Saturday, March 31, 2012

Big Girl Crib

Yesterday, not a whole lot changed medically. Katherine is still stable and working on healing. They had slowly been increasing her feeds and she was up to 11 mL/hr yesterday when she threw up several times. So, they stopped her NG tube for about 2 hours and only set her feeds for 9mL/hr when they started her back up and she has been fine through the night with that. She didn't have a fever or really seem to be upset when she threw up, so they just thought her little tummy needed a break and it seems to have worked.

There were two pieces of exciting news yesterday. First of all, Katie's nurse felt that she was getting big enough to graduate to a big girl crib instead of the little warmer that she has been in since she was born. She has not had any problems maintaining an appropriate temperature so they went for it! She looked so big in her warmer and now she looks so tiny in her great big crib! It also gives her more room to squirm around because she is a real wiggle-bunny.

Also, yesterday morning Michael smiled at her... and she smiled back! We have seen her kind of practice smiling when dreaming before, but this was the first time she smiled when she was awake and in response to something we did. Whenever she was sleeping yesterday, she also smiled a lot more as well. We take this to mean that she is a little more comfortable and content now. It was kind of concerning to only get to see the "mad face" for such a long time. What a relief to get to see some new expressions!
Big Girl Crib

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sweet Precious Girl

Well, so far so good for being off the vent. Monday night, she was a little hard to settle - but I am guessing no harder than any other infant that has had an empty belly for the past several days. She woke up about every half hour to an hour, we would settle her down, and repeat. She must have actually really fallen asleep around 1am because the next thing I knew, my 6am alarm was going off. The nurse said that she had started settling herself whenever she would stir, which is wonderful. Yesterday, they took her sedation back down some - she is now off her Versed drip and down to .8 on Dex (from 1.0). They did an echo of her heart, which showed that she has good function of the heart, although there is a slight amount of valve leakage. They have weaned her high-flow nasal canula (the breathing tubes that sit in her nostrils like in the movies) down to room air (meaning it is shooting the same amount of oxygen we get at her) and only 4 liters (not pumping as much of it at her). All of this is good, as it is bringing her closer to being able to breath with no assistance whatsoever. Her oxygen saturation is sitting around the 80s with the current high-flow settings. To give a little perspective, in an average person 95%-100% is considered normal. According to the Mayo Clinic, below 90% is low and considered hypoxemia. Katie's goal is to be 75% or above.

The best thing about yesterday was that I was able to hold my little Katie-bug for most of the afternoon. She definitely likes to be rocked and was asleep for hours in my arms. It was wonderful to be able to look down and see her little angel face. We pray that she continues to improve and that she doesn't have to go back on that big mean ventilator. We are very much looking forward to the day we get to take her home and hold her without any cords, wires, and tubes attached to her.

We also got to have dinner and visit with our heart friends, the Clarks (, yesterday  near the hospital. It is always such a blessing to get together with them and our other heart friends, the Williams's ( There is nothing like getting to talk to friends and fellow parents who have a unique ability to understand what we are going through at the moment, since they have been through it themselves. We can't wait til Miss Katherine is old enough and well enough to play with her friends, Trent and Murphy!

Monday, March 26, 2012

4 Weeks Old

Today marks Katie's 4 week birthday and an official month in the hospital. She also got to be reextubated this evening. I will give a cautious "Yay!" On the plus side, she is now back on high-flow and no longer on the vent. However, she is still off her feeds so she is hungry and feeding her as a comfort measure is not an option. They are also not able to use as much sedation now that she is off the vent, lest she forget to breath. Soooo, we shall pray that she is a good girl and does not get too fussy. Hopefully she will get some rest tonight.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Update 3/25

Katie's infection continues to clear up. This morning during rounds, the docs said that her white count was back in the normal range, which is good. Her belly is looking a little better as well, although she is still off of her feeds. We are hoping that once they do restart her feeds, her stomach doesn't just do the same thing again. They are doing more pressure support trials, to practice getting ready for reextubation. However, they are taking this slow as she is still recovering from the infection and her belly issues. Please continue to keep Katherine in your prayers, as well as the other children here in the CVICU. They have been quite busy of late with lots of kids that need prayer and healing.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Recent Pics

Peek-a-boo Katie

Katie in my arms after she was extubated the first time

Pics of Katie after she was reintubated (through the mouth this time). Her nurses decorated her warmer with blankies from home. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

More Pics

Here are some more photos. They are a little bit older since we have had some trouble uploading from the hospital. Once we have newer images downloaded onto our computers, we will post some more recent pics.

Getting to Know Katie-Bug

Katherine has had her right chest tube removed, so she is now chest tube free. She still has the wound vac on her chest incision, which continues to very slowly improve. Not a whole lot has changed medically over the last couple of days. She has had a little difficulty with her little tummy, so they have had to stop and start her feeds through her NG tube a couple of times. Right now, she is tolerating food well, so they are slowly increasing how much they give her. She doesn't seem to like being rushed at all, hehe. In the meantime, we have been able to get to know her a little better since her sedation is a lot lower at the moment. She has an incredibly strong grip and loves to hold on to things. We prefer that she hold on to our fingers instead of her tubes, which she will attempt to pull out if given the opportunity. Thus, we and the nurses tend to keep her swaddled up when we are not close enough to her to grab her hand if it starts to go for a tube. She also likes to have her head held when she is upset, or gently stroked when she is not too aggravated (this sometimes puts her to sleep.) She also now has a little stuffed ladybug hanging from the light above her warmer that she likes to practice looking at. We have been so concerned about her being able to live and to heal up, but we have also been missing being able to have normal experiences with her at the same time - changing diapers, cuddling with her, kissing her, and all of the other everyday parenting experiences. It is such a blessing to be able to start getting to know things about her and her personality.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

3 Weeks Old

Yesterday, Katherine turned 3 weeks old. What a big girl! She continues to fight her infection off and seems to be improving some. Dr. Peeler put a wound vac on her chest incision to draw out the icky infection stuff so that she can get better. They have weaned her sedation and the ventilator quite a bit and hope to reextubate her within the next few days. She seems to like a lot of attention (as long as noone is actively messing with her.) Hopefully she will decide not to do anything else that requires lots of extra medical attention and will instead focus on getting better so she can come home and have all of mommy and daddy's attention! Thank you Lord for making our little one such a fiesty fighter.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday 3/18

Katie-bug continues to fight off her infection. The doctors are pretty sure that it is not MRSA, but it is a staph infection. She is still fiesty when awake, which is a good sign. The docs are not sure how long it will take for her to get rid of the infection. It will depend on her and how far the infection goes.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Katie-bug is still on the vent and fighting her infection. Her incision site is still quite red and angry looking and this morning they noticed some puss coming from the top of the incision. So, they removed the top 3 stiches from her chest, allowed the puss to drain, and have packed the wound. They are still giving her antibiotics to help her fight the infection. There is a possibility that it may be a staph infection, but they will not know until her wound cultures come back. Right now she is on broad spectrum antibiotics and when the cultures come back, they can switch her to an antibiotic that is more specific. There is also some arithmia with her heartbeat since she went back on the vent, but the docs are just keeping an eye on it for now. It was unbelievably worrisome yesterday to see her back on the vent and completely sedated again. Today is slightly better, they have weaned her back off the epi and weaned her sedation back down so she is at least waking up, getting fussy, and settling back down again. It is encouraging to see her acting like a fighter again.

"Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer." Psalms 4:1

We pray for mercy for our little one, that God helps her to fight off her infection and to heal up. We pray for His will in her life, so that His name may be glorified. We also pray for strength, for her and for us. It is incredibly painful to watch her go through so much.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday March 15

Today was a rough day.  Last night Katherine was inconsolable.  Her breathing was too rapid so the doctors removed her feeds for fear that she would aspirate.  This morning she was consistantly crying and once we could get her calm enough to think about sleep she would begin again.  Durring rounds the removal of her left chest tube was discussed since there had not been any ouput in the prior days, however it was put on hold until after rounds.  Kristan was allowed to hold Katherine once more with hopes of calming her enough to rest.  This procedure took 2 nurses because of the many tubes and wires.  After 2 hours she was placed back in her warmer, at this time a clot was dislodged from her left chest tube and 60cc of sero sanguinous fluid gushed out of her left side.  Upon inspection it was discovered she had a 102.2 temp, her heart rate was over 200bpm and her incision site was red.  They started her on anitbiotics and increased her sedation.  They switched her from High Flow back to SIPAP to help with her breathing.  She's now much calmer, able to rest some and her stats are returning to normal.  She is still have difficulty keeping her O2 sats above 70 so they may have to reintubate.  She will be watched closely all night.  Please keep her and us in your prayers tonite. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rounds Today 3/14

Miss Katherine did so great on her SiPAP, that she graduated to the high flow nasal very early this morning (looks like the breathing tubes that you see on TV, where they just kind of sit under the nostrils). The docs plan to wean her Presedex by 30% today, start her on aspirin, and wean her high flow down some. If she is able to wean her high flow down enough today, they will restart feeds. She did get to have some Pedialite last night though. They have been keeping her stomach empty since yesterday to reduce her chances of throwing up and aspirating. However, since most of her sedation is gone and she is now off the vent, she was pretty much inconsolable last night. They try giving her some medicine to make her calm down... to no avail. Katie-bug was HUNGRY! So the nurse called the doctor last night and was able to ok some Pedialite. They have it in little bottles so she was able to just stick a nipple on the little container and let me give it to Katie. She sucked up half the bottle right away and then went to sleep! She has an aggressive appitite just like mama. After she went to sleep around midnight, I was able to go to sleep until she woke up again. Every time she woke up, she would take some Pedialite and then suck on her paci til she went back to sleep. She is now working on her second bottle of Pedialite. Oh and the best part... we will get to hold her today!!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Extubation Complete

They extubated Katherine a few hours ago and have put her on a SiPAP machine instead (to help prevent her lungs from collapsing). She has a tiny little mask over her nose now that is pretty much just blowing oxygen at her and she is doing all her breathing on her own. She is doing great with it so far.

Just as I was typing this post, she started getting upset. Soooo I went over to her to try and sooth her and guess what?!?! She started sucking on her paci! Hallelujah, how exciting that she still remembers =) This makes us very happy and hopeful that she will be a good feeder. It also makes us happy because now we know at least one way to sooth her when she gets upset, a necessary staple in the toolbox of any new parent, hehe. Yay!

This Morning's Rounds

The docs just rounded and they have lots of exciting plans for today. They are cutting both of Katherine's sedation medicines (Versed and Fentanyl) in half. She did well on her ventilator trials yesterday and her blood gasses looked very "reassuring" so they are going to do an echo of her heart, another pressure trial on the vent, and then extubate this afternoon if all still looks well. Yay!!! We still won't be able to hold her with the chest tubes, arterial line, and foley in, but we will be able to hear her again. We heard her cry when she was first born and a few times in the NICU when we did her "cares", but she has been unable to make any sound since they put the vent in for her surgery. I especially miss the little noises she would make when she is sleeping. We just praise the Lord for all He has done for our little girl and for working through the medical staff here at CMC to allow her little half a heart do the job of a whole one.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Two Weeks Old and Counting

This morning, they removed Katherine's other common atrial line. They have also started doing "trials" with the ventilator, where they turn off the vent for a period of time and let her do all of the work for a while to let her body practice breathing on its own again. So far, she is doing very well with this and is maintaining oxygen sats in the high 80s, which is pretty good with her condition. The "trials" are to get her ready to remove the vent and extubate her (which they are talking about doing tomorrow if everything stays good!!!) It seems like it has been forever since we have held her... It will be so nice to have the tubes and wires out soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Continuing to Improve

A lot of the excess fluid around Katherine's lungs drained yesterday, so she is now breathing much easier. Her chest x-ray also looked MUCH clearer today. The plan for today has been to wean more of the vent, increase the amount of breast milk she is receiving, decrease her Fentanyl (sedation medication), and to stop the Diuril (one of the two diuretics that she is on to get rid of fluids). So far, she has tolerated all of this quite well. During rounds this morning, there was some discussion about removing her other common atrial line, but they decided to wait on that. With regard to her sucking her paci, the last two days she has just been gumming it when we try to give it to her. However, the nurses assure us that this is normal and that she will start sucking it again before we know it. We are hoping that it has something to do with how sedated she has been the last couple of days. Her swelling is now minimal and she is breathing over the vent pretty consistently. All in all, things are going well today. Thank you Lord!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Two Steps Back

Today the docs noticed that the xrays of Katherine's right lung looked a little hazy so they decided to do an ultrasound on her chest. The ultrasound showed that she has a buildup of fluid around the lung, so they decided to put a smaller chest tube called a pigtail in to drain the fluid out. Just before Mark, the nurse practitioner, came to put the tube in, the doctor came back to ultrasound the left lung as well just to double check it. This ultrasound showed that the left lung had even more fluid around it so they ended up putting a pigtail on both sides of her chest. So she had had the big chest tube removed the other day, and now today she has two more, poor thing. Thankfully, these tubes are much smaller than the one they took out. So far, they have drained quite a bit of fluid out of her, which is good. Her lungs still sound horrible when we listen to her and we can feel a rumbling wheeze when we lay a finger on her chest, but hopefully the fluid will drain off and she will be able to breathe more freely. Even though this is a step backwards, we are glad that the doctors are moving slow with her when it comes to preparing to take her off the vent, so that they can watch for things like this and take care of them as they pop up. We are praying that the Lord helps her to get rid of the excess fluid and helps her to breathe easier. We know that He will help her off the vent in His own time, whenever it is right for her. We are also thankful that He has given her doctors that double check her care and are grateful that they also caught the fluid on her left lung.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Starting to Get Rid of Some Tubes

Yesterday, they were able to successfully take out Katherine's pacing wires and one of her common atrial lines. They left the chest tube in for a while, to see if there was any bleeding as a result of taking out the wires. What drained from the tube was very minimal, which is good, so they took out the chest tube last night. Yay! Getting that big scary looking chest tube out was a big step. Today they have been tweaking her sedation medications to find a happy medium between a fiery, purple mad-faced Katie-bug and a completely unreactived Katie-bug. She seems to have a good balance at the moment, as she is able to wiggle around, open her eyes, and react, but she is not so awake that she is unconsolable whenever someone messes with her. I tried to get her to suck on her paci a bit, but I think she was maybe a little too sedated to successfully accomplish the task at hand. She did gum it a little bit and it seemed to calm her at times. She also had a few big poopy diapers today, which is great because she has been stopped up for a while and the docs were concerned that her gut was not moving well. We spent the night at home for the second time yesterday, so were able to do laundry, check the mail, and do a few errands on the way back this morning. All in all, today has been kind of peaceful, which is definitely a good thing in the CVICU. Thank you Lord for a slow day. =)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Working Towards Extubation

We were able to talk to the neurologist directly yesterday so received some more details about what we thought was a seizure the night before last. He reaffirmed that the EEG showed only normal sleep patterns. However, he did say that what the nurse and nurse practitioner had described sounded very like a seizure so he ordered a cranial ultrasound to check to make sure that there are no bleeds in her brain.
The ultrasound was clear with no bleeds, so they think that she just suffered a single seizure due to being on bypass during the chest closure and say that she should not have any long term effects from it.

They have started talking about working towards extubating Katherine sometime this weekend, but there are several things that must first occur to make this possible. The plan for today is to wean her from some of her medications and to remove some of the tubes and wires that are in her at the moment. They were able to wean her from the Epi yesterday and she tolerated it quite well. They took her off of Heparin this morning in preparation to attempt to remove her chest tube, pacing wires, and one of her common atrial lines later on today. She is still breathing over the ventalator (taking some breaths on her own), so hopefully everything goes well today, she behaves, and we will be one day closer to coming off the vent.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Morning After Chest Closure

Everything went well yesterday with Katherine's chest closure. She did give us a little scare last night though. The nurse noticed her heart rate and pressures suddenly going way high last night, accompanied by some twitching in her shoulders and abdomen on the left side. Thinking it might be seizures, she was given Atiban and an EEG was ordered. They did the EEG and sent the results to the neurologist that was on call last night. He said that it just showed normal sleep patterns, so it was not seizures. That was a huge relief for us. We are thinking that what was happening last night might have just been a reaction to coming off of the paralytic they used. It probably really scared her when she woke up underneath the paralytic and could all of a sudden hear and feel us but not be able to move and react the way that she wanted. Her numbers look a little better now and she seems to be doing fine. She has woken up a tiny bit this morning, opened her eyes and wiggled around a little. So far today, all is well, praise the Lord!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chest Closure Success!

The chest closure was a success! Dr. Maxey just came and said there were no problems and that she tolerated it very well. Her nurse is in there now getting her ready and we should be able to go see her in about 20 minutes. She will be out for the count, but we will get to see our baby girl with her chest closed again!

Possible Chest Closure

Well, we found out just a little while ago that the surgeons are going to attempt to close Katherine's chest today. In fact, they have already put the equipment in her room and are fixing to begin as I type. The chest closure will be a bedside procedure, so all of the doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and other medical personnel came to her. Before they actually close her, they will squeeze her chest back together as a kind of test to see if her heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen sats, etc. stay stable. This will determine whether they are actually able to close her today or not. If her numbers go wonky, then they will try again later. If it works, we expect the procedure to take about 1-1.5 hours. We are praying for a safe procedure regardless of how it ends up. The Lord will let the surgeons close her chest when He knows she is ready. We will post again when we find out for sure how it goes today.

Monday, March 5, 2012

One Week Old Today

Today Katherine is 1 week old! Time is flying by for our little Katie-bug. Yesterday, we had seen her cry for the first time since her surgery.  It is a terrifying sight, especially with her chest still open. Her heart rate would shoot up into the 190s (they like it in the 140s-150s range), and her other numbers would go crazy as well. She would do this almost every time someone would mess with her, especially when they suction the ventilator tube. They have since adjusted her sedation a little bit, so we can still tell that she doesn't like to be suctioned, but she doesn't react near as drastically. She did tolerate her lasix very well yesterday, so they increased her dosage last night and she is putting out even more fluid now, which is good. Today, she seemed a lot more comfortable so what they did to adjust her sedation seems to be working. We were able to watch rounds again today and everything that the doctors and nurses said sounded positive. She was also able to start a feeding regimen today. They put in an NG tube (feeding tube) and gave her 3mL of milk through it over a period of time. During her feeding, they let me dip her paci in some milk and give it to her so that she can associate sucking with the taste of the milk and the sensation of being full. So far, she remembers very well how to use her paci and she seems to like the taste of the milk. Praise the Lord, she is such a good girl!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 6 of Life

Yesterday, after my last post they started Katherine on her lasix drip to help get some of the fluid off of her so her swelling would go down. Her pressures went down on the lasix, so they ended up taking her off of it and giving her more fluid to help with her pressure which stablized her again. They started her back on the lasix yesterday afternoon, which she tolerated much better. We ended up going home to spend the night for the first time in a week, which was incredibly difficult. I hadn't really missed having her in my belly all that much when we were in the hospital with her, but driving away from her was a different story. It hit me when a song came on the radio that I used to sing to her in the car, and I started to sing it to her but she wasn't there.

Every time we called in the night her nurse, Amber, was very happy with how she was behaving. She was able to wean Katherine off her ventilator a bit so that she is doing more breathing on her own. At around midnight, her pressures dropped again so they increased her epi from .03 to .05 (they had weaned her down to .03 previously). She did ok until around 4am, when her pressures dropped a third time so they removed the lasix drip at that time. They also increased her sedation because she started to show signs of discomfort when they had to do anything to her. She does not like being messed with! After rounds this morning they started her back on lasix. So far she is tolerating it well and all of her numbers look good. They tilt her ever so slightly from one side to another to help move the fluid, which she does NOT like at all. We had seen her open her eyes from time to time yesterday to try and look around, but this morning when the nurse tilted her the other way, she actually started to cry silently. She turned beet red and her little tears started flowing. They gave her a little more sedation to help and I scrubbed up really well, disinfected, and held her little hand and talked to her til she calmed down. It is incredibly hard not to be able to immediately comfort your child, but at least we are able to do something.

The plan for today is to continue her lasix drip as long as she is able to tolerate it, in order to get more fluid off of her. This must occur before they will be able to close her chest. Her heart rate is down to the 150s, which is where they want it to be. Her pressures look good at the moment, as well as her other numbers. They also plan to wean her a little bit more from the ventilator. Her left foot is looking better; it is a lot less purple than it was yesterday. We think she is also dreaming of her paci still, because every once in a while she will look really peaceful and start making little sucking motions with her mouth. We are very hopeful that this will help her remember how to eat, because one of her biggest hurdles after her chest is healed will be to learn to feed again before she comes home. This is one reason why babies who have surgery this early in life have to stay in the hospital so long, because the natural sucking instinct that babies have when they are first born can very easily disappear when they do not have a chance to feed for a while. Her ventilator is hooked up through her nose, leaving her mouth clear. This way, when she is a little more conscious, they will be able to dip her paci in some milk and give it to her to help her practice sucking and for her to associate the taste of milk with sucking.

I know that I have typed a book this morning, but there was a lot to update. We are just so happy and thankful that she is "behaving herself" as they call it here in the CVICU and doing so well. We just praise the Lord at every good report and are so thankful for all of your prayers. They are working!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Picture Post

Day 5 of Life

We got in to see Katherine around 8 o'clock last night. She was swollen and puffy, but not as bad as we had been expecting. Her chest is still open, so they had it covered up the first time we went in to see her. They say it will probably be about 3 days before they will be able to close her up due to the swelling. She is still on a respirator, which is doing her breathing for her. They probably will not take her off of it until they close her chest. They have several lines, tubes, and cables hooked up to her. The doctors went over with us what each of them was, but there are so many it is difficult to remember what they are all for. She only has one chest tube, which seems to be good from the way the doctors talk. She is on epi and another medicine to help her heart to beat properly. (There are other medications and fluids, but I do not remember what they are all for.) Her heartbeat is still tachycardic but the heart is beating on its own with the help of the medicine. Her left foot is purple right now due to a line (I think the central line) that they had to put in her leg near her groin area. It is interfering with the circulation to that foot. They tell us that this happens sometimes and usually clears up sometime around 24 hours after surgery. They do not seem concerned about it, but it is difficult for us not to be. She already has so much going on right now. We went to check on her several times in the night and each time, she was still stable. When we went to check on her this morning, they were doing rounds. They plan to start her on a lasix drip sometime today to start drawing some of the fluids off of her. This should eventually help with the swelling and make it possible for her to close her chest. Overall, everyone seems happy with her progress so far. Thank you for your continued prayers as she passes through this critical time. God is working in her life and in ours right now. Already he has used what is happening to bring us closer to Him, to each other, and to our daughter.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Day 4 of Life - Surgery Update

3:00pm - The OR called and said that everything is still going well so far

5:27pm - Dr. Peeler, Dr. Maxey, and Kristin (the physician's assistant) just came to see us. They said the surgery was successful!!! They were not able to close right away so her chest is still open. This happens in about 50% of cases due to swelling, and they should be able to close in a day or two. Right now they are taking her back to her room, running bloodwork, and doing other post-op work on her so it will still be about 1-2 hours before we can see her. Praise the Lord, our baby girl made it through!!!

Day 4 of Life - Surgery Day

We were able to stay with Katherine this morning in her room in the CVICU as she awaited the doctors who would come take her to surgery. We were told that they would most likely come to get her around 6am so we were there at 5 to spend time with her. We were truly blessed because they ended up not coming for her until shortly after 9. During those precious hours we were able to read her a story and each take a turn holding her and snuggling her. They let us walk beside her warmer with her as they took her to surgery. It was very difficult to see them taking her away from us, but we are trusting in God and know that she is in His hands and that He will be with the doctors who are working on her. Afterwards, we were able to get some breakfast and visit/pray with our pastor. Dr. Peeler called us while we were eating breakfast to let us know that he wanted to talk with us before he went in. He met with us at about 10:30am, talked to us a while and prayed with us. Once he left, we went ahead and took a shower, because we had to be out of the family sleeper room that we were in by noon. At 11:57am we received a call saying that they had made the first cut and that everything was going well so far. At 12:35pm, they called again to tell us that she is now on the heart and lung machine and that all is still well. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. God is watching over little Katherine and is helping us to remain strong. Everything that has happened so far is all to bring glory to His name and we know that He will continue to do His will in Katherine's life. We will continue to keep everyone posted as we receive updates.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Day 3 of Life

We were able to spend some more time visiting Katherine last night before we went to sleep. Her nurse last night, Monica, told us that she was their most stable cardiac baby at the moment, so that was a blessing to hear. They had given her a dose of lasix to help with the fluid around her lungs, which will hopefully help her slow her breathing down. We were able to help with her "cares" again and I was able to hold her for a good while. At that point, we still did not know when her surgery would be, but they were leaning towards early next week.

This morning, we went back down a little after 9am to spend some more time with our precious daughter. She slept most of the time and was as sweet as ever. A few times she woke up and was able to look at us a bit. The nurses have been letting her suck on a pacifier, and she loves it. She even uses her little hand to help hold it in her mouth - smart girl! She did get fussy whenever the nurses/doctors checked her and when we did her "cares". This time, Michael changed her diaper and held her, while I admired both father and daughter. He was able to calm her right down and she looked so peaceful in his arms. While we were spending time with her, Dr. Herlong (one of the pediatric cardiologists) spoke with us and told us that the last time he had spoken with Katherine's surgeons, they had had a cancellation for Friday and were thinking of doing her surgery then since she is so stable currently.

This afternoon, Dr. Maxey came to speak with us and said that, at the moment, they are planning to do her surgery at 9am tomorrow morning (Friday). Things are still subject to change at any moment, but that is the plan. Even though we knew that the surgery was coming and have been expecting everything that goes with it, to hear the words spoken and to know that the surgery now has a date and time and that it is very soon still came as very emotional news. Especially the part where Dr. Maxey reiterated that there is no "cure" for Katherine's HLHS. She will only ever have a single ventricle, half a heart. This is the longest, riskiest surgery that Katherine will go through. He said to expect her to be in surgery at least 5-7.5 hours tomorrow and that there are many complications that could possibly occur.

We ask that everyone be praying for Katherine tomorrow. Please pray that she remains stable through the night and that she continues to be as healthy as possible for her surgery. We are also praying that God be with her surgeons, doctors, nurses, etc. tomorrow - to guide their minds and their hands towards a successful outcome. Pray that God gives Katherine strength to make it through this surgery and for us to have strength as well. Thank you for all of your prayers.