Sunday, June 8, 2014

Ellison June Part 2

While Tyson was driving to Salt Lake with my Mom, I was riding with the life flight team. I was told that Elli's heart rate should be watched and should not go too far below 100 BPM. Often on the flight her heart rate was at 90, and then 85 --Then 80. It was a little overwhelming to watch it as she lay in the incubator, and I feared that she may not hold up. 
Upon arriving at Primary Children's Medical Center I was told that Ellison had what was called Pulmonary Stenosis and that when a baby is in the womb there is a valve that is open and helps to pass oxygen through out the infants body. When the baby is born, that particular valve closes within 24 hrs to a weeks time. If Ellison's closed she would not be receiving enough oxygen, so she would need to be administered medication to insure that that valve did not close until she has had a procedure and/or a surgery to help her Pulmonary valve work correctly. They then explained that she would not be having surgery until the next day, but that they had chosen to life flight her due to the severity and that she would need to be up there in case things turned south and they needed to do an emergency surgery. 
Pulmonary Stenosis for Ellison meant that her valve just wasn't created right. It was more of a tight dome and didn't flap correctly and wasn't passing enough oxygen. A typical person(s) valve flaps back and forth and pushes the blood through to create enough oxygen. Her valve would push the blood through and then the blood would leak and fall backwards which as a result the blood wasn't flowing correctly and she wasn't receiving enough oxygen.
It was a rough night that night and it was tough to wrap my mind around so much information so quickly. Tyson arrived that night late and my mom stayed at my brothers house - an hour drive away. 
They sent us to a "sleep room"- which was a tiny room with a twin bed and a chair. We ended up sleeping for a few hours that night. I was beyond exhausted but it was nice to be able to have a private place to cry and pray. 
The following day she had her procedure- exactly one hour after she was born. We were blessed because she did not have to have her chest cut into. They sent a catheter up her main artery near her groin and her right leg. There was a balloon that was connected to the catheter. When the catheter reached her pulmonary valve then they blew up the balloon in order to rip open the pulmonary valve in hopes of the valve to be ripped so much that it would heal correctly and flap more normal with less leakage. 
When she was done with her surgery they said that it was successful and that they had to use the largest balloon they made because her condition was so severe. I was just grateful that they did not have to cut her open and that she did so great with her anesthesia and everything. It was a huge answer to our prayers. PCMC has some extraordinary doctors and nurses. She still currently has leakage (blood that flows the wrong direction) but it is much less than it was pre-surgery. One Doctor told us that before Elli's procedure her heart murmur was so loud that he was compare it to Niagara Falls, post surgery he said it sounds more like a bathtub running. 
We were at PCMC for a total of 3 nights. My mom was was an enormous support in such a difficult time. My brother brought us dinner and visited us, and Tyson's family and my sister stepped up to take care of our boys. Everyone came together to assist us in caring for our family. 
Ellison's heart will be watched for the rest of her life. She has doctors appointments with a cardiologist every 6 to 8 weeks for a year and then they will decide what do there after. Eventually we hope that she will only have to see a cardiologist once a year- but thats only if her heart stays stable. If it gets worse and the valve hardens than she will have to have another procedure or a surgery. She will never not be watched. She will have to see a Cardiologist for the rest of her life. We are totally okay with this. I am just happy that she is here and that Medicine and research has come so far that we are able to do a non-intrusive procedure that saves a child's life. 
Thanks to everyone's love and support as we went through all of this. I couldn't have asked for better friends and family and I mean that with so much sincerity. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ellison June

Please excuse all the errors. I didn't have a lot of time to type this up, but I wanted it to be recorded for my memory.

Ellison was born on March 27th, 2014 at 1:47 pm. Her actual due date was not until the 3rd of April but we were happy to have her arriving a bit early.
When I was 16 weeks pregnant I was told that I was in fact carrying a girl. I was ecstatic to know that my intuition was correct and that we would now have a bit of diversity into our mostly testosterone driven family.
Tyson and I arrived at the hospital at 6 am and by 8 am my Doctor had broken my water and I was well on my way. My contractions were much worse this time around than the last time and I received my epidural when I reached a 5, and shortly after my Mom and Mother in law arrived.
When It was time to push I was very anxious to meet her. I pushed twice and that little girl was welcomed into my arms. I cried and reached out to hold her immediately. I knew her little spirit was meant for our family and I felt like I had waited a long time to have her here with us. It was the sweetest feeling.
After she was born she was pretty cold and I kept trying to warm her through skin to skin, warm blankets and feeding her but she was still struggling a bit.  They checked her glucose, the placenta, and finally her heart where they realized she had an extremely loud heart murmur. In the midst of all of this my Dad arrived to meet his newest grand baby when all of a sudden they sent a team of Cardiologist in to hear her heart. Finally one of the Cardiologists turned to me and explained that Ellison needed to go to the NICU right away. I was shocked and my jovial side immediately turned to worry and stress. I was unable to go to the NICU with her right away because I had been given an epidural and could not walk. Tyson and my Dad followed the team to the NICU where they gave her a blessing and asked for her to be watched over.
I was moved to Mother and Baby floor and received a text from Tyson saying that they were taking photos of her heart and listening to her heart and they are thinking that she will need to be life flighted to Primary Children’s Medical Center as they don’t have a NICU Cardiologist team in our hospital to cater to her needs.
When the nurse came to my room she quickly grabbed a wheelchair and told me that they requested I come down to the NICU.
Once I got down there they explained that they were sending the photos and sound of her heart to PCMC to find out what the next step was, they then proceeded to sit down and tell us what was happening to her heart. Within 10 minutes we got a call back from PCMC and said that Ellison had to be there as soon as possible and must be life flighted.
I was lucky because by this time I was able to walk a bit and I collected what little I had brought with me to the hospital and went with the team and my baby girl to the Airport to save Ellisons life.
Tyson went home and grabbed a few more things from our house and drove to Salt Lake with my Mom to meet me at the hospital.

* To be continued*