolas. We are going to be dealing with employment, new schools, drivers licences, looking at houses, etc. It is a lot to try to do when you have a little one who needs so much care (not to mention that you only want to be holding and loving on). If you are willing we would love your prayers... pray that we find the best doctors possible for Nicolas and that they would be guided in making the best decisions for him. Pray for us in the decisions we have to make as his parents, this has always been such a hard thing for us as the decisions we are faced with feel impossible to make. We always ask you to believe with us that he would be healed and still believe he will be. Pray for our other kids to adjust well and that we would be able to be there for them as they need us. Thanks for following our blog, I will post some more pictures soon! Love you all... Jenna

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life changes

All of our kiddos at Christmas

I have been meaning to write here, my little corner of the web, and update all of you on peanut but I keep putting it off for a few reasons. We have been told that baby Nicolas needs a trach and will most likely be on a vent for some time afterwards. No one knows how long, only that without it he will not thrive and will likely not survive. But to bring him home from the hospital we would have to live in an area that could support a home "vent" system, our area is not able to provide the service. We also know that Nicolas will need a team of specialists to deal with his other medical needs if, God willing, he makes it to that point. I am still not ready to talk about what happened, to my heart, as I had to decide to move and save my son, even though it meant I would have to leave another son behind with his dad. I wrote this out a few times and went into way too many details and I didn't want my son to read it(now or ever) and feel bad. I will just say that he was all ready to move with us and at the last minute he was "talked into" not moving. He had already felt so torn and then this was done to him. I don't want him to feel bad or be sad or feel he has to make anyone "happy"... that isn't his burden to bear... so I decided that in faith I would move, and pray that one day my other son will decide to change his mind and join our family here. I didn't know how I could stay and let my baby die, and I still don't know how I pulled out of town without one of my babies!

Allie and Nicolas

Tim and Nicolas

OK I cant write about that anymore... please just pray for all of us. P is doing ok, he saw two doctors today... a pulmonologist and an ENT... the pulmonologist said that he thought Nicolas was ready for a trach based on the history he read from seattle, the ENT said maybe not, maybe he won't need it. I am pretty sure, unfortunately, that he will need it but think that a reevaluation of the whole situation won't be a bad thing. I will know more in a few days and will update the blog again.. I just had to get past this post....

My four boys....