It really happened. We came in this morning, signed all of the consents, then waited for the computer to randomize us, our blood pressure soaring... and we were assigned to the prenatal surgery group!
Which means, the whirlwind is about to begin. We will check in to the hospital tonight, Shelly will be given an IV, and we'll try our best to get a few minutes of sleep. Then tomorrow... Epidural will go in, and Shelly will be wheeled down to the OR. They'll put her out, cut an opening in her lower abdomen, then an incision in the uterus. Kaitlyn will then be turned so that her back is exposed through the opening in the uterus, and they will begin operating on her myelomeningocele. Once the lesion is closed, Shelly will be wheeled back upstairs. Apparently, she will be extremely groggy and exausted all day, and may not remember much of it, so if you call, please be prepared to have Kendall say that a conversation with her might not be as intelligible as you might hope. They will keep the epidural in for a couple of days to manage the pain. We should be checking out on Monday or Tuesday if everything goes as planned. Then we'll move into a Family House a few blocks from the hospital. After that, we'll be coming in once a week to moniter the baby. The average baby with this operation is delivered about 8 weeks after the surgery, which for us means at about 32 weeks, almost two months premature. As long as she makes it to about 30 weeks or so, the doctors will feel pretty confident about her health. So we will be praying fervently every day that the uterus, which will be in a weakened state, will be strong enough to keep her in long enough so that she can have a safe and healthy delivery.
We are feeling really positive and optimistic about all of this. We know that Heavenly Father is guiding and directing this whole process, and that he loves us and he loves Kaitlyn very much. We are so grateful that we have the opportunity to possibly make a difference in her life by going through with this operation. We can't wait until the kids are able to come and visit; we love and miss them very much, but know that this is where we are supposed to be and that this is the right decision for our family. We know that the prayers of all of you have given us strength and comfort. These next few months we will be relying on so many of you, asking for things we never imagined we'd have to ask, and we are so grateful for your willingness to be of service to us and our children. Thank you, and we love you all.