A QUICK RECAP OF RAMSEY'S CURRENT STATUS:
They are waiting to see what his condition is today and tomorrow as what they call the "honeymoon phase" ends . (Usually CDH babies have a day or two when their condition looks really promising known as the honeymoon phase). Then, I believe they will try either surgery for the hernia repair, or ECMO. Based on what I've learned, I think it would be great news if they feel he is up for the surgery. ECMO is more of a last resort option which has saved a lot of babies, but can also have negative results such as clotting, or brain damage. Ramsey is highly sedated and on oxygen and other types of support to give him a rest. They are adjusting these measures to see how much he can comfortably handle on his own.
MY LONG RECAP OF YESTERDAY'S EVENTS:
If you've been following the blog, you know that I have, with the help of God and everyone's support, been surprisingly strong and hopeful for the best for Ramsey. Even when I wasn't feeling so strong, I never really expressed it; I wanted to keep my postings optimistic because that's just who I am. I am still strong and optimistic, but bear with me if this time, I share more of the emotions that I am feeling now.
As you know, they started to induce me Wednesday around midnight. Things progressed slowly. They said I could have an epidural at any time, and I was surprised that I didn't need it. By early morning, they stopped the Pitocin because the baby's heart rate was decreasing. They tried the Pitocin two more times, breaking my water after the second time. Because they felt that each contraction was putting too much pressure on the baby, (possibly caused by the cord), they gave me an epidural prior to the third Pitocin attempt. That way, I was ready for a C-section if needed. They turned off the third Pitocin quickly and at that point, even I was ready for the cesarean. It went quickly as expected and they showed us Ramsey before taking him straight to West Penn's NICU.
Dennis and my mother were the first to visit little Ramsey while I was in recovery. Next they brought Dennis and I to the nursery to see him before he was transferred to Children's. Before seeing him, we were approached by a fellow (doctor in training to be a specialist at Children's). Unfortunately, her attitude did not match my optimistic nature. She said things were much worse than we thought, that he only had a small sliver of lung on the right side and no lung on the left (based on XRAYS) . She basically said that there was nothing we could do..that ECMO would not benefit him....that it would only extend his life. She wanted us to decide whether to transfer him to Children's (CHP) as planned, or " let him die" with us here at West Penn. She felt he wouldn't survive the transfer to CHP and gave us all the impression that no matter what he would die. It seemed implied that we were merely choosing if he should die alone at Children's or die with us at West Penn. Initially, we took her word for it thinking it was just the facts when actually it was her opinion.
|One of Ramsey's first photos, taken at West Penn Hospital|
|Dennis (Daddy) and Ramsey|
Since the moment we learned about Ramsey's CDH at 19 weeks, life has felt like a bad dream. Believing it was all going to end that quickly was a nightmare. I tearfully met Ramsey for the first time, with Dennis by my side and a room fool of other's who joined us in tears. We weren't allowed to hold him, just gently touch him. I sat and talked to him, trying to find all the right words to say...that I love him and want him to fight, but that it was OK to go Heaven if he had to....that there are so many people who love and are praying for him. That his big brother Reed loves him and can't wait to meet him.....
We baptized him along with the help of one of West Penn's wonderful nurses and placed a few special trinkets alongside him. We decided that we owed it to him to try and save him by sending him to Children's. Thank God we made that decision. Once Ramsey and the team from Children's left the room, we were approached by a West Penn employee who said that the opinion of the fellow we spoke to from Children's was just that...an opinion (from someone who is still in training). She stressed that we made the right decision to let the surgeons determine what Ramsey's condition was. As you can see from the above update on Ramsey, things are still going to be a challenge, but they are not nearly as grim as she made them seem. He made it to Children's, he may even make it to surgery and someday, I hope he can make it home!
We'll keep taking it one day at a time, following Ramsey's lead. He's a fighter and with all of us on his side I don't think he'll give up too easily!!