Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sunday Update

Not much has changed with Eleanor.

  • Breathing: Ellie is still on the ventilator to protect her airway. We will continue to talk to the doctors about doing a tracheostomy to give her a permanent airway. The doctors tell us that without the trach Ellie will likely never be able to breathe on her own. Her airway has no muscle tone to support her breathing.

  • Feeding: Ellie is still being fed through a tube that goes in her mouth and down to her small intestine. She is getting about 2 ounces every three hours. They will likely up her feeds based on weight gain. The nissen g-tube surgery will not happen until they perform the tracheostomy.

  • Test Results: We are still waiting on the tests to tell us the underlying cause of Ellie's condition. There is a chance we will never know what is causing it. A lot of the conditions they are testing for are quite bleak. Please pray for us as we accept whatever result God might give us.

  • The Future: We have met briefly with a social worker to talk about how we would care for Ellie if she comes home. Our lives will be very different, 24x7 medical care of Ellie, with in-home nursing, and lots of other changes. They anticipate that she will be in and out of the hospital fighting with pneumonia for the rest of her life.

    The prognosis right now doesn't look great, but we know that God will provide what we need for each day and guide us in making wise decisions for Ellie's care.

    Adam and Emily

  • Friday, September 28, 2007

    Thursday, September 27, 2007

    Eleanor Update Thursday 3:00pm

    Today Emily and I met with one of the neonatologists to talk about Ellie.

    First, they had ordered a consult with an ENT specialist (Ear, Nose, Throat) to look at Ellie's throat, swallowing, breathing, etc.

    The ENT found that Ellie had no muscle tone or reflex in her throat. There is tissue that opens and closes over the trachea to protect her airway and lungs from fluids and other nasty things. That tissue was simply floppy and was not opening or closing of its own accord. Also baby's vocal cords provide the dual purpose of voice and protecting the air way, and Ellie's were not doing either.

    Up until now Ellie had been on a CPAP which is a similar device used for people that have sleep apnea. The CPAP was providing pressure into her air way so that the tissue covering her trachea would stay open. If she does not have the positive pressue the tissue covers the trachea and she is not able to pull air into her lungs.

    The danger of the CPAP is that her trachea is left open all the time and there is no protection for her lungs from fluids and asperation. If she would asperate, there is a high risk of pneumonia, which could be fatal.

    So, Ellie was put back on a ventilator. A ventilator does a better job of protecting her air way because there is a tube that is intabated down into her trachea.

    Long term -- The neonatologist discussed what it would take for Ellie to come home. There are two issues caused by Ellie's hypotonic state that keep her from coming home. 1. she cannot protect her air way and cannot breathe without assistance. 2. She cannot suck or swallow milk for nourishment.

    So the solutions presented to those problems are a Tracheostomy and a Nissen Fundoplication and G-tube.

    A Tracheostomy is a an incision made into the trachea to provide an alternative airway for breathing.

    A Nissen Fundoplication is a procedure to tighten the sphincter where the esophagus and stomach meet in order to prevent asperation from occuring.

    A G-tube is feeding tube inserted through the abdomen into the stomach.

    Obviously surgery comes with risks and this is far from a perfect solution.

    Diagnosis -- So far we have no diagnosis as to the underlying cause for Ellie's hypotonia. Some tests have come back and we are still waiting on others. There is also the possibility that we may be left with no answer for Ellie's condition at all.

    So keep praying, we aren't losing hope for a miracle. God's reasons are not known to us and we may never truly know. Using the eyes of faith we step out into an uncertain and unknown future every day. And today we have a precious child that God has given us to love and care for.

    Pray that Emily and I can make wise decisions for Ellie's care.

    Tuesday, September 25, 2007

    Update Tuesday 9:00pm

    Tonight was hard. Both Emily and I were tired, our two week adrenaline rush had subsided and we were feeling it. On the way to the hospital we were feeling a bit down and out too. I think we both said in our heads, "Okay God, can we be done with this now."

    But God surprised us with a visit from Pastor Dale. God knew what we needed and provided it at the right moment.

    It is sometimes hard to see God's glory at times like this. But God is being glorified in Ellie's situation even when we don't see it or feel it, that we know. And at this moment I really don't see it or feel it. But what I do feel and see is God holding us up, providing exactly what we need each day, each moment.

    Adam and Emily

    PS -- no update on Ellie's condition, still waiting on test results.

    Eleanor's new bed

    Monday, September 24, 2007

    Update Monday 4 pm

    Eleanor has been at DeVos for one week now. Unfortunately, we don't have any more answers since we moved there. But we have seen a lot of progress in Ellie, as she gets stronger and more stable.
  • MRI: the results from the MRI are in. Praise God that there is no brain damage or abnormalities in Ellie's brain. This means physically her brain looks normal. Unfortunately, the test can not speak to the functionality of her brain, but physically her brain is healthy. This needs to be confirmed by the neurologist, but usually they agree with the radiologist.
  • Feeding: Ellie is up to normal feeding amounts for someone her size. She is tolerating them well. I guess the next step is to try to pull her feeding tube back up to her stomach to see how she does, but they have not decided whether to do that yet.
  • Breathing: Ellie's breathing is pretty stable on the CPAP. She has not had any alarming episodes of late. She still does not tolerate having the CPAP off for more than a few seconds. Her airway still cannot support her breathing without the pressure from the CPAP.
  • Blood tests: All the blood for Ellie's tests has been drawn and sent off to be tested. Some tests will be performed at Baylor University and some at Mayo. We hope to have results in about 7-10 days.
  • Other Updates: Ellie has been moved out of the warming bed and into a crib. In the NICU, this is generally a good sign. Babies tend to start in the isolette, move to a warming bed, and then to a crib as they get healthier. Since Ellie was full-term, I don't think she really ever needed the warming bed, but anyway, she is now in a crib.
  • Family Update: Adam is back at work today. Up until now, my dad has been coming every morning to be with the boys. Starting tomorrow, I'm going to give him a break :-) I have been blessed with generous friends who plan to each take a day a week to watch the boys for a couple of hours in the morning. I will be able to visit with Ellie and then return home for lunch and to get the boys down for a nap. Adam has been blessed with a flexible employer, and he plans to go into work early and then take an extended lunch to visit with Ellie. Today I was just leaving the hospital when he arrived, so Ellie had at least one of us for a few hours. My awesome parents will then be coming nearly every evening to be with the boys so that Adam and I can be at the hospital together for a few hours. I think it will be a pretty good schedule, though we feel drawn to two places at once.

    So that's the latest. Thank you so much for your continued prayers and encouragement!
  • Sunday, September 23, 2007

    Eleanor update Sunday Morning

    Ellie had her MRI this morning and is now resting back in her bed. A radiologist and a pediatric radiologist will be looking at the scans over the next day or two. We hope to hear about the results soon. Thank you for your prayers.

    "Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and those who have no might He increases strength." - Isaiah 40:28,29

    Adam and Emily

    Saturday, September 22, 2007

    Eleanor update Saturday Morning

    Ellie no longer has an IV. She is an exclusively breastfed baby. Her IV sites had not been going well, and the doctors felt that a Pik IV would not be necessary since she would not need the IV much longer. So today the nurses and Doctor decided that they would increase her breast milk intake more rapidly, turn off the IV, and see how she tolerates the increased volume of milk. So we are happy about this progress.

    She also may be getting an MRI of her brain and brain stem today or tomorrow. Pray that this goes well. She will be in there for 1 hour atleast. We are still concerned about her air way and hope that they pay special attention to that while she is in there.

    Keep praying for healing and God's miraculous work in Ellie.

    Resting in the arms of our faithful Lord Jesus Christ.

    Adam and Emily

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    Update Friday 10 pm

    We just got back from the hospital and visiting Eleanor. They told us we could bring in some clothes and blankets for her, hence the girly girl picture above.

    I know a lot of you are wanting more information. We are too. There is really nothing new to report. Ellie is still on the CPAP--it pushes air in through her nose and keeps her airway stable. She is on room air; no oxygen. They are increasing the amount of milk she gets by 1 ml/hour every 12 hours. This is a good thing. She is starting to poop a lot, and the breastmilk-style poops are very familiar to us. She is having some trouble with her IV sites going bad and getting irritated very quickly, so they are going to put a "PIK" IV in, which is a more permanent site. It will decrease the amount of pokes she has to get.

    Eleanor is gaining weight quickly and growing really well. She is now 6 lb 15 oz--up 10 oz from her birth weight already.

    Many nurses have commented that she seems stronger now than when they saw her admitted to the NICU. That is a great sign for us. Please pray that she continues to improve in muscle tone. Pray especially that her airway would get stronger so that her breathing is more stable.

    Eleanor Rose

    "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."
    Ps 139. 13-14

    Thursday, September 20, 2007

    Dad holds Ellie

    "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful" Heb 10.23


    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Eleanor Update Wednesday 9:00pm

    Well it has been a long day -- Sorry we haven't updated sooner.

    Today we met with a genetisist and pediatric neurologist. I can't say that we have any answers yet on Eleanor's condition, but we are beginning the long process of gathering information and doing tests.

    Our meeting with the genetisist was basically a time to collect family history from me and Emily. They were obviously most curious about whether we had anyone in our family with low muscle tone. Blood work from Eleanor has been and is being sent to Mayo Clinic for genetic analysis. We may hear more in about a week.

    We also met with a neurologist who looked over Eleanor and was doing some reflex tests. Eleanor had little to no reflex response. Our neurologist said that there is cause for hope in Eleanor's case and that we should not lose that hope. She was happy to see Eleanor's reaction to stimuli (getting unhappy) and moving her body to be in a more comfortable position. What is going on in Eleanor's body is still unclear.

    So we are just beginning the journey in discovering and learning more about Eleanor.

    Pray for Ellie's continued progress, healing, and recovery.

    We rest in God's most capable hands. Thank you for your encouragement and prayers!

    Adam & Emily

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Eleanor meets more of her family Tuesday 9:00pm

    Tonight was an exciting night for Ellie. She was able to meet her Uncle Jeff and Aunt Jen. They were very excited to meet her. Ellie also met her big brothers. The boys were on their best behavior, and I think it was good for them to see where we have been going off to all the time.

    We got to see Ellie's eyes tonight! When we arrived there was an Opthamologist examining her eyes. He had opened them to examine them, and she left them open for a while afterwards. They are a dark blue just like her brothers' eyes. We're very happy to say that her eyes seem healthy and in working order. He, like all the others, expressed that he wishes she was more responsive, but as far as eyes go, they are physically healthy.

    We are happy for the little blessings from God and give thanks for his goodness during this difficult time.

    "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the preace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phillippians 4:6&7)

    God's Spirit and Word give us much comfort.

    Adam and Emily

    Eleanor's new home away from home

    Well, Ellie is settled in at DeVos Children's Hospital. She was very peaceful when we arrived, and we feel confident in her care. She has already started her testing. Yesterday she had a heart ultrasound and a head ultrasound. They have also already sent blood off for genetic testing.

    The heart ultrasound showed that she has a small hole in a lower chamber of her heart. I guess it is not too uncommon, but obviously it needs to be checked out and dealt with.

    They found three potential genetic flags upon observation which require further investigation. The blood testing they will do can take 3-7 days. The Geneticist will be visiting more with her today.

    She has not seen a Neurologist yet. That doctor will be also spending time with Ellie today.

    We are trying to be prepared for any news they might give us, but I don't think you can ever be ready for it.

    I've gotta share some cool things about the NICU at DeVos. We have already been invited to two "parent support" type dinners to get information and watch different educational videos. They also provide a small cafeteria allowance three times a week so that you don't have to worry so much about meals. Also, pretty much any of her loved ones can visit as long as they are with us. So we are looking forward to potentially introducing Ellie to her brothers today, as well as some of her aunts and uncles.

    Please just pray for miracles in Ellie's life. Pray for wisdom for the doctors as they test her. Please pray that she will be comfortable.

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Update Monday 5 pm

    Wow! What an exhausting day. We got to St Mary's at about 10 am to visit with Eleanor before she had to get ready for her transfer. She had had a good night and was resting peacefully while we were there. It was nice to spend some time with Ellie and also with her nurse that we have come to know and care about. It is weird to think we will not be returning there (except maybe to visit).

    The ambulance transport showed up a little after 1 pm. It was quite a production! There was a transport nurse, a nurse practitioner, and a respitory specialist all for our little girl. They have an amazing transport system with a little isolette box that has all the mechanical stuff built into it. The new nurses seemed really nice and wanted to know everything that makes Ellie happy. They took off with our girl a little before 2, and we headed over to DeVos.

    The change in atmosphere was immediate, as we toured the huge parking garage looking for a parking space. We are used to having the closest parking spot at St Mary's ;) We made our way to the NICU floor (should have grabbed a wheelchair-I was getting tired out at this point). The NICU there is quite a production. We were given a passcode that is used when calling for info about Ellie, shown the huge waiting room, and I spent some time in the pumping room. We were hoping to see Ellie settled in, but they wanted to do an EKG when she arrived because the cardiologist was already on the floor. We decided to head home for a rest and will return for the grand tour this evening.

    Well, this is the beginning of lots of tests and hopefully getting some answers. We do not know what the future holds, but we do know that we are in God's hands and that He is watching over us and Ellie. His name will be glorified through this whole experience. We trust in his will.


    Sunday, September 16, 2007

    Ellie is moving

    We just heard this morning that they think she will move to DeVos Children's Hospital around 1 pm. God is Good.

    I held Ellie! Sunday 7:00pm

    Tonight Emily was able to hold Eleanor for the first time! We were nervous about whether she would be over stimulated by moving. But no surprise she was very comfortable with her mama, hearing her heart beat, and cuddling close. Eleanor was so peaceful and actually fell asleep on Emily's chest. It is hard to convey how exciting that was for us and what a blessing.

    Other good news is that Eleanor's feeding tube was pushed down into her small intestine. This will keep her from asperating her food. She also had her iv removed from her belly button and put into her hand. This step with the iv allowed us to hold her and minimizes the risk of infection.

    Eleanor's hypotonia (low muscle tone) and her swallowing remain a concern. For this we will need Eleanor to see specialists at Devos Children's Hospital to help find a cause.

    Keep Eleanor in your prayers! Psalm 77: "Our God is a God of miracles."


    Update Sunday 1:00 pm

    We just got back from the hospital. It has been a very encouraging day for us.
  • First, Adam's parents were able to attend our church and the support for us there is overwhelming. People were so kind and loving, we were able to feel their hugs even at home.
  • Second, at the NICU, we were told that Eleanor's umbilical IV will be removed today. The nurse asked us to return to help bathe Ellie! We of course are super excited to be involved in this way, but also apprehensive because she seems so fragile.
  • Third, while we were there, DeVos Children's called, and they said they are aiming for her transfer on Monday or Tuesday! Praise God!

    We will definitely have more to say after we are there this evening, and we see Ellie again and bathe her.

    Thanks for your prayers. They are being answered in God's time.
  • Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Real quick update 7 pm

    My parents just called from the hospital and said that Ellie has been doing much better this afternoon. She is sleeping peacefully and breathing well. They have upped her milk intake, and she is tolerating it well too. We are off to the hospital for the evening. It was quite eerie being home this afternoon, but it felt great for the four of us to take a nap together this afternoon. I am feeling quite well and just resting and pumping a lot.

    Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement!


    Eleanor update Saturday 12:00pm

    Eleanor had a little trouble breathing this morning while Emily and her parents were visiting her. It was scary to watch your child struggle for breath and very difficult to have no power in your own hands to help her. God in his grace settled things down and Eleanor is resting peacefully now.

    The hard part today is Emily being discharged from the hospital and now going home without Ellie. We are able to visit Ellie at Saints almost any time of the day and for as long as we want. Ellie will stay at Saints until there is room at Devos Childrens Hospital. At Devos there are neuro neonatologists and other specialists that can work on determining the cause of Ellie's trouble.

    The good news is that Ellie is still feeding via the feeding tube, and the next steps are to continue increasing the volume of mamas milk she gets through the feeding tube.

    You can continue to pray for:
    1. Ellie's continued improvement with breathing, feeding, moving
    2. Ellie's safe transfer to Devos (date unknown, looking like mid next week)
    3. Adam and Emily and family coping
    4. Balancing Emily's recovery, visiting Eleanor, and having some semblance of a normal family life for our boys.

    I was reading about wisdom in Proverbs chapter 8 last night. It says "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Right now we wait at that doorway seeking wisdom from on high during a time full of so much uncertainty.

    God is good all the time! He is our ever present hope.


    Friday, September 14, 2007

    Eleanor update Friday 5:30pm

    Eleanor is now receiving nutrition via a feeding tube down her throat and into her stomach. She is tolerating her mothers colostrum very well. If you don't know, colostrum is like liquid gold for your baby. It is full of all kinds of good things for a new baby and we are happy that Eleanor is able to have it. Emily could give you a more technical answer than that :)

    The next piece of good news is that the arterial iv has been removed from Eleanor's belly button, and just one vein iv remains. Once Eleanor is receiving a large enough volume of milk to her stomach the second iv can be removed. After the second iv is removed they will put one in her hand or foot. The good news is that it means we can actually hold our daughter for the first time!

    Emily is feeling better today and the plan is for her to come home tomorrow. It feels really wrong, for lack of a better word, to not come home with Eleanor.

    Please keep praying for healing and restoration. We continue to rest in the hands of gracious and merciful saviour and advocate Jesus Christ.


    Eleanor update Friday 11:30am

    We saw, touched, and kissed Eleanor this morning. It was nice to see her moving a bit and responding to our voices.

    Ellie has been breathing on her own and the breathing tube is out of her throat. We can praise God for the progress we see in her each day! The next step is to begin feeding. If her tummy is able to handle the breast milk that would be a great step forward. By receiving nutrients via her stomach that would mean the removal of the ivs in her belly button. Then we may actually hold our precious daughter for the first time.

    The lack of a swallowing reflex and low muscle tone is still a concern and we don't know the reason why yet. And for this reason we are praying for a bed to open up at Devos Childerns Hospital.

    Continue to pray for us and Ellie -- We love getting your comments on the blog and emails of encouragement and scripture.

    I rest in the fact that my God is a "God of miracles" - Psalm 77


    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Update on the rest of the family

    A lot of people have asked if our parents are around and if we need any extra help. We are so thankful to have incredible, loving families to surround ourselves with right now. Adam's mom drove up last night after Eleanor was born and is staying at our house. His dad will be on his way up soon too. His sister also has arrived today and is helping immensely with the boys. My parents had just left for a vacation near Branson MO. They arrived there Wednesday morning and got the news about Ellie in the afternoon. They left for home this morning and my dad drove straight for about 12 hours to get here safely this evening.

    We are so blessed to be all together during this difficult time.

    The boys are doing as one would expect. They have their ups and downs at home, and then it is really strange when they visit me. They don't quite know what to make of it. Please keep them in your prayers as well.

    I can't help but think of the hymn that was sung on Sunday: "I will arise and go to Jesus, / He will embrace me in His arms;
    In the arms of my dear Savior, / O there are ten thousand charms."

    Matthew 11:28-30: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."

    Update Thursday 9:00pm

    Hi Everyone. Thank you so much for checking in with us and helping us pray for our little girl. I am so encouraged by all your prayers and emails. It means so much to us, we can not even come up with the words to express it.

    I was down to see Eleanor at around 6 pm. My parents are back from their abbreviated vacation, and it was so nice to introduce them to their granddaughter and pray for her together.

    I am going to break down Eleanor's progress into two separate issues:

  • First, the breathing issue. This was the issue on the "front table" for the NICU. Before they could do anything else, she needed to be stable with her breathing. Well, praise God because they removed the ventilator tube this evening. I guess at first she was not so sure of herself, but they put an air tube thingy in her nose (the kind with two little prongs) which is basically to keep her passages open for breathing. When I saw her, they said she had already made so much progress breathing on her own in that short of time. She looked very comfortable with her breathing.

  • The second issue is the scary one now; the one that was on the back table. It will now be moved to the forefront. That issue is the lack of muscle tone and reaction. This includes the swallowing issue we mentioned before. Unfortunately, when they removed the tube from her throat, she did not respond by swallowing her own saliva like we had hoped. She is drooling large amounts of saliva, and they have her on her stomach so that it can flow out. They also are suctioning the saliva quite often. As of tonight, they are starting a medication which will basically dry up her saliva and give her "cotton mouth" to prevent choking, etc. So... the lack of tone issue is really scary and the cause is still unknown. The NICU doctor has decided that she will need to see a Pediatric Neurologist for testing, and that needs to happen at Devos Children's Hospital. Unfortunately, they are completely full right now, so we are waiting for a bed to open up. Since her condition is stable and not an emergency, we will wait here at St Mary's for an opening. So, once she gets there, they will hopefully begin testing and get to the bottom of this. There is a whole list of very scary reasons that this could be happening, and frankly we are quite worried right now. Please pray that we will get the answers soon and that they would be on the more minor end of the spectrum.

  • Update Thursday 1:00pm

    Emily and I had a chance to visit Eleanor this afternoon and it was nice to touch her and talk to her again. We also were able to talk with the Doctor about her condition while we were there. The good news is that she is currently breathing on her own without the ventilator. Her heart rate has been stable as well even though she is off the ventilator and she is moving a bit more. She is still on IV fluids for nutrition and the breathing tube is still down her throat. The next step is to remove the tubes down her throat.

    We did get more information on the large quantities of amniotic fluid. There is some evidence that Eleanor was not swallowing well while in the womb. If the tubes are removed from her throat, the concern is that she will not be able to swallow her own saliva well.

    Please continue to focus your prayers on Eleanor's recovery, especially on her swallowing and muscle tone.

    We pray that God would be glorified in this situation as we rest in His comfort.


    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Thursday, 6 am

    I just talked to the NICU nurse and she said that Ellie is pretty much weaned off of the respirator to room air. Blood work people were in my room at 5.30 this morning drawing my blood to check my platletts, rubella immunity, etc, presumably to see if there is anything in me that may have caused a problem for Ellie.

    Some Updated Info

    Thank you all for your prayers and phone calls and emails. Our God is a powerful God and we feel his loving arms around us.

    I'm ready to tell a little about what happened today.

    I had on and off contractions through the night that I figured were nothing. I got up around 4 because I was sick of lying in bed through them. At 4.30 my waters broke with a huge gush. For those of you that have seen me recently, you know I was huge. After the waters broke I was so happy to be at a more manageable size. Labor was still quite irregular throughout the morning. My midwife came and checked on us and was happy to hear a very strong and happy heartbeat. She also checked to make sure there were no concerns with cord prolapse due to the excessive fluid we had told her about, and she found baby's head nice and low and no cord issues what so ever. She checked heart tones during a contraction and found that baby's heartrate dipped a concernable amount, but did go back to normal. We decided to moniter it closely and hoped that labor would pick up quickly, so that we would have babe in arms soon. Around noon I lay down upstairs and things got intense quickly. By 1, I was feeling pushy. She checked the fetal tones through my contraction and immediately expressed her concern over the drop in heartrate--baby was clearly not happy. We all decided that moment to jump in the car and head to the hospital. She called ahead, and they were ready for us when we got there.

    We settled into the hospital about 1.30 and they hooked us up to the monitors. They said that yes the tones were low but they were not panicking. Since I was completely dialated and ready to push, they said I should go ahead and push the baby out. After about 5 contractions or so and some ineffective pushing they said they were getting concerned now, and since baby was not popping out quickly, they suggested c-section. We immediately agreed.

    The c-section was truly emergency. They did not take the time to do a spinal, rather they put me under general. They waited until the scapel was to the flesh and then put me under. They say that 2 minutes later, Eleanor Rose Vedra was delivered.

    From what I hear, she was not breathing, but they were very prepared and quickly put a breathing tube down. The tube was very effective, and she pinked up immediately. They then took her down to the NICU. Adam was able to get a glimpse of her on the way, but otherwise he was not able to be in the surgery or anything.

    After I woke up, they told me that my midwife had saved my baby's life by monitering us at home, and it was good that we came when we did. They also told me that I had a baby GIRL! Eleanor was in the NICU for troubled breathing but supposedly things looked good and her gas levels were already increasing. We were encouraged and hoped to have her by us by nightfall.

    Unfortunately, the bad news came later that afternoon. But first the good news from the NICU doctor. The breathing problems that Eleanor had were under contrqol, and they were confident that she would be able to wean off the respirator in the next couple of days. But then the bad news: Pretty much unrelated to the breathing issue as far as the Dr could tell, Eleanor is quite listless and not moving around a lot. She is not really reacting to stimuli normally, and they are very concerned about this. Since this is not due to the breathing issues, what is causing this?

    A couple of bad signs are the fact that I had so much fluid--she may have not been processing the fluid well in the womb, unbeknownst to us. Another thing was that when they took the placenta, they noticed that it had detatched in a few spots from the wall. Had this happened a couple of times over the last weeks? they don't know yet.

    So, the worst case scenario at this point is that she would remain quite listless, and they will need to test to find out if she has any defects or diseases. The testing could potentially take place at DeVos Children's. The best case is that she would perk up in the next few days, come off the ventilator, and be home with us by the end of the weekend.

    Now for the update. I was just down to see Eleanor and she is beautiful. She was kicking her legs and stretching her arms. The nurse was not terribly impressed with that, but I certainly was. I was able to spend some time praying over her and sang "Great is thy Faithfulness" to her. I was very encouraged to see her, though it was also heartbreaking. I am able to go see her "whenever I want" and will get updates frequently I hope.

    Some more detailed info you all were waiting for:
    Eleanor Rose Vedra (eventually called Ellie)
    6 lbs 5 ounces
    20.25" long
    born 9.12.07 at 2:06 pm

    Again, we so appreciate your prayers and encouraging phone calls and emails. We are finding strength in the Lord's faithfulness and feel his hand upon us.


    email me and I can get you a phone number if you want to talk.

    *pardon the spelling, typos, etc. no spell check and didn't want to look stuff up....

    Prayers Needed

    Eleanor Rose was born via emergency c-section today. Eleanor is currently in
    the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Marys and there are some
    concerns over her responsiveness. There were some oxygen issues at birth,
    making the c-section necessary. She is very lethargic and the doctors
    are not sure why yet. Please pray for Eleanor to "snap out
    of it" in the next day or so - if she doesn't, it will be an indicator
    of more serious problems. Please keep our family and little Eleanor in
    your prayers!!

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    Some updated Pictures

    Here are the boys with their usual loving attitudes towards one another (yeah, right)

    We got our first pumpkin of the season from our CSA. Adam and the boys cut it open and dug out the seeds. Then I cooked it, pureed it, and made some fabulous mini pumpkin pies.

    Finally, we went to the 28th classic car show. These are a couple of the boys' favorite cars. They now talk about how when they are bigger, Noah will have a fast red racecar, and Seth will have a green one.