Wednesday, February 8, 2012

One Tough Cookie

Today,  marks 2 weeks since our sweet babe underwent a grueling 10 hour procedure at Johns Hopkins Medical Center to replace her bladder inside her pelvis, re-connect her widened pelvic structures and re-construct her tiny female parts.  The Operating Room nurses were incredible, calling us every hour with updates, even Dr. Gearhart called from the operating room. I was very impressed how we were treated, but most importantly how Shelby was and continues to be taken care of;  physically and emotionally.

I was going to blog about the last two weeks, but they have been exhausting and I have even discovered that the photos I took on the first post operative day, now bother me more.  Guess the reality of her long recovery and all that this tiny child has gone through has set in.  But it's all so good.  She is being cared for by all the experts in Bladder Exstrophy, which includes the specialized ICU with exemplery staff that anticipate both needs of the children and families.
One afternoon, the resident told me that  Dr. Gearhart  wanted to meet with all the families and hae an informal round table discussion of what the surgery entailed, what to expect, etc and well, let's say he made us all feel like a part of "the team".   I am so grateful for the expertise and recognition of this gentle surgeon.  Please click on the above link and see the video of his description of the surgery.  Dr. G. as he likes to be called, has given over thousands of children with this defect a chance for a normal and happy life.  We love him!

Around 530pm our tiny Shelby rolled out of the O.R. on an adult bed, with every tube imaginable coming from surgical wounds, intravenous lines and even an epidural for pain.  She also had some interesting hardware and pins now holding her pelvis together with her little legs now straight for the first time...attached to 10 pound weights.  It was so very hard seeing her so still and swollen from the fluids and transfusions, but she made it through and we couldn't have been more elated.  My heart leaped for joy and tears of gratitude poured down my face when Dr. Gearhart came out to tell us everything went as planned.

I have to admit I still tear up when he told me "you won't recognize her, she's a little girl again"!  and he was evidently correct.  Her legs were straight and when the nurses showed me her incision sites I just cried, she is a normal little girl, who just needed to have some "major plumbing done", in laymans terms.

Now Shelby is on the long road to recovery.  Every day I pray there are no complications or issues that arise that can set her back or cause further insults to her little healing body.  I try not to think about the pain and all the what if questions my mind keeps wondering too.  I think I am more than a nervous Momma, I know too much for my own good.  However, the warm greetings from other families, the physicians, nurses and other staff members seem to be so re-assuring I can almost stop clenching my teeth:))


Jen said...

i've been wondering how Shelby was doing and when her surgery was! glad to hear all is long will she be at Johns Hopkins?


Life with Kaishon said...

I can't even imagine what you have gone through. Praying and praying for your sweet baby. So thankful the Dr. has been kind and good. What a blessing that is.

Sharon Ankerich said...

Bless you all~ what an amazing mom you are and your little one is the bravest child I know!!! SO thankful every thing went well and she is on the road to recovery~ long road. Thinking of you all!!! Blessings and love!

Jboo said...

So happy to hear that the surgery was a big success. Am sure it is so hard on all of you. Keeping you all in my prayers.


Faith, Hope, and Love said...

Oh...what a brave little sugar flower she is!

Thank God for those who are able to help these children. I am just so grateful that Shelby is home where she can become a little girl again and that 2 weeks of this trauma is behind her.

Constant prayers for you and your girl....

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