Saturday, July 21, 2012

Surgery is Scheduled!

Isabella's open heart surgery is scheduled for Friday, August 3 and I am kind of freaking out. We have known this day was coming since I was 23 weeks pregnant, but now we have an actual date and time to focus on. She will be having surgery at Arkansas Children's Hospital in Little Rock, which is about three hours away from our home. My little sister Annie and my Aunt Barbara are going to come to our house to stay with Xander. I spoke with the nurse yesterday and she gave me a run down about how everything was going to play out.

We will have to be at the heart clinic the day before surgery from 8:30am-4pm. They will draw labs, take x-rays, possibly do another echocardiogram and an EKG. It's going to be a long day for sure. We will go back to our hotel after that and we will need to be back at the hospital at 5:30am on Friday. We will meet the surgeon, Dr.Takeshi Shinkawa, to go over the details of the surgery, we will meet the anesthesiologist, and some of the nurses. They will take her back around 7am and start surgery around 9am. Surgery will take a few hours, and a nurse will come and update us every hour or so. She will be on a heart and lung bypass machine (which takes over the function of her heart and lungs during surgery) so she will have to have a blood transfusion. They typcially use donated blood, but if we want to doante blood they will use ours. Since we are three hours away right now they are going to see if the Red Cross here in town will take my blood this week and have it down there in time to prepare for surgery... praying they can make this happen! She will be in the ICU for a few days and then she will be moved to a step down room. The nurse was so excited to inform me that they are opening their brand new ICU this week, so everything will be new! And they now have beds in the ICU rooms for one parent to stay. I will stay in the room overnight with her and James will go back to the hotel. They will wake her up 24-48 hours after surgery and we will go from there. One of the obstacles babies face after heart surgery is eating. I am not expecting any complications with Isabella taking her bottles. She has been sucking them down without a problem since she was three days old. They told us to expect a 7-14 day hospital stay, but I am praying we are released sooner!

There is an extremely high success rate with this surgery and Isabella's AV Canal is pretty standard. We do not anticipate any complications. We have been praying for Isabella's heart since the day we found out about her AV Canal and "heart day" will be here before we know it! While I am somewhat nervous (this is a MAJOR surgery afterall) I have a sense of calmness and peace knowing that everything will go smoothly. One of my favorite verses throughout my pregnancy was Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in You." I am reminded of this verse now and I trust that the Lord is going to heal our baby girl's heart.

Will you please join us in praying for our sweet Isabella? Pray that the Lord guide with wisdom and skill the mind and hands of the surgeon who is doing HIS work. Pray for a successful repair and a smooth recovery.

Also- Will you pray that Isabella stay healthy over the next two weeks. If she gets as much as a runny nose we will have to reschedule surgery. We have decided to "quarantine" ourselves for the next 2 weeks to try and limit Isabella's exposure to germs. I will not be leaving the house with the kids at all which means I am going to have to get VERY creative and find ways to entertain Xander! Please pray for my sanity as well ;)

And for those of you that are interested I put a picture of Isabella's specific heart defect below. You will see there is basically a hole in the middle of the 4 chambers ~ which is what they will be patching during surgery!

Thank you all so much for your support and prayers!!

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