Saturday, July 30, 2011

Still Here!

Well, as much as I didn't want to sleep here last night, it actually wasn't all that bad. They recently added on to the hospital, and the cardiology department is in a whole new section. The patient rooms are private now, with their own bathrooms. There's a flat screen tv with internet access, a little work station and a couch/twin bed. When I saw the room, it relieved my anxiety quite a bit. Not just for last night, but for our future stay. In September we will probably be here 10 days, and just knowing I won't have to share a room with 4 crying babies, trying to get comfortable on a rickety folding chair - it makes those 10 days seem much less daunting. I was like "I can handle this!"
I still didn't get much sleep since our little friend woke up every 2 hours to eat, but I was glad he had an appetite. And when he woke up at 4am and wanted to play? Well I wasn't thrilled at the time, but it was good to see his happy self.
We were hoping to have an early discharge this morning, but it's 1pm and we are still here. We waited quite some time to get an ultrasound done so he would be cleared for take off. Now that he's done with that (finally!) we are just waiting for those papers that say we can go home! I'm hoping by 3, but hubs just bet me $5 bucks it won't be until after 5. We will see!

*UPDATE: We were out by 2pm. Made the huz buy me lunch. :)

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Friday, July 29, 2011

Update From The Hospital

This morning we had our normal Cardiology appointment to do his monthly EKG and Echo. I had also been waiting to hear from Children's Hospital on when we would be coming in for Stephen's procedure to clot the aneurysm. The cardiologist took a look at the lump and we all noticed immediately that it had grown. That was a bit concerning, so she called the doctor who would be doing the procedure and they sent us packing to the emergency room.

We were under the impression that it would be fairly quick and we would be home later tonight, so we headed over and just wanted to get it over with. But after about 3 hours of waiting and being told a bunch of different things, we realized we were going to be here awhile.

They finally started the procedure around 5pm and everything went fine. No surprises so far! The procedure was a little different than I expected too. They did sedate the little guy to keep him still for the injection, but they don't actually clot his artery. The artery had a small leak and blood was collecting in that red lump, so they actually clotted that lump to close up the artery wall. And they wanted to do it quickly because it could be dangerous if left too long. Especially at the rate it was growing. So he won't lose that artery like I originally thought. But the red lump will harden and eventually just be absorbed back into the body.

When we saw him after the Thrombolization, he was PISSED. Mostly because he hadn't eaten in 8 hours!! And he was wrapped in a brace to keep him from moving his legs around too much.

I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing him with all these wires and beeping machines. It breaks my heart a little each time because I'm not comfortable with hospitals in general, and to see your sweet little baby like that is hard at first glance.

We will be spending the night here since they want to keep him for observation, which I was extremely disappointed about (add another year to my age!) All I can do is be grateful that things went well and look forward to getting out of here tomorrow. And try to have a good weekend with my little family and our friends. I can't wait.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Surgery Avoided!

Well things move quickly in the ranks of Children's Hospital. We really do have the best doctors!

We left our cardiologist appointment at 10am and by 2pm, I was on my way to CHLA since they squeezed us in for an ultrasound on the aneurysm. The ultrasound took some time with this little wiggle worm, but in the end they determined that they could avoid surgery by using another procedure called Thrombolysis. Using ultrasound again (to see his veins), they will inject the bloated artery with a medication that will cause the aneurysm to clot. It will harden and eventually just be absorbed back into the body. He will lose that artery, but the doctors are not worried about that. (He's already down two arteries, but seems that the body makes up for it in other ways.)

So we are pretty relieved. He'll have to be sedated during the procedure, but that's so much better than having to go through a whole surgery under full sleep anesthesia.

Seems that the good vibes you all have been sending have helped relieve us from another pickle. I'm reminded of the time his sternum came un-wired and we thought we'd have to do another surgery then. Somehow it corrected itself and no surgery was needed. Talk about lucky!

So as challenging as it seems sometimes, we count our blessings in so many ways, you have no idea!

We Can't Take Anymore Surprises!!

Stephen had his Cath Lab done last Friday, and the results were what they expected. Which was good news. I was waiting to update until I was clear on the details, so I'll get more into that later.

His recovery from surgery was amazing. He was groggy and grumpy in the hospital, but as soon as they took his wires off and the IV out, he was ready to play. He wanted to roll over and bounce around. I was shocked how quickly he returned to his old self! What a champ.

Here's where the surprise starts:
Last night while he was getting his bath, I noticed a red lump on his leg, right above the incision area. I did a double-take, but wasn't sure if it was new or if I just hadn't noticed it before through the bruising. When the husband got home, he also looked at it and couldn't remember seeing it before. The thing that was weird to him was that you could feel his pulse really clearly if you pushed on the lump. So we called the cardiologist and he wanted to see Stevie first thing this morning. I had a hard time sleeping last night, imagining what it could be.

The doc took a look at it this morning to confirm his suspicion that it was an aneurysm. So basically, the artery where they inserted the cath did not heal properly. Here's your biology lesson for the day... The artery has layers. When all of the layers do not heal, the artery is not held together properly. This is what was causing the lump. The artery walls are weak so its bulging. The cardiologist has done these cath labs 1,000 times and never seen this happen (OF COURSE!) So he referred us back to Stephen's original heart surgeon, who should be able to repair it within the next few days. He assured us that his life is not in danger, so we just need to get it taken care of as soon as we can.

But it's one more surgery. And it kind of makes me sick to my stomach.

So I'm staying positive. I know he'll be fine. But the hardest thing for me is figuring out the difference between my motherly instincts and my brain just being tired and overreacting. It's hard to trust yourself at a time like this. Plus at this point, it's almost comical that he would have another complication. Like someone is messing with us. But I'm confident that he is always in good hands - literally and figuratively. Sorry to be greedy, but I'm going to keep asking ya'll to keep sending your happy thoughts and prayers in our direction. All the support just helps us get through these little hiccups. (And the not so little ones too.)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

7 Months Old

Baby: What a fun little guy we've got on our hands. He is now rolling over both ways. If I leave him alone for a few minutes, I often wonder how he got to where he ended up. Such a little mover. We have been practicing sitting up, but I don't think it will happen right away. Since his eyelids sag, he has to put his head back to see, and that throws off his balance. So it's going to be a tricky one to overcome, but I know he'll get it when he's ready. Anytime he's on my lap, he wants to bounce, bounce, bounce. Even the day of his surgery, as soon as we got all his wires off, he was just ready to play. I was amazed! Like a boss. Everyone who meets him, loves him instantly and even people in public just die over his little baby glasses. His eyes, however, aren't doing great. Now both eyes are crossing, even with the new specs, so that might need to be corrected surgically. Only time will tell. His helmet is helping his head shape though, so that's a relief. His sleep has improved. The last few weeks he's been waking up twice in the night (way better than every 2 hours!!) and he takes a few naps during the day, ranging anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours. Life is good.

Parents: We are figuring that we age 1 extra year for every day that we are in the hospital. So his first hospital stay aged us about 10 years and this last one about 6 months. If that's the case, I'm almost 43 now and I must say, I don't care for it! We are quite a team though. We really do pull each other through the tough moments. We seem to balance each other out. When one is overwhelmed the other will carry the load for a bit. Once in awhile, we do have our rough spots as a couple, and when the stress and tiredness gets to us, we snap at each other. Over really stupid things. But we do try to remember the real reason we are annoyed and its not with each other. Apologies and forgiveness come quickly and easily. One great thing we've done for ourselves is move Stephen to a crib at the foot of our bed, and now we get to sleep together! It can be a pain to get the bambino in and out for feedings (and sometimes I'm too lazy to put him back in the crib) But what a great feeling to be back together. Aaaaaaaaaaahhh.

Mommy's Thoughts: Aren't husbands great? This last month, mine has been working a LOT. Several 12 hour days and even a few 16 hour days, along with weekends. There were a few times where I started to feel like a single mom and I gotta give props to those women who do this alone. It was tough! Just not getting that little break at the end of the day made me feel exhausted. So I am really grateful for my husband and all that he does to support me and our little family. And as much as I'm thankful for his amazing work ethic, I'm even more glad when he can be home with us!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cardio Catheterization

My anxiety is building a little. Stevie has a small procedure tomorrow called a cardio catheterization, which is sort of like an angiogram or angioplasty (which I didn't know what that was until the doc explained it).

Basically the cardiologist will make a small incision in the groin area and run a tube up through his blood vessels. They will then inject dye through the veins and take an x-ray. This will prepare them for his upcoming surgery by allowing them to see how all the vessels and heart are working. They will also be making sure the heart has no additional holes that need to be patched. It will just show things that may have been missed in all his ultrasounds.

It's an invasive, but minor (?), procedure and we should be going home from the hospital that night or the next morning. They don't expect any complications. But anytime the baby has to be in the hospital and under anesthesia, it's a little nerve-wrecking. And whenever the doctors don't expect complications, I'm reminded of his first surgery when he had major complications.

So just asking you guys to send a couple extra prayers, vibes, happy thoughts, etc. our way that our little buggy boy will be safe and back home as quickly as possible!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


My brother and his wife FINALLY came to visit! They live all the way over in Southern Missouri (close to Joplin) and took quite a road-trip for their vacation. They stopped in New Mexico and Arizona before reaching us and will be stopping in Utah and Nebraska on their way home.

I had so much fun with them here. Of course I got to be the L.A. Tour Guide again (my specialty) and things were a little different with baby in tow. But Stephen was honestly so great as we were out sight-seeing, it was a pleasure bringing him along. I'm convinced that he just loves being out of the house and seeing new things - apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

My SIL has never been to California, so in the short amount of time they were here, we walked around in Hollywood and Santa Monica, they went to a Conan taping (I know - so lucky!), we ate at some of the CA hot spots, and enjoyed playing catch up. They were so awesome with Stevie too, he absolutely adored both of them. One of these days I will get them to stay longer, but this was just a perfect little trip to see where we live and meet their nephew. And the good news is I will be going out their way in a few weeks, so I get to see them again so soon! I'm usually lucky to see them once a year, so twice in one summer is pretty great!

Our impressions of "People trying to be sexy, but they're just NOT". Hahaha, I don't know!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Hey everyone! I just sat up for a whole 3 seconds. AND I rolled from my belly to my back about 6 times. It was quite the exciting day around here!

P.S. Mom's computer is back up and running. Thanks, Dad!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Save Me Geek Squad!

Fourth of July was the dreaded day. I downloaded some pictures from my phone to back them up and CRASH! went my computer. Still don't know why, but Windows took a dive and needs to be reinstalled. My husband is tech support around these parts, but he has been so busy with work (getting-home-at-2am-busy) that he's barely even glanced at my computer. Its not like I have all that much to share, it's just weird not having my stuff readily available. I can't edit photos or visit many websites. All my online interaction is through my iPhone and some things just aren't practical that way. So I'll be up and running eventually, but for now I'm reading your blogs and checking Facebook on this little screen.

As for my sweet boy, he got his first little sickness - enteroviral infection - so the doc put him on an altered diet for a few days, but he really seems fine. They say it will get worse before it gets better, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that's not the case. I guess it was bound to happen with all the kids he's around in the doctor's offices.

On a different note, the weather in LA has been incredible. We had a week of hot, humid weather but the last few days it's been in the low 80's. Quite unusual for July, but I'm absolutely LOVING it. Again, I'm reminded why I love living here.

Had to sneak In a few pics of the buggy boy...

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mommy Faux Pas #6

Stevie has been sleeping in a Pack N Play at the foot of our bed. We needed to give each other some space. At about 2am, I usually pull him back into bed with us for a quick bottle and we all go back to sleep.

This time, hubs and I fell back asleep, but the little guy had other plans. He spent some time rolling around until he reached the foot of the bed and... fell off. He didn't fall far, because he landed on the footboard, in between our mattress and the Pack N Play. But it still shook us all up.

I've never seen my husband move so quickly from a dead sleep. I'm not sure I've ever seen him move that quickly ever!