Friday, July 31, 2009

Resting on ECMO

Baby Jackson is stable and resting on ECMO. For those of you who don't know about ECMO, it is basically a heart/lung bypass machine that will give Jackson's lungs a rest and time to develop more. ECMO is used when the ventilator settings would have to go outside the "gentle" ventilation strategy settings to keep O2 and CO2 measurements in check. To avoid compounding the already critical situation by damaging his lungs with more aggressive ventilator settings, they bypass them with ECMO and perform the O2 and CO2 gas exchange in the blood in a machine and then return it to his body.

Stef did get to visit Candice today and she is still in a lot of pain. She may be discharged as early as tomorrow. We did hear that they determined the liver is down below the diaphragm which is good news and should make for an easier surgery. The surgery isn't on the immediate horizon as they give Jackson some time to rest.

Please continue to pray for this little CDH warrior who is fighting so hard to get through this difficult battle.

We will update as we get more information.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Current status

The medical team worked for a few hours last night trying to stabilize Baby Jackson on a ventilator, but determined that wasn't going to be possible. Around midnight, he was transferred over to Children's hospital and was placed on ECMO to give his heart and lungs some time to rest and develop.

Candice is doing ok, but she is still in a lot of pain. We weren't able to see her or Baby Jackson today, but hopefully will tomorrow. Candice was able to see Jackson last night before he was transported to Children's.

I am really at a loss for words right now when I think about everything this wonderful family has been through just over the past couple of days. I will continue to update you all each time I get a status update and ask that you continue to pray for this little fighter.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Jackson has arrived!

Jackson was born tonight sometime around 7:30. I don't have a lot of details, but will continue to update as info comes in and definitely will have more tomorrow when we are up at the hospital. Jackson appears to be in pretty severe respiratory distress right now and the doctors have indicated they are struggling to stabilize him. They are going to continue trying to stabilize Jackson for a while and then assess if ECMO is the right path to take.
We just received the first picture of Baby Jackson:

The family is struggling to take it all in right now and are terrified. We anticipated Jackson might be critical early on and it looks like that is the case. Please pray for this family who is searching for answers and trying to make sense of the current situation and strategy and please pray for Jackson to fight like mad to stabilize.

I will update as I get more information tonight or in the morning.


Baby Jackson's not here yet..

But it should be soon! Sorry for the delayed post today. Stef and I have been up at the hospital and we were able to go back and visit with Candice and Rob. Both of them are doing good and holding up very well given the eventful night they had. Candice was put back on Pitocin this morning at 7:00 and she is making some progress with labor so it should be any hour now.

The Parkland team is all ready for Jackson's arrival. They have the isolation room all prepped and ready to go. This is the same room Kamryn was in after she was born. Children's hospital is also prepared with ECMO if needed so everything is in place and on standby right now.

My next post today should be to announce the arrival of Jackson and it will be posted the minute we get word!

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Things are a little crazy right now..

Hey everyone,
Well, if the CDH situation wasn't enough to worry about, Rob and Candice have another event happening that is pretty odd. I am not sure if I have a complete understanding of the whole situation because I just can't believe it, but here goes.

Like I posted earlier, the medical team at their hospital figured out they didn't have an ECMO machine available until after they started inducing Candice. They were told that a baby would soon be coming off ECMO so it was no problem and they would just let the labor continue on its own. It appears that plan B is now in progress.

There isn't an ECMO machine available after all so they are getting ready to Careflight Candice to Parkland hospital in Dallas which is where Kamryn is. Children's hospital is connected to Parkland so if Jackson does need ECMO it is just down the hall where Kamryn had her surgery. We texted Candice back to see when she was going and haven't heard back so she may be in the air now.

I promise to let all of you know the second we hear something more. We will be up at the hospital with Kamryn tomorrow so we can definitely give a first hand account of how things are going.

More to come...


Quick update

Stef talked to Candice just a little bit ago and Jackson hasn't arrived yet. They did start the Pitocin this morning and labor has been going well. Candice is doing fine and has her epidural in. There was a small change in plans with inducing her because they just found out that there are too many babies on ECMO right now so they stopped the Pitocin and will let things take there course from here. There is a baby coming off ECMO in the next hour and they just want to be safe and have that option if Baby Jackson requires it.

That's what we know right now and will update everyone the second we hear anymore news.


Monday, July 27, 2009

The BIG day has arrived!

Hey everyone, it's Shawn (Kamryn Hope's dad) posting for Rob and Candice. They want everyone to know that tomorrow (Tuesday) is the big day for Baby Jackson's arrival. Candice will be induced at 7:00am and sometime tomorrow they will truly begin their CDH journey. Stef has been talking with Candice and she is doing well. She and Rob are excited, but very nervous and anxious about tomorrow. I will post all the info the minute we get word and have information to share.

I remember the excitement, anxiety, and uncertainty both of them are feeling right now and how we were comforted by hearing from all of you. I hope you will join Stef and I in praying for Jackson, Candice, and Rob and sharing your support and encouragement through comments (they are able to view the blog with their cell phone).



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

7/14/09 waiting


I've been here for a week now, and still waiting. I'm in Irving with Robs aunt and uncle. We are so thankful that they've opened their home up for us. They tell me all the time that it's no problem at all and they don't mind a bit. They are just worried about this baby, as everyone else is. I still feel bad that we've interrupted their lives. That's just how i am though. I can't wait to be in the hospital, and then the Ronald McDonald house, so i feel like I'm taking care of myself.

Right now I'm still having contractions and am really not able to do much, which sucks! I sit all day everyday, because that's the doctors instructions. I just don't know how much of doing nothing and having nobody i can do. It's getting really hard. Ya who would ever think that doing nothing would be so hard.?

I'm missing my little boy Ty so bad! It is very hard having other people taking care of him while I'm out of town. I've always been there with him. The good thing is that at least he still gets to stay at home. Rob takes him to my dads before he goes to work every morning, and picks him up after work everyday. Ty is fine, but i know he must feel abandon by me. I mean he's only 3, he doesn't understand the situation. He is so excited about his baby brother though. I didn't think he would be so excited about the baby, but he has been the whole time. He knows the baby is going to be sick and I've actually showed him some pictures of babies that are all hooked up to the vents and everything. I did this so he wouldn't be so shocked when he gets to see him. Now when he sees a picture of a cdh baby on one of my blogs that i read, he just says "awwwww that baby is so precious". Now on to Rob. I miss him sooooo bad! I know it's going to be hard once i have the baby and he has to go back to work. He is so great to me and Ty and i love him so much for that. I get to see him on Sundays, but then he has to leave that night to get home for work the next day. So all and all we're all doing good, just all on edge. Thanks again for the prayers and help everyone is giving us.

Love Candice

Sunday, July 12, 2009



I have been told by many of people that they either can't get on my blog or they can't leave comments. I have tried to fix this for a while now and i can't seem to find the problem. Today i changed my email to see if that would work, because the email address I've been using doesn't get email. So that might have been the problem.

Please please let me know if you can get on or post comments. So for those of you that haven't been able to get on please leave me a comment and let me know that you can now.......that is if you can! lol

Thank you all for letting me know and for praying for my little baby boy. He really needs it now. I really hope this worked!

Lots of Love Candice

Thursday, July 9, 2009

My baby boy


Now I can update on my doctors appointment today. The doctor told me that everything in the abdomen was up in the chest now. This is a horrible thing that i just thought wasn't going to happen. His liver is also up in the chest. Most of the babies with their liver don't survive according to the doctor. Sometimes part of the liver is just up, but his whole liver is up. After seeing everything that he saw he decided to do the LHR. LHR is a lung to head ratio that the doctors like to do on these babies to kind of give them an idea where we stand with the baby. They measure the lungs and head and compare and some how come up with a ratio. He said baby Jacksons was a 0.2. I have never heard of one being that low. This is not a good thing. He could hardly see any lungs at all when he did the sonogram. I just broke down and started crying when he told me his LHR was 0.2. I have done enough research to know that that was horrible. He just padded my leg and gave me a very sweet look, but never said it's going to be ok. After I got myself together I asked him what baby Jacksons chances were.......He just told me over and over that it didn't look good. I asked him if it was still a 50% chance of survival, because he did have a higher chance then even 50. He said it was much much lower. Oh that just broke my heart. I know i read all these blogs and there are some where the baby's diagnoses is bad like ours and their outcome turns out great. Thats very very rare though, and i know i can't just ignore what the doctor has told me, but i will not let it be a death sentence. Please keep Jackson in your prayers.

I'm in Ft. Worth until the baby gets here. Really i'm in Irving with Janet and Jackie. We really appreciate them and don't know what we would do without there help. I went to the doctor today thinking he was just going to send me home. That was not the case at all. I was contracting the whole time i was at the doctor, which these days is very normal for me. They didn't like it though. So they checked me and wow I was over 50% thinned and dilated to a 2. He wasn't so much worried about me being dilated because i've been dilated for a month, but not thinned. My doctor said most women are in labor by this point. So i have to stay close by. We also have some really bad news on the baby that later tonight I will update everyone on. I was very shocked and upset by all of it. I still believe that Jackson is going to make it. God will heal him and I really believe that. Sorry not enough time to write more, will be back on here in a few hours........please pray for baby jackson and us.

Love Candice

Monday, July 6, 2009


Hey all,

I'm sitting here watching Sponge Bob with my kid and just thought i would post a little something. I AM SO READY TO HAVE THIS BABY, AND GET THIS JOURNEY ON THE ROAD! I just got through reading Jamie's blog and they are soon on their way home. Congrats guy's! Anyways I just get sick thinking about staying in Ft. Worth with no family. I hate being alone for only one night, just to think it's going to be lots and lots of nights gets me down. I know i have to get over this and just worry about my new little boy. He's going to be fighting hard so that we don't have to stay in the hospital that long. I'm tired of being pregnant and I'm sure Robs tired of me being pregnant to. Well we go to the doctor Thursday to get checked. I really don't want to go, because my doctor is out of town on vacation. So I'll be meeting a new doctor, I think it's pointless for me to go but they want me there once a week! Well maybe I'll have a baby by the 16th????! We'll see.


Thursday, July 2, 2009


We went to the doctor yesterday to find out that all these contractions I've been having are not thinning me at all. I have been dilated for 3 weeks now with consistent contractions everyday and no thinning out. This is a good thing, seeing that I didn't want to have this baby early, but now the baby could come at anytime and would be fine. So I wish these contractions would start thinning my cervix. The doctor doesn't believe that I'll go into labor this week, but possibly the next if the contractions keep on, but then again they aren't thinning me! He's not going to make me move up there before i have the baby, i just have to go visit him once a week. In 2 weeks if i haven't thinned at all he's going to give me a pill that thins your cervix out, and then the next day will start the induction. This pill, and of course being induced does make labor harder, or lets just say more painful, so I'm praying that i don't have to take that stupid pill. All and all I'm doing pretty well. I just really want to have this baby because at this point I'm pretty helpless. I'm suppose to stay out of the heat and rest, rest, rest. This is because i pass out for some reason and anytime i do anything or am outside i start having contractions. Wow i don't ever want to be pregnant again! Gaw! I do thank God for this precious baby boy he has giving me and wouldn't trade it for the world. So I guess i just need to stop complaining and deal with it!

After my appointment rob and I drove to Parkland and got to visit Stephanie and Shawn Studdard. I met them through our CDH blogs. I mentioned them in my last post. Kamyren their baby girl with CDH is 2 weeks old now, and i thought she looked so good! I loved talking to stephanie and rob enjoyed Shawns company as well. I was able to go back in the NICU and see Kamyren. I got to touch her and talk to her, it was just an experience that I'm glad that i got to have before Jackson gets here. It was hard to see their little baby girl helpless like that because i just wanted them to be able to pick her up and love on her. I know we will be going through this same thing and it's going to be so hard. Just being there was a little heartbreaking knowing what we were about to face. I believe that little miss Kamyren is going to be ok, and I'm praying our little boy will be fine too.

I'm still having problems with people being able to leave me comments, so i took a few things off the blog to see if that would fix it. I think it did, so leave comments....this way I will know if it worked or not.

Keep the prayers coming....... Candice Brooke