In the Cardiac Surgical Unit, things are a lot slower paced and laid back. It was difficult at times to feel like she was receiving the best care because the nurses didn’t seem to be as specialized as the ones down in the CICU—I often felt like I knew more than they did, which is maybe bad to say but I wasn’t overly impressed by some of the nurses. HOWEVER, I did felt safe still. And like we were in good hands if anything bad were to happen. I knew the people that could help her were readily available if needed. I had to remember that we would be going home soon and I would be the one taking care of her anyways, so I’m sure they purposely do that—kind of wean you off all the care they do. Ruby had a bit of a sad day. I’m sure she was in some pain still and probably bored. She was awake a bit more this day. She’d had a pretty good night, which meant I finally got a little sleep. She slept for 3 1/2 hours that night straight, which was great. She nursed when she woke up and they did chest x-rays. I think the x-rays hurt her because they turn her around and move her a lot. She also had labs done so she was worn out and in some pain by 6:30 am. I asked for some pain medicine and she gagged but thankfully did not throw up.
At about 7:45 am, they gave her some good drugs through her IV so they could take out her chest tube. She almost passed out from the pain when she was crying, but thankfully it is short lived and they stitched her up. But her x-ray looked good!
All the nurses loved her and kept mentioning what a sweet, cute, beautiful baby girl she was and how happy she was and how it was not the norm to be so happy at that point. So that was good to hear :). She is just such a trooper! It was SO nice to hold her without the worry of pulling out that chest tube! They’d be taking her IV out after the echo. Less and less things to be hooked up to = happy dance!
At about 9:30 am she was itching again! Poor girl. But thankfully she was still happy. Everyone kept saying how well she looked. The cardiologist listened to her and said she didn’t have anymore VSD murmurs but it did sound like there was a valve leak still. Which was expected until the heart healed around the patch there. The cardiologist looked at me after listening to her and said, “She might be one of the few who gets away with one surgery.” That’s what we were praying for! and hoping for and wishing for!
I had nursed her at 5 that morning and then with all the craziness of the morning, they told me I couldn’t nurse her anymore. She went a LONG time without eating because we finally got into the echo at 11:45. Poor girl. I was a little frustrated that they didn’t inform me better of when she could eat last. She was really, really hungry and sad by the time we made it in for the echo. I was able to hold her while they sedated her and man, is that so weird and a bit sad to watch! She got quite fussy because of the pokes of course, but when they gave her the medicine she cried a bit and then her eyes glazed over and she was out. She actually wasn’t even out for the entire time they had wanted her to be, but it was also good because she wasn’t sedated for very long and they were able to get all the images they needed.
The results were good on everything, except the pressures in her left atrium were high. She still had a murmur from a VSD but they expected it to close with time—yesterday there were two and today they said one! They started to give her medicine to help with the high pressures in her left atrium. They said she would probably go home on that med.
When I returned from the echo, Janina was there with a delicious lunch. Man was it so nice to see her! I situated Ruby so I could nurse and eat at the same time. It was a little awkward because a male nurse had to be in there while the sedation was wearing off and had to check on her. And I felt bad because he asked how old she was and I told him 6 months and he said, “Whoa! She’s big!” Well, Janina and I started giggling because she is SO small! She’s not even on the charts! So I felt bad and just explained to him that he was the ONLY person who had ever said that, and that she was super small. He left shortly after that, ha :).
While Janina was there she started to cry and said she was so sorry we had to go through this. She is so sweet. It made me cry, but I told her that it was ok! Because the huge fear of losing her was now gone. And I told her I was just so, so happy. I wrote on my phone notes: “God is good. People are good. I have a huge desire to be good and in tune with the spirit.”
After Janina left, Ruby let me put her down. I think she was awake, but I knew that I was starting to have some serious supply issues. Stress plays a huge impact on your milk supply! So I went to the pumping room to try and get that going better. I saw this and smiled :
Laurie came right when Janina was getting ready to leave, about 1:45 pm. Poor Rhett has some terrible burns on his feet and has really had a rough couple of weeks. So they were there for his appointment at the U of U. It was good to chat with her! I should have taken a picture of Janina there!
And then that night, my mom had planned to stop by with the kids. It was so so good to see them. At the same time, we had a surprise visit also from Sheila and Jerry. It was good to see everyone, though a bit overwhelming for Ruby all at once I think!
Oh it was just so adorable to see these kids with Ruby again. She was happy to see them as well. Just healing, all around. To them to see that she was ok, and for her to see their sweet smiling faces.
Carson’s class had made this huge heart for Ruby as well. So sweet :). Carson was really proud of it. These kids are just so proud of their sister. I totally love it.
My instagram update that night: She’s doing so good. She had a sedated echo and everything is looking awesome–the only thing was higher pressure in her left atrium. So they are giving medicine for that. Little sad today but once she saw those kids, she was all smiles. Had her chest tube removed as well…every day less and less things to be hooked up to. The doctor said we will probably go home tomorrow! So so happy.
My notes on my phone that night at 11:00 pm: Ruby is a bit sad off and on but sleeping now. They said the echo showed high left ventricle pressure and the med they gave her isn’t bringing it down, so they will have to figure that out. I’m so tired now. Good night! SOOOOOO love this girl and soooo happy! Today a lady was singing “What Child is This” in one of the waiting areas. It was just beautiful and made me cry. Just love people and this hospital. So sacred and lovely. Hoping to get home tomorrow!!! So amazing!!
Originally posted on family blog in 2013.