Today was, of course, the big day of double-whammy tests for Madeleine and Reid, which meant that Matt and I have naturally been complete and total nervous wrecks. It was also the first day I’ve attempted to drive myself for a solo hospital visit (it has been a few months now since I’ve been able to do that, thanks to bed rest), which meant that I had no one else in the car to keep me from crying for the majority of the drive (can’t help it). Little did I know though that, today, I didn’t have to.
The two issues we have been watching for Reid have been his lungs (he has yet to come off the ventilator, and his x-rays have not been looking too great), along with his heart – specifically his PDA (or patent ductus arteriosus in medical talky-speak). The simplified explanation is that his lungs are underdeveloped and are keeping him from breathing properly, and there is also a duct in his heart that should have closed when he was born that never did. Reid was given medication to try and close the duct, but since it was fairly large, it’s been looking like he would be needing surgery to close it.
Today he saw the cardiologist, who did a test on his heart to determine what’s happening. Lucky for all of us, the test showed that the PDA was closing! It is still open somewhat (my understanding is that it is closing off at each end, with an opening still in the middle), but the takeaway from the results is that not only is this an improvement, but it’s enough of an improvement that they have decided he does not have to be added to the waiting list for the ligation surgery! (Hooray!!)
The other exciting development for Reid is that his crummy-looking lungs are actually not so crummy-looking anymore! His latest chest x-ray showed that his left lung is actually looking pretty good (more inflated), and the right lung is maybe still not looking super fabulous, but at least it looks better than it did on the last scan. The lung damage that Reid has developed will still always be there, but the good news is that as he grows bigger and stronger, he will develop new, healthy lung tissue that will hopefully end up compensating for the damage of being a tiny micropreemie on a ventilator. (Hooray again!)
As for Madeleine’s head (the big issue we were especially worried about), the news is also good!!! I actually didn’t get the story directly, since I was on the way home from the hospital when the call came in, but from what I understand, Madeleine’s ventricle measurements have indeed decreased in size as we hoped they would. I won’t know for sure what this means exactly until tomorrow when I grill her doctor for all the little details, but it is a huge relief to know at least that they haven’t continued to grow! Hopefully this will mean she will be able to avoid needing a shunt, or having any significant damage caused by the pressure in her brain.
I know that our little family has been on the receiving end of many, many prayers and well-wishes lately, especially for Madeleine. While we will never stop worrying, and of course, are no where near to being out of the woods, today at least was a real victory for us – the first break in a string of difficult days. We are so incredibly appreciative of the love being sent in the direction of these amazing babies, and hope that you will be celebrating these promising updates right along with us. We definitely hope that they will continue.