The procedure went perfectly. The amplatzer device was put in to close the PDA, and the balloon catheterization was done to try and widen the valve that was too narrow. We won't know for sure how well that worked for a month or so, but so far it looked good. When we left the hospital the doctor said her murmur was already sounding much better which is a really good sign.
I don't think it's quite sunk in yet that it's DONE. Katie will still have to see her cardiologist every six months, probably until she's well into her teens, just to keep an eye on the valve, but that is no problem (actually if you knew her dreamy cardiologist, it's actually something I look forward to...lol). The surgeon said worst case scenario is that she might need the procedure done again in her early teens. It's like this HUGE HUGE weight has been lifted off our shoulders.
Katie is a big healthy baby. Every single nurse mentioned it, said how nice it was to see such a chubby, healthy looking baby (I actually started to get a little offended for her at all the people calling her fat! :). When babies have what Katie had, they don't usually look like she does. They aren't 24 pounds and rosy cheeked at a year old, they're underweight, small, pale, maybe even blue-ish. I don't think even the doctor is sure why she wasn't affected more by the heart defects. The right side of her heart was enlarged, but it wasn't terrible. They went into the surgery expecting the pressure in the heart to be higher than it was. It's like since she was diagnosed in December, all the bad things that should have happened didn't.
She definitely had a very special guardian angel looking out for her.
The whole thing put so much in perspective for me. It could have been so so much worse. Spending the night in a Pediatric Intensive Care unit shows you what a sick kid really is. It was a terrible night, I sat up in the bedside chair all night with Katie sleeping on me, listening to these poor kids coughing, hacking, crying, calling out for their nurses, for their moms. I held my baby and thanked God we were going home the next day, realized how truly lucky we are.
Realized that at least Jack was spared that. I still second guess everything we did with Jack constantly. Did we give up on him, did we not fight hard enough for him, did we do the right thing. I knew that night, at least he's been spared all the pain. I still would give anything to have Jack here, but not if it meant a lifetime of hospitals and pain and procedures and needles and endless nights of suffering. To be a three month old in the NICU is absolutely heartbreaking... to be a three year old in the ICU, scared, missing your mom, to be a thirteen year old, knowing how sick you are, that may be a whole other level of heartbreaking.
Katie acts like nothing ever happened, she has two small wounds on her groin that she doesn't even seem to know are there. She's her happy, lovable self. I am sloooowly catching up on sleep and feeling better. Honestly, Charlotte seems the most traumatized by the whole thing. She missed Mom and Dad and ESPECIALLY Katie. Poor LaLa!
Katie home Friday night with her monkey Grandma bought her. And Charlotte laying on her - so happy she's home!!
We are grateful and blessed and relieved. I feel like we're slowly climbing out from under this huge mound of worry and stress, after months and months. There's still a few more hurdles to clear but like I wrote before, it's one step at a time.
Eating cookies at Calandra's today with LaLa - all recuperated!