over my husband and I as we realized that our determination
to love our children equally, regardless of future difficulties,
had saved the life of a beautiful, soon to be healthy baby
boy. At 33 weeks gestation, I was admitted to the hospital
in pre-term labor and stayed there for two and a half weeks
on bed rest. At 35 weeks, I was diagnosed with severe polyhydramnios
and the baby was diagnosed with ascites, which basically meant
that we both had too much fluid in our bellies. This posed
multiple problems for the baby, so they decided that a C-section
was immanent. It took seven days to put all of his intestines
back into his stomach and to close him up. At birth, his intestines
were affected by the amniotic fluid and they had been squeezed
into a tight ball, so the doctors couldn't tell if there were
any blockages or atresias in the intestine. We knew there
would be a second surgery, but we would have to wait 8 weeks
until his previous surgery was healed. So my son lived on
TPN, lipids, antibiotics and fluids for that time.
The big day for his surgery came. During his 8 hour surgery,
the doctors found that his intestine had two atresias, meaning
that his intestine was in three individual parts with no connection
in between. They were able to connect the middle part to the
lower part, but could not yet connect the upper part to the
middle, resulting in a temporary colostomy. Now, we have to
wait six weeks for this surgery to heal and for the intestine
to get ready to re-connect, but the end is in sight. His colostomy
began draining within 24 hours, which was a good sign that
the intestine was healthy and ready to begin functioning properly.
They began feeding him for the first time at 1 cc an hour
to get his liver working. At this time, he is still on TPN,
lipids, antibiotics and fluids, but he is 3 pounds heavier
and growing every day! He holds his head up and smiles when
he's spoken to. He gets in his swing daily and is quite content
watching his fish mobile that we rigged over his bassinet.
weeks old (nice hat!)
We have another 4 weeks to go until, what we hope is his
final surgery to re-connect his intestines. They predict to
start feeding him by mouth and sending us home shortly thereafter.
I will keep you posted with his progress. I know that many
people aren't as fortunate as we have been, but I hope that
my son's story brings hope to some. I also would like to say
that ALL children are blessings and should be treated as such.
No matter what "abnormalities or difficulties" they
are wonderful gifts that are here for a purpose. Maybe his
purpose is to bring hope.
Update on John Michael - September 2005. He had surgery and
the doctors were able to connect two parts of his bowel but
not the third, so he had a colostomy for about eight weeks.
They went back in and reconnected the bowel and closed him
up without any problems...so finally he was in one complete
piece! Shortly thereafter, they started feeding him by mouth
but only 5 cc's every three hours. They increased his feedings
every day or two by 5 cc's. When he was getting about 75 cc's,
he would not eat anymore so they put an NG tube down to ensure
he got his caloric requirements. We found out that my son
would rather play with the nurses than to eat, so I had to
go feed him on many occasions to keep them from using the
tube. A few days before we were supposed to go home, they
said we would have to take him home with the NG tube...my
son ate well for the last few days of our stay and we got
to take his tube out. My son came home Sept. 16th at the ripe
old age of 5 months, 4 days, and he is doing wonderfully.
He is eating everything by mouth, having regular bowel movements,
and growing steadily. It has been a long road, but finally
putting that carseat in my car made it all worth every tear,
every prayer, every doubt. I wish I could send pictures, but
I am one of the most computer illiterate people I know so
I will make my dad do that ASAP. Eeveryone, please keep praying
- for my son and for all of these other special children.
Never lose hope. Appreciate the small things. Never take a
single moment for granted.
Mrs. Jessica Chapman C/O Sandmn52@yahoo.com