A List Maker's Life: Surgery Update

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Surgery Update

Kevin and I were just sitting bedside with our baby boy, who is super sleepy as he slowly works the anethesia out of his system, amazed at the peace we felt in the midst of great uncertainty today. It is obvious that your love, thoughts, and prayers are with us and pulling us all through.

We got the call at 7:30 AM that Gabe's surgery would be between 8-8:30. After spending a bit of time next to his bed we headed to pre-op to meet with the neurosurgeon (who was not the one we originally met with and were expecting to see) and anesthesiologist (who happened to know our extended family and was the Dr. for a surgery Gavin had in '08). On the way down, in his incubator, our sweet babe opened his trusting little eyes for the first time and watched us as we rolled down the hall next to him.

Just before the surgeon took our little love away I said, "We're trusting you here."  He smiled at me (for the first time) and said,"You need to look a bit higher than me."  Well, yes we do and we will.

The surgery to tuck his exposed neural cord back into his body lasted about 2 1/2 hours and the surgeon declared in a success. In his post op call he explained to us that Gabe had minimal blood loss and they were able to repair his back without plastic surgery and/or skin grafts. (For those of you who are not familiar with Spina Bifida, this surgery is mostly cosmetic and intended to protect his body from infection at the site of the lesion. The surgery does not fix the damage done by the inutero defect.) They were also pleased that they were able to use a "straight, mid line" incision. We are learning that this is a positive thing. Our strong fighter proved himself again as he was able to return to the NICU without the ventilator (which they originally warned he might need throughout the day today)!

We will have more questions for the specialist tomorrow, such as: where specifically was the defect located on the spinal column and how will the fluid on Gabe's brain be monitored and treated in days to come (it is possible he will still need a brain shunt placed after recovering from this initial surgery).

We are praising God that the surgery went smoothly, that the NICU is very encouraged by the small size of Gabe's defect, and that he is still exhibiting some sensation and movement in both of his legs.

We are praying specifically for a few requests tonight:
~Yesterday Gabe was showing signs of both bowel and bladder function with wet and dirty diapers. Since surgery today he has yet to have any function - this could be related to surgery, however there is also a possibility that further damage occurred during surgery limiting these functions and making is necessary to use a catheter to protect his kidneys.
~Even though we are not able to physically display our affection by holding him yet, we are praying that Gabe would feel the love and comfort from all of us and that he will be able to appropriately bond.

Thank you so very much for your continued love and support!

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer..." Romans 12:12

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28 comments:

  1. I'm so glad to hear the defect was minimal. I'm praying and praying for Gabe to get back his bladder and bowel functions!

    I know he knows you are there and you love him!

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  2. Still praying. I am certain Gabe feels your closeness and your love, and I hope he can feel all out prayers as well. Thanks for the update, I have been thinking of you all the entire day and hoping for a good update when I got home. So glad the surgery went well!

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  3. You are so amazing. Gabe is so amazing. Praying!

    He is feeling your love every second!

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  4. Katie and Kevin I prayed off and on all day today for Gabe.
    So glad to hear of the success.
    Just brought tears to my eyes.
    God bless sweet little Gabe! Such a miracle!

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  5. Thank you for updating Katie. I was praying and thinking about Gabe all morning! Our prayers will continue for not only Gabe but for Mommy too..quick recovery for you both ;)

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  6. I wish I could hug you, Katie. Seeing sweet Gabe in his incubator brought tears and a flood of memories. Love you, friend.

    Bri

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  7. I'm so glad to hear that Gabe's surgery went well. God is so good! :) Continued prayers that his recovery is swift and that you are able to hold him in your arms soon!!

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  8. Holding you up in prayers a lot today. Little Gabe is just darling. I will continue to pray for strength as you go through the coming days.

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  9. Praying for you & your sweet Gabe. My hubby's name is Gabe- i love the name!

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  10. Oh, Katie. Tears and prayers for your sweet baby and for you and your husband. You sound so amazingly at peace. I am in awe. My love and prayers for you.

    -elizabeth

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  11. Tears of Joy. Praise God for what sounds to be good things in that his lesion is small and the surgery was done "straight line". Continued prayers for bowel and bladder function and even though our human hands can't hold him he is being held by my great er hands. I love that thought as he heals. Please let your folks know that we are home and are willing to play if anyone little needs some friend time. Praying for you all.

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  12. Hi Katie, I just learned of your story from Elizabeth and I was moved to come and visit. For what it's worth, I wanted you to know that my younger brother was born with hydrocephalus spina bifida. He is now a high functioning and happy 28-year old with a master's degree, a girlfriend, and a career in social work.

    May you and your family find strength and peace on your journey. I will hold you all in my thoughts and prayers.

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  13. It is wonderful to hear good news for Gabe today! We are keeping all of you in our prayers. What a brave and strong baby boy.

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  14. What a little trooper....I believe that he can "feel" you there and that will make him stronger every day.

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  15. i know he feels every ounce of your love mama :)

    thinking of you...love and prayers!

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  16. Oh Katie - he is so precious! I am rejoicing with you that he had a successful surgery. I will continue praying in the days ahead. Keep on fighting, sweet baby boy!

    And, I'm so bummed I didn't get your little gift out in the mail in time, but I will send it out tomorrow morning first thing, so it might get there by the end of the week. Either way, know that I am thinking of you constantly and keeping your little one at the forefront of my prayers each day. Love you, sweet friend!

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  17. Amanda told me today that Gabe was born, congratulations. He is beautiful.

    Loads of prayers from my family to yours tonight.

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  18. Praise God. He is still holding Gabe in His hands and knows the plans for this precious boy. I will pray for your prayer requests and do want you to know I think of you guys often and hope everything is going ok and if there is anything I can do let me know.

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  19. Still praying and thankful for how well things are going so far!

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  20. heading over from ABC, and wanting to say I"m praying for you, and you've got a brave little boy.

    I'll be praying someday soon you can touch and hold your little boy. He is a miracle.

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  21. I just stumbled across your blog and have been reading your story. I admire your courage and faith and wish your family all the best during this challenging time. Trust in the mercy of our Lord. He knows what He is doing, even when we don't. It must be so difficult not being able to just hold your precious child, but give him all your love, he will know it. I'll add my prayers to the collective love.

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  22. Praise God! I am praying!!!!! He will feel your love, because I do over the internet waves. Praying for you guys too!!! HUGS!

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  23. Congrats on a beautiful baby! Praying for you...

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  24. Rejoicing in the joy of your little one and praying for all of you!

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  25. I am so glad--and not at all surprised--that Gabe is continuing to be a rockstar.

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  26. Katie, I'm so glad to hear that his surgery went well! I will be praying for your family :o)

    Blessings, Erica

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  27. Katie!
    I'm stopping by from ABC123. Just wanted to let you know that I am praying your family right now, specifically for your beautiful, brave, baby boy Gabe!

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