post-op day 2 or…it’s a girl!

I apologize for not posting an update till the wee hours but it has been quite a hectic day for us all. I spent most of the morning in the emergency room after experiencing chest pains and palpitations for the past few days. After several tests and getting poked and prodded and geared out like Sophia, it was determined that I was experiencing premature ventricular complexes (PVC’s). The doctor wasn’t overly concerned and hurriedly discharged me after I reminded him I had to get to my daughter in the PICU. I am just supposed to follow up with my regular doctor as soon as I can for further tests. I now have a firsthand understanding of the pain Sophia must experience with her IVs (and the irritation of all of the sensors attached to her body).

When I finally got up to see Sophia, she was sleeping peacefully in Deb’s arms. She’d actually been content for a couple of hours, so that was nice. During rounds they decided that they’d move her to “floor status” since she was doing so well, which means they’d be moving her out of ICU after less than 2 days! They “d/c’d” (discontinued) her IV Fentanyl (pain med), her IV nutritional supplement, and the IV medicine opening her veins. She is now on an oral blood pressure med and is eating about half of what she’d normally eat. We need to take things slow with her stomach. They replaced the Fentanyl with Tylenol 3 (with Codeine). This seemed to upset her stomach, so we’ve switched to some morphine to help her ease off of pain medicine. She is also still taking Ibuprofen for her fever that just won’t seem to break. It goes up and down, but never quite goes away. Luckily, it didn’t get higher than 102.8 today, but she is still really uncomfortable and ensconced in cold packs.

They had a lot to do to get her ready to go to the floor–they took out her chest tube and her femoral IV line. Before they could take out the fem line, though, they needed to replace it with a peripheral IV. This was horribly painful for Sophia and required two techs, and she was really upset for quite awhile. It is so disheartening to see her in so much pain and be unable to stop it or even comfort her.

Grandma came to stay with Sophia so we could go to our appointment for a level two comprehensive ultrasound at 2:00. I was much more relaxed this time than I was when we had Sophia’s ultrasound, although I was still a bit apprehensive as this was the place we first learned of Sophia’s echo-genic focus and that it was a marker for Down Syndrome. This time there were no abnormalities, although because of our history we have an appointment in two weeks for a fetal echocardiogram. And as the title to this entry states, we did find out that we are having a daughter (although these things are not set in stone). During the procedure, I kept anxiously going back and forth between hoping for a daughter and hoping for a son, but admittedly I am very happy and think a little sister will be great for Sophia. I am sure they will have lots of fun dressing Mukwa up. We can also hold on to all the adorable clothes Sophia is growing out of, since someone else will be wearing them soon!

When they originally decided Sophia could move to the floor, there weren’t any beds available, so we thought we would be spending another night in the PICU. However, they moved us around 6PM. Sophia was pretty uncomfortable and experiencing a little withdrawel form the Fentanyl. She eventually got her first dose of morphine around 8:30. She also ended up with a diaper of diarrhea. We assume it is just another symptom of the stomach upset from the Tylenol 3, but it triggered “no contact” protocols so we were moved to a private room, and Sophia’s stool sample got sent off to the lab. They will let it grow for up to 3 days while they test for C-Diff., so we expect to be here at least that long. The nurses now enter the room in the familiar yellow “contact precaution” gowns, but they don’t seem too concerned since it is only spread through contact with feces and nobody’s touching that stuff.

Sophia slept intermittently through the evening, but woke up about midnight just screaming her little lungs out. Her temp had returned and she’d not yet received her dose of Ibuprofen. Although the nurses were really busy, she did finally get some Ibuprofen and morphine, which seemed to help. It’s different than the ICU–you really have to be here with her at all times since Sophia can’t push the nurse call-button on her own.

All in all, it was kind of a rough first Halloween for Sophia. Her temp was too high to wear her pumpkin costume, but she did get some cute gifts, and Deb promised her she could eat all the candy she wants to next Halloween. A pediatric unit is a surreal place to be on Halloween. The staff really went all out most of them were dressed up and one doctor even shaved a pumpkin face into the back of his head.

Well, I am off to sleep. Hopefully when I awake things will be a little calmer.


  1. Sending all my love from Chicago to the cutest little pumpkin. A girl doesn’t need a pumpkin costume to really be a pumpkin. If you’ve got pumpkin in your heart that’s all that matters.

  2. Peggy & Jim says:


    An extra special Happy Birthday to you!!
    You are taking such good care of Sophia, hopefully you will get to take her home very soon.
    Thanks for all the timely updates.

  3. Good lord John, if you needed a little attention you could have just said so! Sorry about your premature… whatevers, and CONGRATS on yet another girly tot! You’ll have your basketball team soon enough at this pace. Hope herself kicks this fever soon and is feeling better, but what a good sign that she’s out of ICU. When will she be able to come play? Kisses.

  4. Sandy Danks says:

    So glad to see the posting. Was getting worried when I didn’t find anything yesterday. Congrats on the news of another daughter. Sisters are so much fun. Also – what exactly is the premature . . . could it possibly be just alittle stress in your life? Give Sophie a kiss from me. So glad to here she has made it out of PICU!!!

  5. "auntie" pat says:

    John and Deb–you’re the best! thank you so much for sharing Sohia with us. From the heartaches to the happiest moments, you’ve let us feel like family.
    Please tell Miss Sophia (“herself”) that Auntie Pat is rooting for her speedy recovery– she has so much to teach her new little sister, mama and papa and all us old fogeys.

  6. Cousin Stacy says:

    Happy Birthday John. Sorry, to hear about your visit to the emergency room. Please, follow up with your doctor about the PVC’S. I have a heart arrhythmia called tachycardia (rapid heart beat). So, I know just how scary those heart palpitations can be! Happy to hear Sophia is out of PICU. Thrilled to hear that you guys are going to have another girl and that Sophia is going to have a little sister to play with : ) Oh!…..I finally had a chance to look at the photos of the two of you as kids. The photos you picked to share are just adorable. I had never seen a pic of Grandpa Wright as an older man, only pics of when he was a really young man. I about lost it over the picture of John, Cary Jr. and me “dancing”. Good times, Good times!

    Love and hope to the three of you.

  7. Cousin Kelly says:

    First of all, a Happy Belated to you!!! Second, I hope you are at least trying to take it easy! You and Deb need to take care of yourselves also, if even remotely possible! I am so happy to hear Sophia is going home!!!!!!!!! And congrats on another girl!!! Is Mukwa a girl too??? If she is, you need to get a male dog or something!!!!!
    Love you guys!