The Corbin Story: continued

March 2nd

Today I get to see my first born. :D
Today I get to hold my toddler. :D
Today I get to spend time with my whole family. :D
But first we have to go to rounds.

Hubby and I are sitting by the window when the doctors arrive. I'm looking forward to not only hearing what they have to say, but learning everyone's names. I have only met Dr. G, the Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgeon (or Baby Heart Doctor as my dad says), and Dr. R, the Pediatric Cardiothoracic Anesthesiologist (Or Mr. Sleepy :P); so I'm eager to meet everyone else who will be working on my son.
I did not expect there to be a dozen people in my son's room.
Geez...they are really are on top of things here! There are people from Nutrition, Respiration, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Pharmacy, and God knows where else.
It's hard to read name tags from across the room.
I am keeping a journal so I can take notes during rounds and conversations with doctors. God knows I would never be able to remember all these medical terms on my own.
Dr. Rh, the Ped. Cardiologist, looks like Santa. He is short and round with a long beard that he likes to stroke when he is in a deep thought. Then there is Dr. M, his Intensivist (specializes in critically ill patients), Julie the Ped. Nurse Practitioner, and Dr. P, another Ped. Cardiologist.
The doctors ramble off all his numbers and stats for the night, what kind of meds he is on, and their plan for the day.
I write down quotes so I can pass them along. But only the good ones.
"ventilates great"
"stats are good for a mixer" (mixer meaning that the two holes in his heart are mixing the blood)
"better today then when he came in"
Rounds are fun! (only when the news is good of course)

Not too long after rounds my father-in-law, his girlfriend, and Monkey arrive to visit. My parents arrive soon after that.
We all gather in the PICU waiting room. I can't wait to hold my baby, but when I walk in all he does is grin at me then walk away! I had to chase him down just to get a hug out of him. He was obviously happy to see me but he was more interested in checking out the room and the dirty toys tossed in a corner.
Hubby takes his dad and his girlfriend to see Peanut, and when he comes back he tells me there are people waiting for me in the room.
I go back to the room and proceed to fill out paperwork on two programs that Peanut qualifies for and his Social Security paperwork. Turns out he qualifies, at ten days old, for a monthly check!

The rest of the day, we all hang out together, eating and talking. I try to spend as much quality time with Monkey as I can. He's not spending the night; he, my FIL and his girlfriend, and Hubby will all be going back home tonight. There isn't enough room in our little room for all of us to stay. Although people are allowed to, there is no way we would all fit. My parents are going to stay till Hubby is off of work again.
Hubby and I go back to the hospital before he has to leave. It's hard on him. He's almost in tears as he kisses his newborn one last time. We say our goodbyes and I head back to the house.

Over the next two days. The routine is the same. I set my alarm during the night to pump. I have to keep it up so that my supply doesn't dry up. My baby needs breast milk more then ever and I will do whatever I need to to supply him with that. I just wish they would let me nurse but I know that will not be for a very long time.
Mornings are rounds. His progress is good. They are slowly weaning medications and balancing oxygen levels. We are watching his urine output like hound dogs. The more he pees, the better he is doing. So they are giving him a water pill called Lasix. Although it's not a pill, its a medication given through the IV that treats water retention in heart patients.

I meticulously keep track and write down what the doctors are saying. I don't want to miss anything and I certainly don't want to be in the dark. I make sure to look up medical terms and what kinds of medications he is on. I write down Dr's names, what they do, their department. The doctors have noticed my note taking and are starting to slow down to explain things so that I can write it down.
The doctors and nurses here are fantastic and I have yet to run into one rude person.

By March 4th, his oxygen levels are just right and his stats are where the doctors want them to be.
They are ready to go back in his chest and tighten his pulmonary clamp.
They were worried about oxygen levels because it has to do with the pressure in his heart and lungs. If the pressure is too high, they don't want to tighten the clamp and make it higher. Then he will go into pumlmonary hypertension, which could cause more problems. But the pressure also can't be too low.

At 2:30 they are ready to operate. This go around, I'm very nervous. I know I shouldn't be. This operation is much less extensive then the last. All they are doing is tightening a clamp then closing his chest. But I feel so nervous...

About two hours later, they are finished. They tell me they couldn't tighten the clamp as much as they wanted but it is good enough. Dr. G, the cardiologist, tells me if he has to back in and tighten it some more, he will. But right now, it is good enough. He doesn't want to put the baby at risk and "good enough" is good enough for him.

I remain nervous because when I go in to see him some time later, his heart rate is really funky. It will be beating along like normal in the 140s, then it will drop to the 80s. Plus his blood pressure is really high.
Uh oh.
The nurse starts hovering over him. Then she calls in a doctor to consult. I find out that his heart is beating an extra beat. The electricity from the upper half of his heart is hitting the lower half, but the lower half hasn't recovered from the last heart beat yet. So it doesn't communicate back to the upper half and it makes his heart beat look half the speed on the monitor; but in reality it isn't. Dr. P explains this is completely normal and will get better as time goes on.

The next couple days, he is progressing like a champ. Of course there are times when a number or his chest tube drainage isn't where they want it to be. But they fix it and he keeps chugging along! He is one amazing little baby and I can't wait to take him home. :)

*The updates since his chest has been closed are posted on his website: