Visit to Sick Kids

I’ve shared this update with people individually here and there, but I thought I would post it here as well for anyone out of the loop.  Madeleine’s ventricles have continued to grow since her last ultrasound, and the neurosurgery team at Sick Kids decided it was time to bring her in for an MRI, and to most likely place a shunt.

Madeleine was transferred yesterday afternoon, so I headed down there to be with her.  It was a difficult day for me, as it was stressful trying to adjust to a totally new hospital with a totally different way of doing things, but the good news is that Madeleine seemed completely unfazed by the entire thing (I guess that’s the thing about babies!).  She is still on CPAP at Sick Kids, except they don’t seem to use the big velcro helmet to hold it in place, which was nice as I was able to see so much of her face.  And I basically stared at it for two hours straight when the nurse took her out so that we could have a cuddle before her MRI.

I’ve said a million times now how much I love cuddling with my little ones, but we’ve always only ever done kangaroo cuddles (holding her up against my chest skin-to-skin).  There are a number of benefits to preemie development with that kind of snuggle, so I was a little bit confused when the nurse took Madeleine out without giving me a gown or at least expecting me to take my shirt off.  Instead she just wrapped Madeleine in a blanket and handed her to me.  I realize this is how 99% of mothers usually hold their babies – cradled in their arms, not naked on their chests – but the idea that I could just sit there in a rocking chair with a baby in my arms was so completely foreign to me!  I had to ask the nurse repeatedly if she was sure (“Really though?  With Madeleine?  You’re sure??”), and then it occurred to me that Madeleine and Reid were actually full-on real babies that will eventually breathe on their own and leave their incubators and get fat and come home and cry and be held in our arms like all the other babies.  Unreal.

Our new cuddle position and Madeleine’s lack of helmet meant I could get some nice, out-of-incubator photos of my girl.

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I will head back down to Sick Kids today to speak with the neurosurgeons and see what they’ve decided to do based on the MRI results.  Yesterday it sounded like they were trying to get an OR booked for today, so I am preparing myself mentally for Madeleine having surgery at some point this afternoon.  It’s not at all the outcome we were hoping for, but my main concern now is getting Madeleine’s brain back the way it should be (and if that means a shunt, I guess that’s what we’ll do).

Please keep Madeleine in your thoughts today.  She is such an incredible little girl.

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