Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Surgery Day

I've been thinking about how I was going to write this post all day. How could I possibly explain what happened today. All the medical mumbo jumbo. All the emotions and worries. All the fears and stress. Today was rough, but Blake is doing really well.

Today Blake had his surgery to correct his perforated bowel. Patrick and I arrived way before he was taken in. I was able to help with his Cares before the surgery. He was awake, kicking and as feisty as ever. Once the diaper change and all the rest of the poking and prodding was over, I was able to cradle him with my hands to calm him down. I sang to him quietly the song I've always sang to him and Ashton, Boats and Birds by Gregory and the Hawk. His heart rate relaxed and was steady in the 150's. His eyes closed and he looked oh so relaxed.

"If you be my star
I'll be your sky
you can hide underneath me and come out at night
When I turn jet black and you show off your light
I live to let you shine I live to let you shine..."

He held the tip of my finger with his tiny hands and would squeeze and grip it occasionally. We had only about 20 minutes to relax this way before all the nurses started coming in and out. Banging this and that. Talking loudly compared to the whispers of my voice. Bedside alarms going off as they were figuring out how to disconnect this and reconnect that. I looked up at the monitor and his little heart rate would jump up from his peaceful 150 to 170. His body would flinch and his tiny facial features would scrunch up as he grimaced. The nurses would leave, he'd calm down and start to relax and it would start all over again with the chaos of nurses.

All of a sudden there was a flood of people standing outside the door of his room. Bedside nurses, O.R. nurses, nurse practioners, respiratory therapists, anesthesiologists, neonatal specialists and so on all talking numbers, stats, and all their different medical codes. I stepped back from Blake to let them have room and give them space to get what they needed done and before I knew it, he was being wheeled out of the room towards the operating room.

I tried my hardest not to cry. Patrick kept asking me if I was okay but I couldn't speak because I knew I'd break down more than I was already. The thought of my tiny baby going under the knife scared me to death. Not only did I fear the surgery, I feared the recovery. I was so worried that he would be in pain. How can a tiny baby voice that he's not okay. That he hurts and is uncomfortable. Only his vitals can show that. And the fact that his heart rate jumped from just the commotion in the room made me wonder how he could even handle the aftermath of surgery. We waited for what seemed like forever. Sitting in his NICU room without him was eery. I didn't like it. I just wanted him back in his room safe and sound.

Finally, the surgeon appeared at the door and gave us a smile. He came in and was followed by the camaraderie of nurses and therapists. He sat on the couch with us and gave us the news we have been waiting for. We would finally have answers.

And I will try to explain what they found but we were thrown quite a bit of information so bear with me while I try to relay it back. The surgeon went in not knowing what he would find. All we knew was Blake was still draining fluid even though the drain was removed so at the least he needed to go in and correct that. What he found was that quite a bit of Blake's instestines were infected but had mostly healed. There were a few weak spots so he went ahead and stitched them up to prevent future leaks. He wasn't able to sew up the larger hole because the intestine wasn't strong enough so he brought both ends to the surface of his skin which is called an ostomy and the intestines themselves is called a stoma. Tomorrow they will put a bag over the stoma and that is where he will pass his bowel movements from for at least 6 weeks. Once he gets the okay from the surgeon in 6+ weeks, they will sew up the stoma and put it back in his belly.

Sounds scary. The good news to all of this is that the upper intestines are healthy and will be able absorb the nutrients from my breast milk when he resumes feedings in 4-5 days. Also, he still has more than 90% of his intestines. They only removed 5cm of dead intestines. The rest was healthy. People can live a normal life with as little 50% so the fact that he has pretty much all of his means we won't have any issues in the future once the stoma is placed back in his belly.

My poor baby had to endure a major surgery but at least the problem was solved and we can finally stop playing the guessing game.

Blake was finally brought back into the room. It took just as many people to put him back as it did to take him out. The nurse practitioner called me over and asked me if I wanted to see what was done. I just nodded. The morning was so overwhelming I felt as if I lost my words. She led me over and pulled down his little diaper to show me the stoma. Two little reddish colored tubes stuck out from the area where his drain had been. It wasn't as bad as I imagined it would be. Except my poor Blake was still sedated and knocked out. We were asked to step out for a few minutes while some xrays were done.

When we came back in, Blake's eyes were wide open. He was awake, but he was so medicated that he was just zoned out. Unmoving. His eyes held only a blank stare. He didn't even blink. It was the widest I'd ever seen his eyes open. I broke down. Even though they told me he was comfortable and felt no pain, it scared me to see him that way. All I wanted was to kiss him and cuddle him. Let him know that mama was there. The nurse said I could reach in and place my hand on him. So I did. And I hummed him his little song while he just stared off. I hated seeing him that way but I know that if he wouldn't have gotten the surgery, he would only have gotten worse.

I thank you ALL for the prayers. I think I say that in every post but I truly mean it. This situation could have been so much worse and I honestly believe that all the prayers are being answered. I believe that Blake is in God's hands. This surgery proved how strong Blake is. He is our little miracle child. Keep the prayers coming his way because even though we appear to have gotten over the hump, we still have quite a ways to go.

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