Well, I got chewed out for not posting an update sooner, so here I am. We didn't realize how many people have been faithfully following this site to get updates and pictures(not to mention all the people that just want to hear me spew forth eloquence without limit). We'll try to do a better job and keep it interesting. I'm sure you'd rather look at pictures of cute babies than listen to me babble, so I'll get to the point. Dawson has amazed everyone(except us)! The doctors had just prepared us for the worst on Tuesday, and Dawson is pretty much ready to head to room 2 today! Of the rather long checklist of problems that needed to be overcome since he was born a week ago today, only a few remain. He is pretty much weaned off of the ventilator, and would normally be completely off of it at this point, but because of his history over the last week, they're not going to take him totally off of it yet. He is completely off of antibiotics now. When I came in the room earlier today he was lying still. I started talking to him, and the arms and legs started going, along with the mouth and tongue. He gets excited to hear us just like Mallory does. The nurses say that the babies usually don't like them, because they're always poking them and messing with them, but they really draw comfort from hearing familiar voices. It makes you want to sit and talk to them all day long.
There are a few things that still need to be resolved with Dawson, but nothing that anyone has shown great concern over. Sometimes you just want the nurse to give you a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down, instead of all the details that you have to try to interpret. I'm kinda getting a feel for what's going on, but four different people can give you the same report, in completely different language---it can be kind of confusing. So if something I say doesn't quite sound right to those of you 'in the know', just know that I'm probably gettin it all mixed up.
Okay, Dawsons 'To Do' List:
- Get the pulmonary valve in his heart working right. He wasn't needing his lungs in the womb, so the valve was shut. Well, it stayed shut after he was born when it was supposed to be open. Since then it has opened, but it's staying open instead of shutting when it's supposed to. With me so far? They expect the valve to repair itself in the next day or two(and why not?), and if not, they can give him medicine to fix it. If THAT doesn't work, they can do surgery. The word 'surgery' was a little scary to us, but the nurses say it's a very common procedure that isn't really a big deal at all.
- Get weaned off of some kind of Nitrate stuff that they're giving him(how's that for technical?!). I think it opens up the veins in his lungs for oxygenation--or something like that. Two days ago they were giving him 30 'whatevers' of it, and now they're only giving him 2 'whatevers' of it. He should be completely off of it in the next day or two. Then they'll remove the ventilator, which includes the tube down his throat. Everyone got that? Don't call with questions about this---this is more of a 'thumbs-up' or 'thumbs-down' kind of thing, like I was talking about earlier.
- Get a good brain ultrasound. Apparently there was some bleeding in his brain, which is fairly normal. Now they have to perform brain ultrsounds every so often to see if it's improving or getting worse. They haven't done a follow-up scan yet since the first one, so we don't know the details yet. He was having occasional siezures a few days ago, due to the bleeding, but they've given him medication to stop them, and he hasn't had any since. I guess the blood kinda gums things up, and the brain gets a little irritated by it, resulting in siezures. Normally the blood is absorbed into the brain and there are no permanent effects, but it can take quite a while to be absorbed. There's really nothing they can do to stop it, so that's why they've waited this long for a follow-up ultrasound(a whole week, sheesh, it seems like a month or two at least). It sounds a little scary, but the nurses and doctors haven't been extremely concerned about it.
- Get fat. We've got a whole freezer full of milk that oughtta take care of that when he starts eating through a tube in the next two or three days.
That may sound like a long list, but it used to be a whole lot longer. These babies have been a real miracle--from the day we went to the fertility specialist, right up until now, and on into the future I'm sure.
Okay, now for Mallory. Her 'To Do' List:
- Stop trying to teach the doctors a lesson. She was doing SO good, that they decided to wean her off of everything a little faster than normal. OOPS. She didn't like it very much. She's pretty stubborn, and likes to take things at her own pace, so she's making them pay now! She did REALLY good for a few days, and after the whole weaning thing she has kinda flattened out a little. We like to call it 'resting'. We all know who she got her stubborness from, and it doesn't rhyme with 'cryin''. Oh well. Let's just hope she gets it all out of her system now.
- Get her left lung back in shape. Her left lung has been slightly over-inflated by the ventilator, so they're trying to get it back to normal by positioning her on her left side. I guess this forces her right lung to work harder, and should fix the problem. She gets a little annoyed with laying on her left side and lets everybody know it. She's really coming into her own as 'The Princess'.
- Be more receptive to the second attempt to wean her off of everything. They have SLOWLY resumed weaning her off of everything, and she's taking it much better. Dawson isn't gonna wait around for her much longer before graduating to room 2, so she better get it into gear. If she's really that much like her Mom, it won't take her long to catch up(did I mention Amy is 'mildly' competitive?).
- Get a good brain ultrasound. She has had the same level of bleeding as Dawson, but without the siezures.
- Get---uuuhhhhh, if she ever reads this I'll get in trouble for saying 'fat', so let's just say 'healthy'.
That's pretty much what we're up against at this point. If anyone has any questions about ANYTHING, please feel free to post them here, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We know that everyones prayers, faith and support are responsible for all the miracles that have happened, and will continue to happen, so we thank you all so much for everything(or as Amy would say--'SO, SO, SO, SO much'--she's gonna kill me for that by the way).
Ryan, Amy, Jake, Dawson, and Mallory