Wednesday, February 28, 2007

February 28, 2007

"For with God, nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37

We received the results of the EKG, and unfortunately, the ductus still has not closed, although the size of the hole is now small to moderate (it began as "very large"). The doctors are going to give him one more course of medicine and repeat the EKG on Friday. On Friday, they will either find that the ductus has closed, or schedule surgery. Please pray that the ductus closes with this last course of medicine.

Kyle received a blood transfusion yesterday. We expected that he would need one at some point, we just were not sure when. Blood is taken from Kyle every 12 hours, and with a baby this tiny, they do not have much to spare. Joe was able to be his blood donor, which is very comforting. Now, Kyle literally has Joe's blood running through his veins...which will probably only add to Kyle's feistiness!!! We were worried about the transfusion, and whether Kyle's body would accept the new blood, but he handled it like a champ. He looks much better already, as he was beginning to look a little pale because his red blood cell count had been dropping. Anyways, one more thing to praise the Lord for!

Someone asked if I have been able to hold Kyle yet, and the answer is sort of. Once, while the nurse was changing his bedding, she had me hold Kyle in his isolette for a couple seconds while she switched out his bedding. A picture of this is posted above! We are allowed to touch him gently, but not stroke him as his nerves are very sensitive right now. Kyle has been on what is referred to as "hands on care" which means that the doctors and nurses try to schedule anytime he will be handled or touched to occur only once every six hours. During this time, anything that needs done, such as his vitals or a diaper change, is done. Even such little things as this take up so much energy for Kyle. The less time that is spent fussing with him, the more time he has to rest and grow.

Many people have asked for an address to send cards or care packages to. Although, we so appreciate the thought, please do not send any care packages. I have all that I need here, plus, when I go home, I still need to try and fit everything in my suitcase! If you really want to send something, please send something little to Madison for becoming a big sister. In addition to missing her mommy, she understandably feels left out on being a big sister as she is so far away. Anyways, the addresses are as follows:

Mail for me should be sent to Kyle's attention at the hospital:

Kyle Kupiec, NICU patient
c/o Florida Hospital
601 E. Rollins St.
Orlando, FL 32803

If you would like to send well wishes to Joe and Madison, they can be sent to the following address:

5203 Beckett Ridge
Stow, OH 44224

I feel a little awkward posting the addresses, but people have asked several times. Please do not feel obligated to send a card or anything. The comments you all leave on the blog are more than enough!

As I am about to climb into bed, I thank God for all of you, along with His faithfulness, power and love.

God Bless You,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

February 27, 2007

"In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:21-22

Just a quick post to let you know we received the results of the brain ultrasound and Kyle does NOT have any bleeding in his brain. Praise God!!! The doctors were amazed and said there is almost always some bleeding.

We still have not received the results of the EKG, but should have them by the end of the day tomorrow.

Kyle is one week old today! Each day we have with him is a gift from God.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Monday, February 26, 2007

February 26, 2007

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Madison arrived safe and sound on Saturday. Words cannot describe how wonderful it was to finally be able to hug her! At her request, we went straight from the airport to the hospital so that she could meet her baby brother. We had so many fears that Madison would be overwhelmed and frightened (as Joe and I were) upon seeing Kyle for the first time, but she did awesome. Kyle does not like to be bothered with by the nurses to have his vitals done. When Madison arrived, they were taking his vitals, such the natural big sister she is already, she put her finger in his isolette and Kyle grabbed onto it...Madison told him, "You are feisty like me, we're going to get along great!" She has been in love with him ever since.

The results of the EKG came back last night, and unfortunately, the ductus has not closed. Kyle began another round of medicine to see if a second dose will close it. He finishes the last dose today and another EKG is scheduled for Tuesday. Tomorrow Kyle also has a brain ultrasound scheduled to check for Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH) which is a type of bleeding from fragile blood vessels in the brain. Most intraventicular hemorrhages occur in the first week of life, so the doctors always wait until the baby is one week old to check for bleeding. Most often, there is a small amount of bleeding, and the doctors will grade Kyle's bleeding anywhere from 1 to 4, with 4 being the worst. The more bleeding that occurs, the greater risk of long-term brain injury. Tomorrow is a big day as far as tests go....PLEASE PRAY FOR POSITIVE RESULTS!!!

I am attaching some pictures of Kyle...finally! I don't think that pictures acurately portray just how little he is...but hopefully the picture with the pen will give you some perspective. His head is the size of a small fist, his arms are the size of a small index finger and his torso is about as big as Joe's wrist. God has created this tiny miracle that is the most beautiful baby in the world to us.
Much Love,

Joe, Jennifer, Madison and Kyle

Saturday, February 24, 2007

February 24, 2007

"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." ~ 1 Peter 5:7

I was released from the hospital yesterday, so I am reporting to you from our new digs...the Ronald Mc Donald House of Orlando! The home (a picture of which is on the left) is a beautiful Victorian house that is on the campus of the hospital Kyle is staying at. The house is available by doctor referral to families from out of town that have a child who will be in the hospital for an extended period of time. The people who run the house are amazing and truly try to make it "home away from home" for their guests. We have our own bedroom and bath, plus there are common areas such as a playroom, gathering room, laundry room, and of course a kitchen. For only $15.00 a night, we can't beat it!
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Kyle has had a quiet day yesterday and today...thankfully! He finished the last of his heart medicine and he will have an EKG sometime today before 5:00 to see if the ductus has closed. When the doctor was listening to Kyle's chest last night he did not hear the heart murmur, so we are optimistic about the results of today's EKG. We'll keep you posted!

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Madison is arriving in Orlando today!!! I cannot wait to hug her when she gets off the plane. I have not saw her in 17 days and it seems like a lifetime. Yesterday Joe and I met with a Child Life Specialist for advice on how to handle Madison meeting Kyle. It took Joe and I a couple days to get used to seeing him. He is so tiny...words cannot describe how small 1.6 lbs are when that weight is a living human being. Anyways, we met with a Child Life Specialist and she had some great ideas. She took a few Polaroid pictures of Kyle that she said we should show Madison before she meets him. Each picture shows something different Madison will encounter, such as the machines that surround him or the many different wires/tubes that are hooked up to him. She gave us child like expressions to describe things. For example, the IV that is hooked up to Kyle's belly..."this is how baby Kyle gets a drink when he is thirsty, the tube goes right into his belly just like it did when he was in mommy's belly." On Sunday, a Child Life Specialist is going to meet with Madison and do some activities with her to see how she is absorbing everything.

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Words can not describe how grateful we are to everyone that has been praying for us and baby Kyle. Throughout this entire ordeal, we have felt God holding us in the palm of His hand. "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

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God Bless You,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Thursday, February 22, 2007

February 22, 2007

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7

Yesterday was a calmer day with just a couple of "hiccups." Kyle has been having trouble with his blood sugar being to high, which the doctors were able to treat successfully with insulin. He also had jaundice,but after phototherapy they were able to clear that up as well. I am healing well from the Cesarean section and able to move around more each day. Unfortunately, yesterday I developed a fever and was not allowed in the NICU to see Kyle for 24 hours. That was tough!

On a positive note, my milk came in yesterday, and the doctors attempted Kyle's first feeding. A healthy sucking and breathing coordination usually forms at around 34 weeks after gestation, allowing a baby to begin breastfeeding or bottle feeding normally. In Kyle's case, he is fed protein, fat, sugar, vitamins, and minerals intravenously. Yesterday, they also attempted to drip breastmilk feedings into his intestines and it went perfectly. The doctors have said there is always a concern that with a baby this little that when they are given a feeding, their organs are not mature enough to move the food through the intestines. It is amazing how precise the doctors in the NICU are with everything. They first attempted 1.8ml of breastmilk, and measure everything that comes out of Kyle to confirm that 1.8ml comes out before they would give him his next feeding. He was able to complete 5 cycles of feedings before we got the news regarding our next obstacle...

Kyle is hanging in there, although the "honeymoon phase" the doctors have warned us of seems to be ending. Kyle's doctor thought he heard a heart murmur today and therefore ordered an EKG. The results just came back and Kyle has a condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA). The ductus is a blood vessel connecting the main vessel leading to the lungs (pulmonary artery) to the main vessel of the body (aorta). Its function in the unborn baby is to allow blood to bypass the lungs, since oxygen for the blood comes from the mother and not from breathing air. Normally after birth the ductus closes in the first few hours, but in Kyle's case, this blood vessel has stayed open. The opening of this blood vessel causes too much blood to be pumped into the lungs. This can lead to an increase in fluid in the lungs and makes it harder for the baby to breathe as well as increases the work of the heart. To treat his PDA, the doctors began administering medications and stopped Kyle's feedings. They are going to give him three doses of medicine over a 36 hour period and then repeat the EKG on Saturday to see if the medicine has helped close the ductus. The doctor said that in 70% of cases, the medicine is effective, however, if it does not work, then surgery will be required to close it.

Many people have asked for us to post a picture of Kyle. We have our digital camera down here, but forgot the cord to download the pictures onto the computer. Joe is going to get a cord this weekend so we should have some pictures up soon. Stay tuned!

We continue to be humbled by your thoughts and prayers. So as you pray, know that it is being answered as God gives Kyle more strength for each new day.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

February 20, 2007 - Part 2

"Keep me safe, O God, for in You I take refuge. I said to the Lord, You are my Lord, apart from You I have no good thing." Psalm 16:1

Oh...where to even begin. Last night around midnight, I got up to use the restroom. Everything was fine, but when I got back into bed, I literally felt something between my legs. As it turns out, I had Prolapse of the Umbilical Cord, which means the sac holding Kyle was literally falling out of me. Kyle's heart rate was not effected yet, so he did not realize I/we were in labor. Because of this, as gross (for lack of a better word) as it sounds, they were able to "push" him back in and then deliver him by Cesarean section. He was breach and they felt that a vaginal birth would be to traumatic for him to survive.

Kyle came out whimpering/crying much to my relief, where there was a team of neonative intensive care doctors waiting for him. They were amazed that as young as he was, he was breathing on his own, so they were able to take him off the ventilator last night. Unfortunately, today he has had many episodes of Apnea. During an Apnea spell, Kyle stops breathing and his heart rate drops. Apnea is caused by immaturity in the area of the brain that controls the drive to breathe. While Kyle is able to breath on his own, it is something that a baby this young should not have to do, and occasionally his brain "forgets" to breath. In the Neonative Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Kyle is monitored constantly for Apnea spells. Treating an Apnea spell can be as simple as gently stimulating him to restart breathing or adjusting his oxygen level. However, with Apnea occurring frequently, as with Kyle today, the doctors figured it was better to put him back on the ventilator.

Although Kyle is fighting and holding his own, the doctors say the chance of his survival is 60% - 70%. While we (as well as the doctors) are encouraged that Kyle was even attempting to breath on his own, the doctors say there isn't a skill or test for him to pass that increases his chance of surviving. Babies this young are unpredictable and although he may pass one test, there could be a life threatening complication of another sort he may face. In addition, the doctors have also been very clear that although Kyle has a 60% chance of surviving, IF he does survive, he has a 50% chance of having one of the following disabilities: mental retardation, cerebral palsy, blindness or deafness.

While we were visiting with Kyle today, the nurse brought us a gift from another set of parents with a baby in the NICU. It was a plaque they kept with them that says "Con Dios todas las cosas son posibles." Mateo 19:26. The couple did not speak English, so a nurse translated the conversation for us...Apparently, the couple was in the NICU with their baby last night when Kyle was brought in and seeing so many doctors and nurses scrambling to save his life touched their hearts. The couple's baby was once much smaller and has come so far. They felt that we could use the plaque now, which translated means "With God all things are possible." They reminded us that despite the hurdles that lie ahead, anything is possible with God. Right now, Joe and I are focusing on our faith in the Lord, above anything else, to get us through each hour.

Once again, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep praying!!!

In Christ,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

February 20, 2007

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him." I Samuel 1:27

Kyle Joseph Kupiec shocked us by making his big debut last night/this morning...He arrived at 12:48 am weighing 1LB. 6 oz, and is 11 inches long. Kyle is a fighter and is doing better than expected. A very positive sign is that he wants to breath on his own and the doctors have been able to take him off the mechanical ventilator for now and are using a less invasive form of breathing treatment. The doctors have warned us that this is the "honeymoon stage", but said he is doing remarkably well considering he is only 25 weeks.

With all of the prayers being offered up to God on Kyle's behalf, he is already safe in His care. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY!!!

I will try and update everyone later on today.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

Monday, February 19, 2007

February 19, 2007

"God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, I will not fear." Psalm 46:1-2

Another milestone...I am 25 weeks!!! Chance of the baby surviving increased to 50% today and will continue to increase by 1%-2% each day. The nurses at the hospital are so sweet. They decorated a sign that says "25 weeks" and hung it in my room to celebrate this latest milestone.

Madison had a nice long weekend. Saturday she had a sleepover with a friend and then played all day yesterday in the snow. Today she attended a cheerleading camp and had a blast. Tomorrow she heads back to school, which I am sure will be good for her...and Joe! Between vacation, snow days and President's Day, to get back on some sort of schedule will be a good thing.

We are constantly impressed and hold in awe the wonder of God Himself. It is too much to behold yet it is sufficient enough for our needs here on this earth. We are held in His loving care and as we look back we see His hand holding us up throughout our entire lives. But it has never been as evident as this specific time in our life. We continue to thank God for His faithfulness.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

P.S. Congratulations to the Woods...Jack Arnold Wood IV arrived Friday weighing 8lbs. 150z.!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

February 18, 2007

"Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1

Today was a good day. I read the Sunday paper, watched a movie (When Harry Met Sally - a true trick flick!), took a nap, had a massage (as part of physical therapy), and ate cheesecake! Had it not taken place in the hospital, and under different circumstances, it would have been the perfect Sunday!

Joe went to church this morning - on his own even! I am so encouraged that Joe is leaning on Christ for strength and often takes shaky situations to bring us closer to Him. This entire ordeal has definitely strengthened mine and Joe's faith. During church today, they prayed for us and our situation twice, and I have received a couple emails from our lead pastor, Joe Coffey, letting us know that we continue to be in their prayers. Pastor Joe's parents live in the Orlando area and they came to visit Joe and I last Sunday in the hospital. For anyone that knows Joe Coffey, he is the spitting image of his father...I can certainly see where Joe gets his ornriness and wit! We just learned that when the Coffey's came to visit us last week, they went to labor and delivery and asked for Jennifer. They were then sent to "Jennifer's room" in labor and delivery, however, earlier that day I had been moved to the Perinatal High Risk Unit of the
hospital. After visiting with "Jennifer" for about 15-20 minutes, they asked her what part of Ohio she lived in and finally realized they were visiting the wrong person. That must have been a little awkward! Anyways, considering that our church is home to 2700 adults and 1000 children each weekend, we are so blessed how much support and comfort they have shown us through this ordeal.

A doctor that had met with us in labor and delivery last Thursday when I was admitted came to see me today to share a happy story. A woman was admitted on December 13th, at 24 weeks with PPROM (same condition as I) and lasted 5 days before delivering. The baby sailed through NICU and was able to leave the hospital today at just 34 weeks! The doctor had figured with all the terrible statistics and scenarios they gave us when we were admitted that a positive story may help. Joe and I were discussing this today and can not believe how far we have come. The day they had discovered that my water broke, completely in unfamiliar territory, we would ask each doctor or nurse what they would do in our situation. At the time they did not seem very optimistic that we would be able to hold off delivering, and the majority said that if the baby was born he would only have a 10% chance of survival and an even smaller chance of having any quality of life. Their recommendation was that, unless the baby came out crying, we just hold him and let nature take it's course. For the first three days, each day the doctor would come in and have us sign an order as to whether or not they should resuscitate the baby should he be born that day. Your prayers have helped us and baby Kyle make it this far, we can not thank you enough.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

Saturday, February 17, 2007

February 17, 2007

“Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19

Thankfully, the bleeding has begun to subside. Praise God! The doctors are not sure what is causing it, but think that it may be due to Partial Placental Abruption. This is where there is a separation of the placenta from the uterine lining. Treatment consists of bed rest (which obviously I am already on!) and increased monitoring of the baby and I. Unfortunately, there is not a way to diagnose for sure, as doing an examination is to risky because it can increase the bleeding or bring on contractions.

It has been a very long week being separated from the rest of the family, especially Madison. She cheered at a basketball game this morning and won an award for "Best Effort." It breaks my heart to miss these moments. Joe and Madison were going to come down to Orlando for the weekend, but between President's Day and the Daytona 500, flights were outrageous. Instead they'll be coming down on Sunday February 25th for 4 days. It will be so good to see them!

Once again, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. It is God who strengthens us, yesterday, today and in the future.

God Bless You All,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

Friday, February 16, 2007

February 16th - Part 2

No news is good news! The bleeding has increased somewhat, but so far there are no other signs of labor or infection. They have inserted a saline loc in my arm just in case they need to deliver ASAP, but so far so good. Needless to say, it has been a roller coaster of emotions today.

“Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead - since he was about 100 years old - and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised.” Romans 4:19-21

This verse, as well as the footnote explaining them, seems appropriate for today. The footnote: "Abraham had some anxious moments but God did not count these against him. Faith does not refuse to face reality but looks beyond all difficulty to God and His promises. " I like these verses because I have had MANY anxious moments today - but in every one either through His word or the encouragement of Joe, family and friends, God’s promises have been true.

We thank you all for your prayers.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

February 16, 2007

“ I am trusting you, Oh Lord, You are my God ! My future is in your hands.”Psalms 31: 14-15

Just a quick note to let you know there has been a change in my condition. Last night I began bleeding somewhat heavily. At this point, the doctors do not know why or if it will even turn out be a problem. I have been reassured that some women just bleed for no reason and continue on bed rest. The other possibility is that it is the beginning of labor. The doctors are now monitoring me continuously for contractions and have also stopped meals/fluids for now, in case they need to deliver today. My vitals are still normal and I do not have a temperature - which is a positive sign.

When I was admitted at 23 weeks, I was given two shots (24 hours apart) of Cerfactin - a steroid that helps the babies lungs develop quicker. There is not any research as to whether this has any benefit to a baby that is only 23 weeks, but there is research that supports it's administration to babies born at 24 weeks. Anyways, because of the possibility of delivering today, the doctors have decided to give me (or I should say Kyle!) another dose of Cerfactin today and (hopefully) tomorrow to help increase it's effectiveness.

Kyle continues to be unfazed by what is going on - another blessing of the Lord! His heart rate is very strong and he is moving around like crazy this morning. Although Kyle still has fluid to "swim" around in since my water broke, there isn't a cushion between him or I. Each kick or move is much more pronounced and has been a wonderful feeling. So many times over this past week, and this morning, when I start to get worried he has given me a reassuring kick as if he can read my mind. Such a mama's boy already!

I have so much love and thankfulness for all of you. I know your prayers are making a huge difference in our lives and how we handle each day. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY!!! Our hope continues to be firmly rooted in God.

I will try and post an update tonight - hopefully there will not be any changes.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

Thursday, February 15, 2007

February 15, 2007

"He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest under the shadow of the Almighty." Psalm 91:1

We reached another milestone water broke one week ago, and statistically I had a 50% chance of delivering with-in the first week. We're taking it one day at at time, but the next hurdle is to go another week without delivering. We have a 75% chance of delivering in the next 7 days - although as mentioned before, statistics do not take into consideration the power of the Lord! The nurse was describing to me this morning what to expect and it is somewhat scary. We already knew when we deliver, it will be due to an infection of some sort. According to the nurse, it will come on almost instantly and be discovered while they are monitoring my vitals. She said that they can take someones vitals at noon and everything will be normal (temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, etc.), but by 2:00 a fever of 104 can be present. Whenever this occurs, the baby will be delivered immediately by Cesarean section.

The baby's heartbeat is monitored 4 times a day for an hour each time. The nurses are always able to find his heartbeat pretty easily, however to keep him on the monitor for an hour is another thing! The monitors are made for full-term babies and at only 24 weeks Kyle has a lot of room to move around. He is often "swimming"on and off the monitor. Last night during his time being monitored , he was cooperating and they were able to get a constant reading for most of the hour. The doctor and nurses were pleasantly surprised by what they found. Apparently he has "wonderful accelerations". The example they gave me of what "accelerations" means is that if someone comes into your room at 3:00 am and yells "BOO" your heart rate accelerates. By your heart rate accelerating, this shows the nuero connection between your brain and spine working together. The monitoring last night showed that Kyle has this nuero connection already, however, the doctors said that this is typically something they do not see in baby's until 28 weeks!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday. Joe and Madison sent me balloons and chocolates but by far the best Valetine's gift Joe got me was a laptop before he flew home. It definitely helps to pass the time!

I just want to acknowledge how wonderful my boss Denny and the office has been through all of this. I am so blessed that with everything going on, I do not have to worry about my job. My boss sent me a prayer that has been comforting, which is what I think I'll close with today:

"Heavenly Father, in my present need, help me to believe that You are aware of my anxiety and will do what is best for me. Give me the strength to trust You and put the present and future in Your Hands. Grant this through Christ,our Lord. Amen"

Stay warm in Ohio!!!

In Christ,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you." Deuteronomy 3:16 NIV

Thanks everyone for the warm wishes left under the comments section! We have received all your messages, but unfortunately do not have a way to respond to you individually as we are only given the name of the person leaving the comment. Anyways, it is really appreciated...I look forward to the messages as it is one of my only links to the "outside world"!

We had a SLIGHT set-back today. I have been on 2 different intravenous antibiotics 4 times a day, however, the last day or so my veins have become very irritated. I was more than willing to tolerate the pain for the sake of the baby, but this afternoon my arm became quite swollen and the doctor discontinued the use of IV drugs...apparently with my veins so irritated the medicine was seeping into my tissue instead of the blood stream. They have switched me to oral medicine and the doctors say this should be sufficient for now.

The only other new news today is that I started physical therapy to help my muscles adjust to not being used. An added bonus of physical therapy is that it also includes a massage. After being on my back for an extended period - a massage was wonderful!!!

We realized my water had broke about 2 hours before Madison and Joe's flight was scheduled to depart last Thursday. At first we could not fathom Madison flying home by herself, but she was so mature and encouraged Joe and I. She very wisely told us that if something happened to the baby, it was more imporatant that Joe be here to have a chance to hold Kyle. On a lighter note, today while on the phone Madison and I were talking about things she can do at the hospital when she comes to visit. I mentioned that my bed was cool with a remote to move the bed UP/DOWN, etc. and she could lay on it with me. Her response was "No way, that's gross!" I asked her why that would be gross and she said said because I have a "bowl full of poop" taped to my butt! After the cathetar was removed, I "graduated" to using a bed pan and in her mind, it meant they just keep a bowl taped to my bottom. At 7 she can be so mature and wise sometimes, while other times I am reminded that she is only seven.

Today, in light of Valentine's Day, I am reminded of our Heavenly Father's love. He loves us unconditionally. He loves us in spite of our short comings and our sins. His love surpasses all that we can understand. In that while we were still sinners and in need, He sent His only Son to die for us. What a tremendous display of love for us! I thank God for His love.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!!

Much Love,

Joe, Jennifer and Madison

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

February 13th

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail...They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." Lamentions 3:22-23

Hooray - I am now 24 weeks and 1 day pregnant!!! The chance of survival for the baby increased from 10% at 23 weeks to now 30% at 24 weeks. To reach 24 weeks is a great milestone, as the doctors will now consider the baby a viable fetus when he is delivered. As such, I was moved from the Labor and Delivery Unit to the Perinatal High Risk Unit of the hospital. The Perinatal unit is much nicer and comes with little luxuries like a real mattress on the bed (in labor and delivery I had been in a delivery bed with a plastic sectional mattress) and a window with a view of a tree.

We have decided to name the baby Kyle...or I should say Madison decided to do so and it has stuck. After a 4-D ultrasound at 16 weeks we had lovingly been referring to him as E.T. because that is what he kind of looked like on the ultrasound. Madison finally said enough and sat Joe and I down to decide on a name. Anyways, the baby's name will be Kyle Joseph Kupiec.

Joe flew home yesterday. As hard as it was for him to leave, I feel so much better having him home with Madison. We are very blessed to have had such wonderful friends and family take care of Madison since she flew home (alone) last Thursday. They even included her in a trip to Kalahari Water Park and she had an absolute blast!

Thank you all so much for your prayers. We are so humbled as we hear and read about so many people praying for us. We thank you all so much! God has given us comfort and strength through your prayers.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe and Madison

Monday, February 12, 2007

February 12, 2007

Hello! I thought this blog may be a good way to keep everyone up to date with what is going on. As many of you know, Joe, Madison and I were in Orlando on last trip to Disney before the baby was born. On Wednesday, our last full day of vacation, I started spotting. Thinking it was probably nothing, but better safe than sorry, I left Joe and Madison at the hotel pool to head to a nearby hospital, Celebrations Hospital, to have everything checked out. It was soon discovered that I was in labor. Joe and Madison of course came rushing to Celebrations Hospital and before we knew it, my contractions were coming every two minutes.

Celebrations Hospital is a Level 1 facility, which means that they were not really equipped to handle what was going on. This was our first blessing!!! They gave me medications to try and stop the contractions. If they could get my labor to subside, I would be transferred by ambulance to a Level 3 hospital. Thursday morning my contractions had subsided, and I was transferred to Orlando Hospital, where I am now. As it turns out, the first hospital did not necessarily have a protocol for dealing with patients in labor at 23 weeks, which is why we were given medicine to assist in stopping the contractions. Once we arrived at the high risk Level 3 Orlando Hospital, we learned that they do not consider a fetus viable before 24 weeks and as such do not typically give medications to someone in my stage of pregnancy to stop labor. Instead, patients are admitted to labor and delivery to await delivery, as I was. Anyways, as I mentioned, it was a blessing we that we first went to Celebrations as we were given medication that ended up helping.

Unfortunately, we soon discovered the source of the problem, I was diagnosed with Preterm Premature Rupture of the Membranes (PPROM)...which is a fancy way of saying that my water broke VERY early. As we stand now, the baby still has some water/fluid surrounding him and does not seem distressed at all by what has occurred. My contractions have also subsided, which is another huge blessing. The biggest concerns we now face with PPROM are as follows:

1.) Premature delivery. Delivery occurs 50% of the time with-in the first week and 75% with-in two weeks with PPROM.

2.) Risk of developing a serious infection called "chorioamnionitis" - this is an infection of the lining of the uterus and is dangerous to both the baby and I.

3.) Prolapse of the umbilical cord - this is where the umbilical cord literally begins to "fall out" of me. Did I mention I was 3 cm dilated when admitted?

The doctors have said it is not a matter of IF one of these things happen, but when. All of these are considered medical emergencies and require immediate delivery by cesarean section. My job here in the hospital is to stay pregnant for as long as possible. Although not the norm, people in my situation have been able to stay pregnant for weeks.

Statistically, the doctors are saying that the baby does not have a very good chance of suriving. However, one thing that doctors and statistics do not take into consideration is the power of the Lord. "He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together." Colossians 1:17.

Thank you so much to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. God has been gracious to give us strength and comfort through all of this. Even in this time of distress, heartache and uncertainty, He has remained constant and faithful. God is good!

Many people have asked what they can do...PLEASE continue to pray!!!

Sorry for babbling on so long. I will try to update this site regularly but promise not to be so long winded.

Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers!

Much Love,

Joe, Jennifer and Madison