Just a quick post tonight. This week I have had to catch up on some of the trips that I couldn't get to over the last few weeks, so I have been in Cape Town already and head off to Durban tomorrow. I can't tell you how difficult it is not to see Liam for a whole day!!
Liam is doing great today. He has lost a little bit of weight (he now went down from 1.2 to 1.14, so 60 grams). However, the ICU sisters assure us that there is nothing to worry about. He is just adjusting to being off the nutritional supliment and only having breast milk, plus the last time they weighed him he had a few more tubes, which I am pleased to say are now out! He gets 21 mills per feed (for which Megie, the STAR, wakes up every three hours to express). He still gets his feeds through the tube of his nose. However, he is now well enough to be placed in an incubator! (lots of exclamations in this post!! That means good news!) Liam LOVES it in there! It is warm and quiet (almost like being in the womb, where he should be in this 29th/30th week of gestation). Megie was so pleased that we could put some clothes on him today for the first time. Megie's mom bought him an XXS premature baby grow. I still can't believe how small he is! But he is looking so strong.
Here's a little video of Liam that I took a few days ago. It is streamed via YouTube so if you're on dialup just click play and come back in a few minutes, it is not that large (1.6MB).
On Monday evening I met with the specialist and was shown the location and size of Liam's haemorrhage on the sonar scan (I was immensely grateful to have done a great deal of my doctoral research on the brain! It not only helped me to not ask some silly questions, bit it also helped me not to be too tense and unsettled about what I saw). Sadly, it was not good news, but in some ways it is no worse than we had innitially imagined. There are actually two bleeds in his brain, a grade four haemorrhage in the parietal lobe, and a very small bleed in the cerebral cavity on the bottom of his brain.
The large haemorrhage, which is located in an area called the parietal lobe (see the image below), is in the right hemisphere of the brain. Unfortunately it is not a good size.
The good news is that the hemorrhage has stopped. The blood from the haemorrhage has now begun to form a haematoma which will eventually dissolve. Sadly, when it dissolves it will leave a scar in the brain. Of course the size and location of the scar will determine what functions of the brain are impaired. The right parietal lobe has to do with logic, numbers, and some aspects of language - and of course any damage to the right side of the brain has an effect on the left half of the body (hemispatial neglect being the most common result of large scale brain damage to right hemisphere of the parietal lobe). However, we have such faith that there will be little or no damage! All the signs point to that hope! He is strong, he's not having fits or suizures, there is no paralysis, he can hear, see etc. So, please do pray with us!
The other smaller bleed is nothing serious. It carries a higher infection risk because of its location. However, he is well cared for in the ICU so we are confident that there will be no post-heamorrhagic hydro-cephalus. The long term effects are minimal to none.
So, it is always sad to hear something that one expects, but hopes not to hear. However, in spite of the news this week we can only thank God for God's faithfulness and grace! Thank you all for your prayers, calls, messages and care!