Friday, December 31, 2010

Quick trip home.

As some of you may already know, Ashley was discharged yesterday just before noon. We left the hospital and went to Ashley's parent's to see the kids. The kids were very happy to see us and it was great to see them. It was a good reminder that life was still moving right along at home. Ashley is still pretty sore, but she is getting around pretty well. We stayed the night at Ashley's parents, and we will be headed back to Kansas City to check in to the Ronald McDonald House one block from Children's Mercy Hospital some time after lunch.

We called Faith's nurse last night to see how Faith was doing. The nurse said that they had taken Faith off the resporator and that she was looking around and talking (she couldn't do any of this with the resporator in her mouth). Ashley wanted to go back as soon as she heard this, but I thought it would be best if we spent the evening with the kids. The nurse also said they have begun to give her a fatty medicine called lipids through the IV in her scalp. Up to now they have only been able to give her electrolites through the smaller IV, in her arm. Now that both medicines will be administerd through her scalp they have removed the IV in her arm. Hopefully within the next day or two they will begin giving her Ashley's milk which she has been pumping and storing. She will have to be fed the milk through a tube until she can lay on her back, but at least they will be feeding her something.

Thanks again for all of your prayers. I checked the stats for the blog last night and we were amazed to discover this blog has been hit 2800 times since we started. People from Canada to Germany have been watching and praying. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! 2800 times Thank you!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recovery Day

Mommy's First Visit

Ashley got to visit Faith twice today. It was a long awaited reunion. Faith is still pretty heavily sedated so she was sleeping for both of our visits, but we didn't mind. She definitely needs her rest after yesterday's Surgery. On our first visit we met with Faith's pediatric Doctor. She let us know that Faith would continue to be on a ventilator until sometime this evening or early tomorrow morning. They are measuring her head regularly to make sure that there is no swelling, but they are waiting until they can put her on her back to examine her brain with a CAT scan. They also intend, during the CAT scan, to review her kidney's to make sure they are functioning correctly. They will do this sometime next week. During our visit the doctors had to start another (larger) IV in her scalp, opposite the side of her shunt. This will make things kind of uncomfortable for her since there is stuff going on with both sides of her head and she has to lay on one or the other, but its necessary to get her the medication that she needs.

The rest of her day was pretty uneventful. However, several people came to visit Ashley and I, which  kept our day pretty full. We took our second trip over to see Faith this evening with friends and family. Not much to report for this evening other than the nurses put a bow in her hair which was welcomed by everyone as a sign of things getting better already. I would have taken a picture but we forgot our camera. We will be sure to take one tomorrow.

Thanks for checking in.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Faith is out of Surgery!

She's all done!

We visited with both the neurosurgeon and the plastic surgeon after the surgery. Both doctors had nothing but great things to say about Faith's operation. The neurosurgeon said the shunt went in just as planned. The shunt now extends from the right ventricle in Faith's brain down to her abdomen. It will prevent any potential future swelling in her brain. Praise the Lord that this procedure went smoothly.

Both doctors were very pleased with the procedure performed on her back. There was plenty of healthy tissue to work with to provide two layers of protection for the spinal cord. One layer of muscle provided by her lumbar (back) muscles. These muscles will hopefully prevent any future leakage of spinal fluid below the skin. The second layer is made from skin from her mid back. There was enough skin in this area of her back to remove the portion we needed to patch the hole and pull the excess together and hold it with stitches. It sounds confusing, but looks fabulous. The plastic surgeon took several pictures of the procedure and said he would have them emailed to us. 

Now we are on the road to recovery. She still is on a respirator to help her breath as she comes out of anesthesia. They will remove this sometime tomorrow. The plastic surgeon said she should stay on her stomach for about 10 days. I'm not quite sure what this means for feeding yet, but these guys have a plan for everything so we aren't too worried about it. I don't think Ashley is going to visit her tonight, which is just as well, the nurses said she wouldn't be able to hold her for a while anyway.  She's really looking forward to visiting her tomorrow.

Its been a long day for everyone. Thanks for continuing to watch our blog and all of your prayers. This is probably all for tonight.

Tomorrow is a new day.


This is a video that I took prior to surgery.
Cant wait till she recovers

Quick Surgery Update 2

Faith is in surgery now. The neurosurgeon will begin by putting in the shunt while she is on her back (with plenty of precaution not to harm her spine). They will then role her over and the plastic surgeon will work on her back. The whole procedure could take up to 4 hours. As soon as the neurosurgeon is done with his portion he will come to the waiting room and give us an update. It was tough for me to see her go, but I'm sure all will be well soon. Thanks for your prayers.

Quick Surgery Update

Pheobe and I just finished talking with the neursurgeon who will be performing surgery on Faith today. He told us that he does want to put in shunt. He believes that the shunt and the plastic surgery to be done by another doctor should be fairly simple and there should be no complications. The surgery could happen any where between 10:00-1:00 We will be waiting here until the surgery is over. The doctor informed us that everything beyond the surgery this morning would be merely speculation, but he seemed very optimistic and considers Faith's case to be mild. Thanks for your prayers

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweet Dreams

Fresh bath and a warm bed.
This will be her new home for a while.

Tyler, Doc and I went to visit Faith at Children's Mercy this evening. She was sleeping for the most part. We visited with the resident in charge of the night shift. She wasn't able to answer all of our questions, but she did have some good news. While Faith's spine is visible it has been protected by a thin membrane preventing transfer of fluids in and out of her body (the membrane looks like clear suran wrap). This is wonderful news as it greatly decreases her chances of nerve damage from amniotic fluid and potential future swelling in her brain. Praise the Lord!

She still has a ways to go. Tomorrow morning I will meet with the surgeons and discuss her surgery. They will explain their plan to graft skin over the opening in her back and the possibility of putting a shunt in. If all goes well she'll have the first slot in the O.R. tomorrow morning. Keep her in your prayers and I will let you know how it goes as soon as she comes out of surgery.

Ashley is recovering well. Sometime after Faith's surgery tomorrow, the nurses here will give Ashley a pass to go see Faith at Children's Mercy. Please pray for her strength, continued recovery, and her first adventure out without these great nurses. She really misses Faith and hopefully they will let her hold her for the first time and everyone will be on the road to recovery after that :).

Faith Mayme Pfeifer

We are proud to announce the arrival of
Faith Mayme Pfeifer
7lbs 3oz

All that dark hair

Faith with her new family

Ashley did great through the surgery she was a little anxious prior to getting started, but after things were underway, it was smooth sailing. The c-section went quick and they bandaged Faith's back immediately after birth. A little issue with getting her IV started, but ever since she has been sleeping like a baby :)

The support team is here to pick her up. They are taking her over to Children's Mercy Hospital for her surgery sometime this evening. No one seems to know what time the surgery is scheduled for. They will keep us posted. I am headed over there now to fill out some paperwork. Ashley is staying here to get some rest.

Thanks again for everyone's prayers.

I will let you know what I find out later tonight.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, "delares the Lord," plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Friends and Family
As you all probably know we are waiting with great anticipation for our third child, whose arrival is just around the corner. In light of the situation we thought it would be a great idea to start this blog to keep everyone in the loop during the days following the pregnancy. Plus it will give Ashley something to do as she recoups from the c-section. So if you're wondering how things are going and you haven't heard from anyone in a while, check in here and we will have all the details waiting for you.

To bring everyone up to speed, and not get into to many details, early on in our pregnancy our baby was diagnosed with spina bifida. The doctors then presented us with many possible outcomes from paralysis to d
Downs Syndrome among several other potential health issues. As the pregnancy continued, we educated ourselves and others about what was going on with our baby. Prayers and words of encouragement filled our life and helped us to cope with the unknown. Which is why we wanted to publish this post prior to our
baby's arrival, to let you know what we have come to know through the unknown.  :)

Our children are not our children
I have always known that all children are God's children.  While in quiet time after I had received the news about our baby, God really spoke to my heart.  He told me that I had been taking all the glory for Mason and Elizabeth, instead of giving it back Him.  This is when I realized how selfish I had been with my children.  When a stranger would give me a compliment about my children I would take full credit and give God none.  We should use every situation to show others around us how God loves us and how He has blessed us.  He has so kindly placed each of our children into our life for us to grow them up the way He would.  He has placed them with us for a reason, because they are a perfect fit in our family.  It is hard to understand that God loves our children more then we do.  I know that during the past nine months God has been holding my baby in His arms and loving it more then I ever could.  -Ashley
Psalm 127:3 Children are a gift from Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.

What God wants
Everyone at some point is faced with situations upon which they do not have any control over the outcome. The question then becomes  "What does God want?" (something I'm sure every believer asks when faced with such a situation). In wrestling with this question I was reminded that God is in control of everything, the good and the bad. It all fits in His plan perfectly. He knew this child before the creation of the earth (Jeremiah 1:5). He knew what kind of issues it would or wouldn't have. He knew what our questions would be, our fears and our doubts. Every minute detail is guided by His hand.  There is one thing we can be sure of... God wants things to happen just the way they do, otherwise He would change them in a blink of an eye.

This Thanksgiving I heard people thank God for so many struggles Cancer, Unemployment, Marital Stress. All of these people were thanking God for their struggles because of how close they had grown to Him and how they came to trust Him and rely on Him through the hardship. He wants us to lay our burdens on Him, put our faith inHhis plan and fall at His feet in our victories and our losses. -Mic

What we want
Knowing this is where we have come to stand. We have grown closer to the Lord than we ever would have without this struggle in our life.  We wouldn't change a thing. We still have our questions and we still pray for healing, but its the process of relationship with our Lord that we desire most. We know He is there and He is listening. The best example of this is Jesus in the Garden just before He carried the cross Luke 22:42 "Father if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but your will be done." God wants things to happen just the way they do. How much did He want to save his son? Yet He let this happen because He desired a relationship with us even more than this.

More than anything we want you to know the joy and happiness that we have already experienced through this baby and it's not even here yet! Reguardless of what happens after the 27th we will continue to have this faith in our God. We hope that you join us in praising God for the great and mighty God that he is and the wonderful plan he has set out before us. -Mic and Ashley