Monday, December 3, 2012

He is here!

Saturday 8 AM: Stephanie woke up and felt her first strong contraction.  With Logan, her water broke and they were able to get her an epideral before she felt serious contractions.  Such was not the case on Saturday.  I went to work at worked from 8-1:30 PM.  After getting off of work, I called Stephanie.  She said she was laying down, unable to move due to contractions.  They were occuring every 15 minutes or so.

After getting home, I started to pack the car and finish packing our bags.  We had plans to meet the siblings to go to festival of trees around 4:30.  4:30 came and we were still in Spanish Fork, not in Sandy--where the Festival of Trees was.  We finally started toward Salt Lake.  All the while, Stephanie still had contractions every so often.  Stephanie ended up calling University Hospital Labor and Delivery and asked questions on when she should come in.  She then tracked her contractions for the next hour.

Excited for the Festival of Trees, I convinced Stephanie to go in and see some trees.  After meeting up with family, it was about 2 minutes of viewing trees when we left the event and started our way to the hospital.  We arrived at 7:15 PM with Stephanie ready for that epidural.  7:45 we were admitted to the hospital and moved to a temporary delivery room.  Stephanie was dialated to a 4.  @7:18: Contraction; @7:21: Contraction; @7:26 Contraction...I think you get the picture.  I've never seen Stephanie in so much pain--it was hard to watch.  I wanted to take the pain upon myself when I saw it.  Unfortunately, I couldn't.  Luckily, the epidural was given @9:05.  At 9:45, she was measured again and she was complete.  Right about then, the nurses started to panic.  (In my mind, I thought we still had a few hours--boy was I wrong!)  We were then rushed into an Operating Room that was connected with the ICU.  Upon entering, I helped the doctors clear a spot for Stephanie's bed and a route to the window that led to the NICU.  At 10:02 PM, Joshua Kent Ipson was born.  Within 10 seconds, he was handed through the window and started to be stablized.  A kind nurse took our camera to capture a few photos for us.  I tried to look through the window, but Joshua was surrounded by 4-5 doctors, allowing me to only see a foot or hand here or there.

Soon, Stephanie was moved back into the 'temporary delivery room' where we were before the OR.  After about 15 minutes there, we were moved to a recovery room.  We then were able to visit Joshua in the NICU for a little bit, in which we also were able to hold him for the first time.  Absolutely a precious moment!  This was unexpected but absolutely amazing!  After 15 minutes, we were asked to leave as another baby was being brought in and they needed the area cleared.  We went back to Stephanie's room and waited for Life Flight to arrive.  Around 1 AM, Life Flight came with Joshua on their stretcher.  After a few pictures (can be seen on Facebook), I left with Life Flight to take him to Primary Children's Medical Center.  We walked over using the bridge that connects the two hospitals and arrived at the Cardiac ICU. 

Fifteen minutes later, (2:00 AM) one of the cardiologist started Joshua's first test: an echocardiogram.  I then went back to Stephanie's room at the University Hospital to get some rest.  We later found out the Echo took around 4.5 hours.  I thought it was only 2.5 hours, but apparently Joshua's heart condition was more complex and very unique.  Some of the diagnosis are as follows: 1) Dextracardia--Position of the heart is on the right side of the chest, not on the left side; 2) Heterotaxy--the heart is basically flipped.  He also has two right sides; 3) Main pulmonary atresia--the main pulmonary artery is not found.  The pulmonary artery is the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the lungs.  4) Hypoplasia of the right ventricle--underdeveloped right ventricle 5) Lungs appear to be supplied by arterial collaterals with no MPA segment noted--Lungs are getting blood, but they aren't sure where from.  They are suspecting arterial collaterals are delivering the blood.  6) Bi-lateral superior vena cavae without bridging vein 7) 3 Pulmonary veins drain into an upper vertical vein which dump into the right atrium--pulmonary veins are veins that take blood from the lungs to the heart.  Typically there are four and they should dump into the left atrium.

In addition to the 7 items mentioned above, there are a few other complications which we won't go into at this time, however, the 7 are the major issues we are looking at. 

Today, Joshua had an abdominal ultrasound in which they looked at his anatomy and specifically, if he had a spleen.  I asked the nurse this evening and she said she didn't think they found a spleen.  We have not heard the official results of the ultrasound, but from the sounds of it, he doesn't have a spleen--which is the immune system for infants.

Stephanie has officially been discharged from the University Hospital and she seems to be recovering really well.

Tomorrow morning at 9:30, he has a Cardiac CATH test scheduled.  This is where they will put a tube with a camera into a vessel in his leg.  From there, they go up the vessel to the heart and then release a dye.  They measure the pressure in the veins and watch the blood flow.  This will give them the missing puzzle piece they are looking for--How the lungs are receiving blood.  (Since the MPA [main pulmonary artery] is missing, and his oxidation % is staying around the 90's, they are slightly puzzled how the blood is getting there)  After this test, they will then meet together on Wednesday morning.  (They being ANYONE that is SOMEBODY--aka All cardiologists, all surgeons, all etc)  They will come up with their game plan on how to proceed and when the first surgery will occur.  We pray for the best and that the doctors will be led to the best decision for our little guy. 

We appreciate all the prayers, messages, and love you have all shared with us.  We have felt power from on high and know that the Lord is watching over us and our little Joshua.


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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