Wednesday, November 23, 2011

PUBS 1 Part 2

We are thankful this year that our little surprise's transfusion went GREAT yesterday!  We are also so thankful that it appears the first transfusion was mildly successful.  Had it not been successful he would have been VERY sick (had he even survived to yesterday).  

Witnessing the successful transfusion was a really neat thing as well.  Typically when a doctor attempts a tricky surgery it's in an operating room with an asleep patient.  This was in a Labor and Delivery room with a very awake me and George at my side.  When the transfusion proved successful there was such an air of giddiness in the room.  The doctors were excited.  The attending said of the doctor did it, "well, that just made her day".  People were laughing and joking and wanting us to name the baby after them.   Everyone felt like they had just been a part of something great.  We also happened to be the only ones on the floor, which the nurses said was SO weird, so when we were leaving everyone knew who we were and was smiling and telling us how happy they were for us.  It was oddly fun (after not during:). 

Ok, for those of you who are medically minded and want to know exactly what occurred this next parts for you.  First off, what does PUBS stand for you may ask?  Well, thanks to google here is the answer:  Percutaneous Umbilical  Blood Sampling.  There you go!  All cleared up!  In case you didn't know, percutaneous means "through the skin" which I of course knew right after I once again consulted google.  So in short here is what happens during each PUBS procedure:

1st:  I arrive at the hospital several hours before the procedure.  Many attempts are made to put an IV in my "tiny" "crooked" veins.  My blood is then taking and run to the lab to check for any new antibodies and the baby is checked via ultrasound.

2nd:  George and I watch TV for a few hours while all around us things are sterilized and people pile into the room and introduce themselves to us and ask if they can watch.

3rd:  I am "prepped":  draped in several sterile draps with just my belly exposed, covered in Benodine, and told to put my arms above my head and not move.  The last part of prepping is where they say "bee sting" and then to proceed to stab me with a needle that I'm pretty sure is the size of a butcher knife and covered in something that burns like Hades.  I hold my tongue and try not to yell, "bee sting my ****!"  Finally sweet numbness sinks in.

4th:  The procedure!  The doctor and ultra sound tech work together to get a thin but very long needle through my uterus and placenta and ultimately into the umbilical cord.  Then everyone must stay super, super still.  A small amount of blood is drawn.  If the needle hasn't slipped and blood is drawn (as opposed to amniotic fluid) it is literally run down to the lab and immediately processed for initial numbers.  Once the lab calls up with these numbers the doctors know how much blood to transfuse. If amniotic fluid is drawn they reposition the needle until it's right.

5th:  IF the needle has not slipped the blood is transfused.  Typically the needle slips several times and step four is redone again and again.  However, once the blood finally gets in more blood is drawn to check the numbers again and once again everyone stays very still.  When the lab confirms enough blood has been transfused it's over.

6th:  The needle is withdrawn and they clean me up.  We wait an hour for observationb and then are on our way. 

This process will be done every 3 weeks.  From this point on if the baby shows signs of distress after (or during) the procedure NICU will be there to deliver.  Obviously the further along we get the better!!!!! 

I'm sure I left many, many holes but that is the basic procedure!  Thanks for the prayers.  We definitely felt them.  Pencil in prayer for us on December 13th as that's our next transfusion date.

On the Ethiopia front we were not submitted to Embassy today:(  We are REALLY praying for next week and still hopeful that Ezekiel will be home by Christmas.

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