It was decided yesterday that Asher would have surgery on his PDA (hole in heart ventricle) at 7:30 this morning. Here is a picture with his battle scar..if he's anything like dad, he will have quite the EMBELLISHED story one day as to how he got this scar. :) It is only about an inch long, so as he grows, it will look smaller and smaller.
The surgery actually got under way about 8:30 this morning. Bryan and I were back at his room right up until surgery time. This surgery was done at his bedside so Asher did not have to move! For tiny babies like him, it's important for him to maintain his body temperature, and moving him to an OR would cause his temp to drop. So, yesterday, he was moved to a room with a door, so it could be sterile for surgery. He will stay in this room, and it's better for him anyway because it's more quiet! There were probably 15 people in and outside of his room for surgery today...pretty amazing. The surgeon talked with us before and after, she was very nice and we really appreciated getting to talk with her. There has been a lot of talk to us and around us about how this surgery is very common. And this dr had just done a heart transplant yesterday, so Bryan said something to her about knowing that this was a very common surgery, but we still appreciated her so much. She said " I don't treat any surgery as common, when I'm teaching how to do this surgery..I always emphasize that if something goes wrong and you are not careful, then you have a much bigger problem..you just don't have room on these babies for mistakes". So, we felt much better hearing that. It's comforting to know it's a common surgery...but you also want to know no one is asleep at the wheel on your tiny baby!
Asher is recovering well and we are so thankful! We are praying he continues to recover, and that his little lungs can start healing much better. He's on a ventilator because of surgery, but hopefully he can get back on cpap soon. We have learned a lot about those two machines. The cpap is much better for his lungs. He already has significant damage to his lungs just from them being so premature, and from having a ventilator tube in and out several times. The tube is life saving, and a must for premature babies..but as with everything, it has it's side effects. The tube causes more damage to his fragile lung tissue every time it's down there. It has become so apparent to me how important the lungs are, and how much I have taken them for granted! I was resting yesterday, and since I was still and quiet, I was suddenly very aware of my breathing and how that is the biggest challenge for Asher right now- learning to breathe and having the strength to do it on his own. Everything a premature baby does takes more work and more energy than for a full term baby. And that includes breathing! I'm so thankful that God is blessing Asher with breaths whether they are from a machine or not, He's giving Asher life with every one of them. I hope and pray he can do it on his own one day not too far from now!
Please pray with us that this surgery will help his little body get blood to all the right places more efficiently, and that because of that Asher can focus on eating and growing for a while..something he has not had the opportunity to do since he was born. Thank you so much for your prayers, we have felt bathed in them and have felt so much peace and we KNOW it's the holy spirit and God honoring all the prayers of the saints. Revelations 8:3-5 talks about the prayers of the saints and how God adds "fire" to those prayers and throws them back to Earth. It's such a powerful picture to me of each prayer being magnified in power and strength by the Lord. We are not worthy of all the prayers we have received on Asher's behalf and we can never truly communicate how thankful we are. We have been completely blessed by the love and faith of friends, family, friends of friends, and then complete strangers whose hearts were moved to pray for Asher and us by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Just saying thank you does not feel adequate enough at all!