Our babies are one week old today! We are so happy and thanking God. About this time last week, B.J. and I weren't sure if we would make it to this small milestone with both our little ones. But by the grace, mercy, and miraculousness of our Lord and Savior, Henry and Harper are still both with us, and they are putting up quite a fight. God has shown us so much through these little ones already. And we have learned so much about ourselves. We've all heard it before, and many of my friends also stated this fact to me in the past, but it's amazing how much you can love someone the absolute moment that you meet them for the first time. That's how it was for B.J. and me when we first met Henry and Harper. They were, and are, the most beautiful things we had ever seen. And we continue to pray for God's healing and protection over our little ones. So far, He has come through.
Henry is still on the oscillating machine that B.J. spoke of last week. Right after he was born, he had to be put on this machine to keep him alive. Not only was it serious enough that he was on this machine, but the settings were maxed out and he was on 100% oxygen. On top of that he was on two different blood pressure meds, as well as being sedated to allow him to rest. I'm happy to report, that as of this afternoon, he was no longer on any blood pressure meds, no longer being sedated, and the settings on the oscillator had been minimized and he was down to about 42% oxygen. This does not, by any means, indicate that our little boy is still not very sick and no longer critical. But it does mean he should be off that machine within in the next couple days, and placed on a conventional ventilator. If he is able to remain stable on the conventional ventilator and continue to breath efficiently, he will be transferred to LeBonheur where he will remain until he is able to grow big enough and strong enough for surgery. It also means that hopefully, within the next few days, B.J. and I will finally get to hold our little man in our arms. We cannot wait! Although his prognosis is still life threatening, we know that God is the great physician and we praise and thank him for the very small improvements Henry has made daily over the last week. As one of his doctors said Monday during rounds, "with Henry, slow and steady wins the race".
Now, to our little spitfire, Harper. She is doing amazing considering she had IUGR and only weighs 2 lbs, 3 oz. She has already taken to a pacifier and several times while B.J. and I have held has tried to lift her head up. But, late last week and through the weekend she did have some abdominal distention that was very concerning to the doctors. One of them even mentioned the possibility of surgery on her bowels. As of yesterday the distention had resolved and she was able to start feeding late Tuesday evening. All of last night and today, Harper has tolerated her feedings well. And one of the surgeons stated this morning that we were out of the woods, for the time being, as far as surgery was concerned. We are so grateful that God got her through that little bump in the road. B.J. and I were so concerned and stressed that her little 2 pound body could not withstand surgery. But again, God watched over our baby girl. We are just hoping and praying that she will be able to continue to tolerate her feedings so we can put some meat on this skinny girl's bones.
We continue to be humbled and blessed by the outpouring of love and prayer support shown to us. It has definitely sustained B.J. and I through this long journey and we know that it has helped our babies get stronger. We continually tell them how loved and prayed for they are. We also give thanks, not only to God for the improvement of Henry and Harper, but also the doctors, and more importantly, the nurses that have cared for them. The ladies that have treated our two little ones have been absolutely phenomenal and we are so grateful for them. Please pray for B.J. and I as we continue on this journey and the 'roller coaster' that is having your children hospitalized. Please pray for me as I try to make the transition back to the working world. I feel very guilty leaving my sick babies and wife here in Memphis, but I know that God will sustain them daily until I return. I am going to try to commute back-and-forth, so please pray that I will remain safe on the roads. Please pray for B.J. as she continues to heal from the surgery. She wants to be in the NICU as much as possible, but she is also still needing to rest and take time to heal. Please remember Shirley as well, since she will be spending most of her time up here with B.J. while I am at work (much like she did during B.J.'s hospital stay). Most importantly, continue to pray for Henry and Harper. For Henry's minimal lung tissue to continue to strengthen so that he can safely be transported to LeBonheur. For Harper to continue to tolerate her feedings and start to pack on the pounds. And for both of them to stay infection free. We thank you all for your fervent prayer.
God is good... all the time!
Mark, B.J., Henry and Harper
**above is a video of Harper sent to us by one of the nurses. This happened in the middle of the night. Apparently, she was NOT too happy and decided to turn herself sideways in her incubator and flail aimlessly at the air, as if she wanted to smack someone. Like I said, spitfire! This puts a smile on our face and a tear in our eye every time we watch it. Praise God for that screaming baby!