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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dwelling on that Night

For some reason, I've been really dwelling on Caleb's medical records. Thinking about what I have read about his autopsy, and wishing I could have somehow fixed him. It talks about what was seen, and says that post op bleeding likely contributed to his death. It hits me hard every time I think about it. There was no preventing it, helping it, or stopping it. He made it through the surgery fantastic, and just like that, he was gone. I read the part about his procedure also. It says things like, he was then weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass without difficulty (After taking him off the heart bypass machine). It also says, he had significant coagulopathy, and a number of sutures were needed to control the small needle hole bleeding. :( But he was brought back up stable.

It's just another part of processing it for me, I guess. When we left the hospital the night of his death, all we took home with us was emptiness, sorries, and no answers. It's not like you get to go back and talk to the surgeons about your baby that didn't make it, and what their thoughts are on why it happened. Caleb's medical records are all I have on giving us answers about his last hours. We took our time on coming back up to his unit after surgery...if we hadn't, we would have seen Caleb go into cardiac arrest. We would have seen them helplessly work on him for 35 minutes, only to not be able to bring him back, and have no reason for his passing.

I'll always remember the smile on the surgeons face when he came in after the surgery...the lady at the desk outside our private room, praying for us...the 1st chaplain we talked with when his surgery started...everything. My heart just aches, and it can never be fixed. Miss you Caleb.


  1. Oh Lauren, I'm so sorry for your broken heart. I am certain that all of us heart mommas who have lost our heart babies will continue to have broken hearts right along with them until the day we are able to hold them once again.

    I'm always amazed at how similar Aaron and Caleb's heart stories are...even down to the details. We did get to talk to our surgeon...and got absolutely no answers. I don't know if that eases your mind at all, but all we were ever told was that we lost him to "bleeding", and they could never tell us what caused it. How do you not know where almost half of my child's blood leaked from??...was always my question, but no answers.

    I feel your aching heart and wish I could fix it.Know that you all and sweet Caleb are always in my prayers. Love and hugs to you, friend.

  2. Caleb is so beautiful. Everything here you write - my heart aches... everything you write I feel for you so deeply - and nod my head with such agreement... and just sadness for you. I am sorry for your loss and oh, for all the questions that linger. My heart to yours.

    Love, Gwenyth's mom

  3. I just stumbled across your blog for the first time and I am so, so, so sorry. I am praying for you and will continue to. I also wanted to tell you that our son Ethan's cardiologist explained things to us to a small degree on the day he died... then we called and requested a meeting with him to discuss our son's death about 4 weeks after he died... the next week his cardiologist met with us for three hours, answering our questions, explaining things, etc... he was so wonderful. I describe the meeting a little bit in my blog post "Sacred" (written in July 2010- our son died on June 4, 2010). Anyway, at the meeting I requested all of our son's medical records... when I got them in the mail later (it took some time) I poured over them... and had more questions. I asked his cardiologist a few more when we took our daughter for her appointment with him in October... but he wasn't able to answer specifics about the anesthesia, and I wanted specifics... I wanted to understand everything I could about what had happened to our Ethan. I couldn't let it rest and ended up calling his office soon after that visit, and they contacted the nurse anethesist who actually sedated our son (with/under the guidance of the anesthesiologist, who never left our son's side). They told him I had questions about the anesthesia, and the nurse anesthesist himself called me and talked to me for an hour, telling me to ask him anything I wanted and telling me everything he could think of. He, like our son's cardiologist, was so wonderful. And yet, there are still unanswered questions in my mind about my son's death. I fully, fully believe they did everything they could and that they didn't make any mistakes- and yet you always wonder what could have happened differently. I told you all this for two reasons (sorry it took me so long!):

    1. To encourage you to consider calling and requesting a meeting with your Caleb's surgeons if you would like that.
    2. To tell you that it can really, really, really help... but that you will probably still always have questions.

    I know for me and my husband, it was something we had to do, and I am so glad we did and followed through with things until we felt like we had some answers.

    Love to you, Friend.