It seems crazy to be excited about a surgery appointment--but we certainly are so happy that Gavin was bumped to the top of the schedule! They bumped him because while he is stable now--his condition is fragile enough that if his heart gets further stress, it could weaken him enough that he would need more than one surgery--a stent put in before the actual repairing surgery. So they want to operate on him while he is at his strongest.
In these photos we are listening to the murmur of his heart. It is very humbling to hear how hard this muscle works for us. It is just the machine that keeps us going all day and night, and we never give it a thought. His murmur sounds like a whoosing sound. It's very loud--almost louder than the rythmic heartbeat. I was surprised by that. And it seems to have it's own rhythm.
As of tomorrow afternoon, he won't have that murmur!
The surgery will start around 1 p.m. and should take about 3 hours. When he comes out he will be sedated, and have all kinds of tubes coming out of him: his nose, neck, both wrists/hands, chest and probably other places I'm not thinking of. But he should come out of sedation within 24 hours and be home by middle of next week. John mentioned he can't believe we are here in Mia's NICU, about to go to her PICU. It is especially hard to believe since Mia was just barely here! And as it turns out, Gavin's surgery will be even be performed by Mia's surgeon Dr. Kohen (sp?). It is very reassuring to trust our baby with a doctor we already have so much confidence in.
So far I've been able to stay at the hospital this whole time--thanks to much help from my ward family at home! Thanks also to all the offers of help from my fam-family. Tim is keeping you on speed-dial! :) There is a tiny little "sleep room" (think dorm room, but smaller) upstairs where I sleep. I got 4 hours sleep the first night and six the next. I'm hoping for seven tonight! There is a "common area" for families where there are computers for parents to use.
Gavin is still not allowed to eat, so I am kept busy with pumping every 3 hours. I am a little worried about losing my milk, but I received excellent advice from a lactation specialist that really helped. But what helped most was when I realized how tense I was!! As soon as I took my mind off of pumping and thought of something peaceful, I seemed to sense immediate improvement and was able to pump more. I really didn't realize how tense and stressed my body really has been through this.
I was blessed my first day here with very special visitors: my sisters Mimi & Anne, and our kiddos. They all came perfectly staggered throughout the day, and their visits were a huge blessing to me. Mimi with all of her "insider" advice and showing me the ropes of life in NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). Her advice and support have been--well, I can't even describe how reassuring it has felt. (By the way, CICU is the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit--Gavin would be there already except they were too crowded.) Anne was a life-line of sisterly love and kindred spirit. Both of them had there baby girls with them--who were a JOY to see.
And then my kiddos. When I saw them with their Daddy walking down the hall to me, it just choked me up with love and perhaps a bit of homesickness. They got to spend a few minutes with Gavin, before we whisked them away to the cafeteria for a fun meal together! The kids all seem to be coping alright, but it is hard for me not to know the ins and outs of their day and well, just be so isolated from their worlds! They are pretty much having fun with their friends after school, until bedtime when they really realize my absence.
We have had many calls of support and advice, which I so very much appreciate! I haven't had a chance to call or email everyone back, but please know I am grateful for you. Maybe I'll have more time when Gavin is post-op, but right now I am soaking up the opportunity to hold him. You'd think time would pass slowly here--but as of right now, these two days have just sped past.
Tonight Tim gave Gavin a beautiful priesthood blessing, with the help of a dear neighbor/hometeacher. I am confident that all will go well tomorrow, and look forward to hearing that new heartbeat!