Hospital – Day 4

So many evidences of God’s presence were with us yesterday. {NOT THAT I NEED THESE SIGNS TO BELIEVE – but they sure are consoling!!!!} If I were to go in to them all at once in this post I would sound like an overexcited little kid rambling about EVERYTHING I saw on my first trip to the circus, “And then… !!!! And then… !!!!! And then… !!!!! And and and and!!!!”

One of the most poignant assurances happened when our second surgeon introduced himself to us. After a lengthy discussion about the procedure that Nora was about to undergo he noticed William’s TEAM MITCH shirt. {I had talked about Team Mitch in the Lots o Pictures post and last year’s Pigs Do Fly post, of which Nora was added as an honorary member.} The T-shirt William had on was vintage and didn’t have Nora’s name listed on them yet, but these are the shirts from the year Nora was born:

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After William explained the shirt, it turns out that this surgeon knows the McLaughlin family well. Their young daughters are very good friends. In absolutely no instance of “coincidence” at that EXACT MOMENT OF CONNECTION (2:52 PM) Maria (Mitch’s wife) texted me a picture of her aforementioned daughter standing next to a big giant PINK Hello Kitty and reminding me that God’s got this, not to let satan distract me, and to let our guardian angels handle this.
(tearful breath of absolute awe in the knowledge that all the right people were in place at just the right time!!)

I think it’s safe to say that Mitch is looking out for his little Team Mitch buddy!!!!!! This was the 2nd occurrence of the day that involved Mitch — both impossible to ignore or dispute.

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As I explained in yesterday’s post, Nora’s surgery had been bumped. She didn’t actually end up going down to the OR until about 3:45. We waited patiently in the stark empty room, void of our baby and her big girl hospital bed, thankful for the distraction of sweet friends who work here and our nurse.

The phone finally rang a little after 5 where one of the members of the surgical team explained that they were in the process of closing her back up. Everything looked good. Even though we knew we weren’t out of the woods by any means, William and I hugged, cried and gave mighty thanks and praise to God. We wanted to wait until we had the full story from the surgeon before we publicly declared anything, but thus far things were looking good!

Immediately after surgery Nora had a pulmonary hypertensive crisis which prolonged her stay in the OR. Fortunately they got it under control and they were able to bring her back up to the CICU around 7 pm. We were a little taken off guard when they quickly ushered us out into the waiting room and told us that it would be about an hour, maybe more before we could see her. They assured is this was just standard procedure. And so we waited. Finally around 8:30 we got to go back to see her. She was still very sedated, but her belly was sewn back up and she looked much better than she did with everything opened up. The report: Nora’s belly wasn’t exactly the PINK that we were all hoping and praying for, but it will be. It was pretty bruised up still, but it will heal and none of it was necrotic!!!!! PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE GOD!!!! Her g-tube was placed without complication and her intestines all looked really good. They did note some damage to her spleen and her pancreas. However, it was such a minimal amount they don’t expect that to cause any longterm problems down the road. While her surgery was a great success – the concern was now shifted to her heart and lungs. For a child without a heart and lung condition, it would be a tremendous undertaking to have undergone TWO major surgeries within 48 hours of each other. She basically had just run a marathon and was now needing this time to rest and recouperate.

Around 9:30 Nora experience some more pulmonary hypertension issues. Her sats were dropping steadily. They bagged her for a few minutes so they could see what settings needed to be adjusted on the vent and that seemed to improve things just a little bit.

Things were steady enough for me to go to try and get some sleep in one of the parent rooms, but no sooner had I layed down I got a text from William that Nora was having trouble. I tossed on my slides and scuried back to her room in my pajamas, people running past me to get to her room. I was scared. The lights were on full blast and the room was full of people. William stood back with fear in his eyes as they bagged her and suctioned her. I was grabbing at words to pray as I raced to his side, my heart beating out of my chest. “Come on baby girl!!!!! Come on!!!!!!” They called out orders to one another, rushing about the room, still suctioning, still manually ventilating her. Time stood still. We watched and we prayed. Suddenly the heavy pall was lifted from the room as the nurse suctioning held up a big “loogie” (medical terminology for mucus plug) that had every right to be accompanied by a celestial harp strum. There was a collective sigh of relief from all of us. Nora’s breathing was no longer labored. Her oxygen sats and CO2 levels recovered to normal levels and people began slowly streaming out of the room.

Today has been a very good day. There have been very few issues. They’ve had to increase her morphine a little bit, but she’s been able to come off of the epinephrine and calcium. She’s also been upgraded to a less critical state!! Things are headed in the right direction!! LIttle bitty baby steps!!!

For the most part, Nora is pretty sedated, but she did have some long periods of semi-consciousness. She was opening her eyes a little bit and turning her sweet fuzzy little head toward the sound of our voices. She’s been moving her arms and legs around a little bit too and had to get some soft little restraints around her wrists to prevent her from grabbing at her amassment of tubes and wires. It’s so strange to have these days absent of squeals and babbles. We miss Happy Baby so so bad, but we know she’ll be back. She is one TOUGH baby!!!!!

Three birds on the wallpaper border of Nora’s room:
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Heart sun from my sister who pulled over to take this picture:
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Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.
(2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

5 thoughts on “Hospital – Day 4

  1. Praise God she is doing well. She is such an amazing fighter. I will continue to keep all of you in my prayers. Much love, -Jen

  2. Nora is such a fighter…. Thank you for keeping us (the whole world who Nora has touched) informed. Joe & I will continue to pray for this precious little girl….and her entire family!!

  3. Good morning. I saw your comment on our Ava’s page and wanted to check in on your precious girl. I read your last couple of entries and plan to read more as soon as I have a chance. It sounds as though our precious girls may have some things in common–Ava had a Ladds procedure for malrotation. Her risk of a volvulus was greatly increased after this procedure. Fortunately Ava did not develop a volvulus, but she did end up with an abdominal evisceration and was rushed into emergency surgery. I say that just to say that I understand how you feel. Know that we will be thinking of and praying for your sweet girl. Also, if you happen to see me out and about today (I’m wearing a prayers for miss Ava shirt, so I’m sure you will recognize it) please say hello. I feel as though the other moms that I’ve met here have really helped to get me through these past 6 1/2 months. Some of us have a very tight bond holding us together.

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