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A blog about our busy family with two amazing kids, one of whom happens to have Down syndrome!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Full OHS post

It's about time I wrote a full post about Lauren's open heart surgery. As a disclaimer, there are pictures included and some may find them graphic.

The night before surgery Greg stayed overnight at the hospital with me. I was so happy to have him there. I held Lauren most of the night, I was so afraid to let go and a big part of me was terrified that it would be the last time I got to hold her. I think I slept about 2 hours that night, if even that much.

The morning of surgery the nurse came in and told us they'd want to come get her around 7:30am. Greg and I took turns holding her and talking to her. I told her how much I loved her, how much she was wanted, how in only 6 weeks she'd already shown me so much about life, love and being a mother. I told her that I was the lucky one, how I'd waited my entire life to meet her. I hugged her close, inhaled her sweet baby smell, memorized her face and committed those last moments to memory. I was afraid, afterall, that they would be our last together.

We walked with her down to the pre-op area and held her until they came to get her from us. Handing her over was absolutely terrifying. I have never felt fear, sadness and grief like that and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

We got a few updates throughout the course of surgery. One when bypass had started, one when the procedure itself was complete, one when she was off bypass and one when surgery was totally over. It was about 2 hours after the last update until Greg and I could see her in the ICU. Here are some photos:

Close up of Lauren with all of her tubes and wires:
More tubes and wires:
All of her tubes, wires and other fun accessories are her breathing tube, a tube to inflate her stomach a little, heart monitor, respiratory monitor, pacer wires, chest tube,IV, central line, pulse oximeter and blood pressure cuff. I might be missing a few.
It was such a scary day for our whole family and our friends. But it was also the day that saved Lauren's life. We had no idea that she'd go into heart failure at just 3 weeks old and need surgery so soon. I am so thankful for and to all of the nurses, tech's, doctors, med students and hospital employees at U of M for the wonderful, competent and compassionate care Lauren received.
She is doing SO well. She yanked out her NG tube on her own on Thursday and I haven't needed to place it again. She's growing bigger and stronger. I am thankful for every minute I get to hold, cuddle, rock and care for her.
Thank you so much to every single person who reads this blog and thought of Lauren, prayed for Lauren and for Greg and I in the weeks leading up to her birth and surgery. We felt so loved, supported and encouraged throughout this whole experience. Thank you to my friends at MOPS and all of the girls at my table. Thank you for taking the time to pray for us and taking time away from your families to bring us meals and give us a care package. Thank you to all of the girls in my bible study for the prayers, encouragement and visits. We loved and appreciated every single visit, card, thought and prayer. Thank you for loving our little girl almost as much as we do.


  1. So glad she's doing well. Our kiddos are warriors. And modern medicine is miraculous. And she'll rock her chest scar!! Showing the world that she can conquer anything!!

  2. Thanks for posting this! I'm so very glad that she's doing well. And it makes my heart happy that you had such good support from MOPS and your Bible study. I love MOPS. :)

  3. wow, you guys have been through alot. Praise the Lord for modern medicine. Lauren is so precious. Thank you again for sharing your story.