Today I got to meet with one of the surgeons from Children's Hospital, Dr. Gingalewski.
It was nice to finally sit down and hear some details about the baby's surgery after delivery.
It seems like the WHEN of the surgery will greatly depend upon WHEN Baby Girl decides to make her appearance. She said they typically perform the surgery once the baby weighs 4-5 lbs. Considering she was almost 3 lbs one month ago, she may actually be approaching that 4 lb goal. If she arrives earlier, then she may need to stay in the NICU for a short time to stabilize and make sure she is fully ready for surgery. So far the dieticians don't agree with me that I should be eating burgers/fries/Dairy Queen blizzards to help fatten the baby up, but I'll keept trying!!
It appears that she will be transported to Children's Hospital sooner rather than later after delivery. The doctor explained that it's not an emergency to transport her, so we'll get a chance to hold her before she gets transferred. Once transferred, she may have the surgery right away (aka - within a day or two) or need to get a little stronger in their NICU. She said that even if she is on a ventilator, they can do the surgery. They just want to ensure that she is in stable condition before putting her under anesthesia.
Once she gets to Children's, they will do an ultrasound on her to check to make sure all the other internal organs look fine. They will also repeat the fetal echocardiogram to ensure that her heart is strong enough for surgery. She explained that a lot of kids with this issue also have other organ issues, so if they are going to go in and do a repair they want to know ahead of time of any other issues so they can fix them all. An example was to make sure there wasn't any blockage in the esophageal/tracheal region, proper kidney functioning, etc. She said that most of these issues would have already shown themselves on a previous ultrasound, but they will double-check. She also said that sometimes these kids have an extra vertebra or shortened limbs. I'm not too considered about the limbs considering this kid's limbs have been measuring 2-3 weeks ahead for the entire pregnancy.
The surgery itself will take about 1-1.5 hours. Basically it involves making two incisions in the intestines on either side of the blockage and just hooking the two ends back together again. It seems like it should be a single surgery only. She said every 5-10 years they have to go back in and do some other repair work, but they don't anticipate it (have they dealt with this little Drama Queen yet?!?!).
After, it will most likely take two weeks or so for the digestive system to start fully functioning properly. As the doctor put it, "We love poop! Poop means everything is working." So, we are now cheerleaders for poop!! Once her system starts working, they will put her on a high calorie diet of pedialyte to fatten her up. She said they like to get nice little roly-poly babies. Once she can tolerate that, she can start on breastmilk.
So, hopefuly, DQ will stay put for a few more weeks so she can come out healthy and at a decent weight so that she can have her surgery right away. The surgeon was fabulous to talk to and let us know we can certainly contact her with any other questions we have while we are waiting for her arrival. She was thrilled that the amnio results were normal!