Thursday, May 7, 2009

Oxygen Bubble 11.16.06

Today, Madelyn has gone from being intubated from surgery, to having an oxygen bubble during recovery. My poor little girl looks anxious to bust out of the NICU.
Life has proven to be hard! As soon as she starts breathing better on her own, she will be moved to the Level II NICU. We can't wait! Overall she is doing very well. She slept all day, yesterday & all through the evening. She awoke this morning alert & ready to move!
This is day three of our NICU stay & I still haven't been able to hold my new baby. Hopefully we will get the chance very soon!

Madelyn's 1st Surgery 11.15.06

I have been preparing myself for this day for the last 4 months. Ever since we found out about Madelyn's Omphalocele, I knew I would have to face this day. Madelyn is going to have surgery today, to try and put her bowel and part of her liver back inside her tummy. We have every faith & confidence in Dr. Bloss and his abilities. He is such a wonderful person, & I can't imagine anyone else operating on my baby girl.

I spent the better part of the morning with Madelyn in the Level I NICU. I don't know what to think at this point. My hopes are high & my heart is heavy. I don't have much of an apetite and feel numb inside.

Dr. Bloss spoke with Craig & I both in the NICU before her surgery. We were asked to leave her at some point so that they could prep her. I don't remember leaving the NICU. I do however remember returning to my room where Mom, Dad, Delvin & Delores, Gran & Grumps were waiting. I don't know what to expect.

Dr. Bloss explained to us that the surgery could take around 2 hours. As soon as it was over he would give us a call. He also prepped us on what to expect when we saw her again, as she would be intubated & on a morphine drip. He also told us that babies are a lot more tuff than people give them credit for. Surgeries like this are much worse on the parents than the babies. I can totally atest to that!

After about 45 minutes of waiting, the phone in my room rang. Dr. Bloss said the surgery was over, it went beautifully and Madelyn was heading back to the NICU to recover. He said to give them an hour to get her situated and then we could go back down and see her. That was the first time I cried & I really need it!

Craig & I ordered food and ate for the first time that day. I was still very apprehensive about seeing Madelyn, so it was hard to eat. My meds were starting to wear off and for the first time, I began to feel the pain of my own surgery. Before I knew it, Craig & I, plus the entire family were heading back down to the NICU to see our girl.

When we got to the NICU, I made Craig stop for a minute before we rounded the corner to the stretch of beds that Madelyn was laid upon. I needed a minute to gather myself so that I wouldn't break down. I didn't know what to think, or what to feel, I was just numb.
We spent hours in the NICU that evening. Everyone got a turn to go in and see Madelyn, but I would not leave her side. She was so still & quiet, just sleeping away. I couldn't wait to see her cry or wiggle, show any sign of movement. That was definitely the hardest experience of my life.

I knew after that, the strength that God had given not only her, but our entire family. I also knew that our Grandparents & my Gammie that had already passed on, were watching over and taking care of our girl. Everything is going to be alright.

Madelyn's Birthday 11.14.06

Happy Birthday Madelyn!

I was SO nervous about delivering Madelyn. I had to have a C-Section because of Madelyn's Omphalocele. We arrived at The Women's Hospital of Texas in Houston around 6:15 am with My Mom, Dad, Gran, Grumps, Delvin & Delores. The closer the time came to surgery, the more nervous I would get. We all boarded the elevator for the 3rd Floor Delivery Wing and said our goodbyes. I wanted to cry but didn't because I didn't want everyone to know how scared I was. Craig & I entered the delivery wing and were escorted to our surgery prep room. I dressed in my gown & socks & Craig took a last picture of my belly. He also dressed in his scrubs and all that was left to do was wait.

It seemed to take forever for the nurse to come in, check our paperwork and get started. By the time she finally came in to insert my IV, I was shaking, sweating & going into panic attack mode. I felt cold, like I wanted to cover up, but was burning up and sweating from sheer nervousness. The nurse came in and gave me a shot of demerol at the site in which she would insert the IV. I thought, 'WOW, this is great . . . the IV won't hurt at all!' WRONG! I know, this pain really doesn't even compare to the pain associated with recovering from a C-Section, but being the baby I am . . . I got a little teary-eyed. Soon it was all over and Dr. Holste came in to calm me down and answer any lingering questions I might have. After talking to her a bit, I started to feel much better. Plus, my mother ended up sneaking back to see me. Seeing her helped a lot, although, I think my state at the time made her more nervous. I was glad that she had come back though. It helped me to calm down a little.

Then, right before I WALKED into the OR, Dr. Bloss, Madelyn's pediatric surgeon appeared to assure us that everything was going to be fine. He is such an upbeat, positive soul, you can't help but smile when he enters a room. This made me feel much better. It is amazing how quickly doubt can creep in.

I soon said my goodbyes again to my mother and to Craig and was escorted in to the OR to recieve my epidural. The OR was packed with Dr. Holste's team, Neonatalogists, Surgeons & Nurses. One of the doctors told me to 'Jump on up here and face that wall.' I don't know how he thought a whale could jump on a table that small, but hey, I had to give it a shot. (All I could keep thinking about was I felt like I was going in to receive the lethal injection!)

A very nice nurse came up to me and tried to soothe me while the Anesthesiologist gave me my Epidural. I hunched over on that really nice nurse and he gave the the epidural. It really wasn't bad. The worst part was that my back cramped up really bad for about 5 seconds but quickly when away, then all I felt was a heat drifting up & down my back & to my legs. The doctor said that I had sat up too long before they laid me down, because the entire surgery, all I could think about was the position of my legs. I felt like my legs were bent up towards my chest, when they were actually laying straight out. That was the strangest feeling!

Soon, Craig walked in the OR and came and sat down by my side. Dr. Holste asked if a resident could stand-in on the procedure and I said 'Well, everyone else in this room has seen what I've got, what's one more!' She laughed and let the resident step in. The resident actually graduated from Texas A&M the same time I did, so we spent a few minutes discussing Aggie football, etc. The Anesthesiologist was a Longhorn fan, so during the surgery, we kept joking about who would win the upcoming game. The whole experience was so surreal. Just like another day in the office! I expected it to be really tense and serious, but was all were talking about vacations, the upcoming holidays, school, and all kinds of things. I definitely didn't feel as if I were having a baby! I would look at Craig and ask him questions like, have they started, etc, and he would look back at me, a little green in the face, and say, 'You can't feel that?'

Soon it was all over and Dr. Holste was lifting Madelyn up for me to see! What a beautiful girl! It all happened so fast, I can barely remember what she looked like. They swiftly moved her over to her little examining table and had to wrap her Omphalocele, measure & weigh her and do the normal protocal. She was 6 lb 11 oz, 20.5" long with a head full of dark hair! She had BEAUTIFUL coloring and appeared really strong. Craig followed her while Dr. Holste was finishing the surgery. I remember laying there thinking, did I just REALLY have a baby?
Before I knew it, the surgery was over and they were moving me to the recovery room. I waited & waited, trying to process what had just happened, when all of a sudden I saw Craig come down the hall, with a nurse & Madelyn. They had her all wrapped up and had monitors all over her. I reached in her little incubator and was able to hold her hand. My very first thought was 'She has Brooke's hands!' She had long little fingers and beautiful nails and a strong little grip. I couldn't wait to hold her!

Then, they wheeled her out and towards the NICU. Craig went with her, so that he could find out where they were taking her and how we could access the NICU. On the way to the NICU, they wheeled Madelyn to the waiting room so our family could see her. Everyone got teary-eyed when they saw all of her monitors but were relieved when they saw how strong she looked! She then was moved to the NICU and everyone again waited until I was placed in a regular room. They all were able to go into the NICU and see Miss Madelyn as I was moved into my room. I couldn't wait to see my new baby!

After what seemed like an eternity, I was able to make my way to the NICU to see Madelyn. I was so scared. I remember looking at Craig at one point and telling him that I didn't even remember what she looked like. We stopped right when we got in the NICU because I needed a moment. Craig bent down next to me and asked if I was alright. I remember telling him, that any one of those babies could be mine, and I don't even know!

We rounded the corner and I got to see her! I just sat there, talked softly to her and rubbed her little hand. She had a tight grip on my finger, and with that grip . . . all of my anxiety melted away. I was thrilled, yet dreading what was to come tomorrow.