Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wow, what a couple of days. I won't make you read a whole post to find out that Nova is, so far, doing as well as can be expected. He's made it through the first 24 hours, which is the first milestone. He's far from out of the woods but we're allowing for serious amounts of cautious optimism.

OK, here's how things have gone since Tuesday morning. We left about 4, got to the hospital just before 5am. We signed some papers and the anesthesiologists came in to talk to us - they left with him at about 6:15ish. They started surgery around 8am. For what seemed like ages and ages we sat waiting and worried for them to get done and let us know how he was doing. In all actuality, it was only 6 1/2 - 7 hours, which is about half the time we expected it to take. He came off the heart-lung machine very well, his heart started back up and they put him on the ventilator, and he was in recovery by 3pmish. We got to see him for just a minute or 2 at 5:15 in CVRU, and again at 6pm. He was bloated, swollen, blue, and his bassinet was more tubes and wires than baby, but he was "stable" at that point.

We're only allowed to be with him for 15 minutes out of every 2 hour period, on even hours. So we went back up at 8pm and then again at 10, but at 10 they wouldn't let us in. CVRU means Cardiovascular Recovery Unit - it's a ward with something like 20+ people in it. If any of those patients are having "issues" no one can go in, but I just had a feeling that something had happened with Nova, and I was right. His body was retaining fluids which caused too much pressure, which caused his heart to stop, and he had been resuscitated. He came back quickly and his pressures were leveled out. They put a drain tube in his stomach to help drain the excess fluids, and he stabilized again. They just wanted us to be aware of the new tube and what had happened before we saw him.

OK, so we got to see him then, and then they gave us a room (a waiting room with 2 recliners actually) and we went to lay down awhile. They didn't have to call us all night, because he continued to improve overnight. His blood pressures are doing a roller coaster imitation, and they haven't balanced out yet between his systemic pressures and his arterial pressures, but they're well within the "norm" for his condition.

So, he's doing ok, "So far so good" is as good as we can get the doctors and nurses to say because they can't ethically tell you much more than that without taking the chance of you getting heart broken if something happens, because realistically, anything can happen, especially in those first few days to a week.

CVRU is where Alexis was when she passed away - we pass the waiting room where we were told that her heart had stopped. The dayshift nurse is the same nurse who took me by the hand and told me to touch/hold her hand before she died. Weird situation to say the least - but to be honest, I haven't had the time to obsess about that stuff, and when we know that Nova is really going to be ok, I'll be too happy about him to worry about the memories of that night. Just thought it was, well, a little weird - especially getting the same nurse, who is an absolute doll by the way. She says to me, "You 2 look kind of familiar to me, you know it?" and so I told her that she'd had Alexis... And she totally freaked out and apologized a million times. I felt bad for her, it must be awkward for her eh?

I KNOW I'm forgetting stuff, these 2 days have been a whirlwind of stuff, but I'll remember and post anything important, and I've got some pics that I'll post soon too.

Congenital Heart Defect

posted by Erin @ 9:06 PM   0 comments

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Donovan "Nova" LeClair

Monroe, North Carolina
Nova was our second child to be born with congenital heart defects. We lost our daughter at 12 days after open heart surgery in 2001. Nova was born 12/2/05, with Pulmonary Atresia with VSD. He lived 6 weeks after surgery, and passed away on April 6th, 2006. This blog is his story, and the on-going story of how our family is dealing with the loss of our beautiful boy.
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