Precious is a tough cookie--she has been from birth. She rolled over just shy of 6 weeks old. She lost very little (relatively) weight after birth before the diagnosis of her cleft palate. And just last week, when I was at an evening meeting, I got a text from Hubby. There was a picture of Precious looking rather serious and these words, "Surgery--no problem! Just took on a mouse trap. No tears here." Apparently, she snapped the trap on her fingers and then just looked up at Hubby like, "Um...what was that and what are you going to do about it?" Seriously--no tears, no crying, nothing. Granted it was an old wimpy trap, but still!
Surgery day was Tuesday, June 12. We woke her up at 5 a.m. to give her her morning milk (earlier than usual wake-up--but within bounds of time for surgery). Got ready to leave shortly thereafter. On car ride there, gave her 2 oz of apple juice (again, last she could have pre-surgery). I wanted to be sure she got every ounce possible prior to surgery!
We were a bit early and she was making friends with registration desk ladies, and everyone who came in. Smiling and walking around, in just general good spirits--maybe even smilier than usual when it comes to strangers.
Then they took us back for pre-surgery. We had to wipe her down with an antiseptic cloth--at least it was warm--and dress her in a gown. She wasn't sure about the nurse trying to take her vitals, but he did a really fine job. Then the anesthesiologist came in and asked about how we thought she'd go with a stranger. We said that we didn't think very well. She suggested 'silly juice' to help her relax, but that if need be, one of us could go with until they mask sedated her. We agreed with giving her 'silly juice.' It didn't take her long and she was really relaxed! She went in the doctor's arms--just looked at me like, 'huh?' but not in tears. And I did fine...it's actually almost harder to write about today than it was then.
9 a.m. surgery. We just got settled in the waiting room and a friend of mine came and sat with us. It was so good to visit with her and be distracted. Hubby's parents came shortly after she left. 10:30 a.m. we got first report that she was doing fine. I played and chatted on-line with my sister. Friend left for a time and came back--we took a quick walk. I was really calm. I had asked lots of people to pray for us, and I know they were. We got word at 12:30 or so that the surgeon was ready to see us.
Her report was good. They had a surgery plan A and plan B and had to go with plan B which only slightly increases the chance for a second surgery (from 20% to 35%). She said Precious did great--stable BP, heart rate, etc. for the whole surgery. They would let us back to recovery as soon as they could. The surgeon commented on my 'calm countenance.' I said that we had lots of people praying for us. And hubby commented that now the hard part for us started--getting her to eat, keeping her out of pain, etc. The surgeon had done her hard part.
It was about 1 p.m. when we got to go back. Precious was crying and wailing and swinging her clubs around. (With her arms in splints, they are club-like!) I felt myself reaching to her when I was barely close. It was a bit hard to get a good hold of her as she was hooked up to an iv and also a pulse-ox machine as well as a blood pressure cuff. But I talked to her and barely opening her eyes, she snuggled into me and all was well. They took the crib away and gave me a wheelchair to sit in while we waited for her room to be ready. She was doing great!
We got to her room around 2 and settled in. We spent the night taking turns holding her and going to get lunch and supper. We got a few ounces of milk in her pretty quickly. By 8 p.m. she had had about 3 ounces. Which, considering she spent 3 1/2 hours with her mouth held open and only God and the surgeon knows how many stitches put in (we forgot to ask!) we figure she was in quite a bit of pain. We did keep waking her up round the clock for pain meds. By early the next morning, they were able to remove the iv. Based on input and output (yes--they weighed diapers!), she was holding her own. At that point, all they could do for her was pain meds--and that we could do at home. So, after just one night in the hospital, we came home.
Now--it's just about 10 days later and she's doing great. She really has been doing great since the beginning. Hubby was right, "Surgery, no problem!" The first week, we kept up the heavy duty pain meds around the clock. We are gradually switching now to ibuprofen and waking her up less for meds. She currently sleeps in our bed with us as it's hard to roll over with the clubs. It took a while, but she's eating (or rather drinking) a pretty decent amount. She takes the medicine (pain meds and antibiotics) like a champ--often better than food. She doesn't seem to mind the splints much--and fights us more when we are trying to take them off than put them on. We take them off a few times a day but must hover, hover, hover to prevent anything from going in her mouth. She smiles and giggles maybe even more than before. She is babbling and babbling and we hear new sounds all the time. At first, it was odd--my baby sounded so different. But it's all good. We see the surgeon again in a few weeks.
She's just incredible! We are very blessed. And as for being an Incredible Hulk, the little baby hospital gown was like an adult's--snaps down the back but mostly handing open and snaps at each shoulder. The morning before she was sprung from the hospital, she was playing in the crib (with the side open and me standing there) but she tried to pull up on the rails, but got her knees caught on the gown and one arm snapped open. I giggled a bit and she tried again and the other arm popped. What can I say, she's *my* incredible hulk!