Post surgery update (with pictures – warning!)

It’s been a long day. I’m functioning on 45 minutes of sleep right now so if I get through this post without falling asleep and dropping my phone (from which I’m writing this post) to the floor it will be a large accomplishment.

Speaking of large accomplishments, Eli is off the ventilator. While this is wonderful news, he didn’t tolerate it as well as we had hoped. He was coming off his anesthesia (although still quite sedated) and had passed the breathing test. He was a prime candidate for extubation. They removed the breathing tube while he squirmed, kicked, and tried to cry. He worked himself into quite a tizzy. His heart rate increased drastically, his blood pressure sky rocketed, his body temperature went up and his breathing became very fast, deep, and labored. Worse than anything we’d seen prior to heart surgery. The attending physician suggested CPAP. Unlike when he was in the NICU after birth, the CPAP does not pose a great risk to the lungs at this age because his lungs are more developed. He is now resting comfortably with a little breathing assistance. The CPAP is still less invasive than the ventilator, although it looks more obtrusive.

Now I’m debating whether or not to stay at his bedside where I’ll get zero sleep or go home and get a good night’s rest. He has one on one nursing with a nurse stationed at his bedside throughout the night. His nurse has encouraged us to go home since we need to be rested when we go to the “floor” (cardiac surgery recovery wing) as he’ll have less nursing attention and we’ll have more parenting responsibility. Considering I’ve fallen asleep twice while writing this, the idea of sleep is winning the argument.

Thank you to our parents for going through the longest (albeit considerably short!) wait of our lives here at the hospital today. Many thanks to my dear friend Alicia for taking care of Cody while we were here. Also, a HUGE thank you to everybody who has been praying for Eli and our family. Please keep praying for a smooth recovery for our super hero. I am truly inspired and awestruck by this tiny human.

Here are some pictures. WARNING! Some ARE graphic.

Saying goodbye before surgery

First time we saw him (he looked a lot less scary than I had anticipated)

Post breathing tube removal

Resting comfortably with CPAP


4 comments on “Post surgery update (with pictures – warning!)

  1. Mel, Eli looks great! So great! He reminds me so much of what Ian looked like after surgery. Getting off the vent is a huge, huge accomplishment! It took Ian nearly 6 days to get off the vent! Way to go, Eli! I, too, had a hard time leaving to go home and sleep but I remember our wonderful cardiologist telling me to go home and sleep because Ian was with the best baby sitters in the Mid-Atlantic… so I did. πŸ™‚ Take a deep breath, rejoice in your amazing son and get some good rest. Hugs!

  2. Hey there momma!!!! I hope you go home to sleep! He looks so good already πŸ™‚ ❀ πŸ™‚ ❀ Thank you for sharing. I needed this as we are now on our countdown to surgery!!! Lots of thoughts and prayers for you guys. Way to go Eli!

    • Renee,
      Pre-surgery (the day before and day of) was 100% more terrifying than post surgery – at least in Eli’s case. I just kept telling myself how much better off he was going to be. And guess what?!?His feeding issues are non-existent now. He eats two ounces in 5 minutes or less, whereas it used to take an hour or more. That is the greatest blessing! Luckily, he is cruising through his recovery like a champ. And I bet Ethan will be a ROCKSTAR thorough it all as well!

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