We were able to see Samuel about an hour after we spoke with the surgeon. Because so many of the other Down Syndrome/Heart Defect parents had warned us about how jarring it is to see your child hooked up to so many different machines, we had prepared ourselves by looking at pictures of other infants post-op. The medical staff we had met with during our Pre-op appointment were also very explicit about just what would be in and on Samuel's body when they brought him out into the CV ICU. So, with all that floating around in my head, I was very nervous about seeing him.
However, I have to say, it wasn't as bad as I feared. Maybe because we were prepared or maybe because it was such a relief to see our sweet baby alive that it just didn't matter how many cords were around him. He still looks like Sam to us and that helps. I took some pictures of him, but I don't want to subject anyone to that that doesn't want to see it. I'll figure out a way to post them once I'm back in front of a computer.
It was definitely hard to go from a baby that looked completely healthy to one that is hooked up to a zillion machines, but hopefully, it will all just get better from here. He will remain intubated until tomorrow morning, so long as he has a good night. Right now, they are working on stabilizing his blood pressure and some other things I vaguely understand. His heart is still being paced with the external pacemaker and will remain so for a little while. They will continue to check his rhythms to see if his heart can take over that function again, but right now, with the surgery trauma and swelling, it just makes it easier for him for the pacemaker to correct the heart block. He is sedated and looks comfortable. He hasn't swelled much yet, although that is probably coming.
We are going to stay with him for a little while longer tonight, and then head home. Neither one of us got much sleep last night and we need to do some catching up before we settle into this ICU routine. We can't stay in the room with him overnight, but have access to sleep rooms if we do decide to stay here.
We will be back before rounds tomorrow morning to see what kind of night he had. They warned us that the 12-16 hour post op time can be a little rocky, but I honestly don't have the stamina to stay here and keep watch at 2AM. We feel like he is in the best place possible and are still so impressed with this hospital and every staff member we have come in contact with. We are so lucky this is just down the road from us and not half way across the state. Thank goodness for silver linings.