Monday, July 2, 2012

Decision Time

Seth at CICU (the first C is for cardiac).
Seth definitely needs to have surgery to remove a narrowed portion of his aorta. We asked about a million questions (that's my strong suit-- I like to ask questions of Walmart greeters, too). We at least have a few answers now.

This condition is likely genetic. That means that it could possibly affect other children we have or his future children (or Mark and Dax's for that matter). The "chance of survival" for Seth is "very nearly 100%" from the surgery. There is a 5% chance that the aorta continues to constrict as he grows and he needs the surgery again in the next 1-2 years. There is a 10% chance that some procedure (the same or a stent to protect the arterial wall) will need to be performed at some point in his life. He can actively participate in any cardiovascular sports (baseball, soccer, basketball), but should avoid isometric activities (weightlifting, wrestling) because they raise the blood pressure "in bursts." I'm praying that doesn't count wrestling with dad.

Now that we know the surgery will take place, we have to make a decision on when the surgery will occur. The doctors recommend doing it as soon as we can get on the schedule-- likely the next 2-3 days. This is the course of action we are most strongly considering. The alternative is waiting several months until he is larger. Not only is there mixed opinion on waiting until the baby grows, Seth is not a normal baby in that he is nearly 10 pounds already. In addition, if we take him home and watch him for several months, I'll need to have heart surgery on the table next to him. I can't imagine every time he takes a deep breath wondering if his heart is giving up. We can't live our life with the phone dialed 9-1- and our finger hovering over 1 again.

The main obstacle we face until the surgery is how to feed him. Natalie can stay here pretty much all the time, but we're not sure she should be here for the next week. (Seth should be in the hospital for 5-7 days if everything goes well.)

Thank you for your prayers, comments, and well-wishing. It really does buoy our spirits. I'd just as soon have never had to face this, but I'm glad to at least face it with the support of those we love.


Natalie needs a longer arm.


  1. If you are worried about Natalie staying at the hospital I am sure we can rally some people to come bring her meals and clothes and Jason and I have relatives down town that would let her come shower and nap at their place. And I am sure that mom is capable of handling Mark and Dax for an entire week and you have neighbors and other relatives to help out as well. Let us know what you decide. Best of luck with whatever decision.

  2. We would be happy to drive up or take the boys or whatever!

  3. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Seth is a cutie and it makes us sad that he has had such a rough start. Sounds like you have a lot of family support which is such a blessing but if we can help you guys out in any way please let us know. Big hugs and love from the Beck family.

  4. I just stopped by your house and talked to your mom. Please know that you have our support and we would love to help in anyway we can. We will be praying for little Seth and hope all goes well.

  5. I know this is a weird time to mention this but you are a really great writer, Randy. I could totally picture your finger hovering over the "1".

  6. We would be happy to help any way we can.

  7. Sending love, hugs and prayers! Such a scary time, but makes me grateful for modern medicine. I'm hoping "dad wrestling" doesn't make the list as well:)

    I am also so grateful for the timing of your babies. What a blessing to have you home during all of this. One less thing to worry about. I would love to help. Put me on the "people I can call for anything anytime of day" list!

  8. Ockeys We are praying for you and know that if anyone will make the right and best decision it is you two. I would love to help in any way!! Please tell Natalie to consider me her VT still. We love you guys!

  9. I forgot to say that last comment was from Mandy Haws


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