Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jack Bennion the Race Horse

The preemie roller coaster ride doesn't get easier with time. In fact, we experienced some significant dips these past few days that felt more like drops into a bottomless pit.

On Wednesday night, Jack decided he didn't want to urinate anymore. A short recess would have been okay, but after 48 hours of not going "number 1," it was clear there was something seriously wrong. As a result, he was swelling up like the Stay-Puffed Marshmallow Man. He was retaining all the fluid they were putting in him. He was unresponsive to many drugs that are supposed to encourage urination. On Friday, the doctor gave us the grim possibility that his kidneys may have failed, which would be a fatal problem. The medical staff tried one last, very heavy dose of the medication, and we waited and prayed to see if there would be any change. By morning, we received good news - not only had he peed, but he was peeing like a race horse. To be more specific, more than 1/3 cup had been expelled in under twelve hours. So for now, the kidneys are back in action.

Last night, we heard from the NICU that things had gone downhill for his lungs, and significant measures were made to get him back on the track. They even had to give him a drug that temporarily paralyzes his whole body, which allows him to rest and get his vital signs up. These latest developments are probably a combination of three or four separate factor, including extra fluid in his body, pneumonia, his unclosed fetal artery and immature lungs. It's hard to juggle all those balls at once and still have everything else stay level. We've been told this situation isn't as critical as the kidney incident, but significant nonetheless.

The one big highlight, despite all the twists, turns and turbulence, was on Friday. On the day that may have been the hardest medically speaking, Jessi and I experienced a highlight of both of our lives. On top of celebrating our fifth wedding anniversary, Jessi and I were both able to hold him for the first time. The photos I attached are from that experience. It's hard to describe the moment in email, but it was remarkable on so many levels. On the one hard, holding him for the first time was a huge reminder of how small he is, which is even more apparent when he is laying against our chests. Having him rest his tiny frame on us was much like having a small puppy, or a warm 12" burrito, nestled up in a miniature package. It was also huge for both of us because it is really hard to have a child you can't even really nurture or care for in the same way that term babies need. That short time holding him gave us a glimpse of life as parents doing what parents do. We hope our time holding him was somewhat comforting for him, but we know these few hours with him probably were much more eventful for us. Thanks for all your love and support.

Pin It!


Kim Pace said...

Wow. I will continue to pray. I had pre-eclampsia with my last boy, but luckily it was just at the c-section time. It wasn't fun, but at least Ayden was bigger (and big for 37 weeks! 9 lbs 12 oz). I face the possibility of having it earlier if I choose to have another one. I had it right at the very end with my 1st, but it happened so close to that c-section that it went away after he was born. With Ayden, it stuck around and I had to be on the IV med and then I had to take BP meds for a while. I will pray for you, Jessi and little Jack.

katieoz said...

you three are amazing and I can just sense God's strength expressing itself through you right now...that little Jack is such a fighter! Chris and I are praying for you every night before we go to sleep (and at other times also!)

Jacqueline said...

Hi Jack and Jessi. Emily Spitzer has passed along your blog to me. My husband Titus and I just relocated to Butte in January to pioneer a Chi Alpha ministry at Tech. Our little girl Tirzah was born by emergency c-section at 24 weeks due to very low amniotic fluid December 15, 2006. She weighed 1 pound 3 ounces and was 12 inches long. She is now 2 1/2 and I'm amazed at what God has done in her life. We know the roller coaster ride of the NICU as well as the emotional and physical exhuastion. While every preemie experiences different issues there are many of the same. We are lifting up little Jack and praying for God's sustaining hand to be upon him. We are also praying for God's comfort and supernatural strength to be upon you both. Please feel free to call 406-390-6430 or email if you every need someone to talk to or pray with. Blessings!

Barbara said...

What a great picture, Jessi! I'm sending you and your family lots of positive energy and love.

Whitney said...

Hold that lil' Jack as much as possible! I truly believe in the power of parents' touch to comfort and heal!

Lori said...

That's one tough little guy! I cannot wait to meet him! I continue to pray for all of you. I believe in miracles!