Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Hardest 33 Days of My Life

My son, Christian Anthony, was born on February 10, 2003 at 25 weeks gestation, which was 3½ months early! He weighed 1 pound 13.4 ounces and was 13 inches long. The final words given to us just before our son was born were, “This baby will have a 50/50 chance to live. The first 48 hours will be crucial. We cannot promise anything, we’ll just see what happens.” Here’s a brief look at the 1st 33 days of his life.

Day 1
*Blood Pressure Low –- put on 2 medications
*Oxygen Saturation in blood dropping
*Lots of sedation

Day 2
*Our 1st family prayer together

Day 3
*Blood Pressure stable
*Only needs 25% oxygen from ventilator
*Peeing good with catheter
*1st blood transfusion

Day 4
*2nd blood transfusion
*Weaned off of one blood pressure medication

Day 5
*We taped your testimony (Psalm 71:6-8) to your bedside
*Off one blood pressure medication & weaning off the other
*Ventilator setting down to 40 from 60
*Peeing in diaper — No catheter
*No sedation needed since last night

Day 6
*Off both blood pressure medications
*Given steroids to assist in development
*Ventilator setting continues to be turned down
*1st head ultrasound – No bleeding on the brain...Praise God!
*Little jaundice – needed to lay under a blue light
*Daddy was reading the Bible while we were visiting you and he saw this scripture: I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done. Psalm 118:17

Day 7
*Start feeding on mommy’s milk at 11:00P.M.
*Fed every 6 hours – 1 cc (cubic centimeter)
*Blood gas pH level low – needs monitoring

Day 8
*Jaundice down – do not need blue light
*Found blood in lungs last night – went up on ventilator setting
*Mommy was encouraged by I Peter 1:21 which states that as believers in God through Jesus, our faith and hope are in God.
*Blood gas pH level good
*No more blood found in lungs all day

Day 9
*Daddy correlated Ephesians 2:10 to your birthday (2/10). It reads: For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
*Your nurse says you’re becoming a big boy because you don’t make a fuss like you used to when she turns your head.

Day 10
*Heart report showed an opening in the valve between your lungs & heart

Day 11
*Day 1 of a very TRYING week for all of us
*Surgery to close the valve between your lungs & heart
*Feedings stopped for recovery

Day 12
*Recovering well from surgery

Day 13
*We touched you for the 1st time!

Day 14
*Oxygen level had to be increased – Lungs not doing well

Day 15
*Infection in lungs from ventilator – put on 2 antibiotics
*Blood pressure dropped
*Not peeing
*Blood transfusion

Day 16
*Ventilator support lowered
*Off blood pressure medications
*Made sucking noises with the tube in your mouth :-)

Day 17
*Very uncomfortable – moving a lot
*2nd head ultrasound – possible abnormal cells

Day 18
*Day 1 of RELIEF for all of us
*Blood gas excellent
*Blood pressure good
*Down on oxygen support
*Only on 1 antibiotic
*Lungs look better
*Peeing good
*Feeding again

Day 19
*Moved to your own “home” – incubator
*No more lines in your belly button
*Fed every 3 hours

Day 20
*Fed 2 cc
*Slowly weaning off morphine

Day 21
*Fed 3 cc

Day 22
*We saw you yawn for the 1st time. :-)

Day 23
*Fed 4 cc
*3rd head ultrasound – possible abnormal cells

Day 24
*Fed 5 cc

Day 25
*Fed 6 cc
*Only 1 blood gas check now instead of 2

Day 26
*Fed 7 cc
*Oxygen level at 30%

Day 27
*Fed 8 cc
*Eye infection – drainage – given eye drops

Day 28
*Fed 9 cc (1 cc will be added every 12 hours to 18 cc)
*Urinating and having bow movements regularly

Day 29

Day 30
*Blood gas was not good

Day 31
*Blood gas good

Day 32
*No TPN (protein supplement) IVs
*All feeding done via feeding tube
*Growing infection in lungs – on antibiotics
*Up on vent support
*Blood transfusion

Day 33
*Infection in blood – on antibiotic
*IV for feedings – back on TPN
*More sedation

In all, Christian was in the hospital for 135 days! He had to endure…
* Ventilator (breathing machine) for 2 months
* Feeding tube for 2½ months
* Various infections
* 6 blood transfusions
* 1 surgery

But God said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ~ John 11:4

The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. ~ Psalm 126:3


Stine said...

Praise God! Reading this brought tears to my eyes. We are so blessed by his testimony.

The Keierleber Family said...

Oh Caryn, before I even began reading I was in tears. You can imagine my emotional state as I read it all. ;) Thank you for sharing! It is so beautiful to see the ups and downs... I know at the time it was Hell for y'all, but to know how it all ends, it is amazing to see how God brought C through so much!!!! I love when you tell me things that he was never supposed to do that he does. It just proves that our God is an Awesome God!! I know I have told you this before, but one memory of Christian I will cherish forever is seeing him run at CCBC... when he wasn't supposed to even walk! It was such a blessing, and thank you for being so open about the pain because that is a blessing too!!!

Oh, I got the stationary... THANK YOU!!! I LOVE it!!!

Julie H said...

Happy Birthday Caryn! I'm so thankful for your 33 years of life and your friendship. (Sorry the birthday greeting is a little late.)

Rejoicing with you in the miracle of Christian's life. What a story he has and I am thankful that he has a momma who is sharing it and giving God the glory!
Love, Julie Harms

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday week, Caryn! I have loved all your posts this week. This post especially was so moving. What deep waters he has called you to go through, but they haven't overflowed, have they? I'm amazed and praising God for your life as a mother.

And Orison has preschool on Thursday and Friday mornings, so those are usually really good for me. I'd love to see you soon.

the hungarian said...

I cried and cried reading this, and remembering it was during this time I met you for the first time! I had no idea what you were going through, you did not fuss, you did not complain.. The glory of God was shining through you like I had never seen done before! After that first meeting, I told my husband, I know they must be going through a lot, be she still has so much joy! Happy continued birthday to you!

Laurie said...

How amazing! How exhausting!
God is the Great Sustainer. Keep trusting and clinging to Him!

The Keierleber Family said...

I was just able to read the Psalms verse that is Christian's testimony. Umm, yeah, I think God created that verse specifically for Christian! Wow, I was in tears again! Love y'all!!!

tamskinny said...

Hi Caryn,just stopping by to let you know that your blogs are very touching. Continue to praise God through your blogs. Your blogs are both an inspiration and a blessing for me. Thanks for sharing.