So baby Kimble did pretty well all day yesterday, recovering from his Cath procedure the day before. It wasn't until the evening that he started having some frequent drops in his oxygen saturation levels. This has happened on occasion since he was born, but the frequency of it was worrying. Thankfully, they were quick decelerations, and he recovered within seconds, but it was enough to send doctors and nurses into a frenzy, wondering why it was happening.
They tossed back and forth a few ideas. It seemed like apnea. Maybe he was holding his breath...forgetting to breathe...something like that. Maybe he had acid reflux, which caused him some pain, and he tightened up, and oxygen levels went down. Maybe the machines were just tweaking out, and his levels were just fine.
Then I was holding him, and he had another desaturation. He turned pretty purple, and it was scary for me. I have to say, holding on to your baby and not being able to help them is quite possibly the worst thing in the world. Luckily, I had some amazing nurses and doctors with me last night, and I got a lot of comfort and a lot of attention. They worked hard to solve the puzzle.
A little bit later, after reviewing his most recent Echo, they think they found a reason for his desaturation. Where his pulmonary valve attaches to the right ventricle, the area is very thick and muscle-bound and tortuous, and tight. They think that Kimble's heart is beating so fast, it's almost too fast for his right ventricle to keep up, and instead it seizes. This was to be expected, and has been warned would happen. His right ventricle needs to basically learn how to start pumping and relaxing. Anyway, as a result, where that valve attaches, part of the muscle tends to squeeze the valve closed, preventing blood flow. Hence the blood squirts back up through the ventricle and atrium, into the left side of the heart, and gets pumped to the body. Since this blood is blue blood, or non-oxygenated blood, it causes a decrease of oxygen saturation in his body. Thus, his saturation levels drop on the monitor, then his machines DING DING DING for all the world to hear, and causes nurses to come running, and mommy to start crying.
So, they started some medicine for him to actually slow his heart rate down a bit, and hopefully allow a bit more recovery time for his right ventricle to contract and relax more appropriately. Kimble had a good night, with good saturation levels, and I forced myself to sleep, instead of standing vigil beside him.
Today, as well as through the weekend, we are going to just watch him, adjust levels of medicine, and hope that this solves the problem.