Update on Aiden – October 30, 2007

On Saturday, we went to the NICU and Aiden did not look good at all. His stomach was very swollen and distended and he appeared very weak and lethargic. They had to put a special tube down his throat to remove the mixture of blood and bile that was backing up into his stomach, and even with the tube, it was still pouring out of his mouth. Although they had originally diagnosed him with NEC, the doctors did not seem to know exactly what was wrong as the bloodwork did not show any major problems or signs of infection as would be typical with NEC. Saturday night, we noticed that his condition seemed to have declined significantly and he seemed much worse than he was when we had arrived at the hospital earlier in the day. They quickly performed another xray earlier than planned, and the doctor went ahead and called the surgeon to get a consultation and see if they would be willing to go ahead and operate.

Late that evening, the surgeon arrived and examined him. Within seconds, he noticed that Aiden’s hernia had become incarcerated with his intestines and was very extended. He popped it back into place and told the nurses to continue to remove the contents out of Aiden’s stomach, hold feedings and watch him closely. The surgeon said that he thought it might still be possible that there was also something else going on (such as NEC) due to some of Aiden’s symptoms, some of which were still consistent with NEC; however, he thought that relieving the obstruction caused by the hernia would make a significant difference in his condition. Within the hour, the swelling and distention of Aiden’s stomach started to go down and his countenance began to look much better.

Throughout the weekend and on Monday, the swelling continued to diminish and Aiden started to act more like himself. Today, his stomach was back to its normal size. They performed another xray this morning and the doctor explained that it was the hernia that had obstructed the small intestine and caused all of the problems. Thus, Aiden did not have NEC and it was a false alarm.

All we can say is that this is an amazing testament to God’s grace and an answer to prayer. The surgeon who fixed Aiden, Dr. Hermann, shared his personal testimony with us and told us to keep praying for him. It was a reminder that God is always watching out for His children and that we can lean on Him for everything. Dr. Hermann was an answer to our specific prayers that God would send us the right doctor for Aiden.

Thanks for all so very much for your prayers through this scare! Aiden is doing much better and this afternoon, they have very slowly starting feeding him again with 2 cc’s every three hours.

Aiden has developed NEC – October 27, 2007

On Thursday, Aiden was put on nasal canula oxygen and on Friday was moved to the South Hall of the NICU, in the same room with Ethan and Evan again for the first time in a while. He seemed to be doing well yesterday, but we rec’d a call from the hospital early this morning telling us that Aiden has developed a serious condition called necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).

NEC is a gastrointestinal disease that mostly affects premature infants. NEC is caused by air becoming trapped in the wall of the bowel, and involves infection and inflammation that causes destruction of the bowel (intestine) or part of the bowel. NEC can result in perforation of the bowel or peritonitis (inflammation of the abdominal wall), in which case immediate surgery would be required. If it does lead to surgery, it is extremely concerning as there is an even higher mortality rate. There are many other possible complications and side effects that can be caused by this condition; however, we know that God is the great physician and can heal his little body before it ever reaches this point if it is His will.

They have moved Aiden back to the North Hall of the NICU and the doctors have stopped feeding him and started antibiotics. They will be taking x-rays of his abdomen every 6 hours and doing blood tests on a regular basis to monitor his condition, and will likely have to re-intubate him and put him back on the ventilator. Please pray for him.

How Adorable (October 24, 2007)

The babies are getting so big — it seems like each day they look bigger than they were the night before! Aiden is now on CPAP, and the doctors are planning to move him to nasal canula sometime this week. We will be very glad to get those long prongs out, and he will be so happy to have them out of his nose! As of today, Ethan and Evan are now taking four feeds a day by mouth. Evan is completely on room air, and Ethan is at a very low setting on his oxygen. Ethan and Evan are still having some effects from the chronic lung disease and are on breathing treatments to help oxygenate their lungs and keep them from requiring more oxygen or assistance breathing.

The doctors have started talking about Ethan and Evan possibly coming home in the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, since this is the beginning of RSV season, the doctors have told us that we should be prepared to stay home with them until April and not allow them to be around any crowds, anyone with small children or anyone who has been around any type of illness (even someone with a runny nose) due to their chronic lung disease and the danger of their susceptibility to any type of illness. We will certainly be happy to have them home no matter what the circumstances, and are hoping that they will be home soon.
Manish has put together a new “weight” chart (below) showing the boys’ progress since they were born.

Also, below are some new pictures of the babies. We decided to put several images on this post and keep them all on one page. Enjoy!

Ethan is quite upset!

Such tiny hands

Sweet dreams for a little boy

Aiden loves his pacifier!

Aiden is keeping any eye out

Manish changes Ethan’s diaper — is it really that bad?

Mom with little Evan

Ethan enjoys watching the little ‘spiders’ go up and down on the bouncy seat

Evan wasn’t sure what to make of it — he liked the music!

Little Characters (October 17, 2007)

It’s been a little while since we last updated the blog, and as you can imagine, a lot has happened in the last ten days! All three babies are growing so fast and doing well, and we know that is the power of prayer. Thank you for continuing to keep them in your prayers.

As of last night, Aiden has just reached and passed the 4 lb. mark, all in one night. He now weighs 4 lbs., 1.9 ozs (he actually gained 5 ozs. in one day!). This is very good news because the growth and increased weight will definitely help his body heal faster and help his lungs to function better. Evan is still in the lead — he also gained 5 ozs. in one day — and is up to 5 lbs., 13 ozs!! Ethan is still growing steadily at 5 lbs., 2 ozs.

Aiden has been intubated on the ventilator since our last update and they had started to wean him in very tiny increments over the last couple of days; however, late last night he decided that he was tired of waiting and extubated himself by pulling out the tube that was down his throat. Rather then put him through the trauma of re-intubating him, they decided to put him on a nasal prong ventilator and see if he was able to do more of the work on his own. His last brain scan still showed a Grade 2 bleed (it has not yet resolved), but it was not any larger, which is a huge answer to prayer. They will do a followup scan in early November. He does have a couple of small hernias which will likely require some surgery in a couple of months (apparently this is fairly common in preemies).

Ethan and Evan are doing great. They are getting so big! They are both now in open cribs, since they are able to hold their body tempatures. The doctors have started to wean them off the nasal canula and they have just started feeding by mouth twice a day (rather than through their g-tubes). Once they are taking all feeds by mouth, are no longer requiring any oxygen, and are not having any more bradycardia episodes, they should be able to come home (most likely sometime in the next several weeks).

Characters…these boys are definitely characters and their personalities are beginning to show. Manish has come up with nicknames for each one of our boys.

Aiden is the “Little Engine That Could” because he keeps showing he “can” just when it seems like he can’t anymore.

Evan is “Teddy Bear” because he is so big and when you hold him, he just melts into you (and if he keeps growing as fast as he has been, pretty soon I’ll be his teddy bear!)

Ethan is “The Little General” because he quietly and steadily goes about his business but is very strong willed — he knows his own mind and and knows when to step in and ‘take the lead.’

Below are a couple of recent pictures taken this weekend. To view more images, click here

Ethan on Patrol

For Ethan, growing and feeding is tiring work for such a little guy

Evan may love his puppy, but doesn’t like having gas

Evan lets out a big Yaaaaaaaawnn…

The little engine has parked for the night

Update – October 8, 2007

Very early Friday morning we received a phone call from the hospital, letting us know that they had re-intubated Aiden. He had been retaining carbon dioxide and was having to work very hard to breath after they made some changes to the settings on his CPAP — and apparently it was just too much for him, so they had to put him back on the ventilator. They will leave him on the ventilator for approx. a week before trying to wean him off again. Please pray that his lungs will get stronger quickly and that he will be able to breathe on his own soon.