Saturday, June 13
We just wanted to make a quick post to solicit all of your prayers for the next hour or so. Bryce is going into heart surgery right now to close his PDA. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
Much love and appreciation,
Caleb, Katrina and baby Bryce
Friday, June 12
Thank you for your amazing little note - it brought me to tears just the way you have every day of your life. But I know in my heart that one day I will get to hold you in my arms and feel your skin against mine. That knowledge makes all of the tears bearable.
I can hardly wait until the day I look into your eyes and see that you know I am your mommy and that I will love you unconditionally every day for the rest of my life.
You are my light, my heart, my soul and know that your daddy and I will do everything within our power, and beyond, to provide you with the best possible future.
I love you, Sweet Boy. Be strong, as we all know you are. Keep fighting, as I'm sure you will. Find comfort in our love for you. Know that people all across this world are praying for you and thinking of you, your very own team of angels.
We are so proud of you, Baby.
Thursday, June 11
Today was a good day but we're really looking forward to tomorrow. We'll have another brain scan and an ultrasound of his heart. Hopefully we'll see no more bleeding in his brain and that the PDA in his heart has closed. Pray for us!
After speaking with Trina today, I am feeling so pumped for Bryce! She said that today and last night were both good nights. She stressed that they are taking it day by day, moment by moment. Both her and Caleb are trying not to let the awareness that there will be bad days as well over shadow the tremendous moments they are living with Bryce.
Better than that all, SHE SOUNDED GREAT! We laughed and she spoke about Bryce and his many hurdles he is facing, but with such grace and positivity.
There should be more info in regards to the PDA and in the way the lung surfactant has worked tomorrow. The doctors will do an ultra sound to check out his tiny little systems and get a new read on how he is doing.
Caleb and Trina had a bit of a milestone as well today when they were able to see Bryce's eye's for the first time. Being that his skin is still so thin and fragile, he has a wound care specialist come in, while there she (he?) took the eye covers off. Trina sounded so excited to see her baby's brow bone and the soft curves of his tiny eye's. The lids are still closed, but you can only imagine that wonderful moment.
Many apologies if this is scattered and erratic, like most of you reading I am terribly thirsty for all the info I can garner on Baby Bryce. I will do my best at these updates in the future (granted Trina lets me back on here!). In the mean time, let me suggest you all take some time to verse yourself on the March Of Dimes website. They have a plethora of information pertaining to micro preemies.
Thanks for checking in!
As I know each and every one of you can imagine – we simply were not prepared to be here. We were still trying to imagine that we were going to be parents and that we were going to have a life dependant solely on us when Bryce decided to make his grand entrance into this world. As the parents of such a premature baby we are learning so much that it seems impossible to even think of a way to sum it up for you all here. But I’ll do my best and please feel free to ask questions as you have them – we aren’t hesitating to ask any and you may have some we haven’t thought of.
First of all, this is going to be a long haul. We are just beginning the journey of Bryce’s life and we fully expect him to grow into a strong and healthy man someday. We understand that this is not a sure thing but regardless we simply have to believe that he will make it through this one way or another.
In the meantime though we have small and large challenges to face every minute of every day. Right now, Bryce’s biggest challenge is that his lungs were simply not prepared to be breathing air so early. He is on a special respirator that pulses many times the amount of air into his lungs than would be natural for a baby to breath. They judge how well this is working based on his “chest wiggle” (a silly and oddly comforting medical term). He has had to have an artificial surfactant given to him three times now and each time is quite a production. He did not respond well to his last dose and so we are hoping it will truly be his last. Surfactant is a protein that a baby develops in their lungs anywhere from about 26-32 weeks of gestation. But luckily our bodies are immensely intelligent and once a baby breaths air surfactant production usually begins on its own within 2-3 days. We are still waiting to see how this goes.
Additionally, we discovered today through an ultrasound of his heart that he has an PDA (see here for an animated diagram of a heart and the PDA’s function). The doctors and nurses had hoped it would be small to medium but it is large and very concerning. They have decided that the best course of action is to prescribe Endocrin to help close the PDA so that his heart can begin properly routing blood to his lungs and body separately. These things are hard to understand and even harder to explain so I apologize if it is unclear. We will start the Endocrin today and he will have 3 doses (to start with at least). We will do another scan on Friday and hopefully his PDA will be closed. The major side effect of this treatment is that it has been shown to cause bowel preforation. The alternate though is Ibuprofen which has been linked to brain bleeding. Bowel preforation is a preferable possibility to the latter and so determined the use of the Endocrin. Fortunately, bowel preforation can sometimes close on its own and luckily it is only a possibility.
One thing we have certainly learned is that there are many, many possibilities to everything and any decision that effects one effects them all. We are simply determined to put our hearts and hopes into all of the possible positive effects there are and to deal with the others as they make themselves known.
On a more positive note…Houston we have milk! I am so grateful to be able to offer just one bit of help to my son and it was so important to me that I be able to provide him with this source of nourishment, antibodies, immunity and of course love.
I could not have done it without the help of the amazing ladies here at Dell – Nicole and Amanda, my lactation consultants have been here to answer all of my questions and provide so much positive encouragement. Kerby, our day nurse for the last three days, has been so supportive – whether it be with a smile, an explanation, or a pumping kit when mine is short on supplies.
My heart feels as if it has grown exponentially in these last days. I have more love for Bryce than I ever thought would be possible to have for anyone or anything. I also have a whole new part of my heart devoted to the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff here in the Dell Children’s Center NICU.
I know I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it a million times more, thank you for all of your well wishes, your prayers and thoughts, visits and texts, calls and love! We love you all too!
I tried to add some pictures but the internet is here is going a little slow so I’ll add them later today- promise!
Wednesday, June 10
Finally you get to see a little of Bryce's cute little face today!
Baby Bryce holding Mommy & Daddy's hands for the first time (yesterday)! As Shannon, one of our nurses, said - we had a very special family moment. Thanks to Danita for capturing this moment for us!
Our original post from Wordpress:
Bryce Alexander came swiftly and unexpectedly into our world and hearts on Sunday June 7th 2009 at 10:41 p.m. He weighed in at 700 grams (just over a pound and a half) and was born at home. His dad, Caleb, and I gave him CPR until the Cedar Park F.D. and EMTs showed up and took over. We were transferred to Cedar Park Regional and Bryce was then sent to Dell Children’s Center at about 1:30 a.m.
We are all here at Dell Children’s now and feel so blessed to be in such caring and experienced hands. We hope to keep everyone up to date via this blog and welcome (nay, encourage) your comments and prayers.
Thank you all for everything!