Thursday, June 9, 2011

Open Heart Surgery Day 1

Wow it's been a really, really long day.

I barely slept a wink last night.  I wasn't scared, just so anxious I couldn't relax.  Beyond anxious.  Ollie went to bed around 11.  At 2 I nursed her for 20 minutes because after 2:30 she couldn't nurse again.

We had to be at the hospital at 5:45.  We stayed at the connected hotel so at 5 AM I was so darn ready to get up we got ready and headed over.  At about 6:15 we went to a back room at same day surgery to get her length, some basic health stats, and to say our goodbyes.  The grandparents came back, so did Maggie & Kylie, then they gave us our time with Ollie.

Finally, at 7:30, her two anesthesiologists told Jade & I to give her our kisses and hand her over.  To say it was hard is an understatement.  It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I told Jade I hope this is the worst thing we ever go through together.  We prayed over her, kissed her, handed her over, and cried together.

We gathered ourselves and went to our waiting room to sit with our family.  We did a group prayer and they entertained us from there.  We got our first call at 9 to say surgery had begun.  It had taken a good hour and a half to get her hooked up to all of her IVs and to really get her sedated so they could start.  We prayed again.

Our next call wasn't until 11.  At that point they told us that the repair was complete (we were shocked at how fast this was done), and they were calling a cardiologist.  Basically today they put her on a lung heart bypass machine as he repaired her heart.  He patched her ventricle hole, then he made her common valve into two separate valves, and he then patched her atrium hole.  One giant hole in the center of her heart became 4 separate chambers just as it should be.  At that point they take her off of the lung heart bypass machine, the cardiologist did an echo cardiogram through her esophagus to make sure the repair is good (mainly the valves because they are the tricky part), then if they like what they see they close her up. 

Our surgeon has been blessed by God by a spectacular talent.  Every time we met him I couldn't help but think of the many, many lives he has saved with his two hands.  It's just breath taking really. 

They liked the repair so by 11:45 Dr. Huddleston was in our room telling us how everything went.  We were thrilled.  They said in about an hour we could see her.  Dr. Huddleston is our walking angel.

Jade & I rushed to eat lunch & me to pump & we practically ran to the Cardiac ICU parents waiting room.

I have never been so excited in my life.  Getting to finally see my sweet girl was better than any vacation, better than any Christmas morning, better than the birth of any of my children.  At the same time, it was extremely hard.  She is hooked up to so many things.  She has a central line in her chest (it's an IV that almost goes into her heart - it is stitched into place).  She has an arterial IV in her left arm, IV in her left foot, IV in her right arm, catheter, chest drain, and two wires that are a temporary pace maker inserted into her chest.

When we first saw her she was also on a ventilator, but breathing for herself.  It was there mainly as a precaution until they were comfortable removing it.  She was sedated.  She honestly isn't too swollen so far, but it's so hard to see your baby like that.  It took me awhile to get a grip on my emotions.

At 5 she finally was able to be extubated.  Previous to that her chest drain had a bit more blood than they liked, so they were giving her some clotting meds & plasma and platelets to help.  Until they were comfortable with her clotting they wouldn't extubate her.  Praise the lord they got better because she was fighting the vent & it was breaking my heart to see tears running down her face & an empty cry with a tube in her throat.

Now she's on oxygen & trying to sleep with morphine & Tylenol.  She moans a lot.  It's not from pain, although I'm sure there is a lot, but the nurse thinks the new environment and the "weirdness" of these meds make her feel funny which makes complete sense.  It's really hard to take.  I'd like to scoop her up and love on her because she wants me.

We can barely touch her or talk to her.  She gets too excited and makes her machines go crazy.  We can hold her hand or her foot, or just touch her head with our hand.  I can't talk to her, and I would love to.  She is so bonded with me, she adores me, but I can't stand to get her worked up when I can't hold her.

So pray that we have a good night, and pray that tomorrow she can actually eat - and that I am the one that gets to feed her.  I am dying to hold her little body.  Our main concerns right now are continued clotting, but overall "super squish" nicknamed by some of our favorite squibs, is kicking heart surgery butt today!

Thank you for the prayers & support.  Jade & I feel very loved.  We feel very blessed.  I have so many e-mails that I don't know when I'll respond, but know we read them all today and they were very inspirational!

Today God has given us an amazing gift, a successful repair, a healthy heart!  He heard our small cries for help, and he turned them into a mighty answer.  I give him all the glory, and he has blessed my family beyond measure.  Today was a wonderful day!


  1. OH Annie I don't know you can stand not to scoop up that sweet girl! I am so very happy that Ollie Faith is getting a fresh new start. God is so good! Ollie is such a lucky girl to have such a wonderful family and support team. Keep the updates coming its good to see her sweet face!

  2. This is great news! I will continue to pray for Ollie and all that love her.

    God Bless,

  3. Those pictures bring back so many hard memories.... albeit my guy was a whole lot bigger - lol ! She looks wonderful and I'll bet you'll get to hold her tomorrow. Make sure to love on her for all of us too !


  4. My heart goes out to you. My Jenna has not gone through heart surgery but she recently had her tonsils and adenoids removed. It is so hard to let them take your child into surgery. God was with her. May she recover quickly! These children are special gifts to us!! God Bless!

  5. How can I love you and your family who I've never even seen...? I DO. Thanks be to God that Ollie will be recovering well and in your arms soon!
    Sleep well and be at peace. God is great.

  6. Reading this and seeing the pictures just took me back to Lily's surgery. I feel your pain with the silent was the only thing that really killed me. We couldn't talk to Lily either because she would get worked up. She looks great and is doing much better than Lily did right after her surgery. Continued prayers for you.

  7. Annie, We are so darn happy that Ollie is doing well. Your almost done with this chapter, its almost behind you! Rest well tonight, if your able to. God has this under control.

  8. Wonderful news! Thank you for sharing!

  9. The Lord woke me up at 4:30 this morning to pray! Praise God that she is doing so well. Love and Hugs Anne

  10. So glad things went well! But I'm sure it is torture not to be able to comfort, hold or even talk to your sweet little girl. Your brain knows what you have to do, but it's hard to convince your heart of that! Continuing to send lots of positive thoughts your way :)

  11. I was so relieved when I read this post. I can't imagine not being able to pick her up and comfort her, it must be unbearable. She looks so sweet lying there. Bless her heart. I will continue my prayers for you guys.

  12. I don't know your family but I stumbled upon this post via Facebook. I cried and prayed for you and for your sweet girl. What a gift from God your little Ollie is. I pray you get to hold her tomorrow and that she heals quickly and completely. God bless you all!!

  13. We lifted your sweet Ollie up in prayer at our church last night. My heart breaks for the pain you are feeling right now, but I am so glad that your baby is doing okay. We are still praying!

    Much love, Naomi Rice (Lily Rice's sister-in-law)

  14. Welcome to the prestigious zipper club sweet Ollie!A scar to be worn proudly and a reminder of how good and gracious our God is ... these doctors are amazing,aren't they?

    Off the ventilator???Zoey decided to make friends with that thing for 4 plus days!!Ollie is definitely kicking butt.Proud of her.Proud of you all.Hang in there.You will be able to hold her in no time and when you do,oh,nothing will have ever felt quite like it, ever before.Remember too,look into those sparkly "new" eyes and stroke that "new" pink hue of precious baby skin!Rebirth for sure.

    Prayers from California continue.

  15. Oooooh those photos make my heart hurt! You are SO strong, Annie- I am blessed to be your blogging friend:) Love you!!

  16. She looks AWESOME for just having OHS!!!!!!! Like a Princess taking a good nap on top of a pillow! Thank you, God for prayers answered!

    Happy Birthday, Mama!

  17. I know this may sound strange, but she looks wonderful!!! So fantastic that she's off the vent! Samantha was off the vent before they brought her to recovery, too, which was a HUGE relief. Ollie is a true champ, and I'm so happy that she's such a strong little fighter!!!

  18. May your baby have a quick and complete recovery and you and your family continued strength and courage. Bless you all. That first moment of holding her again is going to be magic.

  19. Thank The Lord Miss O did so well! prayers coming for her continued (really quick) recovery!!

  20. Your words here are packed full of faith, peace, God-confidence and gratitude. They're spilling over into the ordinariness of my life which is in SUCH contrast to the complicated surgery, terminology, and machines that are YOUR reality right now.

    I can't wait to hear you have been able to hold Ollie and NURSE! (It's been 30+ years since I nursed my last baby, but my body can feel that urge as I type this. Isn't that WEIRD!?)

  21. Woot woot!!!! So happy to hear the good news, I've been a prayin machine, haha!!


  22. Its hard to look at those pictures, I cant even imagine how difficult that would be for a Mother. I am so happy the surgery went well and Ollie is doing good. My prayers are with you guys!!

  23. I just want to cry. I am so happy the surgery went well. I hate seeing babies hooked up to so many things. It makes them seem even smaller. Your beautiful little girl has so much love and strength, more than enough to get her through this and be better than ever! Love to your little angel and family. :-)


Thank you so much for your kind words & support! I love hearing from you & read each and every comment you leave for me! ~Annie


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