Friday, May 18, 2012

The P-Nut Makes His Premiere

Y'all.  I don't even know what to say.  We have been absolutely AMAZED at the messages and donuts and prayers we have gotten today.  My entire Facebook feed is people either asking for prayers for us or pictures of donuts from across the United States.  By some complete miracle, this little blog has gotten almost 5000 views so far TODAY ALONE.  We are overcome.  Thank you doesn't cut it.

Noowwwwwwwwww... on to the big news! *and crummy camera phone pictures, but ya do what ya can*

Parker Edward Knoll arrived at 7:02 am.  He is 21.5 inches long and 7 lbs 15 ounces.  He came out crying (which was the best sound I have ever heard, even if the docs don't like CDHers to cry!), and fought the ventilator until he was given his paralytic.  He is perfect, and he is strong.

We arrived so very early this morning, and went in for pre-op.  True to form, I took 5 rounds of epidural medicine before I was sufficiently numb.  The anesthesia department here probably doesn't like me much!  Mike and I did okay, for the most part.  Anxiety, tears, prayers.  I have to hereby rescind my previous comments about the neonatologist-- it turned out she WAS working today, and it was a completely different experience.  Everyone in the OR (and it was A LOT of people) was kind, compassionate, and reassuring.

Parker made his grand appearance, and was quickly assessed by the respiratory team.  He was intubated in the OR, and we spent a few minutes watching him from across the room.  Once he was stablized, the team asked Mike to accompany them to the NICU while I got stitched up.  Dr. Sermons finished up, came around the drape, and wordlessly dropped a surgical mask "kiss" on my cheek before he left.  I adore him.  The assistant surgeon said, "You must be somebody, 'cause he doesn't go kissing on everybody!"  Off to recovery.

Mike and I were in constant contact by phone, and he sent me results of his preliminary tests.  1 minute APGAR was 7, 5 minute APGAR was 8.  Given that it's a 10 scale, with a 10 being virtually impossible to attain, we were happy with that.  They did a chest xray to ascertain what organs were where.

I was disheartened when I saw this.  SO MUCH INTESTINE on the left side.  Mike and I texted furiously, and he assured me that the air pockets in the intestine were making it look worse than it is.  The neonatologist saw a fully developed right lung with perfect breath sounds, and she heard breath sounds about 75% of the way down his left lung area.  It could be that there is plenty of left lung, but the view is obstructed by intestine.  Still, we were finally able to get a definitive answer that only stomach and intestine have herniated.  No word yet on the size of the hole, but it appears to be pretty big.

My body betrayed me in the recovery room... due to the amount of epidural drugs I required, I was shaking uncontrollably.  That's normal, but even post-op they couldn't calm my limbs down.  They proceeded to wrap me in heated blankets from head to toe.  I mean straight up mummy style. 
It was a low point.  There I was, alone in the recovery room, listening to the happy gurgles and coos of the other c-section babies, SWADDLED AT THE AGE OF 30!  Pity party.

Mike texted that the transport team had arrived, and that Parker was stable enough to visit me before hitting the road.  Parker's traveling entourage of 6 wheeled him in, and I must say I was most impressed by the contraption in which he would be moved.  They let down the sides of his isolette, and Mike and I finally got to rub his little hands and his gigantic, sloth-toed feet. 

I told him over and over and over again how much I loved him, how proud I was of him, and that he had to be strong and put on his boxing gloves.  It was so hard to see my P-nut rolling away, but the transport team was wonderful and I knew he'd be in good hands.

Parker got settled at Egleston, while Mike and I settled into our new home.  Let me tell you something-- if you don't have a baby with you, you are virtually ignored!  When we had Jeremiah, it was impossible to get any rest at all due to the constant vital sign checks for me and the baby, the constant comings and goings, etc.  This go round, I have been put in a very quiet corner of the hospital, and my nurses have left me alone for the most part.  They are very sweet, very on top of things, and supersensitive to the fact that I am babyless.  I have spent the day, blissfully alone, watching Food Network and napping between updates from Mike.  I was mentally able to transform my clear liquid diet into Anne Burrell's Meyer Lemon Pancakes as I watched.

 **that's a lie**
Parker arrived at HIS new home, and the rest of the tests (brain scan and echocardiogram) were performed.  His brain is completely clear, and the echo looks great.  What did NOT look great were his oxygen and CO2 levels-- in the upper half of his body, he was in the 90s.  In the lower half of his body, he was in the 70s (this is the better of the two situations-- his upper half, including brain and most organs, are well oxygenated.  Praises for that!) He wasn't ridding himself of CO2 in a timely manner, and it was escalating his blood pressure.  They tried various ventilation techniques and meds, but it wasn't working.

While Mike was en route to be with the P-nut, Egleston called my hospital room and asked for verbal authorization to put him on ECMO.  I surprised myself with my lack of reluctance or fear.  I have every confidence in the medical team, and if that's what they think will work, I told them without hesitation to go ahead.  They said they'd hold off on the surgery to insert the cannulae until Mike got there.
He's now on ECMO (only lung bypass-- his heart is strong enough and performing well for now), and his stats have soared. His color is back, his little tootsies are warm, and his blood pressure has improved.  Most of his meds have been discontinued or scaled WAY back, and even in the few hours that he's been on ECMO, they have started weaning him off.  He's resting comfortably now, with his Mickey Mouse lovey and whispered promises of Disney World.

He will stay at his current ECMO level overnight, and they'll re-evaluate tomorrow.  Even though he's doing great, we can expect him to be on ECMO for about a week.  After that, we'll start figuring out repair surgery and what's next.

I have to take a minute and give my husband the biggest shout out ever.  He has been completely in charge of Parker since the second we checked in this morning.  He has been amazing.  He only fell apart once, when he first got to Egleston, and other than that he has been a ROCK.  He asks questions, he gets answers, and he just helped me do the C-section shuffle to the bathroom and back.  He's visiting me to sleep for an hour before he heads back to Egleston.  I know he is exhausted and scared, but he is doing a phenomenal job.  I am a lucky gal, and JB and P-nut are two lucky boys!!

Will update tomorrow.  Thank you all, again, for your thoughts and prayers.  We are resting comfortably tonight in the peace that passes understanding.  Parker is resting comfortably in God's hands.

"For this child I have prayed, and the Lord has given me what I asked of Him.  So now, I give him to the Lord.  For his whole life, he will be given over to the Lord."  1 Samuel 1:27-28


  1. CONGRATULATIONS!! Parker is beautiful!! Thinking of you and wishing you the best!! Take care!!!

  2. Praying for you all during this day and the days to know God has placed the right drs and nurses in place for Pnut!!! Jer. 29:11-14 is being prayed over him and you all.

  3. Prayers, prayers, and more prayers for Parker. Get some rest Mama and know that you have so many people thinking of you and your adorable family. I loved seeing all of the doughnut shout outs on your page today. I think Krispy Kreme should be aware of this . . . =)

  4. Praying for you all this day and for the days ahead....Jeremiah 29:11-14 is being prayed over you all!!

  5. And I will always remember his birthday as he shares it with me!!!! I have 58 yrs on him!!! Happy birthday Parker!!!

  6. Praying for your family! You are such amazing people, and it is wonderful to read your story and see how you are relying on God throughout the entire process. You are loved more than you will ever know. Little Parker is beautiful and such a little fighter!
    "Cast all of your anxieties on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

  7. The peace that passes all understanding...I never quite "got" the meaning of those words until Ramsey was born. I'm glad you have that peace. I'm praying you will recover quickly to be at Parker's side. Now, I'm off to share the request for more prayers (and donut pics) on my FB page I'm hoping for a bakers dozen.

  8. God is the Healer and our prayers are going out for little P-nut and your family. Hugs and Love to you all. Elke (Rowe) Hawkins <3

  9. I have been praying for you both and Parker and the medical team all day! what an encouraging update on Parker's first day! Best wishes for a quiet and restful night and a bright tomorrow.

  10. Lots of love and prayers abby. Tonight when Lindsey went to bed she asked if we could see Parker and I told her not tonight.. her comment "dear God watch over Parker. Amen"

  11. Popping in from Kelly's Korner. Sending prayers your way from Hot Springs, Arkansas!!!

  12. What an Awesome and Mighty God we serve!! I've been waiting to here some news and I am praising God for a good start to Parker's fight. Praying for a speedy recovery for you so you can go be with Parker. Love and Prayers from South Carolina!!
    P.S He is beautiful!! I know, he's a boy but still!!

    Shay Connell

  13. So so so so happy it is going well. There have been lots of prayers headed your way. My kids even asked the car full of our family to say a prayer for Parker and Mike and Abby and JB last night. It was very sweet and absolutely sincere. So, please rest well tonight knowing you have plenty of Angels watching over all of you! - The Holbrooks

  14. Praying hard for your little man! He has the best doctors and nurses working on him. If there is anything you guys need, please let me know. We are in 2265. It is the second room on the right side of NICU A.

  15. I'm a new reader from Kelly's Korner. Is it any surprise that God brought all these new readers to your blog on the VERY day that Parker would arrive? I love that you were the first entry on that blog, when this baby needed our prayers so much. God's timing is perfect and beautiful. I'm glad that we have the confidence that Parker is fearfully and wonderfully made. What we see as imperfections and weakness, God sees as wonderful! I will be holding you guys close in prayer and believing great and miraculous things for Parker!
    *hugs* heather

  16. I'm not sure how you have the energy or spirit to write this, but I'm so grateful for this update. I am praying, praying, praying for your dear family. Know that many of our friends here in Winston-Salem are asking about Parker and praying as well. Hoping that the night went well...Rest, Abby. Take care of you.

  17. I found your blog through Kelly's Korner and I have a friend who's baby was born about a month ago with CDH. His was worse than they thought it would be and they were on ECMO for awhile and just had the repair surgery and he's doing really well. Their blog
    Also, a friend of a friend has a baby at Egleston that just came off of ECMO they have a blog too

  18. CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of baby Parker!!! He is beautiful!! Praying for strength for your CDH warrior and that ECMO allows his body to rest and gets him to his surger repair. We are here for you and cheering Parker on! One day at at time and focus on the positive!!

    Much love,
    Tracy, Ian's mom from CHERUBS

  19. Dear Abby,
    So glad that Parker has arrived and that you are in such capable and loving hands. I was going to comment more but got completely lost in the scripture you shared at the end. Those are the words I most often prayed over my Samuel when things were so dark and it is amazing how they take me back and into tears. I am praying for you, strong CDH mama, and your beautiful family.

    Mama to Samuel, lcdh survivor, Feb1/11

  20. Hi Abby, I found your blog via Jenn Denmon (friend) and live across from your aunt. Our daughter ruby was born with CDH almost 2 years ago. I have thought of you all often in recent months and I am so very happy to hear that Parker is here!!! I can relate to many of the mixed feelings I am guessing you are experiencing and I just wanted to say hello and tell you that we are on TEAM PARKER!!! may he get stronger each and every day. Ruby sends a hug too.
    Best, Adrianne McVeigh

  21. Popped in from Kelly's Koner. I will be keeping your family in prayer

  22. Abby,

    CONGRATULATIONS on the birth of your beautiful baby boy! You and your family have been in my prayers. I understand your fears, God taught me a valuable lesson 22 years ago and that is he does not give us anything more than what he knows we can handle. Twenty-two years later my 4.14oz. baby boy is 6'8", 275 lb. father of two. God does work miracles and does answer prayers, stay strong and I will be following Parker's progress! God Bless. Robin Davis

  23. Hi, I am friends with Kasey Murrey and heard your story. I am praying for your family and for Parker! You sound like such an amazing and strong woman!! Praying, praying, praying for your P-nut!

  24. Hi there,

    I stumbled across your blog by accident, and have been hoping things would turn out well. Congratulations on your new baby! I live less than one mile from the original Krispy Kreme (well, it's been renovated a few times since it opened in 1937) and I will make sure to eat a doughnut (or two) in your honor. Best wishes to your family.