Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving for Carson

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I can't think of a better holiday to stop and enjoy this newest addition to our family that we are so thankful for.  Washington proclaimed the original Thanksgiving so well,
"Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection."

How blessed every one of us truly is.  Everything that we have, every provision afforded us, every next breath that we take all come from His mighty hand.  There isn't a blessing we have that we can point at as being derived from another source.  Love, truth, goodness, and the world itself would be undefined if not for His wisdom, power, and authority.  Thank you Lord for loving the unlovely.  Praise you Lord for blessing the unworthy.  Thank you for your hand upon our boy each and every day that you grant him life.  Thank you for your hand upon all of us.

Carson's first thanksgiving was a happy one.  He is healthy and enjoying his week reprieve from the hospital.  We have an appointment to return Monday for another scan and visit with the neurologists as well as next Thursday for his first visit to spina bifida clinic.  Mom is doing so well as she is waking up faithfully through the night and keeping him on his schedule to eat every 3-4 hours.  Dad, not so much, as Mom is too kind and lets him sleep through the cries.  I try to keep up and help out where I can, but I am truly thankful for such a wonderful wife.

Thank you all again for your continued support and prayers for us.  They are such a blessing and comfort.  Thank you Lord for your watch and care for us!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Day 13 for Carson

Day 13, Home at last!  Praise God!  It is so nice to be home.  Thank you's go out to everyone at Hollywood Presbyterian, LA Children's, and the Ronald McDonald House for treating us so well.  We were truly well looked after in each stage of the process and we are very thankful for it.

Today was busy getting the final releases and we ended up leaving the hospital right at 5pm.  Hello, LA rush hour.  All is great though, this trip is complete as we finally have our new addition in the car with us.  Despite the slow traffic at the outset, things cleared up and we were able to get home at a decent hour.  Much to our surprise, the welcome sight of our house was even grander as it had been decorated for our arrival.  Thank you Leflers!

We were able to spend a few moments showing him off again.  We are so happy to have our boy home finally.  He did a great job on the trip, sleeping pretty much the entire way.  

Tomorrow night will be our mid-week service as we are having it a day early on Thanksgiving week.  We look forward to seeing you all there!
Now Mom and I prepare for the reality of an infant.  We are so happy to have him with us, even though it means that we are the ones who will be waking up in the middle of the night to care for his needs.  We're ecstatic now, but things like 3am feedings should do a good job of curbing that enthusiasm.

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers for Carson and our family.  We look forward to seeing you soon.  God bless you all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 12 for Carson

What a wonderful and mighty God we serve!  Day 12 is the start of Thanksgiving week, and as we pause to reflect, we realize that the trials we have are but a droplet compared to the great sea of things that we have to be thankful for.  It is when we allow that droplet to be our main focus that we lose sight of where our trust is to be.

The weekend with Carson was great.  No major events, just enjoying the little guy as much as we could.  The expectation is to be able to leave sometime tomorrow after his head ultrasound is done.  We are a little bit skeptical though, we could have to stay an extra day to await the scan results or even several more days if the results point to needing a shunt sooner.  
Don't mistake our doubts in their estimates for a lack of desire though.  We are very much looking forward to arriving home as soon as possible.  It is in God's hand and wisdom to guide us to exactly when though and our greater desire is to be sensitive to His timing.  We do miss you all and are looking forward to the comfort of home after a stay that seems much longer than it has actually been.

It seems like it has been months, but we are only at the two week mark.  What a two weeks it has been though. There have been great concerns and fears, but much more plentiful were the blessings.  We were concerned for his health and general well being; we were blessed with an amazing and healthy baby boy.  I was concerned with Mom's health; she was blessed with an amazingly quick recovery from the Ceasarian.  The blessing that all of you have been to us overwhelmed us.  The blessing that God as a whole has been in our lives is so much more than we can contain.  His strength and presence is so much more than capable of any task.

Concerns and fears going forward?  You bet.  There are still many questions left unanswered in the life ahead for Carson.  Will he ever be able to walk?  It is much too early to tell.  Will there be other limitations in his life?  Could be.

Is the same God who carried us through these last two weeks of concerns and has us feeling overwhelmed by His blessings and grace going to continue to be there?  Without question.  Lord, how unworthy we are.  Help us to continue to put our trust in you rather than allowing our focus to be diverted to the fears.  Help us to be thankful for the great sea of blessings you provide rather than losing hope because of a droplet.

Thank you all for continued prayers!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 11 for Carson

Hi everyone!!

    Day 11 was a great day! (This was Carson's actual due date) What a joy it's been to have had him these last 11 days.
    We spent a good amount of time with our little buddy and really enjoyed some great moments. I'm sure you have already noticed that this is not the "master" blogger Dad, he set me up with some licorice and coaxed me to work the press tonight. I'm too easily persuaded. :) Dad, as we now get to call him, YAY!!! has been so so so so so so ..... infinity..... so wonderful to both Carson and I. We are so blessed that God placed him in our lives, and we love him immensely.
    There is really not much that I can as far as a update goes. Carson is doing fantastic! He's eating well, sleeping well, and ....... well- more than well even :)  We are still just waiting for that amazing moment of walking out of those doors with him..... coming soon!!!!!!  I am so proud of my little man, what a trooper he is, and I swear the little guy is smiling through it all.So my plan as the blogger tonight is just give you some really cute pics!!!!! SO here goes...                                                                

he-he I'll make that rookie diaper man a champ by the time this is through.

You gotta keep an eye open around these parts.

We are so excited about what the Lord has been doing in our lives. No, it hasn't been the easiest of things, nor something that we would have ever asked for, but we have peace that this really is God's perfect plan. We have peace that He is in control, and that He will use this to be good. Seeing the ways in which He has worked has been such a joy . What a great God we have!! Thank you all so much for your prayers, and your loving support. What a blessing they have been.

And Lord.... I pray that we go home really really soon .
Goodnight all! Sweet dreams!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 10 for Carson

They said what? I'm confused.

Day 10 for Carson was blessed frustration.  Frustration because, you guessed it, his release was pushed all the way until Monday at the earliest.  The plan is now to release us using a car-bed (rather than a car seat) with some special gel packs to protect his back for the drive home Monday.  With the driving schematics laid out, why not release us now?  We don't know, but God does and we will look to Him for wisdom and trust in His hand as it continues to guide this journey.

The blessed part?  One of the reasons for the frustration is that Carson is proving himself every day to be a very healthy and active baby.  We are so filled with joy to see this amazing addition to our lives and to see him so vibrant after all that he has been through is a huge blessing.  We count ourselves very fortunate to be wondering why clearing him is such a difficulty rather than facing many other fearful complications that could have arisen.

We were also blessed today to get to spend an evening with Rob and Lisa.  Their wedding anniversary falls on the same day that I proposed to Mom.  We enjoyed a pleasant evening showing off Carson's pics again as well as reminiscing about Mom and I and our relationship's beginning.  We are very thankful for them and blessed to call them close friends.

Thank you all for your love and prayers.  We are blessed to have each and every one of you as a part of our lives.  We love you all (at home and abroad) and are so eager to see you all again soon!

And goodnight to you as well little Carson, we are also eager to be able to keep you by our side rather than leave you behind each night. 

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Day 9 for Carson

Day 9 and the trip to...nowhere.  We were so looking forward to going home today but it was not to be.  The neurologists visited Carson this morning and cleared him to go home with us but the nurse practitioner put the brakes on because they weren't comfortable with the sore on his back combined with his two hour long ride in the car seat.

The hope is now that tomorrow they will allow us to take him... all the way across the street to the Ronald McDonald House.  Unfortunately it looks like we will not be home this weekend, instead they would rather us be nearby in case anything occurs so the McDonald House is looking like an option to at least take him out of the hospital.  Even that is looking bleak after they ran the thoughts through again this evening, so we are hoping at least that will happen.

One of the hardest parts is that they don't even have clear reasoning on why they are holding him.  If the neurologists cleared him, you would think they would have a definitive reason to override them.  Instead it seems like they are uncertain of the idea because of risk and then follow that up by being uncertain of why they are uncertain.  I don't want to rail on them too harshly because the hospital and department as a whole have done a great job, it is just frustrating to be in the holding pattern as they ponder risks that will still exist a week or weeks from now with no better solutions.

Our timing is not God's timing and though we do not understand we will continue to trust in Him for what is best.  As He directs and guides in each event we need to let our grip (and gripes) go and trust in His perfect wisdom.  You also quickly feel like a selfish heel when there are parents in the same nicu that are months past their child's birth and still waiting.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support.  We are saddened that we will not be able to see some of you as soon as we had hoped, but we do look forward to that day with even greater anticipation now.  We love you all!

Hurry it up down there, rookie!

Day 8 for Carson

I've got a plan to bust out of this joint!

The day started with news that the doctors were now backing away from having the shunt surgery (for now).  That gave us mixed feelings as we had prepared ourselves for the shunt and were now confused upon their reasoning entirely.  The shunt not a shunt game has been played out in many young spina bifida patient's lives and we have seen the toil that it has put many parents through.  It was good news to hear that he wasn't going back into surgery tomorrow or friday, but we were cautiously optimistic as we knew we had just been invited to the juggle.

I was able to speak with the neurology department and apparently Carson's ventricles had good numbers from the detailed scan (good news).  What they have been more worried about is the scar in his back and the swelling it was showing.  It looked a lot better today than yesterday, however, so they put off the surgery.  When I asked about the borderline game, they expressed that it is better to wait and let his whole body concentrate on recovery of the first surgery rather than introducing a new variable to the equation.  There is also a waiting time in which they are hopeful that his body will adapt to absorbing the fluids normally rather than allowing the pressure to build.

So we have been pushed to waiting until the results from next Monday's scan come in, but that is the best part.  They indicated that the plan is for Monday's visit to be an out-patient one.  They will allow Carson to be on his back for part of tonight and if all looks well with his scar in the morning they are planning to discharge him!

What a wonderful day it has been to see God at work in such amazing ways.  While we know that the shunt is still a distinct possibility down the road, we do feel more prepared to handle it when it comes.  Potentially getting to go home tomorrow is a confirmation that our little boy is as healthy in all other areas as we felt he was demonstrating.  Praise the Lord!  We thank Him for His wonderful hand upon our boy.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Day 7 for Carson

Waking up to a brand new day.  Progress leads to hope and then the new unknowns arise that lead to fears.  Carson has been progressing so well but today's diagnosis was that he will need a shunt.

Goodbye to the feelings that things were settling down, hello to new unknowns and fears of his fragility.  We went from being happy about his progress to feeling like we were about to start all over - after all a shunt means a brand new surgery which means going back to all the tubes and machine hookups that we were so happy he had conquered.

I think one of the biggest shakeups is the separation of truth from expectations.  Sometimes you see many positives that are true and tie them to an expectation.  Then, when that expectation is shattered, you begin to doubt the truths that you had lumped together with it.  This parallels our Christian life and beliefs as well as the Devil often uses this technique to get us to doubt our foundation.  Let an expectation sneak in along with foundational doctrine and then blow up the expectation and suddenly our focus is lost from where it is supposed to be as we doubt the truths we had it nestled beside.  As we saw many positives and had a hope of not needing a shunt, the dashing of that hope left us doubting the positives.  Have we overestimated all the progress?  Was it all imagined and he's much worse off than expected?

That is when the roots of truth have to reground you.  Who is at the helm?  Is my trust in Him?  What room do we have left to worry or fear that which we do not know if we hold fast and strong to those two truths?  The surgery for the shunt will come and it will go and the same hand that was upon Carson for his last surgery will be on him for this one.  The same hand that had control over his well being from the start is no less able to care for him with a shunt.  Lord, we praise you for your hand upon each of us and our well being as every day for each of us is a gift from you.

Again, we would like to extend our thanks to each of you who love and support us.  Your kind words are such an encouragement.  Your prayers mean so much.  It is obvious that His strength is with us each day and not our own, and your prayers and loving words are being used by Him tremendously.  Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Day 6 for Carson

Day 6 was eating, sleeping, pooping.  Standard baby fare.  Good to see that after all of the extremes Carson has been through so far he does have the basics down.  What a blessing for Mom and I as we get to handle and care for more and more of his needs each passing day.

Carson's post-surgery bandage was removed and we were able to see his lower back for the first time.  It still has a lot of healing to go as the stitches continue to do their work holding everything together.  Because the wound is now exposed, we are not allowed to hold him again until it becomes more stable.  We are so thankful to live in a time where this type of surgery can be done.

We were visited by the Leflers today and what a refreshing time it was.  Although we were not allowed to take them up to see Carson because of the hospital's newer rules (H1N1 scare means immediate family only), we did get to spend a nice afternoon touring the greater (and not so greater) parts of Los Angles bragging on Carson and showing off all of our pictures so far.

Carson did get his more detailed scan today, but the results won't be available until tomorrow.  He has been doing extremely well recovering in all other areas so we pray for positive results there as well so that we can come home that much sooner.

 Today was a day of appreciation.  Things slowed down and seemed, despite the hospital and all the surroundings, to feel a bit normal.  It was nice that Mom and I were able to just step in and start to get into almost a routine of feeding and changing him, but far better was the time we had to just relax and watch him for awhile.  We were able to stop and just be astounded at this little miracle that God had placed in our lives - to consider how fearfully and wonderfully made each and every one of us are.  The pause also allowed me to consider just how amazing Mom has been through this entire ordeal.  Lord, thank you for this wonderful boy!  Lord, thank you for this wonderful wife!

Dealing with a proud father and his camera all day is enough to wear a guy out.  Luckily, he's cute when he's sleeping as well.

 Thank you for your prayers!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Day 5 for Carson

Day 5, Sunday, a day of rest (thankfully).  

After the last two rollercoaster days, we were ready for a peaceful day.  Looking on the map for nearby churches that I was familiar with we decided on Faith Baptist in Canoga Park.  We started the morning by bringing Carson a milk supply and he was upset that we overlooked the opportunity to bring donuts along too.

The morning service at Faith Baptist was very good, what a perfect time for Romans 8:28.  We met and chatted with several very nice families and Carson now has even more prayers behind him.  We also heard reports of two people being saved in our home church, what a wonderful day!

During our afternoon session with Carson he got to say his goodbye's to Granny Foster.  We were then treated to a good long stint of him being awake and active.  Such a terrific follow up to yesterday's eyes open activity.  It really is starting to feel like he's progressing toward being able to head home.  In fact, this evening in the baby shuffle, he was sent to a room with infants that weren't as critical.  Praise the Lord for His wonderful hand upon our boy!

One thing Carson has against going home - having to see Daddy's full maskless face for the first time.  If he can't hold his lunch I'll just say "babies always do that."

What an amazing 5 days it has been!  Mom and I have been so blessed by Carson's arrival that we can't wait to see what happens from here.  We are also so blessed by all of you.  The support from back home and the news of friends and people from all over the place following along and praying is overwhelming.  Our hearts are warmed and we are so thankful to all of you.

Tomorrow is a big day as it's the first detailed follow-up measurement for hydrocephalus.  Things have been good so far, but the more detailed look can possibly bring the news that he's borderline or even crossed the threshold to need a shunt.  Again, we can't say thank you enough for all your prayers, love, and support.   

I know, I know - quit blathering and post another cute baby pic.  Here you go!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Day 4 for Carson

Look Mom! No tubes (shoved down my throat anyway).

Day 4 was a crazy day...
Aunt Jeanne and Uncle Mark came to visit and got here just in time to lend a helping hand with Mom who was finally discharged!  Good thing they did to because beside accumulating a room full of baggage and some "It's a boy" congratulations, the hospital sent us away with a bunch of diapers and a car seat as a parting gift!  I'm beginning to wonder if it even was a hospital because with Mom recovering so quickly and feeling so well in recovery it felt much more like a hotel stay than a hospital stay.  We thank the entire staff at Hollywood Pres for being so kind and helpful.

We got to see Carson just in time to watch them remove the ventilator!  After awhile when Aunt Jeanne and Mom were with him they ask, "would you like to hold him?"  Umm, yea!  Quick switch to get Dad in to enjoy this first with Mom.  We took our turns and were just delighted as we got to enjoy these goals just falling left and right.  After spending the morning and early afternoon enjoying him they are ready to take yet another step and let Mom try to feed him (he was too tuckered out though).  What a joyous day!

Then in the hallway, after all this joy, I find Mom weeping with Carson's nurse consoling her.  One of main doctor's in charge of the neonatal unit had told Mom, "I fear Carson has brain damage."

How do you react to a phrase like that?  Its the kind that sits on you for the rest of the day and haunts you even as you try with all your might to reason it away.  I went back to speak and try to get more details with the doctor as Mom was caught off guard and just devastated instantly and didn't get much further into the conversation.  Apparently, the doctor was expressing more of a worry than an assessment.  That's a relief... sort of.  They said that it was due to his sluggish response after having been off sedation since yesterday.  Carson wasn't starting to take his own initiative for what the machines were doing for him and that's why the worry was there.  My mind said give the little guy a break as he has known more torture on his body so far than comfort.  Mom and I are just getting to the point where we can give him regular stimulus as we had to fight sedation early and hospital schedules later.  I also believe the doctor was not yet privy to the advancements we had seen in him after the ventilator was removed...

I could go on and on reasoning and fighting those words in different ways but the truth is it wouldn't matter.  My gut really questions them at this stage, but I don't want each precious moment of Carson's life to be measured as an opponent or an ally to their truth.  It is an utter and complete waste of what these moments are to be.  The measuring stick that does matter is that even if completely true, God knew.  He is still on the throne and He still has a good and perfect will for Carson's life that no earthly limitations he may have can erase.

We returned to Carson in the late afternoon to retry getting him to feed since he was too tired earlier.  Soon after we arrived he was chugging down a bottle and the nurse put together a plan to get him switched completely over to that from a feeding IV.

As the day wore on it became more exhausting.  The limitations of the hospital schedule and restrictions were gone but that makes the day all the more of a toil for a Mom still in recovery.  We stopped by the Ronald McDonald house that night and were blessed to have a free dinner supplied by a local Brazilian Baptist church.  They took on Carson for a prayer request for their services tomorrow!  Shortly after meeting them we were called back down to meet another great couple staying at the house who happened to have a three year old little girl who also has spina bifida.  What a little blessing she was and just the right blessing for Mom and I to see on this night.  God demonstrating His masterful hand yet again.  We are so thankful that at many different key moments encouragement is supplied.

We ended the day with one last visit of Carson later in the night.  The shift had changed so we went in wondering if the getting to hold him option would still be available with the new nurse.  Not only did we get to hold him, we got to feed and change him for the first time.  These firsts were easily trumped by him not only flashing those eyes, but keeping them open trying to process the four glowing eyes of his parents staring back at him.  What a blessed God we serve!  What a wonderful boy we have been blessed with!  Thank you for the blessing that each of you have been as your words and messages to us have been such a comfort.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day 3 for Carson

Hello all,

What a roller coaster of a day.  As we look toward the milestone of bringing Carson home from the hospital,  we have several smaller goals for along the way.  Getting to hold him in our arms, promoting him from the incubator side of the nicu to the crib side, changing his diaper and getting to handle more of his care ourselves rather than observing it - these are some of the bigger ones  (wait, what am I saying - diapers and observing only is the way to go).  

A goal we had for today was to finally see his eyes.

Poor guy has been under some pretty harsh lighting in the incubators since birth and has kept them shut every chance we have had to see him so far.  Being on pain meds for a good percentage of his life so far hasn't helped either.

When we saw him this morning we received good news that he would be off the pain meds at 10am.  Our afternoon visit was going to be our first really good chance.  When we got to his bedside I went right to work on tickling and prodding him along gently and he responded pretty quickly.  I saw his eyes fluttering and definitely got a few glances of some deep blue eyeballs.  Mom was just coming around the bedside to see for herself when the station next to us in the room had a situation that needed some major attention.  We had to cut our visit very short...and say a prayer for that baby and his family on the way out.  We wish the very best for them for their very little guy, he did seem more stable later that night.

Keep hanging in there Carson!

With the afternoon visit cut short we needed to push for an evening visit, but that got pushed even later with a shift change so we grabbed a quick bite and sent Grandma Orr off just after traffic died down so that she could arrive home safely and at a reasonable hour.  On our return to the room we learned the bad news that Mom was now unable to leave the hospital for a final visit because darkness had fallen and the easy access street overpass ramp had closed.  After stopping, praying, and politely working with the nurses, special arrangements were made to allow us through for that final visit.

Returning to the same tickling, prodding, and verbal stimulation from earlier did not yield the same quick results this time around.  Carson was out of it and who could blame him.  I'm sure his body is having quite a few of the ups and downs of exhaustion as it works steadily on recovering from surgery.  He definitely was responding with hand gripping but it was frustrating to not be able to get his eyes going again for Mom.  The truth was that she was just ecstatic to get to see him for this last visit after it looked like that wasn't going to happen.  As I left to let Aunt Ruth get her final visit (we are only allowed two a time in to see him among several other limitations) I returned to the waiting room and just praised God for allowing Mom this moment that she needed.  A day of ups and downs, trusting in Him and leaning on His understanding rather than on our own.

Suddenly, I see the lights go out in the nicu from my spot in the waiting room down the hall.  That's odd, I wondered if they're chasing the visitors out because of how late it is.  Mom came out moments later with a grin from ear to ear and said they were doing some type of testing and that's what the lights were all about, but Carson reacted immediately by opening his eyes several times now that things were dimmed.  She hurried me in to get another look myself and I did my best to get it on camera.  His eyes were flickering open and closed so it was very difficult to get a shot with them open, but I think I did finally manage to document at least a little peak with the last shot.

Thank you all for your continued prayers.  The results of them can be both seen and felt in our lives in a very real way.  We love you all and are so blessed to have such wonderful people loving and supporting us.  What a mighty God we serve!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Waking up!!

Hi everyone!!!

     It's Karen. :)  I first want to thank everyone... It has been so encouraging and such a blessing to hear from everyone and to know that you are praying for us. Thank you!!! We have been blessed with such a great family!!! And truly you all have made such a difference.
     Our baby boy is doing so great!!!! I am just so overwhelmed with joy and pride for him. What a precious testimony he already has. Ive always heard about the great influence that parents play in a child's life. I never realized until the last 3 days with Carson how much a child can influence the parent, he's amazing!!!

     This morning they took him off of the pain meds. which have been sedating him. Now it's wake up and take him off of the ventilator. We have spent our time with him just cooing,tickling, and trying to wake him :) Daddy got his eyes to flicker a second and he got a glimpse of those beautiful blues!!!!!! We had to leave the NICU right after that so that they could perform a surgery on another baby. We are so anxious to get back over there. We will post some pictures tonight of hopefully him being awake :)
     Once again, Thank you all so much!!! We love you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day 2 for Carson

What a start to life.  Day 1 - Born, Ambulance Ride, Poked, Prodded, and Tested every which way you can.  Day 2 - Hooked up to twelve machines constantly monitoring every system you have and then getting major surgery (already has more of those than Dad).  Almost makes you want to go back to the womb.  We are trying our best to make up for these hardships by showing him every ounce of love that we can.  We are so blessed and thank every one of you for all of your support and prayers.

Day 2 and Mom is still showing amazing strength to bounce back from the Ceasarian section so quickly.  She was doing everything but sit ups and pushups today (we'll see if all the energy was just a put on to make sure she got another Carson visit today).  She has been taking everything in stride and doing wonderfully from both the physical and emotional aspect.  I mean she has a son rebelling and sporting a mohawk already and she's taking it all so well.

Carson's surgery was a wonderful success, we thank you for all your prayers and know they played a major role of support as God guided the doctor's hands in their work.  As you can see he got to trade in his plastic wrap guaze for a more official post surgery bandage that is much less of a hassle.  As mentioned earlier we are now focused on monitoring for signs of hydrocephalus which was the expected next step.  What a blessing to just be monitoring for the standard complications rather than fearing a bigger unknown one that could have arisen.

The day was so busy and taxing with surgery that Carson just fell down exhausted during the baby olympic potato sack races they had at the NICU.  You can't win them all son.

What a blessed addition Carson has been in our lives already.  He is an amazing little guy and I am already so proud of him.  Can't wait to bring him around and show him off to each of you when time allows.  Obviously getting to go home with him is a major milestone that we look forward to greatly.

Surgery Successful!

Another quick update to let everyone know that Carson is now out of surgery (3:30pm PST).  According to the neurosurgeon and attending physician, everything was a complete success.  The remaining cyst has been cleaned and removed and the opening successfully sealed up.  No additional problems arose regarding further spinal damage so things will now just be monitored for the standard complications.  They also gave a positive assessment regarding cerebro-spinal fluid levels which is important regarding risk of meningitis down the road.

The focus now shifts on monitoring for hydrocephalus and the possible need for  a shunt.  This would be a tremendous victory to avoid this.  They will be watching for this over the next several days and we'll update as we find out.  I'll do a full day wrap up (with more pics) later if I get a chance, thank you for your prayers - we praise God for these results!

In surgery...


Just adding a quick update to let everyone know that Carson is in surgery now (11/12 1pm PST). Thank you for your prayers. I know that so many of you like us are hungry for information and it seems like our sources get more and more vague. The surgery's purpose is to remove the remnants of the cyst and close the opening in his back. The majority of the questions about his prognosis we will not have immediate answers for. The one question we should be able to answer is whether they do successfully close the gap. Most other things will be wait and see as we see how much scar buildup from the surgery will affect the spinal cord, if the closure of the spine will now produce the swelling of hydrocephalus, and longer term results such as his function of bowels or legs will not be able to be fully diagnosed for some time. Thank you again for the loving support, I'll try to update again with what we know of the surgery results when we get them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day 1 for Carson

Hello All,
Well, the day was quite eventful and Karen and Carson are both doing well. We thank everyone so much for their prayers.
The morning began with great excitement and anticipation. We started things off in the surgery prep getting the low-down on personal delivery stories from experienced moms (Mrs. Foster, Grandma Orr, and Aunt Ruth). The surgery went smoothly and Carson was officially born at 8:22am PST, 7lbs. 5oz. (sorry, no length specified yet...we'll get back to you).

Carson's cyst ruptured during the birth so his stay at Hollywood Pres. wasn't too long. We did get a chance to visit with him as they stabilized him and prepared him for transfer. The best part of the day was when we got to take a special trip to see mom one more time before leaving the hospital. Karen had only been able to briefly glimpse at him on his way out of the operating room, but on this trip she was able to both see and touch him for a little while.

At LA Children's, Carson has been getting tested and prepared for surgery. The neurosurgeon's evaluated him and he is stable enough to wait until tomorrow, which is a good sign. We are enjoying him every chance we get, and are so thankful to God for this wonderful blessing in our lives. We know that His purpose and plan for Carson's life trumps any physical maladies that he may be born with. We serve a wondrous God who is capable of all things. Our prayer is that Carson will grow to learn how great a God He is as we do our best to raise him in His nurture and admonishment.

Thank you all and continue to pray for Carson as we prepare for the surgery on his cyst tomorrow. Your love is so uplifting and we are humbled by the support our family has received. We will keep you posted as we learn more...