Friday, March 19, 2010

She's here......

I am working on a post as to what happened and why it all happened so quickly. In the meantime I will post some emails from her proud daddy letting everyone know what is going on.....forewarning these may be lengthy updates.

Subject: It's official...I'M A DADDY
Well, she couldn’t wait any longer to grace us with her presence. Mom and baby Ellie are doing great. Jamie is resting comfortably (who wouldn’t be on morphine)

Elliot (“Ellie”) Grace Feisal arrived earlier this evening at 5:13PM weighing in at 5lbs 7oz and “standing” 18 inches tall (long); pretty darn good for being 35 weeks and 1 day, not the typical 37-40 weeks. Her Momma sure did a good job, she’s BEAUTIFUL. And I don’t say that lightly; I’m not really a fan of newborns as a rule. Am I biased? DAMN RIGHT! But, she really is pretty!

She’s got quite a lot of fuzzy BLOND BLOND BLOND hair; I mean toe head blond (as did both Jamie and I until we were both about 7 years old). Not tons on top, but about a half inch or so just about all over. She’s got a pretty, clear complexion. The only “blemish” is either a bruise or a birthmark on her right side just in the crease of her hip/pelvis; let’s put it this way, it’ll be the “date quiz” when she’s old enough and comes home…I’ll simply ask the lad if he found her birthmark, he says yes…it’s trouble!

I would attach some pictures here, but somehow (hello frantic!) left the data cable for the camera at home. Hopefully I can get one up here tomorrow.

We’ll be going home late Thursday or sometime Friday.

Now begin the updates on our little angels health/situation. Not that I expect anyone to read through all these updates but we are directing family and friends here for further updates and I would like to have everything in one place. However, if you feel compelled to read and add us to your prayer list they are greatly appreciated!!!!!

Subject: Baby Ellie News
Rather than send the mass email, thought I would send this group an fairly comprehensive and chronological update. No need to share all the details with the whole free world, or so says Momma.

All was well post-delivery, Ellie was checking out a-ok including her little initial suck/swallow/breathe test to see how she would do with a bottle. As we began giving her a bath ~7:00pm, her color began to fade very slowly. It became more pronounced once the nurse picked her up and placed her chest down in the palm of her hand to wash her back. This continued to the point that she (Ellie) was getting lethargic and cyanotic when washing her hair.

As soon as the bath was over, we put her on Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (known as CPAP to those of the snoring and sleep apnea persuasion). Did this for 15 minutes with an oxygen “enrichment” of 35% (so 14% over air). After 15 minutes of back to breathing on her own, her oxygen levels weren’t staying above 90 without the CPAP assistance, so she was taken to NICU. Jamie got to spend maybe a total of 7 minutes with Ellie on the day of her birth (5 in the OR with me holding her where Jamie’s hand could reach her and 2 seeing her in Jamie’s room on the way to NICU.

Ellie did fantastic over the course of the first night being weaned off oxygen-CPAP at 4:30 and off CPAP altogether by 7:30am on 03/17/2010. All was looking way, way up…to the point I started thinking there was an outside chance she’d go home with us on Friday. It wasn’t to be; and that’s ok.

By 11:30, she was back on CPAP and 30% O2 as her oxygen level just wouldn’t stay up and she began working harder and harder to breathe. By 6:00pm yesterday, they had bumped here CPAP O2 level to 45% and it slowly crawled it’s way to 100% by sometime after 7:00pm. That said, we did get the good news that her kidneys were properly functioning (not a concern of mine but a common issue for premise). Around 3:30, Jamie got to hold her for a little bit while they changed bedding prior to performing an EKG to check her heart murmur.

Over the 7:00 hour, they were doing more blood gas tests and messing with Ellie quite a lot, so we let her rest and recuperate. We also found out sometime in the late afternoon that she has a small heart murmur, which is very common; she has both a PDA and PFA murmur, both of which are normal and fix themselves with time and/or antibiotics (rarely require surgery). This, especially the PDA, contributes to her low oxygen level in her blood as the duct has not completely shut and that allow blood to bypass re-oxygenation in the lungs. That will heal with time.

I called NICU to check on her around 9:00, hoping to get good news and go spend some time with her. It wasn’t good news, but it wasn’t terrible.

It was during this call we learned that Ellie’s CPAP O2 had been increased to 100% and that she was really laboring pretty hard to breathe. At that time, Dr. Cho decided Ellie needed more help than CPAP was providing; all the hard work was making her TIRED and making her work harder to breath. As such, they intubated her and began giving her surfactant, the liquid that keep the little lung sacks expanded when we exhale. Herr’s were collapsing all the way down making her have to really breath hard to get them opened for air. With the intubation, they backed her O2 “enrichment” down to 50% and down to 40% (at 9:15).

They also ordered a 3rd round of chest x-rays; the x-ray revealed that my little angel’s right lung had collapsed due to a leaking lung. We found this out at about 11:00pm. Dr. Cho initially thought that she would need a chest tube but was able to withdraw 43cc of air from her chest cavity and by 11:30, her lung had already begun to rein late. Between 11:30, when I kissed her goodnight, and 1:00 (when I called to check on her) they backed her O2 down to 35% where it remains. She slept GREAT throughout the night (compliments of the sedation) which is exactly what she needed and was supposed to do.

So…all is well; but it will be a bit of a process. The law of averages says that she will be home before her due date of Apr 19, but I think/hope/pray before then. She’s a tough and feisty little thing. Send an extra prayer for her if you would!

Sorry for the Homeric email; but I had to fit in 40+ hours of updates for y’all!

Subject:Baby Ellie news #2
for some, an update; for others a massive run of updates. working from my air card so pics will have to follow as soon as I can get to a better internet connection to upload them to an email.

after the chest tube, they bumped Ellie's O2 level up to 50% and increased the vent from 50 to 60 (which means the machine was doing more breathing for her).

Bless her pretty little heart, she looks like a cyborg or something. wires running all over the place, tubes all's almost unfathomable to think that she's actually doing much better than she was, despite the steps backward.

I spent 20 minutes with her from 1:50 to 2:10-ish, when they kicked me out to do a blood gas test. I'll head back in shortly. While I was in there, they moved her O2 down from 40% (it was moved down from 50% between 11 and 1:45) to 35% and ultimately 32% just before i left.

I had my hand on her and was doing some praying; if you don't believe in God or the power of prayer, my event (if you had experienced this one event) would unequivocally change your mind. As my hand is on her and I'm praying, just when I'm getting REALLY choked up, tears squeezing their way out of my closed eyes trying like mad to drip down my bowed face...she brought her little foot over and touched my hand (I almost can't type this; and you guys know I can talk/type). Jamie had a real emotional afternoon and when I was praying for Jamie, Ellie touched my hand again with her foot. God calming me down using little sedated Ellie.

Another of the most special of moments, she was just waking up from sedation following the insertion of her chest tube. She got just one blinky blue eye open and I leaned in. Just then I leaned in just a bit and, I know physiologically she can't focus, but she took a good long look at me and relaxed back into sleep when I said "Daddy loves you!" She's doing REALLY good...all things considered.

All this sounds terrible, but it's all expected and moving in an ok direction. To date, she's maintaining weight, color (no jaundice), heart is good (despite the murmur), liver and kidneys all working fine.

Subject:Baby Ellie news #3
Ellie’s oxygen on the intubation has been weaned all the way down 25%!!!! PRAISE JESUS!!! Moving in the right direction! Also, moved the breaths per minute from 60 down to 50, so she is DEFINITELY getting STRONGER!!!

Praise be to God!

Subject:Baby Ellie news #4
Quick update on Miss Ellie.Vent is down to assisting on only 40 breaths per minute (was 60 early today and 50 earlier this evening). She's doing the other 20-30 breaths per minute all on her own and a yowman's work on the 40 assisted. Also, her O2 level has been bumped all the way down to 26%. So praise report all the way around; thanks be to God!!!Her lung is staying good and inflated so the chest tube may come out sometime late friday or over the weekend if things stay good!I'm off to tuck her in!

Like I stated I am sorry all these updates our jumbled into one post. I will work on a 'birth story' post here shortly! I will also try to post some pictures of our precious angel. Let's just say it's been a long few days. I know that things could be MUCH worse and that we are VERY VERY VERY blessed that things are going as they are but it's still been a rough few days! The nurses keep reminding me I HAVE to take care of myself and I am definitely trying. Last night I did get a solid 3 1/2 hours of sleep which I know isn't much and isn't good for me but at this point i'll take what I can. Rumor has it we will be discharged later today but I don't expect to see the doctor until around lunch time. It will be very hard to go home without our sweet baby...I know I can look over in the corner at the 8 vases of flowers and plants and the growing stack of gifts in the hospital room and know that we are all loved and being prayed for constantly!


  1. I have no idea what you are going through and I am sure that these emails and posts are hard for you all to get through...but I just wanted to say THANK YOU...thank you for being so strong and looking towards God in all of this, thank you for sharing these moments of your life with all of us, thank you for opening up and letting us all pray and help you in anyway possible. I barely could make it through these posts myself with my little ones running around and it really made me appreciate them and realize and remember Psalm 127:3. Sometimes life really takes over and I lose track of what is REALLY important. PLEASE CALL ME (996-0477) IF YOU NEED ANYTHING...ANYTIME OF THE DAY OR NIGHT. I am here for you all whether it is food, support, listening ear, or whatever you might need! ITB sister!!!

  2. Congrats on the baby girl! (Great name BTW, our daughters have the same first and middle name now!)
    I will keep Elliot in my prayers that she gets better and can come home soon.