Thursday, February 23, 2012

success !

I think this little picture pretty much defines our day ...

                      *taken on Daddy's phone

I cannot believe- actually I can believe, given the amount of people praying for our girl - how wonderfully Lily did.

I woke up at 2 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. I truly didn't feel nervous, just wide awake. So I got up and prayed for awhile and read a book til 5:45. Lily woke up and was COMPLETELY happy. Didn't sign to nurse, didn't cry, just sat on the bathroom counter while I combed her hair and stuck a bow in, just chattering away in her baby talk the whole time.

Sam and I quietly got ready and woke up Caleb up. He's our eleven year old, and he is the family "worrier." I shouldn't say that- he is a nurturer. He has gone in with Lily for all of her shots, and if she is upset or sick, Caleb tries to take over mothering her. He is going to make a great daddy some day- he has the same compassionate, affectionate, protective personality his dad does. So when he asked me...begged me...last night to go in with us this morning, I could not resist :)

(disclaimer: the next photos were taken on my much-blogged-about ancient flip phone. I considered lugging the Canon in, but ditched it for convenience sake :))


From the moment we got to the hospital, everyone there showered us with kindness. It was as if God whispered in each person's ear this morning: be extra nice to this family today. From the receptionist, to the nurse, to the anesthesiologist, and yes, even to the ENT, everyone was so sweet and made us feel entirely at ease about Lily's surgery. If you knew what we went through two weeks ago, you would know why this was just what I needed. I'll save that experience for another blog post, when I'm not associating poor bedside manners with any doctor in particular....I'll just insert here that it's probably not best if you're a medical professional to tell any parent that "Downs kids suffer from smashed in faces." Just not gonna win ya any brownie points.

Moving on !!! Lily did great. She did more than great- she was fantastic. She never ever cried, which was a complete miracle. This is the little girl who nurses faithfully at five or six in the morning every morning to go back to sleep. And wants to nurse again when she wakes up. But she just sat on the hospital bed or on our laps or on a blanket we spread out on the floor, playing, chattering, reading books, playing on Daddy's iPad, Mama's phone, etc. right up until her surgery. Nurses kept stopping by and peeking in to see the little pixie in her gown, and everyone kept oohing and aahing over how tiny she and cute she was. It helps that my two oldest sons are EKG techs at our hospital, and they are DOTED ON by every nurse in that place. Literally, every time we've been at the hospital, or met any staff, without fail they always tell us how much they love our boys, and what a great job we've done raising them. It really does make a mama proud to hear that kind of thing.

When the anesthesiologist came back to get Lily, she just went right to her, no tears, no drama, just stuck her thumb in her mouth and put her arm around her neck and stared into her face like "who is this nice lady coming to get me?". I did cry a bit, but only briefly, because right after that Jason came in to wait with us. He wasn't working today, so he had to time to come...Josiah was up at the heart center, or he would have been there too. In fact all of my children wanted to be there, but we told them that probably wouldn't go over very well in short stay surgery :)

A half an hour later the ENT came back to tell us she was done, and that she did great. He said he drained a ton of goo from her ears, and that she would be hearing so much better now. He said things are going to probably sound a little loud to her today, and that she would probably be a little fussy as a result. Fifteen minutes after that they brought her back- she looked soooo cute all groggy and splotchy faced and with cotton in her ears. She was crying, but stopped once they handed her to me, and after hugging me and shuddering a few times (I hate those post-crying little shudders!) she said dadadadyyy and reached for him and melted in his arms. Then she reached for Jason and hugged him for a minute or two, reached for Caleb, reached for Mama, reached for Daddy...it was so cute, she just wanted to be passed around and snuggled by all of her family :)


After she was done hugging us she signed to nurse, and did so voraciously. That is the longest she's ever gone without nursing- ten hours - and I'm sure she was famished! She was still groggy and had a few crying jags, but overall she did very well recovering. When we put her in her carseat she dissolved into tears again, but when I pulled out a bacon egg and cheese biscuit from the cafeteria, she stopped crying and devoured it. Poor baby was hungry !


I wish we had a video of walking in the door with her- you would have thought Lily had been gone for days or had open heart surgery the way our kids bombarded her with hugs and kisses.

And right here I have to say- if you are a mama who has gone through that- my hat is off to you. One tiny little tube surgery made this mama a near wreck for two weeks. I cannot imagine what it's like to hand your baby over to someone, knowing her life is in their hands, and not knowing if you were going to see her alive again. You mamas are my heroes, and I am so sorry if I've never conveyed that here before. I hope we never have to go through anything more than tubes with Lily, and my admiration for all of you just went through the roof this morning.


I didn't take any pictures of Lily when we got home- I wish we had taken a video, but I was just too exhausted and too happy to think of it. I hope mere words can do it justice....our girl is hearing well for the first time, and it is amazing to behold.

I put Lily down on the floor and sat behind her. She finally seemed like herself- up until then the effects of the anesthesia were evident, and I wasn't really sure what she was hearing. So when I whispered, "I love you, Lily", and she JERKED her head around to look at me, I knew the tubes were a success. I can't even tell you how that feels to know your baby is hearing you when you're just whispering. For months we've been noticing that unless we're talking directly at her, and she sees our faces, or talking very loudly, she doesn't respond. Quite honestly I thought it was the Down syndrome. Or the fact that she's turning into a toddler :) But seeing her react to our voices today, and turn her head to see where they're coming from, just shows me how much she's been missing.

Sam stood across the room and just quietly said, "Lily" and she completely turned around and smiled at him. We are all pretty amazed at such quick results, and I can't wait to see how her speech develops after this. I've had people tell me that their kids literally started saying new words the day after tubes were put in, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much...one of my very smart doctor friends told me to remember that she hasn't been hearing well for a long time, and at her age it takes awhile to process what she's hearing and turn it into speech.

But for now I am thrilled at what I'm hearing- a definite YEAH and NO from a little girl who just yesterday was uttering things that were only intelligible to us. I'm hearing lots more vowel sounds this afternoon than I've ever heard before as well- oooh and eeeee....maybe to moms of typical kids this doesn't sound like a big deal, but it is music to this mama's ears.

I just want to thank every person who emailed or texted or commented about Lily's surgery...we are overwhelmed at how many people love our little girl. I went to sleep shortly after we got home- three hours of sleep caught up with me fast - and woke up to an inbox and cell phone jammed full of well wishes for her. It just really means a lot to know so many of you were praying for Lily, so from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

And now if you'll excuse me, I have a very beautiful little girl to talk to....

37 comments:

Deanna said...

YAY! Oh I'm so glad. Those types of procedures are SO hard on the mommy. Prayed for you guys today...and am overjoyed to hear it was a success!

Shauna said...

Even after OHS it was a little hard to hand Reagan over for the tubes. She responded exactly that way too...turning her head suddenly to something she'd never have heard before. She was the same way with needing to look at us while we were talking to her...not anymore though :) Yay for a smooth procedure and new sounds!

Leah said...

Lovely! Lovely! Lovely! Just went through surgery last week for our girl and it is hard (even though only a T&A and she HAS been through OHS). But it doesn't matter what it is. It is hard for a mama every time. I am SO happy that this was an obvious success.

melissa said...

YAY LILY!!!!!!!!!!!

Catherine Graybosch said...

So glad the surgery went well. Nathan had tubes put in in the beginning of February and it was an awful experience for me. He was fine and is definitely hearing better, but I was a wreck the whole time we were in the hospital. Can't wait to see how much more Lily interacts and speaks. Nathan is definitely making more noises and tries to mimic us a lot more.

amy jupin said...

hurray for tubes!
y'all are such a sweet family.
especially little missy.
those pigtails just kill me.
:)

Rochelle said...

So thankful all went so well. You will be amazed at her language spurt now!

lovemy3 said...

Yes, OHS was hard, but I think any procedure involving your child is! So glad everything went great and I can't wait to read about all of Lily's new experiences now that she can hear better!!

Mrs. K said...

HIP HIP HOORAY!!! I hope you know Grammi and Papa did pray. Lily, your Mama's good news made our day. Now we can't wait to hear what you have to say. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxoxo

Jenny said...

I just love that first picture!!! Lily is one tough cookie :)...I am so glad all went well today, I thought about you guys first thing this morning. I'm glad it is done and over with and now Lily can hear clear as a bell and that's exciting!!

Mud pies and Moonlight said...

Nothing but a future of I love you's poured into those precious ears of hers...so glad she did so well. Take care of each other... :)

Angel said...

Yay! So glad all went well. I am a heart surgery Mommy, and that was definitely tough. But we have been through many many other procedures and it just doesn't get any easier. No matter how 'minor' it is. It is always major for Mom! We have a procedure tomorrow and I have myself wound up to full freak out. Ugh. Can't wait for that happy homecoming!! :)

Justine said...

Yippee! That is wonderful!

Regina said...

So happy for Lily! And so glad mom can relax now. Lily is so lucky to have such loving brothers and sister.

katekopp said...

Oh so glad all went well. I remember when my Matt has his tubes in - he did not utter a sound before them and had so very much to say after - I really cannot wait to hear what Lily has to say! Thank God all went well - You have a wonderful family!!!

Cassie Channell said...

I have never commented before but have been reading for awhile. My daughter had tube surgery in December (at a month shy of 2.5yr) and it has done wonders for her hearing! She wasn't necessarily having speech issues but we were noticing hearing troubles. One thing is that she STILL says things like the food processor or my blow dryer are "too loud" while covering her little ears. My almost 4yr old son just had his tonsils and adenoids removed on Monday and this recovery has been worse. With Maddi she didn't cry leaving or coming back but he was in tears when they brought him back and he's been pitiful ever since =(

Shannon said...

First of all, love the last picture! Second, tubes were our third surgery. 4 hour heart surgery, 23 minute foot surgery, 13 minute ear surgery... needless to say the tubes were a walk in the park for us. But surgery is scary period. And you are strong :) We actually had an ENT app today, tubes still in there perfectly after 8 months. So excited to see how lily's speech takes off. Fiona seems to still not hear sounds correctly even after tubes, we may be doing a sedated hearing test to really know what is going on. But the tubes did made a big difference and no more ear infections!

cara said...

This post was very emotional for me to read. We are all praising God!! But I think because you have such a way with words, and I can just picture everything in so much detail and how you all must have been feeling. And then to hear about Lily wanting to be comforted by all of you. God's LOVE is just surrounding and in you all. I am SO, SO thrilled for these results.

These pics of Lily in the hospital are just priceless. Her BEAUTIFUL (not smashed in face) just melts me. She is just SO sweet. And to see your boys around her like that. They are precious. You HAVE done a good job mama. And of course, you made Abigail's day with this last pic!! Much, much love to you.

My Little Wonders said...

Oh so happy to hear everything went so well! :) And that last picture of Lily is adorable!

Ashley said...

Laura has had two surgeries (as you know). Her first one was OHS, and her second one was to fix her intestines, remove her appendix, and get her ear tubes put in. I must say that I was almost equally worried about both surgeries. I was so nervous the night before her OHS that I couldn't eat. The day before her second surgery, I cried almost all day (which was Easter). I kept looking at her while we were at church, and I kept crying because I wondered if she would be at church with us next week. We were told (via internet) that this surgery would be very dangerous so I was so worried if she would even make it. But in true Laura fashion, she came through both surgeries like a champ! I'm so glad that Lily is ok, and that you can stop worrying now! Love you and miss you all <3

Team Lando said...

Yay! OK, so after TWO major surgeries, Ellie now might need tubes, too, and I'm freaking out more - I think the older kids get, the harder because they're more aware?

Anyway, I am SO SO SO glad Lily was a champ and can HEAR!

my family said...

praise God everything went well. Patti I just want to tell you that other have said the same as you...."how can I worry about tubes and you have gone through heart surgery with William?....I say to them it doesnt matter it is all worrisome when it is your child, so dont feel bad or compare we all love our babies and dont want them to have to go through any of this:) I was freaked out when he had tubes for the second time and adenoids a couple of months ago

nicole said...

Thank you Lord for answered prayers! So glad she didn't sign for nursing until after surgery ~ that would have been hard on Mama's heart to say no. How exciting to see what Lily will be saying in the next couple weeks/months!

I truly do not understand the smashed in face comment ~ Lily is so beautiful she is practically edible!

Lori said...

Oh so excited that the day was easy!!! I cried when I read the part about Lily going back with the nurse....brought back tons of memories....so glad everything went well and cannot wait to see how she does from here on out!!

Crystal said...

I was thinking about her at exactly 8:45 yesterday morning and praying things would go well! So glad they did!

barronfamilyus said...

Oh Patti, I'm so happy for you and Miss Lily it brought me to tears! I'm so glad everything went well.

Hope said...

Prayed for you both last night, thanks for posting a praise report so fast! Love that smiling face!

angie said...

Oh, that sweet little face! So happy to hear that Lily's surgery was a success. How wonderful to know that your baby really hears you now! Any of us who have handed our children over for a surgery (big or small) knows that anxiety all too well. And as you said, the siblings feel it too! One of my boys had his tonsils and adenoids removed when he was four, and he did not wake up well from the anesthesia, so I'm so happy to hear that Lily woke up so well. :) Our youngest son had a Chiari decompression and a detethering of his spinal cord done when he was 16 months old. Handing him over was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever done- maybe because the surgery involved his brain and spinal cord, or maybe it was because of his age. Anyway, in one month he went from barely being able to crawl to taking his first steps. Children can be so resilient- to me, it's awe-inspiring. I am really excited to hear about the many ways Lily will blossom with having this gift of hearing. :)

Naomi Rice said...

I'm so excited to hear she is doing so good and that she said abbi's name today! God cares even about the littlest of prayers and im sure he was right there in the surgery room...

Caitlin said...

I had tubes put in when I was two and 1/2 for chronic ear infections (I was on antibiotics more often than not from 4months until tubes went in). I'm so glad her recovery was smooth. When I had mine done (granted, this was over 15yrs ago)they told my mom she could be there when I woke up, so that is what she told me. I was a toddler who wanted to know the plan, and then pitched a fit if anyone changed it. They took me to recovery and went to get mom but I woke up way faster than they expected. I was awake, alert, and MAD. The recovery room nurses probably never made that mistake again! I don't think anyone wakes up happy from that stuff-it just throws you through a loop! SO happy to hear that there are improvements already!

Andi at Bringing the Sunshine said...

Nathan hasn't had any "procedures" but Sarah Kate had rhizotomy for her cerebral palsy one week after her third birthday (it's neurosurgery - they stimulate and cut some of the malfunctioning nerve rootlets in the spine). Anyway...it was a multi-hour procedure and the most nerve-wracking day of my life. I've never felt so out of control and I did that day - that really, really long day.

But like you've seen with Lily, it was amazing the changes that occurred almost instantly. Before the surgery, she couldn't sit "criss-cross applesauce" because her legs were too tight. The first morning she was allowed to sit up after the surgery, she did it without hesitation, as if she'd been doing it her whole life.

So happy to hear that things went well and that Lily can hear!

Karly Jaco said...

SO glad to hear that she is doing so well, and that it all went well! Praise the Lord! She is such a little sweetheart!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad it all went well. I had tubes put in my ears at 18 months. It changed my life! Or so I'm told. I have no memory of any of it.

Laura said...

Yay! :) So happy for answered prayers and for new sounds being heard and uttered.

Abbi joy said...

My little boo-boo-bear!
She did so well for her age!
I love my little sis so much.

Michelle Z said...

So glad she's doing so well! :)

Anonymous said...

This is so so precious! I love that she just wanted to be passed around to all of you -- sweet girl! I am so happy everything went well and that she can finally hear the sweet things you say to her. Praying for you!


-Abby