As the old children’s blessing goes: “God is Great; God is Good!” Our little Katie had another good day today. Beth and I spent the morning and early afternoon with her today. At the 1:00 feeding Beth was able to get darling Katie to suckle off and on for about 30 minutes. In this time she did actually drink 37ccs of milk. This blew her previous record out of the water by 15ccs. Again for those of us who live in America, I have finally gone and figured out the conversion rate. It goes something like this:1 US ounce equals 29.573ccs or milliliters1 US ounce equals 6 US teaspoonsSo now with a little ciphering (which comes hard for we Ag teachers you know), the 37ccs that Katie drank today equals 1.25 ounces or 7.5 teaspoons. This not quite half what she is supposed to be eating per feeding. However for Beth and I we feel it is one more step closer to coming home.One of the speech therapists that works with Katie said that she has about figured out what to do and has the ability to eat normally. Her problem now is that she has a horrible case of thrush still. It seems to get worse everyday. Her little tongue looks like there is small white terry cloth towel lying on top of it. I have since discovered that thrush is actually a fungal infection resulting from the reduction of healthy bacteria, which were all killed off by the antibiotics she was on after surgery. Katie’s case of thrush not only coats her tongue, and portions of the inside of her mouth, but also down her throat. It is now believed that this is indeed the culprit that is preventing her from eating. It appears that the truth of the matter is that it is just too painful to eat.Katie has already been administered a full dose of one type of medication for about 4 days with no results. The medication was switched to a second type, which temporarily seemed to work, but now only seems to be feeding the condition. Once this prescription is complete, there are plans to “paint” or coat the inside of her mouth and throat with some purple topical ointment. I am no health care professional so I can’t give you the names of these pharmaceuticals, but if you have a true burning desire e-mail me and I’ll find out. We have discovered that if this purple ointment doesn’t work she may have to be put on some IV antifungal medication for several days.Now the prayer is for the “click and no thrush!” Today is 28 days we have been at Duke, and we are getting a bit stir crazy. However, we still have the knowledge that our little girl will be out soon and this will be in eternal past. Some of the children here who were born exceptionally premature will be here for many months. Two of my coworkers have experienced this first hand within the last 5 years. I can tell you all now, that parents of children born early have got to have the resolve of Job. I now have a much greater appreciation for what these parents are going through or have gone through.There are children in Katie’s ward who may never lead what we call a normal life, due to their defects. Even with all of the hardships we have faced, I can truly be thankful for our daughter. This experience has changed our lives for the better. I will never again lay my head onto a pillow without praying for children in units like this around the world. There will forever more be images of these scarred babies engrained into my memory and heart. Almost as an accidental discovery today, we noticed during a diaper change that Katie’s steri-strips have finally been removed. Three weeks and one day after her surgery we were at last able to see the incision site. It doesn’t look bad at all. It has healed quite nicely, and will most likely be hardly visible when she is older. I took pictures (of course) but the camera battery died tonight at the FFA banquet, so I’ll try to send them out tomorrow.As I do with every other day, I looked for God’s message to me today. As I thought back over the events of the day, and how many people I came in contact with, I realized that today I have, as with many other days, seemed “to pray without ceasing” as we are told to do in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. The odd thing was, that while I did pray for Katie and all of those babies, I also thanked God for each of you and the amount of effort that you have expended on our behalf in prayer, forwarding these updates, baking goodies, mailing cards, sending gifts and the other sweet acts of kindness bestowed upon Beth and I. So with that, I leave you with the follow verse as it is my prayer for you!3 John 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.May the countenance of the Lord shine upon you!
We are Andy, Beth, Michael, and Katie Cole. We started blogging in the spring of 2009 as we dealt with the life-threatening birth defect of our daughter, who had a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. But now she is now a happy and healthy one year old and we want to share more of our life than just "Katie's Story." We emerged from this most difficult time with a stronger marriage, a stronger family, and a stronger faith. Please join us as we live our thankful life!
A congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, is a birth defect that occurs in approximately 1 in 2500 live births. Half of those babies will NOT survive. Babies with CDH have a diaphram that was not formed correctly and this hole allows the abdominal structures such as the liver, spleen, and intestines to migrate up into the chest cavity. Because this usually happens so early in gestation (usually at 8-12 weeks), it interferes with the normal growth of the heart and lungs. Most of the time the lung on the affected side ends up being only a fraction of a normal sized lung at birth. This doesn't usually cause problems until the baby is born when they need those lungs to breath air for the first time! At birth, this is a life-threatening emergency that will require surgery to repair as soon as the baby is stable enough. Following surgery, there is most often a long, slooooowww recovery process.