Cosleeping after Open Heart Surgery or other major surgery. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-17-2012, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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My daughter will be having open heart surgery this fall. She'll have just turned 2 and we currently do family bed. Does anyone have suggestions for precautions I'll need to take when she is home recovering? Ideas for helping her sleep in the hospital when she'll be alone in a bed? Stories or suggestions of other resources or thoughts in general are much appreciated.

Enjoying my time with Hattie Beth(8/30/10) and remembering Mizuko Fievel (8/26/09)
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#2 of 5 Old 08-17-2012, 12:27 PM
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Sending love and support your way, mama!  That sounds intense.  


I don't have any experience with this so I can't offer advice, but I bet it will be a great comfort to your daughter to have you right there with her all through the night.  

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#3 of 5 Old 08-27-2012, 09:10 AM
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My son had heart surgery this March, at age 20 months. He slept in our bed starting the night we came home from the hospital. We wanted to be able to keep a close eye on him. He had a lot of fear and trauma surrounding sleep after his surgery. It took both my husband and I am laying down with him to get him to sleep. I was very aware of where he was in the bed. It was scary as he recovered but it worked out fine.
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#4 of 5 Old 08-30-2012, 10:25 PM
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First of all, big hugs mama. What defect does your daughter have? My 13 month old has Tetralogy of Fallot w/Pulmonary Atresia. She had her first heart surgery at 8 days old and came home from the hospital at 3 weeks old. She slept in a rock n play until about 12 weeks because her daily aspirin regimen gave her horrible reflux. After that we did a mix of cosleeping and bed sharing. Her crib is sidecarred to my side of the bed. We were in patient for 5 days before her second heart surgery at 6 months old and I became a pro at putting down one of the sides of the hospital crib and sort of laying next to her until she fell asleep. After the surgery, I couldn't hold her until the 5th day post-op and she slept in a very elevated position. She was so out of it though from the pain meds that sleeping wasn't hard. When we came home from the hospital, I just had her sleep next to me laying in her crib until her sternum healed and then we resumed snuggling while sleeping if we wanted to. I have lots of pics on FB so PM me your name and I'll send you a friend request.

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#5 of 5 Old 09-02-2012, 06:23 AM
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Sending tons of hugs. I don't have any experience with cardiac surgery, however, I do have experience with being a pediatric ICU nurse. I would definitely use your nurses in the hospital as resources. Ask each one, because it's definitely hit or miss. A lot of my colleagues would have been aghast at the thought of bedsharing. I would have sat down with you and talked through what would work and what might not, and several other nurses I know would have. You don't even have to say you plan to bedshare, just ask for tips on how you can cuddle/ lay next to her safely while she sleeps, etc. Also, the hospital I worked in had a policy that if you wanted to share the bed with your LO while in hospital, you had to sign a release form. We allowed this, and even in ICU, would show mom or dad how they could lay next to their child so as not to be "in the way". This isn't always possible. No one shared this info much, though, you kind of had to know to ask, so I just wanted to make sure you knew to ask. If not, the nurse should have some ideas on how to keep your child calm during this part of things. They don't want your child agitated any more than you do. Or, they shouldn't....

The other thing I wanted to say, and you might know this, but I think it's so important. The doctors and nurses are the experts on surgery and medicine, but you are the expert on your child. Don't be afraid to speak up if something doesn't seem right or if it needs to go differently. Ask every question until you feel comfortable with the answers. What happens if we do this, and what happens if we don't. Keep a notepad with you to jot questions down on so that when the doctors round, you don't forget something. Ask for clarification when you need to. In order to be your child's advocate, you have to understand everything. You can "fire" a nurse if you need to. Just ask for the charge nurse and tell her your concerns. These are all the things I would tell my patients when I worked :)

Wishing quick healing to your family.

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