And 11 days after Esther's open heart surgery. Boy the time has gone fast, and I can not believe how fast Esther has recovered from such a major surgery!
Here's some photos of her right after surgery (these might be hard for some to view, sorry about that....but without seeing them you just can't understand what a dramatic improvement Esther has gone through)
Here's Esther the day before her surgery - notice how distended her tummy is? That's because her heart is so enlarged:
Esther moments after we got to see her for the first time after surgery:
And here's the bank of machines putting medications through Esthers IVs (later the two ones that are off were also in use for feeding her and a new medication):
Here's Esther the morning of day 2, just before they took her off the ventilator:
Here's Esther on day 2 after they removed the ventilator:
And here's the miraculous change - here she is just 2 days later, on day 4:
We went home the next day, and on the following day, day 6 (Saturday), she was enjoying some time in her swing watching the butterflies:
And lastly, here she is today, showing off her soon-to-be-scar - her belly is still big, as her heart is still enlarged, but some of that is because she had just finished off 50 ccs of milk! The cardiologist says that it will take a few weeks for the heart to go to it's normal/healthy size as it is still recovering from the surgery.
Oh, and here's a great photo of the biggest snowman ever seen in these parts (Jonathan is 5 ft 11 inches if that gives you some reference for the size of the snowman):
I''m sure you are wondering how our day trip to Children's went - it started out difficult - a flat tire and news of road closures and flooding! We saw some of the flooding once I swapped cars with Daryl (when I finally got ahold of him after several phone calls, I found out that his place of work was flooded with around 6 inches of water and they had been forced to turn off all power so they wouldn't be electrocuted while they got the water out of the building!).
We went through water over the freeway by Lake Samish (seeing a "water over the roadway" sign when going 60 MPH on the freeway will definitely get ones heart-rate up, that's for sure!
We arrives only 45 minutes late for the appointment, and from there things went really smoothly - her check up was great, they said she was doing really well, and really loosened up the parameters for her feeding. Basically I could feed her however I want, as long as she gains at least 1/2 and ounce per day over all! Yeah! Now I can relax a little!
I even went so far as to pull her feeding tube this morning as she got all her daytime feeds through the bottle without using the pump or the feeding tube in anyway yesterday, and she was fighting some congestion that I was sure would improve if the feeding tube was out of the way!
The one draw back to removing the feeding tube would be that she wouldn't be getting a constanst feeding through the night - but this morning she woke up really hungry at 5 am anyway, so I think she's ready to ditch the tube and eat like normal babies! Well see how tonight goes - she downed around 70 ccs before falling asleep tonight (she drank it all in around 15 minutes as apposed to taking 1 1/2 hours to take that much before her surgery!).
Also, she's down to just two medications! She's still on Lasix, but they only have her taking .5 ml twice a day (she was at 1.5 ml three times a day before surgery), and a thyroid medication once a day. Both of which I can give her through her bottle with her milk! They are planning to go down to once a day for the Lasix after her next checkup in a month, and then get rid of it all together soon after that! She'll probably be on the thyroid medication her whole life though. But I can live with that!
Today was my first official day back to work (I've been just doing emails and bossing everyone around for what seems like forever), and boy was it exhausting! But we got a lot done, and there's work for all our seamstresses for this week at least! It's so hard to know what to do with this terrible law about lead testing hanging over our heads! If the law is not amended, our entire line of diapers and trainers will be unsellable in just 4 short weeks! The Eco products I can keep going with and have tested, but the diversity of the regular line is just not compatible with the type of testing they are requiring! If they will allow component testing, some of the Snap-EZ line will be salvageable, but not all of it. So we have decided to concentrate on the Eco line for now, and not put anymore Snap-EZ stuff into production until we know where we stand with the Feb 10 deadline! At least we started the Eco line this year, and the Snap-EZ 4 Life line will not be effected by this ruling in the least, so all is not lost.
I must get to bed, as I'm sure Esther will be noticing that she doesn't have that feeding tube in place tonight!