Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 1: Surgery

The morning of Kimble's surgery, we checked in at the hospital at 7am.  Kimble's last meal was at 4:30am.  The walk to the elevator, up three floors, then over to the cardiac pre-op...I felt like I was in a heavy fog.  My heart was heavy.  I wanted to run away with Kimble, and never look back.

We got all checked in, and I changed Mr. Kimble into a hospital gown again.  After that, we sat and waited.  His surgery wasn't scheduled until 9am.  We had some time to wait.  Kimble took a little nap.  As I was sitting him across my legs, holding his arms snuggled against him and patting his bum (his favorite way to fall to sleep) I was very emotional.  I felt like I was getting ready to be in a fatal car crash.  I could see it coming, but I had no power to get out of the way.
As I sat and held my sweet sleeping baby, I really thought that this would be the last time I would feel his chest rise and fall against me.  I wanted to savor the moment for as long as possible.  Alas, the time came.  I needed to hand him over to the pre-op nurse.  It was terrible.  Both Heath and I were crying.  I told Kimble I loved him and to be strong.  Then I watched the nurse walk down the hallway, holding Kimble, until they rounded the corner and were gone.

We received many updates from Esther, the O.R. CICU Surgical Nurse.  Everytime she called, and asked us to meet her so she could give us an update, we always said "Esther, is it good news?  Is he doing ok?"  and she always replied "Yes!".

As I mentioned in the previous posts, Kimble's surgery didn't get to "experimental".  Once Dr.  Campbell looked at his heart, and saw the tricuspid valve, he knew that there wasn't anything he could do surgically, to make it function better.  So, testing the heart by closing the ASD (hole between the atriums) and his shunt, to force ALL his bloodflow through the right ventricle, wasn't a possibility.  His right heart couldn't handle that amount of bloodflow, combined with the pressure of pumping for his entire body.

So, they went ahead and did The Glenn, which rerouted the blood that was coming from his head to his chest, and instead of it going to the right heart to get pumped to the lungs to receive oxygen, it now goes directly to the lungs (via the superior vena cava), and then makes it's way back to the left heart to begin it's circulation again.  Upon doing this, his BT shunt was removed, and the ASD was closed.

Now, Kimble still has bloodflow through his right ventricle.  The bottom half of his body's bloodflow still goes to the right heart, and then gets pumped to the lungs.  Kimble's heart can handle that amount of bloodflow, which is basically half the amount that a normal heart would pump.  In fact, Kimble's heart is doing so well with this adjustment, that his oxygen saturation is now perfectly normal.  In this next picture, on the monitor, you see the number 100.  That is his oxygen saturation number.  100!  Up until now, he's always hung out between 75-85%.  We are so thrilled.

So, post-op, Kimble did well.  He has three drainage tubes in his chest (two from his lungs, and one in his heart), NG tube, ventilator tube through his nose, as well as many lines for iv fluids, medication, blood pressure monitoring, etc.   He is also pretty swollen from surgery, as you can really see in the picture of his fingers.  If you are at all tender about seeing some of these post-op pictures, I suggest that you stop reading right now.



Here, Dr. Campbell is checking on his patient, along with our post-op nurse C.J.  Also, here is a picture of his central line, in his neck.  Looks uncomfortable, but it was probably the least of Kimble's worries.

Kimble had his ventilator and NG tube removed around 9pm.  He did well after that, except for being fussy because he couldn't be held.  Kimble isn't often out of my arms, so I think he was feeling lonely and was hurting, and just overall not very happy.  Besides feeling that way, he didn't have a bad night.  He took a bottle of breastmilk about 1am, and hungrily gulped it down.  Feeding is a big obstacle, so we were very happy about that.  Even more so, Kimble has refused all bottles since he was a newborn, so the fact that he actually ate from a bottle was huge!

This morning, Kimble got his art line in his wrist, and his central line removed (it was in his neck, so we were very happy about that).  He also got moved to a more private room (instead of an open bay) which makes all the difference to us.  This means he is progressing quickly!  Tonight he'll probably get more of his drainage tubes removed.

Right now, Kimble is sleeping peacefully.  When he wakes up, we should get to hold him, and I'll get to nurse him again.  Should be a great day!

23 comments:

Julia said...

Oh poor baby, poor mom and dad, and siblings, and anyone else who loves this little blessing. I cannot imagine what it would be like to actually hand over this little bundle to the nurse and just have to trust that the doctors know what to do to save his little life. There must have been devine intervention to allow him to be ok and for you and your family to survive the long procedure. My prayers go up for you!

Dan and Katie said...

sounds like he is doing great, awesome news!

courtney said...

We love you so much and are so glad that Kimble is responding well and recovering well. We are thinking of you!

"Have peace, and know that God is God!"

Jed and Kera said...

Oh!! Happy Post! :O) What a strong little boy!!! I can't wait to see pictures of you getting to hold him!!!

Colleen said...

Your post has me sobbing! I can't imagine.... You are so brave and I am so beyond happy for this smooth outcome. Kimble is a treasure without price, and he is so lucky to have you for a mom, who did everything you could to help him grow strong for this surgery.

dippyrooroo said...

So we can all start breathing again, huh? Sweet relief! I haven't been able to look at Tyton this last week or so with out thinking about what you guys would be facing with this surgery. We love you guys so much and we are so very happy to hear that Kimble is recovering well.

Michelle said...

This is all wonderful news, and I know the angels are singing and dancing. I can imagine just how happy you all are. What a miracle and what a blessing. Thanks for posting. Keep us updated.
Be blessed,
Michelle

Shavonne said...

So so sooo glad for the good news and that he is doing well, and that this recovery went better than his first heart surgery! Many people are praying for you and thinking about you- Love you!!!

homefront said...

OH Sweet! (in responds that you should get to hold him tonight.)I have been checking the blog every few hours. So sorry for your pain.
Hugs, Hugs and more Hugs.

Alissa Maxwell said...

So glad your fears for the worst have been relieved. Praying for UNEVENTFUL recovery. Go strong baby Kimble!

Jennifer Magreevy said...

My heart is aching just reading your post...I'm so sorry you have to go through this! I hope Kimble continues his wonderful recovery and you guys get to go home as soon as possible.

Taylor and Kristin Williams said...

Wahoo! Glad that everything is going so well!!

Maynards said...

Hip Hip Hooray! I am so glad that he is doing well. We continue to think about you always. Those pictures are so sad to see, but I am glad that he is progressing so well.

Megan said...

I'm glad the surgery went well and that you are in good hands- all those different tubes coming out of him look confusing to me. I hope you get to nurse him today!

Jen said...

I can't even imagine the feeling of handing your baby over and not knowing what will happen. I am so happy he is back with you and that soon can hold him, and comfort him, and nurse him again. He is an angel and so very strong as are you and your husband.

purejoy said...

oh, even all covered in wires… he's so precious! sounds like he's progressing just the way he should. praying for the rest of his week to be restful and recoveryful and joyfilled.

Brenda said...

My mother's heart hurt reading your post and looking at the pictures. What a neat documentation to show Kimble later on in life of how God gave the doctors' wisdom and carried hinm through this operation. Praying you get to hold and nurse him today.

Jeff and Lori said...

The mom side of me is aching to think of letting your precious Kimble leave in the arms of a stranger to a fate unknown. I can only imagine feeling exactly as you described. The nurse side of me is in awe of the miracle of modern medicine, dozens of tubes and all, and that it can save a sweet baby's life. My nurse side is also very satisfied with seeing O2 sats over 90%, aaahhh :) Keep up the great work, Kimble! Prayers heading your way!

runningfan said...

What a tender post. I am thrilled that he is progressing so quickly, and look forward to hearing about your cuddles and breastfeeding dreams coming true.

Jen Sue Wild said...

I love you guys and wish I was there with you..
Give Mr.K smooches for me.

JaneV said...

I'm so glad that all is well, thanks be to God! X

Dawnee said...

Such wonderful news. I am so happy and relieved he is doing well. I was delighted to see this update. Kept checking and checking. So so happy for Kimble and all the family. I bet it is hard for his siblings to be far away. Good luck today and treasure the nursing.

ladybug said...

Hey there! It's your heart-mama stalker from NorCal - Thanks again for posting all of these details about Kimble's procedures - I am thrilled that all's gone well so far - and I understand your caution and concerns - but the worst is over! Please be sure to take care of yourself - (I speak from experience on this one!) You're no good to Kimble if you're not well.... remember to eat, sleep, and pray!

Jennifer