After trying for a year, with assistance from CCRM (Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine), utilizing IUI, we had 2 failed attempts. We were on our last chance before we would have had to go to IVF. With MJ, third time was a charm. All check ups and ultrasounds showed a normal pregnancy progressing. Then on April 7th, Jenn and I went to Denver Health for a 29 week ultrasound scheduled (regular ultrasound wasn't scheduled until 32 weeks on 4/27) for her stress study with the University of Colorado. It was found that MJ was not growing as fast as they would like. He measured just 1lbs 14oz. They told us they would prefer him to be 3lbs plus. He was diagnosed as an IUGR baby (Intrauterine Growth Restriction). It was determined that there was absent diastolic flow through the umbilical cord from the placenta which wasn't giving him the nutrients he needed. This prompted the Dr. to admit Jenn and perform extended NST (Non Stress Tests) to measure MJ's heartbeat, rhythm, variability, etc... Additionally, numerous ultrasounds and Doppler's were performed to measure the diastolic flow of the umbilical cord. Steroids were administered to assist in the development of MJ's underdeveloped lungs. Over the course of several weeks, MJ improved. His diastolic flow, which was found to be absent, had improved to positive. He was moving normally and all seemed to be going well. There were a few instances where we thought we'd have to deliver via c section but MJ rallied. They found that Jenn's amniotic fluid was elevated, but it was a mystery as IUGR babies typically have less fluid.
For several weeks we continued to march on with hopes that MJ would continue to grow and make it to 34 weeks. This was the goal the MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine Specialists) determined was the gestation period to make it to. We were discharged on April 22nd only to be readmitted on the following Monday due to some poor NST tests. The week transpired without incident, as his NST tests improved. All seemed normal. Jenn was able to have her baby shower in the hospital on Saturday, April 30th. Thanks to all that were able to make it!!
The night of the 30th, the NST test showed decelerations in MJ's heartbeat as well as some distressful lags in variability and accelerations. This prompted the Dr.'s to decide to deliver MJ on Sunday morning via C section at 32 weeks 4 days. We were to see our little boy that day!! Scary, yet exciting. MJ was brought into this world on a snowy Sunday, May 1st at 10:47am @ 2lbs 5oz and 15in long. Upon examination, it was found that MJ has what is called a tracheoespophageal fistula. (An abnormally formed esophagus) Basically, the esophagus had formed incorrectly upon it's separation from the trachea and part is not connected to the stomach. On the day of his birth he was immediately transferred to Children's Hospital to get the care that he needed. They would need to do multiple surgeries in stages. On day 1 of birth, his first surgery was to insert a "G" (Gastro) tube into his belly to expel air that had accumulated there as well as feed him when he is ready. On day 3 of birth, they then performed a fistula ligation to clip off the connection between the esophagus and trachea. This would prevent air from flowing through the trachea into the esophagus and ultimately into his stomach. MJ sailed through both surgeries like a champ. All while breathing with assistance from a breathing tube (respirator). Early concerns around his blood's ability to clot were a non issue and they were able to do the surgeries. The Dr.'s and surgical team performed miraculously and were extremely helpful in putting our worries at ease. It was also determined that MJ had jaundice and was placed under a special light with little tiny sunglasses to protect his eyes.
Over the course of the week, MJ was fed nutrients intravenously through a main line inserted through his umbilical chord. He also had a main arterial line administering antibiotics and fluids. His progress has been great, hitting many milestones, as they have been able to remove the main arterial line, stop all antibiotics, he is no longer under the jaundice light, introduce milk into his diet and last night . . . . they removed his breathing tube!! He still needs help with breathing, though not very much, with a C-Pap machine. We are hopeful that we will be able to hold him today, albeit delicately due to the G tube being so fragile. MJ's weight has increased slightly. He's weighing about 2lbs 8oz and change. The surgeons would like MJ to double his weight prior to performing the surgery to fix his esophagus. Estimated time to his third surgery is ten weeks, but all dependent on his growth. So, now we just continue to talk to the little guy, read to him, hopefully hold him and let him eat and grow. You can't imagine how wonderful it has been to receive your well wishes and prayers. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! We will continue to update you as things progress. Thanks again! Grow MJ, Grow!!
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