Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve in the NICU

As we approach midday on Christmas Eve in the NICU, here is the latest on Jude:

Although he's very sick, he looks relatively stable at the moment. His torso is still very swollen, but it's not quite as red as it was yesterday, and his arms and legs aren't as mottled and pale as they have recently appeared.

All of Jude's blood cultures since he was started on antibiotics have been negative, so that's encouraging. He'll continue to receive antibiotics for some time to ensure that his infection is cleared up. For the moment, though, negative cultures notwithstanding, he's being regarded as a baby with sepsis.

Here are a few other things we're thankful for today:

  • Jude started making some urine in the night. His urine output has been rather poor over the last few days, which I think raised some doubts about the state of his kidneys.
  • Jude's nurse heard some breath sounds this morning when she was listening to his lungs. Although Jude's lung volume was actually a little bit higher yesterday than it has been today, the same nurse was able to hear breath sounds more distinctly this morning.
  • The oxygen level that's being supplied to Jude through the ECMO circuit has been turned down just a little bit, from 90% to 80%. This is just a small change, and he is still receiving quite a lot of support from ECMO and his ventilator, but we're happy to see a small step in the right direction.
 Things that we covet your prayer about:

  • That Jude's treatment for his sepsis would continue to be successful, and that his sepsis would not significantly hinder progress with respect to his other problems.
  • That Jude's lung volume will increase. His lung volume and the size of his breaths through the ventilator have gone down since yesterday, and this is probably due to fluid buildup around his lungs.
  • That Jude's fluid accumulation throughout his body would decrease as the medical staff take measures to try and remove it.
  • That Jude's inflammation in his abdomen and other places would abate. We know that this will take some time, but we pray that the Lord will hasten his recovery.
  • That Jude will be as comfortable as possible, despite being subjected to so much.

Also, please pray that Rose and I can continue to weather this time, that we can be supportive parents and advocates for Jude and for our daughter, Annabelle, and that the love of Christ would continue to surround us during this time. It's not easy being away from home at Christmas, and Jude's progress has been significantly stalled by his sepsis and previously having so much fluid in his abdomen. After seeing Jude's condition fluctuate more regularly on a day-to-day basis in his first two weeks of life (which was also very difficult, albeit in a different way), it's a very different experience to see him exhibit very few changes right now as we visit him each day. Like so many things that we're experiencing right now, we can talk to the doctors and nurses, we can ask questions, we can understand intellectually why things are happening, and we can adjust our expectations accordingly; however, it's quite another thing to know these things in your bones, to take heart, and to not sink into a serious funk on an experiential level. We're also trying to balance "being there" for Jude with "being there" for our daughter, who has been staying with us for several weeks and who has also been struggling to adapt to the myriad changes in our lives.

As always, thank you for your support and your prayers.

    The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
        and saves the crushed in spirit.
(Psalm 34:18)


  1. I've had that verse on my mind as I think of you guys this week...and verse 17: The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.

  2. Absolutely...thinking and praying for you as you have to experience a very different Christmas this year. I am praying for Jude to be strong. I remember the first time someone told us they heard "squeaky little breath sounds" in Clara. That's a good thing! May you both feel God's arms around you... With love from North Carolina!

  3. Merry Christmas to you all sweet Morrison family! Praying that the joy of Christ's coming will settle deep in your hearts. Your transparency and testimony are a blessing to all.

  4. Today I was with family in Atlanta and my cousin's girlfriend said she has been praying for and following Jude's story via my Facebook posts. This one example is a testimony to how many lives are being touched through Jude. I pray for all of you a "peace that passes understanding" Christmas. You are loved.

  5. The Haase family and the Gulick's are praying for Jude and for a miracle for his little body.