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Operation ZoZo Update – Day 3


I’m running on about 4 total hours of sleep in the past 2 days, so bear with me. I wanted to give everyone an overall update on where things are with the Lovell family. This is not sugar coated, at all. I’ve listened to so many interns give report to their attendings I feel like I’m on Grey’s Anatomy. ¬†ūüėČ ¬† So, here we go…

  • Zoe was born on Thursday, October 7th at 3:52pm at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with myelomeningocele (Spina Bifida)
  • The lesion is mostly sacral (low), although an x-ray will determine the specific level
  • Before surgery, her legs were moving, and she was urinating well, with little need for a catheter.
  • Her surgery was done on Friday, October 8th at 11:30am at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital
  • The surgery went well, with no complications. ¬†The closure was done horizontally, instead of vertically because of the size, location and orientation of the lesion. It runs across the majority of the width of her back, right around the waist line.
  • She was able to have the ventilator from surgery taken away immediately after surgery, and remained in the recovery room for about 30 minutes.
  • Zoe was kept sedated until that night, when they weaned her off of that IV, and began giving her bottle feedings¬†for¬†the first time.
  • The feedings went well, taking about 1/2 on an ounce every 3 hours. She’s has had very few issues with feedings since.
  • Her head¬†circumference¬†remains unchanged since she was born.
  • Movement in her legs is somewhat limited, but is steadily increasing.
  • The order for using a catheter started at every 4 hours the day of surgery, and has decreased to only every 6 hours today. She has very little urine in the catheter, meaning she is urinating some on her own.
  • Hillary was able to hold Zoe for the first time today, and even tried nursing her.
  • She will get a head ultrasound on Monday, October 11th to check on the need for a shunt.
OK! ¬†How was that? ¬†I know it’s dry, but I don’t want to try to make things sound any better/worse than they are. Overall, the doctors and nurses are pleased with Zoe’s progress. We are basically just waiting to see how she grows and develops over the next days, weeks, months and years. We are looking for the normal actions of newborns: eating, sleeping (A LOT!), peeing, pooping and crying. She seems to be doing those things well, so that’s all we expect.
We have had so many encouraging messages, phone calls, texts, emails and visits¬†from¬†so many people that we love. They have been amazing for us during this entire experience. This is so much harder than Hillary or I thought that it would be. We feel strong and confident that there are people all over the country who are praying for us. People that we will never meet, or that we will ever know are praying. We want to ask you to continue to do so. Here is what you can pray for us about in the near future. Please pray…
  • First, that we continue to feel God’s presence in the midst of a very overwhelming place. Every other part of this list means NOTHING without this. We are confident that although it may be part of our plan, we don’t want it, unless it’s a part of His plan.
  • For Hillary’s healing from having a C-section.
  • That we are able to find a place to stay close to the hospital that is affordable for us to do for the length of time that we will be here.
  • For me to continue to help Hillary recover.
  • That we are able to find time to eat, sleep and keep our strength up.
  • That Zoe will continue to eat well and gain weight.
  • For Zoe’s healing of her surgical site, for no infections, and for¬†manageable¬†pain.
  • That Zoe’s head¬†circumference¬†will remain constant, or if needed, that a shunt will be placed with no further complications.
  • For sensation in Zoe’s bladder, legs, feet and bowels to continue to increase, and that the spinal cord will continue to heal.
  • For our family in general as we are¬†separated¬†from Faith, and as we are in a stressful time.
Thank you all so much for what you are doing for our family. I know this may not seem like an encouraging post, but we are very encouraged to see what God is doing right now. There are so many lessons (and future blog posts) that have come from the few days of being here. He continues to be so active in the midst of our situation. Know that we are also praying with you all, and FOR you all, as you mean so much to us. You are the support that we need right now. We look forward to when Zoe will be an¬†integral¬†part of your lives, as she is in ours! In the meantime, here’s a few pics to hold you over!

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From → blog, Faith, Family, Zoe

  1. Steven Held permalink

    Hey John,

    I have a housing option for you. Check your MCC email or call me.

  2. Gingie Hines permalink

    John, I know God wants you and Hillary to feel his comforting Holy Spirit. I pray for peace and freedom from anxiety for you.
    I pray for healing for Hillary and Zoe. I pray for Jesus’ healing touch on Zoe. Jesus has all power.
    Pray, also, that Faith will be content.
    I will relay all your requests to the women in my Bible study group. A couple of them have already called about Zoe.
    Love you guys!

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