Lexi's journey began at 5am when we had to wake her up and give her a bath with Betadine solution; thirty minutes later we all piled into the car and headed for the hospital. It was a quiet ride with no one on the road. The older kids were still half asleep and Rick and I were a bundle of nerves. We arrived at the hospital and checked in at 6am. For the next hour and 38 minutes (yes I have it down to the minutes) we waited, Lexi had her blood drawn, she was in and out of sleep, she had family visit her and she received gifts.
At 7:38am the nurse came into the room and told us that it was 'time'. Her sister and brothers told her good-bye and we all gave her kisses. I handed her over to the nurse and watched as they walked away with our little baby girl. Lexi was so brave, she did not shed one tear; Rick and I were a different story. We walked out of the double doors into the breezeway and broke down. What just happened? Our sweet baby was about to have her little chest cut open and put on machines and operated on and we had no control over what was about to happen to her. We couldn't hold her hand, we couldn't rub her forehead, we had to wait and wonder and worry.
After we arrived in the waiting room, we noticed a little monitor that kept us updated with almost everything that was going on with our Lexi. Our eyes were constantly on this screen. In addition, the 'heart' nurse would come down to the waiting room and update us every single hour; all was positive news. The most positive news was when they told us that she would only need one heart surgery (I'm still knocking on wood)
Almost 6 hours later, the heart doctor and nurse came to the waiting room and told us that her heart repair was complete. 15 minutes later we were able to finally see her roll by as they were taking her to the ICU. Lexi was wrapped up with tubes coming out of everywhere and she was sleeping so peacefully but the first thing I noticed was how incredibly PINK she was. Our child was PINK! We lived with her being a bluish color since her birth that this new PINK color did her well. She was beautiful!
This picture of Lexi was after a week of surgery. I chose this one so you could see how PINK she became!
Lexi stayed in the hospital for around 2 weeks and a few days. Sadly, during her recovery she came down with an infection and had to stay much longer. SN- She had to stay in ICU in a sort of covered hallway breezeway the entire time during her stay (except on the last day) because this was in Aug of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina happened. The hospital did not have any beds/rooms because of this. After two weeks the doctors had Lexi on medication that they were giving her through a PICC Line. Finally after being done with being at the hospital and not being able to spend the night with our child and not having a room, I had to speak up and ask the doctor if this procedure could be done at home. Thank goodness I spoke up because the next day, we were discharged! I truly feel that recovery is sometimes best done at home.
This picture is right before sweet Lexi gets to go home. Look at the first picture of her and her daddy and compare it to this one. What a difference a repaired heart can make ;-)
Written by: Aimee Fauci