Thursday, August 7, 2008

Baby Henze Update--Week 33

Now that we are having weekly appointments, it seems like we receive new or changing information more often. This week, we met with one of the OB specialists--or "oven mechanic" as he called himself--as well as a pediatric cardiologist and the neonatologist who will be caring for our son after he is born. (Did you get all those "ists?") It was a long morning and I was so grateful Charlie could be with me to help me listen to all that was being discussed.

My OB was pleased with how well the baby is progressing and how well I am doing. The baby doesn't seem to be suffering any abdominal swelling at this point, which is a good sign. All my numbers etc. were also good. My contractions are manageable with rest, so that is a relief. Every week we inch closer to my due date makes things safer and safer for this little guy.

The cardiologist did a very thorough ultrasound exam of the baby's heart and concluded that he has zero detectable problems. Another great piece of news as this contributes to the theory that the baby only has a problem in the bowel area.

We had a tour of the NICU. That part of our day was emotional for me. I didn't expect to be so affected by the environment we were in, but it was overwhelming to think that our son would be calling this part of the world "home" for a matter of days or weeks or even months. Although it is a bright, cheery place, it's also filled with monitors, warmers, IV stands, ventilators, and very sick babies. It became real to me that we would need this place. But, I don't want to need it...

We also met with the neonatologist who covered the basics of staffing for the NICU as well as possible things we might be encountering once our baby is born. That, also, was overwhelming. Even though he tried to be comforting and reassuring, there really is no comfort in the thought that your newborn is going to have to a number of procedures performed on matter how minor they may be. One good piece of news is that unless the baby is born with respiratory issues or is unresponsive, we will be able to spend time with him in the delivery room for awhile before he is taken to the NICU for assessment. In my mind, I was imagining giving birth and not even being able to hold my baby as they whisked him out of the room!

At this point, two schools of thought exist concerning the baby's condition. First, there is the thought that he has what is called an atrisia (uh-tree-shah) in his large intestine. Basically, this is a blockage. Treatment for the blockage would involve removing that section of intestine and either re-attaching the intestine (if the section is small) or routing his intestine to a colostomy bag until the intestine can grow enough to be stretched for re-attachment. The second theory is that the baby simply has a duplication, or an extra section of small intestine that has attached itself to the regularly functioning intestine and is filled with fluid. Treatment for this would involve removing the duplicate piece and wouldn't affect his normal digestion and elimination. Obviously, besides praying for complete and total healing, we would rather be dealing with a duplication. It is less involved and the healing time would be significantly less, barring any complications or infections after surgery. Either way, he will need to remain in the NICU until he has healed significantly. Next week, we will meet with his surgeon to discuss in detail both treatment procedures as well as other issues. Really, the surgeon may not know exactly what we are dealing with until he is actually performing surgery. Not what a "need-to-know-details" mama wants to hear! But, the Lord knows and I know the Lord. So, when He wants to impart that information to me, He will. And I can live with that.

So, that's where we are this week. If you are led to pray, please pray along the following lines:
For complete and total healing of this baby boy.
For freedom of fear as we draw closer to his birth. That we could rest in the total peace that comes from knowing our God is faithful and always works for our ultimate good. Always.
For the details concerning the care of our girls during the baby's birth, surgery and recovery be worked out in advance.
For peace in our home in the midst of what could be stressful and tumultuous.

Thanks for praying for our family. The Lord bless you!


Bethany said...

well that was good news! Obviously a huge blessing that his heart and all that are ok. I will be praying about the surgery and all that. I know the NICU can be scary, my niece was in it for two weeks. But I'm sure they'll be taking good care of him, as will his Father.

JAN said...

Oh Jen! I can't imagine going through all that. I will be praying for you and the baby.