I was all set to post an optimistic blog about the progess my five-month-old niece, Maeve, was making in the hospital after her open-heart surgery last Friday.
I was just about to hit "Publish Post" when my cell phone rang. The caller ID said Mom and Dad and I knew it had to be serious because my parents never call after 9 O'Clock.
The clock said 11:05 pm.
Earlier today my sister and brother-in-law called my parents to say Maeve's condition has progressed to the point where doctors were finally able to stitch up the incision. My parents and I were both under the incorrect impression they closed the wound with tape to provide "easy access" for any unexpected, emergency surgeries on the heart. It turns out doctors were not able to stitch the wound up because of some severe swelling in Maeve's chest. The swelling would have obstructed Maeve's heart function if sewn together so instead doctors kept it open and covered it with tape.
Brigid had told us earlier to pray for tinkle as any lost fluid would help relieve pressure on the heart and prove Maeve's kidneys were working properly.
Maeve's blood pressure required additional fluid after today's procedure so doctors were hoping my niece would expel the fluid well and would not have to be re-opened to prevent obstruction of the heart's functions.
Brigid and Steve went back to the hospital tonight to check on their baby girl and that's when doctors told them they had to take Maeve back in to surgery to re-open the incision.
It turns out Maeve is not expelling her fluids any longer and doctors say her incision may have to stay open for several weeks. I, personally, have not talked to Brigid - but my parents have and they say my sister sounds crestfallen. My mother says tonight's call was the first time through this whole ordeal that they heard Brigid crying severely on the other end of the line. They say even my 6'6" brother-in-law is crying and at a loss over this unfortunate development.
Doctors say Maeve's circumstances are very unsusal and they do not know what to expect from here on out. Brigid says she may need my parents in Atlanta at a moment's notice.
This is so difficult for all of us.
Every day we hear an encouraging development or positive outlook on the situation - only to have something more difficult and complicated to happen. The consistent disappointments make it very hard to stay hopeful and optimistic about Maeve's recovery, and for that my heart just breaks.
This little girl is a true gift from God and I cannot imagine a world without her in it.
It's funny - the deadlines, the office politics, the utility bills - they all seem like pure garbage when you consider that a tiny, little baby in Atlanta is truly fighting for her life.
Maeve and her 90 lb. dog, Biscuit
XXX 12:05 AM Wednesday Update XXX
Brigid just called my parents. Doctors say Maeve went tinkle as soon as they opened her back up tonight. This is a good sign, and Brigid apparently sounded better on the phone. Still, Brigid and Steve decided they need some emotional support in Atlanta and have asked my parents to come down... They expect to head south sometime this weekend.
Please keep Maeve in your prayers - and pray she continues to go to the bathroom and expel the fluid in her chest.