Friday, June 26, 2009

David's Journey: Part II

We checked into the hospital on October 4, 2006 for a c-section. We knew that David would go straight to the ICU, but we still were unsure of what to expect. The doctors couldn't really tell us how he would do after he was born. We also knew that within the next few days, our brand new baby boy would be undergoing a major open-heart surgery. I really was terrified, I didn't want to admit it then, but I can now.

His delivery went well, aside from the fact that it was a section and that TOTALLY freaked me out. I heard him cry and saw him for a second then they took him to evaluate him and warm him. They brought him back in and Cecil got to hold him for a second. I got to give him a kiss,

and they took him to the PICU. I didn't get to see him again until the next day, because I couldn't get out of bed. Cecil would go back and forth between my room and the PICU and see how he was doing. All the nurses and doctors kept saying how wonderful he was doing, his stats looked great, he hardly ever cried. He had IV's and central lines and spent most of his time under a little hood to keep his oxygen levels from getting too high.

The next 7 days were pretty uneventful, we couldn't stay in the ICU so we stayed a couple night at a friend-of-a-friend's condo in New Orleans, and a few nights at the hotel at Ochsner, so we could be close.

I finally got to hold him on October 8! On my birthday!! The nurses had no idea it was my birthday but it was such a special present. She said I could hold him for about 10 minutes then we would have to put him back under the hood. Cecil had just taken the bags down to the car, we were going to run home to get some more things, and the camera was in the bag. But even without a picture, I will never forget it.

The day came too fast, but I knew it had to be done. When he was only 1 week old he went in for his first heart surgery, called a BT shunt. They say your heart is about as big as your fist and I looked at his 7-day old fist and imagined how tiny his heart must be. It was just amazing that his doctor would be operating on it.

A couple days later, one of the nurses, Stephanie, had told us what to expect when he comes out of surgery. She said that he will probably be swollen, possibly so much that we wouldn't recognize him. He would be sedated and probably on a respirator. She even brought us to see another patient who had had the same operation a week before. She was still sedated and on a respirator. So we were prepared to see David, well, sort of. I don't know if you are ever really prepared to see your baby like that.

Throughout the surgery, we had family and church family with us and we waited anxiously trying to keep our minds occupied. Then the finally called us back and told us that David did beautifully and we could go wait at the elevator to see them bring him up. We saw him for just a second and got to give him a kiss. Then they took him to get him all hooked up in the PICU, so we waited a little longer.

When we finally got to go in, they had changed his room and we walked right by that room because the baby that was in there was crying and squirming and had his arm raised up, we knew that couldn't be David. But it was. He wasn't on a respirator or anything. They said he did so well they were able to take him off the vent before he left the OR. We were so relieved and thankful.

Within 3 days we left the PICU and stayed about 4 more days in a regular room then David got to go home for the first time. He never had any complications and progressed and developed as it nothing was wrong with him.
At about 8 months we started preparing for his second surgery.

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