Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Boys can't have all the attention

Reading the past few days, you'd probably think we only had one kid in the NICU. No, we haven't forgotten about our sweet baby Maisie. We've been busy visiting her too, but just not as much. She's been getting other visitors, since it isn't so restricted: she's seen both sets of grandparents several times and even met her all of her aunts and uncles (there's a lot of them!)

Miss Maisie decided she needed to get eyes on her brother and was tired of getting second-hand info. So, today we had another huge adventure. Here goes:

At 10:30am, I walked into visit Maisie before my doctor's appointment and happened to run into the cardiologist who was finishing up an echocardiogram. He told me that her PDA had opened up, and it was large. He left to go get Dr Hawkeye, my best buddy (he was working down at Swedish that morning) and they both met me back in the room.

Dr Hawkeye said that Maisie's PDA would need to be closed surgically by Dr R at PSL. If it were his kid, that's what he would do. The medicine would likely not work again, and would put her at risk for a spontaneous bowel perforation (not another one!) or NEC, and on top of that she would still need surgery to close the PDA. I called Jimmy and we decided to transfer her and do the surgery.

I went to my appointment and put my Mom and sister in charge of the chaos that would ensue. I was about to experience the same thing Jimmy did on the night James left, albeit a lot less hectic.

AirLife Neonatal Transport Team arrived and I ran down to meet them. It was very emotional. I had big reservations about leaving Swedish because this had become our happy place that we could escape from all of the chaos that was PSL. Now, both of our kids would be there. On the other hand, I was truly thankful that they would be together again.

I stood by as they got her ready to go and as everyone collected our belongings. They asked if I would like to ride along, and I agreed. Maisie and I left Swedish together, hopefully to return with James someday soon.

When we arrived to PSL, they worked on a lot of vitals and got her admitted. We weren't certain whether they would do the surgery Tuesday or Wednesday, but Maisie was giving an indication that her PDA was causing her trouble and clinically they wanted to resolve this as quickly as possible. As with most surgeries at PSL, they turn the NICU into the operating room and do the surgery at bedside. That requires a lot more work than I care to think about - but they are pros at it. Maybe having two kids doing two surgeries in two days makes me a pro mom...?

They decided to do the surgery at 4:30pm. Dr R and his counterpart Dr K (the one who did James' first surgery) both met with us and Dr K was assigned to Maisie. We had to do an open ligation because of her weight. The surgery consists of going in through the left side, through the ribs, moving the lung out of the way, and tying off the Patent Ductus Arteriosus between the heart and lungs. In utero, this artery is needed - but after birth it causes the baby to work unnecessarily hard to pump oxygenated blood throughout the body. By nearly 6 it was over and a success, and we were celebrating in the waiting room with the family.

Both kids seem to be doing well post surgery, though it's tough to see them go through this stuff. I never had surgery until my cesarean to get them out. They sure are resilient little things.

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