Friday, September 30, 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Back to Back Champs

Last night the Angels clinched their second consecutive AL West title with 5 games remaining in the season. It will be great for them to be able to rest Bartolo Colon and the bullpen to keep them fresh for the playoffs. They still have a chance for home field advantage, so they don't want to give away any games if they don't have to. It is such a nice change of pace to have my favorite team consistently going to the playoffs. Hopefully with the extra rest we will have better results this year in the playoffs.

Monday, September 26, 2005

4 pounds

Emma had another good week. On Friday she reached the 4 pound mark. Earlier in the week she had her other chest tube removed, so her lungs no longer have a leak. We spoke with Dr. Berdjis on Friday and he is happy with her progress. When she reaches 2 kilos, probably in the next week or so, they want to do another echocardiogram to see where her heart is at. At that point, he may recommend having a temporary surgical procedure that will help her grow some more before having the surgery to close the hole in her heart. They would insert a “balloon” into her heart to increase the blood flow to her lungs. If at all possible, Dr. Berdjis would like for Emma to be 3 kilos when she has her main surgery. She is looking very good now. She looks like a normal little baby girl. I took some pictures this weekend, put I don’t have my camera with me. I will send the next update a week from today unless something significant occurs. Thanks again for all of your prayers and support.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Positive Steps Forward

Emma had a good weekend. It was a very long week for Alissa and I, but it looks like we are over the worst of it. Emma was taken off of the oscillator and put back on the normal ventilator on Thursday or Friday. It is much quieter for her now and it is easier for the nurses to reposition her. She also had her left chest tube removed in the middle of last week. Her right lung still has some leakage so they are waiting a little longer to remove that one. She has been on IV nutrients since her episode last Saturday, but it looks like she may be going back to milk today or tomorrow. With the IV fluids, she gained a lot of water weight and was looking very puffy. They countered the puffiness with lasix and she started to look like herself again on Saturday. They estimate that her real weight is around 3.5 pounds even though she is weighing in at 3 pounds 12 ounces. She is no longer on the paralytic, but will continue to receive pain medicine and sedation. Her white blood cell count is elevated, so they are testing to see if she has any infections. As a precaution, they have given her 2 broad spectrum antibiotics. If it turns out that she has no infections, they will take her off of them. We haven’t been able to take many pictures in the last week because her room has been so dark and we didn’t want to disturb her with the flash, but we’ll try to get some this week and include it with our next update. As always, thank you for you continued prayers.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Quick Emma Update

I just wanted to send out a quick update to all of you regarding Emma. Over the past couple days she has stabilized. She is connected to 4 IVs and a central line. She still has 2 chest tubes that are draining air and fluid from her chest cavity near her lungs. She is very puffy and just started getting nutrients last night. It may be a little while longer before she starts getting milk again. Dr. Berdjis, her cardiologist has been seeing her everyday and is happy with her progress. He has ordered peace and quiet for Emma as much as possible. Emma cannot have visitors except for Alissa and I and our parents. And then we can only look at her and not talk in her room. Alissa and I have been just sitting in her room just to be near her. We just listen to audio books on my iPod. We slept at home last night after 2 nights in the NICU with her. It was tough, but we needed to do it. It will take some time for us to be comfortable leaving her at the hospital as we go home again.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Scary Night

Last night Emma almost died. At approximately 6:30 she started to have all sorts of spells. We received a call at 7:30 saying that we needed to come in to the hospital. At that point, we feared the worst. When we arrived there were at least 10 people at her bedside working on her and she looked like she was dead. Her heart rate was at 0 and her blood oxygen level was too. She may have been dead at some point and brought back. They were giving her CPR for at least an hour. The doctor asked us if we wanted to baptize her and I asked if that meant she was gone. She said no, but it was not looking good. We prayed with the hospital chaplain and her nurse from the day and God heard our prayers. Right after that, Emma started to have vitals again. They continued to work on her until she became somewhat stable and then took some ultrasounds and x-rays. We don’t know why it happened. During the process of resuscitating her, her lungs over inflated and air leaked into her chest cavity. She has tubes in her chest to release the air from her chest cavity and lungs. Her lungs should fully heal. Her heart looks OK right now too. She is on an oscillating ventilator right now to vibrate her chest and help her breathe. She is also on a ton of medications, including three separate IVs. They have temporarily paralyzed her to keep her from feeling pain. We don’t know what long term effects there will be, but we still have our little girl. We stayed at the hospital last night just to be near her and in case something happened. We will do the same tonight. Please pray that Emma will fully recover and not have any long term damage from this. Also pray for the doctors and nurses as they continue to care for her. They did an amazing job last night and you could tell everyone was genuinely concerned. Please pray for Alissa and I as well as we cope with all of this.
Thank you, Mark

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

We have a 3 pounder!

Emma reached the 3 pound mark on Saturday and we are thrilled! As of this morning, she is 3 pounds 1 ounce, a whole pound more than she weighed when she was born. It was quite a nice anniversary gift from our little girl. She has been doing well in her big girl crib. Her ventilator settings have remained at minimal. She did need to go on antibiotics last week for a minor infection, but that is the extent of her problems right now. It is not official yet, but it looks like we will be able to use Dr. Berdjis as our cardiologist. It appears as though he thought we were in a different group than we are really in, so there might not be any paperwork at all. He just told us that he has a great relationship with Mission Hospital and that it would be taken care of. He has been stopping by every three or so days to check on her. The plan has remained the same as Emma has continued to grown consistently. Alissa received a preemie journal from her mom that lets us chart Emma’s progress. Alissa looks at Emma’s chart daily and keeps track of her weight, feedings, medicines, who her nurse is, etc. every day. This weekend I reviewed the charts and figured out that Emma has gained an average of 5 ounces a week over the past couple of weeks. The previous two weeks she was gaining about 4 ounces a week. If she continues at the current rate, she should reach the magic five and a half pounds in about 7 more weeks. If all goes well, Emma might be home in time for Thanksgiving. That would be wonderful, but we are just hopeful that she will be home in time for Christmas. Thank you again for all of your continued prayers and support.