Monday, May 11, 2009

Day 1--April 10, 2009

As fate would have it, our little girl decided to come into this world a little late. The kind folks at Rex Hospital in Raleigh, NC helped us right along with a little induction. This progressed normally and the baby was born at 12:59 pm on Thursday. I guess that would be yesterday as it is now 12:45 am. Our precious little angel is less than 12 hours old and I write this from the Duke Intensive care Nursery in Durham, NC. Beth is still at Rex. As Katie was late she had had a bowel movement while still in utero. This meconium causes some concern for the health of the baby specifically if she inhales it when she first cries. As she was born the doctors were quick to use suction in order to pull as much of the offending mater from her mouth and nose as possible before she took her first breath. Upon a cursory examination she was deemed to be in very good health. Beth came through with flying colors. She is set to be released tomorrow. Very shortly after she was born,Katie was taken to the nursery for observation. Her blood oxygen levels were dropping and they thought that it was due to some of this fluid in her lungs. Further examination discovered what appeared to be a collapsed lung and the possible solutions were explained. About 20 minutes later the Dr came back and said that the x-ray had revealed that she had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. In short, her liver and a portion of her intestines are located where her right lung should be. The decision was made to life flight her to Duke Medical center for emergency surgery. After a frantic packing, many tears, hugging, and farewells I made the trek to Duke. Currently Katie is being stabilized to determine when she can be operated on. Drs here say she must have the operation within the next couple of days. No one has made any indication otherwise that this not a very serious situation. She will have a surgery to remove the organs from their present location and return them to their normal position. This will enable Drs to then repair the hole in her diaphragm and assess the condition of her right lung. Currently there is concern as to it's presence and or development. Once this has been completed we then have to teach her to eat ever so slowly to see if there are concerns with her bowels which have been "kinked" for so long. If these have grown shut, a second operation may be necessary to cut out the damaged areas and reconnect the healthy sections. Recovery and hospitalization have been optimistically presented as about three weeks, but more realistically as five to six weeks. Now she is on a ventilator, with several other lines and catheters in place.I asked the most obvious questions. I was told that the success rate for this procedure was about 75% at Duke. Once she is released after the next month or so, she will be very susceptible to colds and respiratory problems. We will have to turn into something I am not......a germaphobe. I was told by the Dr that if he had to pick a baby with her condition to survive that he would pick her. Of 7 drugs normally administered to children with this condition, Katie only requires one. We were told that she has a huge head start over most other cases. She is a fighter. Not to be misunderstood, we have a VERY sick little girl, with a LONG LONG row to hoe. However we are supremely confident in the Lord's ability to use these fine physicians at Duke to help make her whole and better. It would be easy to be resentful, angry, or bitter, but we have found a peace that only God can give. I have no way of understanding why the Lord chose to send her to us in this fashion. If it is to make me desire to have a closer walk with him so be it. If her condition can be used to plant the seed of salvation into an otherwise lost soul, so-be-it. I thank God for his blessings and Mercy. There are many families who may never know the love of a child, and after a stroll through the Intensive Care Nursery, I can attest that there are families with children far worse off than Katie. Again, the Cole family requests prayer for one of our own. I have attached some photos of little Katie before she was attached to the myriad of monitors and tubing. I may send some of those out later, but for now please appreciate her cuteness as a normal new born.

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