The Lord has answered our prayer! They did a small surgical procedure on Abigail in order to obtain four biopsies of her esohpagus, intestines, and colon. They found an overgrowth of bacteria in her stomach and also a mild milk protein allergy that could have been causing her intolerance to food. The bacteria is being treated with an antibiotic. The GI doctor switched Abigail off of breast milk to a hypoallergenic formula called alimentum. This formula is already broken down so that Abigail’s sensitive stomach can digest it. After this switch her belly has looked much better and she has been keeping her feeds down. This is great news! The neonatologists were very skeptical that these minor problems could cause such dramatic symptoms. We believe the Lord has heard all the prayers and has moved on our behalf!!! Please pray that she continues to tolerate her feeds.
The same day we got the news about the mild allergy we also got news that Abigail has heart disease. She has a hole in her heart called an ASD (atrial septal defect) that leads to congestive heart failure. This is a hole between her right and left upper chambers (atrium) of the heart which allows unoxygenated blood and oxygenated blood to mix which forces her heart to work overtime reoxygenating already oxygenated blood.The cardiologists said that the hole is of “moderate” size and therefore will likely require surgery to close it. If the hole was small it would likely close on its own. The heart issue prevents her from taking greater volume of feedings because the more liquid she takes on the harder the heart and lungs work. They are giving her a diuretic called lasix to help with her fluid retention. The doctor said he thought she would need surgery within the first year of her life which would be done up at UAB. The doctor did say that there is a small possibility that the hole may close on its own. Please pray 2 things regarding her heart. 1) That she will begin to grow. The lasik helps keep her fluid levels down but also slows down her weight gain. 2)Please pray with us that as Abigail begins to grow that the ASD will close on its own and that she will not require open heart surgery. If she adjusts well to the lasik and begins gaining weight she may be able to come home the first of next week. YEA!!!
Lastly please continue to pray for Katie and me. The 6 weeks of driving back and forth to the NICU multiple times a day is taking its toll on both of us. I am simply amazed at how well Katie has handled this whole thing. Please continue to pray for perseverance and strength as we face the rollercoaster of emotions. Pray that we would continue to find peace and rest in our heavenly Father. We are starting to embrace the reality that Abigail’s health issues are not going away in a few weeks but will be with us for quite a while. As we embrace this fact, we continue to affirm to one another that God was not obligated to give Abigail to us but has done so simply because of his grace and goodness. Please pray that we would continue to trust Him and his wisdom as we care for her in these challenging times knowing that our judgment is often cloudy and marred by what we see but his wisdom is always perfect and good.
Thank you all,
P.S. Aiden is doing pretty well. He has had some apnea spells but overall is good and weighs a whopping 7.2 lbs!!!
From Katie- I have strongly sensed the Lord's gracious hand upon us the past 6 weeks that she's been in the NICU. There are days we don't feel as though we will make it another hour, but somehow He gets us through and even gives us joy in the midst of it. Now more than ever "the Lord is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble". He has granted us such grace physically, emotionally, and spiritually, He has used the body of Christ to pour out His love and concern for us through others. I'm so very thankful. - Katie