Saturday, October 22, 2011

Today is the Day!!

The SMILE said it ALL...he knew the good news...before we did!
This was the first sight we saw this morning...see anything different...LESS BLING!!

The NEW ROOM!! 3rd Floor!

Sleepy Boy!

These two pics about are just after Tritton had his first...real bath!!
He didn't quite know what to make of it.. :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 14)
When Jess and I arrived we really didn't have too much hope of leaving the CICU today. But when we saw Tritt's smile we knew it was going to be a good day no matter what. We also discovered that they had taken off his chest tubes (since he DID "drain dry" the night before), art lines and pick lines. We were thrilled!! That had to be good news. They did leave in the monitor on his foot for his oxygen, feeding tube, blood pressure monitor and heart rate monitor. But hey, we can live with that!

We had been there about 30 minutes when the head attending came said that today was the day we were heading up to the 3rd FLOOR!!! WHAT!! I couldn't believe it. :)
It took a while-in fact, most of the morning to get all the paper work and Tritt ready. Around 12:30 we were heading up to the 3rd floor.
I, of course, was very emotional and tears came at will as we strolled up the our new room. But there were happy tears of joy and relief to finally be moving on. We have seen so many come and go, that it has been hard thinking when would it be our turn. Oh! What a blessed day!

We arrived in our new room, meet the nurse, and got settled in. We were told that we could stay with him overnight now if we desired. We were excited to hear this!! We spent the day enjoying the privacy of our room and loving on our little boy. We had hoped to spend the night there, but having to clean your own room and do some laundry at the Ronald McDonald House, we decided we would stay one more night there and get it cleaned up then "move in" with Tritt in his room. It had a bathroom/shower and make shift bed/couch. It was not luxury, but it meant being with our little one 24/7!

We spent the rest of the day meeting new the various nurses/doctors to make a game plan as to where to go from here. Tritt also had his hearing test. Since we couldn't have it done as a newborn, they went ahead and did it today. He passed with flying colors! But they suggested that once we get home and off all medications to go have it done again..since some medications can cause hearing loss. We will cross that bridge when we get there.

Dad helped bathe Tritt and he loved it! Dad did..but Tritt was not quite sure of it all...but he made some cute faces!!
We also were on a feeding schedule..every 6 hours (every other feeding) we would feed him with a bottle..or at least try and get as much as we could in him...then use his feeding tube for the rest. We are only allowed to try and get 20ml for now. He is still trying to figure out how to suck and swallow.

The 3rd Floor is what I call a "half-way-house" for parents...we are learning how to take care of Tritt in all aspects. Feedings, bathing, giving him his medicines, etc. So when it comes time for us to go home we will have an idea as to what to do. It is a little daunting to give him his meds through his feeding tube. Jess just takes over..but I guess I better get the hang of it since I be taking care of him throughout the day when we get home.

Overall, today was a very eventful and exciting, YET exhausting day! But we are so glad to be where we are and making progress!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Continued Healing. . . :) 3rd Floor In Sight!

"The Cage" the new bed! Wowzer :)

One of his chest tubes-draining the fluid around his lungs from the lymphoids. They also have to suture the tube to his skin to keep it in place. Oh we are going to have many, many scars!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 13)
Last night we received another dreaded phone call during the night saying that after they removed his feeding tube for a trial run of a bottle-he threw up for a while and so they were going to put it back in that morning. Poor kid-his body just can't get use to the different flow of food and on top of that he has acid reflux-which they say is common in heart babies.

When we arrived Wednesday morning we saw that his cozy little bed-was replaced with a much larger, "cage like" bed (at least to me that is what it looked like). He had threw up twice since the feeding tube was put back in, so they were watching him very carefully so he wouldn't choke.

The speech therapist came by to work on his sucking and swallowing, since he had the breathing tube so long he is having to relearn how to do both. He did well-considering yesterday was not the greatest attempt. We were gone when they came yesterday and they decided to see how his does with a bottle anyway. After working with him for about 10 minutes he shut down and wouldn't open up his mouth. So we were hoping today would be better!

We worked with the speech therapists to help Tritt get use to taking a bottle. We would put just a taste of the formula on his binky and let him taste it then work the binky into his mouth. He would somewhat catch on to the whole sucking idea, but not for very long. We eventually introduced the bottle and he began to suck a little more, but got tired very quickly and that's where the feeding tube comes in. The goal is to get 60 ml (2 oz) in him every 3 hours. We start with the bottle feeding and see how much he will take before he tuckers out and/or before 20 minutes are up (they don't want him taking too long to take the full amount since it can take anywhere from 1 hour to 1 and a half to feed him. And they want enough time in between feedings to allow the food to digest before giving him more) then the rest will be given to him through his feeding tube with the pump. It is a process!!

Dr. Bowles (Nurse Practitioner) made the rounds this evening and mentioned about pulling his chest tubes tomorrow morning if they continue "drain dry" through the night. We are praying for this to happen!! He did also begin the "3rd floor talk" with us. If all goes well then possibly we could go up tomorrow. But he will have to pass his sucking/swallowing test tomorrow, keep food down and not reflux, and have his chest tubes "drain dry".

Tomorrow will tell. . . . Praying for a FANTASTIC night of healing and good eating!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wimmicks Gray Dots & Gold Stars!

"Battle Wounds"
One nurse said, "He'll have something to show the girls" :) HaHa

Sleeping with my mouth open!

Like Father, Like Son! (Giggle, Giggle)

My Handsome BOYS!!
Oh how I LOVE THEM!!

Perfect Pair!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 12)
I am trying to be little more clever with the titles of each post. If any of you have ever read the childrens book called "You Are Special" (one of my all time favorite books) you will know what I mean when I say that Tritt lost a lot of the "gray dots" or "BLING" today and gain a few "gold stars"

Jesse got up earlier than I did this morning and headed to the hospital, while I hustled and got ready myself. When he returned to pick me up-he reported of what went on in the hour he was gone. I couldn't believe my ears at what all went on in such a short amount of time.

Tritt was able to get off the high flow oxygen and to a much lower dose through his nasal tube (hoping to get off of this by tonight or tomorrow), his pace maker "hook ups" that were wired to his heart and stitched to his skin so they would not move around were pulled out, art line in his left wrist-that also went to his heart was taken out, and his feeding tube was pulled out of his small intestine and put into his stomach. The "gray dots" are falling off due to faith, love, and prayers!

"Gold Stars" - Tritt's blood pressure, that was being monitored by his art line, is now measured with a cuff on his calf muscle or his bicep, heart is now just being monitored by the probes on his chest, and as mentioned above lower flow of oxygen through his nasal tube!!

He had been throwing up-acid reflux-more than they would like, but this is not an uncommon occurrence in babies who have had heart surgery. So they have given him a med to help with that. They are also watching his magnesium, potassium, and electros to see if they need to give him any more. Since he still has his chest tubes that are draining out the fluid from his chest cavities, he looses those components in his body. Once he quits producing fluid they will not have to give him anymore, since his body should be able to regulate it.

He also had a feeding test with a bottle today, but he didn't pass it. He had been sucking on his binky all day long-he would even suck on his breathing tube! But when the speech therapist came to do the test, he was not having it! He just sat there like "too bad dude-I'm NOT doing what you want me to do" So we have to try again tomorrow!
So for now we are mainly waiting on his lymphoids to quit producing fluid and him to quit being so stubborn and suck on the bottle!! What a kid! Sure hope this is not any precursor to how he will act in the future. . . . :)

Another Gold Star-or should I say-BRIGHT STAR in our day, was being able to hold and snuggle with him more! Jess and I both enjoyed this tremendously! He would just snuggle right down into our arms and be so content! We just melt!!

Steps closer to getting out of the CICU and on to the 3rd floor in a private room. We have not been told when, but we are hoping and praying soon!!

"With Celestial sight, trials impossible to change, become possible to ENDURE!"
Elder Russell M. Nelson

Just Breath. . . .

"Look All. . . No Breathing Tube!"

Yeah, that's what my little man looks like!!

Dad putting me to sleep-ZZZZ!
Still with my hands in "Stick'em Up Form"

Awww, In My Arms Again. . . LOVED IT!

Flowers from the "Newby Bunch"
Thank You ALL!

Plant from Bloomington Staff
Thank You!! Love You!

Plant from Eric & Autumn & Girls
Thank You Friends!

LARGE Card from so many! We Love It!!
(Kim this was spectacular-Its DARLING!)

Our little family! "Lots of Love" back to all who are praying, fasting, giving, and sending their thoughts to us at this time. We LOVE YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!!

Monday, June 13, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 11) & Tritton's "Actual" Due Date
Monday morning Tritton had passed his breathing test and they took out the breathing tube!! WAHOO! He let out a couple of cries and then just laid there content. The nurse and respitory therapist was hoping for a little more active sounds, but not Tritt! After they pulled the tube out of this throat (which made his throat sore and his cries were hoarse anyway) they wiped up all the glue that they use to keep the vent stuck to his face. The nurse was not to careful about it either-hoping to stir him a little into crying some more. . . but it was no use! So they had to give him some high-flow oxygen through a nose tube to remind him to take deeper breaths. They will slowly wean him of this and hopefully get rid of it in a day or two! (What a little stinker :) )

Since Tritton is known to do his "own thing" more often than not, we he did get another IV put into his foot. . . since the one in his hand was too slow. (the flow-since this can mean it is "closing-up") They needed to give him some more blood, due to earlier that morning when the nurse was suctioning out his left chest tube that it had a lot of fluid that was bloody. So out goes one thing, in goes another. But I did find out that he has an o-negative blood type-universal donor!!

Another really terrific event of the day, was getting to hold my little boy-after waiting 11 days to do go again. We couldn't due to the breathing tube and the chest Art Line since it was not stitched in his skin. It was just an amazing feeling to hold my son again. He snuggled right down into my arms and went to sleep. I had a good cry and just loved on him for as along as I could. Oh, how I wished I was home with my little boy! Soon enough. . . . I hope :)

We also got another surprise today. Nikki and Andrew Nelson was up at Primary's with Carter their son for follow up appointments. Nikki and I have become great friends and it was so nice to see familiar faces once again. They had brought up a "care package" from many of our friends from Bloomington & Bloomington Elementary. I am just simply amazed at the outpouring of love and support and generosity that many of you have shown to us. I didn't now know that Jess and I were so loved. Thank you to all for being so kind and considerate of us. We both are at a loss for the right words to say, "Thank You", but truly with every fiber of our souls, we are ever so grateful for all your support. It has made this trial easier to bear and face everyday. THANK YOU-THANK YOU-THANK YOU!! WE LOVE YOU MORE THAN WE COULD EVER EXPRESS!
We wish we could Hug each and everyone of you and tell you Thank You in person-we will eventually!

Through many, we are made stronger and our faith is strengthened! It is very humbling to realize the support and love of many. It opens your eyes to a whole new world and perspective of life. I have been listing ways that Jess and I can give back to these facilities that have also been such a blessing for us. You definitely gain a higher appreciation for those who sacrifice their time, money, talents, and efforts to make our situation a little more bearable.

Again, Thank you to all!! We love you and are strengthened by your simple and yet, immeasurable sacrifices that you have made in our behalf. Hugs and Kisses!! XOXOX

Day of Healing :)

"Looking at His Daddy"

*Being Held by Mom*
I LOVE this Moment!

Sunday, June 12, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 10)
Sundays are usually quiet day on the CICU floor, but a busy visiting day for many at the hospital. We had got ready to go to church this day and hurried off to see Tritton first. He was wide awake and really responsive due to his new medication that they had him on for his sedation and pain. I am so glad they made the switch from the more aggressive kind that made him pretty sedated most of the day. Another reason why they switched it out is because he will need to eventually be weaned of it and this new kind is not so hard to wean him from.

He was so fun to be around and watch move. His little legs go a hundred miles an hour. Running Races! It is also wonderful to look into those precious eyes and see him looking back at you. At times he will look past you and just stare. . . makes you wonder who else is there with us :)

Jess and I attended the hospitals LDS branch that morning for sacrament meeting. It was really a sight to see a lot of parents and their children who are receiving treatment at Primarys there. There was a calming spirit about room. We were fortunate to have some friends (although being at the hospital with their little girl was unfortunate) the Wises, meet up with us at the service. It was great to set by familiar faces and visit afterward with them. They are such a strong and loving couple. So glad we get to associate with such people-Love You!!

During sacrament meeting we sang "Count Your Many Blessings", such an appropriate song to sing. It felt so good to be in such a meeting. It was fast and testimony meeting this week, due to the telethon that went on the week previous. It was a short meeting due to there only being 35 minutes of time total, but welcomed time indeed!

There were just about 10 minutes for he bearing of testimonies, so few were able to do so. I was gaining the courage to get up, when a young man raced to the pulpit. He joked and said that he wanted to take full advantage to bear his testimony in his PJ's-since this would be the only time he would ever get to do so in a sacrament meeting :) We all had a good laugh at this, then he went on to say that he was there with both his little boys and wife. He had with him his I-Pad where he had ready to share with us part of an article that he had come across just the night before. As he began to read I recognized the words immediately! It was the same article "Face the Future with Faith" by Elder Russell M. Nelson, that I had read not just 2 days previous and many times since. He got very emotional reading the same parts that I have mentioned in the previous post. I too became emotional at the non-coincidental way this article was found by him, similar situation of doubting his faith. Jess squeezed my hand and I knew that he too recognized the words.
After the meeting I happen to see this man standing off waiting for his family. I took the time to thank him for sharing the article that he did and shared with him my own experience with finding and reading it. It was a emotional and heart-filled conversation with him. It was nice to see the Lord's work in a different-yet similar-avenue of anothers life. What a confirmation of what I had learned-to see it working in his mans own trial of faith.

Later that day Tritt was given a trial run being off him ventilator, he did well for 45 minutes and then began to take panic breaths, but first time went well. They later gave him another trial and he did better. They would work throughout the night on more trials for longer periods of time and hope for him to be rid of it come Monday.

Tritt also got his "Art line" that was inserted in his bellybutton to his heart-taken out. This allowed us to hold him up underneath his bedding. OH! It was a wonderful moment to get to hold him once again! We were told that once his breathing tube is out then we can hold him fully!! I could not wait!! We had some fun pictures of him while we held him.

This was such a day of healing! Spiritually, Physically, & Emotionally! I had been renewed with faith I never knew existed in me and a comfort hand was with us all day! I felt a peace I had not truly understood until this day! I know everything is going to be alright, yes it will take time, but I am ready to endure it more faithfully!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Hiccups. . . . Post Surgery Days 8 & 9

Wonderful Grandparents!!

Our Handsome Little Man!

Such a Cute Pair!!

My Little Miracle!

Friday, June 10th, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 8)
We have learned by now that Tritton has not done anything "usual" he likes to beat to his own drum. . .and carve a path down an unexpected road at times. I sure hope this is not any insight to future experiences.

This morning he had an x-ray of his stomach/chest area. The doctors were worried about a little fluid that had been accumulating around the left cavity of his chest area, but were going to watch it for a while and see if the body would just absorb it.
He also began to have arrhythmia spells-where his heart would speed up too fast which would cause his blood pressure to rise as well. He has the "hook ups" already attached to him and his heart for the pace maker, if necessary. He was able to out out of the first two spells by himself, but through the night he had 2 more, where the nurse had to turn on the pace maker. It didn't take much for it to slowly come back down, but if he continues to have these arrhythmia spells then they may have to put him on a medication to regulate it for 6 months or more. I was worried about having to deal with this medication, but IF we need it. . . we will take care of it when we cross that bridge.
That evening the goal was to watch the left side of his chest for further fluid, and keep a close on his output of fluid. (they call it negative fluid. . . meaning he is getting rid of more fluid through his urine, than positive fluid where his body is retaining).

Saturday, June 11, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 9)
After careful watch over night at his chest and flank area, the doctors wanted another x-ray of his left chest cavity that morning. Sure enough the left side had also filled up with fluid from the lymphoids being nicked during surgery.
So as we watched they put in another chest tube on his left side. When they first put it in, due to the amount of fluid and pressure, it sprayed quite a large amount of fluid on the bedside. I was feeling awful! We had just got these tube taken out a few days earlier and now we were set back another week or more due to this issue.

Fortunately, Grandma T and Grandpa n Grandma Leavitt were there to comfort us. It was such a blessing to have them there for us. . . in person! Thank you for your love and support through all of this. WE love you all so very much!!

As the day went on we got confirmation that the blood samples/cultures came back negative for infection, which would have been devastating. Tritt was stopped of his Fentanol (a drug used for sedation and pain killer) and placed on another that will help him be more awake and alert while being comfortable. They also turned down his oxygen a little to begin weaning him of his breathing tube. Later in the evening they will begin to put him on the MCT Diet with 1-2cc every 4 hours and work their way to the pre-spun /"fat free" breast milk, which they are hoping to get to 16-19cc soon.
Saturday night went well-NO ARRHYTHMIA spells!! YAHOO!

Emotions . . . . of the past few days. . .
This week had been one roller coaster twist, turn, loop, stomach loosing, brain busting, loop-d-loop ride! Although we had the support of both our parents here to lean on as well as each other, I was dealing with such a misleading feeling of doubt. I was scared to hope for anything positive, since anytime I did we were hit in the face with another set back. It was like we would take 2 steps forward and 3 back everyday. I can't explain the feeling of lost hope and doubt I was experiencing during this time. I knew it was Satan doing his best to bring me down, but I was letting him. I found myself in such a scary place. I did feel hopeless. . . .

I was able to find some time alone during all of this and while I hit my knees asking for understanding and help, I happened along the May 2011 Conference Edition of the Ensign I just happened to bring on a whim. I felt so guided to open it and turn to the table of contents. As I did I came across a talk given by Elder Russell M. Nelson, titled "Face the Future with Faith."
I turned to it and began to read. . . and read. . . and re-read. It was my Heavenly Father talking to me through this prophetic way of inspiration.

The article taught that we as parents need to teach our children about faith in different means of obedience, but then there were some points made that were so profound to me that I have not forget them, they are embedded in my mind.

" ". . . And remember, God's holy angles are ever on call to help us. The Lord so declared: "I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." What a promise! When we are faithful, He and His angels will help us. "

It continued to say. . ." "Unfailing faith is fortified through prayer. Your heartfelt pleadings are important to Him. Think of the intense and impassioned prayers of the Prophet Joseph Smith during this dreadful days of incarceration in Liberty Jail. The Lord responded by changing the Prophet's perspective. He said, "Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." If we pray with an eternal perspective, we need not wonder if our most tearful and heartfelt pleadings are heard. This promise from the Lord is recorded in section 98 of the Doctrine and Covenants: "Your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord. . . . and are recorded with his seal and testament-the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted." "

The most profound statement of the whole talk was a quote from President Monson, he said, "My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith."

I knew, after reading this article, that my prayers and the prayers of so many were not in vain. That these "Hiccups" had a reason for happening and that I had to endure it with faith. As I pondered these words of counsel over the last few hours of the day, I felt more at peace and had a better understanding of what my role was in this trial/lesson we are being taught. I knew that my Heavenly Father KNEW of our situation and was with my sweet boy. I knew of his love for Jess and I and our ability and need to lean on Him.
I later shared this article with Jess and we had a great discussion about the role faith plays in our everyday lives. It is truly one of those things in life you cannot live without. The other side is dark and dreadful, but with faith, truly our future can be bright!
I encourage any of you to read this article and also "The Atonement Covers All Pain" by Elder Kent F. Richardson, pg. 15 of May 2011 Ensign. What a peace both articles brought to my mind, heart, and soul. I couldn't do this without the knowledge of my Heavenly Father and Savior and their Eternal plan for us. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life and the power it has over any earthly foe! I love my little family so dearly and Thank You All for your prayers, thoughts, sacrifice, and generosity during this trial of our faith. May the Lord bless you all for your blessed efforts. We Love You!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Two Steps Forward. . . Three Steps Back...Post Surgery Day 6 & 7

The "New" IV on his hand-Moved from his Foot

Holding Daddy's Hand...and Look My "Bow" is gone!

Well just like this post is titled. . . .we took two steps forward and three steps back last night and today. The healing or "fine tuning" (I like to call it) is a long and hard process.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 6)
On Wednesday he got his chest draining tubes taken out, but one of the two was clogged. So when they took it out there was some fluid that came gushing out. They let it gush for a minute then patched it up, saying that the body will absorb the rest-no big deal. But throughout the day on Wednesday the flanks of his body were getting wider-filling with this fluid. So today-Thursday-they put in another chest tube to drain the fluid. As they did so they got about 50cc worth of fluid-which is a lot!

Here is how the past two days break down:

Removed head sensor and kidney senor, removed the chest tubes, removed one IV-that was for the pain medication and sedation drip-from his foot and put it in to his left wrist. It had been there for so long that it was not working-his poor little leg was swollen due to the medication not reaching the rest of his body.

Wednesday goals were: push for him to get rid of the fluid around his flanks and wean him more of his ventilator. (these were not met due to the following)

Wednesday Night @ 11:00
We get a call from the hospital saying that his blood pressure had dropped and they were going to give him blood pressure medication and blood platelets to bring it back up. They were also going to do another ECOgram to see what the deal was. Later that night be came off of both medicines and blood pressure resumed normalcy. They also took cultures of his blood to see what was going on.

Thursday, June 9, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 7)
Doctors decided to put back in the Art Line to draw his blood from and to watch his blood pressure. They also decided to send it to the lab to check for infection. The preliminary report after 12 hours came back negative, but they will wait 48 hours to confirm. They also put back in one of the chest tubes-to drain the fluid mentioned above (also found out that during surgery they nicked a lymphatic vessel, which is leaking Chyle a milky white fluid that was found in the fluid in his chest-which makes it difficult to breath-it is called Chylothorax. They treat it by draining it and placing him on a MCT diet-no breast milk for a few weeks due to its fat content. He will need to be on a special formula for a while.

His acidic levels were high-so they stopped feeding him my milk and went back on the electros and are watching the levels of acid in his bowels and stool. And later on his heart had a irregular rhythm to it-so they shocked him with the heart defibrillator and his heart was able to get back on pace-but this they are watching very closely and are giving him medication for it as well. He is on more oxygen and we are hoping that by draining the fluid that that will help get him back on track.

It has been a tough last couple of days. Jesse has been so positive and able to see the good! He said that it has been a great day of knowledge-how that the doctors and nurses have found out what is the matter and are treating it. I am so grateful for his insights, because I have not felt this way. I believe my faith and patience are wavering and I feel as if I can't wish for the positive, since lately we have seen too much of the negative. It is hard to stay positive when you are dealing with such critical moments in your little boys life. I have prayed for strength and understanding all day....I hope that Heavenly Father is patient with is a hard lesson to learn and believe day in and day out-Trial of Faith...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Post Surgery Day 5

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 5)
Wow I cannot believe that it has been 5 days after surgery. Tritt has come leaps and bounds these past few days!

This morning Jess went over to the hospital around 8am. I was still having a hard time rolling out of bed. While he was there Tritt opened up his eyes for a while and he and dad had a great chat-from what Jess informed me :)

The plan today was to remove his two IV's in his neck (check), remove the stomach catheter (check), remove the "art line" in his bellybutton, and add another art line in his arm. Lose and Gain. . . I hate this game! The reasoning behind it is that they still needed a line to draw his blood-the line in his belly button was still working, but it is not good to leave it in as long as it has been in there-the risk of leaving it in out-weights its benefit.

As I arrived the poor kid was being poked and prodded! The nurses were having a hard time trying to get this line in. We couldn't be close and I could tell we really were not wanted there. I also felt horrible watching my little guy get stuck like a pin cushion, so we went downstairs for breakfast. When we returned they STILL had not got the line in. I was not ok and Jess was going to loose it! Thank heavens my little boy was heavily sedated! So we decided to go to Temple Square. I really didn't want to leave, but it was better that we were not in the middle of it all.

Temple Square was beautiful!! It brought a peace that we both needed to feel today. We walked around and visited the Church History Museum. Neither of us had know of it before and we got to see some wonderful artifacts from early pioneer history. Such a peaceful time!
We also remenised about our 3rd date, where we went to his mission presidents homecoming and then later came to Temple Square. I knew that day that I would marry Jess :) Now look where we are. A handsome little guy and a good future ahead of us. You have to look for the blessings in a world that is so full of negativity and sorrow. We truly are blessed and have grown so much as eternal companions. I am very grateful for the knowledge that I will always have Jess and Tritton in my life!

By the time we got back they had given up on getting the line in. They left the belly button line in until they can get the "art line" in tomorrow. They had stuck him too many times and he had had it! So had I!!!!!

We spent most of the evening with him and he opened up his eyes for a while. We were able to capture a picture of this wonderful moment. He is such a handsome little boy-I just love him!! Then the nurse took a picture of us hovering over him as he was awake. She said that this moment was meant to be captured on film. :)

Tomorrow they will try again to get rid and redo the art line. Also they will be slowly weaning him of his breathing tube. Once that is gone then we can hold him again! They are hoping by the time Friday rolls around that we will be out of ICU and into another recovery room.
Everyday we are getting closer, some set backs to day, but our strength is enduring!!

Love to ALL!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mending a Fixed Heart :)

I like this bandage much better!! Simple :)
(sorry the pics uploaded out of order)

Setting up for the Mending of Tritton's "Fixed" Heart!

This was before surgery-gotta love the bow tie look!!
(I know I am biased-but isn't he a looker!! LOVE HIM!!)

Monday, June 6, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 4)
Today Tritton's heart and chest was mended back together and now we can start the real healing process!! Yeah! Dr. Casa preformed the surgery and did a really great job. Tritts swelling was down significantly and around 1:00 here came the prep team to get his bedside ready. They preformed the surgery there at his bedside after their sterilized everything. We were not allowed to be around so we went to lunch down at the cafeteria and then waited in the waiting room.

The doctor said that his heart pumps, valves, and arteries all looked great! They first had to clean out his chest with an antibiotic solution, then closed his sternum with stainless steel wires, next pulled the tissue together and then stitched it up, finally they glued the top of the stitches with a surgical glue that keeps the infection out. Now instead of a bow-tie look he just has a nice vertical bandage.

Tritt also got rid of the two heart pick lines in his neck, but they added another IV in his other foot. Poor kid-loose some-gain more, but all for his benefit. They also put in a feeding tube through his nose that leads to his stomach. They will begin feeding him my milk either tonight or tomorrow and slowly get decrease his "electros".

He was wide awake before they put him under for the closure, so we were able to see and visit with him. I love to see his eyes! He is such a mellow baby, just chill and calm. We love him so much-it is a love I have never felt before. :)

Tritt goals for the week, now that his chest is closed, is to continue to get rid of the fluid in his body, get the breathing tube out, and start eliminating medications, and relying fully on my milk through his feeding tube.

We also did talk to Dr. Casa about the possibility of him having to have additional surgeries to elongate the pulmonary valve and conduit that was put in his coronary-artery. He said that in some cases that it will grow with the child depending on if the length they put in fits well as he grows. If he does need to have addition surgeries they now can go up through the groin and like a balloon open it up to allow blood flow, or if they have to go in again (several years down the road) the surgery is not as intense as this first has been. He said that right now, NOT to worry about it and looked right at me. . . I think he could see my concern on my face. What he said sure helped keep my focus on the now and perspective in the long run. What an amazing doctor! So grateful for his work and ability to be guided by the Lord.

Oh! And one thing I have not mentioned that I thought was interesting. . . Tritton's Pulmonary Valve and Conduit is very special. . . We were given a card that shows the its own serial number and date as to what it is and when it was put into his body. We were told to keep the card safe just like you would your social security card. WOW!! Talk about a valuable, but life changing part!

Please know that we Thank You all for your prayers and love! We are seeing a miracle unravel before our very eyes. We feel your love and support. Tritt is such a fighter and just amazes us everyday! We LOVE You all so much - Thank you!!

Chalk this day up for one of the better!! BEST!! Thus far . . .

Post Surgery . . . Days 1, 2, 3

Nothing says LOVE, like Kisses from Dad!

Dad and Tritt!! So Sweet...

Friday, June 3, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 1)
Today was a critical for our little fighter. . . the window for serious complications is 24-48 hours. We were on pins and needles to get to the hospital and see how he fared through the night. Remarkably, he didn't have the issues that the nurses and doctors were prepare for. They had a pace maker hooked up to his heart just in case, breathing aids ready, etc. Dr. Casa was there that morning during the doctors rounds and came over to us to tell us that he couldn't believe the turn around that Tritt was making-even after such a difficult surgery. As he walked away he said to Jesse, "There is a higher power watching over your son." Wow! You bet there is!

Uncle Mark and Aunt Shi, Bishop Barrett and Sandy, and Renee and Randy Stevenson came to see him today. He was pretty sedated of course, but I'm sure he could feel their presence. The Bishop and Jess gave him a blessing, which I was very-very thankful for. It put my heart at ease.

Earlier that morning, Jess was talking in his ear and Tritt turned his head and opened his eyes for a few minutes and just stared at him. It was such a special moment! It is those moments that we live for right now.

Tritton's vitals were looking great, he was impressing the doctors so well. . . that's my boy. Jess and I hung out at the hospital for as long as we could stand it. . . we cannot hold him or touch him too much, as they don't want him to move around a lot. He does respond to touch and will move his little hands and feet. I just love it!
He is always sleeping with his hands up. Like Father like Son!

I just love his chubby feet!!

Saturday, June 4, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 2)
Another healing day. . . there really is not much to do around him at this time. We talk to him, touch him, and we have even sang the silly songs that we grew up hearing from our parents and grandparents. It was a day of smiles and grateful hearts as we knew we were past the worst-as far as his surgery went. . . We have been blessed with terrific nurses that have loved him and really take the time to help him be comfortable.

The nurses and doctors still can't believe his progress. He is getting rid of his fluid more and more, vitals looked great, and he was looking so much better.

Jesse and I decided that this would be a good day to go out for a while longer and get some time away from the hospital. We made the usually trip to Walmart and Gateway Mall. It was a great distraction and helped us feel normal for a minute :)

We still cannot get over the out pouring of loves, hugs, prayers, and fasts that many of your are offering and sacrificing in our behalf. Thank you-THANK YOU for being who you are! We love you all so much! I KNOW that without your prayers Tritton would not be doing as well as he is. I am seeing miracles happening before my own eyes, big and small every moment. Thank you!

We were told today that the doctors would be closing his chest tomorrow morning. . . . hopefully that will be the case.

Sunday, June 5, 2011 (Post Surgery-Day 3)
We were up early and dressed in our Sunday best! We decided to remember the Sabbath Day that we would stay in our church attire. We arrived at the hospital around 8am and eagerly waited the time when Tritton would have his chest closed, but during the night a little eight year old girl, who had been fighting for her life, got her heart transplant. We were so thrilled to hear such great news for her and her family. We have made great friends with them and were so happy that their sorrow turned so quickly to joy! It was just that evening that the heart became available, so the doctors were taking care of his emergency since they only had a 4 hour window. By the time they were done the doctors were quite exhausted and during rounds they felt that Tritton had too much fluid around his back and chest to close him today. I was more ok with this than Jess. I felt like it was a little early-mother instinct I guess-but Jess was disappointed and down most of the day. But one more day of healing is a good factor in this day to day life we are living.

We were able to go and be with some friends later this afternoon. Jesse's best friend growing up lives in Clearfield and they were blessing their baby today. So we went for a few hours and enjoyed our time with them going to church and visiting for a while afterward at the luncheon.
But were were eager to get back to our little boy.

We got back to the hospital and loved on our little guy. He was more awake today and would turn his head to look at us. He wouldn't fuss or get too wiggly with all the Bling that hangs from his little body. He even will suck on his breathing tube. Which is awesome!! Most babies will forget how to suck after surgery, so we are happy to see him doing that. It is quite the noise as well. . . we just giggle - he is too cool!! (I have to say that instead of cute-Jess says that he has to keep his macho image :) ) Ha Ha-what a dad!!

So we wait until tomorrow to see when they will close his chest. We were stopped by Dr. Casa-who will do the surgery, and he said that tomorrow after the first surgery case that they will do then. Most likely early afternoon. . . . but as we have learned. . . nothing goes as planned so we will patiently wait until it is time. Assuming Tritt still keeps a positive flow of fluid going out!

Love to all!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day of Surgery!

This is our little fighter after surgery. He is swollen like a balloon :(
His chest is still open-covered with a sterile bandage. It looks like a bow tie-he was stylin' !

Our little family. . . just before the came to get him for surgery.

Thursday, June 2, 2011 (Day of Surgery)

Jess and I arrived early at the hospital to be with Tritt for an hour. We were able to love on him before the nurses came to take him at 7:00am. We were able to follow him to a certain point into the operating section of the CICU. There we said our tearful goodbyes and were directed to the "same day surgery" waiting room. There we did just that. . . . . WAITED!!!

Dr. Burch had said that he wouldn't be starting the surgery until 9am. The prep work takes time. They had to drop his body temp. around 24 degrees, put him on a pumping system that monitored his heart and lungs, IVs, tubes and such (I call it all BLING!!) Then they began the first incision right around 9am.

We had a nurse practitioner--Ann-- who came out of the operating room and gave us several updates each hour, on the hour. She was usually within 2 minutes from the last visit. I greatly appreciated her promptness. We were told that surgery would end around noon or one depending on what went on. Unfortunately this was not the case. After they did the "first" surgery, they had to warm his body temperature up slowly, monitor everything with an ECOgram, then wait and watch to see if there were any issues. During this time the doctor found out that his artery and coronary were laying on top of each other constricting the blood flow. They once again had to lower his temperature, monitor, go back in and elongate the coronary to make it longer so they don't constrict. The part put in was a human organ called a pulmonary valve and conduit, that will possibly have to be replaced as he grows older. (I am having a really hard time with this possibility, but right now I cannot be concerned with it. I have to keep telling myself to focus on the moments now and cross that bridge when we get there).

We finally were able to see Tritton around 6:30 that evening. He was very swollen. Although we were prepared for this image, it was still hard to see our little boy so sore with more bling attached to his little body. The doctors were worried that since he had been on the lung/heart machine twice that his kidneys would have a harder time getting rid of the excess fluid (basically getting rid of it through his urine) There were two nurses with him that night watching him consistently. Dr. Delgaldo was very adamant about us leaving and letting the nurses and doctors work their magic that evening. She knew that we had a long and very emotional draining day. She assured us that if there was any problems that she would call us.

We have really taken to Dr. Delgaldo and I believe her to us. I have observed her with others and she is a little more professional and to the point, but with us she is that with a compassion that just yields to friendship. She hugged us both and told us to go take sometime that night to be together. She also mentioned that she was going back to Ecuador to do some training and wished us well, hoping that she would see us before we left, but wishing Tritton a speedy recovery. I sure felt a warm feeling as she spoke these words to us. I knew my baby was in good hands. We will miss her!

Surgery was hard on all of us that day. It will be a day that I will never forget how I felt and the emotions that came so freely. It was hard to accept that it didn't go text book, that there were complications and future surgeries as he grows. But at least we have the chance to have him with us and to raise him. It was a hard day to try and find the good among all of the mishaps, but together Jess and I talked it through and helped each other understand that the Lord has his hands in this and will strengthen us with whatever we will have to face in the future with Tritton. Jesse shared a story with me in the waiting room and helped me see that although it was not a complete successful surgery, that the end result was one of progress and a path to healing. I can't express in words the gratitude I feel for him and his ability to see through situations so clearly with so much faith. He has mentioned to me that through this process he has been able to "see clearly" and understand fully what is going on around us. The way he talks and asks questions to the doctors and nurses is amazing. I honestly can't keep time straight each day and he is able to completely understand what we are being told and asking questions I would have never thought to ask. What a blessing it is to have him here by my side, I couldn't do this alone, this "sight" he has is a blessing in itself. Yes the Lord truly has his hands in all things. . . . how blessed we truly are!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 Days Old!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 (5 Days Old)
Today was a good day to be with Tritton. We feed, changed diapers, loved, and hugged on him all day. His surgery is tomorrow morning at 7:00 AM, so we have to get as much love in as we can, since after the surgery we will not be allowed to hold him for a few days.

All of the doctors and nurse practitioners visited with us today about the procedures of the surgery and had us sign the consent forms. Dr. Birtch will be the surgeon performing the surgery. He said that usually within a year they maybe see about 12 cases of this heart defect, but this year alone they have already performed over that number. So, fortunately or unfortunately they are very well aware of what needs to happen during surgery. We feel blessed to have a doctor who is well versed in such a task. We know we are in good hands.

We have had lots of prayers and blessing from so many loved ones. That is what keeps us going. Today, although it was a good day, I have been really emotional at the thought of my little boy being in pain and having to go through this ordeal. I am so blessed to have a husband who loves and draws his strength from Heavenly Father. Jess is such a good man and is my rock! I can't imagine dealing with this without him, so blessed that I never will have to.

A thought I had today while we sat with Trit. . . . I was thinking what it says in my patriarchal blessing. I would like to share one thing from this personal blessing from my Heavenly Father. It is repeated 3 distinct times that although hardships, trials, and tribulations will come into my life to always seek the guidance and direction of my Heavenly Father. I can't tell you how much that use to scare me, but know I feel that it is serving its purpose in comforting me to rely on my Heavenly Father and his healing powers. To place this in his hands and have the faith on my end to understand the outcome of what will take place. I know my Savior loves me and knows the desires of my heart. I know that love is abounding all around our little family right now, I feel it in every phone call, text, message, thought and prayer that has been directed our way. The plan of Eternal Families is real and I know we have Papa Westwood and many, many others carrying us and Tritton through each day-each moment.

Again thank you to all for your love. Words cannot express our thankful hearts to you and all you do. Thank you to our families whose strength we have felt and continue to feel. I can see why Heavenly Father created the family unit. We all are family, connected in a beautiful plan. I am grateful to be apart of it and have the knowledge that we do. May the Lord bless and protect you all as you have blessed us! Love to many. . . .Love to all!