Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Charley Update

As we approach the one month in the hospital point, its becoming obvious that they are getting closer and closer to kicking us out! WOOHOO! Our mornings have been busy with more and more people stopping by to make sure that everything is in place for our much anticipated discharge to home. This week so far has consisted of newborn education, a hearing screen (which Charley passed with flying colors), home health coordinators stopping by, infant CPR training...the list goes on and on.
The transition to home is sure to be an interesting one. Becoming a new parent can be overwhelming in itself, but I'm starting to realize that in addition to my title of "new mommy," I'm also going to have to learn to be a nurse. On top of the typical new baby routine, Charley will need to be weighed daily, have daily oxygen saturation checks and get a blood thinner twice a day to keep her new shunt from clotting off. Last night I gave my very first Lovenox injection, and let me tell you, it broke this mommy's heart. Most parents have a hard time when their children have to get vaccinations...and here I am having to be the one who inflicts the pain on my little lady. I teared up just thinking about it, but took a deep breath and told myself that this isn't an option. The shunt is keeping her little heart beating, and I will do ANYTHING I have to for that little miracle heart.

Then there is feeding. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that after all we have been through, that feeding would be one of the most frustrating parts of recovery! Common sense would tell me that if you breeze through heart surgery, feeding should be a walk in the park. Not so much. Little Miss Charley continues to work at this, with some days being better than others. Sometimes she's just not interested, sometimes she falls asleep within 5 minutes of starting, sometimes she eats well and then spits it all back up and other times she drinks like a champ. I have to keep reminding myself that this is all still pretty new to her (after all, its only been a week) and that "healthy" babies can have the same issues. Hopefully we will continue to make good progress and won't have to go home with the tube. We're very proud of how well she is doing and the progress she is making, but would be lying if I said I haven't had my moments!

Here are some pictures from the past week.

I officially "passed" being able to give her a bath! May not seem like a big deal, but working around lines and a healing incision can be quite the challenge.
Look at those HUGE eyes! Charlotte is having more and more wakeful stretches so we get to see her peepers a lot more.
Quality Daddy time. We wore a special outfit for him since he had to go back to Sioux Falls. Those are always hard days! We love you Daddy and can't wait to come home!!!
Ugh...melt my heart.
No feeding tube! The doctors think that maybe Miss Charley will bottle better without a tube running up her nose and down her throat. So far so good, plus now we can see her cute little face better. It's crazy how quickly she's changing.
We will keep you posted as we learn more about going home. Hopefully it will be SOONER than LATER!


  1. Matt & Kristen, I am so proud of both of you! You have come so far with your little peanut! You are wonderful parents already & have showed extraordinary courage over the past month! Charlotte is just perfect! I am so excited for you all to go home and be together under one roof...that's where you belong (even though I will miss dropping in at the hospital). The Rockows love you....ALWAYS! But you know you that already! :)

  2. Love the photos and good news. Luke asked me after I read him the message "Mommy, does this mean Charlotte's heart isn't broken anymore?" Love the simplicity of a child's thoughts. Thanks for keeping us posted...can't wait to hold the little peanut!

    Erin Albers

  3. Kristen-Thank you for sharing your journey with all of us! I am excited to hear all the good news Lindsey passes along. Charlotte is blessed to have you as a mom!

  4. she is absolutely beautiful. You two are such great parents. Being a parent with a heart baby is so hard but at the same time God only chooses parents who he knows would be strong and determined to fight along with their child. Everyone always tells me how strong I am and I just tell them that we take one step at a time, one day at a time and treat everyday with our daughter like its our last, meaning she gets tons of kisses and hugs no matter what. I can see already just by looking at the pictures of you guys that you will be just the same. I think that Charlotte is blessed to have you two as parents and I dont think she can ask for better. Like always let me know if you need anything. Take care and God bless!

    ~Heather and Kaitlyn~