Surgery Recap

The baby had his surgery yesterday. The good news is that he survived. The entire thing was terrible for us, but the worst is over.

We had an arrival time at the children’s hospital at 8:30. We got there at 8am because we were very anxious. We’d woken him up and fed him at the last possible moment he was allowed to eat, which was 2:30am. They checked us in and charged us a zillion dollars which we paid. I still don’t know how we are going to pay for everything with that money spent, but it was what it was.

They called us back around 9am and gave him a gown and some socks, and let us meet the anesthesiologist. By 9:30 the surgeon was there and warned us that the previous surgery in his operating room had run long and it was going to be an extra 20-30 minutes.

The time of his surgery came and left, without any sign of him being taken back. The 30 minutes delay time also came and went. By that point, the baby had been awake for 6 hours and hadn’t eaten in 8 hours and was not in a good place. I gave him his lullaby music and rocked him to sleep. Within 3 minutes of him falling asleep they were ready to go. The anesthesia nurse let me carry him to the door of the surgical area and then hand her the baby, and she let him keep his pacifier that he loves, and she carried him in asleep. She said they could probably minimize waking him, because they were putting the mask over his face to put him under, and the goal was do to that before he realized he’d been put back down so it wouldn’t be too bad.

I don’t know how well that worked, but they did the gas and then an IV and then a caudal block, which is apparently less intense than a true epidural.

We waited for an hour, which was the amount of time they said that it would take to do the surgery. Then they called us back and put us in a waiting room for the surgeon to come tell us how it went. We waited for the surgeon. We waited 20 minutes for the surgeon. You cannot begin to imagine how stressful that was, I was shaking and trying to do the anxiety breathing exercises. That set up–wait for the surgeon to come talk to you in a private room–is exactly what you would expect them to do if he died on the table.

The surgeon said it went well and he should not appear to have any scar more obvious than the circumcision would have produced on its own. He didn’t stop breathing or anything, everything went fine.

And then we waited for another half an hour for the baby to wake up so we could see him. He woke up, but barely. He was still mostly asleep but he was responsive, so he’d move if you tickled him.

It took him another 2 hours to wake up enough for us to feed him. Even then, the thing that actually woke him up was the removal of his IV.

I cannot emphasize enough how much blood was involved. They pulled out the IV from his hand and covered it in gauze and a bandaid, and the gauze soaked through and started dripping blood onto his gown before the nurse had even thrown out the bandaid wrapper. They had to replace the gauze and the bandaid and hold pressure on the hand for a while to fix it.

Then we changed his diaper and HOLY CRAP, so much blood. I grant that it was diluted and spread out by his pee, but it was just a diaper full of blood. And they told us that as long as the blood doesn’t completely soak through the diaper it is fine, so the rest of the day and evening it was the same. You would open his pajamas and see that the diaper was dark, like a taupe color from the outside, from all the blood. And you would open the diaper to blood.

The good news is that the medicine they have given him to take at home today and possibly into tomorrow depending on how he does overnight seems to be containing the pain. And there has been no blood today. He’s sleeping a lot–it’s basically baby vicodin that he’s on–and when he’s not sleeping he’s staring into space and I’m trying to find ways to make him happy. We watched some nature documentaries this morning and he did seem to enjoy the colors and movement, anyway.

This poor baby. But the worst is over for him now, and for us, too, I suppose.

And now we have to put ourselves back together. I have been eating whatever I want these past few weeks, so many carbs and so much sugar. I have been either not sleeping or taking a ton of meds to push myself into sleep and sleeping heavily. I’ve barely been working, I’ve been doing the bare minimum on the housekeeping. And now we have to start fixing all of that. Cut back on the sugar, carbs, caffeine, and sleeping medicine. Push up the housework and work. It’s going to be a long road.

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