From looking at our happy guy this morning, you'd think he was headed somehwere wonderful. Maybe he knows the hospital is his miracle destination right now. Whatever the case, he seems to welcome every aspect of this experience with, well, an open heart.
They just took McKay back to surgery. It's the leaving part that really gets you. Once the surgeon and anethesiologist explain all that can go wrong, they ask if you're ready to give them your baby. Huh? They are obviously not in the PR business.
McKay has been exceptionally calm and happy the past few days. It's a good thing, too. We spent an exhausting and frustrating six hours at the hospital yesterday waiting...waiting...waiting. During McKay's pre-op physical the Nurse Practioner became very concerned with McKay's sats. He has been really blue lately. Really blue. Saturday he had such a head-to-toe blue spell he almost got himself checked in a few days early. He pinked up (relatively speaking) enough after about 10 minutes to stay home, but it was a definite sign that it is time to start some major repairs. So yesterday when we came for all of his pre-surgery tests, he made them nervous enough that they contemplated keeping him. So glad they didn't. My heart was not ready to turn him over just yet.
I have hestitated posting the past couple of days because, quite honestly, I haven't had a truly cheerful bone in my body. It's funny this time around--although the first surgery stay was hard and we did all we could to will his tiny little body to learn how to function on its own, we didn't know McKay yet. We didn't know that he smiles with his whole body. We didn't know that his eyes radiate love and light. We didn't know that he can talk, and talk, and talk with a face full of expression; answering questions in a language of coos and yells we have yet to figure out. We didn't know his gut-buster giggle that seems an automatic response when you grab his plump little thigh. We didn't know the weight and warmth of his snuggle--and his preference for the practice on a nearly continual basis. We just didn't know McKay. And now we do. That makes this time harder.
A little bit about what they are doing today...
They will enter McKay chest through his sterum this time. Once he's stable they connect the heart/lung machine. This is an amazing machine that will keep McKay alive during the surgery as the heart has to be empty and stopped for the surgeon this time around. The superior vena cava (the main blood vessel returning the dark, unoxygenated blood from the head and the upper body) is then divided and connected to the pulmonary artery. This will create a passive method for McKay's lungs to receive oxygen. Despite all that's planned for McKay, his heart will never pump oxygen to his lungs as ours does; instead the surgeon will redo his plumbing so that blood returning from the body will automatically dump into the lungs to be oxygenated. Mac's doctor also told us that McKay's pulmonary artery is showing some narrowing on the left branch. He plans to correct that by enlarging the artery and using some donor tissue to patch the correction. That was new news this morning.
Once all that is complete, they will restart McKay's amazing heart. This surgery will assure more reliable oxygenation to the upper half of Mac's body. Good plan. We will worry about blue toes in the months, years, and surgery to come.
Thank you for your love, concern, and support. Even as I type Grandpa Phil (all on his own) has just fed, dressed, brushed hair and teeth and sent my fist two loves off to school. How amazing is that? I have offers to wrap Christmas presents, meals, and even enjoyed a delivery of hot pancakes from one of the busiest and best women I know. This is an exceptional experience on so many levels. Thank you for sharing your goodness with us. We will keep you posted with all the good news that is to come today.