Ok… on to part 2. Surgery. (Click here to catch up.)
At this point we had been in the hospital 2 nights. It’s a little blurry but if I remember correctly we had been cleared to start giving her some pedialyte at this point. We were desperately trying to keep the IV in, but it was proving REALLY difficult with those chubby baby arms. It finally went bad the night before so we were supplementing with 1oz/hour of pedialyte…. it was heartbreaking.
Oh, and it was J’s birthday.
At 9am we went down to the surgery center to start getting prepped. We met with the anesthesiologist and her surgeon, who were both amazing, and started to wait. Her IV had come out at this point, but she still had an NG tube. We sat in the pre-op area snuggling and letting her play with the oxygen face thingy so she could get comfortable with it. They gave her a nebulizer treatment since she had been getting over a cough, and then it was time to hand her off to the nurse to take her back to the operating room. Literally the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
We were given a pager and one of the nurses had J’s cell # so she could text him updates. We went back up to her room to wait. I took a quick shower and tried to send in some stuff to work to help them cover me, but after only 6? 8? hours of sleep over almost 3 days I don’t even know if it was that comprehensible. I probably should have tried to nap but at least it kept my mind off of it… sort of… not really.
I kept asking if J had gotten any sort of text. After 45 mins of nothing I called down. They were supposed to tell us once she was under and surgery began!! What was taking so long? Right as I was calling down the nurse was texting Jordan that the actual surgery was starting. This was supposed to only be a 2 hour surgery… but why did it take 2 hours to get started? Um, not helping my nerves.
We made small talk, I kept trying to work, kept bugging J to check his phone. Finally we heard that it was probably going to be another hour…. after almost 3.5 hours we got the call & page that surgery was done and they were going to start waking her up.
We headed down to the center and met with both surgeons in a private room. Talk about anxiety. They explained to us what they saw (or didn’t see in this case), drew us pictures and told us what they thought. Going in to surgery they thought she had an annular pancreas which was wrapped around her duodenum causing the skinny part. But once they started surgery they found some “webbing” (for lack of a better word) that they normally only saw with intestinal malrotations (which are realllllllllly bad), but she definitely was not mal-rotated. So, they made a small incision on her intestine and stuck a foley catheter in to it and slowly blew it up as they ran it through in both directions until a normal sized piece of food (for her age) could make it through.
Basically what they were telling us is they couldn’t explain what we saw on the images. Um, what?! So did my little 8 month old baby not even need this surgery?!
One of the surgeons definitely knew this is where I was going with my questions and reassured us that based on what they saw on her images SOMETHING was causing a problem. They fixed it, but they just couldn’t say 100% what it was.
We finally went back to see P in the post-op area while they were still trying to bring her out of anesthesia. It took a while. She finally opened her eyes, looked around, reacted to us, then went back to sleep.
We were warned that she probably would fully wake up in a few hours and be SUPER ANGRY. And that she would probably be that way all night… so we should prepare ourselves to take shifts with her since she would also most likely be very uncomfortable and in pain.
Nope! She slept soundly the rest of the day… was up for a little while. Then continued to sleep the rest of the night.
The next morning the surgeons came in to see how we were doing and they were SHOCKED that this crazy girl was trying to roll over and be on her stomach. And hadn’t needed any additional pain medication (thankfully!).
I honestly can’t remember the next few days. I know we were in the hospital until Saturday. During that time we slowly reintroduced milk. First via bottles in very controlled amounts, then I was allowed to breastfeed again. She threw up once after the first larger bottle of milk, then again the first time I tried to breastfeed her, but it was only once each time so we just took a step backward and continued trying. Eventually her NG tube came out, then her IV, then we were finally sent home.
I was on a medical leave of absence to care for her and she had to stay out of daycare for at least 2 more weeks since she was more susceptible to infection.
Little did we know we would be back in the hospital in exactly 2 weeks… wtf?!