Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Waiting Game

Before we get to the medical stuff, we wanted to share a great blessing today.  A friend of ours, Heidi Miller, told us one of her friends, Ellie Irwin, who is a professional photographer, wanted to come take pictures of us & Ella at the hospital.  The best part was that we were able to bring Elijah & Ayden back to see Ella for the 1st time.  They were in awe of her & really enjoyed looking at their little sister.  We look forward to sharing our family portrait with you all as soon as we get it.  And we're so thankful for Ellie to offer us that chance to all be in a photo together!

On to the medical side...  The big day with the cardiologists kind of left us exactly where we are - waiting.  Ella's overall condition & function of a few key systems (most notably the kidneys & liver) need to improve in order for any type of surgery to be considered.  There was one option the cardiologists discussed at length today, but it is an incredibly risky procedure even in healthy, full-term babies.  Since Ella's is premature with multiple secondary issues, the risks just sky-rocket and really make it too risky to consider.  Her case is also very rare: The cardiologist we spoke with (who is the absolute best in the region) said they see about 1 full-term baby a year with a similar condition & have actually never seen a premature baby like Ella with the heart condition she has.  Basically if they don't make it to full term, they never make it out of the womb alive.  That is one reason it is so amazing that she is even alive in this world, because it was only chance (rather God's intervention) that we went in to get the ultrasound that detected Ella's heart problem.

Since surgery isn't a possibility at this point, they are attempting to get her in position to see if her heart can progress naturally.  Without getting too medical/confusing, there is one type of medication that is being ended to allow for the natural closure of some type of duct within the heart structure (a duct that is supposed to close up after birth).  It was originally given to her because allowing the duct to stay open was encouraging blood flow, but it also began to let blood come back into the lungs - essentially "stealing" it from the rest of the body.  The hope is that allowing this duct to close will help to get more blood to the rest of the body and even encourage her heart to pump better.  If she can get her organs stable & have time to grow to a "full-term baby" size, surgery or a heart transplant might come back into the picture.  But there are no guarantees her heart will improve either - and until she does, there is no plan B.

So for now, we are just going to have to see if Ella's condition can improve.  Essentially, she just needs to continue to be the fighter she has been for 6 days now.  It is an extremely uphill battle for her, but we know that God can accomplish the impossible.  Your prayer & support is so amazing & we know it is helping little Ella continue to fight.

11 comments:

Jen said...

Praying, praying, praying - for your little girl, for her little heart!

The Bakers said...

Erik and Christa, we don't know you but have several mutual friends who have posted your blog on Facebook. We, too, are praying for your beautiful little girl. Thank you for sharing your journey with the rest of us. Rest assured, you are all loved and cared for. If you are not familiar with it, this song always brings tears to my eyes, thinking of my two "miracle" girls, one here for the last 12 years, and the other home in Jesus' arms. (If the link doesn't work, you can search "Kate McRae Little LIght" and it's the first hit. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92JevgM8RBw

Much love,
Loren and Megan Baker

denette55 said...

Krista and Erik,
You don't know me either but I know your hearts. My family has been through the heart break of a CHD baby. My prayers are with you and your family. God is so good, lean on him. And I am praying for a miracle for your little one.

Rebekah said...

Dear Erik & Christa,
Ive never met either of you but a friend posted Ella's story on Facebook and asked us to pray for her recovery. I just wanted to let you know my prayers are with you. Your love and faith brings me so much hope. Ella is a beautiful little warrior and Ill be praying for your miracle.

The Boggs Family said...

Thank you so much for the updates... we are checking regularly & praying often throughout the day for Ella & your whole family. Looking forward to seeing your family pic... I bet that was a fun part of a hard day waiting on news from the cardiologists meeting this morning. With lots of love and continued prayers for miraculous healing! (I pray God would heal her so fully, and leave the staff and medical docs in utter awe of the Master Physician Himself!) :)

NW Gal said...

We're praying for Ella everyday... and all of you. Much love and prayers.... The Janzens

Travis said...

The Knights have not stopped praying for you! We check your blog every day and earnestly petition our God for sweet Ella. Gideon even prayed for God to heal her heart this morning :) LOVE the beautiful photos and video - you all are amazing. Tara and family

Amy Jo said...

Be assured that The Father's throne is being bombarded with requests on your sweet girl's behalf. One day at a time.

shawn said...

Prayers for your family are being said in Bellingham. What a beautiful sweet girl you have!

The Smith's said...

Thank you for the update and we will be praying that when Ella's PDA closes that helps her heart function improve dramatically! What a beautiful, sweet miracle you have there and I'm so glad you feel confident in the care you all are receiving. I know how important that is. Take care!!!

Jesse

K Lemon said...

This is from Josh Cline's sister, K.C. in Utah. We are praying for your sweet little one. My children remind us at family prayer to pray for Baby Ella. May the Lord bless you with his sweet Spirit of comfort.