After Truett's surgery he spent 3 nights in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). For the most part, we received excellent care during our stay. We had one nurse that made us quite uneasy with her lack of confidence, but apart from that we were thrilled with the doctors and nurses.
Here's Truett surrounded by all the machines...quite an impressive set-up for such a little person.
I spent a great deal of time looking at this screen in those early hours. The green number is Truett's heart rate, the red is blood pressure, I don't remember what the top blue is, the bottom blue is pulse-ox, and the white is breaths per minute. The purple is another blood pressure reading. It was automatically taken every 10 minutes for the first couple of days.
On Friday morning Truett's drain tube came out along with the breathing tube and stomach tube. He did not enjoy being messed with at all, but we rejoiced at each milestone that brought us closer to going home.
Late Friday morning I finally got my hands on my little man. It was the best feeling to snuggle Truett again. Never again will I take time with my kids for granted. Each hug, each snuggle, each smile or secret shared is such a miraculous gift. I thank God for the privilege of being mom to my two kids.
My two favorite boys sharing a much-needed nap.
Emily was our favorite CICU nurse. She took the time to get to know Brett and I. She's a mom to 2 little girls, one of whom has her own heart defect. Emily was a gift to us...a tender nurse who felt like a friend during a very exhausting first night in the hospital, and clearly another answer to so many prayers.
On Saturday afternoon, Truett's central line in his neck and arterial line in his wrist came out, and we thanked the Lord for being another step closer to taking Truett home! It was quite amazing to see how all of these medical interventions are applied...both lines were actually attached to Truett with sutures. The line in his wrist had one little stitch holding it in place, and the line in his neck was secured with 3 stitches. It was quite impressive to see the length of the tubes that were threaded into Truett's tiny arteries. I am still amazed to think of all the things endured by my little 11 pound boy.
With the removal of each assistive device, our boy slowly began to resemble his old self. I will forever be grateful for the advanced medical technology used in sustaining and monitoring our sweet boy's life in the past days, but I'll be even more thankful for the memories of watching as each device was taken off and/or wheeled away from Truett's bedside.
Our family was blessed to have our stay in the hospital result in a healthy, working heart for our boy. During our short stay we were, however, reminded that not all who enter those halls are so fortunate. Many children were being treated for far scarier and sadder problems. One family waited with a tiny twin boy while his 7 pound brother fought through his own heart surgery. His problems were significantly more life-threatening than our Truett's. Another family walked the halls with their baby who had just undergone brain surgery as a result of being shaken by a caregiver. His parents aren't sure if he'll ever be able to see. One child's parents were nowhere to be found as he waited to return for emergency surgery. His lungs filled with fluid the day after his heart surgery, and the surgeons needed approval from his parents before they could proceed with his care. I felt so sad for that boy, as he spent an entire evening all alone in the ICU.
We live in a broken world filled with heartache and sadness. Many have commented on my incredible strength and faith throughout this ordeal. I can only praise the Lord for blessing me and our family with His matchless grace to walk through this difficult weak. I have learned that God's grace is proven perfect when we walk through moments of great uncertainty. He is able to sustain us, and He alone provides us with the necessary strength to endure in a way that miraculously brings glory to His name.