Friday, December 2, 2011

Cardiologist Appointment

We had our second appointment with Dr. Bensky today to ultrasound Katherine's heart and see what was to be seen. She was extremely camera shy today and very active! Every time Dr. Bensky or the ultrasound technician got ready to take a picture of what they needed to see, she would move just as they were about to snap the shot. She wouldn't just move a little either... she was flipping, rolling, and wiggling all over the place. Once, Dr. Bensky even had to chase her almost under my ribs. No wonder I've been getting so short of breath lately with her running all the way up there! After a prolonged game of "chase the baby", they finally got what they needed. Dr. Bensky said that he didn't see any surprises and that the things that he did see looked good. He also introduced us to Dr. Peeler, who gave us a run-down on the surgeries that she will have after she is born. He was very thorough, giving us history, as well as success statistics, and the technical aspects of what will happen during surgery. It is amazing that in my life-time, children born with this heart defect have gone from 100% mortality rate to 80-95% survival rate (Dr. Peeler's stats are on the 95% side - he is apparently very good at what he does). What perfect timing the Lord has, to allow Katherine to be born in a time and a place such as this.

After our meeting with the doctors, we went on the tour that Dr. Bensky had arranged for us. We were able to see the Maternity Ward (including one of the labor and delivery rooms), the NICU, the CVICU, and the Neonatal Progressive Unit, as well as the cafeteria, the sleep rooms, and a few other places along the way. Everyone that we met was incredibly nice and very professional, just the type of people you would want to be caring for your child. I have noticed this about everyone we have met at Levine Children's Hospital and the Sanger Heart Institute, including the doctors, nurses, and other staff. God has blessed this hospital with people who truly have hearts for taking care of little hearts.

According to our wonderful tour guides, when Katherine is born, she will be taken to the NICU to await her first surgery, which will take place on the 5th floor (operating rooms). After her surgey, they will transfer her to the CVICU to begin her recovery. In this unit, they have a 1 nurse: 1 baby ratio and Katherine will be under one on one observation at all times. When she gets well enough, they will transfer her back to the NICU, where they limit their patients to 1 to 2 babies per nurse. When she gets even better, they will transfer her to the Neonatal Progressive Unit.  In this unit, her job will mainly be to learn how to feed and do normal baby things since her surgery and recovery will interrupt this process, especially learning how to feed. Once feeding is mastered and everything else looks good, then she will be able to come home with us. All in all, we had a good, productive day.

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