Sunday, June 15, 2008

My Nephew, Isaac


Hi everyone, some of you may be wondering how my new nephew, Isaac, is doing. Here is an update from my brother-in-law that he wrote a few weeks ago:

Dear brothers and sisters,

Thank you so much for your outpouring of affection and concern for Gayle and Isaac. It is an encouragement to me beyond words that our church family would love us so much, and in such concrete ways. I thank you on behalf of all the Glennians!

Isaac Romeo Glenn was born at 2.0 lbs., 14.2 in., 14 weeks prematurely. He is therefore held up in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Depending on his course, he will be there till his due date (August 28). He cannot receive visitors, unless they are accompanied by Gayle or me. And even then, they are only permitted to see him for ten minutes between 9 am and 9 pm. Children are never permitted in the NICU, except for the siblings of the child. However, because there is a case of RSV in the hospital, not even our kids can see him right now. So although I’m sure you’d like to stop by to see how he’s doing, right now visiting him is a practical impossibility. In addition, we would ask that you not ask to visit him with us, as his condition is such that he needs all his energy for his continued development. We’ll certainly let you know when this changes...

Now to Isaac:

Two words have been used to describe him: “feisty” and “superstar.” He’s feisty because when he’s awake he’s flailing all over the place and because when he’s asleep he gets very irritated with anyone who wakes him! Gayle says this reminds her of someone. I’m not sure who.

He’s been called a superstar because of how well he is doing despite the precarious nature of the situation in which he finds himself. For example, in order to rule out an infection in his spinal fluid, he had to undergo a spinal tap yesterday morning. The procedure alone typically puts a good deal of stress on the baby, but Isaac lay on his side while he sucked a pacifier, and did extremely well. Our nurse said that he amazed everyone. We know this is the fruit of your prayers.

Currently, we’re awaiting results from a head ultrasound that will determine if he has any “bleeders” in his brain. Babies born 22-24 weeks are at the greatest risk for this complication, so Isaac is not in the worst position; however, he is still at risk. I asked the doctor what the medical course would be if Isaac were to have a bleeder: “Do you perform surgery?” “No, there’s nothing we can do. If he does have a bleeder, and if it’s small enough, his body may be able to reabsorb the blood. But if the bleeder is too large…” I interrupted, “It can be fatal?” “Yes, it can be fatal.” So please pray that Isaac’s head ultrasound would be clear.

Children at this age are also at risk for eye problems, as their retinas are not fully developed. An ophthalmologist will see Isaac toward the middle of next week to measure his progress. Pray that he would have no complications with his vision.

Finally, although there is a very high survival rate for babies born at 26 weeks, we cannot put our hope in all the wonderful medical ingenuity that God has given us by his providence. Although I am extremely thankful for the practices of neonatology and perinatology, our hope is in the Lord, and the Lord alone. Isaac is God’s, and He will have His way with him. Pray that we would continue to believe that God’s way is the best, most loving way in the universe.

We love you all, and thank you so much for your kindness and prayers.

Blessings, Pastor Bob
Zeph 3:17

As of today, June 15th, most of the above concerns are either resolved or are on it's way to being resolved. Isaac's tests and scans have come back without any problems. Nonetheless, Isaac is still just under 30 weeks old (if he were still in the womb). He is still developing, including his lungs, and still has lots of weight to gain. Next week, he will be moved out of NICU (neo-natal intensive care unit) and will be moved to a closer hospital, which he will remain in until his due date at 40 weeks. Sometimes he has sleep apnea, which is normal for his age, since his lungs are still developing, and they have to tap him on the back and remind him to breathe. Please continue to pray for Isaac's development and that he would be a thriving baby.

It's funny that my sister is going through such similar things as I am with Andrew. Blood transfusions (the baby loses a lot of blood from being pricked and checked so much, and Andrew received blood transfusions every day while he was in ICU), spending so much of her day making food for the baby (she has to pump milk every two hours, while I spend hours juicing and making Andrew's homemade formula - neither of them eat solid food), daily visits to the hospital, awaiting test results that could indicate life or death, and the list goes on. The Glenns are doing well, though, and as usual their spirits are up, they always make us laugh, and their family has a cheering effect on everyone they encounter.

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