Douglas Edwin Finney was born at 8:24 pm on August 23, 2006. He weighed 9 lb even and was 20 1/8″ long at birth. Jenny did very well with the labor, and she is doing very well now. However, the baby’s diagnosis of dextro-Transposition of the Great Vessels was confirmed. Because of this, Douglas’s first couple days have been difficult.
Douglas was born in the Operating Room, a precaution for the possibility that he would need to be delivered by a c-section (we thought he was going to be even bigger than he turned out to be). Fortunately, that precaution was unnecessary, but the extra room in the OR was useful for the 11 doctors and nurses and transport staff that were there for the birth.
Douglas’s apgar scores were great: 8-7-8, which means that everything was doing well for our baby except one thing: he was blue. With the major complication of d-TGV, doctors hope that babies have some holes between the left and right atria. It’s a minor defect that doesn’t really matter for most children, but it gives the baby another way for the blood and oxygen to mix. Unfortunately, Douglas’s heart was fully formed, and the holes didn’t exist. That meant that his body was getting very, very little oxygen.
So, little Douglas was in surgery when he was two hours old. A team of doctors and nurses came in for a late-night cardiac catheterization. They strung a small catheter up through a vein to the heart and used a tiny needle to cut a hole between the atria. Unfortunately, Douglas’s septum was very thick, so they had to do it twice to get a hole large enough for the blood to mix. This meant that a procedure expected to take about 45 minutes lasted over three hours. Fortunately, the surgery was successful, and Douglas is getting enough oxygen now.
However, that surgery was just a stop-gap measure. Douglas needs major surgery to fix his heart permanently. We initially expected the surgery to take place when Douglas was about 3-5 days old, but the surgeon’s schedule was clear today, so Douglas is actually in surgery right now. This means that he now in his second surgery before he’s 48 hours old – it’s been a tough few days. We have been told to expect the open-heart operation to take about five hours.
After surgery, he will be taken to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, and he will recover there for 3-5 days, and then he’ll be in a regular room for 3-5 days more. We hope to be able to take him home next weekend.
Douglas is being surrounded by love from the family. My parents come down from Minnesota on Tuesday, and they will be here for a few weeks. Jenny’s mom has been practically living here, and her brother and sister live in town and have been by several times. Also, one of Jenny’s aunts is here, and my sister will be here this weekend. Douglas is getting a lot of love. Also, our pastor came to the hospital yesterday to baptize Douglas before the major surgery.
The medical staff here at Barnes (where the birth was) and St. Louis Children’s (where Douglas is being cared for) are fantastic. We loved our Doula, Sister Gladys, and the doctors and nurses have all been wonderful. We’ve been blessed with lots of individual attention and plenty of communication.
Thanks to everyone for thoughts and prayers.
Douglas Edwin is named for his grandfathers, Gordon Douglas Finney and Ralph Edwin Dehne.
Update: Pictures are available online at http://douglasfinney.shutterfly.com.