Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Elijah has been transfered from Intensive Care to Infant Care since he has been so stable. Today he had a CT scan on his head because the doctor was worried about the possibility of his skull bones fusing together too early, but the scan results came back normal. Tomorrow he gets an xray on his chest to check his heart growth inside his chest. He also gets a blood test to test (again) for jaundice since he still looks a bit yellowish. He is also getting an ultrasound on his lower back because he has a little dimple on his lower back that they want to check out. So many things for such a tiny little guy to go through. :(

The good news is....we may get to go home by Friday or Saturday! We discussed the option of leaving his feeding tube in his nose and feeding him through that while at home. We really need to concentrate on fattening him up and if that's how we'll get it done, then we are willing to do that. He gets soooo tired about halfway through each feeding, so we need the feeding tube as assurance that he will get every calorie that he needs. His prematurity and his heart condition are both major factors in his decreased strength right now. Hopefully with time he will get stronger and can feed without a tube in his nose.

Elijah has his own little private room in Infant Care, so they rolled in a chair sleeper for Dan and I to sleep on during the night. The good thing is that we can be right there with him all night and all day, but the bad thing is that the chair sleeper is quite small so we have to stuff ourselves sideways like sardines to both fit. Should be an interesting night!

Off to another feeding attempt...... We will post some new pics tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

1 week old!

Hello, Mama here finally. I'm finally not wheelchair-ridden and can hobble through the hospital hallways a bit. Elijah is 1 week old today! It feels like we've been here for at least a much has happened in the past week. We've been sleeping here at the hospital every night. Fortunately, now that I'm trying to feed him through the night, they are giving us a parents' sleep room to crash in. We tried leaving one night last weekend when they didn't have a room available (just went to the hotel next door) and I didn't like being so far away from our little guy. That was a pretty hard night for me. We will stay here for as long as they'll let us.

We are basically just waiting for him to start feeding well on his own. Other than that, he is doing amazing and we are so proud of him. I think he can feel all the love that people send to him because he just keeps showing the doctors how strong a baby he is. He is such a good-tempered guy....he doesn't cry much and he likes to sleep a lot and it seems like he's going to be very easy going.

We want to thank everyone for the calls and meals and support. I'm so sorry if I don't personally thank all of you or get back to all of your phone calls. Our days (and nights) really are very busy now that we are feeding him every 3 hours. I know every mom thinks their baby is the cutest, but really....I think our baby really is the cutest! I'm so in love with him.

We have a few minutes to relax, so we're going to go take advantage of that right now. Bless you all!

Megan, Dan and Elijah

p.s. We heard a rumor today from one of the nurses that his chromosome check came back normal. Don't want to get our hopes up too much until we hear it from the doctor, but YAYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Regardless of whether or not it's "normal," he is absolutely PERFECT to us and we love him so dang much.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


The last couple days have been good for Elijah and Ma and Pa. We've received some good news and seen some tubes taken out (we can hold him much easier and more frequently now!). Elijah had a test done on his kidney and everything looks good, the Dr. said that since he's starting with just one kidney his body will adjust and it will do the work of two. If you or I were to lose one it would be a problem, but since he's just starting out he'll be just fine. Elijah has also started to pee and poop a good amount (so no more catheter) and he's slowly being weened onto Momma's milk (as of Friday night).
As of now we are just trying to keep raising his amount of Ma's milk and ween him off of the supplemental IV's. That way he'll have no more things sticking into his little body. The immediate goal is get him to latch on to Mommy (which is challenging for any baby but a little extra for a premature baby).

The little guy is just a trooper, so tough and strong already. During his tests and frequent "stabbings" he just toughs it out. Such an amazing little man! We are as proud as parents can be of our boy.

We're tired but feeling good and hopeful about taking him home within the next week and a half, maybe sooner.

Thanks again for all the support and prayers, we've heard from so many people who are standing with us and it's been very comforting.

ps. When I say we're tired I mean the kind of tired where you're walking down the hall and see a sign that says "Women's Rest Room" and for a few seconds you get really excited because you think it's a room where your wife and maybe you can rest. Yep, I did that.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Here's a couple more pictures with Eli and Momma. He's off his respirator now and breathing fine on his own. There's a lot going on with his body, our next goal is to get him eating and then eating from Ma.
Thanks again for all your support, we'll try to get a more detailed update on this site in the next few days.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Oh and for those of you who have asked, we are at Abbott Northwestern in Minneapolis until Saturday.

Our Boy

Elijah Daniel Porta

Our boy Elijah was born February 20, at 9:55 am. He weighed 4 lb, 14 oz, and was 18 inches long. Megan did a great job pushing but he just didn't want to come (the umbilical was a little too short) so they had to do a quick C-section (I got booted cause the epideral wasn't working and they had to put her under).

Mom is recovering, it's a painful recovery but she's an amazing woman and is doing well all things considered.

Elijah had some tests run and we got some more specific information about his condition. The full name of his heart defect is Tetralogy of Fallot/Pulmonary Atresia/Mapcas (you can look that up if you want the full details). It's a more rare type of Tetralogy but the good news is that we will be able to bring him home before surgery and have him gain some good weight. He'll have check-ups every two weeks and if they go well he'll have another Angiogram (a procedure that goes into the heart to look at it) at the 4-month mark to see how his heart and arteries have grown. After that test we'll know when surgery will be needed and have an idea as to how many operations will be needed. If things go as good as they possibly can (a slim chance but at least a chance) he might be able to have just one surgery. Most likely though he will still require several surgeries before everything gets repaired. Obviously more surgeries mean more risks so we are hoping for as few as possible.

Thank you all for you prayer and support. Megan should be discharged this Saturday and Elijah will be able to come anywhere between a week and 3 weeks.

Please continue to pray for Momma (for a quick recovery) and the little guy. Elijah could use prayer for the pulmonary arteries to grow, for his kidney to start functioning properely (his right one didn't develop and as yet his left hasn't been working well and allowing him to urinate enough), for good reactions to medications/treatments, and just overall health and happiness.

He's a wonderful, beautiful person...just like his Ma!

ps. We've taken several pictures and will try to have them posted soon.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Baby Now!

Megan started having strong contractions 2:30 this morning, her water broke in the car and she is currently dilated to 5cm.
She's doing amazing, I'm so proud of her!

Right now she's hooked up to some nice medication and will hopefully be able to get some rest before the baby comes, he seems to want out fast though.

Please pray for Mama and baby.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Megan is 36 weeks as of yesterday. Today we had our Monday check-up and heard some more information that wasn't quite what we were hoping for. Two items of concern were seen during the ultrasound, the first being that the right kidney wasn't found by the technician. On two previous tests the kidney was seen so the Dr told us that it could be hidden/pushed down by the liver (which is what we're hoping for), or the other option is that it has shrunk and/or failed to develop properly. The human body can function just fine with one kidney but we'd obviously prefer that that isn't the case for Jr since this could be another indication of a genetic disorder, in addition to his small size (and despite our two rounds of genetic testing).
The second issue is blood flow in the umbilical cord. The test today showed that there's too much blood pressure in the umbilical cord. Normally when this happens the baby is delivered early but in our case the Dr wants to leave Baby Porta in so he can get as big as possible and be ready for surgery once he comes out. They'll watch the blood flow/pressure carefully to make sure it doesn't change much more (in which case it'll be safer to take him out right away).
Right now they are hoping for Megan to make it to 39 weeks (March 11th) and induce labor then if it hasn't already happened. They'll induce labor because his lungs will be fully developed then and they'll be able to pick the time more accurately and have the proper staff on hand (ie. cardiologist, surgeons, etc).
We are feeling tired and overwhelmed, this has been quite the journey for us. All of the issues we've encountered to date will literally cause the little baby to struggle for his life once he's born, so please pray for the little guy and these latest concerns and pray for Mama Megan and grace and peace.
Thank you all so much for you support during this time, we'll keep you updated as we near the big day.

ps. Megan is the most beautiful pregnant woman Ever!

Thursday, February 8, 2007


Our baby is already taking after his dad. As you can see, Dan acquired some "winter growth" this year, and now it looks like Baby Porta has some winter growth as well. You can't see it very well, but the white fuzzy stuff is the baby's hair. He needs a brush!

We met with the baby's cardiologist yesterday and he took another look at the heart via ultrasound. He stuck with the same diagnosis as before--Tetralogy of Fallot with Pulmonary Atresia. When the first surgery will take place depends a lot on how big and healthy he is when he's born.

I got hooked up to the monitors again at yesterday's visit and witnessed another scary dip in the heart rate. This time it dipped way down to 60 beats per minute. It seems to be dipping lower and lower every time it happens. Needless to say, it scared the crap out of me and I wasn't very patient with the nurse and doctor when they didn't seem worried at all. I guess they have the medical degrees so I should trust what they say, but instinct tells me there's just something not quite right. As long as he continues to do well on all of his other tests (which he does), and continues to move around in my belly (which he does), then things are supposedly stable. I asked for a third visit from a nurse this week for peace of mind, so luckily the dr granted me that. On Monday we get another growth check, so we'll have a good idea how well he has developed in the past 3 weeks. I'm praying so hard for a 5-lb baby on Monday's check. If he's much less than that, it's possible that we will be delivering, within the next week or so.

What a foxy babe....

Monday, February 5, 2007

34 weeks!

We have made it to 34 weeks and that is a huge milestone...yeehhhaaaaawww! We have also had a few more visits to the hospital in the past week. During one of our biophysicals last week, the baby's heart rate dropped pretty low and the baseline heartrate was quite a bit lower than it usually is, so the nurse had me go in for further monitoring. The doctors seemed somewhat comfortable with everything, so sent us home. Three days later, I went almost an entire afternoon/evening feeling hardly any movements so I called the hospital and once again they had me come in to get hooked up to the monitors. Same story and now we're back home.

I've been hooked up to many many many monitors over the past few months, and Baby's heart rate has never dropped below 130 beats per minute, so my gut tells me that falling down to 120 and even at one point 90, isn't normal. This is probably another indication that the bloodflow isn't ideal for the baby. I have a feeling that the end (birth) is very near. We have another growth check next week, so I'm guessing we'll get a much better idea on the timeline at that visit. We've been praying for him to be 5 lbs at his 35-week check. We also have our second appointment with the cardiologist this week, so hopefully we'll find out the details about the heart defect and the upcoming surgeries.

We have gotten so much support from our friends and families over the past 5 weeks. It's overwhelming the amount of praying that has been done for our little one....makes me teary thinking about it. We've also had so many meals brought to us and that has been such a huge help during this bed-ridden time. Thank you to all of you who have helped to make this time easier for us. We love you!