Monday, May 19, 2008

The Fun Just Keeps Coming

Mom was worried that I wouldn't like to be held after my stay at the hospital, but as you can tell I dont' mind at all. This is me and big sis taking a nap.
This past week I became a big cousin, Gage Allen Ratliff was born Tuesday May 13th 4 lb. 10 oz. and 17.5 inches. I guess he thought he was missing the party, since he was seven weeks early. Last thursday I think I was twice his size I weighed in at 8 lb. 15oz. and Gage was 4 lb. 5 oz. Since he was so early he will have to stay at the hospital for a couple of more weeks. And I know from experience that is no fun for him or his Mom and Dad. I know his big sis Maddie can't wait for him to get home. I can't wait until were both a little older, so we can play together.
Then there is my big brother Kaden, my first week home he decided to get strep throat and the doctors thought he had a bug in his ear. Thankfully Mom told him it was dirt. After three different doctor visits and nearly three hours of water picking, Dr. Rybak decided it would be best to knock him out. This meant another trip to the OR for Mom and Dad, and this is a picture of the "foreign object" that was removed. I don't think it was a bug or dirt, but some kind of seed from playing in the woods. Well I will try to update a little more often, but Mom and Dad are staying very busy.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Hero - Dr. Gandhi !

My first follow up appointment went very well with Dr. Gandhi.
I am almost back to my birth weight, my scar is healing well, blood pressure looked good, chest X-ray clear, and my oxygen levels were good. Although Dr. Gandhi didn't believe Mom when he asked if we got a pulse-ox monitor for home. We really didn't, but Mom, Dad, Grandma and Granpa Patridge watched me very closely the first few nights. Sorry it took so long for an update, but my technical guru, Dad was unable to take any sick days for my stay at Childrens Hospital. Instead he had to use almost all of his vacation days, and had to go back to work this week. I do not recommend the two week vacation at Childrens Hospital. The room accomodations are terrible and cafeteria food gets old after the first 4 or 5 meals. Hopefully we can all rest and have some good family time this weekend. I hope Grandma and Grandpa Patridge hurry back, so Mom and Dad quit walking around here like zombies.

P.S. I found out that my little buddy Fisher Herzog was able to go home as well. Sounds like he recovered quickly from his surgery just like me. Mom and Dad were also glad to hear from Tate Coopers family that he had made it home also. Tate's parents were very comforting about my surgery and Dr. Gandhi, because they had been through it about 3 years ago. I do have one last request about a little girl Hadley from Auburn she is about one week older than me, and as it turns out her Grandpa Hemberger had painted a tractor for my Grandpa Ratliff. She was born with a heart problem as well, but her condition is quite serious and would be very risky for her to have surgery. I believe they quoted 50/50 for her to survive. So she and her family are currently waiting for a heart transplant. Our prayers go out to them.

Monday, April 28, 2008

First Night at Home

My Big Brother Kaden was very excited to have the whole family home. He went to school today so he could show them the picture of us together.
My Big Sister Cydne also had to go to school, and think she is going to be a good big sister. Both have been very helpful to Mom and Dad. I kept Mom and Dad up quite a bit last night, so Grandma and Grandpa Patridge are helping out today.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Everybody knows where babies come from
Thanks for the sign Grandma and Grandpa Ratliff
I came home to a heroes welcome. And it is I that should be thanking all of you, my heroes for supporting me and my family every step of the way. I am so thankful for all the family and friends. Grandma and Grandpa Patridge came down with my big sis to help us get home. And Grandma and Grandpa Ratliff help decorate the house and bring Olive Garden for a late lunch. The neighbors Jen and Casey Finley mowed our yard, helped decorate, and kept my big bro occupied today. Mom and Dad say they have been gone so long, it seemed like somebody elses house when they walked in our house.
P.S. Dad finally found little Fisher, after looking for him several times. Dad left them a bag of goodies, some snacks, few apples, some lunch vouchers, some support, and contact information. Little Fisher, is doing good. In fact, the doctors expect him to be moved out to the floor possibly as early as tomorrow. He is already off the ventilator and losing tubes as quickly as I did. The doctors say he is progressing very well and ahead of schedule.


My chest X-ray was ALL CLEAR, so I will be heading home in about 3 hours. I think Mom and Dad are VERY VERY Nervous about being sent home so early, and they will probably watch me all day and all night long. They are watching a video on CPR and have been informed of all the things to watch for once we get home. Mom got me all dressed up in my first outfit for the ride home. Its seems pretty fitting for me to be going home on this the Lords day, as I feel I have been blessed with so many prayers from so many people. I cannot and my Mom and Dad cannot ever thank you all for your support. I will continue to update with pictures and daily information.

Love Always,

Madox Alan Ratliff

Check Please

Dad told me that Grandma B always said a healthy baby sleeps with his arms above their head.
I woke up to bright lights this morning with Dad taking pictures of me. Then Dr. Gandhi came in this morning and took out my stitches, does that guy ever take a day off. I was able to keep my oxygen levels up all night long CHECK! They were a little concerned about my feeding because it had dipped yesterday, but I had a good showing last night to get my 24 hour total to about 14 oz. which satisfied my feeding requirements CHECK! One more CHECK and I could be getting my ticket home, they say it takes a lot longer by car than by helicopter. I guess I will be finding out soon.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Silent Night

Dr. Gandhi turned off my monitors, because Mom and Dad were paying too much attention to them and not to me. They are still checking my oxygen levels every few hours. For now my levels are good and the nasal canula is gone. Mom and Dad are very nervous without all my bells and whistles. I'm hoping for a good night of sleep, but I have a feeling Mom and Dad will be taking shifts watching over me all night long. The excitement for our Saturday evening was I went #1 on Mom and my entire bed. Not a bad aim, I got my noodle, afgan, baby blanket and crib sheet all with one shot.

P.S. Fisher is still in the unit, which is a good sign 24 hours after surgery, however Dad has not been able to talk to his dad today to get any information.

One Step Back

I guess I am just tuckered out: pee, eat, poop, stop draining, all with no oxygen. My Oxygen levels started dropping, so I get my nasal canula back on. I just need to get some good rest. My nurse keeps pushing me to get off the oxygen. My lungs are staying clear so far with first X-ray and nurses and doctors keep listening to my lungs.
I can't wait to show everyone my scar.

Although I am back on the oxygen, they think I still might me heading home tomorrow or Monday. They may send me home on oxygen, but the nurse, Mom and Dad are trying to wean me off the oxygen. Just need my lungs to stay clear. Mom and Dad are pretty nervous about going home with me on oxygen, so were hoping to get rid of that today or tonight.

Going Wireless

Dr. G stopped in today and was very impressed with my eating. He was supposed to buy the nurse lunch that got me off oxygen, I'm not sure who is getting the credit for that. They only got 6ml of stuff out of my lungs in the last 24 hours, so he said I could lose the chest tube. And as you can tell their are no tubes and wires currently attached. After about 15 minutes of pulling the tube and leads and enough tape to wrap a mummy, I am finally free. Now Mom and Dad can move more than 2 feet from my bed.
I was a little upset when they pulled off all the tape, but Mom comforted me quickly. And the most shocking news of the day came when Dr. G. said I will be getting a chest X-ray today and tomorrow and if they are both clear, I will be discharged Sunday or possibly Monday. He said the minimal amount of fluid was clear and I was tolerating the formula very well. Uncle Ken said I have to hurry up and get out of St. Louis because everytime he comes to visit me the Cardinals lose. Well I have to pick Mom and Dad up off the floor now, because they were so shocked by this recent information. Everyone just keep there fingers crossed for my next two chest X-rays and I'll be seeing everyone real soon.

All Systems Go

Dad and I got to spend some alone time together, at the step down unit parents are allowed to do pretty much anything they would do at home. They get to feed me, burp me, give me medicine, change my diaper, help put leads on to my monitors, and change my bandages. Mom has been doing this all day while Dad rested, but tonight Mom rest and Dad gets his turn. He finally got to hold me for about an hour as we watched the Cardinals lose. Today I kicked out my last IV line, so they changed my Ancef IV to Keflex orally. I had been fussy quite a bit tonight and Dad found out why as he burped me I threw up all over with some pink color. The Keflex upset my stomach. As Dad cleaned me up, he called the nurse in for backup. Dad was changing my bandages, as I did a #2 in my diaper and the nurse had to lend a helping hand because I was making messes quicker than Dad could clean up. Hopefully, Dad and I will be awake in another 2 hours as they have me on a pretty strick time table for feedings. I think I can almost mark feeding off my list, just need to get chest tube out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

1 down 2 to go

They lowered my oxygen to 1/32, but I can't count that high, so I just decided to remove one then both of the prongs to my oxygen canula. It's been over an hour with no oxygen at all, and I'm hangin in the 90's, Dad says that is pretty good.

The food situation is a breeze, this portagen is some pretty good stuff (although Mom says it kind of stinks), and Mom is feeding me earlier than scheduled. As for Mom and Dad, they had Imo's pizza delivered, which is about the time I decided to ditch my oxygen canula. Still borderline with my drainage, but I have all weekend to work on that.

P.S. Fisher has made it through his surgery and his dad said he is doing well. Dad and Uncle Ken were a little worried because he moved beds and couldn't find his family. His mom still needs to rest, but we newborns know how Moms are when we need them.

I wanna be a "ROCK STAR"

I have to keep watch around here, it seems like everytime I take a nap they are poking me or sticking tubes or lines or something in here. It seems like everyone wants to see or hold me. In due time they will all get their chance. For now, we ask for close relatives and friends only. The only problem is my room only holds 5 to 6 people and Mom and Dad take up two spaces. So please be sure to check with Mom, Dad, or Grandparents before coming up Saturday or Sunday, because we are booking up fast. Unfortunately, no little visitors for a while, because my lung problem makes me very suceptible to infection which could be a very big problem for me.
Here I am all snuggled up in a blanket one of the nurses Mom makes for all the patients on this floor. Dr. Gandhi says I have three things to take care of before I am able to come home. 1. I have to get off my oxygen. 2. I need the chest tube out so the drainage needs to get clear or stop all together. 3. I need to keep on eating.
P.S. Still no word from Fisher's family. I am going to send Dad out to see if he can find them.

Two Steps forward and One Step Back

I ate real well last night, Dad poked in 72ml at 6am. But now the drainage from my chest tube turned cloudy and they say I have Chylous Pleural Effusion, which means I am draining fat or triglycerides out through my chest tube. They will watch me closely, and Iwill have to eat a special low-triglyceride formula called Portagen. Nine days old and I am already on a diet. This will probably delay my arrival home, but still thinking earyly next week if my drainage clears or stops. Dad had a long night, so hopefully he will put up some pics of me later today after he takes a nap.

P.S. Haven't heard anything from Fisher's family yet, but we will continue to pray for him all day.

Still Eating

I put Dad on KP duty for the night, while I sent Mom to the Hotel next door for some rest. The Hotel is actually attached to the Hospital and the nurses say they can call their room for an emergency and they could be here in 5 minutes. But if anyone saw Mom sprinting Monday, they would know she could make it in under 3 minutes. Of course, its only fair to scare the beegeebees out of Dad as well. I had another bout of arrhythmias after the first bottle he gave me. The doctors came in and checked me out and said they will watch me closely, but for Dad not to worry. I did eat 55ml at both of the last 2 feedings, and they are trying to decrease my oxygen. I've been doing fine on 1/16 of a liter of oxygen, but not quite able to tolerate 1/32 of a liter . I keep setting off my bells and whistles, which is why Dad is sending out this eary morning blog. Keep in touch.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Eatin Good

I thought our goal was 45ml every 3 hours, but Dr. Gandhi said that was the minimum amount to eat. So my last two feedings I have put down 68ml and 62ml, I'll show them I dont' need any NG tube. Mom and Dad got another meal from Applebees thanks to their good friends Chris and Erika from Columbia Missouri. Dad says they are Mizzou fans, but their OK anyway. Hopefully they can get Mom to stay with them at the Parkway Hotel tonight so she can get some good rest. Especially since they have given up their suite in the waiting room. One of them will stay in the room with me tonight, so I will get some good rest tonight. If anyone is heading this way, be sure to let them know I am very fragile and shouldn't have any little visitors (My Little Bro Kaden won't even be able to see me this weekend).

P.S. Fisher's dad is getting some insulin brought to him today and his Mom is on her way here tonight. Mom and Dad showed him where the Ronald McDonald Family Room was located, so he has access to free laundry, shower and toiletries, and the internet to do his school work.

On The Move

Here I am all nice and comfy in my bassinet on wheels to go to 7 West, which is a step down unit from the ICU. Sorry about taking so long to give an update, but the morning was spent trying to eat and getting an ultrasound of my chest. I had some fluid in my right lung and they had to put a drainage tube to allow it to drain. Then to make sure everything was placed properly I needed a chest X-ray. In the middle of all of this Mom had to pump and they took out my Art. Line, which bled like crazy, it took 40 minutes for it to clot off. Minor drama for Mom and Dad and very exhausting for me.
I finally made it into my room, luckily no NG tube yet. As long as I keep eating 45ml every 3 hours, I won't get one. I am still on a little oxygen, but they think once my lungs get dry I should be able to get off that. Above, Mom gets to hold me again, my heart is still beating in rhythym. Right now I just need to eat, for now out of a bottle, but soon from Mom. Get my strength up and my stitches out and I could be heading home by the beginning of next week.


As you can tell by the photo they took my nasal canula out , but NOT FOR LONG because my oxygen levels keep falling without it. They will continue to leave it on for now, but wlll keep tying to remove.
NOT FOR LONG and Mom and Dad will be holding me all day, but for now Mom's gentle touch is very comforting. NOT FOR LONG and I will be heading out to 7 West on the floor, possibly as early as today. NOT FOR LONG the doctor said if I don't eat 45ml every 3 hours, then I will be getting a NG tube. I do have fluid in the right side of my lungs, they will keep watching it and if it doesn't clear up, they will go in and suck it out with a needle. Still progressing well, just a couple of minor setbacks is what the doctor said. So NOT FOR LONG before I will be coming home and seeing everyone. Mom and Dad will let everyone know when as soon as they know.

P.S. I do have a new neighbor down the hall named Fisher Herzog born April 22 with the same thing I have Transposition of the Great Arteries and some other complications. His Dad was able to come down with him, but his Mom wasn't allowed to come yet because of a couple of problems she had during delivery. Hopefully she will make it down by tonight. His dad is a Senior in college and needs to do some papers online so he will be able to graduate. He is also Diabetic, and needs to get some medication orders transferred here, so my Dad is going to help him out today. But most importantly they want you all to pray for him, because his surgery is Friday morning and because of his other problems, he will be in OR for ~10-12 hours Dr. Gandhi said, so please pray for him as my family will be doing all day Friday.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Another Nite in the Master Suite

This is the chairs that pull out into a bed that dad slept on the first few nights. Basic Standard room.

Here is the upgraded master suite with two 5'6" couches that Dad's 6'3" frame fits so nicely on. Mom and Dad told me that they got a free massage yesterday and Dad might be joining the girls on spa day during Baseball Draft weekend. Mom loves the privacy as well as the public bathroom accomodations. I am going to have to hurry up and get better, because Mom says she is running out of Lysol disinfectant spray. I haven't had anymore arrythmia episodes. My lungs are a little wet slowing my oxygen exchange, so I will remain on a nasal canula for now. I need to eat more, so they won't have to give me a NG tube (feeding tube that goes up the nose and down to the stomach). Well we are all turning in for the night. I would like to thank everyone for comforting my Mom and Dad and keeping them occupied.

Keeping Them on Their Toes

OK, Dad didn't take the cool pictures where they opened up my dressings, so I could show ya all my stitches and when they took out my chest tube and my RA line. But the good news is Mom is able to hold me in her arms. Dr. Gandhi is still going to keep the pacemaker in, because he said he wants to be conservative. Mom said "you Conservative, I didn't think that was in your vocabulary". But it is a good thing he did because I started having some arrhythmias. The doctors said not to be too concerned and I still have the pacemaker to keep my heart in sinus rhythym. Unfortunately all this happened in mom's arms as the above pictures were taken, so she is a little shaken up at the moment. We will keep the information coming as soon as we know something. Love hearing from everybody.

Chow Time!

I am on to my second bottle, only 20ml each time but I have to start somewhere. They want me to eat a little more than that, so another day of work for me. I look all nice and peaceful in some of these pictures, but what you can't see or HEAR is the remodeling going on next door. Jackhammers are going and I can't rest, but the doctors said they want me to work and eat all day. Oh Yea, they took my Foley Catheter out this morning also. Stopped most my IVs. My Blood Pressure is staying up and my Potassium levels and Oxygen levels are looking good. They keep saying that I am progressing very well. I am soooo glad to hear from everyone and will keep the information coming as I progress.


Still peeing, but actually just about catching up to my inputs. Doctors monitor Inputs and Outputs (I&Os). All liquids going in, which is mainly his IVs at this point, but will also include anything by mouth should equal anything coming out mainly pee and poop when he starts taking stuff by mouth. The Lasix drip and the Diuril they gave me made my outputs better (made me pee), but in doing so it made my potassium levels go down. So I got a Potassium IV to fix that. My Blood Pressure is staying up and the Dopamine drip was stopped this morning. The Lasix drip was also stopped. Yesterday the doctor wasn't sure when or if I would be getting a feeding tube. Hooray!! NO feeding tube up my nose instead I get breast milk, be it from a bottle it is still the best nutrition I could get. This was a surprise to me and Mom, I still can't be held but at least everything is going in the right direction.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Dr. Gandhi says I am "peeing like a Champ". He Keeps decreasing my Dopamine drip and my Blood Pressure is still holding steady. Sorry the picture was slow to come, but Dad has been having a little problem with his technical devices. Had to find a USB cable to get new pics off the camera. We will continue to post any new information that we get. Please keep posting comments for Mom and Dad as they are getting stir crazy just sitting and waiting.


Have I been sleeping long? Someone has turned the lights on and man it's freezing in here! They keep the body temperature a little low after surgery which is less stressful on the heart. They slowly warm me up as they wake me up. I finally got a peek at Mom and Dad, they look like they have been ran over by a Mac Truck. Hey! they also took that awful tube out of my throat and I guess I'm breathing on my own. I still have a nasal canula, but my oxygen levels are good.


I'll have to tell you all about the dream I have been blogging in my sleep some day.

No Time to Rest

I am still not producing much urine, they gave me some Diuril to help a little more to get me going pee. That seemed to help a little more with urination (we've had 23ml at last check). They have decreased by Dopamine drip, I have been started on a Milrinone drip to dialate my capilaries to help increase blood flow to my fingers and toes. I have been a little slow coming off the ventilator, because I have been slow waking up after the fentanyl drip was stopped. However, Dr. Gandhi has stopped in to check on me and he still wants me off the ventilator. He says that I am being lazy, and still plan on having it off tonight. I have been on D101/4NS with KCl for my nutrition (otherwise know as 10% Dextrose 0.22% Normal Saline with Potassium Chloride). But the plans are for me to eat through a NG tube by tomorrow. As for Mom and Dad, Casey and Jen Finley brought them their mail, some extra clothes and took them out to eat at Applebees for lunch. I will keep you all informed as my day progresses.

Good Morning to Everyone

Dad has told me that there are several people waiting anxiously for more updates. Nothing out of the ordinary or to get too concerned about. My Blood Pressure is still a little lower than they would like and my outputs are a little low, which means I am not producing very much urine. The Dopamine drip is still running and they started me on a Lasix drip and have given me Albumin. The problem is the Lasix will decrease my blood pressure but helps increase my urine ouput. So its a delicate balancing act to keep things in order. I came out of surgery looking very pale and white, but today I am getting a little bit of color back. Hopefully things keep going as planned and the doctors are watching me like hawks.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Turning In for the Nite

I am exhausted and think Mom and Dad are also. Everybody has gone home, but Mom and Dad keep checking in on me. The surgeon is also keeping a watchful eye on my progress. My ventilator was decreased a little, I am having very little drainage from my chest tube. The main things they are having to monitor closely are my pressure and heartrate. Dr. Gandhi has sent me to my room in a big adult size bed instead of the crib I had earlier, boy is it roomy. I think Mom and Dad have upgraded from a pull out chair and recliner to couches. And since the waiting room lights remain on 24/7, their couches are located in a darker corner of the waiting room. This is great because my Mom really needs the rest.


I just started eating on Friday(to enlarge click on images)
This is the sign my siblings made for me
Since I am not very photogenic right now, Dad will give you some more pictures to look at. This was Sunday morning and I was too tired to eat.
My first bottle on Friday
Mom trying to keep me satisfied minutes before surgery
This was early Friday morning, but how I feel right now !

Back to the CICU

I've gone back to my room, and I am still quite sedated. My blood pressure is a little low, but they have started me on a Dopamine drip and have given some extra blood. Mom and Dad were finally able to come and see me. I have minimal bleeding which is the first good sign, next they will want my blood pressure to normalize. I currently have good oxygen on the ventilator and as I wake up they will decrease my ventilator a little at a time. Sorry for the long wait, but Dad took a cat nap after seeing me. I think we are all exhausted. Again I thank everyone for their prayers. I will keep posting as the time permits, and I hope to hear from everybody.

P.S. I especially want to thank Jen, Casey, and Jacob Finley for occupying my big brother today and to Lori, Scott, and Maggie (and Nick) Sorenson for keeping Cydne this evening. Mom and Dad know they are in good hands.

Surgery is Over

I just sent the surgeon out to talk to Mom and Dad, I think I wore him out. We've spent the last couple of hours just tidying up all my little bleeders. He was able to close up my breastbone. I do have a little pacemaker on my heart, because I beat to a different drum every now and then. Dr. Gandhi thinks this will alleviate itself in the next couple of days. I can't wait to see Mom and Dad up in my room. I want to thank everyone for praying for me my family as well as my caregivers, you don't know how much you all have comforted Mom and Dad during this stressful time.

Recent update

I just had the nurse call out to Mom and Dad to let them know that Dr. Gandhi has my bleeding under control, and are still preparing to close my chest. The next person I send out should be the doctor to talk to Mom and Dad.

Still working on my ticker

Dr. Gandhi is still working on my heart, there are some little bleeders as my nurse calls them. He will continue to work on my heart, and we're still hoping that Dr. Gandhi will close up my chest. The good news is...I have not required any blood transfusions.

Another Good Update

I just sent the nurse out to the waiting room to let them know Dr. Gandhi has sewn up my little heart. They are taking me off the bypass machine, and the Doctor will be checking for any bleeding. Right now the plan is for them to close my chest up, which is very good information. I will remain intubated for now, but that is as expected.


I haven't gotten additional information out to Mom and Dad yet, but the family has been able to enjoy sandwiches made from Greg Donaldson, fruit from Lisa Spires, sodas from Mike and Karen Delonshaw and vegetables from Ken Gennicks, Shane Baker, and the Athens Christian Church.

Surgery is Going Well

Back to the matter at hand, I have had my Aorta and Pulmonary Arteries switched, they are now working on my very little coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, as those also need to be switched. They are currently warming my blood back up, which means Dr. Gandhi is beginning to wrap things up.

From my parents:

We just had a group prayer in the waiting with Ken Gennicks and Shane Baker, as we know little Madox is in good hands, we appreciate all the prayers that have been sent our way. It is very comforting to know we have so many people pulling for our little Madox.

Nurse Update

The nurse just called out to my support crew and let them know that I am doing just as they have told me. Dr. Gandhi is diligently working on my little heart.

Surgery is Underway

Mom and Dad were able to carry me down to the OR and they are in a waiting room nearby, with family and friends. The nurse plans on leaving every hour or two to let them know what's going on. I have started and they say all is going well. The surgeon is in and they currently have my blood going through a bypass machine. Please keep posting comments to keep Mom and Dad occupied.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pray with Me

Dear God, please be with my family on this day. I know I am in good hands. Please give my parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and all the people praying for me the strength to carry on today. I plan on letting everyone know any information as soon as I can. Please remember me as I peacefully sleep. By the way, please remind my Mommy and Daddy of this in 5, 10 ,15, 20 years whenever I might be in trouble, to remember me in this way as well. Just kiddin' Mom and Dad (but seriously guys I might need some help later on, thanks in advance)

Wheeling Mom Around

Kaden got to ride with Mom and Cydne got to push her around. I sure had a great time with the family this weekend. I can't wait until this is all a distant memory and I can go home with them.

Kisses from Bubby Kaden!

I love when my bubby Kaden gives me kisses...he gives the best ones!

My Big Sis Gets to Hold Me!

I haven't seen much of my siblings, as they have their own things going on. Thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Ratliff for taking care of them. I think Cydne is ready to take me home today, unfortunately I have reservations at Children's Hospital for the next two weeks. I sure hope she is as good of a big sister that Kaden says she is, because she will have to help take care of me when I come home. By the way, don't let Kaden know that Cydne got the chance to hold's our little secret okay :)

Dad gets his first chance to hold me since Wednesday.

Mom is pulling double duty trying to feed me and pump, the whole process is taking 1 to 1.5 hours to feed pump and clean all the breast pump supplies and we do this every 3 to 4 hours. Not to mentioned she was discharged from hospital care only about 15 hours after giving birth to me. At least Mom has been getting good rest at Aunt Danielle's house in Columbia, Il., but Dad has been staying at the Hospital since we got here. Don't worry he is at least showering every day and Grandma Patridge is keeping him in clean clothes. Today however, is the first day he got to hold me since Wednesday in Springfield and start helping out with some of the feeding.
Another day of rest before my big day tomorrow, the doctors and nurses say this is a good day for mom and dad to snuggle me and probably big sis.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Having a Good Weekend!

This weekend has been great for mom and me both, Dad has several picture of me hooked up to my ventilator, IV lines in both wrist, central veinous ports in both legs, a foley catheter (the tube anyway), and all the monitor sensors. I look like bionic baby. We will try and keep those off the blog so my sister's friends and other young ones won't be scared. But as this pic shows I am off my vent both leg ports have been removed the foley is gone, and only one IV access remains in addition to my monitor sensors. Mom can now hold me and even feed me, and both Kaden and Cydne are here this weekend. Be sure to tell mom how great she looks.

On to St. Louis Children's Hospital

My parents have had many calls and have heard many others have wanted to call. I know they love hearing from everybody; however, they have been spending hours upon hours on their cell phones as have grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles. Sometimes it makes it hard for them to see me, the doctors and for my mom to feed me and pump on top of it all. So, Aunt Liz has set up this Blogspot for me so I can talk to you and let everyone know what is going on.

Let me start from the beginning. I was born 4/16/08 at 7:07 pm weighing in at 7 lb. 9oz. with a reach of 20.5 inches. I had good Apgars, cried well not necessarily loud but I cried (only a little), had good color and my ears worked well. Mom and Dad kept me the in the room the first night. Mom snuggled me and tried to feed a few times while Dad snored in his comfortable chair bed. In the morning Mom and Dad ordered in breakfast and ordered me up a Circumsision. At the aformentioned Circ., I got a little fired up to say the least, but in doing so it became fairly obvious by my blue complexion that I had some problems. I don't know all the details, so I will let Dad give the technical details.

Madox's oxygen levels became low, so he was started on oxygen, and his levels did not improve. With further examination, they noticed a heart murmur and ordered a echocardiogram, which gives you a picture of the heart and blood flow. A Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) which is a hole between the right and left ventricles was detected. This alone is not that serious and is a "wait and see" type of thing and could have been taken care of in Springfield. A Cardiologist also confirmed that he had Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) which means that his Aorta and Pulmonary Artery are switched - meaning his oxygenated blood is only circulating to the lungs and his unoxygenated blood is recirculating through his body. This requires Arterial Switch which is an open heart suregery and we will have to go St. Louis Childrens Hospital. Which reulted in the helicopter flight. With low oxygen levels he was on a ventilator, but they want his lungs to be fully functional and performed a Balloon Septostomy Friday - which is a catheter that goes in one of Madox's leg vein in his groin and snake it up through the bottom of the heart and through the hole that is allowing his blood to mix. They enlarged this hole and now Madox has been taken off the ventilator. This weekend Madox will be eating and resting to get his strength up. He has passed all the labs and tests and will be having his open heart surgery Monday 4/21/08 at 7:30 am.

So, as Dad explained I am now residing at Children's Hospital in St. Louis. I have currently met all my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. I have also met a whole bunch of doctors along the way as well. I was brought into the world by Dr. Hudec, Dr. Amin performed my cirmcumsision, my pediatrician Dr. Vlahos was responsible for my quick trip to St.Louis along with Dr. Nimavat (Neonatologist) and Dr. Onal (cardiologist). Dr. Rives was the doctor in charge during my flight. Dr. Doctor (really I am being serious) met me at Childrens, Dr. Gandhi will be performing my open heart surgery switching my Aorta and Pulmonary Artery, Dr. Forrester performed my Balloon surgery, Dr. Cecchia will be in charge of the ICU over the weekend and many other Residents and Interns that I can't remember except for one they call Dr. Steve (his first name). I have also been blessed with many nurses. Mary and Lindsey were there to bring me into this world, Liz was there in the morning, and Sue helped me once I turned blue. One I can't remember was on the helicopter ride along with Aaron the EMT. Mary was my first nurse at Childrens, followed by Jen, Melissa, T.J., Shannon, and currently Jennifer. If I forget anybody I apologize, but appreciate everyones kindness and care.

Well we will be posting nearly every day, so if you know anybody that wants this information please pass on the site.

Thanks, Madox and Kurt

Pics of me with my big sister and big brother

I can tell that my big Brother and I are going to have lots of fun together...we will keep Mom and Dad on their toes :)

I love my big Sis! She is going to take great care of me!

Madox's Official Debut

Madox Alan Ratliff arrived on April 16, 2008 @ 7:00 pm. Our little bundle joy weighed 7 lbs. 9 oz. and was 20.5" long.