Mckenna: Mckenna finally had her brain surgery on Friday last week. They decided to put a shunt in her head because after they did the CT scan of her brain, the stint wouldn't have helped the right area where she has clots. So, she went into surgery on Friday at 11:50 am and came back to the room around 3 pm. They also had to check to make sure she didn't have a fistula (connection) between her bowel and bladder. They assumed she wouldn't because in girls the reproductive organs are in between the bladder and bowels. It's more common in boys. So the neonatologist surgeon went in laproscopically through her belly to make sure that everything was good (which it was- everything is just fine!) and then Dr. Churney (neuro surgeon) started the shunt procedure. They cut two incisions on the top of her head; one near the front and one near the back to make sure they threaded the long tube that goes from the brain down her body. The tube runs down her neck and across her chest and down into the abdominal cavity (not into the stomach) where there is a lot of excess fluid just floating around anyway and then the body will just absorb it. Dr. Churney went in as well through the small incision made in her stomach to make sure that everything took proper placement. Sounds pretty easy huh? The surgery went really well and it takes about a week to recover completely. Hopefully everything stays okay with the shunt. She does have a 30% chance that it will clot up (the shunt) with leftover clots from the brain in the first couple years so we have to watch her pretty carefully for anything unusual. Hopefully nothing will happen and if it doesn't then she probably won't need it replaced with a new one until she's about 12 years old! That's sounds pretty great to me! The shunt does look a little big on her head. It kind of looks like a small ridge that rounds across her head. It does look a little big now but they said that in about a year when her head gets bigger it will not even be noticeable. Especially if she keeps on growing hair as fast as she does right now!
She has recovered well in the past few days. She is off the ventilator and was able to start oral feedings without being fed through a feeding tube. When she's awake she still has a little pain from the incisions but is still acting like sweet little Mckenna. She's always been quite a happy little baby which is amazing with all she's dealt with. And her coloring looks so much better! I didn't realize how pale she normally looked before this surgery. Now she looks nice and pink! Such a pretty color on a baby! Anyway, nothing else really new except she did break the 5 lb barrier today so she is finally just in the five pounds!
This picture was before surgery, I'll have to get a picture after for next week.
Madison- Well, one of the best news of last week is that Madison was able to pass all her tests and was stable long enough that they sent her home with us! We couldn't believe it because it is about three (four?) weeks before her actual due date so she is quite a spunky little fighter. It has been so great to have her home! I think one baby is pretty easy but I have to think that way since there's two more still to come! I think I had said before that she is a noisy baby and in our quiet house it really sounds noisy. But I think she loves being home! And she's eating like a maniac. She was eating 60 mls feeds before coming home and now almost always downs 90 mls. It does help to have babies in the NICU because they have them on a strict schedule in there and so she is actually quite scheduled. I was so worried she would wake up every 1 1/2 to 2 hours to eat but she will actually go 3 1/2 to 4 hours before she eats. So nice.... And she weighed 5 lbs. 5 oz when she left the hospital last Wednesday (and 18 inches long) and we went to the pediatrician on Monday and she weighed 5 lbs. 10 oz.! So she is definitely gaining well. The only thing I don't enjoy is having to lug her back and forth to the hospital everyday but I also think it's good that she sees and is around her sisters everyday so she doesn't get lonely and miss them. Who knows if they even miss each other, maybe that's me making it up.
Anyway, we love our little girl at home and can't wait for the others!
Madison and Dad coming home through the door!
Her first real outfit at home!
We just had to show this picture. Madison gets crazy when she wakes up to eat and sucks her hands or whatever is near her before she gets the bottle. One night I was going to kiss her while waiting for the bottle to warm and she grabbed my nose (she has quite a grip) and then started sucking on her hand. We thought it was funny, maybe it's just funny to us. Oh, and she had my hair in her other hand. I guess no earrings for a while....
Carly- Oh Carly, Carly.... Carly just about came home with Madison last week but then had a bad morning the day she was going to go home. I was a little nervous already about taking her home (she wasn't quite as stable with breathing and eating and Madison was) so it was a good thing she acted up because it gives her a little more time in the hospital for some help. They worried she was still having breathing problems but her lungs are great and then they ran a ticker tape on her stats for an hour one afternoon and believe she just has pretty severe reflux compared to her sisters. That's why she holds her breath all the time. So they put thickener in her feeds but then they did a Swallow test on her yesterday (watch with an xray in real time where the formula goes; whether it goes down the esophagus like it should or down the trachea into the lungs where she could develop pneumonia) and she does let it get down her trachea but her vocal chords stop it and push it back out to the esophagus. When she was on the thickened feed it was worse then when she didn't have the thickened feed so...... they took her back off the thickener! I don't know... Carly will probably be the last one that will go home. Kind of ironic (as Dr. Myers told us) that the biggest one without the brain surgery might be the last one to go home. But reflux just takes a lot of time (up to six months old I guess) to recover from so we just need her to get a little more stable before she comes home. We'll see what the next week brings with her. She is gigantic now, 6 lbs. 2 oz! So good, she is doing so great!