Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10

After many delays, Elsie's G tube surgery finally took place this afternoon!

Oh wait. First, I wanted to tell you how when I got to the hospital, a sweet volunteer was holding Elsie. The volunteer looked up, pleased to see me, and told me that she has held Elsie every Monday for the last 3 weeks and thinks that she is just the sweetest baby ever. How nice is that??

Back to the surgery. Elsie was moved to Room 1, where the surgery took place. The doctors came in and were explaining everything to me while they were getting the equipment set up. Then the IV in Elsie's hand went bad, and her poor little hand was swollen and purple, it was so sad. They took that IV out, and placed a new IV on the top of her head, where she hopefully wouldn't be able to wiggle it out. I met the much-desired anesthesiologist, who was out of town last week, hence the delay in scheduling the surgery. The doctors offered to let us stay in the room to watch if we wanted to, but I opted out. I mean, I think that watching a surgery would be interesting and kinda neat, but not when it's my baby. That's too personal. If anything had gone wrong, the odds of which being very very slim, but still, if anything had gone wrong, I would have been scared. So Mona and I went and hung out in the waiting room and talked about food, which made me really hungry.

The surgery took about 30 minutes, and everything went fine. Elsie was extubated very quickly after the surgery was over, and by the time I was allowed in to see her, she was back down to her pre-surgery oxygen settings, which is very good. She was starting to wake up from the anesthesia when we were allowed back in, and she wasn't happy. It was pretty sad. I've never seen her so agitated. At one point, one of her flailing hands caught the IV at the top of her head, and she almost pulled it out. Poor baby. While we were trying to calm Elsie down, I think it was just the stress of the afternoon combined with the radiant heat coming from the operating bed and the fact that I hadn't eaten anything all afternoon, but I started feeling a little light-headed and had to go sit down. So embarrassing. Another nurse brought me a cup of ice water and I soon felt better. The nurse-practitioner decided that Elsie would benefit from a mild sedative/pain reliever, which was administered through the IV. She calmed down almost immediately and fell into a deep sleep.

Such a deep sleep was she in that Elsie's respiratory rate slowed waaaaay down. Her oxygen saturation and her heart rate were fine, but she was taking 15, sometimes 13, breaths per minute. Typically, her respiratory rate is anywhere from 30 breaths per minute to 80 bpm. So the nurses and I watched her very carefully, and she made us a little nervous, but she was fine.

After an hour or so, Elsie started to come out of her deep sleep, and was unhappy again. After several minutes of trying unsuccessfully to calm her, the nurse decided that there's no medicine like snuggling with Mommy. We carefully lifted her out of the bed, and I held her close and rocked her. She clung with all of her might to my index finger and wouldn't let go. It breaks my heart to see my child in pain and distress, but I know that this was something that she unfortunately needed to go through so that we can bring her home. She slept in my arms for a while, and then the nurse gave her another dose of sedative right before I left to go home. This time, they only gave her half a dose, so as to keep her breathing regularly. She was calm and comfortable when I left, and the nurse assured me that Elsie would get one-on-one care throughout the night, even if the nurses had to hold Elsie all night long, they would take good care of her. I wish that I could have stayed with her longer. Poor baby.

getting ready for surgery

Dr on the left is the anesthesiologist. Look at Elsie looking
up at him, like "What are you going to do to me??"

This is right after they put the new IV in her head. You can see
her red and swollen arm that the RT is holding down.
Post-op picture, IV on her head, swollen right arm & hand

Swollen hand and arm looking much better, but it was still pretty puffy and
bruised on the posterior side of her hand
Thanks, Auntie Mona, for taking pictures for me, because I somehow forgot to bring my camera.

So, remember a week or two ago when I was really moody and told everyone to stop asking me when Elsie was going to come home?? Well, I take back my orders. You can go ahead and ask me, if you'd like to!


  1. Riley: Those pictures break my heart, but I'm excited that Elsie got the G- tube in so she will be able to go home. Elsie is such a blessing in my life and I can't wait to see her and hold her in my arms!

    1. She can't wait to meet you, Riley!! PS, I love the new sign you made, as soon as Elsie gets moved back to her normal room, I'll put it up with the others and take a picture. Thanks, cute girl!

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  3. Becca had a drafted head IV, too. Not super fashionable. ;) So glad to hear all went well. I want to make her some little tubie pads when I get home. Hugs!!

  4. Hooray! I can't wait to see your whole family together at HOME. :-)

  5. I think all things considered, having to sit down is understandable. I probably would have had a full on break down. I can't even handle watching babies get shots. You are one brave mom! With a very brave and adorable baby!

  6. I'm glad Ramona was able to be there with you! Give our sweet pea an extra snuggle from grandma! You are all SO loved!!!

  7. I can't stand it, I have to ask: When???

  8. Thank you for sharing your family's journey. I think the entire L&D staff at Mt. West has followed you and Elsie closely. Glad that it appears as though you are wrapping up this part of your journey and will have that beautiful little girl home soon. You have all fought so hard.

    I don't know why, but it speaks volumes to me that as your posts have progressed through Elsie's hospitalization, so has the medical terminology they contain. It really makes one reflect on the fact that when you have a sick (or extremely premature) child, your whole life (and vocabulary) change. I can't even put in words, but it brings tears to my eyes.