Sunday, November 5, 2017

The Night Before Surgery

"You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice."
Bob Marley

Sunday, November 5th - Days in the NICU: 4
Well, we have made it four days in the NICU and Kieran is doing well.

I was discharged from Prentice on Friday (11/3).  I won't be doing aerobics anytime soon, but beyond some soreness, I'm doing great!  I feel very lucky to have escaped the labor and delivery with very little trauma to my own body.
Bee and Ba visiting Kieran
While we were picking up some groceries at Whole Foods after discharge, we learned that the surgical team felt tomorrow (Monday) was the right time to proceed with surgery to repair his diaphragmatic hernia.  This was great news because it meant that the team felt Kieran was doing well enough to endure the surgical process.  

In the meantime, my parents headed home and Brian's parents were able to come down to meet their grandson and spend some time with us in the NICU.

Grandma B and Papa meeting Kieran
Surgery is scheduled for 1pm.  The doctors feel Kieran is a good candidate for a thoracoscopic procedure (using cameras), but depending on what they find when they investigate the diaphragm, they may need to create an old fashioned incision to repair the hernia.  The procedure is expected to take between 2-4 hours. 

I never really got it when people talked about being proud of their infant.  Infants don't really do much besides eat, sleep and poo.  Well, I'm a convert. Brian and I are bursting with pride for Kieran.  He has been faced with such an incredible battle thus far and he has been exceeding all of our expectations.  Moving from the safety and comfort of the womb to the outside world for a baby is jarring as it is, but Kieran has faced challenges that few are demanded to experience.  Our little boy has been so resilient already and we pray for a successful repair and a safe road to recovery.  While Brian and I long for the day we get to bring Kieran home, we are trying to take each hour and each day as it is, continuing to trust that this is our journey.

We are expecting that there may be some setbacks along the way, but we are trusting that God is looking out for us and our little boy.  We feel so blessed to be supported by our church community during this trying time.  Thank you to Fr. Hurley and the entire community of Old St. Patrick's church.  Brian and I started our Sunday at mass before heading to the hospital and we felt so loved with the number of people approaching us to see how things were going and how Kieran was doing. 

Old St. Patrick's church - 11/5/17

We feel compelled to thank the doctors and nurses by name who have helped us up until now:

Mary Kamvisis and Linda Jagielski (our angel) - thank you to the two women who facilitated our transfer to Prentice and Lurie's so seamlessly, embracing our situation like we were members of your family.  We can never repay the sense of urgency and compassion you dedicated to our new family.

The doctors with Maternal Fetal Medicine - Dr. Michael Socol, Dr Susan Gerber and Dr Lynn Yee - Brian and I were astounded by your excellent bedside manner and willingness to orchestrate a labor and delivery as close to our ideal scenario as possible.  All three of you allowed us to be a part of our process and never once did we feel that you were dictating what we had to do - thank you for allowing us to be a part of the plan.  To Dr. Yee - thank you again for your cool, encouraging and supportive demeanor during my delivery.  You have no idea how helpful it was to my mental state. 

My labor and delivery nurses - Shilpey and Ivette.  Thank you for your supportive words and willingness to work with our birth plan.  Your kindness and and comforting natures helped me during the most intense moments of my life.  Ivette - thank you for supporting both of us mentally and physically, especially during transition.  It was so helpful to hear both you and Brian encouraging me to keep going and to focus on relaxation.

My postpartum nurses - Nav, Dara and Brooke.  Yep, postpartum is the most humbling time for a woman.  The vulnerability scale is at a 10 for sure and all three of you cared for me like a friend.  Thank you for helping me get through those first days after labor.

Dr. Ann Downey - Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  From our first consult, you've been a comforting presence of knowledge and care for our child.  You have gone above and beyond and we were so thankful that you were the first one to help our child after birth... and thank you for your kind embrace postpartum during one of my toughest moments. 

Dr. Nicholas Porta - I'm not sure where to start.  Thank you for your care for not only our son, but for our entire family.  Thanks for encouraging me to take care of myself... I never thought it would be such a struggle to sleep and eat, but I think of you whenever I'm tempted to skip a meal or an opportunity to nap.  Most importantly, thank you for the professional camaraderie you have extended to Brian.  It has been such a comfort to him during these last few days and we are so grateful that Kieran is being taken care of by the best of the best.  

NICU Nursing Staff - Mary Kate, Laurel, Jennifer, Catherine, Tracy, Olivia, Amy, and Ann
There aren't enough words to express our gratitude for your constant watchful care of our child, not to mention your care and concern of our emotional well being.  Thank you from the deepest parts of our souls.

I cannot say enough about the caring and talented staff of Lurie Children's Hospital.  Brian and I know that Kieran truly is in the best care out there. There is something so terrible and visceral about leaving your child - being away from them when they are so fragile and small.  However, the only way we are able to get through this is by knowing that he has tons of super capable and talented people tending to him round the clock.

Special thanks to Brian King, George Gulu, the Garcia Family and the Cadavid Family for supplying us with some delicious meals this week!  It is so amazing to know that we have amazing food made with love available to us during these crazy days.

Kieran Patrick - 11/5/17

 Please pray for our baby.

"Two of the hardest tests in life: the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage to accept whatever you encounter."
Paulo Coelho