Victoria's Story

· New Life ·

17 October 1993
Victoria's birth was not out of the ordinary at all, except for its location in a shiny metal operating room with lots of doctors and nurses around. Upon delivery at 20:08, she was whisked away into the next room and placed in an infant warming bed (a.k.a. toaster-oven). There, a battery of tests was performed on her. I remember thinking that she didn't look all that blue to me. Within an hour, Leslie was taken to a recovery room and our new baby, Victoria, was wheeled in to see us. She was in an incubator. After a brief visit with Leslie, Victoria was transferred next door to CHEO where she took up residence in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

17 October 1993 - 25 October 1993
Victoria's cardiologist closely monitored her progress during her first hours and days of life. He had thought that she might need a Blalock shunt operation at that time, but she did not. Her condition in the hospital remained excellent and quite stable. Her tiny body adapted itself to her problematic heart. Her ductus arteriosus remained open far longer than is normal after birth. She received prostaglandin for a couple of days to try to prolong this. We spent every available moment with our new baby. She was just perfect to us. As far as the doctors could tell, there was nothing wrong with her aside from the heart defect (which was plenty!).

26 October 1993
After receiving our assurances that we would return regularly, the cardiologist sent us on our way home, with Victoria, after a nine-day stay in the hospital.

October 1993 - April 1994
Victoria grew and thrived at home. There were no problems with her development at all. Her appetite was enormous. She grew quite a bit, staying on the top end of the growth charts. This was the opposite of what we were told to expect by the cardiologist. He, too, was surprised by and happy with her progress. Still, for all her good growth, she remained noticeably blue and pale, especially compared to other children. This blueness became more pronounced as time went by.

When Victoria was closing in on six months of age, the cardiologist decided that it was time to start preparing for a Bi-directional Glenn shunt operation. He scheduled her for her first cardiac catheterisation, which would give him the measurements necessary to plan the surgery.

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