Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Drew Update

December 19 was a busy day for us. Here's what happened:

We met with both the pediatric surgeon and the perinatologist.

The surgeon just gave very general information about a few of the possible immediate, most serious complications (pulmonary hypertension) and ECMO. There will be a surgeon in the delivery room to immediately assess Drew's condition. There’s a very good chance that I will not get to see Drew after he’s born. I knew that but hearing it was very hard. It all depends on how he does in the first 10 seconds of life. If they whisk him away, I won’t get to see him until it’s physically ok for me to do so. I can guarantee that will be very quick because I WILL see my baby ASAP. The OU Med Center campus is so large that he will have to be medi-flighted to the NICU in another building. The surgeon will not operate before day 3 or 4 of life and many heart defects cannot be seen until birth so that’s still a big concern. He did say that in the best cases, he releases the babies to go home about a week after surgery. Thank goodness Raymond was there to ask questions. My mind went blank but R. covered everything.

The surgeon also seemed to be pushing a c-section rather than a vaginal birth. I questioned him on that and he admitted that it’s mainly for convenience sake. A vaginal birth does not hurt CDH kids anymore than it does a “normal” child, according to him, my peri, my regular OB, my primary care doc and Ellie's pediatrician (yes, I asked all of them!).

So off to the peri that afternoon. I discussed my concerns about the c-section with him and he rolled his eyes (really, he did). He said of course a surgeon wants a c-section, then their schedules do not get messed up and they like to cut. He assured me that I can attempt a vaginal delivery. Of course at the first sign anything is not right, I will opt for a c-section but this is the one area that I have a little bit of control over and I'm going to exert it. What will probably happen is that I will be admitted to the hospital the night before anticipated delivery and meds will be started around midnight to try and have Drew as early in the day as possible.

Drew’s status is the same—no better, no worse. No fluid build-up, everything measuring ok. Hydrops is another major concern, especially as I get farther along. Heart rate was 140 BPM. Stomach is obviously growing and still 100% in the chest cavity. The heart looks to be a little bit more squished on the right side of the chest but still functioning ok. The U/S tech was amazing; I have 10 minutes of 4D video. He’s now estimated to weigh 2 lbs. 9 oz.—more than a pound more than he weighed on 11/22.

I go back in 2 weeks (January 3) for another U/S and the diabetes stuff. All in all, a fairly positive day.

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