Well, it’s mid-summer (already?!?) and it appears that my reader wants to know about the end of Book Boy’s school year, his report card, etc. I’ll report on that soon – I promise – but first I want to write about something that I’ve been holding off on. It has a happy ending, but I kind of wanted to make sure the ending was happy before I put it out there.
You may remember that my brother and his wife welcomed their first child on St. Patrick’s Day this year. SIL (sister-in-law)’s labor was long and tough, and ended in an emergency c-section – then she had numerous post-birth complications. Baby seemed fine, though they did hear a slight heart murmur. The doctor said it was usually nothing, but nonetheless they scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist for the following Tuesday, when baby was six days old.
Thank God they did! Thank God. Because it turns out that the heart murmur wasn’t “nothing.” In fact, the cardiologist discovered pretty quickly that my nephew was born with a congenital heart defect called Tetrolagy of Fallot. The only resolution is a repair that requires open heart surgery, usually very early in life, and usually followed by the replacement of a valve once the child is grown.
There have definitely been some ups and downs over the past few months. The doctor originally said that the surgery would be when the baby was around three months old, and that they would schedule it when his blood O2 levels hit the high 80s. His levels actually went up for a while, and it looked like they might be able to delay surgery a bit. Then, at two months, the doctor said he needed the surgery as soon as possible – within the next two weeks. Well, the surgeon they wanted (one of the best) wasn’t available until the end of June, so that was that. He had to wait a month. He did pretty well, but his O2 levels continued to drop, he had at least one “tet spell,” and he was at least a little blue (literally) most of the time – he really needed the surgery.
His open-heart surgery was last Wednesday. He made it through the surgery and is doing well. I stopped by yesterday and while he was mad and cranky (nurses were moving/replacing some tubes), it was so good to see him – he looks nice and pink, chubby and so healthy compared to a lot of the other “heart babies.” It was also nice to hear him cry without worrying about whether he was going to pass out. (!)
He should be home by the end of the week. I can’t wait for my brother and his wife to be home with their baby, and just enjoy being parents. (Oh, I know it won’t be 100% “normal,” but they haven’t really had any “normal” yet with him.)