Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hardest 48 hours of our lives

Dr. Javahery came out at about 6:30 to let us know that the shunt surgery was completed. We were so relieved to see him walk through those double doors. He stated that the surgery / procedure itself went fine HOWEVER, (yes, our hearts sunk when we heard the words however). A tear was found in a scrub tech's glove during the procedure so the surgery had to be stopped and everything needed to be re-sanitized. This is why the procedure took longer than expected. He explained that due to this the risk of infection due to contamination was increased. He hoped nothing would come of it but planned to leave her on antibiotics for an extra 24 hours as a precaution.

We were finally able to see her at 7:30 pm and needless to say it was quite overwhelming. She was hooked up to a ventilator and an IV. She had so many tubes, wires, etc. coming out of her our hearts were breaking. A small area of her head was shaved (see picture below) where the shunt had been inserted. It is very prominent on her head because she is so small. We know that it will be much less noticeable in time. However, it was still a bit difficult to see on your precious baby daughter. She also has a small incision on her abdomen where the drainage tube and coil was inserted (see picture below).

It was very difficult to watch the nurses taking care of Annabelle. At one point there were three nurses doing something to her. They needed to suction her ventilator and I was just balling. Belle seemed so uncomfortable and her body was moving all around. It was just a horrible experience. It was very intense for several hours after her surgery but then thankfully things calmed down. She appeared to be resting peacefully and Bran and I just sat at her bedside trying to keep our eyes open. Branden convinced me that we would be better to our other children and Annabelle if we were to go home and get some sleep. It was a difficult decision but the right one. We got out of there at about 1:30 am and thankfully she was fine all night.

We returned on Tuesday morning to find her lying in the prone position (on her belly). We were advised that the immediate concern was about her incision on her back. The Dr. was a bit concerned about a few areas and how it was healing. So she was only allowed to be on her belly. We stayed with her all day whispering to her through the holes in the isolette, but trying not to disturb her since she we knew she was a bit uncomfortable due to her 2 surgeries and being stuck belly down. We stayed until 4 pm and then left to take Jack to his first day of swim lessons. As hard as it was to leave Annabelle is was totally and completely the right decision. Jack was really happy to have us both there for his first day. He was super nervous but did a GREAT job! He was in a class with 2 other friends (1 additional to join later in the week) and he left saying "I love swim lessons" - HOW GREAT S THAT!!! It felt really good to slip away and focus on Jack. We even went home together and ate dinner as a family. It had been over a week since we had done that so it was quite special. I went back to the hospital later that night with my Dad which was very nice as well. She was sleeping peacefully and I was happy for my baby.

Wednesday however was not such a great day. She was not resting peacefully and she was extremely uncomfortable. When we arrived at the hospital she was crying so loudly I could hear he through her enclosed isolette It was heartbreaking, and I was so sad for my little girl. The Dr. was still concerned about her back wound so she was STILL lying on her belly - practically face down. She STILL hadn't eaten since midnight before her surgery. They finally allowed us to hold her but we had to keep her on her belly. I tried to sway her back and fourth with my knees and Branden was singing and humming to her. Thankfully it seemed to helped a little bit.

Finally at 4:30 pm we were given the go ahead to feed her and the ability to change her position. She was SO happy!! We fed her at 4:30, 8:00 and 11:00. She unfortunately wasn't too interested in breast feeding :-( but she did take the breast milk I pumped from a bottle very well. Truly all that matters is that she gets the breast milk, not necessarily if she gets it from me. The lactation consultants were very supportive and helpful. We left there around midnight exhausted but happy that our little girl was eating again and not sleeping on her belly!


Sarah Hull said...

Oh Nicole, I cried through this entire post. My heart is breaking for you because I know how hard this time is. I am sorry that you guys have to go through all of this at once. You are in our prayers at this time.

Your sweet Annabelle is just darling though, tubes and all. She is precious!!

Please keep us posted when you can. Every day will be better than the last.

Sending love and prayers your way.

Leigh and Andy said...

Sarah is SO right. Each day DOES get better! I remember the first time I saw Greyson with his seemed SO big on my little baby. Now, he is 6 months old, has hair to cover it and you don't even notice it! Hang in there mama, you guys are doing a fantastic job and soon enough your family will be complete at HOME!! :)

5chamberlins said...

Wow... what a week! I am so sad that you guys are having to go through all of this... but also happy at the progress that Annabelle is making. One day at a time you guys are getting through it and I can not tell you enough how much we admire your strength.
Annabelle is just gorgeous and we just CANNOT wait to meet her and give you guys a big hug!! Love you SO much...
Jason and Cheryl

christine mcclain said...

Oh you guys, I am just so sad to read about everything you guys are going though...snif snif. You are all so strong. I know you are so sad to have to watch her going through this, but she feels your love and knows you are there! Just remember all of this is to get her in a more comfortable spot so that you can take her home. She won't remember this stuff - just the wonderful family she has. =) Hang in there. Let us know what you need. (Wish I had gotten to talk to you at swim, but it's pretty hard to do there.)