Broken Heart Part 6

This is the sixth installment in a series about my daughter's Tetralogy of Fallot that I wrote when it was going on (and before blogs). I'm reposting it since I thought it might help other moms going through the same thing...

As I re-read this installment I remembered a friend who donated blood for Sierra specifically. He has a rare blood type that they use for "blue babies" like Sierra, but he had stopped donating blood for some time. He rolled up and gave during our blood drive. He swore he only had two beers the night before, too. What a guy. So here's a shout out to Ross at News 8 in Austin (are you still there these days?). Thanks again, my friend.

April 8, 1999 4:00 pm

Sierra is in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU to us veterans) and is doing really well. She's off the respirator which is a huge relief. She had been moving around quite a bit and it's a bad thing to do with a tube down your throat. We spent most of the night trying to keep her still, holding her head, cooing softly. They had to give her quite a bit of medication in an attempt to bring her squirming under control.

By morning they had maxed out what she could get so Adam and I worked as well as we could to keep her calm.

Then they took out the tube. I felt like we had just landed on the moon. I put the second pink ribbon in her hair (the first went in when she arrived in PICU). We had won. We were past the 12 hour window!

We had one more scare when she stopped peeing. The kidneys are not fond of the whole by pass thing, apparently. For four hours she went from previously light peeing to none at all. The possibilities included more tube for a form of dyalisis. Our nurse, Debbie, decided that it might be the result of a blockage in the tube and after some false starts by the nurses and a few hours of nail biting they decided to let the doctor give it a shot. Dr. Schroeder got the catheter in and there it was. Liquid gold.

She still has tubes everywhere and I've struggled for an adequate description:

- a victim of crazed garden gnomes and their hoses

- Sierra Gulliver, taken over by the lilliputians (thanks sis)

- a baby borg from Star Trek, with two pink ribbons

- the sweet princess from the place of strange plastic accessories...

Ah, it's nice to be able to kid around, finally.

Channel 12 was here to interview us about the blood drive. They are having a blood drive at the station and wanted to put a face to giving blood. Sierra was the face. It'll be on tonight.

They filmed her in the bed and I asked them to just take a little video of her pictures as a normal baby. The blood drive has been a success I've been told, but I don't really know how it's gone. I know that 's been on the radio and that we are very blessed with wonderful people who have touched our lives during this incredibly difficult time. I wondered if I did the right thing - allowing her to be "used." But then I think of all the people who came through for us and how important blood donation is and felt that this was one way we could, as a family, give back.

There are no amount of thanks that are adequate to the task. I guess we'll just have to throw a party!

Watch this space for more good news...