Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Surgery Update

Kevin and I were just sitting bedside with our baby boy, who is super sleepy as he slowly works the anethesia out of his system, amazed at the peace we felt in the midst of great uncertainty today. It is obvious that your love, thoughts, and prayers are with us and pulling us all through.

We got the call at 7:30 AM that Gabe's surgery would be between 8-8:30. After spending a bit of time next to his bed we headed to pre-op to meet with the neurosurgeon (who was not the one we originally met with and were expecting to see) and anesthesiologist (who happened to know our extended family and was the Dr. for a surgery Gavin had in '08). On the way down, in his incubator, our sweet babe opened his trusting little eyes for the first time and watched us as we rolled down the hall next to him.

Just before the surgeon took our little love away I said, "We're trusting you here."  He smiled at me (for the first time) and said,"You need to look a bit higher than me."  Well, yes we do and we will.

The surgery to tuck his exposed neural cord back into his body lasted about 2 1/2 hours and the surgeon declared in a success. In his post op call he explained to us that Gabe had minimal blood loss and they were able to repair his back without plastic surgery and/or skin grafts. (For those of you who are not familiar with Spina Bifida, this surgery is mostly cosmetic and intended to protect his body from infection at the site of the lesion. The surgery does not fix the damage done by the inutero defect.) They were also pleased that they were able to use a "straight, mid line" incision. We are learning that this is a positive thing. Our strong fighter proved himself again as he was able to return to the NICU without the ventilator (which they originally warned he might need throughout the day today)!

We will have more questions for the specialist tomorrow, such as: where specifically was the defect located on the spinal column and how will the fluid on Gabe's brain be monitored and treated in days to come (it is possible he will still need a brain shunt placed after recovering from this initial surgery).

We are praising God that the surgery went smoothly, that the NICU is very encouraged by the small size of Gabe's defect, and that he is still exhibiting some sensation and movement in both of his legs.

We are praying specifically for a few requests tonight:
~Yesterday Gabe was showing signs of both bowel and bladder function with wet and dirty diapers. Since surgery today he has yet to have any function - this could be related to surgery, however there is also a possibility that further damage occurred during surgery limiting these functions and making is necessary to use a catheter to protect his kidneys.
~Even though we are not able to physically display our affection by holding him yet, we are praying that Gabe would feel the love and comfort from all of us and that he will be able to appropriately bond.

Thank you so very much for your continued love and support!

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer..." Romans 12:12

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We appreciate all of your comments and love.
Encouraged by you,
Gabe & his Momma