I’ve had his pictures edited since Tuesday night but have been putting off blogging this because there are so many pictures. I like making long blog posts most of the time but for some reason blogging about his surgery in detail feels like too much work! haha
But, I should probably do it anyway so I can just move on with my blog, I’m going to get so far behind on pictures again if I put off blogging!
Everett’s surgery was scheduled for 11:15am. Check in time was 9:15am. And I was to stop giving him breastmilk by 7am.
We got to the hospital and went up to the front desk. The woman there said to have a seat and they’d call us back to register soon. Ten minutes later they called me back into the registrating room. I took Everett (looking back I should’ve left him with Allan)
Everett grabbed at everything in the room while I answered questions. It didn’t take too long, luckily. Registering for giving birth took twice as long. Even though I always pre-register, it always seems to take forever to get registered the day of. But this time it didn’t. Five minutes max.
After registering we were sent up to the second floor which is where the pediatric surgery area is. We signed in at the desk there as well. Mostly it was confirming information and giving our cell phones numbers for updates during surgery. It was also changing Everett’s last name on all the paperwork, someone somewhere along the way had entered it wrong.
The wait in this waiting area seemed like forever. We took the time to snap some pictures and basically stare at Everett. I held his fingers and felt sad. Not anything besides just sad. I didn’t want my baby to have surgery and I was going to miss his sweet fingers. I was happy that he wouldn’t be horribly deformed as an adult (which he would be left without surgery) but the entire thing was just upsetting to me.
Brooke was visibly upset by the idea of surgery and really worried for Everett. We had talked to her a lot about the surgery and how great Dr. Benson is and how the only real risks were anesthesia and how luckily all of our family handles anesthesia extremely well and Everett was likely to take after that.
Finally we were called back in to a room which was basically a back room to wait. haha
They took all Everett’s measurements and blood pressure and asked us a bunch of questions. They were all repeat questions but I know how hospitals work, always confirming information.
Then everyone left us until it was time for surgery. I think it was about 10:15am at this point and so we thought, wow- a whole hour of waiting. I started to get worried about this next hour because Everett was exhausted and really wanted to breastfeed and be put to bed. Allan and I took turns rocking him and walking the halls with him. He dozed off a little here and there but mostly was awake and cranky.
At 11am we started to get excited, as excited as you can get about your kid having surgery, because the doctor and anesthesiologist would probably be coming in to talk to us any minute! Since surgery was supposed to started at 11:15am and all.
11:10am: any second now.
11:15am: okay, definitely coming in any second.
11:20am: um, no sign of anyone.
We started to get freaking annoyed at this point. Everett was now 4 1/2 hours past his last nursing and couldn’t fall and stay asleep with his stomach growling and my kids were super impatient having sat and watched the clock tick the minutes by excitedly waiting for the 11:15 mark…
A quick doze:
The nurse came in and asked us a few questions and then it was time for him to take Everett away. I’ve never had a procedure work this way, I thought I’d be going back to the room with him while they put him asleep (this is what happened with Payson and also what the anesthesiologist told me on the phone) so I was pretty upset that I was just going to hand my baby over and watch him walk away with him. I didn’t like that. But I have zero power there so let it go and moved on to letting everyone say goodbye to Everett. We brought him to each kid for a hug and kiss. Brooke was crying and it was heart breaking.
Payson and Ember had no recognition for the risks or gravity of surgery in the slightest. Sierra was very sad and worried but kept it in.
Allan and I hugged and kissed him last. I felt upset… I wanted his fingers to be separated but I didn’t want him to have surgery. I didn’t want my baby to go through all of this. I didn’t want to let him go. For me it’s 100% unnatural to be away from my babies for any amount of time their first year of life. I feel like I’m cutting out my heart and handing it to someone. It feels terrible.
I watched Craig walk away with my baby. I turned back to the room full of people and did exactly what I’d brought them there for, gathered them up to go feed them! They were complaining about being hungry and bored SO much. They weren’t being brats or too obnoxious, they were just hungry and sick to death of that room (me too!) so we quickly went to find lunch at the cafeteria. I knew bringing them would be the only thing that would keep me together that day. I am the type who sobs uncontrollably during things like this and even with a crowd of people to take care of it was difficult to swallow back the cries as we walked through the hospital towards the cafeteria. My stoller held my backpack of supplies rather than my baby. My arms were empty and light. I told Allan, “It’s wrong to be without my baby.” And he put his arm around me and said, “I know.”
I wiped away my tears just before we got to the cafeteria. By this time it was noon and the cafeteria was packed. The absolute chaos of the situation helped me forget my sadness and worry. It was all about getting food for the other kids at this point.
We actually had a great lunch together. The kids were all in great moods. Allan and I sat near each other and felt happy about how our family was doing. Everyone was behaving and happy and we felt really united as a family.
After lunch we went back to the pediatric part of the hospital and waited in the waiting area on the first floor. Our kids were just a bit too noisy for the second floor where the surgeries happen. There was more space and light on the first floor.
The receptionist gave my kids popsicles then (Brooke had an icee instead) and were pretty happy about that!
So this is the part of the story that gets boring and I won’t talk about much even though it was the longest part of the day! For 5 hours we sat in that area waiting. We walked around a bit to do other things but mostly we just waited. We read books, played with toys, and got bored. And got anxious. And it felt like we would be there forever and ever.
But then I got a call that Everett was done with his surgery and getting casted and we could head up to the second floor and that Dr. Benson would be out soon to talk to us.
I felt a huge shot of adrenaline kick in and started to freak out. I was looking forward to his surgery ending so much but also dreading seeing him in recovery. I was expecting him to be inconsolable and I just didn’t want to see him like that.
We went upstairs and after about thirty minutes they came and said I could come see him. Only I was allowed to go back and even if the kids had been allowed I wouldn’t have let them…
Now this part was annoying but I wanted to nurse him right away (and they wanted me to nurse him right away) but I’d been breastfeeding Ember all afternoon (instead of pumping!) so I wanted to rinse my boobs real quick just to get her germs off before nursing Everett. So I walked back to where he was, saw him laying in that bed with a nurse standing by him making gentle shushing sounds with her hand on his head to comfort him, and I had to go to the bathroom first to wash up. It was one of the most horrible feelings in the world to want to rush over to my baby and pick him up but to have to wash first! I have never washed up so quickly in my entire life! I had some water on my shirt and pants from spilling and splashing too much in my hurry!
I speed walked back to his bed and hurried to the side of the crib. The nurse came over to help with all the wires and whatnot. She let me pick up Everett while she got a pillow to put on my lap under him. I had thought about this moment so much in the last few weeks. Picking him up in his groggy, cranky state with giant casts. I’d worried about it. I expected him to be crying, screaming even. He was fairly peaceful. He would fuss quietly every now and then. I offered him my boob and he latched on (thought shallowly) right away. It stopped his fussing completely and I felt his body settle into me. He was so out of it that not only did he not have any idea where he was or what was going on, he didn’t even open his eyes at all. He was basically mostly asleep.
I sat in recovery for 45 minutes with him. He was latched on the entire time. Thought he had a softer suck he drank a full meal’s worth of milk. Partly because I was so full of milk it just flowed out without him even needing to suck. haha
After a while and many more questions and stuff it was time to move to his own room in an entirely different part of the hospital. They got a wheelchair for me. I hate being pushed in a wheelchair holding my baby because I’m always like, this nurse is gauranteed thinking I’m obese and how annoying it is she has to push me. haha
So the nurse wheels me out of the recovery area into the main waiting area where Allan and the other four kids are waiting. They jump up excitedly when they catch sight of us and hurried over to peek at Everett in my arms. They were so happy to see him. They noticed his casts and I showed them the bronco on the side of one of the casts. They loved that.
Allan and the kids gathered their stuff quickly and we all made our way to room 4414, where I’d be staying the night with Everett.
Having just nursed for 45 minutes, Everett was out like a light! We let the kids watch him in the hospital crib. I lifted the littler kids up to see him and we talked about his casts and the wires in his foot (his IV) and that he now had separate fingers and how long he’d wear the casts and all that kind of stuff!
I wanted more time with Allan to talk and be together to process everything that had happened that day and to just hug each other with relief that it was over and stuff but the older four kids were super impatient and anxious at that point having spent the entire day in the hospital. Allan and I decided right away that he should just go home.
As he left and walked down the hallway I felt an intense emptiness overcome me. I felt super lonely walking back in the room and standing by my sleeping baby’s crib. I had no one to talk to and it was just silent and sad. I cried a little and just stood there for a very long time rubbing his head and leaning close to him.
After a while I forced myself to take some pictures of Everett to take my mind off my emotions. Well, I took them mostly for him for his scrapbook since he looked so peaceful, but it helped snap me out of the emotional fog I’d entered.
After that he woke up and I fed him again.
I met all the nurses and they came in every half hour to check Everett’s vitals and see how I was doing. They were AMazing nurses, every single one of them and I’m very grateful for that. I felt like they were friends and I needed that.
Later on, probably 9pm, I decided to eat my dinner! I wasn’t hungry up until that point with all the stress and chaos but figured I should eat my wrap since I’d bought it three hours before and if it hadn’t already was going to go bad. haha! It was just a turkey wrap from the cafeteria that I’d purchased right before getting Everett in the recovery room.
Allan called me a little while after that and we talked for a good hour. It was awesome talking to him and we unloaded all our emotional thoughts to each other. I updated facebook and instagram here and there throughout the evening. Surprisingly I didn’t feel like it because I wasn’t in the right mood to talk about it and honestly even this blog post was difficult to write. For some reason my experience feels very personal and I don’t enjoy writing about stuff like this. Not that’s it’s really private, it’s just something important to me that I think will bore others.
That night I was expecting Everett to be super fussy and expecting to get very little sleep.
I couldn’t have been more wrong!! He was not fussy at all! He’d wake up fussing like he does every single other night and that’s it. I went to bed for good around 1am and got an hour of sleep before the nurse came in to give him his pain medicine. I fed him then. I woke up an hour later when the nurse came in. And then Everett slept soundly from 2am to 6am!! The nurse came in a couple times for some things but I just opened my eyes to see what she was doing and then went back to sleep.
I’ll continue part 2 in the hospital in another post. Just because I like my blog entries to be chronological by date. haha