Stats: OH MY
12:37p.m. July 17,
Height: 22 3/4"
Weight: 9lbs - 13
Head circum - 15"
The first three hours
Before I begin, I apologize if we haven’t yet called each of you personally! I wish we could, but know you
are all in our thoughts!
As I am sure most of you have heard by now, James Carter Ellis was born Thursday at 1237 – He was
“enormous” as his big sister would say. He was 9lbs, 13 oz and was 22 and ¾” long.
When he was born, the doctor told us that he had a pronounced heart murmur, and later his blood sugar
was low. By 330, the doctors were all consulted on what they should do… They tried feeding him formula
to get his blood sugar up (from 27), BUT it wasn’t working, and he was having trouble breathing, so they
put him in the NICU at St. Vincent’s. By 630 Thursday we were able to speak to the pediatric cardiologist
at UAB, he actually came to us, and the NICU doctor at St. Vincent’s and our pediatrician. They told us he
had pulmonary stenosis (which is a defective pulmonary heart valve). They also told us, that this is one of
the “better” conditions to have (if you have to have one) as it is pretty easily treatable. SO, needless to say
our family is trying to let everyone know, but it is exhausting explaining this over and over (so special thanks
to our parents and others for being phone/email trees)… I explained this to my cousin Anne, who gave
some of you a better synopsis than I could write:
pulmonary stenosis -which is a valve that is shrunken/malfunctioning between the heart and the lungs. This
causes the right side of the heart to work extra hard (=enlargement) to try to pump blood through a too-
small hole, and decreased blood flow to the lungs, and subsequently decreased oxygen to the body. One of
the treatments for this is to do a valvuloplasty (like angioplasty) to increase the size of the valve to let the
right amount of blood through. Here is a decent article describing it (the section is towards the bottom of the
There are a couple of articles if you are interested in knowing more:
Friday, Neil was in charge of James and I was in charge of being discharged. James was transferred about
1 pm to UAB in their Regional NICU unit. Neil did a great job keeping us informed of what was going on.
At about 3, I finally got to go home and we tried to unwind a bit. Neil came back to the house, and Celia
and Wendell and my parents all had dinner together. It was a great distraction as James wasn’t home to
enjoy the greek food!
The latest word is that James will have a valvuloplasty first. Probably Monday or Tuesday of this coming
week. After dinner, Neil and I got to go to RNICU and I got to hold him! YEA! There are tons of wires
he’s connected to and lots of machines, BUT his color is great, he makes lots of faces and he’s one of the
biggest babies that NICU has seen!
I am going to try to update Josie and James’ website with updates. Hugs and love to all of you.. Please
forward this email to everyone I forgot, and we’ll be in touch. Thanks to everyone for all of your kind
words and well wishes. With any luck, he’ll be home really soon!
Anne, Neil, Josie and James