Thursday, May 15, 2008

Update on Eli

My doctor told me that in the NICU it is always "Two steps forward, one step back," and to not be shocked or worried by little set-backs. I am trying to remember his advice now as we are experiencing the "one step back."

Eli is doing great in so many ways- he is breathing so well and is ready to be taken off the ventilator, which is such a praise! He is eating well, too, and has made it up to 3 pounds! His jaundice is gone, so he doesn't need to be on the UV lamp any more. And then there's the fact that he's just so cute!!!

But yesterday (Wednesday) we found out that he has a little heart murmur. All babies in the womb have an extra heart valve that helps support the extra blood flow they get when they're growing. The valve closes by itself around 35 weeks gestation, so when a baby is born the valve is no longer there. But in premature babies like Eli, the valve doesn't have time to close before they are born, which creates a heart murmur. Apparently this is a really common problem with babies born before 35 weeks, and Eli has it.

The extra valve isn't causing problems now, but it would if left untreated. It needs to be closed. There are several options for treating it- surgery or medicine. The surgery is a simple procedure where they just put a tiny staple on the valve through a tiny incision in the baby's back. But still, surgery is surgery. The medicine is obviously far less invasive, but the risk with it is that as it closes the valve it might close another artery in the gut that could potentially cause bowel perforation, which would require surgery to fix. This usually only happens in the tiny tiny babies- those born around 25 weeks, so Eli is in a low-risk category for this. The doctor decided to start the drug therapy.

He had his first dose yesterday and will get another one tomorrow and another on Friday. He doesn't get to eat during it, which is sad. So far he's doing really well- no side effects of the medicine so far. After his third dose he'll get re-evaluated to see if the valve has closed and what to do from there.

This is so, so scary for Eric and me. We love this little guy more than anything, and our hearts are breaking for him. Our little son needs a miracle- he needs the Lord to put His finger on that little valve and close it up. God put the stars in the heavens- He is absolutely capable of healing a little baby's heart. We are begging the Lord to close this valve for Eli so that he doesn't need any more treatment and so that he can continue his progress forward.

Will you join us in praying for our son? Pray that the Lord will close the valve in his heart so that he doesn't need more treatment. Pray that there will be no negative side effects of this drug. Pray that Eli will be comfortable and at peace during this, that he will feel God's presence so close by him. And pray that Eric and I can handle this with grace, peace, and faith. Thank you so much.


klhunny said...

Sending up a prayer for little Eli and for mom & dad. Hope all goes well and the medicine works without any side effects.
Katy Cunningham