Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chest Closed!

They closed her chest at about 10:00 this morning. So far she seems to be doing well. Her sats are alright and her heart rate and blood pressure are within an acceptable range. She's still retaining a little more fluid than they'd like to have on her, so she's still getting the diruetics. She's tried to wake up a couple of times, but then falls quickly back to sleep. I'm really trying not to stimulate her too much, so I'm continuing to hover. She's been through so much and has had such a rough time.

I've been debating whether or not I should post some pictures of her. I've had some family say that I shouldn't, and some say that I should. After much deliberation, I've decided to post just a couple of pictures. As she continues to improve, I think that I will post more. You can tell just how sick she is by comparing the before and after pictures. She has a long way to go, but I know that she can do it. She has such a strong spirit and determination.

I am posting these pictures from the most recent to the oldest. She has been through so much that it truly breaks my heart.

This picture was taken just a little while ago, she's starting to wake up from the anesthesia. She's trying so hard to open her eyes, but is still too sedated. This is honestly the best that she has looked since before surgery.

This picture was taken at bedtime last night. She still had quite a bit of fluid that she needed to pee out. She did a good job!

This was Thursday, about 12 hours Post-Op after the emergency surgery. Her poor head and face were SO swollen. The thing on her forehead was to monitor the oxygen saturation levels in her brain. It was a way to make sure that she was getting enough oxygen.

This was taken a couple of days before her 2nd surgery. Her face just looked so purple, especially around her eyes. She was very swollen still and really struggling.

This one was Post-Op night after the 1st surgery. Poor little bug. She looked SO miserable. We had no idea that we'd have to do this again 6 days later!

This was also the first night. Such a big bed for such a tiny baby. At one point I counted 20 different medications and fluids on her medicine stand. They told me that they needed to have this large crib for all her drain tubes and to accomodate all the wires as well as the ventilator tubes. This big crib got crowded fast!


Fran said...


Valerie said...

What a difference! I can tell. I am a heart mom of 22 years and am thinking about you and your sweet little girl.


Jake & Stephanie Ellinger said...

I'm glad her chest is closed! Things should go much better from hear on out! Good luck to you. I will be up at PCMC on Wednesday morning. If you are up for a visitor, I'd like to drop by for a couple of minutes. We love you!

Vaeh's Blog said...

Yeah, her chest is finally closed! Now we can concentrate on prayers for getting her well enough to come home!!

I'm so glad that you posted the pictures. I'm sure some people would not like to see her in such a state, but as a heart mom, you can really tell how well she's doing! In the most recent picture she looks amazing!

She's on the up & up! Still praying that her body continues to heal & make progress towards being "healthy"! Keep up the great work Elaina!

Tina & Vaeh:0) (Jon & Gabby, too!)

Vaeh's Blog said...

I was just taking a second look at the pics. Her color is so good! She's making slow, steady progress! That's the way to win the race!

Praying, always!

Kathy said...

I'm glad they were able to close her chest...oh, and she is a little puff ball. Those dieuretics will clear her right up!

Yeah...we're glad you posted the pics. They're only scary to those who don't have heart babies...we've seen it all before. But, it's nice to have them once they've recovered...and to remember the miracle that took place!!!

LOVE to you guys!
Hope you're getting some sleep! Because, once they wake her'll have your hands full!!!

My Three Sons said...

I'm so glad they were able to close her chest today. That is a huge step in the right direction. I can tell from the pictures that she looks like she is a little more comfortable. I will keep praying for her to get home with you and her big brother soon.


MAYBERRY said...

I agree with posting the pictures, but those of us who have heart kids, this is a reality we live with. I am so sorry it has been so tough, but she looks good. She is just darling. We will keep her in our prayers.
Carolyn (mom to Ashton HRHS, dextrocardia, ASD, VSD, etc.)

Kristine said...

I'm so happy to hear that she is doing better...she looks so much more comfortable.

Thank you for posting the pics. I have similar photos of my daughter (even though her illness was Bacterial Meningitis and not a heart issue). Katie's were taken 3 months ago and are slowly becoming a distant memory. I just know that you'll be saying the same thing come September. I'll continuing praying for both of you!


Tami Acord-Nelson said...

glad to see she is doing better. watching and waiting and praying for you!
Tami and Ryan (Thatchers mom and dad)

Caden said...

I can definetly see that she has lost some fluid. She looks like she is progressing well! We are still thinking about and praying for you.

Ashlea (Caden's Mom)

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing the photos! I am trying to prepare myself for our up coming OHS and seeing the reality of what we will see, helps. You are all so strong! We are still holding you in prayer, glad she came through the closing o.k.


bmann said...

I just had the chance to look through your blog. Elaina really has been through a lot. I can tell she is one tough little girl. I'm glad to hear her chest was able to be closed and I hope she continues to progress just as she needs to. Seeing her pictures brings back a lot of memories for me. She looks so sweet! We will continue to pray for you and your family.

Diane (Brylee's Mom)

Vanessa said...

I agree with everyone that these pictures are a reality to us (heart moms). You can tell she is doing much better. Her color is looking SO much better. I'm so proud of her! You still have a long road but we can rejoice in the fact that her chest is finally closed!!!

Tuff said...

Such positive change!

Thank the Lord for His tender mercies, and for guiding all the wonderful, dedicated professionals caring for this precious baby!

The photo of Elaina's nice pinked-up face has made this grandpa's day.

People here in Nebraska are praying for Elaina - neighbors and friends, UNK students and collegues; even strangers who have heard have asked me for her name so that they can pray for her. Have faith and courage Hollie.

And thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to all you other NICU/PICU and heart moms and dads for loving and caring for our family during all this. What a comfort you are!

Que le bon dieu vous benisse tous - God bless all of you.

Much love,

Laurence & Barbara

Isabella said...

She is so adorable. Praying for you always!!