The past 3 days have been quite eventful for the Ritchie family. We headed to Omaha on Sunday morning and immediately headed to Children's hospital to have a little pre-op conference with Charlotte's surgeon. We got to spend about an hour or so discussing our options for the following day and coming up with a plan. That day brought me back to a place that I don't think one can really totally prepare for. When it was all said and done, Matt and I were comfortable with the decisions that had been made and headed to his dad's house. That night we were lucky enough to have all of Charlotte's grandparents and 2 of her aunts come over for dinner and to have a 3/4 birthday party for our little lady. It was a good night and helped at least a little to take my mind off of what was to come.
Monday...surgery day...we reported to the hospital at 6 am for pre-op evaluations. Our tired and hungry girl did so well as she had a chest x-ray, EKG, many exams and 2 (yes, 2) baths to make sure that she was squeaky clean for her big day. They took her back around 10 am and the painful waiting game began. Lucky for Matt and I, our family is all here in Omaha and can always be counted on for comfort, support and much needed distractions. They truly make the long days more tolerable. Finally around 5 pm they came and told us that she was officially off of bypass and they were wrapping things up. It would be another 2 hours before we got to see her, but we managed! Much like the first time, I was terrified to see my baby...swollen, intubated and so innocently helpless....but she was perfect. She is perfect no matter what. There we're wires, lines and monitors everywhere, but there was one lonely foot with nothing attached to it...the perfect resting place for mommy's hand and endless kisses. She was done. She was safe. At that moment, nothing else mattered.
They next day was a rough one full of ups and downs. They always remind you that the first 24 hours is the hardest, but you forget the emotions that come along with that. I get lost for hours just staring at monitors and watching the numbers rise and fall. I double check her pumps (silly pharmacist) and want to watch her like a hawk.
Though she has been fairly stable, the surgeon and cardiologist were concerned at the amount of oxygen and support that she was still needing, so the decision was made to take her to the cath lab this morning. Things overall looked good but the decision was made to take her back to the OR for a shunt revision to help her road to recovery and to provide a little more help to her heart while we wait to see if her right ventricle grows. She is back in the hands of her surgeon as I type this...my heart is in my stomach and I can hardly wait to see my precious Bear again. They anticipate surgery to be 1 to 2 hours and hopefully from there things will go nowhere but up. I watched a video last night of Charlotte laughing at my in-laws dog. It made me happy but at the same time it made my heart hurt. Its only been 2 days since we brought her here, but I feel like its been forever since I have held her or saw those big sparkling eyes. The time will come though and she will be back, full of giggles and smiles.Our Charlotte is a warrior. She has strength that surpasses anything I have known, but we know that her strength is a result of prayer. I continue to fill my days with conversations with God. I ask him to make her comfortable and to help her though. I pray for her surgeons. I ask that he send her guardian angels along this path with her to make the bumps in the road a little softer. I have this constant image of my dad holding her hand when she goes places that Matt and I cannot go...its provides peace and I know that he is there helping her be strong and not scared. BEST GUARDIAN ANGEL EVER.
Please keep us in your prayers over the coming days as we endure more watching and waiting. Your support is amazing as always, way beyond anything we could have imagined.
More updates to come....
Aunt Jill just received breaking news from Children's Hospital: Charlotte's surgery today went very well, and they are working toward removing her breathing tube tonight! God is good!!