Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Road to Recovery Surgery Day

Thursday January 26th 2012, will always be a day I will remember, luckily Piper will not remember it at all. We started the day very early at 4:00am, I had to feed Piper as she could not eat past 4:45. Desperate for a little more shut eye we both slept for a little longer after her feed. We managed to get packed up and over to the hospital for our 6:45 scheduled arrival.

Poor Piper was not ready to be awake so she decided to take a nap, while we sat in the waiting room.

Here she received her hug heart pillow. These pillows, made and donated by students at a local high school, are given to all cardiac patients. The older children use them as something to hug when they cough to lessen the chest pain. I used Pipers to cuddle while she was in surgery.

After a short wait we were brought to her Prep room, where a very nice team of nurses and nurse practitioners took her vitals, gave all three of us our wrist bands.

The nurse practitioner told us what would happen next, I must say that we have always been well informed about Piper's care. The anesthesiologist, (who is also the head of the department), introduced herself and explained what would happen once they took Piper from us. 

Once Piper was ready (8:00) I picked up Piper and Mark and I followed the team towards the elevators. Leaving her at the elevators was the hardest thing I had to do. All I wanted to do was hold her and run the other way. However I knew how important this surgery was for her.

Once we went our separate ways, Piper's nurse brought us up to speak to Dr.Spray. He told us how the procedure would go step by step and asked us if we had any questions. Piper's nurse then brought us down to the Ronald McDonald house family waiting room. She told us that she would give us updates on the surgery every hour and that she did. While we were waiting my parents arrived and waited with us.

When it was all over her nurse came and told us that our brave little girl was only on the bypass machine for 18 min and only under for 45 min. The only thing we had to wait for was the nursing team to fix her arterial line when she was in the CICU. Before we got there they took out the breathing tube, which I'm glad they did as I had seen photos of a child with theirs and I wasn't sure I was ready to see Piper like that.
Our first look at Piper was still a bit of a tearjerker as she just lay there with multiple tubes and wires attached to her. Every once and awhile she would give out a little whimper.

My parents sat with us for a while as we all tried to hold back the tears. As it was around lunch time we decided to leave the nurse do what she needed to and we went to the food court to have lunch.

For the rest of the day we just watched her and waited. She was showing signs that she was hungry but we had to wait for her stomach to make sounds that it was actually ready for food and that the anesthesia had worn off. Slowly she started eating, and had her first best feed with the night nurse Rennie, who was a really nice guy.

We were lucky enough to have a single bed just down the hall from her, where we able to visit her whenever we wanted. However we were so exhausted from being up at 4:00 and the stress of the day that we crashed early and had faith in her nursing team.


  1. Dr. Spray is the BEST. Reading this I remember handing Samantha over at the elevators, too, and yes, it was sooo hard. Sammi was also off bypass quickly, and didn't need the breathing tube after surgery, either. Piper's a rock star!

  2. I have been thinking of baby Piper, so glad she is doing well and recovering nicely! I cannot even imagine how hard it must have been to hand her over...You heart Mama's sure are tough!!