Saturday, September 19, 2009

Gearing Up For Surgery

It's hard to describe the feeling I have right now. We will be going to the hospital sometime tomorrow for check in before Elle's surgery. I have been blowing and going today trying to get all the laundry done, cleaning the house and doing all those things that I really hate to do but know they are necessary before leaving. As usual, the week flew by and once again, I am stunned that it is Saturday night. While the week has been filled with apprehension, fear and lots of prayer, it has been a wonderful week.
First let me say that I am a sucker for a good commercial. If the commercial is good enough, I will most likely go out and buy the product. I think the Dyson Ball commercial makes vacuuming look like fun - so for the past few weeks I have been (slightly) obsessing about the Dyson Animal Ball. I emailed Lee on Tuesday and asked him to see what consumer reports had to say about it and of course - they had glowing remarks. This only heightened my obsession. I began the furious search of price comparison to see where I could pick up one of these awesome machines. After doing some research, it turned out Bed Bath and Beyond had it for the best price if you used a 20% off coupon. I told Lee that is what I was going to spend my ones money on and some of my garage sale money. Even with the coupon - those things are expensive! Reason number 1 million and 10 why I love my husband - he brought the vacuum home and told me he would split the cost with me! He just so happened to have a BBB coupon in his truck and knew how much I wanted this silly vacuum. Let me just say that the commercial does not lie! Vacuuming is so much fun! I have vacuumed every night this week - even breaking it out last night at 1:00am to vacuum the kitchen floor while Lee and Elle slept. The dogs weren't too pleased, but I sure was! So that was the high light of my week...other than spending every minute I possibly could with our little princess!

Tuesday morning, I thought I was so clever with Elle's hearing aid croakies. Turns out, she is much smarter than I am - and not only did she figure out how to take the hearing aids out - but she also figured out how to take the hearing aid out of the protective sleeve. She was caught red handed several times with the sleeve in one hand, one of her hearing aids in the other hand - and both of them in her mouth! At physical therapy on Tuesday, Elle's wonderful therapist, Michelle, was very pleased with Elle's ability to hold her head up while in the seated position. We just have to keep working with her on head control and strengthening her muscles. Elle's weaker side is her right side. Michelle told me that babies with bad reflux generally will turn their head to the left when there is any form of pressure on their stomachs because it closes off their esophagus so they are less likely to spit up. Trying to get Elle to look to the right when she is on her stomach or being held is extremely difficult so I totally believe that her tendency to turn her head to the left is a natural reflex against reflux. We just have to keep working on strengthening her right side though. Unfortunately, there will be no tummy time for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Elle will be getting therapy when we are in the hospital and then we will be re-evaluated for outpatient therapy once we are released. I know there will be some regression due to the surgery, but I am so excited to see how Elle reacts to all these different stimulations after surgery. Lee and I both think she is going to be a completely different baby. She is already a go go getter with a bad heart - I'm sure she is going to be even more feisty and going after things when her heart is fixed!

Wednesday I dressed Elle up in her "Future Houston Cougar" outfit. Lee graduated from the University of Houston and we will be in the hospital when the Cougs take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders - so I wanted to show her UH spirit a little early!

Thursday I spent all day at work tying up loose ends and getting ready to be gone from the office for a while. When I got home Thursday night, Elle and I spent some quality time playing together before bed time. I cut all my hair off in preparation of our hospital stay. I figured short hair is a lot easier to take care of than long hair and if this stay is like our last stay - there are going to be days when I wake up and end up staying in my pajamas all day long because of all the doctors coming into our room (which means no time to wash and style my hair)!

Animal Print Friday was relatively uneventful. We went to Occupational Therapy for the last time until after surgery. Of all the Fridays, I didn't get any pictures of Elle in her animal print outfit. She was wearing a white Polo dress with horses all over it. I never get tired of playing dress up with this little girl!! Friday night I went to a Pampered Chef party at my neighbors house and it was a much needed night out. I love my neighbors and it was so good to catch up with everyone. When I got home and went to check on Elle and Lee, I found them playing on the floor in her room. The first thing that struck me was how blue she is. Babies with her form of Congenital Heart Disease are called blue babies because they don't get enough oxygen rich blood to their bodies. All the doctors told us that we would know when it is time for the major repair when she turns blue. Sure enough, last night was the first time I looked at her and it was very apparent how blue she is. I am so thankful surgery is just a day away.
Today we have been gearing up for surgery. At one point today I took Elle into her nursery, sat in the rocking chair and just rocked with her. Of course, tears were flowing but there were smiles through the tears as my sweet little angel was smiling up at me. One of our heart baby friends had his second surgery this past Thursday. His surgery went perfectly, but while his parents were waiting to see him after surgery, they witnessed another family grieving the loss of their child. No parent should ever have to grieve the loss of their innocent child - but it happens everyday. Hearing that story made me hold on to Elle a little tighter today. She is such a precious blessing and we are so incredibly lucky to have her in our lives.

Outfit # 1 of the day (she had a few today!)

Even though the Rebels weren't televised today, Elle was still in her Red and Blue to support them as they beat SE Louisiana!
We got the phone call this evening from the surgery nurse. We are to wait at home tomorrow until she calls us and lets us know there is a bed available for all the pre op testing. As of right now, surgery is still on for Monday. Pray for Elle's continued health, pray for her surgeon and his team, pray for our strength and peace and pray for our precious baby - for a wonderful surgery and recovery and please pray for all the babies and their families that are at Texas Children's.


Becky Mc said...

I am praying for you guys. I know that it will all go well and Elle will come home with a big smile on her face.

Jennifer said...

Love the new hair cut!
Will see you this week.