Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Busting a gut

So things  were progressing so well and I was making plans that little Tara may really be home for the holidays. But as usual she had a curve ball for us. I got a phone call that I just missed on my phone from the NICU on Tuesday in the late afternoon, with the doctor saying to call back because it was urgent. Not a message you want to hear. I called back and they tell me she has busted her stitches and her intestines are playing peek a boo. They covered it up with saran wrap, which makes a great occlusive sterile dressing, as well as tons of gauze and tape and stuff to hold things in place. She will have to be re-operated on to close the hole, to include general anesthesia and intubation. Again.

Fortunately Dr. Black who assisted on the first surgery was there and ready to go, and they got a new anesthesiologist on her case. I told them I would be there in 45 minutes or so and to pass along the info that she de-satted at the beginning and end of the last surgery according to Dr. Kadesky.  I quickly dropped off my son at my Mom's house and a casserole off at a new mother of twins house that I had agreed to bring dinner to for the Mother's of Multiples Club. (Google "Blend of the Bayou Casserole"'s fabulous!)

I made it to the hospital with a half hour to spare before surgery, running inside right past the anesthesiologist who was stuffing some last minute cookies down his throat in the waiting room. They had given her fentanyl again to keep her comfortable. This time I had a long time to talk to both surgeons and relax me. Everyone was baffled. They say this can happen with older babies after surgery, but is very rare. That's my girl! It could be related to starting feeds sooner, but her bloating from ileus the first few days seems a lot more suspect. Also the steroids can soften the skin and may have contributed. When they went in they found that one side held perfectly. Textbook. The other side was a raggedy mess.

They told me this time they would put in a double row of stitches, and since the surgery wasn't as involved she should recover and get extubated quicker. Dr. Black assured me it will make it like it never happened. Not only will the scar look the same, but for reasons I don't understand incisions after surgery don't really start healing for 5-7 days so it will not disrupt the healing timeline for her and she MIGHT still be home by Christmas. I appreciated very much that the anesthesiologist called Dr. Kadesky at home to ask about the de-sat he had told me about but was not mentioned in the surgery notes. Turns out it was only a 92% desat, but it was helpful to know about and she did repeat that pattern. I very much appreciated his caution and making that phone call!

Miss Tara less swollen, off pain meds, and feeling better. Right before she tore her little tummy!
 I waited all alone in a waiting room at 8:00 at night, and the coffee machine was BROKEN! That's just cruel. It took about an hour, and all went well. As expected she came back to the room intubated, but this time it only took about 12 hours to get her extubated. I stayed the night at the hospital sleeping fitfully in the recliner next to her incubator. As of yesterday she is looking more comfortable, but not as happy as she was right before all this happened.

Thanks to my wonderful mother who kept our son overnight and my in-laws who came early the next day to help us get some extra sleep. Nonetheless today some of my hair started falling out in clumps. I didn't think I was that stressed, but apparently I am. Apparently it's not enough that I'm sprouting many grey hairs for the first time after this whole NICU experience...

With all the attention on Tara this week, I haven't taken any photos or videos of the little man. I made up for it today. He was wide awake and having a dance party on the changing table, where he LOVES to hang out. I'm not sure if it is the super cute and colorful wood mobile from my friend Karen or the way he can stretch out and flail his arms and legs around. I just pull up the rocking chair and watch. He is following people with his eyes and head and making more eye contact. He smiles more and I think I heard him laugh twice. I've started reading him books, and he seems to enjoy it. I have to say I'm alarmed at how many baby books are about animals and the noises they make. Isn't the goal to get them to make human noises?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful babies. Scary times. Relief that things improved. Wonderful dancing happy boy.
    Fingers crossed. Support from strangers sent. Appreciation for medical people who go the extra mile expressed. Acknowledgement that through all this eventfulness you are providing other families with food and support.
    Thank you for sharing, reminding us all of our blessings and the amazing miracles our babies are.