Yesterday was a whirlwind. Annabelle was in surgery for almost 7 hours (although a lot of that was getting her lines in… she was a hard stick!)

As I posted yesterday, the outcome of those 7 hours were much different than what we’d anticipated.

Evidently when they had her in the OR, she turned quite blue and they couldn’t get her stats up. This lead the surgeon to decide not to proceed with the Glenn because her being blue was an indication that the pressures may have been too high, and since doing the Glenn early was a risk in itself, he didn’t feel it wise to proceed.

As frustrating as that is, as her Mommy I am OH SO THANKFUL he didn’t go ahead with it, as there is a good possibility we’d be in a much different place right now if he had. A place I really can’t let myself think about.

Instead, he changed things up a bit in her heart. He took out her previous BT shunt, and put in an RV-PA Condoit. If you’re like me, you just said a big, “Huh?”

I made them draw me a picture yesterday, and even though it is rough, I understand the concept.

Heart Lesson 101 for those who are interested:

Basically, in a normal baby’s heart, there is the aorta (carries blood to the body) and the pulminary artery (carries blood to the lungs). The left ventrical pumps into the aorta, and the right, into the pulminary artery (PA).

Annabelle was born with 1.) a large hole between her right and left ventricle 2.) a very small left ventricle 3.) a very small aorta. We call them hypoplastic because, well, hypoplastic means very small:-)

Her first surgery did a couple of things. 1.) It rebuilt her aorta to make it bigger. 2.) They cut off the connection to the pulmonary artery from the right ventricle, thus making the right ventricle pump into the newly rebuilt aorta since her left ventricle isn’t big enough to do the job. And pumping blood into the body is a very big job! 3.) It also created a “shunt” or a passage way from the aorta directly to the pulmonary artery (PA) since they’d clamped off the PA from the heart (otherwise no blood would get to the lungs.) This was called the BT shunt.

In Annabelle’s surgery yesterday, they took out the BT shunt and replaced it with a small passageway directly from the heart to the PA. This is temporary fix, and should last her a few months. However, it is my understanding that it doesn’t “grow” which is why it can’t be a permanent solution. We still need the Glenn. (The glenn reroutes the path of the blood from the head to not go into the heart at all… so it dumps blood directly into the PA, thus going to the lungs and bypassing the heart. The last surgery reroutes the blood from the bottom of her body to her PA.)

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused you… just know that it helped me to have to think it all out and try to explain it! If you understood all that, you totally get a A for the day!

What happened in simple terms:

They patched her up to try to get her temporarily better (and hopefully HOME) and we’ll have to come back in a few months for another surgery. The hope is that we can still do her stomach surgery and go HOME though.

How we are coping:

Okay. Yesterday was hard, I think because it was just not what we were preparing for. Today, I’m oh-so-thankful that the doctor knew what he was doing and didn’t go ahead with something that could have cost Annabelle her life. I’m not upset that we tried in the first place, because at least we now have a temporary fix that should allow us to take her home. It royally stinks that she has to have another surgery, but God knows all and He knew even this. For some reason, this was his plan. It’s still a tough pill to swallow, mostly because I hate the thought of Annabelle having to do this all over again. But God really does know best. And God really is faithful to bring us through.

Your prayers are coveted this next week as Annabelle recovers from surgery. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors as to when to wean meds, when to feed her, when to extubate. These are critical decisions and we’re just covering our doctor’s and nurses in prayer, as well as Annabelle of course.

Beware, this might be an icky picture for some, but here are before and after surgery pics. All things considered, she’s doing well!

Snoozing away before surgery. Getting her beauty rest!

Lots of tubes and wires. This was not long after she got back. She’s actually a little more puffy this morning, which is normal.
She kept her bow in all through surgery! The nurses said everyone remarked on her nails and bow… she is a princess and has to look good even in the OR, what can I say!


  1. Thank you for the update. It's all so very complicated, but Annabelle is resting in the hands of the Creator of the Universe, and He has all the details figured out.

    Prayers for you and your family, today, Krista!

  2. Oh, Krista. My heart goes out to you right now. I am so glad Annabelle is safe and maybe even has the possibility to go home soon. I will continue to pray every day.

  3. Krista, Know that you are all in our prayers. I hope that she can come home with you soon. You are such a witness during this difficult time.

  4. Oh, Krista, my heart hurts for you right now. I wish I could do something- anything- to make it all better for you. I feel guilty having my big healthy fella when your little princess is so sick. Having a baby only 11 days older than Annabelle makes this hit me like a 2×4 between the eyes. I so want her to get better, and I so want you to be able to take her home and show her her room. (Because I KNOW you have nursery bedding picked out special for her since you pick out a new set for each baby.) I just wanna come hug you, KP. Okay, I'm all ramble-y, but just know that we're still praying and praying and praying for Annabelle.

  5. Krista, you are being covered in prayer. For Annabelle, your family, and the medical team. God is Rapha-Healer and I am praying for quick and successful healing.

    Thanks so much for the update. It helps to know how to pray.

  6. I appreciate the update, Krista. The best news is that you may be able to take Annabelle home and love on her BIG time. May the Lord be with you all as your princess recovers from her ordeal yesterday and you recover from yours.

    Love, hugs, and prayers.

  7. Thank you for the update. My heart hurts for you all but it does seem like God is guiding the doctors and I hope Annabelle can come home with you all soon.
    Still praying for everything you need right now!

  8. Thank your for the update and the explanation. I can't even begin to understand what you and your husband are going through. Please know that little Annabelle is in my prayers as are you both. I'm so glad your faith is sustaining you as you trust in the Great Physician's wisdom and healing in all of this.

    Bless you,

  9. Thanks for the explanation. Now we can really see clearly what's going on. Erica's right-it's so complicated! Proud of you for doing so well during this crazy time and proud of Annabelle. She's such a strong little one!

  10. I'm still covering you and your precious family in prayers! All things are easy for the Lord. Be strong. he has a plan.

  11. Krista, I'm sorry Annabelle has to have another surgery, but you have such a good attitude about all of it. I will be praying for a speedy recovery, and that you get to take your girl home SOON!

  12. Praising God for the wisdom he bestowed on the doctors!

    Lifting you in prayer as you travel this road.

    Beverley, mom to Leyda 5yo HLHS, HRL, PLE 2 strokes…in school!

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