So Brian and I are sitting here tonight in Olivia's room down on the general patient floor looking at our beautiful baby in absolute amazement at all that she has been through in the past three and a half weeks. To look at her hanging out in Daddy's arms, you would never know that she only has half a heart or has undergone massive heart surgery in recent weeks. She's now a proud member of the "Zipper Club".
She is completely on room air, taking some of her feedings by bottle, and sleeping much better than she did the first night we were on the floor. To say that we have overcome all our obstacles after this first surgery would be very premature as she was having issues maitaining her potassium levels so they discontinued her BP medication, but now her BP has been slightly more elevated than they would like so now we're going to be watching that as well.
Still our plan is that we are going to go home tomorrow if the potassium levels are at an acceptable number. While on one hand I feel like I've been here forever (four weeks tonight); I can't believe that we're talking about taking Olivia home in just three and a half short weeks after her surgery. In spite of her ups and downs that we have had thus far, it doesn't compare to some of the struggles that her fellow heart babies have had while we've been here. Today we were reminded of how fragile these babies can be when another family from the Ronald McDonald House experienced their baby coding on the same floor as us. The baby has been in the hospital most of her entire first year of life dealing with setbacks and operations pertaining to her defect and her parents have been with her throughout all the ups and downs.
I watched that mom stand in the hallway crying and helpless as surgeons and doctors rushed to bring her baby back to life and hoped that I would never experience that range of emotions for myself. At the same time, I wanted to draw the curtain to our room to save her from looking in at our happy gurgling baby as hers struggled to come back from literally the brink of death. It's in these moments that I am reminded again of how blessed we have been thus far, yes Olivia has definitely had setbacks and struggles so far but we are note at a point where we need to worry about her health on a minute by minute basis like some of these other parents have to with their children. Life is such a fragile thing and it can be gone in a fleeting instant, but one of the best things about Olivia's condition is that Brian and I are more conscious of this than ever and that itself is one of the greatests gifts she could have given us.
On a complete side note those of you that are interested in more information on the Ronald McDonald House, here's a link for the Chicago/Northwest Indiana Houses : http://www.rmhccni.org/