Its hard to believe that we're already 5 months into this pregnancy! Baby Leino has been moving a lot over the past several days, to the point that you can see it happen. Jordan was able to feel him for the first time recently, making this journey even more real for the both of us. He's growing quite a bit. Every morning, I wake up feeling a bit bigger (pictures soon to come). It certainly is an exciting time!
We've been fortunate to qualify for the Perinatal Care Coordinator program at UNC. Based out of the Center for Maternal & Infant Health (www.mombaby.org), our coordinator takes point on arranging all of our appointments, procedures, etc. She will meet with everyone involved in the full care of our baby each month to keep everyone on the same page & moving forward. Accessible to us at any time, she either knows the answer or can obtain the answer to any question we may have as his arrival approaches. What a blessing this is! We no longer have to worry about keeping everyone up-to-date. She'll also arrange tours & meetings for us of all the locations our baby will be treated & everyone who will be working with him before D-day. Once again, God has provided us the best possible care within this difficult situation. He is so good!
Our pediatric cardiologist, Dr. John Cotton, has also been tremendously helpful. Taking the time to personally answer our questions, giving us a better grasp on what our baby's arrival & days following will look like. At this point, we'll have a normal, spontaneous delivery. He'll undergo the Norwood Procedure 3 to 7 days after birth. Following this first open-heart surgery, he'll spend approximately 1 month in the hospital, going first to the NICU, & then the CICU (Cardiac Intermediate Care Center) once he's not in critical condition to continue his recovery. The CICU is a step-down unit for all children who have undergone heart surgery. Once he is taking all medication & food orally, he should be able to go home.
Initially, he'll be fed through an NG tube (naso-gastric) while recovering from surgery to supplement his nutrition intake for better recovery from surgery. He should be able to come home after 4 weeks or so assuming no other complications arise. If for some reason he still needs the NG at the time of release from the hospital, UNC will send someone to our home ahead of time to set it all up for us & teach us how to operate the equipment. Other than this, he will not require additional equipment for life at home post-surgery.
So that's all we know at this point. We're still praying for a miracle by God's healing touch. But even if nothing changes, we know that He'll provide everything we need to make good decisions & care for our little boy, however long he may be here - be it a few days or a lifetime. He is in control & we give Him all the praise for the great things He has done. With every kick from within, I'm reminded that God is crafting his little body & nothing is a surprise to Him. We are so excited for all He has in store for the three of us!