Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Colorado Children's Hospital - Surgery, Take One

We got up early this morning, checked in and got prepped for surgery. It took three pokes and about 30 minutes to find a good place for the IV - I have always had small and uncooperative veins. After getting into the operating room, I completely lost it again. There were 15 other doctors, nurses, and specialists in the room - all playing an important role and all there to help, but so overwhelming to me - reminding me of the reality of just how important and major this surgery is. Everyone was so kind, and one of the sweet ultrasound specialists, Beth, held my hand through the entire thing - just as she did yesterday. 

Initially, they were going to give me an epidural - but we decided to go with a spinal instead. As soon as I got that, they laid me down and started the sedation. The anesthesiologist gave me the same medication as yesterday, only 50% more - they probably wanted me to just shut up and stop crying. ;) The sedation really helped me relax, but I was still completely alert and attentive (and still crying) so they gave me another dose to help me doze off a bit. I wish I could have held it together a little better, because I really am not a fan of over-medicating, but in the end I am glad they did - and I know it was safer for them to not have me in crazy-pregger hysterics too. 

I don't remember much of the procedure itself, until they moved me to a different bed. The surgeon told me in the operating room that they had not been able to place the stent, but it kind of went over my head at that point in my half-daze. About an hour later, once I was a little more alert, they came in and told me what had happened. As they went through the baby's bladder, the bladder decompressed and the fluid emptied out. Normally, this would be totally fine and even what they are attempting to achieve, but they need the pressure of a full bladder to place the stent. They made the comparison to that of an inflated vs deflated balloon. Because it had decompressed, they could not place it. One of the doctors told me that this happens about 10-15% of the time in the old procedure, where they use the same instrument to poke through the bladder.

Fortunately, this does not cause any additional harm to baby - in fact he is probably having a little dance party being able to move around in the uterus now. The only problem is that the puncture hole through his tiny belly and bladder will close up soon, and we will be back to where we started. The doctors do not seem too worried about it for now, since we eliminated the pressure on the kidneys and gave baby a little more fluid to play in and help with lung development. But, we will be keeping a close watch over when the holes heal, and then will re-attempt the stent placement. Of course, there are risks involved with each subsequent surgery, but I still feel at peace - just very impatient. The surgeons are going to reassess next Monday - if the bladder is full again and everything still looks good we will plan for surgery on Tuesday.

I am now just hanging out in my room, hooked up to monitors for contractions and vitals. It is not uncommon after a procedure like this that the mother will contract for a few hours after, but I have not had one - which is also reassuring for repeat surgeries. If everything continues to look good, they should release me tomorrow and then have me come in once a day to check on baby. 

The hardest part in all of this is being away from the kids. I miss them so much, and knowing now that we will be here even longer is so hard. These weeks are going to be the longest of my life, but I know that once I hold that sweet baby boy in my arms - there will not be a second I would have traded. 

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