Whooooo...what a weekend! My weekend officially began Thursday night with a surprise evening out. My wonderful friends Jeannie, Laura, Heather and Colleen surprised me with an evening filled with pottery, conversations and yummy Mexican food. I couldn't have asked for anything more, especially the night before our big doctor appt. It really took my mind off things and reminded me how lucky I am to be blessed with such wonderful friends! Later that evening Adam's parents and my parents roughed the storms and arrived in town around 11pm in order to accompany us to our appt. the next morning.
Friday morning was the "big" day as we like to call it, well at least until baby B joins us! We had an appt. with our neurosurgeon, Dr. Ackerman, that morning at Riley. Our parents joined us for this meeting so that they could be as informed about what to expect once Baby B is born as we are. We met with Dr. Ackerman for about an hour which allowed her to explain in detail every aspect of spina bifida, the accompanying conditions and the surgeries our baby will undergo. She was wonderful and we felt very confident that our baby will be in the best hands once he/she is born. We left this appointment feeling a bit overwhelmed with information, but confident that our baby will be in the best hands during those first precious weeks.
We know that once baby B is born via C section at IU, the doctors will stabilize our baby before taking him/her to Riley (which is attached to IU) to complete the first operation. This will be to close the lesion on the back to prevent further infection an/or paralysis. As Dr. Ackerman put it, this surgery is somewhat like trying to sew wet toliet paper together, but again we feel VERY confident with Dr. Ackerman. After Baby B undergoes this first surgery he/she will be in the infant intensive care unit. During this time, the doctors will monitor our baby's hydrocephalus to determine if a shunt will be necessary( there is a 95% chance that our baby will need a shunt). If a shunt is needed, our baby will undergo this surgery sometime during that same week, this will also extend the time our baby will be in the ICU. We are anticipating that our baby will be in the ICU for at least 2 weeks.
After we left our appt. with Dr. Ackerman we walked over to IU for a tour of the delivery unit. We (our parents along with Adam and I) were able to see where I will deliver and where the baby will recover before moving to Riley. We were pleased to find out that Adam will be able to accompany our baby as they transport him/her to Riley. I will have to wait until I recover(most likely 24 hours) before I am able to visit. Although I know this will be one of the hardest days of my life, I am praying for God to give me the strength to trust in our doctors and to rely on my family for support during this time. I also know that Adam will be worried about where he needs to be since the baby and I will be at different hospitals for a while. Our top priority is to have someone with our baby at all times while he/she is in the ICU.
The nurse, Ann, was also wonderful to us and spent at least an hour with us touring Riley and explaining to us what will happen during those first few weeks. She also decided to name our baby Nicoliva since we are not finding out the sex of the baby and we told her our top choices in names right now are Nicholas and Olivia. Although, this week we are also considering the name Parker. So we shall see:)
We left Riley around 1:30 Friday afternoon exhausted and a little overwhelmed as you can imagine. Adam and I feel so lucky that all of our parents were able to accompany us to our appointments and that we are able to count on them for support through this challenging time.
Through it all, we know Baby B (or Nicoliva) will be such a wonderful blessing to us and has already changed us for the better. We continue to be wowed by all the thoughtful cards, messages and hugs sent our way from friends, family and coworkers. So thank you all! We have also been very impressed by all the doctors and nurses that have met with us who have gone above and beyond to help us feel comfortable and who continue to fill us with valuable knowledge about our baby.
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