The doctor was amazing. The nurses were excellent. The facilities were gorgeous. From the moment I walked into the heart center I was at peace--total peace. I love our team at UC Davis and I was very nervous that I would not feel the same way about the doctors at Stanford, but I immediately felt like this was the right place for our family. I honestly believe that we were accepted at Stanford because Heavenly Father knew it was the place Evie could get the best care, and I felt that ever stronger when we stepped into that beautiful heart center.
The next few hours were filled with test after test. Evie slept through his echo (which was over an hour long) and cooed quietly through his EKG. For a baby that loves to be held all day long, this in and of itself was a miracle! But before the echo was over I knew something was wrong. The technician nervously excused herself to speak with the doctor, and then came back to get some more images. They NEVER tell you what's going on, but I ALWAYS ask and try to get something out of them. They did more testing on that sweet boy, and then put us in a room to wait for the doctor.
I could feel it in my soul. Still. Something wasn't right.
And I was right. The doctor came in the room to tell me that the echo had shown that Everett's aortic arch had not grown and was significantly hindering the passage of blood to the rest of the body, causing his blood pressure to be out of control. They also noticed that his coarctation in his aorta (that was repaired in the first surgery) was re-narrowing. His VSD (the hole in his heart) had not closed, and they noticed in this echo that his mitral valve is measuring small (perhaps from the VSD). As he went through everything that was wrong I knew what he would say next. And he did. Surgery.
He met with the team of cardiologists and surgeons at Stanford the Wednesday before Christmas and got back to me the same day. After looking at Evie's case it was a unanimous decision that he would indeed need open-heart surgery to repair his heart. A few days later it was scheduled. January 18th. Evie's second surgery. Open-heart surgery. January 18th.
We went into Christmas weekend with gratitude that Everett was able to share his first Christmas with us at home, and with respect for the new adventures and trials that 2012 will bring. This Christmas was more emotional and real than any Christmas has ever been. Every time I heard the nativity story, and read about the babe in the manger, I couldn't help but look at my own little boy and feel deep gratitude and love. I also thought a lot about Mary this year--her fears and hopes and dreams for her beautiful little boy--and related with her in a very special way. Christmas was magical and amazing. It absolutely couldn't have been better.
We knew Evie would need more surgeries in the future in order to live a long and full life and so we are grateful that these options are available. Of course I would be lying if I said I wasn't ridiculously anxious, a little bit heart-sick at the thought of my baby having another major surgery and nervous about how our family, especially Talmage, will cope with this disruption of our norm. But, we have seen God's hand in our life time and time again, and I am confident that this will be no different. He knows us and loves us. He will help us through this.
With January 18th approaching quickly, I ask that you please include Everett, the surgeons and our family in your prayers. I know that Heavenly Father hears them.