June 12, 2009

Heart Surgery

After a few days it was obvious Alexa's O2 levels were not adequate, as they kept dipping below 75. Alexa was scheduled for surgery, a surgery called the Blalock-Taussig shunt. This surgery basically would allow her unoxygenated blood direct access to her lungs via this shunt. This surgery however, would be temporary to prepare her for her big surgery the Rastelli. I remember feeling very anxious about it but also ready to proceed with it. I felt like she had just been in limbo for so long. And finally on her 13th day of life she had the heart surgery. It was a LLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG day. She was suppose to have the surgery early in the morning but she got bumped for a more urgent surgery was needed. I was told my the nurses this was a good thing, you never want to be in the position of needing an urgent surgery. I was happy it at least left us a little more time to carry and enjoy her before they took her away about noon. She got out of surgery about 6 or 7 p.m. it took longer than they expected. And her blood pressure was low. I was sad to know her little chest would never be with out a scar again. And that they would be breaking her sternum and prying her tiny beautiful little chest open. I know it's graphic. But this is the truth about CHD. These babies these families, we must face! I couldn't fathom it. But I knew she needed it. With out it she didn't have a chance to come home and home is where I wanted her. I kept telling her over and over, "baby girl you will be coming home where you belong". So the time came, and I had to let her go, we let her go wheeled in her little NICU bed to the operating table. And all we did was pray, cry, and hold our breath, I also vaguely remember my mom making me and my husband eat some food, but really it just felt like a chore. And you know what I really remember about the day/night before, I was thinking I hope the surgeon is going to bed early so he has is rest for tomorrow, I hope he ate breakfast so he nourished his brain and body. The surgeon and medical team were also very much in my prayers. How could they not, when they hold your child's life in their hands? On that day we also said goodbye to our NICU nurses and space as we were now getting switched to a private room in the PICU.

The surgeon came to tell us everything had turned out well and she was doing well. He said the first 24-48 hours are critical. I was so happy to see my little baby. She was completely sedated of course, and she had soooo many more wires and tubes coming out of her than before. I was heart broken to see her like that but so relieved the surgery was behind us.

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