We started off the day meeting with Dr. Galley-one of the Neonatologists at Christ and will be one of the docs attending to the Livster while she's in the NICU. Totally coincidental Dr. Galley is friends with one of my really good friends from work; so we got to sit with him, pick his brain and get a tour of the NICU (funny how some things work out). Dr. Galley was very open with us and probably a little more serious than some of the other doctors who have talked to us about Olivia's condition but overall we just appreciate the candor and information that he gave us.
Some new info learned from Dr. Galley
- We will likely only spend about 10-15 minutes with her after delivery before they take her to the NICU to get settled in with an IV and underway with an echo to get a clear image of her heart anatomy
- While Olivia is in the NICU, she will only be allowed two guests at a time and one of them needs to be a parent (essentially saying that only one visitor at a time at her bedside)
- Most of these HLHS babies will need to be intubated (put on a ventilator) pre-op as a side effect from the Prostaglandin drip that she will need to keep her PDA open prior to surgery
- Once she's on the vent, she will not be able to be held any longer - this will continue to post-op as well
- Surgery could be performed as soon as 3 days after delivery but could really take up to a couple of weeks depending on how she's doing
After all that good news from MFM, we met up with Janette- our fabulous Cardio RN who took us around the Pediatric Surgical Heart Unit. As sad as it is that such a unit has to exist, it was really wonderful to take the tour start to meet the faces that we'll be seeing on a daily basis and the 10 bed unit is seriously impressive.
Lastly we checked out the Ronald McDonald house. What an amazing place that is...I think I have found my calling for a feel good job in the future if we're financially secure enough for me to make that leap. Not only is it gorgeous, but the planners really thought of everything when they put those rooms together. Hopefully when our time comes, we'll be able to get in the reasonably soon after Olivia's arrival. The best part is it's kiddie corner from Hope Hospital so I could be at her bedside within a few minutes if necessary.
As skeptical as I felt last night, I feel that positive today given everything we saw, heard and accomplished. I feel so blessed.