Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jersey's Surgery Update...

Heidi is getting some much needed rest so I decided to give an update on our little Jersey's surgery. We sent her off at 11:15 am and got her back at 9:45 pm. It was a very long day for Heidi and I to say the least. We would get periodic updates but we spent most of the day in agony waiting to hear the outcome of the surgery.

At about 9:30 pm our surgeon came into our room to explain what had happened. He explained that he fixed the issues with the heart. He repaired the VSD (hole between the right and left ventricle), put in a donor pulmonary valve and trimmed the pulmonary arteries (they were blocking her airway). He said that overall the surgery on the heart went well and that her heart function should be good.

Then the bad news. He explained that her major issue is her lungs. Her airway didn't develop properly thus making it very difficult to breathe. The airway is much smaller because the pulmonary arteries were blocking it while she was in the womb, inhibiting growth. He explained this will be something we will need to deal with for "a while". Now we were prepared for this, but not to this extent. She will need some breathing aids until her airway develops more, and only time will tell.

The doctor also explained that she is coming back from surgery with something called an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). What is an ECMO? This is a special procedure that takes over the work of the heart and/or lungs when they are too sick to properly support the body. The ECMO machine basically acts like a heart. This is where her blood will go to be oxygenated and sent to the rest of her body. This machine is very similar to the by-pass machine used for open-heart surgery. Very scary to think our little baby’s blood needs to be run through a machine before it gets sent to her little body.

Once our doctor explained all this we were pretty much in shock. We were both heart broken to hear the severity of everything, especially the lung issue. But nothing could've prepared us for what she was going to look like post surgery. Anyone who has had a baby have open heart surgery knows what I'm talking about. When they wheeled her in my heart sank. She looked like she went through 15 rounds with a professional boxer. She was swollen, beat-up, bruised, cords everywhere, IV’s everywhere, etc. She was surrounded by an army of doctors and nurses to help stabilize her. We just stood there not knowing what to do or think. One of the nurses suggested we wait in the waiting room until she had been stabilized. We took her advice. We waited until she came back in and explained everything in greater detail. She prepared us for what we will be going through for the next several weeks/months. Hopefully we are semi-prepared.

Right now she is attached to every machine imaginable (ventilator, ECMO, heat, drugs, nutrition, etc) and is being closely monitored by three nurses. They told us these next few days will be critical. In about 24 hours they will hopefully start weaning her off the machines. Once this happens we will just have to wait and see how she responds.

I'm sorry for the rambling, but I wanted to be as detailed as possible. We also wanted to thank everyone for their thoughts, prayers, blessings, babysitting, dinners, phone calls, text messages and cleaning (special thanks to Mandy, gross). Our families have been AWESOME, too! Heidi has been a trooper throughout this whole thing and I want her to know I love her very much. Tatum and Tucker have handled the chaos very well and are anxious to get their baby sister home. Last night Tucker prayed that Jersey would get all her cords off so she could come home. They are going to be the best big brother and sister!!!

We know Jersey is a special girl and we can't wait to hold her in our arms. We know with the help of Heavenly Father she will recover and be home before we know it.

26 comments:

Lily's Mama! said...

A very long surgery ideed, I would have been bitting my nails and pulling my hair out at the least by that point. The first 72 hours are the most critical and seem to be the longest of it all. Walking into a room and seeing your child like that for the first time is nothing you can truly prepare yourself for. May the Lord bring you comfort and strength durring this time, may he wrap you all up and help you through this trying time. Our prayers are with you. Try to get as much rest as you can, there is nothing much you can do right now is but sit and watch and wait.

Sending our Heart Hugs
Jenna-Lilyana's mama

Shanen said...

We love you guys- we are glad that long day is over, and everyone can now move forward. Great things await!!! Thanks for the great update.

The Larson's said...

We are glad to hear that the surgery is over and your sweet Jersey is back with you. Our prayers will continue to be with you and Jersey. Thanks for the update. We love you guys!

Amanda-The Family News! said...

Continued Prayers for you all.....

Thank you for the update!

PamJorg said...

You guys give me great perspective. We love you and are praying for the BEST outcome!

Jamie Y said...

Wow, what a long and exhausting day....sending love and prayers her way for a quick recovery.

The Smith's said...

Glad to hear that she is out and made it through. Let me know if I can help with the other kiddos. Steven and Ryan would love for them to come play.

Nichols Family said...

Wow. I guess it DID take literally ALL DAY. Your family is so strong and we will definately continue to pray and offer our help. I swear I checked your blog a million times yesterday. We will be checking back often. Hugs. She's a sweetheart.

MommyRohner said...

I about killed me to go to bed last night without knowing something. Thank you so much for keeping us all updated despite all your worries.
We love you guys and we'll continue to pray for miracles.

Oh, and don't mention it. I feel it's the least I can do. I would clean it every day for a year if it meant Jersey would become good as new.

Kristin said...

I like some of the rest of your faithful blog stalkers checked your blog like 5000 times yesterday. I am so glad that the surgery is over and that it went okay. We will continue to pray for the recovery to go smoothly and that Jersey will be breathing on her own soon. Love you guys.

Fuller Family said...

I know you don't know us very well, we are friends of Dale and Alys and have only met once or twice but I want you to know that our prayers are with Jersery and your family. She is so beautiful. We will continue to pray for her and you all. Much love.
The Fullers

Jen H. said...

We are glad the long day is over. You are all continually in our prayers! What a little sweetheart and a wonderful family to be born into!!! Lots of Love!!!

Mike and Vicki said...

What a difficult day to endure! I'm glad that it is over and you can get some needed rest. It sounds like your baby is in very good hands. I'm sure the angels were watching over her and guiding the doctors hands. Our Heavenly Father knows each one of us and blesses us with miracles when we need them most. Jersey has had many miracles performed in her behalf, I'm sure, already in her short time here on earth. We will continue to pray for more on her behalf. Sending all our love your way!

jill said...

I'm glad that surgery is over with! I would call, but I figured you guys were stressed so I have just been sending text messages :) Hope you have been getting them! I'm excited to see you guys next week! Wyatt is excited too and can't stop talking about his new favorite cousin. See you soon!

Crystal and Mark said...

WE love you guys our prayers are with you!!!

Janalyn said...

Thanks for keeping us updated with the details Chris.
Much love to you all.

The Ridgway Family said...

I learned of your little Jersey through the Milne blog. As a mother of a CHD baby, I know all too well the heart ache of sending your baby off to surgery and the fear of seeing them when they return. I am so sorry that your little girl has to undergo such difficult issues. My prayers are with you as a mother that the Lord will flood you with peace and comfort in knowing that He cares about your family and Jersey and He is watching over her. It is so scary, but I know that I have never felt closer to my Savior than during Eden's most difficult moments.

I pray that Jersey will recover fully and her body will heal properly.

Heart Hugs,
Keisa

The Smith's said...

I, too, found your blog through Bela's and just wanted to tell you that your family is in our prayers right now. My husband and I held tight to faithfulness of the Lord and the faithfulness of our friends and family that prayed for Luke as he recovered from his two open-heart surgeries. We kept telling ourselves that as hard as this is, the process is a GOOD thing as it will allow your sweet Jersey to live.

I was glad to read you are getting rest (so important!) and I will be praying that Jersey comes off ECMO quickly and easily.

Heart hugs to you all!

Jesse (Luke's mama)
http://smithfamilyjourney.blogspot.com

TJ said...

Katie told me about your pregnancy and blog when she came to visit at conference time. I have been blogstalking you ever since. I hope you don't mind, I didn't mean to be creepy.
Congratulations on your new baby, she, along with the rest of you, are in my prayers. What a brave little princess she is. And what a brave mom you are Heidi, I can't imagine the stress.

La said...

Hi guys. This is Lauren Woffinden, I am Avery Milne's sis in law. Just wanted you to know that there are people all over thinking about and praying for your family.

snydersinc. said...

Wow, I cannot believe how long that surgery took! You are both real troopers to endure this. We think of you everyday and have you in our prayers and our hearts! You really have a special little girl there, and this experience will only bring you closer to each other and the Lord. Take care.
Penny

ammon & Kim Riggs said...

We love little Jersey already & there's no better family she could be apart of. --Please call and let us know how we can help. AJ & Rocko would love to play with tatum and tucker anytime for however long you need. love, us

Sonia said...

I love you Heidi and Chris. I know for a fact the Lord will carry you through this. You have to expect to have different emotions, but you will feel comfort. Love each other and strengthen each other. Your little family needs one another. Chris, just hold Heidi. I wish I knew what I could do to help. I love you and pray for you. You are my dearest friend. Jersey is absolutely beautiful and has a special strong spirit that prepared her for this.

Ashley said...

Heidi and chris I totally know the stress and pain that you are going through right now, i Pray that Jersey will have a quick recovery!!

The Kemptons said...

We love you guys. You all are in our thoughts.

Posh Princess Boutique said...

Wow, you guys have an awful lot on your plate right now! And I am in awe at how strong you are both being about this! What an incredibly hard thing to be going through! I'm glad you're receiving alot of help. We are praying for Jersey and your whole family!