The babies have encountered a lot of bumps in their road to recovery this week. I'm not sure if these are major or minor setbacks, but I AM sure that I will see my boys through them! So let me start at the beginning.
Emmett has been on tube feedings of breast-milk for a week or so. Unfortunately, he has been vomiting 2-4 times per shift, AND they have been drawing more OUT of his stomach than what has been going in. What this means is that his gallbladder is producing bile and introducing it into his stomach, and his liver is producing the secretions needed for digestion, but the mixture of milk, bile, and secretions are not traveling through the intestines. Emmett had an abdominal sonogram that verified that the reconstructed portion of his bowels has not awakened or is simply not participating in the peristaltic wave. It's like the section of fans in the bleachers at a football game refusing to do the wave - just refusing to be team players. The culprit of this problem has not been determined. It may be (as was mentioned earlier) that his bowels have not yet awakened from surgery, it may be that this section needs to heal, or it may be that the narcotics used for pain management are suppressing the peristaltic wave. Or it may be something else entirely. Currently, the plan is to allow time for healing, and try feedings again in a few weeks.
As the boys have been weaning off of the paralytics/heavy narcotics, I have been asking when the they will be extubated. On Wednesday, the doctors and nurses attempted to extubate Emmett. I had to leave before they tried this, but the doctor assured me that he would call me to tell me the news, whether it was good or bad. Unfortunately, it was bad news. Emmett had an inspiratory (breathing in) and an expiratory (breathing out) stridor (wheeze caused by obstruction of the trachea i.e. wind pipe). The obstruction can be caused by swelling or scar tissue, or possibly other variables. All in all, he is unable to exhale the carbon dioxide and it is remaining in his body. He had to be reintubated. The plan is to do a bronchoscopy after his wounds have healed, and until then, he will probably remain on a ventilator.
Owen has been doing well, though he had not been receiving breast milk, so we are unsure about the state of his bowels, and they did not attempt to extubate him, and there is no concern for agenesis of the corpus callosum because he did not have ventriculomegaly in utero. But he was not to be outdone by his brother. On Wednesday, Owen began having sections of time where he stopped breathing and his oxygen saturation level would drop. This continued for several days, and as far as I know is still unresolved. The doctors are still trying to determine what is going on with this, but I am confident that they will be successful, and will be able to correct whatever is causing the problem.
In the meantime, Dave and I were invited to a fundraiser for the 30th anniversary celebration of the Dallas Pregnancy Resource Center (DPRC). We met many gracious people, and generally spent the evening with a host of amazing individuals! The people involved in DPRC are driven by a love for the Lord, and a desire to extend his grace and mercy to everyone and anyone in need or who will hear His message. It was fantastic to see the work of God through these people.
Prior to the dinner, Dave and I were enjoying the hors d'ouerves (I did not allow a tray to go by without testing each different selection, and by golly, they were all amazing! Dave has asked me to do a special shout out to the beef wellington.), and I looked at Dave and said, "What do normal people talk about?" He was as confounded as I was. I asked him about everyone's health ("So...How's everyone's health?") and the weather ("What do you think about this hot weather?), and that was ALMOST the extent of our 'normal' conversation. [My mom even attempted to help me with my deficit in 'small talk' abilities by providing a diagram (of sorts) for me to memorize and unleash upon other small talkers.] However, as there were MANY gracious people in attendance, we were saved from our own inability to create meaningful small talk amongst ourselves, and the evening was truly marvelous. We also got to see Mercy Me perform. If you have not heard their latest album, or any of their albums for that matter, you should make that purchase, or youtube them, or something! They provide such a pleasant aural experience, AND they have an exciting message to share! AND, in case you were wondering, Dave cleans up into a very handsome man. (Please see pictures below.)
In addition, I am pleased to announce that t-shirts can now be ordered. We are planning on filling orders in two week increments, and we are still working out the logistics of organizing everything. Please be aware that you MUST indicate in the 'Note to Seller' section (before you complete the transaction) the specific size of t-shirt that you would like, otherwise someone will have to contact you for this information. I certainly don't want anyone to NOT receive a shirt!! Here is the website, and if you have ANY questions, the Contact Us section sends an email directly to Dave and me. I will also be adding another page on the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page. Here is the link, though:
May God bless you all today and everyday.