The past few days have been extremely tough for Ned and us. Betsy was home this weekend while Robin came up to stay with Ned. It all started when they went to do try the MRI on Friday for the 2nd time, and didn't get him sedated in time to make the appointment, so Ned had two days of drugs for naught. Over the weekend, his reflux troubles increased rapidly, to the point where they cut his breastmilk intake from full feeds down to 5 mL an hour and switched him to continuous feeds. Upon Betsy's arrival back in Chapel Hill on Sunday evening, he was still wretching and spitting up terribly, so they decided to try and get a central line IV access back in, in case they needed to give him nutrition from something other than the milk feeding tube. This turned out to be fruitless as they couldn't get the line in his neck because of all the scar tissue from having lines there before. A different nurse practitioner also failed to get a line in on Monday morning, so they wheeled Ned down to the operating room to put in a central line in his groin surgically, which was a success. They also put one in his head on his scalp for additional access if needed. His reflux has been pretty minimal today, but we're waiting to see what he does tonight and tomorrow, because he was fairly sedated from the surgery for the remainder of the day. He is currently getting about 10mL an hour on continuous feedings and they started giving him sugar water to supplement this.. They still have no idea what caused his major reflux problems as of late, but we're just praying that we've gotten through this.
As for the feeding issues we are having, we are still waiting on the doctors to decide which course of action to take. The surgeon who put the line in this morning mentioned that he thinks his stomach may be too small to actually get a G-tube in, as well as perform the nissen procedure (to cinch the opening between his esophogus and stomach not allowing him to reflux) or to put in a J-tube which is basically taking that same area of bowel they just put back together, making a Y out of it, and bringing one in out of the belly for us to be able to feed him directly into his bowel, bypassing his stomach. Either way, they are wanting to wait 2 more weeks to give his stomach/bowel area time to completely heal and scar up since his last surgery to put his bowel back in. This is of course, if they can control his reflux until then. Dr. Adamson came by today and spoke with us, and said he is going to get with the radiologist who did the X-rays this morning, to see exactly how big his stomach is before rushing to a decision on which feeding access procedure to perform.
We have both been struggling as of late, as we feel we've kind of hit a road block, and Ned's progress is either at a standstill or backsliding some. This is a very scary and uncertain time. I have found myself really struggling with everthing. As I left work around lunch today to drive up, I discarded my usual radio stations for some silent, alone time with God. I prayed that He would get my son and my family over these hurdles. I said I know this is all in God's perfect timing, but as He all too well knows (because I've been telling Him), we are tired and weary. I know I'm weary, and I know Betsy is weary, because being in that hospitol day in and day out drains you. I know our strenght is coming from the Lord, because it's impossible to humanly do what we're (she's) doing. Anyway, in addition to this, I also prayed that if He wasn't finished here, if He would have me or her do anything for anyone else, to make it perfectly clear. We also prayed this over dinner (if you call 9:45 dinner). We got back to the hosptiol about 10:15pm, and there was a young couple who's baby was across from Ned in the NICU. As we watched our big guy rest, we overheard the doctors talking to the parents of this very sick baby who is maxed out on the ventilator settings he/she is on. I immediately thanked God that the doctors never had the conversation we were hearing with my wife and I. We heard things like... "The support we are giving this baby is pretty much maxed out. We could be puncturing lungs right now. How much do you actually want us to do if things go badly tonight?". I could read the look on Betsy's face, as she could mine. I think we both just sat there with Ned, silently, praying. God really laid it on my heart right then, to pray with that couple. I was immediately freaking out, because those of you who know me fairly well know that that's not me. I'm not really a front lines guy, don't like the spotlight. But I knew, I hoped, the spotlight would be on God, not me. I worked myself up for it. I even asked Betsy if she would make the offer to them, break the ice, and I'd do the praying. I contemplated asking our nurse to offer prayer with them for their child. We decided to wait until they finished taking pictures of him/her, and go over and offer to pray with them before they left. It didn't quite work out. Our nurse and Betsy and I started talking about Ned and Jack, and home, and 5 minutes later I looked up and they were gone. I am really hoping and praying that I didn't miss this opportunity. I am now praying that God will present this opportunity again tomorrow morning when we go back to the hospitol, and that it's not too late.
In addition to praying for Ned, I ask that you guys also pray that we will continue to take notice, and really listen to where God is leading us, as we wait and expect God to heal our baby boy, hopefully to bring him home very soon. Thank you for all your prayers and your encouragement day after day.
Travis, Betsy, Jack, and Ned