Saturday, March 31, 2007

March 31, 2007

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

Yesterday was a pretty quiet one for Kyle, considering he is still fighting his Pneumonia. Thankfully, the culture from his spinal tap is still coming back negative, but the doctors will wait 72 hours before they officially declare he does not have meningitis. Kyle's oxygen levels are up a little, and have been between 40% and 45% today. Joe and I were discussing how frustrating it has been that when Kyle was first born he was only requiring 21% oxygen, but as he grows instead of getting stronger his needs seem to have increased. As we thought about it more, we started realizing that the last two weeks have been pretty traumatic for Kyle. In addition to all the normal challenges of being a preemie, in the last 15 days Kyle has also endured having heart surgery and two bouts with pneumonia. As his mommy, I feel so frustrated and wish that I could take away the pain he is feeling.

Madison and I have been keeping busy this week. Since it is Spring Break, we have been fortunate to know several families visiting Orlando for the week. In the top picture, our little jock in training is wearing a Nike "headband" which was a gift from the owner, Denny, of the investment firm I work for. He came to visit Kyle earlier in the week and brought him some adorable Nike stuff. The headband is actually meant to be a wrist band for adults but fits Kyle perfectly as a headband! Yesterday, Madison spent the afternoon swimming with her friend Sydney from school. After swimming, I took Madison and Sydney to dinner and Downtown Disney. Madison had a great time, and again it was fun for her to experience Downtown Disney with someone other than "just" mom. We didn't get home until midnight, which is why I wasn't able to post last night.

Only a God whose “thoughts are not our thoughts and ways are not our ways” could have seen and known all that was going to take place over the last 6 weeks, but God Most High is sovereign and while we sometimes can’t understand His ways, we know that He is eternal and had planned each and every moment in time and we can rest in the fact that He was, He is, and He always will be in control.

In Christ,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29, 2007

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Kyle continues to fight his bout with pneumonia. His oxygen level is still improving, and is now averaging anywhere between 30% and 35%...a big improvement of where he was a couple of days ago. One of the organisms growing on Kyle's endotracheal tube prompted the doctors to perform a Lumbar Puncture (spinal tap) on Kyle this afternoon. A Lumbar Puncture is a procedure in which a fine needle is inserted between two vertebrae at the base of the spine for the purpose of obtaining a sample of spinal fluid. The most common reason for performing a lumbar puncture is to look for signs of meningitis. The fluid was sent to a lab for culture and assessment of the number of white and red blood cells present. We should have the preliminary results tomorrow night, but it takes between 48 and 72 hours for the official diagnosis to be back.

On a more positive note...Kyle's weight today is up to 1 lb. 15 oz (896 grams). He is almost 2 pounds! He is still tolerating his full feedings very well, and they have begun to add Human Milk Fortifier to the milk he gets in order to up the calorie content of the breast milk.

I apologize that I have not been updating the blog as consistently as usual this past week. With Madison here I have been a little torn between spending time with her away from the hospital while trying not to neglect Kyle which has not left much free time. Please bear with me...I promise if anything big happens I'll make sure the blog is updated timely!

God continues to supply us all with His strength. I know there is no limit to His supply, at least we have not experienced it and I know we will not ever see the end of His graciousness.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

March 28, 2007

"But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the Lion's mouth." 2 Timothy 4:17-18

Kyle is doing much better today. As it turns out, he has Pneumonia again which was the cause of the distress yesterday and the night before. So far, the culture has produced three different organisms growing on Kyle's endotracheal tube, which means he has some sort of infection(s) in his lungs. He was re-intubated today, which means the endotracheal tube (breathing tube) was replaced. Fortunately, Kyle is responding well to the antibiotics that were started yesterday and his oxygen level has decreased to 40%...much better than the 71% he was running on Tuesday morning. The doctors will continue to closely monitor the culture to see if Kyle's course of treatment needs to be adjusted accordingly.

Kyle turned 5 weeks old yesterday. It was such a long day, I didn't have a chance to post the weekly picture of Kyle next to the straw so I am doing so now. The straw is hard to see as it blends in with his bedding, but I can't think of anything else to place next to him for a comparison of his growth/size. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

We feel so fortunate to have all of you in our lives. We thank you again for your continued prayers for Kyle, and for your encouragement to us. It means the world to us!

In Christ,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

March 27, 2007

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31

I was awoken early this morning by Kyle's nurse practioner who said Kyle took a turn for the worse last night. The last couple of days his oxygen levels have declined meaning that the ventilator is needing to pump a higher concentration of oxygen into the air that Kyle breaths in order for the oxygen in his blood to remain at an acceptable level. The air we breath contains 21% oxygen. Since his birth 5 weeks ago, Kyle was "breathing" anywhere from 21% - 27% oxygen. This week it has steadily inceased and last night it was up to 71%. A chest X-ray was done yesterday morning and repeatedd last night...both times, his lungs were wet, so they started him on a diuretic called Lasix. In addition, the nurses thought he seemed very lethargic. Because of this, they ran a battery of tests called a Sepsis Workup to evaluate the presence of infection. His sepsis workup included a CBC (Complete Blood Count), CRP (C Reactive Protein - a protein in your blood that becomes elevated when infection is present), blood culture, urine culture and a sample of secretions suctioned from the endotracheal tube used with his ventilator. The CBC results are the only test results that come back immediately, and they showed an abnormal white blood cell count. This is often a sign of infection and therefore anitbiotics were started this morning.

We pray this for Kyle and for your loved ones in need...”O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever” (Psalm 30:2;30:11b-12).

God Bless You All,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Monday, March 26, 2007

March 25, 2007

"God is our refuge and strength, a tested help in times of trouble." Psalms 46:1

Unfortunately, Kyle's attempt at CPAP yesterday didn't go to well. He lasted for about an hour on CPAP, then was put back on the ventilator. The other times he went on CPAP, he was taken off because he was having Apnea spells - where he "forgets" to breath. This time he was breathing steadily, however, his lungs just were not strong to support breathing for very long. The oxygen level in his blood is constantly monitored and it kept getting lower and lower while Kyle was on CPAP. The doctors will let him rest and try and again in a week or so. Please pray for his lungs to continue to heal and get stronger.

Kyle's feedings are up to 15 cc's (3 teaspoons) of milk every three hours, which is the maximum allowed for his weight. Because of this, they were able to take out Kyle's IV today. Praise the Lord! We are very fortunate that Kyle's feedings are going so well...many babies his size have severe stomach problems because their digestive systems are just to immature to process their feedings.

I have been able to get away from the hospital the last couple of days to enjoy some activities with Madison as well as some friends from Ohio. The Crosier's are in town for Spring Break. On Friday, Madison's best friend Reese spent the night with us at the Ronald Mc Donald House. Yesterday, we all went to Disney's Magic Kingdom together. Madison had a blast! She is used to going to Disney with "just" Mom and go with her friends was such a treat for her. Afterwards, Madison spent the night with Crosier's at their hotel and I was able to spend some quality time with Kyle at the hospital. I was even able to Kangaroo with Kyle for a few hours this morning!!!

As always, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. We have truly felt God holding us in the palm of his hand throughout these challenging times.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Saturday, March 24, 2007

March 24

"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God -- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." John 1:12-13

Jennifer and Madison are spending the day at Disney's Magic Kingdom with the Crosier family, who are in town for spring break. I'm sure they are enjoying a little mommy, daughter time!!

Kyle has had several quite days in a row. We are so thankful for the much needed peace the Lord has given both Kyle and our family over the past few days. Just for clarification, I'm not referring to having the house to myself while the rest of the family is in Florida......

I spoke with Kyle’s nurse and they are going to try Kyle on CPAP again later today. This will be the first time they have attempted CPAP since Kyle’s surgery. Please pray that Kyle's body will be strong enough to support his breathing without the ventilator! It’s hard to believe it’s only been 8 days since his surgery….
Feedings continue to go well, he is up to 10 cc’s every three hours and they plan to increase his feedings by 1 cc every six hours. Kyle’s weight is at 790 grams (1 lb. 12 oz.) Yesterday they changed Kyle back into an enclosed isolette. Since his surgery his isolette did not have a top to allow the surgeon better access. Madison and I joke about the smell of the enclosed isolette because it tends to have a unique odor….

We are so thankful for everyone’s thoughts and prayers!! As hard has this ordeal has been, we continue to gather strength from all of you! God bless each and every one of you!

Much Love,

Joe, Jennifer, Madison and Kyle

Thursday, March 22, 2007

March 22, 2007

"He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord. Trust in the Lord God always, for the Lord Jehovah is your everlasting strength." Isaiah 27:3-4

Madison arrived safe and sound tonight. It is wonderful to see her, I have missed her so much!

Today was a very peaceful and quiet one for Kyle. I was able to do Kangaroo Care with him for a couple hours this afternoon. I am always thankful for the time I am able to spend holding him, but especially grateful that I was able to do it today before Madison arrived. To make it beneficial for Kyle, we have to Kangaroo for at least an hour and a half... I am not sure how much I will be able to Kangaroo with Kyle while Madison is here.

For the first time this week, Kyle's lungs looked better on his x-ray. The infiltrates the doctors were concerned with have started to dissipate. They have begun to wean Kyle off the ventilator with the hopes that they can try CPAP again in the next couple days. Kyle received his last dose of antibiotics today, the Pneumonia is pretty much cleared up. Praise God! Feedings are going well and his stomach continues to tolerate the milk...he is up to 7 cc's (a little over a teaspoon) every three hours.

As always, thank you for the thoughts and prayers.

God Bless You,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Match 21, 2007

"The Lord nurses them when they are sick, and soothes their pains and worries." Psalms 41:3

I am happy to report that today was a good day. Kyle and I were able to Kangaroo and I think that cuddle time did us both some good! I so enjoy being able to hold him.

Kyle's oxygen requirements were much better today. His X-ray still doesn't look very good, according to the doctor, however, he is encouraged that Kyle is not having so many desaturations. Kyle is still on antibiotics to fight the lung infection/pneumonia, which the doctors will re-evaluate tomorrow. Kyle's weight is up to 770 grams today, which translates to 1 lb. 11 oz. Thankfully, there isn't much else to report on Kyle news is good news!

Madison will be arriving in Orlando tomorrow night and will spend the next 12 days with me. I am really looking forward to seeing her. Unfortunately, Joe will not be making this trip as he has to work. Although I will obviously miss Joe, it will be nice to spend some "girl time" with Madison for an extended period - her last couple trips have been such short ones. The top two pictures are from Madison's last trip. Notice her shirt...a sweet gift from Grandma and Grandpa Kupiec. The bottom picture is from when Kyle and I did Kangaroo Care today.

Thank you for the prayers, we sense the Holy Spirit's presence in our lives ever stronger each day. It truly is a humbling experience - overwhelmingly humbling. God be praised!

In Christ,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

March 20, 2007

"I will not forget you...I have held you in the palm of my hand." Isaiah 49:15

It was confirmed today that Kyle does have Pneumonia. I was relieved to hear however, that Pneumonia in babies is not as serious as it is to the elderly and children. I was told that Pneumonia is basically a generic term for an infection in the lungs, which is what Kyle has. His doctor said this almost always is a different strain of Pneumonia than the one that adults get. In addition, because Kyle is monitored so closely, his infection was caught very early and antibiotics began immediately.

Kyle's chest tube was removed today, and therefore he was able to resume his feedings. Because preemies stomachs are so sensitive, the doctors follow the same protocol as the first time his feedings started. Kyle was given 2 cc's of milk every three hours today. This amount will be increased by 1-2 cc's every 12 hours as along as he continues to tolerate his feedings well. His weight today is 725 grams which translates to 1 lb. 9 oz. Kyle also received a blood transfusion today, again using Daddy's donor blood.

Today Kyle is one month old...and what a month it has been! Kyle has endured heart surgery, being on a ventilator for 28 days, jaundice, pneumonia, 5 blood transfusions, insulin shots due to high blood sugar, over 60 heal sticks, a PICC line, chest tube, numerous I.V's, Apnea spells and has been diagnosed with Bronchopulmonary dysplasia/chronic lung disease. Poor guy has been through quite a bit in his short life. We have faith that next month will be a better one! Faith does not refuse to face reality but looks beyond all difficulty to God and His promises.

As Kyle is another week older (praise God!), I am posting pictures of him next to the straw to give you some idea of his growth. The top two pictures were taken today while the bottom picture was taken when Kyle was three days old. I may be partial, but it seems to me he is getting a little meat on his bones...if such a thing is possible with someone that weighs less than two pounds!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and encouragement over the past month. God has been gracious to give us strength and comfort throughout this experience.

Much Love,
Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19, 2007

"Cast your burden on the LORD, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved." Psalms 55:22

I wish I could say today was a good day for Kyle, as he really does deserve a break, but unfortunately it was another rough one. As I mentioned yesterday, Kyle has had many fluctuations in his oxygen saturation's which continued to get worse last night and this morning. Kyle was given another X-ray this morning and infiltrates in his lungs have gotten worse. This, along with the oxygen saturation levels, have led his doctor to believe Kyle may have Pneumonia. To be certain, changes were made to Kyle's ventilator settings and several tests were ordered: 1.) a blood count 2.) culture of pus cells from his lungs 3.) another X-ray for 6 hours after the first was done. If the results from any of these tests were suspicious, the doctor said he would administer antibiotics and treat him as if he has pneumonia. Unfortunately, his blood count came back abnormal and his X-ray did not show any improvements from the morning. Therefore, around 7:00 PM the nurse began treating Kyle with antibiotics.

The most accurate indication of whether or not Kyle has Pneumonia is from the culture, however, this test takes the longest to complete. Tomorrow we'll have the preliminary results back, but it does take 3-5 days for the final diagnosis. Since the other tests came back as "suspicious" the physician said that the best chance for a positive outcome from any infection is to treat it prudently, which they are doing.

To make matters worse, Kyle self-extubated today, which means he pulled out his breathing tube. The nurse was changing the tape on Kyle's face that holds the breathing tube in place, and the little guy reached up and pulled the tube right out. To replace the tube, it is somewhat of an ordeal, stressful on both Kyle and the respiratory therapists. Much like he is doing in the picture above, he likes to hang onto the various tubes.

“But Jesus said, ‘Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto Me; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.’ And He laid His hands on them...” (Matthew 19:13&14). May God’s healing touch go out to baby Kyle and to all your loved ones, as well.

In Christ,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Sunday, March 18, 2007

March 18, 2007

"Do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind…your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you." Luke 12:29-31

Overall, Kyle seems to be doing well. Today, his oxygen saturation was up and down more than usual. One reason being is that the upper right lobe in his lung has collected some fluid. This is most likely because they have had Kyle laying on his right side since surgery due to the chest tube and his incision. To alleviate this fluid, they are giving him medication as well as respiratory therapy. Every six hours a respiratory therapist administers 3 minute rounds of gentle vibrating over his upper right lobe to help break up the fluid that has collected there. Kyle's chest tube is still inserted and pumping as it continues to collect fluid and air. Perhaps tomorrow they will be able to turn off the suction. The poor guy never seems to get much of a break.

On a happier note, Kyle continues to grow steadily and today he weighed a whopping 1 lb. 10 oz! The nurse warned me that some of that is still fluid retention from the surgery and from being back on IV fluids, but some is legitimate weight gain. Kyle will not resume feedings until the chest tube is out. We also will not be able to hold him for a couple more days. The nurse told me to imagine if we had open heart surgery and someone picked us up - it would be quite painful. Apparently, the same concept goes for babies. Fortunately, the nurses are still administering pain medication to Kyle every 4 hours so he seems to be handling everything pretty well.

Our church recently launched Video on Demand sermons so that the sermons may be viewed live from anywhere with just an Internet connection. Joe attended the 11:30 service at church this morning, while I was able to watch it from my computer in Orlando. Technology is a great thing!

Thank you, everyone, for your prayers. We are so appreciative.

God Bless You,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17, 2007

"He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength…Those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:29-31
Kyle had a quiet day today and slept more than usual. No doubt a result of his surgery yesterday and the pain medication he is on still. More than usual, the staff at the hospital is trying not to disturb him and only touch or move him when absolutely necessary. Kyle still has his chest tube in for now. Tomorrow the plan is to leave the tube inserted but to turn off the suction. If air or fluid does not accumulate, they will then take out his chest tube on Monday. The above pictures are of Kyle post surgery so you can get an idea of the incision. The chest tube I am referring to begins by the safety pin in the picture, and ends below Kyle's arm (under the white bandage).
Another chest X-ray was done on Kyle today and as a result, the doctors have discovered that Kyle has a condition called Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Bronchopulmonary dysplasia involves abnormal development of lung tissue and is it is characterized by inflammation and scarring in the lungs. Kyle was not born with BPD, it is something that has instead developed as a consequence of him being on the mechanical ventilator for so long.
Mechanical ventilators do the breathing for babies whose lungs are too immature to allow them to breathe on their own. The ventilators also supply necessary oxygen to the lungs of these premature infants. Oxygen is delivered through a tube that has been inserted into Kyle's trachea (windpipe) and is given under pressure from the machine to properly move air into his stiff, underdeveloped lungs. Sometimes, for these babies to survive, the amount of oxygen given must be higher than the oxygen concentration in the air we commonly breathe. Although mechanical ventilation is essential to their survival, over time the pressure from the ventilation and excess oxygen intake can injure a newborn's delicate lungs. The ventilator really is a double-edged sword, it’s necessary, and without the ventilation Kyle couldn't survive. On the other hand, we are doing something that is damaging his lungs over time.
There isn't a treatment necessarily for BPD, but it is important that we get him off the ventilator to reduce the amount of damage done to his lungs. It should gradually correct itself as Kyle grows, lungs continue to grow for the first 5-7 years of life. Many babies diagnosed with BPD will recover close to normal lung function, but it takes time. Scarred, stiffened lung tissue will always have poor function. However, as infants with BPD grow, new healthy lung tissue can form and grow, and will eventually take over much of the work of breathing for diseased lung tissue.
The doctors are going to give Kyle about a week to recover from his surgery, then they plan on trying him on CPAP again. Please pray this week that Kyle's body will be strong enough to support his breathing without the ventilator!
We are so thankful for all of you that continue to pray for Kyle and for all involved in this situation. It is because of your united prayers that we are full of joy because of the hope found in Jesus Christ...that we are patient in this recovery road with Kyle...and our prayers combined with yours help us to remain faithful.
In Christ Alone,
Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Friday, March 16, 2007

March 16, 2007

"Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you." Exodus 23:25

Just a quick note to let you know that Kyle's surgery was completed at about 9:00 this morning and in the surgeons words, "everything went perfect." Praise God!!!

The surgeon went in Kyle's back to access his heart, the incision begins below his neck and wraps down ending under Kyle's left armpit. For the most part, they were able to use a surgical glue, along with a couple stitches, to close the wound. The surgeon was able to pull two ribs apart to get where he needed, apparently babies bones are much more flexible than adults. I was surprised by how large his incision looks. I knew the incision would be about two inches long, which I thought was pretty small. What I hadn't realized was just how big two inches looks when the person is only 12 inches to begin with! The doctors say it should heal very nicely and that the scarring should be minimal, babies skin tends to scar less than ours. If Kyle is anything like Daddy, his scar will not be visible under all the hair anyways! Ha-ha! :)

The ductus was closed with a metal clamp that will remain in Kyle permanently. As the clamp is metal, the surgeon informed us that Kyle will set off metal detectors in airports. I can't wait for the day that I can take him to an airport, or anywhere for that matter! He also mentioned that Kyle will not be able to have MRI's done, which I did not realize stands for "Magnetic Resonance Imaging". Apparently the magnetic forces of the MRI can move the metal clamp in Kyle and lead to serious trauma.

A tube was placed in Kyle's chest to help with drainage from the surgery and it will be removed in a few days. Around 11:00 AM Kyle was having an episode of desaturation (desat) which means there is too little oxygen in the bloodstream. They did a chest XRAY to confirm that everything was okay with the placement of the tube as well as to confirm the ductus was closed and both were okay. Kyle was in effect "paralyzed" for the surgery and they believe the desat was caused by this. They were able to treat it with increased oxygen and he is doing much better now.

Kyle began to wake up around noon at which time more pain medication was administered. Since Kyle obviously can't tell us when he is in pain, the nurses watch for several signs of discomfort. The most obvious, to me anyways, is that he wrinkles his forehead or grimaces as if he is in pain. They also monitor how many breaths per minutes (bpm) he is taking. The ventilator is set to give Kyle 30 bpm, however, Kyle usually takes around 50 bpm - any amount over the 30 are done on his own. As he was waking up, the bpm's he was taking on his own were decreasing. Much like you or I, if our chest was in pain it is not instinct to increase our breathing and/or to take deep breaths. The last sign they look for is an increased heart rate.

When the surgeon went over the risks of the surgery this morning, there were many, however, once Kyle made it through the surgery there are only two we really need to look out for. First, there is a risk that the ductus can re-open in the next couple of months. Second, there is a nerve, the size of a strand of hair, for Kyle's vocal cords in very close proximity to the ductus that could be damaged during surgery. We won't know for a couple weeks if this nerve was damaged or not. Chance of complications with this type of surgery occurring is only about 1%, so we are hopeful Kyle will be just fine.

God says, "My angels will always protect you" (Psalm 34:7) and you all have certainly been Kyle's angels throughout this whole experience. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Thursday, March 15, 2007

March 15, 2007

"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16

I was finally able to hold Kyle again today...we did Kangaroo Care for 4 1/2 hours! Today was a good day, a very quiet one, spent cuddling. Just what we needed before Kyle's surgery tomorrow morning.

The anesthesiologist is scheduled to see Kyle at 6:15 AM tomorrow and the surgery will begin at 7:00. There was some discussion amongst the doctors as to whether or not Kyle would be moved back to the "big house" for the procedure or be able to stay in his private room. It was agreed that he can stay in his private room, however, for 24 hours after his surgery he will have his own private nurse (it is usually a ratio of 1 nurse to every 2 babies). This evening Kyle was moved from his isolette into another style isolette that basically does not have a top to it, which will allow the surgeon easier access to him. Kyle is kept warm from large heat lamps placed above him. His feedings are scheduled to be stopped at 10:00 PM this evening at which time he will resume IV fluids. Kyle received a blood transfusion last night, and the nurse was able to leave in his IV so that he doesn't need to be poked again. The IV is inserted in his forehead, as again the nurses were unable to use a vein in his arm. An IV in his head looks scary and uncomfortable to me, however the staff at the hospital assures me it is not any more painful than an IV in his arm. They said in fact it may be a little easier for him to tolerate because he moves his head a lot less than his arms. Still, I am having trouble getting used to it.

The picture posted above is of a painting hanging in the hospital's lobby. I'm not sure how clear it is, but it is a picture of Jesus guiding a surgeons hands. It has brought me comfort today. No matter what happens, baby Kyle is in the best hands possible: the Lords. May God continue to give the NICU staff the strength, courage, understanding, and intelligence to do the wonderful work they do.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers regarding Kyle's surgery. I will keep you posted as to how it goes.

In Christ Alone,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

March 14, 2007

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." John 10:27

Today was a tough one for Kyle...and me. I have not been able to hold Kyle since last Wednesday - Joe had the honor while he was here and prior to that Kyle had a couple active days and I wasn't allowed to hold him. The nurse said that I could finally Kangaroo with him at 3:00 today and I was so excited. However, when the time came to begin, the nurse noticed blood in Kyle's breathing tube and paged his doctor. They feared that he had a possible Pulmonary Hemorrhage, which is basically bleeding in the lungs. Instead of holding him, things shifted gears very quickly and an xray, platelet count and blood work were ordered.

I have been with Kyle many times before when blood was taken, but it has always been by a small prick in his foot. Today they needed blood from a vein and I never realized how tiny his veins are, they are literally the size of a piece of thread. After several tries, they were not able to get blood from a vein in his arm and had to take blood from a vein in his head. To make matters worse, once they got the blood and sent it down to the lab, it was rejected because there was some clotting in the blood. They had to repeat the whole procedure again. I became sick to my stomach watching this and for the first I had to leave the room because it was to painful to watch what they were doing to him.

I am so thankful to report that the xray did not show any bleeding in Kyle's lungs! Yesterday, Kyle self-extubated, which means he pulled out his breathing tube. When the tube was reinserted, it was inserted to far, which caused some irritation and therefore the blood in his breathing tube. Kyle's tube was reinserted correctly and there has not been any bleeding since.

Madison and Joe flew home last night. As always, we had a really nice visit. When I was back in Ohio, I was able to watch Madison's last cheerleading game and she did so well. Her squad performed a half-time dance to a High School Musical song and it was absolutely adorable! Once we were back in Florida, the visit was pretty mellow. We were all a little tired from the drive down as we essentially missed a night sleeping. Other than the trip to Sea World and visits to the hospital, we did not do too much. Madison made friends with a little girl named Sara here at the Ronald Mc Donald House and spent a lot of time playing with her. Sara is nine years old and was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer when she was six. Today Sara's Grandma approached me with tears in her eyes to let me know how much Sara enjoyed playing with Madison. She said it meant a lot to Sara because many kids avoid her or treat her differently since she lost her hair due to chemo. They were grateful because Madison treated her just like a regular kid. I am so proud of the special little girl Madison is growing up to be!

Kyle's surgery is scheduled for 7:00 AM Friday morning. Please continue to pray that it will go smoothly.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle
P.S. The top picture above is Madison changing Kyle's diaper for the first time - Joe and I keep teasing her that she better practice because she is going to have diaper duty when Kyle comes home. The other is from her game on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

March 13, 2007

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1Peter 4:12-13

Kyle is 3 weeks old least that is his "chronological age". Preemies such as Kyle are given two ages: “chronological age” and “adjusted age.” Chronological age is counted from the time the baby was born - just as we age most children. Adjusted age (Kyle's is 28 weeks) is counted from the time the baby was conceived and then scheduled to be born. Adjusted age is what the doctors seem to pay more attention to and is useful when looking at developmental issues. For example, a baby whose chronological age is one year, but was born 15 weeks premature like Kyle, will probably have the developmental abilities of an eight month old.

Since Kyle is 3 weeks old today, I am posting my "straw" pictures to give you some idea of his growth from week to week. The picture with Madison holding the straw was taken today, the other picture with the straw was taken when Kyle was 3 days old. Kyle weighs 1 lb. 8 oz. today, this is first time he is above his birth weight! Other than his weight gain, there really isn't any new news to report today on Kyle. Hopefully, things will continue to be quiet until his surgery Friday.

We continue to be humbled as we read and hear of people praying for Kyle and our family. We are so thankful for you all.

God Bless You,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Monday, March 12, 2007

March 12, 2007

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your heart." Colossians 3:15

We received some disappointing news today. If you remember, when Kyle was a couple days old, it was discovered that he 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 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 administered three courses of medications and we were told last week that it had closed. Yesterday the doctor thought he heard Kyle's heart murmur again and therefore scheduled an echocardiogram for today. Unfortunately, the ductus that had previously closed has opened back up and surgery is our only option at this point. The surgery has been scheduled for this Friday. A specialist is going to be flown in from Miami to perform the surgery, which will be done right in Kyle's isolette. An incision will be made under Kyle's left arm and his lung will be collapsed to allow the surgeon access to his heart to clamp off the opening in the ductus. We are told, that as far as heart surgeries go, this is a pretty non-invasive procedure, but there are risks with any surgery, especially when the "patient" is a baby weighing just 1 lb. 6 oz. PLEASE PRAY THAT THERE ARE NO COMPLICATIONS FROM THE SURGERY!

If Kyle was still in me, he would be 28 weeks today, or I would be 28 weeks pregnant. It is hard to believe that I would still have 3 months to go before my due date! Today Daddy was able to spend a lot of time with Kyle at the hospital while Madison and I enjoyed a girls day at Sea World. The picture above is of Madison at Sea World and the other is Joe looking in on Kyle.

Peace - how can we have peace in the middle of these life changing events, planning for the unknown future? Only one way, to allow the Prince of Peace to govern our life. Our prayer for you tonight... "May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at ALL times and in EVERY way. The Lord be with all of you." 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

March 11, 2007

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

We arrived back in Orlando safe and sound. We were very anxious to get back to Kyle, and drove straight through. I should say Joe drove straight through, as I was only allowed to drive for the last hour or so. Rather than allowing Joe to relax, my driving seems to torture him! Madison enjoyed the trip and did great. This was the first time she took a "road trip" and she thought of it as an adventure...unlike most adults who cringe at the thought of driving 16 hours straight through!

Kyle is doing very well and, thank God, had a quiet time while we were away. There were not any "hic-ups" so to speak, only a couple positive events. First, Kyle is doing so well on his feedings that the doctors decided to take his PIC-line out and discontinue IV fluids. Kyle is such a little piggy, he is now up to 11 cc's of breast milk every three hours, which is equivalent to a little over 2 teaspoons. Kyle also had his first bath this morning. The nurse said he loved it and he slept very contently afterwards. I wish we could have been there to see it, but the nurse was kind enough to take a Polaroid picture for us.

The best news of all, is that Kyle was moved to his own private room this evening! It is still considered level three NICU, but it is an area for babies that are considered more stable. Since birth, Kyle had been in the level three NICU area referred to as the "big house" which was a large room with between 12 - 15 babies with the most severe issues. While there were certainly issues to contend with in the "big house" such as noise and privacy, it also came with a certain amount of security because there were always lots of nurses, doctors and respiratory therapists around. Anyways, it is a very good step that the doctors feel he is stable enough to move to his own room and is a welcome change for us as well.

Joe was able to hold Kyle for the first time tonight. Father and son enjoyed a nice, peaceful nap together. Joe also was able to change Kyle's diaper for the first time today...and Kyle made sure it was a messy one to break Daddy in! Pictures of the big moments are posted above. It was wonderful for Joe to be reunited with fact, it is almost midnight as I type this and Joe is still over at the hospital with Kyle.

We know that God is in control of all of the details of everything that Kyle (and we) are going through - what a comforting thought! Thank you for your continued prayers for our family.

God Bless You,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Thursday, March 8, 2007

March 8, 2007

"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

Kyle had a bit of a rough day. The doctors took him off the ventilators around 8:00 this morning, and as usual he did great for a little while, but by noon he was having quite a few Apnea spells and they had to put him back on the ventilator. Poor guy was so stressed out his sugar levels went up to 252 (normal range is anywhere from 80-160). He was given a shot of insulin and this brought his blood sugar down to 152. The doctors said that he is just so little that after awhile of breathing on his own, his body just becomes to tired to continue. The plan is to try again in a few days. Please pray that he is able to handle it better next time!

The only other news for the day is that Kyle received another blood transfusion, again using Daddy's blood. Kyle continues to do great on his feedings. The amount of milk he is receiving was increased to 5 cc's every three hours - which is equivalent to a whole teaspoon. He did not have a weight check today, it is scheduled for tonight at 3:00 AM, however, with all the drama today I suspect he lost a little weight.

I fly home tomorrow...I am so excited to see Madison and Joe, although it will be hard leaving Kyle, especially after the day he had today. I can't believe it has been almost 5 weeks since I have been home! I will be home for less than 24 hours, but none the less, it will still be wonderful to be home.

Just an FYI...I will not be posting another message until Sunday night. I won't have time while I am home, and during the drive back down to Florida I obviously won't have Internet access.

Kyle has quite a battle before him, but we are dreaming of the day he will laugh and jump and shout the name of the Lord. We do not presume to know the mind or will of God, but we have great faith that, with your prayers, “the work of God might be displayed” in that child (John 9:1-3).

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

March 7, 2007

"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous-and how well I know it. You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion! You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your Book! How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can't even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!" Psalms 139: 13-18 Living Bible

My Aunt Karen left this verse on the comments section of the blog and I just love it. Kyle truly is a precious gift knit together by God! Thank you, Lord Jesus.

Kyle has a little fluid in his lungs. The doctors became suspicious of this last night and ordered an XRAY for this morning which confirmed their suspicions. They began him on a course of medicine he will take for three days, something that is very similar to a diuretic. Another XRAY was done this evening and the fluid is already beginning to dissipate. Kyle is doing great on his feedings, and the amount of milk he receives was increased to 3 cc's (a little over 1/2 a teaspoon) every three hours. As long as he continues to digest it properly, they will increase his feedings by 1 cc every 12 hours. Hopefully this will assist some in his gaining weight...his weight this evening was 1 lb. 3 oz.

I was allowed to cuddle with Kyle via Kangaroo Care for 3 1/2 hours this afternoon. I also was able to change his diaper twice, read him a book (The Pokey Little Puppy) and do two of his feedings. What a good day!

Several people have asked us the following questions. First, is Kyle able to open his eyes, since all of the pictures I have posted show him with his eyes closed. The answer is yes. When he was born, his left eye was still fused shut, however, it opened about a week ago. The average full-term baby sleeps 22 out of 24 hours a day, while Kyle, being almost 4 months early, sleeps considerably more that. This is something that is encouraged in the NICU...they would rather the babies rest to aid in their growth. Anyways, he is able to open his eyes, it is just that he is almost always sleeping. The other question I have been asked is whether we can hear him cry. When he is on the ventilator, he is not able to make any sound due to the tube that is down his throat. There have been two days when he was off the ventilator, and we were able to hear him cry then. When he cried, it was a very soft, tiny sound, almost more of a whimper. His lungs are about the size of a lima bean...not big enough to make big sounds yet. If you ever have questions, or are curious about something, feel free to leave your questions on the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them.

Thank you for your continued prayers for our family.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

March 6, 2007

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Romans 12:12

Kyle is two weeks old today! The top picture above was taken of Kyle when he was 3 days old. The bottom picture, taken today, is Kyle at 2 weeks. It is sort of hard to see, but there is the same size straw in each picture - hopefully to give you a little perspective as to how much he has grown. I know it is difficult to tell from a photo!
I am finally beginning to feel like I am able to do mother type things for him. The last couple of days I have been allowed to change his diapers and take his temperature (under his arm). I realize there will come a day when changing diapers is not so magical, but for now it is so exciting! I was also able to feed Kyle. The nurse hooked up a syringe of milk to his feeding tube, and allowed me to very slowly push milk down into Kyle's tummy. Probably most importantly, I am now able to tell when he is getting upset and I know how to calm him down. He does not like to be poked and prodded, and anytime he is, he starts squirming and his heart rate will go up. I have learned that if I cup my hands on the top of his head and the bottom of his feet, he will calm down pretty quickly. The nurses say to confine him this way makes him feel secure like he is still in the womb. And of course the Kangaroo Care is awesome when I am allowed to do it! When Kyle was first born, I was petrified of "breaking" him - he was so small and fragile - and I felt helpless as his mommy. It is a very good feeling to finally feel as if I am able to help take care of him.

The results of Kyle's blood culture came back this morning, and it is still showing negative. Praise God! The doctors have stopped treating him with antibiotics, but will still continue to watch the culture for two more days before they officially declare he does not have an infection. Other than that, the only other news for today is that Kyle is tolerating his feedings very well. Today, the doctors increased his feedings to every three hours (yesterday he began feedings every four hours). He is still on 1 cc (equivalent to 1/5 of a teaspoon) except for every third feeding they are giving him 2 cc's.

On Friday evening I am going to fly home so that I can watch Madison's last cheerleading game on Saturday morning. After the game, Joe, Madison and I are going to drive my car down to Orlando - so that I do not have to keep renting a car. Then on Tuesday Madison and Joe will fly home, which means Madison will miss school on Monday and Tuesday of next week. When Madison got off the bus yesterday, she was burning up and ended up having a fever of almost 101. Poor thing did not say anything to her teacher yesterday because she was afraid if she was sent home from school for being sick, we would not allow her to miss any school next week. It makes me so sad that she worries about such things. Joe took her to the doctors this morning and she has a cold and an ear infection. They started her on penicillin and thankfully she is feeling much better and will be able to return to school tomorrow. I miss Madison all of the time - but it is especially hard during times like this.

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.
In Christ,
Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Monday, March 5, 2007

March 5, 2007

"He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:10-11

Kyle had a major temper tantrum today!!! I was allowed to Kangaroo (skin to skin care) with him this afternoon. After about an hour and a half, the nurse put him back in his isolette and he threw a fit. He was so mad that his little fists were clenched so tightly that his knuckles turned white and he began to turn blue. Apparently, he was having something called a bronchial spasm, where his bronchial tube tightens up and restricts air from flowing either in or out. The nurses had to do something they called "bagging" which was to basically manually pump air into his bronchial tubes until they relaxed. While this was happening, I was quite scared, however, the nurses assured me this is a common reaction in preemies when they become very upset. He was comfy cuddling with his mommy and did not want to be disturbed! It brings a smile to my face to know that he loves me holding him as much as I love to hold him...I just wish he had a different way of showing it.

Kyle had his PIC line inserted this evening and an XRAY done to confirm that it is in the right place, which it is. He also started his feedings back up today. He is receiving (by tube feeding) 1 CC of my milk every 4hours...1 CC is equivalent to 1/5 of a teaspoon. He has had 3 feedings so far, and after each feeding they check to make sure that his tummy digests the milk properly and thankfully it has every time. Kyle's weight as of today is 1lb. 4.5 oz. It seems that one day he'll gain a little weight and the next day he'll loose a little. We are looking forward to the day that he begins to steadily put on weight! We should receive the results of Kyle's blood culture tomorrow, which will tell us if he has an infection, however, I am optimistic that it will come back negative. His blood sugar has been under control lately and he does not seem to have any other signs of infection.

It blesses me, nearly to tears, to hear that so many people pray daily for Baby Kyle! What an encouragement that is, to know that so many of you care. Sincerely, and humbly, we would like to thank you. I know God has great plans for our little Miracle Baby.

God Bless You All,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Sunday, March 4, 2007

March 4, 2007

"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 12-13

Today was a relatively quiet one for Kyle, with the exception of two procedures he had done. First, he had another EKG to confirm that the ductus has closed up the rest of the way, and I am very happy to report that it has! In addition, the nurses attempted to put a PIC line in Kyle. He had been receiving fluids and meds through an umbilical catheter, however, during a routine XRAY a couple days ago it was discovered that the placement of it had shifted so they had to take it out. They moved to an IV, but Kyle's veins are so delicate the PIC line is a much better long term solution. Anyways, I say they attempted to put a PIC line in because they tried two veins and neither would work. Although Kyle was pretty "drugged up" during the procedure, it still takes a lot out of him, so after two tries they decided to let him rest and they'll try again tomorrow.

We had a bit of a false alarm last night. Kyle's nurse told us they were going to do a spinal tap on Kyle last night to determine if the infection the doctors suspect he has is bacterial meningitis/ infection of the lining of the brain. Hearing this we were obviously quite worried. Many prayers and about 4 hours later it was discovered that our nurse had misunderstood, and it was actually another baby in the NICU that was receiving the spinal tap. We still do not have the results of the blood culture that will let us know if he has an infection, however, we expect to have the results sometime on Tuesday. Please pray that Kyle does not have an infection!!!

I know sometimes I seem frustrated and yesterday mentioned that it seems we take one step forward and two steps back, however, today as I looked back on the week it was actually a pretty good one. We had two major accomplishments. First, the PDA closed. What a relief to know that he will not need heart surgery! And second, he does not have any brain bleeding. This is a huge blessing, not just for his immediate prognosis, but it greatly reduces the risk of long term disabilities. Also, not that it was a huge medical milestone, but certainly a "mother milestone"... I was able to hold Kyle for the first (and only) time during Kangaroo Care on Thursday. God is good!

We praise God for the doctors, nurses, administrators, workers that God has brought into our path. Each using their gifts and abilities God has given them to help us and Kyle on his road to recovery. Romans 12:6-8 "We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."

Once again, thank you all for your thoughts and prayers!!!

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

Saturday, March 3, 2007

March 3, 2007

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

This morning I was awaken by Kyle's nurse practitioner, and the first words out of her mouth were, "This is not a good call." Apparently Kyle had a rough night. First, sometime after midnight he began having many Apnea spells (after he had made it on the CPAC for about 12 hours without any trouble). Kyle was going 15-20 seconds without breathing and the nurses were really having to nudge him to get him to take a breath. They were also having trouble with his blood sugar. Normal range is anywhere from 80 to 160 - over 180 they become concerned. Kyle's was checked each hour and was consistently in the low 200's...213, 218, 215. In addition, he just did not look right to the nurses, he was very listless where normally he is quite feisty.

As a result of the above, a Complete Blood Count (CBC) was ordered. This is a lab test that measures red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets and is often the first indicator of possible infection. Unfortunately, Kyle's came back abnormal. This, along with the other symptoms Kyle is displaying, have lead them to believe that he may have an infection. Although infections in preemies are very common because their little immune systems have not developed yet, they can also be very serious. A blood culture was ordered, but it takes 72 hours for the results. Thankfully, the doctors are very proactive in their treatment and have already began giving Kyle two types of antibiotics. Until they know otherwise, they are going to treat him as if he has an infection.

Kyle received another blood transfusion this morning, again using Joe's blood. The doctors said that this should also help fight the infection. Kyle was put back on the ventilator and they have decided against him resuming feedings. If he does have an infection, he will need all his strength to fight it, and the doctors do not feel that it is the right time to introduce any other possible complications. On a positive note, Kyle has gained a little weight and is now up to 1 lb. 4oz. Also, his blood sugar has been much better throughout the day and was down to 152 during his last test this afternoon.

It seems that we take one step forward and two steps back. We are trying to remain hopeful, and know that whatever happens, Kyle is in the best hands possible: God's.

Much Love,
Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

P.S. The picture above is of my mom and baby Kyle. :)

Friday, March 2, 2007

March 2, 2007

"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things." Philippians 4:8

We received the results of the EKG this evening and the ductus is very small to even treat!!! Praise God! The doctors are going to keep a close eye on the ductus, but assume that it will close the rest of the way on it's own. Since the ductus is so small, Kyle will be able to resume feedings tomorrow. Hopefully this will assist him in gaining some weight.

Another important milestone occurred today, Kyle was taken off the mechanical ventilator and put on CPAP. When preemies are disconnected from a mechanical ventilator, often they require a form of assisted breathing called nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). A nasal CPAP device consists of a large tube with tiny prongs that fit into Kyle's nose, which is hooked to a machine that provides oxygenated air into the baby's air passages and lungs. The pressure from the CPAP machine helps keep Kyle's lungs open so he can breathe. However, the machine does not provide breaths for Kyle, so he actually breathes on his own! I am obviously very happy that the doctors feel Kyle is up to the challenge of breathing on his own, but I am also a little apprehensive. Kyle was on CPAP for the first couple days of his life, but he was having quite a few apnea spells. 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, which is something we did not have to worry about when he was on the mechanical ventilator. Kyle will be monitored continuously for any evidence of apnea and is hooked up to a cardiorespiratory monitor (also known as an apnea and bradycardia, or A/B, monitor) that tracks his breathing and heart rate. An alarm on the monitor sounds if there's no breath for a set number of seconds. When the monitor sounds, a nurse immediately checks Kyle for signs of distress. Anyways, this is our next big hurdle...please pray that Kyle is able to breath successfully on his own.

My mom flew in today and will be here for the weekend. It is so good to see her! She was able to meet baby Kyle this evening. I think she was a bit surprised by how small he actually is!

It is so obvious to us that you encourage us daily. We have through the Holy Spirit been held up in this time in our lives and we owe that to the prayers of God's children...those who have accepted the gift of His son Jesus Christ. We can all share in Christ if we hold firm to the belief that there is only one God and no other. That it is He that has made us and not we ourselves. My prayer for you tonight is that you understand the truth of God and come to know His Son personally.

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle

P.S. The pictures above are from Madison and Joe's visit. I forgot to post them earlier! The first one is Madison and I "surfing" at Universal's City Walk, plus there is a picture of Joe and Madison at the Nick Hotel as well as the three of us at Disney.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

March 1, 2007

"Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands. " Deuteronomy 7:9

I was able to begin Kangaroo Care with Kyle today - see the pictures above!!! During Kangaroo Care, also known as skin-to-skin care, the baby is placed on the parent's chest for at least an hour (I got to hold Kyle for 2 1/2 hours this afternoon), clad only in a diaper and cap. The baby's head is turned to the side so that it's ear is against the parent's heart. Kyle's vent tubing and wires are taped to our clothes. and then blankets are piled on to help keep his temperature regulated. Two - three nurses assist in the transfer from isolette to the parent's chest. For the parents, Kangarooing satisfies the need to feel like a Mom or Dad and gives us a chance to do something for our babies. For the premature babies, Kangaroo Care lowers oxygen requirements, stabilizes heart rates, assists with their ability to keep warm and gives them an overall sense of peace. I was very nervous/excited/scared to finally be able to hold Kyle out of the isolette. I was so afraid of hurting him - he is so tiny! Once we got settled in, though, it was wonderful! It was the first time I felt like I was 'mothering' him. They put him on my chest and I just melted. It was an awesome moment, I just wish Joe and Madison could have been here to share it with me.

Other than the Kangaroo Care, it has been a relatively quiet day for baby Kyle. He has been losing some weight, and now weighs just 1lb. 2.5oz. As with all newborns, the doctors told us to expect for him to lose about 10% of his body weight after birth. It is scary to us because he has so little weight to "lose" in the first place! The doctors tried increasing his sugar water last night, as this is how they put on weight at this stage. Unfortunately, his body didn't tolerate the extra sugar very well and they had to give him a shot of insulin this afternoon as a result. Please pray for him to begin gaining weight as well as for the ductus to be closed through medicine. Not only will this allow Kyle to avoid surgery, it will also enable him to begin his feedings again tomorrow.

Joe and Madison flew home to Ohio yesterday. It was important for our family to have had this time together, the last few weeks have been such a roller coaster. Between visits at the hospital, we were able to do something fun with Madison each day to make it seem more like a vacation for her. On Sunday evening, we went to Universals City Walk for dinner and arcade games. I went into labor on our last full day of vacation in the beginning of February. Madison was great about it, but her biggest regret is that she did not get "slimed" at the Nickelodeon Hotel we were staying at as we had planned. Instead she spent that time in the hospital by my bedside. The staff at the Nick Hotel was great about everything, and even gave us passes to come back for a special event on Monday so that Madison could get slimed finally! The highlight of this event is that Jesse Mc Cartney was the surprise musical guest. Madison was so excited, she screamed like I did when I was 12 and a Michael Jackson video came on TV! On Tuesday, the Ronald Mc Donald house gave us tickets to Disney, and we took Madison to Magic Kingdom for a few hours. Everyone has been so kind to us, we are amazed at all the little (and BIG) ways in which God continues to provide for us.

The wonderful support of friends, family, and strangers is evidence of God's provision and care of us. We are so blessed. Thank you!!!

Much Love,

Jennifer, Joe, Madison and Kyle