It has been awhile since we have given an update and we have since met with our doctor, specialist and surgeon. Therefore, we wanted to let everyone know what is going on with the pregnancy. First, we officially have a name! It is Ella Hope, Ella means "a bright light." Although these times seem dark, Christ is the light. We know God understands our suffering and we trust Him. He sees the light in these circumstances and we find hope in that (Psalm 139:12). We pray that when others see Ella or hear about her, they praise our Father in Heaven. He has blessed us so much by entrusting her to us and we are so thankful for that. I am 28 weeks now and we scheduled a date for a c-section for September 8. This obviously could change depending on how things are going as we get closer. However, if all is well, September 8th will be the birthday. We met with the specialist a little over a week ago and so far things continue to progress as well as can be expected. Ella is growing like she should and is very active - so that is reassuring.
The 2 main things they are looking at each time we go to the doctor are her heart - to make sure it is not in distress - and the size of the omphalocele (sack holding the organs). Part of the concern for her heart is because her liver is outside in the sack and is attached with blood vessels. The liver could possibly pull on her heart and cause stress. This is my understanding, some of you who know more about the human anatomy and how things work will have to forgive me if I'm wrong. :) I don't know how all of that works! So far it doesn't look like this is happening, so we are thankful for that. However, they will continue to monitor her heart each time we go. As of our last appointment, we were told that the organs in the sack are her liver, part of her stomach and part of her small intestines.
We also met with a pediatric surgeon. After meeting with him, the fact that her liver is in the sack makes surgery a little more complicated. He said that newborn livers are like wet tissue and they can tear easily and bleed, so that is a major concern during surgery. As far as other details about the surgery it is hard to say. Our conversation with the surgeon was all in generalities since they will not know exactly what they will do until she is here. Surgery will more than likely take place within the first 24 hours to two days after delivery. Ella will be in the NICU at Harris and then be transported to Cook's for surgery and then back to the NICU at Harris for the rest of the time she is at the hospital. They have told us to be prepared to be there for at least a month.
We are so thankful for all of the support, encouraging words and prayers that each of you give us. We have come a long way and still have a long way to go but definitely feel very blessed. Please continue to pray for us as we anticipate all that is to come and for Ella.
Please pray for the following:
- Continue to pray for Ella's heart - that there are no complications.
- Continue to pray that the omphalocele is the only defect and no additional complications arise.
- Pray the abdomen grows (even though all the organs are not in there) so when she has the surgery, the organs will fit perfectly with no stress or forcing necessary.
- Pray for Dr. Robbins (OB/GYN), Dr. Tabor (Specialist) and Dr. Black (Pediatric surgeon) - we believe these are individuals God is using to fulfill some of His Kingdom purposes.
- As we get closer to September 8th, pray for our family - we all need God's peace, comfort and presence.