Sunday, September 23, 2007

June 14th, 2007


Just a quick update on the twin’s progress…

Carver’s ventilator is now set at an air pressure of 24/6 and a rate of 21 breaths per minute. His oxygen needs have been in the mid 40% range. While this may seem like very little change, it is significant. He only needs to be at 22/5 with a rate of 20 to move to CPAP. So, we could be there very soon. We are all very excited about the progress that Carver has made. He has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Kinnick has had some significant setbacks this week. Her feeds were taken away last week due to an increase in her stomach measurements. After some extensive testing that involved an upper and lower GI and a series of sonograms and x-rays, it was discovered that she had a block in her intestines. We had to stop her feeds. This was disappointing because she finally reached full feeds again. Because of the block, she had to undergo surgery to remove the damaged part of the intestines. We were very lucky – they only removed about 3cm of intestines. The block was where the large intestine meets the small intestine. They removed some from both the large and small intestine. While they were in there, they removed her appendix. She has a large scar from her belly button to her mid right side. She handled surgery very well. However, she is retaining a great deal of fluid (weights 6 ½ lbs) and is requiring a great deal of help from her ventilator. She is currently at an air pressure of 38/6 and a rate of 28 breaths per minute. Her oxygen needs have been in the 30% range. Her brother has passed her for the first time! I’m told that things should start looking better over the next couple of weeks.

Carver’s grade 4 hemorrhage has resolved, however the damage left behind will not change. There was some brain tissue damage that leaves a very large possibility that he will suffer Motor Skill problems and Cerebral Palsy. I’m told the % of this happening is 75%. I am optimistic that we will be in the 25% without problem (why not, we’ve beaten the rest of the odds). Carver’s head size has reduced significantly (normal size, now), this is a very good sign that the ventricles that were filling with fluid are no longer filling with additional fluid and may have actually decreased in the amount that was already collected. He will continue to be monitored and will have an MRI once he’s a little older to determine expectations from the damage.

All 23 weekers will experience seizures. Carver and Kinnick are both on maintenance drugs to prevent seizures. We haven’t seen any seizure activity for several weeks. They will continue to be on the maintenance drugs for quite some time – easily a year or longer.

Carver and Kinnick have been being tested for ROP on a weekly basis. This is a preemie eye disease that causes the retina to detach from the back of the eye. Kinnick has a pretty severe case, so she had laser surgery this morning to stop any additional damage. The surgery is 70-80% effective. If they are able to stop the damage, she will only suffer peripheral vision damage, otherwise she could be blind. I am told that it is rare if they end up with a blind baby. They are usually successful in saving at least one eye. We will not know if the surgery was successful for a few weeks or longer. I am also told that it is highly likely that Carve will require the same surgery.

Carver is no longer requiring drugs for a low heart rate. This is attributable to him being off the High Frequency Ventilator, and not requiring as much sedation. In addition, the fact that he is no longer retaining extreme amounts of fluid.

I mentioned above that Kinnick is not feeding due to the intestinal block. They are hopeful that she will be able to start feeds again the first of next week. Carver is now on full feeds and has been problem free!

Carver is weighing in at 4 lbs 15 oz. Kinnick is weighting in at 6 lbs 9 oz (mostly due to water retention from surgery).

Carver has learned to maintain his own temperature and was put in a big boy bed (a real baby bed) last night. Kinnick is capable of maintaining her temp, but is having difficulty due to the surgery and the demands of recovery. She remains in her temp controlled bed. Once she is feeling better, she’ll be moved to a big girl bed.

Now, for the big news!! I got to hold Carver for the first time last night! I thought the day would never come! I didn’t want to put him back in his bed. He looked so comfortable and happy. He’s doing so well, I’m told that I should be able to hold him whenever I want – short periods of time. We have to work up to longer periods based on how well he does with handling.

Once again, I can’t tell you how blessed we are! Thank you all for your Prayers!

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