Tuesday, September 17, 2013

No More Banana Peel Patch...

Maia finally got her chest closed today... but not without a little bit of drama! We arrived in the afternoon around 2pm, only to see her room filled with doctors and nurses, all with masks on. So we say hello and step out of their way and wait in the family lounge down the hall. Every half hour or so we'd go in to check on her but they were still working on her. Gordon did talk to one of the nurses who said they had to "MacGyver" her chest. At this time, I hadn't yet seen what they were describing. Gordon had seen it earlier and said there was string attached to her chest that's hanging from the light above her! We check in again and again, until they ended up closing the entire unit until the procedure was done. Finally, I go in to check if we're able to see her or not and the surgeon, Dr. Cohen, explains that they closed Maia's chest and that now we have to see how she adjusts to it. She did good right after but after a couple of hours, her blood pressure went down and they found that carbon dioxide was starting to collect in her, causing the acidity in her pH to increase. He said they were going to put her on a different breathing machine, one that will get rid of the carbon dioxide.

Maia with her "hanging" contraption
Maia with her new chest tubes

When we finally get a chance to see Maia, it's about 4 hours later and her room is no longer filled with busy doctors and nurses. Things have calmed down and her nurse said that they gave her more blood which made Maia more stable. She's still heavily sedated and I finally see what they were talking about... the nurse tells us that Maia's heart is doing great, but was feeling the pressure of being confined to a smaller area. So to give her heart a little more space, they attached some string to her chest which is tied to the light above her bed to stretch out her chest and give the heart a little more room. It's one of the most interesting things I've ever seen! It almost looks like she's hanging from the light! We also noticed that she was no longer connected to her dialysis machine! She's off of it for now and so far her urine output is good... the doctor said she even peed during the operation! So we're hoping this means her kidneys are working just fine. She also has 2 more drainage tubes attached to her, one on each side of her chest.

After a day of waiting and wondering what was going on, we are relieved to know that Maia is ok. With all the activity surrounding her this afternoon, we really didn't know what to expect... but she really did look good, considering some of the complications she's run into. I told the nurse that Maia was just jealous of all the drama and attention the other babies in the unit were getting, so she just wanted some attention of her own! Although Maia's recovery has been slow with a few little bumps in the road, it's nothing compared to the drama that surrounds us sometimes. Unfortunately, during our stay in the CICU, 2 babies have already passed away. It's very hard to see the families crying and grieving... it's just so sad and reminds us of what we went through when Marissa passed away. But Maia is such a fighter! She's so strong and seems to have a high pain tolerance just like me! We have a long way to go and it seems like bringing her home is still a dream right now... but she's making baby steps in her recovery, and any progress is always a good sign. We are still trying to catch up on sleep, although it feels like I will never be able to catch up! So we continue to take things day by day...

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