Isabella Danielle, born at 24 weeks and 1 day, 1lb 11oz, 12.5in

Zachary Michael, born at 36 weeks, 5lb 13oz, 18.5in

Alexander Charles, FULL TERM, 7lb 1oz, 20in

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Surgery Follow-Up

Isabella got out of surgery and back in her spot at the NICU at 3:30pm est. It was a frenzy of different doctors for the first 15-20 minutes as everyone continued to stay up-to-date on her status. Several doctors briefed us on how everything went because Dr. McGahren got called out for another emergency. But not long after they let us in to see her, he popped up and gave us the run down. Overall he felt like the surgery went well and she handled it well. He was able to determine that it was a perforation that occurred 2/3 of the way down her small intestine. They think that it happened some time early last week and was the result of the endomethicine (the medicine given for the PDA). We had asked what the possible side effects were of this drug and they said that the drug can effect the intestines, but that is why they stop the feedings so that the gut is empty. They also mentioned that only 10% of patients taking this drug would have some type of reaction. Bella fell into that 10%. Over the weekend and through yesterday all the staff felt that she was healing this perf on her own. Dr. McGahren said that sometime last night she had another perf in the same spot. When he was doing the procedure he could see the scar tissue from the prior opening right around the existing one. So they cut the area where the perf was and she will have an ostemy bag as soon as she starts to have some type of bowel movement. This also means that she cannot have any of my milk for at least the next 7-10 days. Chris and I plan to stay up here tonight (I am sitting next to her while I type). Her heart rate has come down about 20 points, she is saturating well on lower oxygen than she was this morning, and her blood pressure is fairly stable. They are going to take their time weening her off of the medicines they have been using to keep her stable but will administer pain medication so that she remains comfortable. I am watching Jen work away at Baby Bella and do her great work...she just made the comment that she earned her monies worth today and should go right to sleep when she gets home.

Chris received a very nice phone call from Tanausha at Woodard Properties (who we are renting from) this evening. She was a 27 week preemie who is now 30, which we found out when we moved in. Come to find out, she actually had the same surgery Bella did back in 1978. She was very kind and it was so sweet for her to share this story with us. And then there is baby Abby (see Abby's Storry on the Preemie Blogs to the right). She is a glowing image of the great work the staff here does and also had the same surgery as Bella. (Lauren, thank you for getting in touch with us, I have told the staff you said hello, and would really enjoy getting to meet you and Abby.)

We will of course keep you posted on her status, but will leave you with this for now...

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.


lauren said...

Tears are streaming down my face as I type this. It brings back SO many memories and I do know how scared you are right now(coincidentally, Abby’s perf & surgery was exactly three years ago today – December 23, 2005).

I am praying for sweet Bella and for your strength as her parents. It is exhausting and all-consuming – and it is hard to keep the fear from overtaking you - BUT the incredible love you have for that precious little girl and the faith you have in God is SO powerful and WILL get you (and Bella) through this!!

We continue to pray & pray …

~ Lauren

Amy B. said...

Hi Chris & Machel,
My family and I just moved to C'ville from Lubbock in June. I would really love to help you all out in any way possible during your time here. I have an innate need to take care of fellow West Texans! I can't imagine how difficult the roller coaster of the NICU is, especially being so far from home. PLEASE get in touch if you have any questions about the area, needs resources, or just need a break and a home-cooked meal. We will be in town until Sunday, Dec. 28th and will be gone for the following week but my schedule is wide open the rest of the time. I'll be praying for sweet Bella!
Amy Bowman

Amanda said...

Hey Chris and Machel, The McDs are praying for Baby Bella today. We imagine the highs and lows you guys are going through must be incredibly exhausting. The pictures of Machel holding Bella are beautiful. Keep us posted on her progress today. Love you guys!

Angela McNaul said...

Dear Chris and Machel,
I was there with Bella all night Monday and just want you two to know you have been heavy on my mind the past few days.
I usually wouldn't post on a blog but I dreamed about you three last night and feel like I was being led to let you all know that we are praying for her and for you. She is such a loved little girl.

Shauna said...

Merry First Christmas Eve Baby Bella!!! Praying for you and with your mommy & daddy that you gain lots of strength and weight and recover from your surgery with speed.