November 13 - Ups and Downs

posted Nov 13, 2010, 8:10 AM by Grady Smith   [ updated Nov 13, 2010, 2:57 PM ]
November 13 (AM) - Friday felt like a really long day for us with things that gave us hope and things that honestly scared us.  Let me share with you what we experienced and learned on Friday.

Let's start with the good news...

  • Julia got to hold him on her for a few minutes 
    - For 15 minutes, Julia got to hold Grady Jeremiah on her chest.  It was so precious to see him calm and enjoying being on his mom, feeling her heartbeat!  Because his core body temperature was dropping being out in the cooler room air, we only could have him out for 15 minutes.  We hope to keep trying each day and increasing that time.

  • He is digesting - The nurses feed Grady Jeremiah breast milk every 3 hours.  The doctors keep slowing increasing the amount.  He is now to 4 cc (or 4 ml) every feeding.  He is able to digest most each time!  They are only finding 1 cc of undigested "residual" each time.  Please pray that he will be able to continue to digest, and soon digest it all, so that he gets his needed nourishment and antibodies found in the milk. 

  • He is fussy at times -  The little guy is peaceful and resting a lot, but when he gets disturbed he gets fussy.  It is encouraging to the nurses and to us.  On Friday he started crying and just wouldn't stop.  When we checked, we found he had made a mess in his diaper.  I never thought crying and a dirty diaper would be so encouraging but it was!  I'm glad to know he could feel that something wasn't quite right down there.

  • There is no bleeding in the brain - On Thursday night, the doctors did a head ultrasound.  Premature babies at this age are at a high risk for bleeding in the brain, which is known to lead to developmental or mental problems in their future.  Little guy had no bleeding!

There were two things of concern that scared us some on Friday...

  • Missing septum in his brain - The "septum pellucidum" is a membrane that divides hemispheres of the brain.  When checking for bleeding of the brain, the doctors noticed he did not have one.  Right now they are just calling it a "variance." It is something that would have developed earlier, so Grady Jeremiah would have been missing it even if he had not been born premature.  It is not something that can be treated.

    We spent extra time with the lead neonatologist here trying to understand more about it.  Many children with mental problems are missing this septum.  It also may have a connection to vision problems.  However, there are even more healthy children who also are missing it.  So basically there is no way at this point to know what, if any, impact, this variance will have on the little guy's future development.  The doctor showed us a research study indicating that such head ultrasound findings have no ability to predict a child's future performance. 

    Please pray that Grady Jeremiah will have no vision, mental, or developmental problems or challenges now or later in life as a result of missing this septumRejoice with us that Grady Jeremiah is "fearfully and wonderfully made" and that this variance has not taken our great God by surprise.


  • Temporary loss of coloring in his fingers - On Friday evening we noticed that four of his fingers had turned pale white.  The doctors came and checked, but everything else looked healthy.  The color quickly returned.  They are not quite sure what caused it.  It could have been a small spasm of his autonomic nervous system.  It could be his fingers had gotten bent backwards.  It could be a blood clot coming off of one of the tubes in him.  The doctors took an x-ray to check for problems.  They are going to make one slight adjustment in the placement of one of the tubes that goes into his veins.

Thank you!

We cannot begin to express enough gratitude to our Lord, to our families, and to our friends!   We were reflecting this morning on our many blessings and hope to write a post about it soon.  We still have not started tying to catch up on responding to your voicemails, texts, emails, and cards.  But know how much your encouragement, and especially your prayers, mean to us.

Grady & Julia
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