This morning Ben had his last appointment prior to surgery. We went over consent forms and insurance paperwork. The nurse weighed Ben (11.7 lbs) and took his vital signs. They also had to draw a lot of blood. It was horrible and Ben didn't take it well. They had to take some out of a vein in his arm and some out of each of his heels. I had yet to see him cry so much.
I met with the anesthesiologist. He warned that Ben will most likely have numerous places where he's been stuck from when they try to find two good places to put an IV (one for blood and the other for fluids and medicine).
The tentative schedule for the day is as follows:
Night before - Good bath / hair shampoo with no lotion or anything after
5:30am arrive at hospital / check-in, give Ben his Zantac reflux medicine
6:00am Ben to pre-op / prep / holding (Josh and I can be with him until they wheel him into the operating room)
6:30am Ben in operating room with the anesthesiology team - They will put him completely under first, then start IVs and breathing tubes. He will be on oxygen, fluids, narcotics (probably morphine), and sedatives. This may take anywhere from 30min - 1 hour or more, because they must make sure every tube is secured and in the exact write position prior to surgery and that is more difficult with such tiny veins and airways.
9:00am (about) Ben taken either to the recovery room or to pediatric intensive care (picu). After surgery, the team will decide if he should be given medicine to reverse the sedatives or be allowed to let the medicine wear off naturally while in a breathing machine. That determines wheather he will go to recovery or picu. They tried to reassure me that niether chocie means he was doing specifically better or worse.
9:30am Josh and I will hopefully be able to be with Ben by now, depending on how full the recovery room or picu is.
From that point on, the family will be invited in after a time, and only two people (including Josh and / or I) are allowed to be in the room with Ben at a time, so we'll have to take shifts. The visiting hours are 9-11am, 1-5pm, and 8-10pm. They will allow Josh and I to be in there beyond that, but they may be more strict with extended family, depending on how full the picu is. While in the picu, Ben will have a heart monitor, IV pump, blood pressure cuff, and posibly a ventilator, oxygen tank, and feeding tube.
There is a chance that I won't be able to nurse Ben, at least at first. However, they noted "exclusively breastfeeding" on his paperwork and they said if I bring pumped milk, my pump, and bottles, it shouldn't be a problem. They will even put breastmilk into the feeding tube, which surprised me.
He will be in the picu for a day or two, then moved to his own room for the following 4-5 days, where Josh and I will be able to stay with him as well as more family members and visitors, but no children are allowed into the room throughout his stay. The nurse told me to make everyone visitng use hand santitizer and not come at all if they even have a slight cold.
As it gets closer I'm becoming more emotional and having a harder time sleeping. My mind just reels with the events of that day. I dread it and at the same time I will be so glad when it is over.