Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baby John's surgery

So here is the story of baby John's cleft surgery.  We left Monday evening around 6pm to drive to Iowa City and stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.  This is a great place, like a hotel, with a super discounted rate for families with children getting taken care of at the hospital .  There was no TV in the room, and they ask you to make your bed and clean the bathroom before you leave, but they also offer free meals for families and they are only 3 blocks from the hospital.


Wheeling baby John through the hospital the morning of his surgery around 6:30am.

This is the Day of Surgery admissions area- everyone who was having surgery that day came here to check in. The waiting area was full of people, adults and children, getting ready to go into surgery.


Then they moved us to a special area for pediatric patients awaiting surgery, we had our own little waiting room, where the nurse gave baby John the hospital gown to wear, and booties which he kept kicking off. They went through all the details of his health and the surgery, checking his blood pressure with the cuff on his leg, and checking his blood oxygen levels with the monitor on his toe.



Little guy got tired of waiting for his morning feeding, and luckily the nurses had a spare binky which baby John decided he liked alright.  He couldn't hold it in his mouth b/c of the cleft so Mommy held it in place so he could take a little nap.


Sitting with Daddy before surgery


The wonderful anethesiologist, Mary, taking baby John off to surgery.


Notice the pen marks on his cheek- those are the initials of the resident doctor who was doing the surgery on baby John, "D.S." for Don.


Our last look at baby John as they took him away for surgery.  We could hear him "talking" even as they went out of sight.


After baby John went into surgery, we were instructed to go to a special waiting area for families and friends. There was quite a line of people waiting to get checked into the waiting area. One woman keeps track of everyone waiting, which patient they are waiting for, and where they are sitting. When the doctors call up to the waiting area with updates, she lets us know how things are going, and there are little conference rooms close by, when the docs come up to talk with those waiting to explain how surgery went.


To pass the time we read, ate a little breakfast, got on the laptop, and prayed and prayed!


The waiting area was a large room made up a mini pods of chairs and tables.   


Mommy and Daddy holding and hugging each other while waiting for our little boy!


This is the first glimpse we got of baby John- this is in the "recovery room".


He was all bundled up in blankets, and had two nurses looking over him.  One let me take her place holding the tube of humidified air to keep the surgery site from getting too dry.


Then they let me hold him!  Mommy sat in a wheelchair, holding John, and they hooked up his IV to the back of the wheelchair and took us to his own room.


Finally kissing my angel baby!

Daddy and baby John take a nap. You can see his arm braces, which keep him from touching the bolsters in his nose and the stitches in his mouth. The long tube is the humidified air. He's also hooked up to the IV with fluids, and to the blood oxygen monitor, and the blood pressure monitor. It was a chore just untangling all those cords to change his diaper!

A close up view of his new smile- your can see the three bolster in his nose and the stitches in his lip. The shiny surface is the glue over the stitches in his lip. The nose bolsters will be removed two weeks after surgery. The stitches in his lip will dissolve. His face is still a little swollen, and he napped a lot while in the hospital.

Yes he can still nurse! Nothing can stop him from eating! Our latch is different, but I'm so relieved to be able to nurse him! You can see the arm braces very well here, with the strap going across his back to keep them from sliding down and off his arms. We have to remove the arm braces at least every 4 hours to exercise and bend his arms at the wrist and elbow- so pretty much at each diaper change, we take off one arm brace at a time to let him flex his muscles!

Finally loaded in his carseat and getting ready to go home!  Baby John was the second pediatric patient released today- Yay!  My strong healthy boy! He has to sleep in his carseat for the next three weeks, while his arms braces are on, to keep him from rolling over onto his face, to protect the work they did on his nose and mouth.  He has been such a trooper, lots of sleeping, and not too much complaining during all of this- we are so proud of him!

Dr. Canady - the main cleft doc - and the entire cleft team have done such a great job taking care of John! Thank you for your gift of healing!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Baby John - 4 months old!

My big guy is 4 months old! We caught his doing some tummy time! These 4 month old shots are pretty casual, but at least we caught them! The whole new baby craziness is still in full force- so I'm just glad we got these pics taken at all! Please don't look too closely to find the dog fur on the carpet!

My happy bunny!

Those chubby arms and chubby thighs are the best!

Look at that strong boy with his feet way up in the air!

I wonder what he's going to look like when he's older... somehow this pic really makes me see the future little John... big kid John... those sweet eyes and amazing smile!

Looking at his momma...

hee hee... don't mind the casual middle finger here...

I don't know why I just love this photo-- the lighting? (the subject!)


Daddy and baby John taking a nap!

Guess who's 4 Years Old?

I can't believe it's been 4 years already! My little girl is growing up- and I keep telling her to "STOP GROWING!", but of course she won't listen to her mom! Also, you should know, now that's she's 4- she apparently doesn't need to hold my hand while we cross the street... hmm, really? And there are a whole host of other things that are "because I'm 4" as Renee reminds me!

This year's birthday cake was a strawberry coconut cake, as requested by the birthday girl! She, by the way, has fabulous food creation suggestions- especially cake flavor combinations: cherry chocolate, oh I'll have to write down her other suggestions! In the past Renee requested her cake by COLOR, (as in the purple and blue cake we made for Daddy one year) but not anymore! Now it's all about the taste!

Getting ready to open her presents! I love that big grin!!

Working in her new preschool workbook- which she loves! Lots of puzzles to keep her busy!

Momma's great kitchen helper! She can set the table all by herself!

Perhaps the favorite birthday gift was the alphabet and number flashcards. But the best part was the "Scavenger Hunt" game she got to play with the number cards.
Mom: "ok, go find 8 drinking glasses"
Renee: "Eeeeeee!!" (and she runs around the house counting loudly...) "1...2....3.....4, 5..."
Renee: "Ok, Mom, now do the beds!"
Mom: "Ok, now find 4 beds"
Renee "Eeeeeee!!" (and she runs around the house counting loudly...) "1.......2....."

Feet - March 2010

Baby brother and big sister, being silly pushing their feet against each other...

Tell me this isn't just adorable!

Look at that little toe pointing up!

Feb 17, 2010

My baby boy is 2 1/2 months old here.... Gosh they grow so quickly!

This is when he USED to sit patiently in his chair :)

I love that little arm up in the air!

He was just beginning to reach for his toys!

Family Photos

Oh my, it's been way too long since our last update! Due to some technical difficulties, and general mom-of-a-new-baby craziness... it's been over a month since my last post! Well, to make up for lost time, I'm going to do some photo essays to catch you all up!

Here are the family pictures we got taken at the very end of February. Baby John is 3 months old, and Renee is almost 4 years old in these pics!

Baby John, 3 months old!

Momma's angel baby! Look at that awesome smile!

Daddy and the CHUN!

Big sister and baby brother!

Our family!