Saturday, March 27, 2010

Landon's Long Day

Saying, I'm ok guys!
Miracle Man

Landon had one LONG day. He was supposed to have a simple surgery Friday at 10am that combined placing a Gastrointestinal Tube (G-tube) his stomach and repairing his Inguinal hernias to help him come home faster. His hernia's needed to be repaired before discharge and he was taking longer than he should to bottle feed. We figured, might as well have him go down just once. Of course like most surgery days his surgery was delayed for a couple of hours. Around 2 in the afternoon we finally took Landon down for his surgery. Jen and I said our prayers with Landon, told him we loved him and went back to the NICU as he went to surgery...well we thought he went. They took him down, intubated him then there was a delay. His surgery then took longer than expected and around 8:45pm the surgeon came to the waiting room looking for "Landon's family." We were having a good conversation with the other families, so answered, "yep, that's us!" But we saw his demeanor and he asked if there was someplace we could talk. First of all surgeons never give any hint about how well the surgery went, until they actually speak the words. I think they actually go to school for how to worry the family after surgery! We went out in the hallway very nervous. He said everything was ok, but he had several complications along the way. Instead of two hernias, they only found 1 and one hydrocele, which was good news. They don't have to operate on hydroceles. However, the hernia he had was more complicated than they thought and it took 2 surgeons, a massive microscope, and over 2 hours to repair just the hernia! Then everytime they filled his belly with air to put his g-tube in, he would desat and they would have to stop and wait for him. The doctor said several times that he had to stop and start. But like always Landon does not do anything the conventional way! Right now he's on the vent - medium settings but is improving bit by bit. They're using the Gtube for meds now and hopefully will start it with feeds on Monday. The surgeons told us that they don't want to see another Pollak baby because they are took much work and never follow the rules. They actually told Brooklyn to not listen to her brothers.

It will probably take Landon a while to recover but since we did both surgeries together he may get home a lot sooner. He is a sweet boy and I can't wait to have him sleep in his own crib, get mad because his little sister wont stop crying, laugh when his older sister is making funny noises, and bond with his brother who is also a little conquering hero in his own right. We are so close to finally be home, our home together. We pray for our little men all the time that they will know how much they are loved by their mom, dad, sister, family and friends who span the whole world. It's hard for us to be with one while the other is alone at another hospital. They are the most brave babies I have every seen and I can only hope that I can met the challenge of being their parents!
God has blessed us, allowing us to witness miracles with these babies! Tuesday the doctors told Nich that after reviewing the neuro-visual test Landon had done and looking at the cranial ultrasound pics, Landon would most likely be blind, deaf and unable to walk. Apparently just outside the ventricles in the brain, lies your pathways to your legs, eyes & ears. His Grade 4 hemorrhage bled over these areas, causing damage to the brain tissue. We were devastated. How were we going to take care of these babies with such difficult needs?! God, we didn't ask for 4, let alone 23 weekers! After we regrouped, gained strength and realized we can do all things through Christ (after all, some days we have no idea how we get up and do this everyday!) we regained our focus. Our family. We vowed no matter how difficult, Landon's our son and he's survived so much, it was our job to help reach his fullest potential, whatever that is. Wednesday I got a text from Nich saying Landon could hear!!! He passed the BEARS hearing test! That's the easy one that all babies are tested on! We though to ourselves, wow we are so lucky to be Landon's parents! I have not personally witnessed so many obvious miracles! Landon's also been looking at things and even went cross eyed the other day looking at his bottle. All the time GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick update - Prayers & Praises!

Quick update! Landon wiill have his triple surgery tomorrow at 10:30 (gtube, hernias and boy surgery). Brooklyn's off oxygen during the day!! Brennan's eyes are progressing just as they should!

Monday, March 22, 2010

From Pirate to Spiderman

You probably read the title and thought - what?!?! Brennan came through the second (and last!) eye surgery great today! Just came out looking a little funny...

Spiderman! :)

Both of the surgeries he extubated (bot his breathing tube out) in the OR and he's breathing on his own - without cannula! He's woken up well and tolerated the surgery well. The surgeon took a look at his right eye and it seems to be doing good. There's still a little bubble in his eye, but they're hopeful it'll go away and his retina will reattach correctly. His left eye was worse and the prognosis isn't as good, but what do statistics mean to the Pollak?! :) Don't get me wrong we understand the seriousness of what's going on, but there's always the God factor. We're praying for sight!

Also, wanted to share, our local newspaper featured a story on our family this past Sunday on the front page! Here's the link - it was such a great article!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pictures of Brooklyn

Even though the babies are almost 6 months old, since they were 4 months too soon, they have an adjusted age. Really they're only 2 months old. Brooklyn went to the pediatrician last week and was showing off doing things a 4 month baby should be doing! She's got great head control, neck strength and the curiosity to keep learning new things!

Our developmental super star! Look at that strength!

Smiling! She's so proud of herself! We were all cheering her on!

Mommy giving Brooke a bath in the sink! Definitely not a regular occurrence - her infant tub is so much easier but we were without and she NEEDED a bath! She did great!

Sisters, best friends for life! I love this picture! They were mesmerized by Dora. Hailey was even explaining it to Brooklyn!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Surgery Pirate

Wow, not posting the day after surgery definitely isn't like me but I've been exhausted and internet-less. A HUGE thank you to Brittney for letting me use her laptop to get this blogging bonanza started!

Here's Brennan getting settled in his cubicle at Beaumont. It's such a beautiful hospital and we feel like he's in great hands! Had to take a picture because they're isolettes are much different from U of M. The nurse said he was pretty fussy when we weren't there and it made it really really hard to leave Thursday night. He went right to sleep when I held him, but had a little trouble getting settled again in his bed.

After much love, here's Brennan all snuggled in! Nich & Brooklyn had left already to get checked in to their hotel while I had a couple minutes by myself with him. This was the first surgery I wouldn't be at, he was in a new hospital and having an uncommon surgery. Not the recipe for a good night. I balled as soon as I got in my car in the parking garage. I called Meme and Lynne who helped talk through my feelings and prayed with me. I am so thankful for such supportive friends!

Our post surgery pirate!

Friday, Brennan had surgery on his right eye as his retina was partially detached. Apparently scar tissue from his ROP (Retinapothy of Prematurity) surgery back in January. This isn't very common, but now statistics don't have much weight with our kids! I had talked with the surgeon prior to surgery and he told me he's let us know how the surgery went. He must have known how nervous I was and called me from the OR letting me know everything went well! We'll need to watch and make sure his retina reattaches itself to his eye and for now infections. It was a laser surgery and he really did great all around - even was extubated before he came back to the NICU! Couldn't asked for a better surgery day! Left eye is scheduled for Monday, but unforunately we don't know what time yet. Look for more updates to come!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Off to Beaumont he goes!

Brennan's getting prepped to transfer to Beaumont at 0800 hours. I feel like this is a mission - to Beaumont for eye surgery, then back here to learn to eat again and the rest of recovery - then outta here! Mission COMPLETE! Plans as of now is transfer tomorrow morning (Nich will go with him), surgery on one eye Friday then the other Monday. He can come back once he's off the ventilator. MUCH easier to transport a baby who can breathe on his own! We're praying this is his last adventure for awhile! Personally I've been pretty bummed and worn right out, but everyday God is good! This morning Landon took his whole feed by bottle and has done great the rest of the day! Brooklyn has been such a sweetheart too and Hailey's been staying with my family and been so good! We have an enrollment appointment for her for preschool on Friday! (I can't believe she's ready for school!) When we're going through a rough spot, keep our eyes on Him and open for the blessings! That is one really big thing we've learned...don't put God in a box. He's got BIG plans for our kiddo's! Each are rockstars in their own way and keep our family balanced. We continue waking up each day and just love our kids, they're all our blessings!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Update on the Boys

It's so hard to update right now, because things keep changing! But here goes!

Brennan -

He's had a rough start to recovery from surgery. He's still on the ventilator, but finally are able to make progress! Friday night he had another brady non responsive episode and they realized part of his left lung collapsed. He's getting more volume help from the vent to inflate his lungs so that spot will heal. He's also getting lasiks now to help him pee of the extra fluid from surgery. This will help his lungs dry out too and help him breathe better. He's waking up and so feisty! He doesn't want that breathing tube anymore, but doesn't quite get that he has to breathe to lose it! He's gaining some of his weight back through TPN (iv nutrition). Can't wait until he starts eating again!

Landon -

Lots more going with Lando-man. He's working on eating again through a bottle. At first he was really uncoordinated and during our family meeting last week the docs mentioned a Gastrointestinal Tube (Gtube) Last week he was taking about 25cc by bottle and now he's taking about 50-60! We may still consider the Gtube since he already needs surgery for his hernias before he can come home. They did a swallow study on him Friday and realized he's aspirating his fortified breast milk. They tried a couple consistencies and a Neosure/Rice Cereal combo it's what's working. It's pretty thick, like honey, but he's taking it and doing a great job! With the Gtube he would definitely be able to keep working on bottle feeding. It takes him about 45 minutes to finish this and he has 110cc every 3 hours. His surgery (Gtube and hernia or just hernia) will probably be late this week or early next. He's in discharge mode! Slow, but we're finally getting there with Landon! He's going to be quite the handful, but we couldn't be happier!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Loop the Loop

Brennan's out of surgery and doing really well! Here's a quick recap of what happened.

So, last night about 10pm he started bradycardia (brady's) quite a bit. His heart rate stayed between 60s-90s for about 10-15min at one point. During that time he didn't desat (oxygen saturation drop), didn't have a fever - it was really odd. He was also unresponsive. We could pick up his arm, let go and it would drop. The nurses tried to stim (rub his chest, pinch his foot) to try to get him to respond and he didn't, barely did when they pinched his foot. We were really nervous and the docs were too because they couldn't figure it out. Transferred him to the PICU (Pediatric ICU) where he settled right down. Turns out he was just too cold! Apparently babies brady when they're too cold! Learned something new! We were fortunate to stay last night at the hospital in a nesting room. Unfortunately the only one they had open was room 1 - the room we held Katelyn in while she passed. I think we were too tired for it to be too emotional. Everytime we go past that room we remember though.

There was a cancellation and he got on the OR schedule early. Actually we got in to see him about 9:30 and he went down at 10! Surgery took 4 hours and they were able to remove the obstruction. Turns out when he had the bowel perforation when he was little, the hole attached to another part of the bowel, forming a circle. That spot was inflammed and very narrow, not allowing much through. The detached the bowel loop, removed the scar tissue and some bad bowel, reattached and closed him up! He did great! He's on the ventilator still, but that's precautionary because he got lots of fluid while he was dehydrated and they don't want his lungs to get too wet. He should be recovered in about 1 week! Just in time for eye surgery! :) God is soo good! Thanks everyone for your prayers!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Surgery afterall

We have been on such a surgery rollercoaster with Brennan! Yesterday morning they thought surgery, by the afternoon thought it was resolving itself so no surgery, last night decided he needed surgery. He has scar tissue that formed a band around his bowel, causing the obstruction. It was supposed to be scheduled for this afternoon, but now he's too unstable for surgery. His electrolytes are all off balance and anesthesia felt it was too risky to put him under. We are so thankful for a wise medical team! He has lost quite a bit of weight and is still pretty dehydrated. The PICC line team came by and didn't find any good spots - he may have to go down to have one placed. So, now we're on schedule for surgery tomorrow at 12:30.

He's lost quite a bit of weight so we're really hoping to get him feeling better soon! Such a trooper!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Brennan's NEC miracle!

Brennan has joined his little bro at U of M yesterday, just a couple floors up! Saturday after his 5:30pm feed he spit up and we didn't think anything of it. 8:30pm feed took all of it just fine! 11:30pm spit up again, this time bright yellow. Called the nurse line to check it out and they told us to just make sure he burped and keep him upright for 45min after feed. If he continues the next day, probably take him in. They didn't seem concerned at all. He was acting hungry so he nursed again at 1:30am thinking maybe it was a formula issue, but spit up again after. He ate again at 3am, spit up 5min later and we put him back to bed in the swing. At 4:30 he threw up and then at 4:30 threw up more. At that point we tried to call the nurse line back, but didn't want to pay the fee again and decided to just take him to the ER. Hey our deductible was met Jan 1, so it wouldn't cost anything! They weren't quite sure what was going on. Nich mentioned he had NEC (Necrotizing Enterocolitis) before so they took an xray (see his reaction below!) and found an obstruction in his bowel, and it looks like NEC again. So glad Nich spoke up! That's definitely one thing this process has taught us. It's our care, we need to speak up and understand what's going on!

Nich thinks it looks like he's riding the Mantis at Cedar Point! :)

After finding the obstruction, they transferred him to U of M's ER by ambulance. He kept throwing up at both hospitals and in the ambulance on the drive. At U of M, they put a Ropogo (really light vacuum tube - think gentler than Mr Thirsty at the dentist) into his stomach to pull out the contents before he could throw it up. Also took him down for a barium GI study to more accurately find the obstruction (stricture). Yesterday he got xrays every couple hours so they could keep an eye on his bowel track. He got started on TPN and lipids (IV nutrition & fat) as he still isn't eating. We were waiting for a surgery date (possibly Tuesday or Wednesday), but just as I was typing this Nich called and said the surgery team feels like the obstruction is resolving itself! Right now they're thinking he won't need surgery! The same thing happened to Landon when he got really sick last month, NEC resolved itself!

God is amazing! These babies have taught us to have faith and never lose hope. Yesterday, I felt like things couldn't get much worse - all my kids are in different places and I am longing for our family to be together! This is huge news for Brennan! Hopefully he'll be home soon! He is lined up for a eye surgery consult (was supposed to be tomorrow at Beaumont, but he's not going anywhere!). He has scarring from his last ROP surgery that is pulling on his retina. God is so good! We just have to keep faith! We'll keep you posted, as always! Thanks for your continued prayers for our family! It's what keeps us keeping on!

Also, 5 month post coming - our computer got a virus and now it won't connect to the internet so have to find other time to post, but knew this one comes first! :)