Thursday, March 1, 2007

Faith is Here!

Hello there family and friends! Many of you have been following Faith's journey for a few weeks now (and some for the past 6 months!). We wanted to create this blog as a way to update everyone on Faith's progress. For those who are just joining us on our journey now here is the story behind our little angel. :)

Last August we received the greatest surprise of our life- we were pregnant! Although we weren't planning on starting our family until next summer we were ecstatic about our new little addition. The excitement soon turned to fear days later when I (Jen) started bleeding. We went to the doctor and they discovered that I had a bicornuate uterus- which basically means it is heart shaped. The miracle behind this is it is extremely difficult to even conceive with this type of uterus! The doctor were not too optimistic about this pregnancy and often made comments like, "you can always try again."

The bleeding occurred for the next four months. In that time we had numerous emergency room trips where once again the doctors would express their doubt about the pregnancy being successful. Around week 14 I was diagnosed with Placenta Previa and put on bed rest. A month later when we went to the doctor to find out what the sex of our baby was, we received some very good news- the placenta previa had cleared on its own and I was ok to go back to work! For the next few weeks we were smooth sailing. I noticed that I was started to retain a lot of fluid- friends and family who saw me would graciously comment on how I was starting to balloon! I didn’t feel like I was eating a lot, however I also was putting on weight very rapidly. Working was also becoming increasingly difficult as I was experiencing a lot of headaches.

On January 29th my headache seemed much more intense than the others. After consulting my mom she sent over her friend to take my blood pressure. It was extremely high. After arguing with mom and Brian I finally agreed to go to the hospital. The doctors did several tests, however we had to wait 24 hours to receive the results. The next morning I was getting ready to leave the hospital when the doctor came in and said that I had developed sever Toxemia and the only cure for this disease was delivery. They immediately administered steroid shots (to help Faith’s lungs mature) and transferred me by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital in Denver where they were more equipped to treat babies this young.

We knew we’d be delivery early, however, we thought we’d have weeks before we’d meet faith. Five days later my lungs filled with fluid and I could not breathe- the doctor told us we would have to move fast and deliver the baby on Sunday, February 4th. It’s a good thing none of our teams were playing because our little Faith was born on Super Bowl Sunday via emergency c-section. She was 25 weeks and 5 days gestation. She weighed 1 pound 6 ounces and was 12 ½ inches long. Although she is small she is beautiful and oh is she mighty!!! She has truly been a fighter. In her first three weeks of life she has undergone heart surgery (a PDA ligation), numerous procedures (putting in PIC lines, arterial lines, etc.) and has received four blood transfusions. She had a very good first week of life and graduated from the ventilator to something called bubble cpap (which unlike the ventilator doesn’t damage her lungs). We even got to hold her "Kangaroo style" a few times!

Week 2 and 3 had many setbacks. Faith’s heart rate continued to drop (they call this a "brady") and she was not breathing well. As a result she went back on the ventilator and to the oscillator. One day she turned blue and had to be resuscitated- during which she received a few broken ribs. Over the course of the week Faith’s health was deteriorating. She was showing signs of stress but the doctors could not pin point what was going on. She received a spinal tap and was poked many times to see if she had an infection. They loaded her up with painkillers and antibiotics to clear out anything that was harming her.

So that’s where we are today. Faith has had a few good days but is still not out of the woods yet. The doctors are concerned that the increased exposure to the ventilator is damaging her lungs. They are discussing the possibility of using steroids to mature her lungs. There are many side effects to using steroids in such young babies including brain damage. Please pray that Faith’s lungs will clear up and she will come off the oscillator.

Thank you so much for keeping our family in your prayers!

Brian and Jen :)


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