Your prayers are working

For the first time, it wasn’t all doom and gloom when we saw Dr. Tabsh.

The first time we saw him, he said that he didnt’ think the baby would survive birth. Today, he said he thinks the baby will survive birth and we may even be able to take him home (!!). He said that the brain stem is intact, which is what regulates breathing and other basic functions. So he thinks baby Dorje will probably be born okay, would look okay, act okay..but the problem will be later, as the damage is to areas of the brain that affect higher level functioning. He hasn’t changed the actual diagnosis, meaning he still sees severe brain damage. So the essential situation is still the same. The main difference was in Dorje’s life expectancy, and in the doctor’s attitude.

I was quite surprised as there was such a marked difference between the first assessment and today’s assessment.

The main discussion was regarding the actual delivery. He prefers to induce the birth in the next 2-7 days, as baby Dorje’s head is swollen and the more we wait, the less chance that we’ll be able to have a vaginal delivery. Again, he said it’s ultimately my choice whether I choose to induce early, wait for birth to start naturally, or schedule a c-section.

The strange thing is that he said that the measurement that he took last week of Dorje’s head and today’s measurement is not comparable. Last week he measured the head in general (it was 33 cm’s), and today he measured the part of the head that is swollen (35 cm’s). As he said they’re not comparable, we can’t tell the rate of growth, or swelling. This to me is a bit inconclusive. Regardless of the fact that the measurements aren’t comparable, he still thinks the baby’s head is already big and if it gets much bigger it just won’t fit through the birth canal.

Owen and I are going to be discussing our options to decide what we think is best. We are leaning towards scheduling a c-section in order to put less stress on Dorje during the birth. The other question is when – we can schedule the delivery any time now, Nathan’s already full term and could be born at any time.

I really feel that prayers are helping – there was such a huge difference between the doctor’s prognosis 2 weeks ago and today’s assessment.

So please continue to pray! Maybe next time we’ll hear that the damage isn’t as bad as he thought!!

And thank you so much for your support and prayers, we are so very grateful.

Thursday, July 20th

We saw Dr. Tabsh, a UCLA perinatologist and the doctor who is now handling the pregnancy and will be in charge during the delivery.

He gave us the results of some bloodwork and the amniocentesis. All the tests were negative. The fact that the amniocentesis was negative was a good sign, as it means that the baby doesn’t have chromosomal abnormalities, which slighly increases his chances of survival.

Since all the other tests were negative, they haven’t been able to establish a cause for this. They checked for different infections, like toxoplasmosis, which sometimes causes this problem, but this was not found in my blood.

The question, according to the doctor, is whether or not to induce the labor early. He is afraid that the baby’s head will swell due to water in his brain. If his head swells, then he won’t fit through the birth canal and this would force us into a c-section.

Dr. Tabsh prefers to avoid a c-section. From his point of view, the priority is the mother. Nathan’s chances of survival are so slim that the doctor doesn’t want to put me through a major surgery.

I disagreed with him. I don’t see a c-section as a major surgery, nor am I afraid to have one. So if his head swells and our only option is a c-section, so be it. On Thursday, July 27th, we will measure the size of his head, compare it to the size last week, and see if his head really is swelling at a rapid pace.

My hope is to wait for a natural delivery, I want Nathan to stay in my womb for as long as possible. The longer he is, the longer he is alive, the longer we have to pray for him.