Monday, August 18, 2014

The Surgery

The night before:
Baby girl couldn't eat anything (milk) after 1:30am, so what did I do? Set my alarm on my iPhone for 1:00am - and woke her up. I know they say not to wake the sleeping baby, but in this case it had to be done! Daddy gave her some Clear Pedialyte  at 5am, because the cutoff for clear liquids was 5:30am. She did good, and drank almost all of the 4 oz in the bottle. It helped that it was not her first time taking a bottle.

The morning of:
We reported to the hospital by 7:30am, or shortly after- there was some rush-hour traffic in Des Moines. We checked in, did some paperwork and waited around a little bit. She slept through most of that process and didn't really start fussing until about 8am, which makes sense, because she usually eats at 7:30am. I was able to find a rocking chair just outside of her pre-op room, and put her back to sleep for a while. The anesthesiologist came and talked to us, as well as the doctor- at about 9am. Things moved very quickly after that and they took her back.

Mad baby girl, because she could not eat. 

About 15 minutes later, and she was asleep. 

The surgery center at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines is very efficient. They have a large waiting room for friends and family members. They even have a little coffee shop place that serves Starbuck Coffee. Yes, I did indulge. I didn't get much sleep the night before- plus it didn't help that the 6 year old woke up with growing pains at 4am, and crawled into the king sized hotel bed with us. At least he was on the hubby's side, which only makes it moderately better.
My parents came down and were able to take the 6 year old to the Iowa State Fair, so he wouldn't have to wait around for most of the morning- which we did. Part of the morning I was able to pump my breast milk, and hubby and I both enjoyed waiting with our pastor, who made the trip from our town (an hour and a half away) without his wallet!
During this time it was pretty boring, the waiting for this momma was tough! I remember going to the bathroom and just praying on the way there for the doctors, the nurses, for God to calm my nerves, and telling myself that everything was going to be okay. But as a mom, I think when someone has our 'baby' in their hands- their safety, well being- we worry. I don't care how old your 'baby' is- you still worry!

The surgery center has pagers, so when your pager goes off, something happened. They also have assigned numbers, and a board where you can check the patients status- much like an airport flight board, it was actually quite interesting. This can be a little nerve racking for a mom, because the first time the pager goes off is when the doctor will meet you in a family consult room. Here comes the good/bad news. For us it was good!
The surgery went well, there was indeed a second hernia on her left side, much smaller, but he got both of them and repaired the umbilical hernia as well.
Back to the waiting room for a while, so she can be in the recovery room for a little longer.
The pager goes off and we head back to see her. A  nurse was sitting and holding her in a wheel chair. The nurse didn't want to give her up! But she did, and I got to sit in the wheel chair while another male nurse wheeled me up to her room in Blank Children's Hospital.
This was probably about 11am.

It looks worse than it really is. 

We were placed in the PICU, or Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, but she was not a PICU patient. I just think the regular rooms were full and our unit was pretty slow. For most of the time there we were only the only patient for the nurses! When we first got there, there was a little boy going home, and as we were leaving there was another patient in the unit.

Sleeping peacefully in her crib. 

IV in her left foot. 

Monitor on her other foot. I told her that her foot glowed- that's an 'Upgrade!' 

The night of:
We were able to call the Ronald McDonald House earlier in the day, and get a room for hubby. Best decision ever! I was able to stay in the hospital room with baby girl, and know that hubby was just across they complex, if something should happen during the night.
We were able to meet my parents and 6 year old and caught up with my brother in law and sister in law at the hospital, we had dinner at Ted's Coney Island restaurant in Des Moines, It was yum, and I defiantly ate way to much food! Very reasonable prices too. After eating we swing by Hubby's brothers office - and hubby showed us where he was staying. Nice digs! I would recommend Ronald McDonald House to anyone who needs it - and had my daughter been a little older, I might have spent the night there myself!

The House-
Truly the house that love built. 

They have a common kitchen, so any food not labeled is house food. Dinner is brought in by volunteers each night. The food is then kept in the fridge for people to grab as they need. Somebody want to build me this kitchen - well, like half of it. Seriously. 

There was a playroom / workout area and movie / game room on the lower level, a laundry room (free), the ground floor had the kitchen and eating room, and a library/ computer work stations.

Hubby is hiding in this photo, can you see him? 

Second floor was mostly rooms, but had a large lounge area, and we were able to hang out there and wait for family to come to us once we got out of the hospital- see the photo below.

Beautiful house. Of course you never want to stay there, but if we ever do need it, we now know it's there. The staff was just as nice and accommodating to me as they were to my husband, even though I had chosen to stay in the hospital. The cost was super low- just $10/night with a $25 deposit.
Plus hubby said they gave us a bag with some stuff in it.

I walked in the room, and it wasn't just a bag, it was a thirty-one bag! The same size as our diaper bag I saved up for a few paychecks! Hubby doesn't know, or understand about these things sometimes.

Puppy elevator door at Ronald McDonald House- great idea. 

Back at Blank's: 

After we checked out the house we went back to the hospital, and baby girl was awake, and hungry!
She ate and had her eyes open the entire time, which she hadn't done since before her surgery! She had eaten, but not with her eyes open. After she had her belly full she decided to talk to us and showed us her smiles and we knew everything was going to be alright.

Finally smiling at mommy again! 

Because she wasn't a full term baby and they used the word premie for her, although nobody ever did in the hospital she was born in, she was required to stay the night. She decided she liked to set off the machines and could somehow get her oxygen down to 86%, and because it dipped below 90%, that set off the machine. That number needed to stay high all night, in order for her to go home the next day. I came to a realization of how parents who are in the hospital long term with their children can quickly concentrate on these numbers- because sometimes they mean the scales are tipping one way (good) or the other (the not so good).
She did good and although I had fed her at 10:30pm, by midnight she was hungry- always a good sign. She slept until about 4am, and a nurse came in and checked on her at 2, and gave her some medicine. I decided not to get up unless she was crying because honestly I needed the sleep!

The next morning:
She was awake again by 6:30am looking for more food, and went back asleep after a good burp and spit up. This allowed me to walk over to the Ronald McDonald house and find something to eat with the hubby. After we did, we walked back into the hospital together, and shortly after that my parents showed up with our 6 year old asking what should we do, because it was kind of rainy out that day.

We suggested taking him to the Science Center and after a few African stories from my dad and gifts from their hunting/mission trip they were off. Caroline was hungry by then, and things started to move quickly. She was unhooked from her monitor on her right foot (the one with the red light) and unhooked from her IV (her left foot).  All that was left to do was to take out her IV and do some paperwork, once doctor made his rounds about 12:30, and we packed up. Hubby counted and there were 11 bags of stuff in our hospital room!
  • Pump bag
  • My purse
  • Diaper bag
  • Ronald McDonald bag
  • Sons bag from the Iowa State Fair
  • Baby girls canvas bag I had packed burp cloths, clothes and a few books in
  • A bag of gifts from Africa
  • Computer bag
  • My backpack
  • Hubby's backpack
  • Cooler bag for the pumped milk
And two pillows 1 regular one and one Boppy.
So glad I brought my Boppy! Life saver.

Leaving the hospital. 

We loaded up the stroller and ourselves and baby girl in her car seat and we were out.
We loaded up the car and hubby decided to walk over to the house, while I drove the car. He still had a few things over there and had to do some simple housekeeping before checking out.

I hung out in this room. Gorgeous, right? I want the couch and the  chair ottoman set! Plus all those windows in my house!
Mom and dad dropped off CJ and said goodbye, their trip back home was longer than ours, plus we were planning on meeting up with hubby's brother and wife one more time before heading home.
I did end up napping for a little while on the couch with baby girl, while hubby showed CJ the game room and they played a little PacMan on the retro console and air hockey.

Uncle Jimmy and Daddy take some time to have some fun. 

Big brother hanging out with Ronald. 

While we didn't get home until 11pm that night, due to the fact that we went to Incredible's Pizza for the first time on closing (for good) weekend, some family had game cards they gave us to use up! It was a fun night.
That's our adventure, and we go see the surgeon in a few weeks, to see how her incisions are healing.