Thursday, December 31, 2009

George's Big Day

George is a new boy! His cheeks are flushed, his smile is twice as big, and he has three times the energy. On December 30th George had a heart procedure, and he did so well! Hard to believe, but after only two days (one night) in the hospital, we are home and happy!

George's PDA (Patent Ductus Arteriosus), a ductus in your heart that is open in the womb, but generally closes when you take your first breath, popped open when he came home from the hospital. When your PDA stays open, blood that should go to the body is instead recirculated through the lungs. (Olivia's PDA was open when she was tiny, but closed with medicine, and Samuel's PDA was also open and had to be surgically ligated back when he was 2 pounds.) In addition, George also had an ASD (Atrial Septal Defect), or in other words, a hole between the two upper chambers of his heart.

He has been seeing a cardiologist since he came home from the NICU... it's great because the same hospital where they were all in the NICU has outreach clinics here, so we get to see the same cardiologists, but instead of a 90 minute drive, it's only a 5 minute drive! At our last visit the determination was made that it was time to get the PDA closed... George's pulmonary pressures were rising, and there is a point where if it's not closed it can cause more traumatic damage to the heart down the road. Also, with an open PDA, you have to work harder to do everything! George's work of breathing, eating, playing, you name it, was more difficult because he had to work so hard to overcome the direction of blood flow caused by the open PDA. The great news was that while Samuel's had to be ligated, which is much more invasive, because George is older this can all be done laparoscopically in the cath lab! It's crazy - they insert the cath in the femoral line and go from there... even though they are working on his heart, the only scars are two dots.

We checked in at 6am on December 30th - which is especially not fun when the hospital is so far away. But, George didn't seem to realize that it was so early :)

Good Morning!

Hey... where are we?!

Who cares! I get mom and dad to myself!

Check out my popeye impersonation ;)

Love you sweet boy!

Love you too...

It was strange to be back at the hospital with George. I think it actually sank in the night before, but being there made it real. We were scared. The great part is that we have trust in the hospital - we feel like Samuel has been in such great hands, and the hands that were about to work on George are part of the same Children's Hospital team. There is a sense of relief... but when they take your baby from you, it's still terrifying.

They gave us a pager and periodically sent updates, which was great... especially because it was SEVEN HOURS after we kissed him good luck that he was back in the unit and we could come see him. Tears! And, the good news... we originally went in only to have the PDA repaired, but the doctor was also able to repair the ASD... yea!!

Our adventure...

Initial EKG... excuse me, can we get some more wires over here...

The cutest hospital gown that you ever did see :)

Hey! I remember these things - I love my pulse ox :)

Seven hours later, after the procedure...

What happened? Where am I?

Check out this cool new thing...
(It's actually the protective covering for the iv, which was not fun when he tried to rub his eyes, and a pulse ox on his finger, which was hysterical to watch at night... he was fascinated with it and waved it around in front of his face every time he woke up.)

... and these! Ummm... not sure that's what those are for, George.

I feel GREAT!!!

During George's procedure (did I mention it was seven hours? just checking... ), we were able to spend some time upstairs with Samuel :) He even made a Get Well card for George. (Have I mentioned the NICU team is incredible?!) I also snuck in to see him early in the morning while George was snoozing. It was "funny" to have one baby on the 7th floor and the other on the 8th :) Not sure it's actually funny, but I don't think they have a word for whatever it is...

George is feeling amazing! The seven hours was totally worth it :) Can't thank the team enough for taking the time to fix both the ductus and the hole! Six months of aspirin, a few follow-up appointments, and George will be good to go... no more procedures necessary :) Another good day - someone has been watching over us!

Olivia got to spend the two days being spoiled by her Omi :) Not to shabby! Thank you Omi!


Kelly said...

YAY for George!!!

I'm so glad that the PDA and ASD closure went so well!!! I know you're relieved to have all that over and done with!!!

Gary said...

Wow. Great news. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Laurie said...

George is so stinkin' cute! I love the expressions on his face. What a character.