We finally have all the answers, and there is no way that it would have happened without all the prayers that were said in Sam's behalf. So we thank you all very much.
Truly, Sam is a miracle. Two things that were very unlikely to happen to our baby, happened. Dr. Neufield, the NICU pediatrician was pretty shocked to get the results, but we are all thankful to finally know.
First off, Sam's bilirubin lowered enough that they felt it was safe to take him out of his bili bed. He still has jaundice, but we can keep an eye on it and hope it keeps dropping. Wednesday they noticed that Sam wasn't peeing or pooping on his own, so they gave him a suppository for the BM (worked like a charm!) and ordered a renal ultrasound for his kidneys. Everything came back normal, and Sam has been peeing and pooping fine ever since :) Trust us.
The best news we received was that Sam has finally been able to raise his platelets on his own. They went from 81K to 89K without a transfusion. This is a very good sign.
So during rounds, we discussed all the new information, and they decided to send us home! My heart literally stopped when the Dr. told us we could go home as soon as all of his tubes and monitors had been removed, and after he passed his 90minute car seat test. We could not be happier!
Last night was wonderful. We are having WAY too much fun with him, and we are so blessed to have such a happy baby.
Ok, so time for a Science lesson. Here is a description of Sam's diagnosis.
Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia: A disorder caused by fetomaternal platelet incompatibility, with maternal anti-platelet antibodies crossing the placenta and destroying fetal platelets.
Platelets: A minute colorless anucleate disk like body of mammalian blood that is derived from fragments of megakaryocyte cytoplasm, that is released from the bone marrow into the blood, and that assists in blood clotting by adhering to other platelets and to damaged epithelium
Homozygous: Having the two genes at corresponding loci on homologous chromosomes identical for one or more loci
Bilirubin: A reddish yellow pigment that occurs especially in bile and blood and causes jaundice if accumulated in excess.
Antibodies: Any of a large number of proteins of high molecular weight that are produced normally by specialized B cells after stimulation by an antigen and act specifically against the antigen in an immune response.
Antigen: Any substance (as an immunogen or a hapten) foreign to the body that evokes an immune response either alone or after forming a complex with a larger molecule (as a protein) and that is capable of binding with a product (as an antibody or T cell) of the immune response
Petechiae: A minute reddish or purplish spot containing blood that appears in skin or mucous membrane as a result of localized hemorrhage
Sam has been diagnosed with Neonatal Alloimmune Thrombocytopenia. This is because Matt carried the PLA 1 Antigen (99% of the population has this antigen) and I didn't. So my body created antibodies to fight against Sam's platelets, which are where the PLA 1 Antigen is found. Because of this, his platelets were low. This caused petechiae on his skin and a danger of bleeding problems. As scary as this is when they are newborns, once Sam has tackled this issue, he will not have problems with it anymore.
Sam was also found with an Antigen called JKA. This is an extremely rare antigen, and my body again created antibodies to fight against them. The JKA antigen is found on his red blood cells and caused Jaundice, and danger of anemia. This can effect Sam's future when he decides to have children, but we'll worry about that in about 30 years :)
The biggest concern with both of these conditions is with future pregnancies between Matt and I. Because my body has already created the antibodies to fight, with each pregnancy I will be able to fight against the baby's blood better and better. Matt is homozygous for PLA 1, and we haven't heard back if that is also the case for JKA. (chances are slim.) So we can expect that all of our future babies will be in Sam's same condition at birth, and hopefully not too much worse.
Although the thought of going through this again is absolutely heart breaking, the thought of not having more children is even harder for me to imagine. There are treatments that can help lower the risk of our babies having low platelets, but we will worry about that when the time comes. We thought it was pretty funny to say "See you again in a few years" to the NICU staff as we were leaving last night.
We are so thankful to everyone at the hospital. I can not stress enough how amazing the NICU staff was and we couldn't have been luckier to have such dedicated people working on our Son's case.
Again, we thank everyone for their help and prayers during this time. Prayers were heard and answered, and we have proof of that sleeping in his own crib now :)