Saturday, June 20, 2009

Luke is Two Weeks Old!

Originally posted May 26, 2009

Luke has successfully turned two weeks old! Yay Luke!
For the past couple of days, we've been in a sort of holding pattern and will be for a couple more. We've certainly had good days and bad days in the last week. There have been times where Luke's oxygen saturation levels were very worrisome, even when he was on 70% oxygen. We have also seen times this week where Luke required no extra oxygen above room air and his saturation levels were fantastic. The past two days and nights have been really good ones, praise God. The doctors and nurses think that this is probably because they just gave him another dose of Lasix, which removes the fluid from his lungs, making it easier to breathe. David and I are holding faith that his improved breathing is because God has answered our prayers and his lung has inflated (no doctors have told us that this is their theory - that's just our theory). They won't truly know the exact state of his right lung until they get to surgery.
The CT scan that Luke recieved last week largely motivated the doctors to go ahead and plan for surgery soon. On Friday Luke got a sonogram of his heart (echocardiogram) and nothing has changed. We still are not getting any blood flow through the Pulminary Artery. Thus our former hopes of Luke's condition improving with just medication are a no go. His defect must be corrected with heart surgery. On Thursday afternoon, Luke will undergo a proceedure called a heart catheterization. They will insert a catheter through one of his blood vessels probably in his leg and thread the catheter up to his heart. Then they inject dye into his heart and essentially take a movie of the flow and pressures of the blood flow through his heart. This proceedure is expected to take between 30 minutes and 3 hours, and will help the doctors decide where to place his shunt in the surgery.
The next step is surgery that will take place between this Friday and next Friday, depending upon the surgeon's schedule. We need one particular surgeon's skills for this, and he is in very high demand. If Luke's condition worsens, the cardiologist promised me that we can move up the surgery to an emergency level, but right now we're not on an ASAP basis. Meanwhile, the next few days give Luke a little more time to get some last growing and strengthening in before they cut open his tiny chest. Mom and Dad can't go with him through the heart cath proceedure, so pray for us as we wait and hope. We have not been informed yet of the exact risks etc. of the heart cath proceedure, but we are told by the neonatologist that all babies in his experience have done just fine through the proceedure. One baby in his experience has done poorly after the proceedure. So pray for Luke that he gets through this, like the other proceedures, "better than we expected".
Luke continues to grow. He's gained about 9 oz. since his birth, but some of this is water weight due to his medication. David and I take turns and one of us gets to hold him for about an hour each day. We've seen a little more of his beautiful eyes. He HATES getting his diaper changed. We've now brought blankets from home for him to be wrapped in, which I think make him a little more comfortable. He loves being swaddled. The docs have continued to increase his feedings; he is no longer receiving supplemental nutrition, just mom's milk. So, lots of things to be thankful for. Lots of things we're still worried about. David and I checked out of our hotel on Sunday for the time being. We're spending the next few days until Luke's surgery commuting back and forth from Terrell, then we'll move back into the hotel for his recovery from surgery. This commute makes for an even longer day, but we do enjoy being back in familiar surroundings.
Thank you for your continued prayers. I see God work in Luke's life and in ours every day. Pray for David and I, as even two weeks on the NICU are wearing. Not getting a lot of sleep, and sometimes that makes it a little hard to not surrender to dispair.
We love you. More later. Thanks for praying.

Rachael & David

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