Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Heart of a Micro Preemie

A little different of a Valentine's Day post, but reading this today just really inspired me! Borrowing this text from an email I received today from the Graham's Foundation (a support organization for parents of micro-preemies)...

"The human heart is such an amazing thing. Over a lifetime, one heart will beat 2.5 billion times and move the equivalent of 250,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels. The heart does the most physical work of any muscle.
Even more amazing is the heart of a micro-preemie...a heart not much bigger than a cashew. Very early preterm infants are more likely than full-term infants or even later-term preemies to be diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) and cardiovascular malformations. And yet those tiny hearts beat with amazing strength, having had plenty of practice even though a micro-preemie's time in the womb is far shorter than it ought to be. "

-- Doesn't this just get you energized!! Our babies are just AMAZING! Having the heart of a cashew! They each went through the PDA ligation and their little titanium clips they used to close the PDA were only millimeters long. Brooklyn was the smallest baby they had ever done a PDA ligation on! Isn't it just incredible that something so small can sustain life and do the job it was intended to do! Reading this, I just stood in awe of God's workmanship. We are truly his creation - is there any other explanation that a heart the size of a cashew could keep my babies alive!? These tiny hearts overflowed with God's goodness and every beat was for His Glory! This Valentine's Day, though remembering a little bit differently, reminds of us of His love and our love as parents. We also remembered Katelyn, though her heart not beating as strong, was perfect for what God needed her to be. As tiny and young as she was, filled our hearts with such indescribable love.

We did the typical Valentine's Day too - Nich bought Hailey & I flowers (actually Hailey's was from her "secret admirer"), Hailey wrote out about 30 Valentines to school and day care friends, but tonight we picked out the perfect Valentine's for two super special people. Hailey's class made Valentine's for veterans that are in the VA Hospital and she wanted to send one to Uncle Joe because he was her soldier. Even though Katelyn couldn't read hers, we didn't want her to feel left out :) Such a thoughtful sister!

Brooke helped Hailey pick out Katelyn's, a pretty purple flower.

Hailey picked out Uncle Joe's (a smelly Shrek one!) and wrote out Uncle Joe & Katelyn's names on their Valentines and we sent them off! They actually didn't get stuck in a tree this time!!! First time ever! :) Happy Valentine's Day! Wishing you all the love!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Next surgery round - a whopper!

We've known since they were born that when the boys turned 1 year adjusted they'd need to be circumcised (they were much too fragile to do it while they were still admitted). Nich took them to their January Urology appointment and we were planning to get a date scheduled...turns out the boys need more boy surgery, both different. Brennan's missing a nut...they need to do exploratory surgery to find it since it may even be in his abdomen! Landon has had a hydrocele for awhile and they feel it's not resolving itself and may cause other issues so are planning to take care of it.

8 days later they all went to their Opthamology appointment and left with the boys needing eye surgery...total surprise! Brooke's eyes are right on track but the boys are starting to go cross-eyed (called Strabismus). She has a degree of this but not warranting surgery. Read the link if you have a chance - it's really interesting what happens and the eye muscle surgery they can do. It may not work 100% but will help the eyes look in the same direction and hopefully not confuse the brain. :)

8 days later they all went to their Audiology & ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) appointment and they all need tubes in their ears! We were kinda expecting that for Brooklyn, hoping for Landon (this means part of his hearing loss is conductive/fixable!!!), but were surprised for Brennan! Since Nov, she's had 4 ear infections and Brennan has had 3. Thankfully they're such tough kids we didn't even know and were taking them in for something else!

So all in all, walking away with 9 surgeries/procedures scheduled that we learned about within 3 weeks! Brennan & Landon - 4 each and Brooke scoots out with just 1. We're hoping to do this all the same day, sometime in February. I know you're thinking we're probably crazy and torturing ourselves/the babies, but 1 round of anesthesia, 1 surgery day and 1 recovery round! They'll book 3 OR's and go right down the line! We're really praying the babies go through this well. We're praying Landon's lungs will be strong enough to get right back off the vent! This time around feels so different, even though we've already been through 19 surgeries between the three babies, this time they've been home for so long and they're older! Every time we go back, memories fill with what it was like 16 months ago. Turning them over to the doctors and surgeons is so hard but God's going before us, which is our strength!