So for starters, the boys continue to be stable and recovering slowly. Emmett and Owen have had some time now to adjust to their tracheostomies (trach's) and in that time it has become clear that giving the boys trachs was the right decision. The boys appear to be much more comfortable now that they are no longer encumbered by vent tubes, nose bars, and uncomfortable face tape. They can finally place their cute chubby little hands and fingers in their mouths, a favorite pass time of infants the world around, now a much loved activity of our sweet boys. In fact just today after much effort, Emmett was able to free his splinted hand and rebelliously suck his thumb. His nurse was almost sad to return his hand to the splint. As a result of the trachs, their mood has improved profoundly, and consequently their parents moods have improved as well. Few things bring me greater joy than seeing my boys grin from ear to ear when I lean in close to tell them that I love them. We may have had some trepidation about subjecting the boys to another surgical procedure, but there is no doubt that the boys are now better off.
This adjustment to the trachs has had/continues to have some speed bumps for Owen. Owen has always been a bit more feisty than Emmett, but lately Owen's feistiness has complicated things a bit. When Owen gets really upset he has started "clamping down" his breathing and fighting the vent by holding his breath. On several occasions this has caused his oxygen saturation and heart rate to drop dangerously low and the nurses have had to remove him from the vent and use a hand operated bag to help him breath long enough to calm him down and recover. This is frightening to watch and manage. During these episodes Owen is inconsolable and no amount of soothing speak or gentle pats seems to help. The doctors and nurses are currently unsure what might be causing this, so they are watching him very closely to try and prevent his moments of anxiety from snowballing into another episode. Fortunately Owen's moments of anxiety are relatively uncommon. Most of the time Owen, like his brother, is quite content.
The doctors have taken the next step in understanding the boys reluctant bowels. This week they performed an upper GI study on both Emmett and Owen in hopes that they might be able to determine where along the GI tract the stoppage/slowage is occurring. We have not yet heard the results of these tests but we and the doctors are optimistic that this is the next logical step to a solution. Considering that the boys are continuing to grow (Owen is now over 13 lbs and Emmett is 12lbs 9oz) the TPN nutrition is an acceptable interim until we can solve the problem of the boys' persnickety gastric systems.
We continue to see the loving work of our God everyday. In the hospital, prayers of comfort for the boys are being answered in the form of their trachs, and their smiles. At home God's servants (gracious members of The Ridge Church) have brought us numerous meals and words of encouragement. God's light is shining through my coworkers everyday as they provide support in the form of encouraging words and a gift card for dinner for two and the offer to babysit so my wife and I can have a date night (Thanks so much Jack Spriggs and Robyn Sargent). God's blessings are abundant and continue to arrive when we need them most. Father thank you for blessing us.
Three Good things
1) My beautiful, intelligent, caring, wonderful wife who allows me to write a blog post.
2)The mirth that is bubbling up inside me as I think about those of you who read nearly all of this blog in my wife's voice.
3)Our powerful God and His abundant blessings.