They closed Jackson’s chest today! Woot Woot!
They closed Jackson’s chest today! Woot Woot!
|Jackson has finally started to open his eyes and look around. This was tonight about 9:30.|
|Opening his eyes!|
|Jackson at the peak of his care thus far has had 15 IV pumps with a variety of medications, 3 chest tubes, 2 central lines, 1 central venous pressure catheter, 2 arterial lines, 2 peripheral IV lines, 1 foley catheter, two sets of internal pacing cables, 3 EKG leads, 1 cerebral oxygen monitor, 1 renal oxygen monitor, two temperature sensors, 2 end-tidal CO2 monitors, 1 air temperature monitor, 1 Ballard suction device, 1 endotracheal tube, two parents that love him more than life it’s self and a whole fan club of family and friends back home.|
|Right before we left him in the capable hands of the surgical team, he finally managed to get one eye open. Prior to this we weren’t sure there were eyes behind those lids, as he had never opened them. He gave us a little wink and I was lucky enough to get a picture of it. Love this little guy.|
|Megan giving Jackson a little love before they wheeled him off to fix his perfect little broken heart.|
|He is a trooper!|
We just got done speaking with the surgeon. Jackson did remarkably well during the procedure, until the very end. He was taken off of the heart/lung machine (bypass) and everything was going great, when his heart started beating in an abnormal rhythm and the surgeon noticed the right side of the heart swelling. The surgeon massaged his heart in an effort to keep blood flowing in the coronaries, while making preparations to put him back on bypass. The anesthesiologist administered a drug called epinephrine to get his heart going again. It did the trick, and he hasn’t had any problems since.
They drew some blood during that episode, and analyzed his hemoglobin and hematocrit. The hematocrit was very low at about 20, and by calculating how much blood he lost vs. what was put back into the little guy- should have been closer to 35 or 40. No one was sure what was going on. They administer drugs to thin Jackson’s blood prior to surgery to keep it from clotting too much; that being said he could be bleeding somewhere else (head, belly, etc). Everyone’s arms are folded and heads bowed praying that this little episode doesn’t happen again. They will continue to do some follow up labs to keep an eye on his hematocrit level.
Prior to that episode Dr. Burch (the surgeon) felt confident that he could close the little guy’s chest without any problems. There was minimal swelling, and he was a pretty big kid. After the episode he wasn’t 100% sure he wouldn’t have to go in and fix something else; so they have opted to leave the chest cavity open with a big bulky dressing and binder.
He is by no means “out of the woods” but everything else looks great. His coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart) are functioning as intended and he is sustaining himself with a very minimal amount of vasopressors (about half as much than we use on the ambulance with adults); so that is very comforting.
I will try to post again tonight, hopefully with some pictures of us wheeling him off to surgery. I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who have shown support and love. We can feel the powers of Heaven and God’s hand in this.
Jackson is off of the bypass and his echocardiogram looks great. We speak with the doctor in about an hour. He is doing great!
They are nearly done with the surgery. Things have gone great thus far, and are ahead of schedule.
Jackson is now in the capable hands of the surgical team. It was hard to say goodbye; if even for a short several hours. He managed to open his eyes right before they wheeled him away. I’ll try to update this as often as we get news. We love you!
The epidural worked marginally well until the doctor came in and gave Megan a bolus of medication, and finally got her pain under control. By 8:30 AM the doctors were there and they were ready to have her push.
At 9:22 AM Jackson Gary Farmer came into this world. He was super pink! He was a whopping 8 pounds 8 ounces, being 20 inches long. We expected him to be a bluish color, so it was a surprise for us both. I was lucky enough to be able to cut the umbilical cord. We spent less than ten seconds with the little guy, before they passed him off to the newborn intensive care team. Megan did so good. I knew I chose the cream of the crop when we got married, but I fell in love with her all over again today. I couldn’t have been more proud of her. The entire OB team was impressed with how diligent she was. She just kept on going; truly and example to me about perseverance.
Jackson was almost immediately placed on CPAP, a machine used to keep his lungs continuously inflated. The team also placed a umbilical venous catheter (UVC) as well as an umbilical arterial catheter (UAC). The UVC is a quick and easy way to administer medications and fluids as they are needed. The UAC is how they will measure his blood pressure.
The neonatal transport team arrived to take him to Primary Children’s Hospital. They were kind enough to stop by Megan’s room with the little guy to give us a few minutes- truly one of the Lords tender mercies. Megan and I were so excited to see him. He looked so good; pink as could be and ready to take on the world. I followed him and the transport team over to the cardiac ICU where he will spend a few days; preparing for surgery. I was fortunate to be able to spend a couple hours with him while the doctors assessed him and the many specialists came by to see him.
He had his first of many echocardiograms today. He didn’t like it at all. The nurses say he has an attitude, I told them he got it from Megan. They also said he’s beautiful (and they clarified that saying it’s not the beautiful that they tell everyone; it’s the real deal). I told them he got that from Megan too.
Later in the afternoon I took Megan down to see her son without being in a plastic box. It was a tender moment to watch her make a spiritual connection with Jackson. Megan has a faith in God’s plan like no one else I know. She is such a good example to me. I truly married a great woman.
We spoke to several of the cardiac intensivists who explained to us that Jackson is not keeping up his oxygen saturations like they would want him to. They have also found that there is a small hole between the right and left atria; known as a atrial septal defect (ASD). This is allowing him to oxygenate his blood without the use of the Alprostadil (prostaglandins) to keep is ducts open. They have turned down the Alprostadil and will likely wean him off of it tomorrow.
As of now the tentative surgery date is Thursday mid-morning some time. They are still not sure if he will need the balloon septostomy procedure; so we’ll find out more about that tomorrow. For now I am incredibly tired; and Megan is more tired than I am. I speak for both of us when I say THANK YOU for the enormous outpouring of love and support from family and friends alike. Our phones have been ringing off the hook today with calls, emails and text messages from concerned people.
We have truly felt God’s hand in our experiences today. Please continue to keep Megan and Jackson in your prayers. We love you!
Jackson arrived at 9:22 AM, weighing in at 8 pounds 8 ounces, and 20 inches long. He’s a big kid! He is doing as good as expected, we still don’t know a lot, as we have only seen him for about 10 seconds. More updates to come. Megan did great, and is recovering well. We are both very tired- it has been a long couple weeks for the both of us. Thanks already for your prayers and support. We love you all!