Yesterday was a long day. We arrived at Vanderbilt around noon and were not called back to pre-op until 2:20 (surgery was scheduled for 2:00). Thankfully we were not in pre-op for very long. Around 3:00 the nurse anesthetist took Molly Kate from us and walked her back to the OR. I had anticipated some tears but Molly Kate was very brave and didn’t cry at all when they took her. It was hard handing her over even though I knew it was best for her.
We were told to expect a 3 hour surgery. The ENT came out after about 5 minutes and told us that the tubes were in. She still had a double ear infection despite having been on antibiotics for the 10 days leading up to surgery. He drained a lot of fluid off her ears so he said she may be a little sensitive to sounds for a while. A nurse from the OR called us around 4:10 and told us things were going well and she should be finished around 5:40. At 6:00 we still hadn’t heard anything. They moved us to another sub-waiting room with 4 other families waiting to hear from their doctors. When we arrived at Vandy at noon, the surgery waiting room was FULL and it is a huge room. 6 hours later, there were about 12 of us left. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t getting anxious. It wasn’t until 6:30 that the nurse came to get us to meet with Dr. Kelly. He reported that the surgery went very well. He was able to repair all the muscles in her lips as well as repair the cleft and fix her right nostril. He thought everything looked great and we’d be very happy with the results. He told us to expect to hear from the recovery nurse in 60-90 minutes. He encouraged us to go eat and wait for the phone call.
About 20 minutes later we got the call that she was in recovery and they needed us to come up. Evidently she was very upset after coming out from under anesthesia and they felt we could calm her down. Wow – it was hard to see her like that. I knew it was her but she looked (and sounded) so different. She was very swollen and VERY upset. I rocked her in recovery for about an hour before they moved us up to our regular room. She had moments of peace but overall could not settle down. The nurse encouraged us to try some pedialyte and that helped a lot. Up until that point she was refusing to swallow and was constantly gagging herself. The one sweet moment in the recovery room was hearing my girl call for her mama. She has never said mama and yet she kept calling for me over and over.
Once we got upstairs, they checked her vitals (AGAIN) and then left us alone. Zach rocked her for an hour and she fell into a deep sleep. We were able to move her to her bed. That lasted until about 10:45 when she woke up again and cried off and on until 1:00. Zach had gone home by that point so I just rocked her until 1:00. It was heartbreaking to watch her because all she was trying to do for the entire 2 hours was suck her thumb. She would hold up her hand and stick her thumb up and then try so hard to figure out a way to get it in her mouth. And then she couldn’t and so she’d scream. We finally both fell asleep at about 1 and slept until 5 when the nurse came in to take her vitals. That was about it for sleep. The doctors started rounding around 6 and we both needed to be awake for that.
The doctors are very pleased with her progress. She drank 3 cups of apple juice mixed with pedialyte this morning so he bumped her up to yogurt and applesauce. After she got her morning pain meds, she refused to sit in my lap any longer and demanded to get down and explore this room. The nurse unhooked her IV (temporarily) and Molly Kate was very happy with that. The nurses brought her some toys and we have walked around the halls with her. What a great hospital and a blessing to have such a wonderful children’s facility right here in our hometown.
Sweet girl sleeping on her Daddy this afternoon. She’s wearing my necklace because she loves jewelry and I couldn’t say no.
Playing in the 6th floor playroom this afternoon.
She tried out all the ride on toys.
This girl loves the vacuum. Look at her belly. 🙂 She is about the pop the buttons off her little shirt.
And of course, the fish tank. She loves it and it is right on her level.