We have just finished speaking with the Director of the NICU as well as a pediatric surgeon regarding RJ's condition.

Luckily, the x-ray of RJ's bowels does not seem to show any necrotic or "dead" sections at this time. This is excellent news because had there been any necrosis, little RJ would have required surgical intervention. Obviously, given his tiny body and fragile state, this would have been cause for great concern. Instead, the surgeon thinks the bowel is just a little inflamed and "sluggish" due to RJs prematurity. For now, the plan is to treat him with an antibiotic simply as a precaution.

As for the bad news, RJs head ultrasound did in fact show a new hemorrhage on the right side of his brain. These are called Intraventricular Hemorrhages (IVH), and can happen spontaneously with premature babies due to their fragile blood vessels. If a bleed is shown on ultrasound, it is assigned a grade of 1-4 according to the severity. We have been told that grades 1 and 2 typically resolve themselves with no long term effects to the baby. Grades 3 and 4 are the most serious, causing irreversible and permanent damage to the brain. For RJ specifically, he has been diagnosed with a grade 4 hemorrhage to his left side and a grade 2 to his right. We have been told the grade 4 is not catastrophic, but will likely cause some muscle stiffness and other developmental delays in the future. Please please please continue to pray that these bleeds do not worsen, as they have the potential to evolve and continue bleeding over time. The ultrasound will be repeated once a week to monitor any changes.

Lastly, I forgot to mention earlier that RJ's heart was being monitored as preemies often have a problem with their PDA, which is a blood vessel outside the heart. Typically, when babies are born at full term this vessel closes on it's own. Preemies, however, often have trouble with this PDA closing which causes problems with blood flow between the heart and lungs. The only options for closure are a medication therapy or surgery, if necessary. Well, we are happy to report that as of today it appears RJ has responded to the medication and will not require any heart surgery!! An echocardiogram performed today showed no abnormalities and no heart murmur was detected, indicating that the PDA is closed.

We are so thankful for this and will take the good news where we can.

I'll leave you with a picture of our little guy...his eyes have not opened yet, hence the awesome sunglasses to protect against bright lights.

5/7/2013 09:29:31 am

Thank you for sharing your personal journey. I am sending good thoughts to you guys. With tons of love, Michelle.

Debi Erickson
5/7/2013 12:46:41 pm

Praying so hard for RJ

Cori Blubaugh
5/7/2013 12:52:36 pm

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I am praying everyday for you, Kelly, and RJ. I am so happy to hear that he doesn't need surgery!!!


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    We are Kelly and Mauricio, new parents of twin boys born at only 24 weeks.



    May 2013