Ella was delivered by emergency c-section on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Christa had been having discomfort that was unusual for her and not like her other pregnancies. She went to see the doctor on Wednesday morning and was convinced to have an ultra-sound to try to determine what the problem might be. While doing the ultra-sound they discovered an extremely enlarged heart and determined that they should get the baby out right away. The medical term for what is going on is Fetal Cardiomyopathy. Her left ventricle had ballooned and her heart was filling her whole chest.
Ella has been stable for the last two days and they are doing everything they can to get the heart to shrink in size and hope that the muscle will begin to function properly. On Wednesday her CO2 levels in the blood were extremely high and they needed to get those levels down. By Thursday morning the CO2 levels had come down to a reasonable level.
The first miracle is that Ella made it through the first night. The doctor said that she did a lot better than he thought was possible. In fact, during our first conversation yesterday morning, he admitted he was very concerned that she would not even live to see 24 hours. The heart has begun to shrink a little and they have seen more of her lungs, which was originally a major concern (because of how large the heart was the lungs may not have had the chance to develop.) Those fears have been greatly subsided at this point, but they continue to run tests and echo-grams.
The second miracle is that Ella is still with us today, Friday. Every day is a gift from God. We are so overwhelmed and grateful for the outpouring of prayer and assistance through this difficult time. We can't thank you all enough. Please continue to pray for a miracle for little Ella. She is a beautiful little girl at 5 pounds and 17 inches. And she is a fighter - at times beginning to take breaths on her own between the puffs of air from the ventilator. She will need to continue to fight - hour by hour, day by day - to see if her heart can steadily gain strength & become sustainable for life.
Thanks and stay tuned for further updates and even some pictures when we get that together.
Erik and Christa