Annaleigh is in surgery again. This was very sudden, to say the least.
We were on our way out of the house to visit this morning and Dr. Hiatt called to tell us that she was not doing well. She had thrown up multiple times and her belly was looking swollen. By the time we got to the hospital, they had had a surgical consult and an x-ray and numerous tests, all of which pointed to NEC. About 10% of babies who weigh under 1500 grams at birth get NEC and it is extremely dangerous.
Basically, NEC is caused by bacteria in the bowel that eats away at the bowel tissue. In its best form, it goes away and does relatively little damage. In its worst form, it can destroy the bowels and kill the baby. Most cases are treated with medicine, but unfortunately Annaleigh needed immediate surgery. Dr. Gallucci, the same surgeon who did her previous surgery, only needed to look at her very briefly before he started arranging the surgery. He's going to open her up and see what the exact situation is and do what he needs to do to keep her healthy.
Before the last surgery, Dr. Gallucci looked at me and Brooke and said "I've never lost a baby because of something like this." That made us feel better, more confident that she was going to be okay. This time, he looked at us and said "all bets are off. This is very serious." On the consent form, he outlined the procedure and wrote "the baby may not live through this." That was not easy to read. When I saw that I near lost it.
The irony of the whole situation is that she still looks really good. Her eyes have been open and curious and her breathing was great. They only put her on the respirator because she would need it for the surgery. Up until 11 am, she was still only breathing room air.
Dr. Hiatt said that this is something for which there are no warning signs and that it is not related to her previous digestive issues.
So we're waiting. We're are in the "parent's room" where we're planning to stay the night (at least) and we're waiting to hear from someone (anyone) with any news at all. They told us that it would probably take a few hours at least. We'll post again when we hear. In the meantime, please keep our beautiful Annaleigh in your thoughts and prayers.