Sunday, February 28, 2010

Amelia at 3 months

Happy 3-month birthday, little Amelia!  Our little girl is growing so quickly, and she's starting to smile and laugh and babble.  She is such a fighter, and I can't wait to see what next month will bring.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Xander's Prayer

Dear God,
Thank you for food.
Thank you for dinner.
Thank you for games.
Thank you for sun, for wind,
For dark, for rain.
Thank you for sunny.
Love from Mommy and Xander.

The photos are from dinner the other night.  He was looking for "clues" with his "woggle gobbles" (wobble-goggles, for those of you who aren't super fans of the Imagination Movers).  The prayer, however, is from breakfast this morning.  We often ask him if he wants to say the blessing, but he rarely obliges.  That's what made this morning so sweet.  He kept his hands folded, but looked around the house as he thought of things to thank God for.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Swing Baby, Swing

So yesterday was a big day in more ways than one.  You already know about Amelia's surgery that went exceptionally well.  The other milestone is that yesterday marked the end of the two weeks that the neurosurgeon told us to to wait before letting Amelia be on her back as often as we (and by we, I mean she) like.  It's exciting and freeing not to have to worry about how long we have her out and on her back!

How did we celebrate this momentous occasion?  Brian, my dad, and Xander put the swing together that we received at Christmas.  We were fortunate enough to borrow a swing when Xander was tiny, but now we have our own adorable one (seriously, it has ears!) for Amelia.


Amelia's been in swings at church and at the YMCA, so the concept wasn't new.  She seems to like hanging out in there, but she doesn't really fall asleep in it like I had hoped.  I thought maybe this would be a good way to get her to learn to sleep on her back.  Last night we put her to sleep on her side with her bunny pillow propping her up from behind, but she woke up every couple of hours crying out.  She finally woke up for good around 6am, far off her usual wake-up time around 8:30.  Of course, I don't know how much of that is the new position and how much is because (hello!) she just had surgery.


As you can see, she really doesn't mind being in the swing (or anywhere, for that matter) if she can see big brother.  In fact, she got a little fussy while Xander was watching a cartoon and I was doing some things around the house.  I thought she might like to swing front-to-back instead of side-to-side, so I switched her.  She fussed in this new position at first, too, but as soon as her eyes locked onto Xander, she calmed right down.  I love seeing the bond develop between them.

This last shot is Xander's work.  I've been showing him how to hold the camera so that every picture he takes isn't of his hand.  You can see the smile that Amelia likes to give her big brother.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Surgery: The Trilogy

As someone who has only had maybe two surgeries in her entire life (does having my wisdom teeth removed count as surgery?), I am thoroughly amazed that my little girl has now had three surgeries before she's even three months old.  The first, of course, was her myelomeningocele repair at one day old.  The second, her VP shunt placement.  And today, we add a quad tenotomy (meaning the doctor will cut her quadriceps tendon so that she can bend Amelia's leg the right way) to complete the trilogy.

We arrived at the hospital just after 7am this morning to check in.  After that, we went up to the surgery floor to get her weight and change her into her hospital gown.  I have to admit, as nerve-wracking as this whole situation is for me, she looked pretty darn cute in a teeny-tiny hospital gown that was still too big on her.

After a short wait, we went back to get her vitals and answer a bunch of pre-op questions (medical history, medications, etc.).  Then it was back out into the waiting room.  The third time we went back it was to meet with Amelia's orthopedist, the anesthesiologist, and the OR nurse who would be with Amelia during the surgery.  The anesthesiologist told us how they would put Amelia to sleep during the procedure: gas via a breathing mask, a breathing tube that would come out before she woke up, and an IV that would come out just before she leaves the hospital.  She also explained that it's common to see irregular breathing with general anesthesia, especially with babies as young as Amelia (apparently, she's never met our little fighter - our girl didn't have any breathing problems the entire time!).  Then came the hardest part of our day - handing our little one over to the OR nurse.  Brian and I trudged back to the waiting room just after 9am and quickly busied ourselves with making phone calls, reading (him), and catching up on notes from cough Christmas cough (yeah, that's me).

About an hour and a half later, Amelia's orthopedist came out to tell us that the surgery went "perfect" - and a feeling of relief washed over me.  She said Amelia's quadriceps tendon was buried and super-tight, but that they were able to get an almost 90-degree bend on her leg as soon as they cut the tendon.  I was amazed to hear this, since she was expecting only about 45 degrees.  They put a cast on her leg, including her foot, and we don't expect it to move at all.  We'll wait until our follow-up appointment next week to also cast her left leg.

We waited another 20 minutes or so while Amelia was in surgical recovery, then we were called back to the outpatient recovery room.  The nurse brought her into the room in one of those cribs that I've grown to hate from our time on the floor back in December.  She looked so much bigger in that crib today.

Not five minutes after she was wheeled in, she was waking up and wiggling around.  She was alert and happy, and as soon as I saw her I had a hard time holding back tears.  I was so relieved to see that we were indeed going to go home today, because my biggest fear through all of this was that she wouldn't tolerate the anesthesia well and would have to be admitted to the hospital.  I should have known better - Amelia is a tough gal, and within 15 minutes of her arrival, I was giving her some Pedialyte, then nursing her!  Her pulse, oxygenation level, and respiration rate were so good that the nurse was prepping her to leave as soon as I was done feeding her.  All said and done, it was about three and a half hours from handing Amelia off to the OR nurse to walking out the door of the hospital.  Now we have a happy, but sleepy, little girl, and I pray we can start measuring the length between surgeries in years, not weeks.