Eight O'clock in the morning comes early when you live an hour away from the hospital and you have to deal with rush hour traffic and have to deal with a parking garage. We made it with 15 minutes to spare. SCORE!
We check in to the surgical waiting area and Miles' name was called quickly. We do the usual, weight, height, head circumference, and move to X-Ray for chest/lungs photo shoot.
Blood is drawn after I looked the paramedic in the eye and asked her if she was a good infant draw. She didn't respond, but the nurse in the room did. They used a JTip to numb the area first. I wasn't too keen on that, but Dale felt it was okay. After lots of crying, tubes were drawn, and we get the tour.
If you are ever in the situation where you get a tour of the hospital, DO IT!! It was so good to see the cardiac ICU, PICU, and the Cardiac step down room. I will try to explain the set up in our hospital, Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth. It is a locked unit and you must have a certain color band to gain access to it during certain hours. Once you step in the doors, you are required to wash your hands. There is no bathroom, so you have to exit the unit to potty. The room is a long rectangle and there are several beds in a row. These beds are separated by curtains. No food, no open drinks, shoes/clothing on for visitors at all times (hee hee), and there is a small cushioned couch behind each bed. That is the parent sleeping area. There are two isolation rooms which close off and are a private room. These rooms are for kids that are more critical or have something contagious. We get the luck of Irish and get an isolation room for Miles.
They have a 24 hour Pediatric Critical Care Doctor on the floor at all times and there are 10 beds.
The surgery waiting area is tiny and one parent has to be present at all times. They call you once surgery begins and then every hour until you get the hallway drive by.
We went home praying that all babies would be stable and we wouldn't get bumped again.
Now, for us, surgery started Thursday the 22nd at 3am. That was the last time Miles could nurse and he could have water until 5 am. So, he nursed until 4:20am, when I woke up to my alarm. We had to give him a bath and be at Cook's at 7am. Thank you for very little traffic and a close spot to the elevator.
We went to the surgery waiting area and Miles was weighed/measured a final time. We didn't loose the red band (from the previous day's blood work) and proudly showed it to the nurses. If you lose it, you have to be redrawn. Yikes.
We hung out in the room for a bit and then it was time to go back. Double Yikes. This is really happening. Dale carried him down the hallway and I gave him a kiss goodbye. Then we handed our baby to the nurse. We were apprehensive, but Miles was totally flirting with that nurse. Within 3 minutes of him being in the back, he would be smelling the watermelon anesthesia scent we selected for him. It was 8:20 am. We now run to grab a bite to eat and get a few things out of the car. We are back in the waiting area by 8:45am.
At 11:10 am, we received the call that surgery had begun and Dr. Tam was already working with the valve, then the canal/septal defect, and finally the two smaller holes. When the phone rings in the room, the entire room goes silent and everyone attempts to answer the phone. They state the family's name and the look on the parent's face is pure anxiousness. We only saw smiles as the phone was replaced on the receiver.
Another call at 12:10pm; more smiles. A family of 12 comes into the waiting room and takes over and they are super loud. Another call at 1:10pm; more smiles and I have to tell the other family to stop being so loud. They were completely stressing me out and we couldn't hear what the nurse was saying. We get another call after 2pm and they say that surgery is complete and Dr. Tam would like to speak with us. I don't think we were able to hang up and get into the hallway any faster.
Dr. Tam tells us that the surgery went well, Miles tolerated the by-pass machine well, his heart was throwing solid rhythms, that he was comfortable with the surgery and he finished a bit faster than expected. WOO HOO~ We are overjoyed to hear this news.
We have to go back to the room to wait for the "drive by" call. We packed up our busy work and waited. We get the call about 2:30pm and run out to the hallway to see our baby.
We get a quick peek, give him a kiss, and now we travel down another area to wait in another waiting room for an hour or so. The PICU waiting room is nice and has a little courtyard to get some fresh air.
An overhead speaker announcement tells us to go to the child's treatment area. WOOT! This means we get to see our Miles in his area. Each bed or crib has their own dedicated nurse that comes along with it. So far, we have an itty bitty girl, with a big pink headband bow, on one side and an adorable bigger itty bitty boy on the other. He's a charmer and can smile and wave.
He is heavily sedated and stable. Two amazing blessings. We stay for a while, then prepare for Dale to leave to go home for the boys.
I do my thing for preparing for some quick naps and pumping. The decade of birth doula work has prepared me well for this part of surgery. I can nap anywhere and wake up quickly in a hospital setting.
Dale leaves and we get ready to start the healing process.