What began as a very exciting day, one we thought was the last before Zachary would come home, took a quick and sobering turn. After attending morning mass, we arrived at the NICU around 12:30, and found Erin, today's nurse, feeding Zach a bottle. Our upbeat mood was quickly changed when Erin informed us that Dr. Handler had moved the head ultrasound up to this morning, and after examining the results found that Zach's ventricles (portions of his brain) were swelling and the hydrocephalus had set in. This means Zach will have surgery again tomorrow @ 3:30pm to insert a shunt. The shunt will drain the excess fluid from his brain to his abdomen where it will be naturally absorbed back into his body. We knew this was a 90% certainty going into his birth, but things had been going so well, and we were just hoping and praying he would be OK and could come home tomorrow. They also informed us that an ultrasound was performed on Zachary's bladder and showed it still contained some urine, leading to the insertion of a direct catheter to relieve it. One of the most common side effects of spina bifida is an inability or difficulty in controlling the bladder and bowels. Zach had been urinating and defecating quite a bit all week, but it seems that he is not doing either completely, which can lead to infections. Sorry this is so graphic, but it's the only way I feel I can explain what we're dealing with.
We are unsure at this point when Zach will be able to come home, and our focus has turned to his surgery and healing tomorrow. None of the information we were given today comes as a surprise, but it still caught us at a very vulnerable time. Kimmie was able to breast feed Zach again this evening, and we finalized our plans for tomorrow, before heading home for the night. We ask for your continued prayers and support, and will update Zach's progress tomorrow as soon after surgery as we can. Thank You All again for your Love, and well wishes, and may God watch over and heal our baby boy once more. - Brian + Kimmie