October 2, 2008

Baby Update

Announcing Cameron Timothy Mathews
Born: September 30, 2008
2:04pm
5 lbs, 11oz
15 1/2 inches

As many of you know, I contracted Parvovirus 19 (Fifth Disease) when I was between 14 and 18 weeks pregnant and, in turn, passed the virus onto my unborn baby. Usually the virus' effects on fetuses are very mild; unfortunately, in our case, the virus attacked the baby's bone marrow, thus making him anemic. How anemic, however, no one really could tell while he was still inside.

Shortly after Cameron was delivered on Tuesday, it became apparent that his anemia was far more severe than anyone thought. Tests revealed that his hemoglobin and platelet counts were extremely low. In addition, he had a significantly enlarged liver and heart. His enlarged organs, in turn, pressed on his lungs, making it nearly impossible for him to breathe.

The first 24 hours were pure hell (I feel bad even saying this, knowing that there are a lot of moms of triplets and quads reading this who have had 3+ months of NICU hell with their babies). In addition to receiving two blood tranfusions and a platelet transfusion, Cameron was put on a ventilator and given a paralyzing drug. Doctors also did numerous things to reduce the amount of extra fluid in his abdominal cavity and decrease the strain on his lungs and heart.

In the past 24 hours, Cameron's condition has significantly improved. The chief neonatologist told me this morning that Cameron is very lucky to be alive. The transfusions were successful and his bone marrow is starting to reproduce new blood cells, albeit at a very slow rate. Tim and I feel blessed on so many levels and for so many things. Sometime later, I'll write about it all. All I can say now is the obvious: God answers prayers.

At the moment, Cameron is in the NICU and will stay there for at least a few more weeks. Although he isn't out of the woods yet, we're hopeful that he'll make a full recovery.

Thank you so much for your continuted thoughts and prayers. Your support means a lot to our family.

42 comments

WackyMummy said...

I had no idea that your baby's condition was so severe. I truly hope he'll make a complete recovery. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. By the way, Cameron is a solid choice... not much hope of misspellings, but we can't have everything. :) I wish you all the very best!

Kathryn said...

Congrats, he is in my prayers! Hope you don't mix up Camber and Cameron too much!

Stoker Family said...

oh my goodness. I wish I could be there to help you out. You sweet little baby. I love the name. I will try and call you in a couple of days when you get home.

Karen said...

Good thoughts and prayers coming your way!
Cameron is a great pick for a name. Good and strong, just as I am sure he will prove to be.

Vanessa said...

You are in my prayers. I know that sounds so simple, but I pray it is enough.

Michal said...

you are in my prayers. i'm glad that he is improving. it is so scary to have a baby in the nicu . . . i can hear the peace in your voice that comes from faith.

Rachel H. said...

Sending lots of thoughts your way! Hoping everything works out just right...

gigi said...

God does hear and answer prayers. There are still miracles every day and may he bless Cameron and your family with all that you need in this time of crisis.

Jaime Wilkins said...

Congrats on the birth and making it this far. I will keep Cameron and your family in my prayers!

emily said...

wishing you a small measure of peace as you go through the next steps of all of this. Kisses to the new little guy!

Mary said...

Congratulations on the arrival of your new son! Best wishes for his health. Glad he is in good hands medically and his loving parents will sure see him through!

Dolly said...

Congrats on your new son-we're praying for his fast recovery and healing! What a great name you've chosen. My eldest son's name is Cameron...and he's on a mission in Switzerland. His birthday is Sept 12, 2008. He just turned 20!! :)

Ninny said...

More prayers from me for his quick healing. I also pray that you and your family will be strengthened through all of this!

Skubaliscious said...

You'll be in our prayers.

Kristen said...

We love you, Jana! We're praying for you and your family.

Marissa said...

How scary! I can't even imagine. Your little Cameron will be in my prayers.

Andrae said...

I am sorry for what you have had to go through. What ever ones "hell" is, it is "hell". We can't compare those. They are all relative. You, your little one and your family will be in our prayers. What a blessing that he has improved though, if even a little.

Mrs. Morty said...

Oh Jana! If I even really knew you and actually lived anywhere near you I would so bring you a hug and a dinner complete with cookies or chocolate cake. I will say prayers for your little Cameron (a very sensible choice although I'm sad you didn't choose Krachenbeul) Hang in there I know having a little one in the hospital is enough to make you crazy. May Heavenly Father bless you with peace and comfort and anything else you may need :)

scrap chair potato said...

You, your sweet baby Cameron, and the rest of your family will be in my prayers.

Mindy said...

Yikes, Jana! You've all had a rough beginning...and great blessings at the same time. We will keep you all in our prayers...love the baby's name...!

Lisa said...

I have been thinking about you so much the last few days. Thank you for the update. Cameron and your family will continue to be in our family prayers.

brossettelewis said...

Jana, I am so sorry. Multiples or not, weeks or months of NICU or not I have felt no pain comparable to knowing my babies fate was out of my hands and having to wait. I'm sorry for those first hours and what 5ths has done. I hope he continues to become stronger and recovers fully.

Welcome to the NICU moms club.
-try not to kiss the isolette, much.
- impress people w/ your medical jargon.
-whimpy white boy is a term of endearment (Cletus the fetus is not....ohhh although Cletus has the hard C/K it's bad) , it (WWB) means they like your little man.
-don't hurt you knee trying to turn on the water at home after visiting him.
-celebrate the day you can feed and change him through the isolette hand holes...and he remains essentially asleep.
-let your ward help you, it's going to get exhausting.

and now aren't you so happy you aren't room mom? You're in my prayers. I hope he graduates early.

Vicki Ramirez said...

Jana, NICU is a life altering experience. We went through a 10 week adventure with our 28 weeker and no matter if it's one day or three months, your life changes.

Here is what we learned and I hope it will help you out with your experience.

1-Listen to your nurses; they want to help and are a wealth of information.

2-Take advantange of every time of cluster care you can be there and enjoy each time you are able to help care for him or even hold him with your hands.

3- Get a NICU journal or make your own. We look back on ours and it there is so much information, thoughts, feelings, milestones, etc and it helps to look back later and have a record to reflect on.

We are praying for you and your sweet family. Hang in there!

PS Love the name too!

The Beadles said...

Cameron is a beutiful name!! Congrats on a little beautiful boy. My sympathies with you right now. Babies in NICU make me cry. You are tough. Good luck, we'll keep Cameron and your family in our prayers.

Kathryn said...

Goodness, I had no idea that all this was going on, but I am happy and thankful for you and your family that Cameron will pull through just fine! I'll be keeping all my toes and fingers crossed for you and am already sending you tons of good thoughts for a speedy recovery and that he will be home with all of you soon! Can't wait to see pics of the cutie pie!

Kathryn in Berlin (I see that there's another Kathryn here!)

Carrie said...

I will continue to pray for you guys and for little Cameron. Take care!

Michelle said...

Oh yay! Cameron was a suggestion of mine! Love it.

I'm so glad to hear that things are looking better for him. What a scary situation to be in!

Stay strong, little fella!

Triplethefunplus2 said...

WOW, I'm so glad that he's on the upswing! I pray that it continues for your little man. I had no idea fifth's disease could do that!

Continued thoughts and prayers for your newest addition and your family!

ARiley said...

My thoughts and prayers are with your family! Glad to hear he's improving!

Who is the Mediocre Mama? said...

Oh my gosh, Jana -- you are one strong, amazing mom. Thank you for sharing your experience. Cameron and your whole family are in my thoughts and prayers.

dkm said...

Our prayers will be with you, for your entire family.

Liz said...

Thinking of you and your family, haven't checked your blog since Tuesday.. Congrats on your newest little bundle, Cameron is a great name! Can't wait to see the little precious one!
Lots of love and prayers! :)

Me said...

Congratulations on the new arrival. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

kat said...

hey jana -

it's a shame i can't come out there and add to your stress level again like with the boys. ;) thinking and praying for you all.

Jodi said...

You and your sweet baby are in my prayers. I cannot tell you the joy and laughter you have brought to my life the during the past few months with your blog posts. You are an amazing writer and I appreciate you letting us into your life through your posts. It has been just what I needed during some difficult times the past few months. Please keep us updated on the baby's condition - we're all hoping and praying for the best!

Elisa said...

I had no idea! I am sorry his condition was severe, and I am relieved that he is doing much better. My thoughts are with you and baby Cameron - great name, BTW! And congrats on his arrival! I hope you'll get to celebrate his arrival at home soon.

Angelia said...

Oh just reading that was terrifying. I'll be sending nothing but positive thoughts you were way for Cameron. I hope he's home and healthy in no time. Try to remember to take care of yourself during all this, too.

Mary and Steve said...

I'm new to your blog but I also have a new baby. I feel for you and I will keep you and baby Cameron in my prayers.

Shaunte Wadley said...

WOW!
I am so sorry!
I will keep you in my prayers. And hope everything does very smoothly.
Plus "Hi" from a lurker...;)

Hope said...

I am so sorry you are going through this. My younger son was born w/o a diapram, so he was in the NICU for 8 weeks-at the hospital for almost 3 months. There is nothing more stressful than having a sick baby! Here are a few things I learned on my journey.

1. Let people help you. They don't call it a "Ward Family" for nothing.
2. Yes, God does answer prayers.
3. Keep a journal of all of this.
4. Learn medical jargon. I learned so much that the docs thought I was a medical person. They were so wrong.

If I didn't live on the West Coast, I would be there to help you. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your baby, and family.

Helen said...

Oh Jana, I'll be praying for Cameron (love the name BTW!). So glad he's good hands in the NICU and hopefully he'll be home with you all soon.

Ethington Family said...

I'm thankful he's doing better. you all will continue to be in my prayers!