Sep 1, 2011

the most terrifying day

The night before surgery Aaron and I were having a difficult time getting to sleep knowing our baby would be going under the knife once again.  We knew that everything would be okay, but there was that chance of something going wrong.  It was all we could think about.  Luckily, Landon stayed with his Grandparents so we could get him to and from from school the day of the surgery.  After all, we didn't know what to expect, and planning these things is never an easy task with your other child having a different schedule.  The time had finally come for our alarms to wake us and the coffee to start brewing.  We were nervous, and I was feeling a bit nauseated.  Our arrival time was scheduled for 6:30 a.m.  As I was sitting there filling out all the necessary paperwork, I looked at Aaron and said, "I don't think I'm ready for this."  I felt my palms start to sweat and my face turn a ghostly white.  I was panicking.  I was on edge.  All I could think about at that time is his recovery and how our lives were going to change.  I started to tear up when Aaron reached over and rubbed my back.  Suddenly I felt a calm come over me and the tears dissipated.  I had to switch gears and be strong for Liam.  I had to get it through my head that he needs this more than anything.  It will all be over soon enough and it was time to man up.  I took a deep breath and continued to fill out my paperwork.  Then, I heard our name called.  This was it.  The moment that I had been dreading for a long time now.  And, off we went.  They asked questions and talked to us a little about what was going to happen.  I swear, it was right out of a movie where the room spins and everyone sounds funny.  I sat down and tried to calm myself the best way I knew how.  I had to just sit back, close my eyes and try to visualize Stay Puff.  I was tuning everyone out desperately trying to find my happy place.  Strangely, I have never in my life reacted to anything in such a spastic manner.  I was getting close to telling them to call off the surgery.  The more they talked to me, the more I wanted to take him home.  We changed him into his little hospital gown and then the relaxing nasal spray came into play.  I was half tempted to ask them for a little dose for myself.  The nurse picked him up and said, "Say bye to Mommy and Daddy."  It took everything in my body to keep my mouth shut and ripping him from her arms.  He was carried off to the OR and we were escorted to the waiting area.  They gave us a color-coded card with a patient number on it.  Yellow meant surgical prep, blue meant surgery is in progress and pink meant they were finishing up and our name would be called fairly soon.  I was watching the screen like a hawk while I was listening to my  iPod and working my seek and find puzzle.  I started to get antsy after about 30 minutes in.  I had to take a hike and stretch my legs.  They called my cell phone every hour letting us know how he was doing in the OR.  The surgery was supposed to take about 4-6 hours.  The doctor had mentioned that she was not only going to snip his groin muscle, but she may have to make incisions on his bikini line and leg, making it a more extensive, timely surgery.  We found ourselves surrounded by a team of medical staff trying to explain what was going on.  Couldn't tell ya what they said. They lost me at "Say bye to Mommy and Daddy".  I was in total "leave me alone, I'm in pass out mode".  All I knew is I had to trust them.  We were released to do whatever we wanted as long as it didn't involve us getting in our car and leaving the hospital.  So, what do we do?  We explored the hospital and walked around the block.  I had my camera with me and thought it might be a good idea to take snapshots of the city and each other to get my mind off of things.  When I was walking down the hallway on the surgical floor I noticed a cute kiddie display.  As I looked a little closer I saw Liam's name floating next to Tigger's head on a dry erase board.  I thought that was neat, but I didn't know what it was for or if it was my kid's name.  Sure enough, it was his name.  In fact, it was all the kid's names who were having surgery that day.  If you look closely you can see Landon's name, too.  But, of course, this wasn't my Landon - just thought it was neat that both of their names were on the same board.  Picture worthy.  We escaped for awhile, grabbing some breakfast and having fun on top of the parking garage.  We were bored.  At this time he had been in surgery for two hours.  We got a phone call stating that he was finished and the doctor wanted to speak with us in the conference room.  We were so excited but a little nervous at the same time.  We met with her and found out that she didn't have to go through with the extensive surgery she had talked about.  She was stoked and said how lucky he was.  She also told us we were free to go.  We looked at each other in shock with this "huh?" look on our faces.  We were originally supposed to stay at least 23 hours post surgery (overnight).  She just snipped the groin muscle and put the cast on him as planned.  His leg bone was able to be moved into place without problems.  Now, we just wait for Mother Nature to do the rest.  We were directed to a recovery area of the OR to wait for Liam.  When we arrived he hadn't gotten there yet so the anticipation was killing us.  I wasn't ready to see him.  I knew he would look pitiful and miserable.  I knew he wouldn't look like the kid I saw early that morning.  I was back in panic mode.  Every time a stretcher would wheel around the corner my heart felt like it was going to pop out of my chest.  Then, there he was.  He was covered in a blanket so we couldn't see exactly what he looked like from the waist down.  He looked at peace and comfortable, as he laid there zonked out from the drugs.  Aaron was extremely calm throughout this whole process,but I think he had to be...for me...and for Liam.  Otherwise, it would have been a disaster for everyone involved.  We knew we couldn't get him in his car seat so they had to order one for him for us to take.  Aaron had to go down to the car to take ours out to make room.  The Spica car seat was big.  Bigger than what we were used to.  While Aaron was downstairs, I finally had my meltdown.  It felt great to let it out.  The nurse comforted me and suddenly I found myself surrounded by everyone with more tissues than I could handle.  Although I love the comforting and I know people mean well, it makes things worse.  By the time Aaron made his way up and back to our recovery area, I had gotten myself together.  Then, we had to wait for a wagon big enough to wheel Liam down to the car.  We waited for about 30-45 minutes, I think.  We got him in the car and headed home, making a few phone calls along the way.  Long day.  I managed to get a couple pictures of Liam before it all began, but I didn't take any pictures of him during the process because of my emotions.  I wasn't really up for it.  More to come...

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And then, the fun began...and a good time to teach my husband how to use my camera.  See Aaron on the sidewalk?  He was saying, "What in the hell are you doing?", as this was being taken.  He loves me.

Landon's name is on the right, next to Tigger's foot.

This is me getting a little nervous being too close to the edge.  "Hurry Aaron, this is freaking me out."  Looking down was a bad move.  As I've gotten older, I've become quite the baby when it comes to heights.

This is me conquering my fear.  "No more pictures, or I'll jump!"  Riiiight. 

Our baby boy settled at home the day of surgery.


  1. OMG, poor little guy. So this surgery is to fix his hip dysplasia? (Is that what he has?) How long will he be in the cast? And I'd love to see the carseat that he can sit in with the cast on! Hugs to you, but just know that soon enough this will all be over and everything will be FINE! xxoo

  2. I've been a lurker of your blog for a while and think Liam is the cutest little boy! It just about broke my heart to see the picture of him in the cast and he isn't even my son...I can't imagine what you must be going through. Your family is most definitely in my prayers. I have some of the same questions as this surgery necessary for hip dysplasia?

    Take care.

  3. Pool little guy. I am so glad it is over. I hope that he continues to do well and that he heals quickly.

  4. aw...poor little man. so glad the surgery part is over. praying he heals quickly.

  5. Hope it gets better and he's off and running again soon!


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