Saturday, January 8, 2011

1 down 4 to go!

WOW...a LOT has happened since I wrote last...where do I begin? Well I'll just start from where I left off last. We got up Thursday AM pretty early & left the hotel by 7:30am because we needed to be at the hospital at 8am. After I took a wrong turn onto a freeway, cause Bessy (our GPS lady) decided to freeze up on me, we ended up getting there just 5 mins late. :)  We walked in the front doors of the hospital & were directed to the ambulatory surgery area. We checked in there & they put us in the pediatric room that is the size of 1 regular hospital room, but is divided into 4 sections with 4 cribs in them. We were greeted by a nurse who had me sign some paperwork, get arm bands, & took her vitals & weight. Then we just had to wait until 9:30am when they came to get her for surgery.

We changed her into her little hospital gown & put her superhero cape on her. (Btw, Amie - our next door neighbor - & I have been trying to figure out what our kids superhero "names" will be. She was thinking maybe Captain Happy for Zac!! I came up with Super Brooklyn. But we'll see if I can't think of something better!)

Brooklyn with her superhero cape on!

Brookie & Oma, waiting for surgery
 We took some pictures & then at about 9:15am the anesthisiologist came in pretty fast & asked me just a couple questions. At 9:35am our "escort" took us down the hall. I got to carry Brooklyn & he pushed the crib. We all got to go as far as the surgery waiting room goes...& then mom & Cali had to stay there. Dustin & I got to go to the surgery department where it was another "room" where they just held the patients until everyone was ready for the surgery.

We sat there just waiting for them to come get her. Almost everyone that came by stopped to see Brooklyn & admire her. She was a ball of fun & happiness!! Dr. Bauer came over to sign papers, say hello, & ask us if we had any questions. Then at about 10:20am they came to get her. The nurse, who we could barely understand, said "Ok I take baby now". LOL There's really nothing more cold than that! But we gave her about 100 kisses in a 10 second time frame & then I gave her to the nurse & then stood there as I watched them walk down the hall & turn the corner...

Dustin & I walked back up the long hall to the waiting room where Amie's family was waiting. (Zac's surgery was right before Brooklyn's, so Amie was already in with him in the PACU.) Little Cali was sitting in the chair & as Dustin & I walked in without Brooklyn she got a confused look on her face & said "Mommy where Bookie?" That's when I couldn't hold it in anymore.

We were told that once she gets out of surgery we basically couldn't do anything, so we should go get food now. So we went to the lobby of the hospital & mom, Dustin, & Cali ate while I had a coffee. I didn't even want to be down there so as soon as everyone was done we went right back to the waiting room. They had a TV there with our family "number" so you could watch the progress... But unfortunately for us it just said "In OR" the whole time. At about 12:20pm Dr. Bauer came in & said that she was awake & everything went great! He put the 2 ports pretty close together above & in front of her right ear, which will be nice for the fills, & he said that she did great. He put 30cc's in each expander during surgery.

We waited until we got a call from the PACU that it was ok for me to go back there & see her. That was probably about 12:40pm. I went down & had to put on a full body paper suit & hat in order to go in. The nurse was holding her & right when I walked in she started telling me how beautiful she was! I sat down in a rocking chair & got to hold her then. Oh my poor little baby! She was a little swollen & she was sleeping away.

Brooklyn right after surgery.

I sat there with her for a little while, waiting for her to wake up & for her sats to stay up. When she had O2 blowing in her face her sat was up to 97'ish. But when they took it away she was down to 92%, so we had to wait for her to stay up without the O2. Then we waited for her to wake up...which she did once we aroused her. The nursing staff per patient care was 1:1...which was very nice. I had a nice conversation with the nurse.

Around 1:30pm Brooklyn was ok enough for them to move us to our room. The nurse had me hold her & sit in a wheelchair while she wheeled me to our room. The hospital was pretty nice, I think. The beds were air mattresses, which I hated cause they fill up & adjust with the motor 24 hours a day (yes...even in the middle of the night). But the TV was nice. It had free Netflix that you could watch, plus a Nursing message, & a President's message. It is a Magnet hospital, which I didn't know before going. Magnet status means it's the highest in nursing care. It takes a LOT to become a Magnet hospital so it's quite the accomplishment. Plus you have to keep it up every year. Anyways, the nurses were great & gave us great care.

Brooklyn was sleepy & cranky the whole afternoon. She just couldn't get comfortable. Her whole head was bandaged up & there are 2 drains (one on each side of her head) that she has to be careful with. We just kept up with her pain meds every 4 hours & she seemed to be alright & less fussy. At around 8pm was the first smile that we saw from her! It was so wonderful. She started "coming around" & crawling all over me, trying to stand up, & playing with anything she could get her hands on. It was so great to see her acting more like herself...because earlier in the afternoon I was pretty teary. I was really regretting our decision to have it removed. But once she started acting more like herself I felt better.

One of her first smiles on Thursday night!

Dustin took mom & Cali back to the hotel so Cali could swim & they could have dinner. I stayed with Brooklyn & just held her until Dustin came back. Then he stayed for a while & went back to the hotel to sleep. Unfortunately in our room there were just 2 regular chairs. They did bring in a rocking chair, but there wasn't anywhere for Dustin to sleep.

We had a pretty rough night. She fell asleep around 10pm so I immediately layed down next to her....gotta sleep when she sleeps! She kept tossing & turning. She had arm immobilizers on that she hated, so she kept banging her hands & arms up & down. Plus she had the O2 monitor on her left big toe & her IV in her right foot, both of which she detested!! She just kept kicking at both of them. The O2 monitor was just not staying on, so they turned that machine off & just took her O2 sat when they got her vitals. The IV however shouldn't have been kicked as much as it was. I felt horrible for her. She was drinking great & the stupid IV was only giving her 30cc/hr so I asked the nurse to take it out. She totally didn't need it anymore. And boy was she happier once that came out!

They kept up on her pain meds every 4 hours, her antibiotics every 8 hours, & her drain changes every 4 hours. They came in & gave her the pain meds at 12:30am. Unfortunately at 12:45am she threw up more than I've ever seen before. Poor little baby. She threw up & threw up everywhere. I don't know what I was thinking when packing for the hospital, but I didn't take a change of clothes. :(  I immediately called the nurse & just sat there with her waiting for them to come in & help us. I didn't even want to move cause I had no idea where to start! We had to have a complete bed, pillow, gown change. And they got me OB scrubs that I could wear, thank goodness. Right after they cleaned everything up though, she went right back to sleep. It definitely made her feel a lot better! I think it was a combination of over feeding & the anesthesia wearing off.

At 3am she woke up & decided she was going to play! LOL It was bitter sweet. On  one hand I was so happy that she was acting more like herself, but on the other hand....I WAS TIRED!!!!!! At 3:30am I decided that I'd just keep her up until 4:30am cause that was the next antibiotics, pain meds, & drain changes. But of course, she decided otherwise. She fell back asleep at 4am. So of course we had to wake her up at 4:30 for all that stuff. Thankfully though, she feel right back asleep as soon as they left & she slept until about 7:45am!!

Dr. Bauer came in at 7:20am to change her dressing & see how she was doing, but since she was sleeping he said he'd come back. Daddy came back at 7:50am, right as she was waking up, which was a treat for both of them. Daddy brought me a coffee...thank goodness! :o)

Before her dressing change on Friday AM.
You can see the port in her right temple area & the forehead expander in her left forehead.
 We continued on with our regular pain meds, drain changes, antibiotics routine throughout the morning. Mim, one of Dr. Bauer's 2 nurses, came in around 10am & changed her dressing. This was our first sight at her "new" little nevus head. When you look at her you can see the 2 ports on the left (which is her right), the expander which starts about 1/2 way in the middle of her forehead & goes all the way to above her left ear. There's stitches along the left side of that expander. Then the back one goes from behind her right ear to the middle of the back of her head. Those stitches go along one side of the expander as well. Then there are 2 drains, one coming from each expander site.

Mim showed me how to do the dressing change so that we can do it at "home". She said that we don't need a follow-up appt on Monday unless we really want to come in. She said that we can just call & let them know how she's doing.

The drains are the biggest pain in this whole problem. They have to be attached under the dressing on her head so that she doesn't pull them out. Then when she's asleep she has to have the arm immobilizers so she doesn't pull them out in her sleep. They can be taken out when they haven't drained for 24 hours, or on Monday the 17th when we go in for the first expansion, whichever one comes first. I am hoping & praying that they will stop draining sooner rather than later so we can just take them out. I hate them with a passion. Once they're out, she doesn't need a dressing on her head anymore! We can wash her hair too...which she needs like no other! ;o) 

Once we were done visiting with Mim we told the nurse we were ready to go so she got all our discharge paperwork together & gave us the script for her antibiotics. We changed her clothes & then put her in her seat...cause she was tired & wanted to sleep. Indeed, she did fall asleep right away!!

All ready to go home!
At about noon we left the hospital, went to Walgreen's for her prescription, & then came back to the hotel...where Cali was chomping at the bit to see all of us! We just took it easy, watching her like a hawk to make sure that she didn't fall over.

We didn't have a bad night, it was definitely better than in the hospital, but it still wasn't the greatest. She got up around 3am needing pain meds. But she fell back asleep about 1/2 hr later & didn't get up until about 9:15am.

Today (Saturday the 8th) we've just been taking it easy...although Brooklyn doesn't even need to! She's been pretty much acting like herself again. We're just being very careful that she doesn't fall on her drains because that's what hurts her the most. She hates getting her diaper or clothes changed cause we have to lay her down. As soon as her head touches the bed our couch she just screams...but if we use a pillow she's generally ok. She's getting to know that her head is really hurting though cause when I try to feed her she wants to eat sitting up. Smart girl.

So we've had a good day today. I went to Carter's to get her a couple button-up outfits, since NOTHING is going to be able to fit over her head at all anymore. Right now she's napping peacefully...

We're going to be taking it easy for about another day & then we'll get out & do stuff. Even Mim said not to sit in the hotel room. "Get out & do stuff!," she said. So we're thinking of stuff to do that's inside. Cali has been doing a lot of swimming. I tell you what, I'm very glad that we changed hotels & are here, where there is a pool, cause she's gone everyday (at least once)!! She's been playing with Zoie a lot (our next door neighbors) & they have fun together...although Cali really needs to learn how to share! LOL Something else we need to work on!

Thanks for everyone for all your thoughts & prayers. It means a lot & we really do appreciate it. :)

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