We knew there would the rough days and we had really rough one on Friday. We learned more about Miller's IVH ( Intraventricular Hemmorhage). The radiologist interpreted the original scan as a Grade 4 IVH. Friday he had a second scan and it gave us a better idea of what going on in his little head. Miller has a Grade 4 IVH on one side and a Grade 2 or 3 on the other. An IVH is basically blood on the brain. The baby's veins and arteries ( especially in pre-terms ) are fragile and often produce leaks in the brain area. Spinal fluid can also intrude. Often, these little hemmorhages resolve themselves and the blood gets reabsorbed into the body. Other times, Hydrocephalus can occur and procedures are required to relieve the brain from fluid and pressure. We'll know on Tuesday (another scan) if we need to intervene in Miller's case.
What does all of this mean for our Miller?
Studies and statistics show that 50% of pre-terms at this stage resolve the bleeding themselves with no intervention. This doesn't mean they're out of the woods; it only means no procedures are necessary.
Of all of the Grade 4 one side and Grade 2 or 3 other side cases, 50% of them experience significant neurological damage, leading to cerebral palsy and other developmental problems.
Another 50% experience only mild developmental problems.
There's 10% out there somewhere that have absolutely no issues whatsoever, like the IVH never happened.
The good news:
1. Nurture vs. Nature. Doctors tell us that Miller's development will be directly tied to how committed his parents are. We know we can't create miracles ourselves, but we are committed to pushing the percentages. If, statistically, 50% of these cases end up being pretty much OK, we feel like we can push it to 55% or 60% by being proactive...reading, singing, Kangarooing...We'll wake up each morning aiming for that extra 5 to 10%.
2. Miller's clinical history is at the top of the scale. He's exceeding all expectations on breathing, eating, and regulating himself. His reflexes are great and he's very responsive with his hands and feet. Most of the pre-terms that develop severe problems are very sick in other areas, as well. Miller's fine everywhere else. That could change, of course, but for now he looks great. This bodes well for him.
3. Doctors are scared. We live in a very litigious world and we've noticed what appears to be a "CYA" attitude at times.
We had a busdriver in the minor leagues that we called "Road Kill". He got that name because he never stopped the bus. It might of been a 12 hour trip, but Road Kill would put the hammer down from start to finish. He'd tell us what time he'd get us there, and he always came in ahead of schedule. As a result, we all loved it when Road Kill showed up to drive the bus. We had another bus driver..."Road Stash". Stash had a big mustache and stopped every now and then to get a drink or take a leak. He consistently got us to our destination around when he said he would. Most often, a little late. We hated to see Road Stash show up and we heckled him mercilessly when he ran behind.
But, if you paid attention, you figured out that the same trips always took about the same amount of time. Road Kill just told everybody it would take longer and he looked like a champ when he got us there "early".
No matter what happens, little Miller will be fine. He may have minor challenges, or he may have major challenges, but we're committed to him with our entire being.
Thanks for all of your love and support. And please, keep the prayers coming.
Danny and Stephanie