Friday, April 22, 2011

Meeting the Surgeon....

This has been a post that I'm behind on, and I absolutely hate that, but I wanted to make sure I had all the information right and I needed some time to "decompress" after the appointment itself.

On Monday we made our way to Egleston Hospital, Children's Hospital of Atlanta (CHOA) and met with our surgeon. He had come so highly recommended we weren't in the least bit concerned or even nervous meeting him, that is, until we were there. Everything was so "official." The facility is so nice and amazing but they go to great lengths to check you in each time, complete w/ a hospital bracelet I was told to wear at all times while there and again it was much larger than any office we had been to, we were at a top-notch children's hospital, a bit overwhelming. After check-in, we headed to the 2nd floor (some grandparents in tow with us as well) and we met with our Surgeon's nurse, who we loved and then met with him. It was nice in the fact that no new information was given (he does no ultrasounds just takes the info from our pediatric cardiologis and he just meets with you and prepares you). He told us the scenarios we were looking at for post birth surgery. We do not know which one she will have until she is here. The four different scenarios are this:
1. If she is of adequate size (6.5 lbs or more) and her oxygen level is good, then they will send her home and let her grow a little more, bring her back in 4-6 months and do the surgery.
2.If she is of adequate size and her oxygen level is poor, then they will need to do something for her soon. So since she is of adequate size they will elect to do the permanent fix surgery soon after birth.
3.If she is of small size and her oxygen level is good, then they will send her home and let her grow a little more, bring her back in 4-6 months and do the permanent fix surgery.
4.If she is of small size and her oxygen level is poor then they will need to do something for her soon. But since she is small they don’t want to risk putting her through the permanent fix surgery so they will opt to put in a temporary shunt to help with the oxygen; then bring her back in 4-6 months and do the permanent surgery

So regardless of size it sounds like the critical thing we need to listen for after birth is her Oxygen level. As long as it is high then she goes home for a while, but if it is low they will do something quickly and her size will determine if they can do the permanent fix or the shunt.

This, I'm sure is a lot to you all readers and its a lot to us as we have learned the in's and out's of the process we are going to face. The surgeon answered any and all questions we had and we feel confident in him to do the surgery when necessary. He and the cardiologist we've been meeting with will make the decision after she is here. Thats the tough part, not knowing. We then went on to take a tour of the room she'd be in, and then the recovery area. The nurse asked us if we wanted to see a baby that had had surgery that day and she said it would be easier for us to see it now. I couldn't answer her propertly because of the tears that were starting to stream down my face. I kept telling myself how "lucky" we were to be here considering where we were in January & February of this year, and tried to console myself that way. We continued the tour and went to see a sweet 9 month old little boy that had had surgery that very day. His parents were of course by his bedside and he had a nurse at the end of his bed (each child gets their own nurse at the end of their bed w/ monitors,etc) I hate that this sweet little boy had to be tied up to wires, tubes,etc and was still under anasteshia but he looked pretty good. It wasn't easy by any means, and I stayed composed when we were in there, thank goodness, the nurse "coaxed" me to come a little closer so we could be prepared when our little girl faces surgery. This little boy didn't have what our little girl needs done but he had a murmur that had to be operated on and the parents found out about it shortly after he was born. We are thankful we can be as pro-active as possible and know somewhat of what we are facing.
The nurse again was wonderful and very helpful and the facility is amazing. We feel blessed to live in a city with top-notch healthcare that so many people have to travel to. It was just the "reality" of it all. I had a rough time that night & next day, but Jimmy kept saying "they can fix her, and they will." It wasn't easy for him either, but he has been a rock of strength. Again, all week I keep telling myself to re-visit my January 21 posts and remember the sobbing and Jimmy helping me literally get out of bed those days and knowing how I'd have given ANYTHING to be told then that it's a defect we can manage. So, as hard as things are to see and face right now, we are ever so thankful for making it this far. Surgery on anyone is scary, surgery on a tiny infant scares me greatly. We keep praying without ceasing for healing, the surgeons and doctors. We pray for her to continue to grow, grow, grow and for upcoming appointments and most of all this week we've prayed for peace. The anxiety has been high, and we are slowly coming back to peace, which is a welcome thing!
As we approach Easter Sunday, I keep thinking of the hymns we'll sing. I have thought of this every Easter since I was a little girl, but knowing our chances of singing "He Lives" or my favorite "Because He Lives" is great. I love old hymns and love to stomp them out on the piano any chance I get. I have always loved 'Because He Lives' and this year our Easter theme has been a verse from if "We know we can face uncertain days because He lives." And we do absolutely know that and trust that and we cling to it now more than ever. Verse 2 starts with how sweet to hold a newborn baby.....and it goes on to say 'but greater still the calm assurance, this child can face uncertain days because HE LIVES'<
In this Easter and this season of our lives, we will rest in the calm assurance, that we are all covered today and everyday by the power and love of the one that gave his life for us. We are reassured and know that any uncertain day, now or that is coming, can be faced because He rose from the dead to live for us. To us, there is no greater calm assurance than that....

With much hope, faith and love,
Jennifer and Jimmy


Marlo said...

We love you and I cannot imagine how hard that visit was for you but, you have such a great and true attitude. God will pull you through it. Love all three of you!


HappyascanB said...

YOU, Jennifer Yearty Martin, are one AMAZING mother! Bless you. I am so proud to call you friend. Know that I love you dearly, think of you soooo often and pray for the three of you every single chance I get.

Because He Lives. . . AMEN!