After a long night of struggling to grasp enough air, Thomas made great progress in stabilizing his breathing by Friday morning. After sixteen hours of separation, baby and Momma finally were able to be together. On Friday he was mostly sleeping and very listless, not moving or crying. We tried to feed him, but he simply was not up to it. After several hours he began to vomit some green stuff and his stomach appeared swollen. The nurses came to look at him and he was examined by a neonatologist. The doctor felt the abdomen was a big concern so they admitted him to the Neonatal ICU around 6:30pm Friday evening. At this point they wanted to do some blood work, test for bacterial infection, and x-ray his abdomen and bowels to see if there were any structural problems. Additionally, they started him on antibiotics as a preventative measure and begin to feed him intravenously.
As of Saturday morning his white blood cells look normal which is a good sign that there is not a bacterial infection. He has been able to go to the bathroom a bit and the prognosis is that he may just have a bowel obstruction which needs to pass. The doctors will not let him go until he is able to eat. He still has some bile discharge coming up through a tube in his mouth; the tube prevents the problems of vomiting. He has a small (well, large actually) unrelated problem in that his scrotum is fully full of fluid. To be honest, I just thought he was just a bit well endowed as a little man, but apparently it is a condition. This is not uncommon and his body will absorb the fluid over time or a small surgery will be necessary.
Right now he is not out of the woods completely but he is making good progress. We are praying that he will be able to have his bowel cleared, there is no bacterial infection, he will be able to gain strength and be able to begin eating.
Mom is doing well and is pumping milk for the feasts ahead; she has been a brave lady through labor, delivery (her third completely natural), recovery, and all the waves which have been cresting and crashing about for the last 48 hours. We were able to get some decent rest last night which was an answer of prayer. Kasey will be discharged from the hospital Sunday morning yet it looks like Thomas may stay another day. I am praying about getting us a hotel room a block or so away and then splitting time between home with the girls and here with Kasey for the next few days.
I do feel that God is being honored in all of this. I was able to share my testimony with the neonatal doctor; an outstanding doctor who was intrigued that I studied applied science/physics in college and now do my thing as a pastor. Additionally, one of the neonatal nurses is a believer. I think we were an encouragement to her as I had brief discussion with her about talking about God with agnostics, skeptics, and antagonistic intellectuals.
So we have spent some time in a neonatal ICU with 1 and 2 lb babies all around and where our own little precious one is struggling. I have thought to myself how both the glory of God and the tragedy of the fall were strongly on display in such a place. This is a place of the glory and struggle of life and the beauty of human creations. At the same time it is a place of sorrow, hardship and fighting death here outside of the garden. I thought to myself how fertile the grounds are here for both faith and skepticism, the prayerful, open heart towards the Father and the clenched fist of anger. It has been clear in our hearts that God is in control; he has brought this about for his name's sake. He loves Thomas infinitely more than any of us. We stand firm in the knowledge that through God's good pleasure he can come out of this strong.
Kasey and I have enjoyed some slow time together, thanking God for life and breath, the gift of marriage, and the goodness of God is giving us a little boy to love. More than anything we are trying not overreact or be given to an uninformed imagination of things which could be wrong. The doctors do not seem overly concerned, yet they are showing caution. We neither want to be naive nor make a bigger deal of things than need be. We ask your prayers and thank you for all the encouragement so many have given to our family.