First post-op doctor visit

August 11th, 2010

We took a hiatus from housework yesterday!

The oldest nine walked next door to Grandma’s house, and Verity and I went to see our friend Dr. Chowdhury.

Dr. Chowdhury thinks that Verity is looking healthy!

She can now hear a slight murmur in Verity’s heart, which was not present when she listened on Saturday afternoon before discharge.  And Verity’s echocardiogram showed a slight bit more leakage through one valve, which is not uncommon.  We had been told that valve leakage nearly always increases in the first few weeks after this type of surgery.  That’s why it is so desirable for the surgeon to start the valves out at the point of very little to no leakage.  Which is what Dr. Clark did.  This leaky valve is not a problem right now.  The doctors will just watch it over time, and as always, I should report any changes for the worse in Verity’s eating or breathing.  Or anything else that seems “off.”

I appealed to Dr. Chowdhury that we drop one of Verity’s night feedings and increase the amount she takes in during the other seven feedings.  She readily agreed, and suggested that if Verity wakes during the night, that I try to nurse her, rather than going through the usual rigmarole of bottle and tube, for the sake of my sleep.  If she gets anything from that nursing, it will be a happy little extra.

So at 2 am, when she woke and fussed over a messy diaper, I tried nursing her.

She rooted around hungrily, but as soon as she was latched on, she struggled and flailed and grimaced and spit it out over and over.  I finally put the nursing shield on, and that worked a bit better, but she kept falling asleep, so I eventually took the point and pumped instead.  While I was pumping, she woke up again and fussed and gnawed on her fist!   She swallowed an ounce from her bottle, then I tucked her back into her carseat and washed up the bottles and pump parts.  All this took an hour and a half, so no improvement there.  But I still have high hopes for her nursing future!  Yesterday Dr. Chowdhury encouraged those hopes by stating that there was absolutely no reason Verity could not eventually learn to breastfeed, if I am determined and patient enough to work at it with her.

Here she is, with the new taping job I gave her last night.  That flesh-colored bottom layer is called Duo-derm, and we brought it home from our first hospital stay, along with lots of other feeding tube/taping supplies.  It is non-irritating to the skin and can stay there long term, unlike the tape the nurse put on her Saturday, thinking the tube would only be there a day or so.  Verity’s skin is very sensitive, and the other taping job was making her increasingly cranky.  Now she’s back to her usual sweetly mellow self!

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19 Responses to “First post-op doctor visit”

  1. Denise says:

    I’m first again!!  :)  lol– just coincidnce this time— checking in on sweet Verity… and THANK YOU SO MUCH for that picture…   oh my goodness she looks GREAT!!!!!!   She looks so beautiful and healthy in that picture!!

    I will continue to pray for your REST– and for her feeding…. I do pray she nurses soon and WELL.

    We would love to bring a few meals– I’ll pm you soon about that…..

    (((((hugs)))))

  2. Shari~hotfudgecustard says:

    Oh, I just want to kiss her!  Right in the spot on her temples close to her eyes!  Will you do that for me?  : )  ‘Course you will.  : D

    Thanks for the update.  I’ve been checking. 

  3. She looks so wonderful!

  4. Joy Horton says:

    Shari mentioned my favorite kissable spot – the little temples – and I have no idea why!

    She looks SO wonderful – little eyes open and everything! What a WONDERFUL sight to see! Thank you so much for the picture!

    And the DuoDerm – what a GREAT idea! I wish we’d have known about that after our babies surgeries. That surgical tape being changed as often as we needed to really irritated their poor little faces. Hopefully there’s not a next time but ever there is, I’ll be remembering DuoDerm!

    How are you doing on your sleep, dear Susanna?

  5. Andrea Mann says:

    I haven’t commented here before, but I’ll just leave one big comment after reading this. First of all, a family of ten kiddos is wonderful and awesome! What a great blessing. My husband and I started out with dreams of a house full of children, but God has showed us that our quiver being full may have less to do with the number of children we end up with, and more to do with their needs. :) Secondly, our girly is adopted and I breastfeed her. So I’m sure you know way more than I do about breastfeeding…but if you need a supplemental nutrition system, or anything along that line, I can tell you what worked well for us. Still praying for your family and the transistions that lie ahead. Peace to you all, Andrea <a href="http://munciemenn.blogspot.com&quot; rel="nofollow">http://munciemenn.blogspot.com</a&gt;

  6. Ann Bremer says:

    Verity is absolutely beautiful!  I love seeing pictures of her.

    I want to encourage you to keep trying to breastfeed.  My son latched on well a few times in the hospital but then seemed to get frustrated with the whole thing.  The only thing I “knew” about Down syndrome was that kids with DS couldn’t nurse.  I gave up and just pumped and bottle fed and he was doing well with that.  Then I read on a discussion board stories of other mothers who had struggled but eventually been successful breastfeeding their babies with DS.  The very next morning I gave it a try and he latched on and did great!  He was 7 weeks old and hadn’t been at the breast at all for about 3 weeks.  I think the bottle was just so much easier for him, which is why I waited until first thing in the morning when I had a lot of milk and he didn’t have to work as hard to get it.  Within a week we put the bottles away and I was able to exclusively breastfeed.  He weaned himself at 15 months, just seemed kind of bored with the whole thing!  Would it be possible to skip a pumping session so that the next time you put her to the breast she doesn’t have to work as hard?  Just trying to strategize some way to help her (and you!) be successful.

    Keep up the good work!  I’m so happy that right now the biggest issue is whether or not she’s able to breastfeed and not whether or not she’s able to breathe.  She’s alive!  Everything from here on out is gravy.

  7. Becky says:

    She looks amazing!  God is good!

  8. What a sweetie Verity is!! I’m so glad this surgery is behind her and she is doing so well considering all she has been through.  Continuing to pray for you and dear Verity.
     
    (((hugs)))

  9. Sabrina says:

    Oh, she looks so bright eyed and healthy! It is so good to see her getting better and better. Hope you’re all doing well in your recovery mode. My specific prayers for you are Verity’s nursing and Mama’s sleep…I go to the Father on those two issues often.

  10. Danielle M says:

    That picture is beautiful.  She looks so content, and a bit spunky!  I am continuing to pray for you and little Verity, and the rest of the family.  

  11. Robin says:

    She is such a beautiful little baby, love that picture!  Will be praying about the nursing.

  12. allison (christianmomoflots) says:

    she is so scumptious! I could just kiss her till she gets sick of me, lol!!!

    So glad she is getting better! Still praying for her!

  13. Anna T says:

    Hi!  I second trying to nurse 1st thing in the AM when you’re “fuller”.  Our lactation consultant said it best, “He’ll (She’ll) get there Mommy!”  I just love her beautiful wide awake eyes!!  We went swimming today, Jacob loves the water and says “hi”!  ((Hugs)) and continued prayers!! 

  14. Jennie (jenkat) says:

    I’m so glad to hear that you guys are home and that Verity is doing so well!!!!  She is so sweet!!! 

  15. Elizabeth G says:

    I am so pleased to hear Verity is doing so well! We have been praying for her at our house for a long time.
    I wanted to say you did an awesome taping job! It took us a long time and a lot of patient practice to find a taping style that worked well for us. It is definitely an art. Our current arrangement looks a lot like yours, except that we don’t cross nostrils. If she starts playing with it and you need any ideas on how to keep it in, let me know, we’ve done lots of different things based on Hannah’s tendencies at different stages.
    I also wanted to add to keep up the good work, it may be hard, but it is worth it and so great is your reward!

  16. Jerri H. (my7blessings) says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE Verity’s new picture and how awake and healthy she is!!!!  PTL for a good doctor’s visit.  Susanna, thank you SO much for sharing Verity and your family with us!  I am praying that you get more sleep tonight and that breastfeeding is soon a huge success!  God bless you and your sweet family!

  17. Janns says:

    She is so pretty! My little guy(22 months) got up this morning and wanted me to show him a picture of a baby. I came to your blog and showed him this picture. He got a great big grin and offered Verity his special blankie, just for a minute! :)

  18. Susanna says:

    Oh yes, kissing those baby temples!  That’s my favorite spot, too! :D

    Elizabeth, I am VERY eager to hear any advice you have to pass along to me!  She is very dexterous, and I’m just waiting for the day I’ll find she’s pulled this tube out!  It’s actually an NJ tube being used as an NG tube, but I have two NG tubes here as back-ups.  The cross-over was how the nurse at the hospital arranged it, and I was so used to the tube being on her left side that I didn’t change it when I changed the tape.  Is there a good reason NOT to cross it over like that?

    Janns, our little guy is 22 months, too! Please give him a hug from me and tell him I say thank you for offering his blankie to Verity!

    And to those of you who suggested the am nursing–she did latch on to the nipple shield this am and nursed for about 10 min!! :D:D

  19. Tami Swaim says:

    In this picture I can see the family traits in her expression/face! 

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