Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mommy performs "Minor surgery" while baby naps.

Yes you all heard right. As Ava took her nap I very carefull removed about 15 of her stitches. I am so proud of myself. I also discovered the other day that the weird spot on the upper right corner of her wound, is actually part of the black sponge from her very first wound vac dressing. Odd right? Well it was infected and we didn't know it litrally. Then since Ava was on antibodics because of Strep it helped clear this infection too! A double thank you, Lord! I attempted to remove this sponge as well. It is really deeply in but I did get most of it out. Here is a picture of my "minor surgery." Who knew of my hidden talent? Not I!

My sleeping patient.

My surgery finds. Her stitches and part of the sponge I removed.

The finished result.

Ava has been having a bit of a time again with feeling nauseous. It is hard to watch. We continnue to keep the NG tube in so we can relieve somwe of her discomfort and extra air. Her nights are a little better but still icky. She is an amazing little lady. We have a kareoke machine that hooks to our TV and surround sound. She gets me the microphone because she loves to hear me sing. We sang together this morning. I just kept telling myself. This is just the beginning of our "fun times" not the end of them. I think about her dying everyday. It is so real in our minds since we have to tackle another surgery soon. I hate knowing that she will be down again. with your help we must pray that she will be fixed once and for all and that she will bounce back fast.

She loves her Daddy. Here are a few of her and him. I remember those days of climbing on my Daddy.

Oh and case you didn't notice Ava loves wearing her "Ronald McDonald House" T-shirts. (We stayed at the Southern New Jersey RMH in Camden NJ before and after Ava was born. Judi if you have any new shirts send some our way. Ava loves them! We love our "home away from home!")

I thought you might like to see another before and after picture of her belly. Since I removed the stitches and her hole is pretty much closed up I don't see any reason to wear bandages anymore! I have to double check with Dr. Shilyanski but I'll bet she is done with them. We will be heading up next Tuesday for our appointment to discuss a surgery date. I am just ready to move forward.

This picture was taken October 31, 2008. Our Halloween scary girl!

This was her tummy on November 24, 2008. We had been home five days and she was still on the wound vac. Big opening huh?

This is a picture of it today. 1-20-09

So as you can see she is improving so extremely fast. Keep the prayers coming!

View this montage created at One True Media
My Story~ CDH

I will be adding this video to my updates each time so that if the new followers can watch and "know" our sweet Ava and her fight to survive this fatal birth defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. I want all to know that it does exist and it takes many babies lives each and every year. Her story doesn't end here. Her battle with this birth defect is not over nor will it ever be. Will I feel at peace someday? I hope so desperately. We will always and forever worry about her patch but I do know that God is in control and if He is then I can let go and enjoy life with my three girls and my loving husband!

~The Helmick's


Liz and Shane Nelson said...

Ava's stomach looks like it's healing well. i love the pic of her on top of her daddy. You are in our prayers.

mel said...

Hi Terri,
I have been following Ava and your beautiful family only recently, and you must be so proud, they are just gorgeous.
I am a nurse at the world renowned alfred hospital in melbourne australia, so can sympathise, with everything that is going on. If you ever need a hand on medical terms or just someone to talk to, i will leave my email address, then i can give you my phone number and so forth.
I will be praying especially for you all and beautiful little Ava in the forthcoming Feb surgery.
Hang in there, hopefully, one day, someone, will develop some research, it is so needed, worldwide. Ava and your family, have a very special place in our family.
Take care and all our love.
my email address is:

Fer said...

WOW, he wound looks great! I'm always thinking about Ava.

Anonymous said...

I also have been following Sweet Ava for a few weeks, and was glad to see her whole story...you are an amazing family and quite a mom, rising to the occasion and 'nursing' that baby girl! I am a nurse and am very impressed with your knowledge and skills - how hard to learn all of that and manage it in the home...you are quite a lady!! I don't know where you get your strength, but you must be an amazing person. We will continue to pray for sweet Ava and follow her story...love and prayers to you and your family!

Anonymous said...

What a brave & beautiful little girl! I am so touched by Ava's courage. My nephew was born with CDH in Feb '08. He developed a bowel obstruction shortly after his repair surgery. He got to go home 3 days before Christmas, after almost 11 months in the hospital! God bless your family! I'll continue to pray for Ava.