Saturday, April 30, 2011

Post-Operation Day 2-4

Post-Op day 2 (27 April 2011): Kelly is progressing daily with all of the issues associated with having pre-natal surgery. She did not do too well with the Magnesium (Mg) drugs. Their primary action after surgery is to calm the Uterus and not cause contractions. However the drugs do have terrible side effects including causing her lungs to fill with fluid which, set her back one day from the original discharge date. The fluid in the lungs causes small portions of her lungs (Aveoli) to collapse which is called Actelectasis. This causes her oxygen levels to go down, which Kelly was in the high 80's. Also, her blood pressure dropped to 77/55 which was extremely low even for her. On two occasions, her Mg.were toxic levels which the medical staff reported was due to her small stature. For anyone reading and is thinking about the surgery, I would encourage you to do  your homework on the Mg. drugs and ensure to drink plenty of water before surgery (lots) because once she has surgery there is no water of any type. The only thing she was allowed to have was sponging for the lips and cool wet towels over the body and face. Additionally, since she has pulmonary problems and she was given a Spirometer, Diuretic medication and supplemental oxygen to reduce the fluid accumulation in her lungs and build her lung tolerance to normal breathing . The Spirometer, which Kelly absolutely hates is a device that she has to blow into 10x/hour every hour, which she was not compliant with because of pain and other issues. She also, had respiratory therapy come to help mobilize the fluids by doing a procedure called chest PT which basically a person is beating on her back. Another complication Kelly had was for some unknown reason her epidural quit working. So the Anesthesiologist had to place another line into her back at the L4/L5 level. However, this one stopped working as well about 8 hours later; Kelly was an unhappy camper. So the the next course of action to manage pain was to start her on a Patient Controlled Anesthesia (PCA) Dilaudid 1mg/hour. She responded favorably to it but was apprehensive because of the narcotic effecting the baby. Additional to note, from a family perspective, I would recommend packing plenty of different types of clothing warm and cold because of Kelly's fluctuating temperature. Andrew on the other hand is doing really well, his amniotic fluid levels were on the low end and heart rate was higher (138 BPM) than yesterday.

Post-Op Day 3 (28 April 2011) Kelly continues to get better each day, the lungs are sounding better and she actually was able to get up and sit in a chair for 3 hours. Andrew's amniotic fluid volume continues to build and the staff refer to him as a "Rock Star" Last night Kelly was able to get more sleep ~6 hours. Not a very exciting day which is a good thing.

Post-Op Day 4 (29 April 2011): Again more improvement in Kelly's status, lungs have no "crackle" but do have diminished lung sounds. Kelly is starting to eat more solid foods but did not tolerate crackers all that well. She was nauseated and vomited. I could not even imagine the pain from the wrenching of throwing up. On a positive note kelly was able to come off the PCA pump and start oral medication, one IV was taken out and the catheter is out. Andrew is a real trooper, I cannot wait to meet this little guy. I talked to Kelly's sister and she reports being overwhelmed by support from family, friends and even  unknown people. She said, "Andrew should run for President" because he has a huge following even before he is born. I would like to say thank you to everyone who has stood by us providing everything from financial, emotional and physical help. It is truly remarkable to be able to see the compassion people are capable of and to know that people are truly invested in this journey.

Post-Op Day 5 (30 April 2011) Kelly seems to be more of herself today. As I write this she is able to get out of her bed and walk to the bathroom independently. She was able to get a shower and change into some night gowns that we bought prior to surgery. No more hospital gowns! If you know Kelly at all this is a good thing. She likes to be fashionable even at the hospital. Andrew was looking good today. Things are looking up but we do have to be vigilant about compliance with doctors orders.


  1. I'm sorry for her pain, but am thankful things are looking up!

  2. Kelly you are amazing!! Mike, you are too! Andrew is a very lucky little guy. So much love from his parents and he isn't even here yet! You guys are in out thoughts and prayers.

  3. So sorry to hear Kelly has had problems with recovery!!! The mag sulfate was awful for me, but I didn't have the lung issues. My blood pressure also consistently got very low because of the drugs they gave me. In the hospital they freaked about it but my doctors were fine with it. In fact, at one point when I was inpatient after my water broke, they threatened to take me off the procardia/nifedipine because my blood pressure was so low, but I told them it was MOMS protocol and they'd have to clear it with my doc before I stopped taking it (I had my own pills there!). Anyway, don't be surprised if the blood pressure thing keeps happening, but I had to make sure I sat straight up (even in the middle of the night) so it wouldn't register so low as when I was laying down.

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  5. Love you guys!!! Cheering about your release from the hospital!! Let the recovery begin!!