Monday, July 2, 2012

Happy, Healthy Little Boy

We were discharged late Wednesday afternoon. He had the same day Nurse for 2 days straight and before we left she said that he was the best cleft palate repair baby that she had ever taken care of.  Okay??  I thought those first few days were pretty rough so I am now feeling very blessed and saying some extra prayers for all the little ones out there that I know have surgery coming up soon.   They talked like they might keep him another night, because he wasn't eating or drinking very well.  Nurse Mama said that it was time to go home and promised that I would monitor his intake and output very closely. I am SOOOO glad we decided to go home.  Within an hour of getting home he was eating and drinking better and was a playing machine.  This poor little guy has been thru so much in the last 2 months that he just needed to be in the comfort and security of his home.

He is just doing so well at home.  We are now down to only using plain tylenol every 6-8 hrs for pain and he is an eating machine.  He got a little spoiled in the hospital b/c frankly he got to eat whatever it was that he would eat, so ice cream, jello, apple juice, pudding, etc...  Needless to say this is not his regular diet so I am glad that now that we are home he is getting back into a regular eating routine.

I have to give a big shout out to everyone at St. Louis Children's Hospital.  Everyone from the Surgeons, Residents (whom usually annoy me to no end---all you other Nurses out there know what I mean : ), the OR Nurse, floor Nurses and techs, volunteers and even the people that brought the food trays were absolutely wonderful.  They did an amazing job on his repair and you could tell that they all really cared about how he was doing.  We never felt that we were being a bother or that they didn't have time for us.  The Surgeon said he will do Konnor's lip repair in 3-6 months.  I am a little sad that he doesn't have the same smile as when we first met him.  He just had a smile that could light up a room.  I can honestly tell you that now that he is feeling better and the smiles are starting again that his smile is just as magnetic now as it was then.  Different, but just as beautiful.  Here are a few things I would recommend any parent take to the hospital if their child is having a palate repair:

-lots and lots of bibs--if you think you have to many take a few more, we thought Konnor drooled alot before his surgery, but now it is nothing for him to soak straight thru 6-8 bibs a day.  

-take some towels/washclothes from home, yes the hospital will have them, but they are stiff and scratchy, you will appreciate having your soft ones from home

-a few toys for the bed/crib, St. Louis Children's has a playroom for the kids and you can take toys from there to your room, but we thought having something familiar from home helped alot

-comfy clothes for you--take an extra pair in case you have to stay an extra day

-if you have some of your child's favorite soft non-perishable foods that you can take then do, the hospital is limited to basics (ice cream, pudding, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc....)  We took some baby food from home.

-money for food from the cafeteria or vending machines

-pants to go under the patient gowns and either a button up or a shirt that you don't mind stretching the shirt all out to get it over the head for the trip home.  I frankly wouldn't take any clothes that you can't live without.

He absolutely hates his splints.  He has to be in them for 3 weeks to keep him from putting his hands (or anything else) in his mouth.  Unfortunately Konnor sucks on his finger for security.  He really only does it for nap/bedtime, but without it nap/bedtime have been a huge struggle.  We anticipated this, but WOW. I had kinda already forgotten what those first few weeks home from China were like.  He will only sleep for 20-90 minutes before waking up and this is after a fairly lengthy battle to get to sleep in the first place.  He knows he is still tired, but can't sleep so then the screaming starts, and then we replay the above.  Let's just say that Mama is tired.  Mark has been wonderful about letting me get naps, but he is back to work and has been traveling for work alot so I try not to wake him up if I can help it.  It is 1 am right now and we just finished up a 1 hour scream session where I used up all my Mommy tricks to try to soothe him.  Finally I pulled up youtube and started playing Third Day.  We listened to God of Wonders, Children of God and Merry Christmas.  By halfway thru Merry Christmas not only was he calm, but he was already sound asleep again.  I get it now.  The problem was the I was trying to handle the situation instead of just letting God handle the situation.   I might be a little slow, but this sleep deprived brain can still take a hint.

Konnor is now a walking machine.  He started walking really well a few days before surgery. It took him a few days to figure out how to do it with the splints, but he did and now walks all over the place.  He is also consistently giving us the "all done" sign when he is eating.

Truthfully he is doing amazingly well.  The sleep issues are just a small drop in the bucket.  I would never be bouncing back from a surgery like this in the amount of time he has.  Konnor absolutely amazes me in every way.  He has been thru so much in the last 2 months, but he still comes to us with open arms and smiles.  Our love for this little boy grows by leaps and bounds everyday.  When we first got Konnor I kept waiting for this "Wow, you are a Mom" moment.  We had waited so long for this little person to enter our lives that I thought there would surely be a moment where it all hit me.  I finally realized that there isn't one Wow moment.  The Wow moment happens a hundred times a day.  When he reaches for me, gives me smiles, snuggles into me in his sleep, pets the dog--nicely, walks, babbles, cries....the list goes on and on.  The Wow moment is all of it.  Just getting to be apart of Konnor's life is a Wow moment in itself.  I know Mark feels the same.  You can see the stars in his eyes whenever Konnor reaches for him or starts smilings/laughing and walking to him when he gets home from work.  We are so blessed that we were chosen to be Mama and Baba for this perfect little person.  Thank you for following us on this journey.

Being silly at the hotel the night before surgery

1 day post-op in the patient garden with Baba

I'm not letting no stinkin surgery and splints keep me down--5 days postop

Baxter snuggling with Konnor to make him feel all better.  

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