Yesterday was bad, the low point, I presume. Even though surgery went well, it was so draining to sit and wait for it to end, and it was nerve-wracking to wait so long to see him afterwards (about four hours more). It was gut-wrenching to hear twice that he might need more surgery to correct bleeding problems. It was emotionally and physically exhausting all-around.
But today, the clouds have parted quite a bit. The bleeding from his chest tube finally slowed down and after a few X-rays to make sure that wasn't due to a clot, the doctors seem satisfied that the problem is in the past. They were worried that blood was collecting in his chest cavity, but for now that seems to be a non-issue. They were also worried about fresh blood that was coming out of the tube stuck down his nose that runs into his stomach. They thought maybe the tube had punctured the lining of the stomach, a problem they'd have to correct with surgery. A chest X-ray revealed that he has a blood clot in there, and no one is sure why, but they're also not overly concerned about it. They think maybe there was in fact a puncture in the stomach but that it was self healed. He'll be getting additional X-rays throughout the day to make sure everything is alright.
He's still on a breathing machine and will be for probably another day or two. His lungs have a little too much liquid around them, and they're giving Luke two medications to try and get him to pee more. Apparently after open-heart surgery, the kidneys go on a little vacation, and they're trying to rev them back up. If the urine output doesn't increase, and the echo shows a little too much fluid, they'll either drain some by sticking him with a needle and syringing some out or they'll insert a small tube into this chest.
Luke's hooked up to what seems like a billion machines. Wires are everywhere criss-crossing his little body. He's much more pale then he was before (he was a jaundiced and the blood transfusions from surgery take care of that). And he's puffy. But he's also still adorable, at least to me. He's still not fully awake yet but he responds to our touches and voices, he moves around a little, he sucks on his breathing tube and he even opened his eyes once or twice. Seeing those things makes me feel so, so much better.
Last night, I got about six hours of sleep -- by far the most I've had since the delivery. It was much needed, and I'm feeling a lot better today. Still tired, but much better. Jimmy's struggling with exhaustion, too, and he's napping right now. They kicked us out of the room because someone in another bed was just wheeled in from the OR.
I just want to say again how uplifted, buoyed, and blessed I feel for all the support, encouragement and love we're getting from all over. This has been so difficult, but all along, I've also felt a sense of peace that everything will be OK. I can't explain that as anything other than God's strength filling me.
We have probably around two more weeks to go before we can go home. Maybe just 10 days. They said he'd probably stay in the PCTU (an intensive care unit for kids with heart surgery) for a week post-op and then we'll move to moderate care for a week. I am looking forward to that more than anything right now. We'll have our own room and we'll get to start to take part in Luke's care. I'm itching to get to be his mommy, more than just cupping his head and holding his hand.
If you'd like to pray for us, here are some requests:
1). That his blood oxygen levels start to improve a little.
2) That the fluid around his lungs drains out without him needing to get a tube inserted into his side.
3) That he begins to initiate more breaths on his own -- this would be a first step to getting off the ventilator.
4) That we find ways to get rest!
5) That his nurses and doctors continue to take great, attentive care of him.