Wiersma Family Blog

A glimpse into our lives as a family with micro-preemies. Our twins boys (Lovingly referred to as our Miracle Men) were born almost 16 weeks early.

Our journey continues when our son Max was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 3. This is his story....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The journey so far...

The following are emails that I have been sending throughout this "journey" that Kate and I embarked on 8 days ago. For those of you that do not know the story from the beginning, this should get you up to speed:

March 13
I just wanted to give you an update on how things are going with Kate, myself and the twins. As you mentioned, Kate went into preterm labor on Tuesday (March 10) afternoon. The doctors and nurses at Holland Hospital were able to stop her contractions, which were happening about every minute or more. Since Tuesday, they have kept us in the hospital because Kate is only 23 weeks along. The plan is for us to be transferred to Spectrum health today (Saturday) because their neonatal unit is much more sophisticated. They would be able to deliver the twins at 24 weeks if Kate were to go back into labor and they couldn't stop it. We are certainly hoping and praying that the labor symptoms don't come back anytime soon, but it looks like the rest of the pregnancy could be spent at Spectrum, but it is too early to tell. Kate and the babies are doing very well, and there has been no regular contractions since Tuesday night. God's arms have been holding us tight, and as we look back on the trials of the past couple of days, we can see that God's grace was the greatest in those times. There have been just so many occasions where God has used a nurse, a visitor, an email, or a phone call to speak His calming and encouraging words. We know that no matter what happens in the next couple of days/weeks, that God loves our little twin boys more than we do, and even though they have yet to be born, they are truly children of the King.

March 14
I am actually writing you this email from Spectrum. They moved Kate via ambulance around 10:00 this morning. Since we have arrived, the contractions have returned. The doctors have administered another ultrasound and the boys appear to be doing well. They have Kate on magnesium to stop the contractions, they gave her the first steroid shot to help promote lung development for the twins, and they have planned another battery of blood tests later this evening. Please pray that the contractions will subside as they are a source of great anxiety for Kate and I, because the likelihood of survival for the boys is not real great until they reach the 24 week mark (7 more days). Also, the nurses in Holland were so exceptional that we feel a little bit lonely in a new hospital with all new people. Pray that God will grant us peace in these new surroundings. Kate is also feeling emotionally and physically weak after an intense couple of days, being transported via ambulance, and the recurring labor symptoms.

I will keep you updated on Kate's status, and thank-you again for your prayers. As the prayers of God's people have gone up, we have truly felt His grace raining down.

March 15
Wow. God is so good. Today (Sunday) was a day filled with every emotion in the book. As I mentioned, Kate's contractions came back after we arrived at Spectrum. They administered magnesium sulfate to calm the contractions, but it collected too rapidly in Kate's blood stream. I woke up this morning around 6:30 when Kate called my name and as soon as I got up she became very sick. Over the next number of hours she was becoming weaker and weaker. I had to literally carry her to the bathroom because she could not get her feet under her. The doctors and nurses began to monitor her very closely and her blood pressure (BP) began to drop. At one point a bunch of alarms started going of because her BP was dropping so rapidly. I am not even sure what the numbers in the blood pressure count mean, but they said if the bottom number drops below 50, that is not good. At one point this morning (around 10:30 a.m.) her BP was 60 over 23. About 5 seconds after the nurse saw that, there was at least 9 people in the room. They forced an entire liter of fluids into her in less than 5 minutes, wrapped her in warm blankets, rolled her onto her side, cut off the magnesium, and the anesthesiologist gave her a shot of something (not sure what). Within 5 minutes she was a different person. All of her color came back, her eyes opened, she was talking again...it was like someone flipped a switch. They have since changed their approach and are using a new medicine that she seems to be responding very well to. Her contractions have spread far enough apart that they moved us from the delivery room to what I am going to call a "holding room". They have an entire floor here at Spectrum called "OB Special Care" where expectant moms just like Kate that are high risk pregnancies or have had early labor symptoms spend there time. Some are here for shorter stays, some are here for their entire pregnancy. We are hoping Kate is here for a long time, but we are following God's path one step and one day at a time.

So after the events of this morning where I thought I was losing my wife, much less our little boys, we are now sitting in a comfortable room watching the sun set over the hills on the other side of GR. What a mighty God we serve. There were times when His presence felt far away, but He has faithfully carried Kate, the boys, and myself to a place where the contractions have spaced out and subsided and the doctors felt comfortable moving us to the "holding room". We are so thankful to be a part of the body of Christ, and a part of Haven Church. We received a number of encouraging emails that all seemed to come at just the right time and say just the right thing and we know that is not a coincidence. We appreciate the prayers of God's people. We have experienced a lot of emotions today, but as we reflect on the day and watch the sun set, we can't help but think that the Son of God never took His loving hands off of our unborn sons. We just praise God for another day that the boys have to grow in their Mom's belly, and pray for many more if that is God's will.

March 16
Well, we had a scary morning with more regular contractions, but the nurses were quick to act and gave Kate a big shot of fluids via her IV and an extra dose of her medication, and she responded very quickly and within 15-20 minutes they had calmed to almost nothing. They suspect that some dehydration was causing the contractions, so you can about imagine how much water Kate has put down so far today!! After the contractions subsided, they moved Kate to the ultrasound room and we got to see our boys moving around, which was just so awesome. They look healthy and they are measuring right where they should be at about 23 weeks plus a few days...and they are definitely two boys!! Kate felt good all day, got a little nap in, and I was finally able to move my car from the emergency parking lot to the "regular" parking ramp and figure out how to find my way back to the room. We had a good report when they monitored Kate for contractions tonight and were able to just spend time in prayer together thanking God for his faithfulness and for another day that our Creator can knit together our babies in their mother's womb.

March 18
I wanted to send an update on how Kate and the boys are doing. After a scary weekend, Kate's contractions had calmed down a bit. They moved us up from the labor and delivery floor on Sunday evening to the OB special Care floor where mothers with high-risk pregnancies spend their days on bed rest. Since then we have had some episodes with regular contractions, but have often been able to cool them down with a good shot of fluids from an IV or an extra dose of the Procardia medication she is currently taking to calm the contractions. Today (Wednesday) has not been a good day. We were hoping that things had stabilized a bit and after talking with Kate decided I would start going back to work, so today was my first day back. Kate called me at about 11:00 and said that she was having regular contractions again and they checked her cervix and didn't feel there has been much change there, still a bit thin and dilated to about 1 cm. But the doctors are concerned about the contractions, so they have moved us back down to the labor and delivery floor. They also discussed with us that if the babies are born before Saturday (week 24) that the hospital does not resuscitate unless the parents ask them to. They asked what we would like them to do given that scenario. The boys are just too young and their lungs are not developed enough to breathe by themselves, so they would try a tube and a ventilator to help them breathe. If this is not successful they would try chest compressions only if we wish. They said this is very painful for the baby and would likely only prolong life for a very short time. As Christians, Kate and I are just torn about this because we want to give God every opportunity to work a miracle while at the same time not causing any additional suffering to our boys. Our decision was for them to resuscitate but not cause additional pain. Our prayer is that this scenario will not play out. They again have Kate on a magnesium sulfate drip, which many of you know she did not react well to this past weekend. When the doctors mentioned this and asked how she felt about it, Kate's response was, "I will stay on that drug for the rest of my life if it keeps our boys growing in my belly". Her strength is a testament to the Living God. Kate has been on the drip for about 1 1/2 hours at this point, and the contractions remain regular and pronounced. We ask prayers that the drug will work quickly to calm these contractions, but also that Kate will tolerate the medicine well. We pray that God will touch Kate and stop the contractions, that our boys can grow big and strong in their mother's womb where their Creator can continue to knit them together by His design. We don't know what tomorrow or an hour from now will bring, but we know that our God has our little tiny boys firmly in His grasp. He will continue to give Kate the strength to keep fighting to hold on to these precious gifts. We covet your prayers as we fight for another day.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Kate, Mark and boys!!

    Thanks for keeping us all updated via your blog...we look forward to hearing GREAT news and positive reports day by day. We can't wait to come and visit soon! We would like to take a moment and lift you up in prayer.

    Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for being the Awesome God that you are and for holding Kate and the boys in the palm of your mighty hands. We ask that you continue to protect and watch over these two precious lives you've created and the health and well-being of their strong and wonderful mother Kate. Lord - we know that You are in control and we thank you that we can leave our cares and concerns at your feet and You hear and answer every single prayer in your timing - we Praise Your Name! Wrap your loving arms around the Wiersma's Lord and give them strength, peace, courage and eyes of faith so that they can see You and your mighty hand at work in their lives. In your name we pray, Amen.

    We love you,
    Tony & Cara