Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Confessions


I have to confess that I am SO grateful for Ed. Every once in a while I freak out, get a little OCD, turn grouchy and have to clean, clean, clean, or I just want to be grouchy! Ed is truly patient, supportive and understanding. Last night he just started helping me clean and left me alone and didn't complain. He's always quick to forget my faults and almost never mentions anything negative about me. Sometimes I feel like I'm too quick to criticize, nag or complain and for this I am truly grateful for such a helpful, loving, hard working husband that allows me the time to stay home and raise our baby Sarah even if it gets routine sometimes. Ed always seems happy to see me and give me a kiss and hug. I could work on that. Thanks honey, I love you!!

I have to confess that I love going into Sarah's room in the night, morning and afternoons to get her out of her crib after a nap. It's one of my favorite things to see her smile at me. She is always so happy to see me. Her smiles are so adorable! It feels so great to be needed. Being a mother is demanding, so good thing these precious babies are so cute and easy to love and care for. I'm so blessed to be a mother!!

I have to confess that the anxiety of being a first time parent has finally left and I'm so much more relaxed. I think I finally figured out Sarah and I GET IT!! I know how to read her almost always AFTER 3 months!!! There are still hard days, but now I can better distinguish her cries, I know when she's hungry, when she's ready for a nap, or when she's bored. She is now taking regular naps and transitions are much smoother and predictable. Maybe it took me a little longer than most, but I am so grateful for the experience. The Lord is so great to let us learn by experience and trial. No one could give me the answer. I had to experience it to learn. I think about all the times that Sarah would cry (before I had a clue) and now it's much more obvious to me about what she needed. I could have saved her (and me) a lot of crying. Thank goodness for a patient, loving baby that wont remember or point out my faults either.

I have to confess...don't worry Ed :)...that last night I actually thought about having another baby and liked it. I welcomed the thought as I was cuddling Sarah into me. I was replaying her birth, thinking about how small she was, and how much I love her. I will always remember and love my first baby. I think the shock of it all (1st baby) kind of takes away from the experience and enjoyment because you are still trying to learn what to do. I feel like Sarah is growing so fast. She is fitting in newborn clothes that once drowned her! The advancements are fun yet sad all at the same time. That doesn't mean I am ready to have another anytime soon, but I am excited for the time (pregnancy and all) when we decide we're ready again.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Sarah's 3 month old photo shoot



WE LOVE YOU SARAH!!

Ed in scrubs & Me and Marie

Thanksgiving was a beautiful day. We had a relaxed morning, went for a nice walk, and then right as we were going to prepare our turkey for cookin'...Ed's pager went off. :( So Ed went to work for the night and before his case started, had leftover turkey dinner that the nurses brought in. I had good old Marie Callender's take out turkey dinner. The circumstances made us extra grateful for each other and extra grateful for our families. This was our first Thanksgiving away from family and we spent it away from each other too. Since we weren't able to have turkey dinner on Thanksgiving...we had it yesterday. It was just as good a day late. As long as we're together. :) Ed did a great job on the turkey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Something went right, and an old story.

I must have done something right today. Timing must have been on or something. Sarah slept almost 13 hours last night and then took 3 naps totaling 4 1/2 hours. She just went down at 6:15pm. Lots of smiles, hardly any crying...It was a GOOD day!

Also, this happened about one month ago at Sarah's 2 month check up. After Sarah's appointment when I went to get in the car, I totally closed the door on my face before I had a chance to get in!!! :) Has anyone else ever done that? I do it WAY too often. :) I grabbed/covered my eye in pain as I finished getting in the car. Ed asked to look at my eye since he saw me hit it. When I took my hand down I noticed blood. Ed thought I might need stitches. I've never had stitches!! So we went back in the Medical Center (luckily they see adults there as well) and had a doctor look at it. They put some Dermabond (like super glue) on it and sent me off. People looked at me as if Ed had beat me up or something. :) Anyway, funny story. I'd love to hear some of your similar stories to make me feel a little less clumsy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged... by Kim
Here are the rules:
A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

1: I'm a little OCD. Or a lot OCD. :)I get really crabby if my house gets too cluttered. I find a lot of enjoyment reorganizing things, dejunking, vacuuming, etc. I'm very particular about the way things are cleaned too (the way I load the dishwasher). I prefer to clean most things in our place because I like the way I do it. I used to re-vacuum the room if someone stepped on the carpet because I liked to see the lines. I also used to re-write my notes at school so they looked better. :) If I'm going on a vacation, I usually make sure my house is clean before I leave so that I can come home to a clean house. Clean house= Happy Lindsey.

2: I LOVE sugar. I eat way too much of it! While I have self control, I eat a little bit a lot of times during the day. :) I feel like I can afford to eat the food I want if I'm willing to work out. What's life without good food, snacks and candy?

3: I really like running- if it's in the right place with the right people. :) When Ed and I lived in CA the first time I met a group of girls that taught me to love running. CA has beautiful trails and when you're in good company, telling stories, etc., it doesn't even feel like working out sometimes. Nothing better than the feeling after an early morning Saturday run with great friends.

4: I love my family! I love being a wife and mother! Both take practice, but are the most rewarding things in life.

5: I love animals. I have always loved just watching animals. I hate to watch discovery channel shows when animals get killed. I have 2 cats. Someday want a dog.

6: I love TV. I look forward to all of our shows almost every night of the week. Cheap entertainment I suppose. I would really like to get better at getting out and being more active though. Hiking, tennis, snowboarding...trying new things. Maybe when Sarah's a little older. :)

I have to tag SIX people. How about..... Mindi, Kaylynn, Julia, Jenny, Jenn & Krista.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

"Firsts"

Sarah had a couple "firsts" last night that I wanted to share.
-She slept for 12 hours straight for the first time(5pm to 5am. Sarah averages between 8-11 hours sleep time every night. Great for her... and me!! :) She loves her sleep at night...still working on the day naps. :)
-She somehow turned herself completely around in her crib without coming out of her blanket or waking up. :) Little wiggler...we'll have to be more careful since she's starting to move around...rolling over, doing 180's...she's a punkin!!
-Another "first" she had a couple days ago was falling asleep while cuddled into my shoulder. It was the sweetest thing.

Some other new things she likes are:
-Her hands- She's starting to see them and realize they are attached to her.
-Baby Einsteins- She watches intently every morning. :)
-Cooing- She's got all sorts of stories. I love watching her mouth and nose move while she concentrates so hard to get noise to come out. She loves having conversations with mommy and daddy.
-Her thighs- She's getting some nice rolls.(just like her mom j/k) :) Well fed, I say. :)
-Tummy Time- She always seems to be looking up. She has such a strong neck.
-Stretching- She loves it when I stretch her arms and legs to help her become less stiff.
-Baby Bjorn- She loves going on walks in her Bjorn, looking at the sun and trees and feeling the wind on her face. She also likes chillin' with me while I cook and sometimes takes a snooze while in the Bjorn.
-Daddy- It's so sweet to see her face light up when she see's daddy and smiles when she recognizes his glasses.
-Baths- She loves bath/shower time, but absolutely screams every time we take her out of the warm water no matter what time of day. (Much like her Daddy)Must remind her of birth. :)
-Mobiles- The birdies on her swing are definitely her friends.
-Smiling- Much more frequent these days.

Sarah is such a joy!! We love her so much!!

Grandma Grace visits!





Sarah was so excited to see her Grandma this weekend! During her visit we walked the Bay Bridge, went to Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. We also went to Body Worlds, new restaurants, Half Moon Bay, Woodside and Palo Alto City. Grandma loved the Bay Area and we're sure she'll come again soon. Thanks for a great weekend Grandma/Mom!! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Twins Separated Successfully!!!

Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias


Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Surgeons at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital separated Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias in a nine hour procedure on November 12:
  • 6:30 am – Surgery started
  • Around 11:00 am – Twins’ liver was separated
  • Around 12:00 pm – Twins were completely separated and moved to separate rooms for reconstruction
  • 3:30 pm – Surgery completed
Each child had her own medical team during the procedure. Two comprehensive care teams—one for each girl—with representatives from nursing, anesthesia, cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric general surgery, plastic surgery, cardiac bypass and others, were in the operating rooms throughout the entire procedure.
 
Both of the girls had heart conditions that needed repair. Fiorella’s was fixed after the separation. Cardiothoracic surgeon Frank Hanley, MD, will operate to attempt to correct Yurelia’s heart defect some time this week.

“The separation went much better than anticipated,” said Hartman. “Dozens of people worked together seamlessly, and the girls’ cardiac function actually improved when they were separated.” Each child had her own medical team during the procedure. The twins’ liver was separated at about 11 am and the girls themselves were completely separated by around noon. They were moved to separate rooms for reconstruction after they were separated. Two comprehensive care teams—one for each girl—with representatives from nursing, anesthesia, cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric general surgery, plastic surgery, cardiac bypass and others, were in the operating rooms throughout the entire procedure. “It was an extraordinary team effort,” said Hartman, noting that one onlooker compared the activity in the operating room to a symphony. 

The girls are currently recovering in the Packard Children’s Hospitalcardiovascular intensive care unit (CVICU).


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Conjoined Twins Separation at Stanford Hospital


Hey everyone,

Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University will be separating conjoined twins next Monday. They share a right atrium - which is really rare. We will have to place both kids on bypass, cut there hearts apart, move them to separate rooms, and then begin repairing their hearts. CRAZY!!! We have been preparing for this procedure for a long time and are very excited.

I added some info from Lucile Packard's website (this is not a violation of patient confidentiality) so you can read more about them. I will post more Monday night.

Ed


The following is from www.lpch.org


Yurelia Anyolett and Fiorella Gianina Rocha-Arias are conjoined twins. They were born in August 2005 in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Yurelia and Fiorella are joined at the chest and abdomen and face each other. This is called a thoraco-omphalopagus connection.

Additionally:
-Their livers are fused together into a single organ.
-The right atriums of their hearts are connected. The right atrium of the heart receives oxygen-poor (venous) blood from the body. Blood then goes through the right ventricle and into the lungs to get more oxygen.

Yurelia has a congenital heart problem (occurred as the heart formed during pregnancy). It is called double outlet right ventricle (DORV). The aorta and pulmonary artery are both connected to the right ventricle. Normally, the aorta is connected to the left ventricle. Despite the DORV, both of Yurelia’s ventricles are of normal size and function well. The DORV will require correction after the separation surgery.
Fiorella has pulmonary artery stenosis – a narrowing of her left main pulmonary artery. This will require correction after the separation surgery. Fiorella also has a thick right ventricle and high blood pressure.

Some blood is shared between the girls. The blood goes back and forth through connections in the heart and liver.
Fiorella’s body and organs are larger than Yurelia’s.

Yurelia and Fiorella will be 2 years old at the time of the surgery, they may be stronger and better able to recover after surgery. However, their age also means they’ve spent a longer time connected. Some muscle and skeleton changes have probably occurred that may make the actual separation or recovery more difficult.
The twins’ stay in the United StatesMending Kids International, a volunteer organization dedicated to providing complex surgical care to children outside the United States, arranged for the girls to come to Packard Children’s Hospital. Yurelia and Fiorella arrived in the United States on July 25. Their evaluation at Packard Children’s Hospital started the next day.



These are some good answers to Frequently Asked Questions.


1. How common are conjoined twins?The worldwide occurrence of conjoined twins is not well recorded. The frequency of conjoined twins is estimated to be between 1 in 30,000 to 1 in 200,000 worldwide. Because they occur so rarely, it is difficult to determine an exact frequency. Most do not survive pregnancy, and most who are born alive do not survive for more than 24 hours.

2. What causes conjoined twins?There are two theories about the forming of conjoined twins. The first is that a single fertilized egg does not totally split during the process of forming identical twins. The second theory is that a fusion of two fertilized eggs occurs earlier in development. Although conjoined twinning has not been linked to any environmental or genetic cause, they occur so rarely it has been impossible to draw firm conclusions.

3. How often is separation surgery performed?Separation surgery is performed in the United States about five times a year. Most recently, on August 29, 2007, physicians at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia separated 1-year-old conjoined twins who were joined at the abdomen.

4. Has a separation surgery ever been performed at Packard Children’s? What is the history of conjoined twin surgeries in the Bay Area?Yurelia and Fiorella Rocha-Arias will be the first set of conjoined twins separated at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. Prior to the opening of Packard Children's in 1991, two sets of twins were separated at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. Dr. Gary Hartman, the lead surgeon for Yurelia and Fiorella’s separation, was also involved in the prior two surgeries.The University of California at San Francisco and Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland have both performed surgical separations of conjoined twins.

5. What experience does the medical team at Packard Children’s have with conjoined twins?This will be the fifth separation of conjoined twins for lead surgeon Gary Hartman, MD. Cardiothoracic surgeon Frank Hanley, MD, has also been involved in separations of conjoined twins.

6. What is the survival rate for separation surgeries?Survival rates for twins joined primarily at the chest, known as thoraco-omphalopagus twins, are dependent on the complexity of the heart connection and any complications related to the separation of the liver. It is estimated that the survival rate for this type of separation surgery, for both twins, is approximately 50 percent.

7. Why is Packard Children’s performing this surgery?As one of the leading children’s hospitals in the nation, Packard Children’s has a strong record of successful outcomes in cases of high acuity. Physicians and surgeons at Packard Children’s have carefully evaluated Yurelia and Fiorella, and determined that in this case a successful separation is possible. With the experience of lead surgeon Gary Hartman together with experts from our Children’s Heart Center, Packard Children’s has the expertise to pursue the best possible outcome.

8. Who is paying for Yurelia and Fiorella’s medical care?Surgeons and physicians at Packard Children’s are donating their time and expertise to treat Yurelia and Fiorella. Additionally, Packard Children’s is providing medical and clinical care at no cost to Yurelia and Fiorella’s family. The Hospital does not discuss specific costs of procedures publicly. Mending Kids International has arranged for the children’s transportation and housing. Gifts in support of Packard Children’s Hospital and the expert care it gives to children like Yurelia and Fiorella who are undergoing complex surgery can be made by visiting http://twins.lpch.org and clicking the How to Help link.

9. Who will be involved in this surgery?Two comprehensive care teams—one for each girl—with representatives from nursing, anesthesia, cardiothoracic surgery, pediatric general surgery, plastic surgery, cardiac bypass specialists (THAT'S ME) and others, will be in the operating room throughout the entire procedure. After separation, the girls will be moved to separate operating tables and the teams will complete surgery with their respective patient. In addition to the surgical teams, the case will involve radiologists, critical care specialists, infectious disease experts, social workers, chaplains and many more. Basically every discipline in the hospital will be involved with the girls’ care.

10. How does treating a case like this change the usual logistics in the operating room?In separating conjoined twins, one surgical field becomes two; the surgical team must then divide and treat their respective patients, possibly in separate operating rooms. This requires two complete teams and two complete sets of equipment from the beginning.

11. Does the case present special anesthesia challenges?Yes. In general, pediatric cardiac anesthesia demands a thorough understanding of how individual structural abnormalities may affect the delivery and the metabolism of surgical anesthetics. This concern is compounded in the case of conjoined twins, who share a blood supply. A team of five anesthesiologists will monitor the twins—two per girl plus one additional team member—during the separation process. Although anesthesia administered to one of the girls affects both, each child will be individually anesthetized from the beginning of the surgery to prepare for the separation and to enable the anesthesiologists to quickly and accurately meet the needs of each child as their connection is gradually separated.

12. What are the risks for the surgery?As in every surgical procedure, there are factors that can cause complications or even death. In this specific situation, there are additional risks of cardiac dysfunction due to the necessary separation and reconstruction of the hearts, of excess bleeding during the separation of the liver, of injury to the gall bladder and bile ducts, and of respiratory problems due to the reconstruction of the girls’ chest after separation.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

No ZZZ's


No ZZZ's meaning I can't sleep at night! No it's not because of Sarah. She's doing great! She usually goes to bed at 7pm, wakes at 3amish and then again around 7am. She only feeds for about 15 minutes. After her middle night feeding I spend the next 1-2 hours scratching my whole body from head to toe. Poor Ed suffers through the tossing and turning. My insomnia is not because I have an infant, but because I have a cursed skin problem we call eczema. Heaven help me!!