Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday 6/4 Update

Well, we had a rough week. Braden was out of sorts for a few days, of course starting the day after our pediatrician visit, so we headed back on Friday. The pediatrician put Braden on some Zantac for his reflux, which has seemed to help the intensity of the pain he was experiencing. Then it was off the neurologist for our 6 week visit, and she sent us down for another MRI. We got the news that no parent ever anticipates getting... that your child has brain damage. All the doctors are convinced that he suffered "cortical atrophy" the last week of pregnancy. They said it was nothing I could have done, but that we dodged a bullet, in that in lots of cases where this happens, the baby does not survive at all, and is stillborn. Somehow Braden fought his way out of it to ultimately survive, but we don't know yet at what cost. We are certain he will be slow to develop, but are not sure yet what areas have been affected... his brain was fully formed normal, but is not growing like it needs to be. My own hunch is that we will have some motor skills that will come slower, but only time may tell about speech and cognative functions as well. Our own neurologist suggested we get a second opinion, and we plan on doing that sometime after the 3 or 6 month mark, when we know better what milestones we are missing. At this stage, we feel like it is still too early to spend the time/money/emotions/energy on that just yet, as the probability of a diagnosis at this point is still very small.
We have made progresses in some areas like sucking and muscles, but still lack some muscle tone in a few areas and can't lift our head. We are hoping the Occupational Therapist can give us exercises to work on those things, and the neurologist may send us for yet another more specific metabolic panel to rule out disorders. We go back to her in 6 weeks.
Keep us in your prayers, we continue to enjoy every new day with our precious baby boy, and pray to find the understanding in the lessons God has in store for all of us. Some of our favorite time together is post-bath time, when he is very lucid and sweet and SOOOO relaxed, so I have shared a post-bath photo with you. You can see the scars from his surgery and his feeding "button" too. Hope you enjoy,
Mommy, Daddy B, and Baby Bee


shalamarie said...

I am so happy that you are here Braden. Your mommy and daddy love and need you very much. Dont worry, I am getting that swing to you today and I really hope that it helps. Paxton even kissed the seat cause, "Braden will need a kiss."

Love you guys- Shala & Paxton

Aunt Jeannie said...

Braden, Kodi and Brad,

Much love and prayers have been winging their way to you from the Merrill clan. As you go through this journey you will have many highs and many lows. Just remember that even though you may not know what it is....God does have a plan. It may be years before you realize what it is, but you will one day find out.

Love your little guy, as I know you are, with everything that you have. He is a precious little soul.

We all hope to see you soon so that we can really give hugs and kisses.

Much love, prayers, hugs and cuddles,
Aunt Jeannie, Uncle Dave and the gang

Anonymous said...

Your Aunt Jeannie is right..God does have a plan. As you watch him grow, do is amazing, and you will wonder how you could be blessed in such a beautiful way!


Tonya said...

Brad,Kodi and Braden -

We love getting the pictures of Braden (and of you two also!), but wish we were closer to squeeze and love on him!!! Life is such a beautiful journey with many different seasons...some of the seasons are more difficult than others to weather, but how blessed we are to have and know our Heavenly Father who has created those seasons and who will see us through all of them. You guys are doing an awesome job...and there are many, many, many of us making this journey with you --- we love you! Tonya (thanks for the updates!)

Arudolph said...


My prayers and thoughts are with you constantly. God had a plan because he knew that you were the perfect person who is strong enough to give unconditional love to someone in Braden's condition. He trusted you with a precious gift.

Be strong!

nana W said...

nana and grandpa can hardly wait to see our boy and his parents in a few weeks. Whatever you need when we are there just let us know. I owe mommy a painted closet I know. Your friends up north ask how you all are doing and lift up prayers for the doctors to have the wisdom to give us answers. God knows the answers we have to be patient and wait some more. no matter, we have a precious boy to love and he has awesome parents to take care of him. kisses from nana
high fives from your uncle Brent and Scott and hugs from Grandpa.

Ashley said...

Kodi and Brad,
Braden is so cute and handsome of course. I can't wait to see him in person. I hope all is well. We are praying for all of you.

Ashley and Brady