This second operation will replace Zoe's BT shunt with another connection (the Glenn shunt) to the pulmonary artery. In this operation, the Blalock-Taussig shunt is removed, and the superior vena cava (the large vein that brings oxygen-poor blood from the head and arms back to the heart) is connected to the right pulmonary artery. Blood from the head and arms passively flows into the pulmonary artery and proceeds to the lungs to receive oxygen. However, oxygen-poor (blue) blood returning to the heart from the lower body through the inferior vena cava will still mix with oxygen-rich (red) blood in the left heart and travel to the body, so Zoe will likely remain mildly cyanotic. The Glenn operation also helps to create some of the connections necessary for Zoe's final operation, the Fontan procedure (which occurs anywhere between age 2 and 3.)
I know what you're thinking. Oh my God, how is this possible? Each time I read about these three open-heart surgeries, I ask myself the same question. It is amazing how far medicine has come. For this reason, we've stored Zoe's cord blood and cord tissue, hoping that medicine will rapidly advance. Who knows, perhaps one day researchers will figure out a way to rebuild an artificial heart with stem cells and Zoe can have her own, rebuilt heart. A heart mom certainly can hope!
So, our precious little one goes for her ECHO tomorrow morning with Dr. Stock. I am very nervous about the ECHO. In Philadelphia, each time we underwent a test, or another procedure, some complication arose or became apparent. I would love to hear some good news tomorrow. Zoe's "numbers" are good, she continues to eat well and is gaining weight but the ultimate looking glass is the ECHO.
Emerson left this afternoon and is heading up north with my parents. They'll spend a few days at their cabin in Strawberry. I'm thankful for this, as Ms. Em has been locked in the house for 3 days. She's been such a trooper adjusting to our new bubble life.
Overall, the girls are doing well and are growing more and more used to each other. They're quickly become sisters - check Zoe out as she kicks her big sister in the butt as they chillax during an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba.
I have a very strong feeling that Ms. Zoe is shaping up to be much like her mommy - a stubborn, strong-willed fighter. This is not a bad thing people, particularly for a heart babe. At times she gives me a look, a mischevious look I know all too well. I guess the karma train is rearing up to smack me for the stress I put my parents through.
Update on Jackie:
Caleb's mom was discharged from the hospital today and is now back in a skilled nursing facility (a different one than before) where she will undergo therapy. She still has bouts of confusion and we're afraid that her dementia is here to stay. Some days are better than others. We hope that over the next several weeks, the therapy will build self-confidence and physical strength. Once we know her maximum abilities, we'll assess her next move (literally.)
And, the moment you've all been waiting for...some pics of our little ladies.
Zoe's new bath sling - she's not a huge fan of the bathing just yet.
Emerson's first swim in the pool, this summer, with Dad.
And, I saved the best for last.
Zoe's big smile (and big cheeks!) And, yes heart moms, that is a CHOP gown which I'm sure we've paid for a bizillion fold by now!