The drive to the hospital from the hotel seemed like eternity, my stomach kept rolling over and over...I just wanted to call up the staff and cancel the surgery because I didn't want her to go through it...but I knew this was not an elective surgery and she had to have it. She was scheduled for surgery at 11:15am and we had to be there at 9:15am. I could feed her clear liquids up to 7:15am, thank goodness that included breast milk. We checked in right at 9:15am. We had to go to an eye doctor right before surgery, so we did that first and came back down, got called back to pre op around 11:30. Where we waited for two more hours. In this time Alice was getting very hungry, it was almost unbearable listening to how upset she was...and I couldn't hold her because she would think I was going to feed her. The one thing I wanted to do and I couldn't. They tried bringing in a baby stimulation machine to distract her which worked for a little while. Then around 1pm the process started rolling very quickly. Jason and I starting to crumble. They said they had to take her now and told me to give her one last kiss, we both did. Then we watched them carry her down the hall as she looked back at us, clueless to what was about to happen. When they turned the corner we fell apart. I thought I was going to collapse...I was shaking so much. I have said this many times but this is unlike anything I have been through before, or Jason...it was extremely hard and emotional. I had to have faith in the staff to take care of her...I prayed that morning like I have never prayed before, over and over and over...
|Daddy trying to comfort her before the surgery|
Jason and I went outside for a while to try and collect ourselves and not long after we heard that the surgery was going well and they were almost done. It seemed like an eternity...however from the time we left her until we saw her in recovery was about 3 hours. I could barely contain myself as we headed back to see her...she was so pale and limp. My eyes filled with tears and we tried to stimulate her but we didn't get much of a response...this went on for a very long time. The nurse began to get concerned and said it was taking longer than usual for her to wake up. She was ghost white and lethargic. She was on the verge of needing a blood transfusion. Dr Magge came to see her and said he would give her another hour and then they would retest her blood to see how her levels looked. Thank goodness in that hour she began to come to. She was in recovery for a total of 5 hours. She was admitted to a room around 10pm. Mommy and Daddy were both physically and emotionally drained.
|right after surgery|
|still trying to get her to wake up|
|slowly starting to wake up|
Alice had a rough time in recovery and through the night. She threw up several times. They gave her morphine initially, antibiotics and nausea medicine. She was still pretty out of it. Jason and I both slept in the room with her both nights. They had a camera on her bed and lots of monitors! We finally ate a little something for dinner and then fell asleep. We woke up around 3am and I tried to feed her...she did ok, showed alot more interest than in recovery but then she threw up again. Shortly after that she perked up though...and even gave us her first smile since surgery. I can't tell you how much I needed to see that smile! We all went back to sleep and when we woke up the swelling had hit...
|Morning after surgery|
|Mommy and Daddy with Alice. Relieved that the surgery is over|
|A little smile|
|Playing with Daddy|
|Kisses from Mommy|
Her swelling got worse through the afternoon. Dr Magge removed a strip of her skull to recreate a suture from the middle of her head all the way to right above her ear, endoscopically. So she swelled all along that area and her eye was swollen shut. Her eye swelling improved slightly through the day and by the next day it was extremely better! She was actually able to open it.
|Day one (left) Day two (right)|
You can see in both pictures that she is swollen along the right side her face, where the bone was cut
|Alice's bed at the hospital|
|sitting up in bed|
|Alice with her Children's National Medical Center doctor bear, her souvenir :)|
|The lobby/atrium of the Children's National Medical Center|