Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Simon Peter update (our friends 14 week premature miracle baby)

Thanks so much for all your prayers here is the latest update from Ben and Anna
Dear Friends and Family,
For some of you this will not come as news but we realized too that in all the busyness of the last 2 weeks there are people who we have not been able to be in touch with yet. So here is a brief summary of what’s been going on in the last couple of weeks to bring everyone up to speed.
Simon Peter Story was born around 8:30 am, July 31, Vanutua time.  He was just over 25 weeks gestation and weighed 980 gms / 2lbs. He was born in the Santo hospital but they were ill equipped to handle such a premature baby.  We had an 11 hour wait with only a little oxygen, a couple of hot water bottles and blankets and a lot of prayer, while we negotiated with our insurance company to get him medivac to Australia.
We had a wonderful Australian midwife helping a PNG doctor to keep him breathing and our friends Bill and Christina and Anna's parents helping and supporting us the whole time. The medivac team arrived around 19:30 by this stage the midwife and doctor had been resuscitating him for about half an hour. The medivac team took a few hours to stabalise him and we left for Brisbane around midnight.
Simon is still in hospital here in Brisbane and as most premature babies are usually kept until their original due date, we expect him to be there until the beginning of November.  He is doing quite well at the moment and the doctors seem pleased with his progress.  He had a rough couple of days earlier this week. He wasn't keeping his food down (which is feed through a tube) so they stopped giving him Anna’s milk. His oxygen levels were also up and down and they decided to give him a blood transfusion because his hemoglobin levels had been low and weren't improving. Also he had an infection in his eyes which they started treating with a course of antibiotics. Over the weekend things have actually improved. Simon had responded well to the antibiotics and the blood transfusion and they have started feeding him milk again. The doctors said this is all quite normal and we could realistically expect a few similar episodes again along the way to overall improvement.
We visit Simon in the hospital every day.  He still has various tubes going in to him, to help with his breathing and feeding, and wires attached for monitoring so our interaction with him is fairly limited.
We can hold his hand and help the nurses with his ‘cares’ (changing his nappy/ diaper) and hold his feeding tube when they give him his milk, but much of the time we are limited to looking at and talking to him through the hole in the side wall of his incubator. We have been able to cuddle with him 3 times now but this is only possible a couple of times a week.
Anna's parents were able to follow us from Vanuatu to Australia (a slight detour in their holiday plans) but had to return home after the first week here. We are staying at the YWAM base in Brisbane which is about a 30 minute journey from the hospital. Anna and I are doing okay, but tired but I’m sure that's pretty normal for any new parents.
We have felt very well supported here and have had a number of friends come and visit us at the hospital too. I may have to go backwards and forwards to Vanuatu a couple of times in the next few months because our DTS is still in the middle of running. Juggling the different responsibilities of being here with Simon and Anna and making sure the students doing the DTS in Vanuatu still get a fair deal is quite a challenge. There are also practicalities of visas that need to be sorted in the next few weeks and then passport for Simon too.
Though it's hard sometimes we are really enjoying this new season however and we are also learning to trust God in a new and deeper way.
It seems a long journey ahead yet but we are confident in God and his promises and are putting our hope in him, trusting that he will be glorified, whatever the outcome of all this is. When we choose Simon's name, not knowing whether he would even make it through the first few hours, we had no idea that it meant "God hears us" but his life is already evidence of that truth and we are encouraged and awed as people around the world continue to call out to God for his life.
From this point on there probably won't be much news to report on a day to day basis as it’s mainly a case of Simon finishing off the growing that should have still been going on in the womb. For those of you that would like to be kept updated regularly though, let us know and we’ll try and make sure we drop you a line every few weeks or so.
We are also working on a more general update which we hope to get out soon too. Apologies that we probably won’t be able to respond personally to all emails during this time but we really do appreciate receiving them. For those of you who have facebook we will also try and upload a few photos from Simon’s adventure so far.
We really appreciative all your prayers and support. We feel very loved and blessed in the midst of this time!
Much love,
Ben and Anna

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