Monday, September 30, 2013

The One About the Surgery

Jay had his surgery on Friday.

Let me just tell you, I'm pooped. And let me tell you something else- this story is LONG. I want to have it all written somewhere so I never forget.

Thursday night my mom spent the night with us to be with Charley when she woke up Friday morning. We were to be at the surgery center at 6:30, which meant leaving here no later than 6. My mom spending the night means staying up way too late talking- for both Anthony and me. I think I finally called it a night at 12 and Anthony and my mom were up later than that. Dumb on our parts, I know...

Anyway, Friday morning around 445 I hear Jay's little footsteps hop off his bed and trek down the hall to Charley's room (he does this to see if anyone is in there). Then I heard him go back to his bed (and saw him on the monitor). About thirty minutes later, I heard him hop out of bed again. I went up to get him and met him back in his room. "Mom! There is someone in bed with Char! And I think it's Gubby!" You would have thought it was Christmas morning! Ha! Little did he know...

We got to the center, checked in, and Jay plopped down in the play area and made a bunch of friends. Meanwhile, Anthony and I were dealing with the totally unhelpful really great people behind the front desk. They were going to charge us about $1500 OVER than what we owed because we hadn't met his individual deductible but HAD met the family deductible and they didn't know how to figure that out, blah blah blah. So we were arguing our case (mind you I had called ALL WEEK LONG trying to get this sorted out ahead of time!). Anyway, because we wouldn't pay the astronomical price that we didn't owe, they pushed us back and back- and we FINALLY got called back at 7:45. Jay was SUCH a trooper and only asked for food/water/juice once. Sweet boy.

Just waiting... 

I think this is so funny and so typical of men. 
He had no clue this cute little girl was there. Ha!

Once we got back to the pre-op area, we met with nurses, anesthesiologists, our surgeon, and the nurse anesthetist. Jay didn't want to wear the gown (of course) so they said they'd slip it on him once he went under. The nurse anesthetist came by and was showing us his little gas mask and telling him he got to put it on and blow up a balloon (and let him choose the color) and that he'd have Spiderman powers. Little guy was NOT buying it.

The dreaded mask. I wanted you to try to see how TEENY it was. Ack!
And it STILL smells like bubblegum!

Anyway, they finally came to take him back (not much longer- it was very quick once we got back there). This was the point of awful. When the nurse asked him to come, he looked at me and started sobbing, "Mommy, pwease come with me. Pwease mommy!" I wanted to die right then and there. Then he begged for Daddy, and then they carried him away crying and screaming. One of the lowest points of my time as a mother for sure. I felt like I had betrayed him.

So I sat in the little pre-op area and cried. Anthony hugged me and prayed. And I cried more. Then we went out to wait. I cried more and Anthony finally figured out the insurance part. All while this was happening we got a call from our bank saying someone had fraudulently been using our card- so we are canceling things left and right and it was chaos!

Very quickly they called his name and said he was in recovery- Anthony was still in with the insurance guy and I flung the door open and said something overly dramatic like, "He's ready! You can sit and finish but I'm going back there now!" And left! Anthony did follow (sweet guy thought I was nuts I'm sure). I couldn't round the corner to get to him fast enough.

He was sitting up in this little crib with a nurse holding him up while he coughed- gown falling off and a warm blanket piled on him. He was crying and calling, "Mommy! Mommy! I want my mommy!" I cried again and the nurse said he had been asking for me nonstop. I held him and snuggled him as best I could in that terrible crib, and finally asked the nurse if I could take him out and hold him in the rocking chair. I held that boy so tightly and he just snuggled in. We tried to get him to drink so the coughing would stop from his throat being so dry. He refused several times but finally gave in.

I feel like a jerk for smiling. This was NOT how I looked 90% of the day. :(

They said he wouldn't be in any pain when he woke because of the anesthesia, but if that did happen we could give him something. They also said they'd send a prescription home with us, but we most likely wouldn't need to fill it. No restrictions- he should up and about that afternoon, and back to normal the next day. Bath the next day as well. Stitches were all internal with dermabond glue on the outside. Great prognosis, right?!

Well, as soon as he stopped crying and heaving, he said, "Mom, that man hurt my stomach! It really hurts! My tummy hurts. My belly button hurts, mom!" The nurse whipped her head around and asked if he really had just said all that. I nodded yes. She quickly ran and got another nurse and they gave him some meds. We waited until he settled down some and so we could see how he tolerated the meds and water- all of which was fine. Once he calmed down I thought I would talk to him about the surgery- just to talk him through it and calm any anxieties he was having. When I asked, "Hey buddy! Did you get to blow up that balloon?" He looked at me and started WAILING! Then through his sobs he said, "They made me lay down and put that mask on and blow up that balloon. And that made me SO angry!" and started wailing again.  I finally got smart and grabbed his pacifier from my purse- desperate times call for desperate (and special!!) measures. It calmed him immediately. Free pass on those for the weekend! Daddy pulled the car up and we kissed that place GOODBYE!

He cried as we situated him and got him into the car- then fell asleep for the last 10 minutes of the ride. When we got home he was awake. We took him up to his bed and watched TV. Once we got him comfortable (and the meds had kicked in), he was doing ok. Then he asked for some food. They said to give him little things like broth and crackers for the whole day. Yeah right. So he ended up eating two bags of pirate's booty, two bags of fruit snacks, and a granola bar. He wouldn't let me hold them because I think he was so hungry and afraid I would take them! He also was awake for about three hours. We just laid in bed. Luckily my mom had Charley and Anthony went and got her and was on duty with her. So thankful for both of them!

Holding onto his snacks for dear life. 

The rest of the day was spent pumping him full of meds and keeping him comfortable- the latter proved very hard to do. Finally around 4:30 he had to teetee- and he was so scared to do it! I had to carry him, set him on the potty, and he was crying the whole time because it hurt. Poor guy was in so much pain. We laid low and my parents came and brought us dinner and my sister and Jill came to say hi and brought cupcakes. Jay liked the spoiling, but was totally weak and exhausted.

As we were sitting there after dinner, Jay looked at Anthony and me and said, "Why did they have to give me a new belly button? I don't wike this one." I tried to explain that it was the same one and that the doctor just had to fix something little on the inside. Anthony piped in and said that even though it looked different than before, it looked just like his now. Jay replied (through tears), "But I don't want this one! I want my old one back! Why did he (his belly button) have to go hide inside his house?!" Sweet sweet boy... He knew he was perfect just the way he was. It was a lesson that we all should take- to be happy just the way God made us. Unfortunately for him, this was something that needed to be corrected. Poor baby- I felt so bad for him.

The "new look"
(Sorry, I know it's graphic)

Bed came and went that night- we put him in our bed with us and Ant was on Charley duty (in case she woke- which was likely because she had gotten a cold and was on day #2 of that).

Jay made it through the night fine and woke up feeling much better. We gave him meds, fed him breakfast, and spent all of Saturday just like we spent all of Friday- trying to keep him comfortable and pain free.

Charley woke up Saturday morning with a low fever- 100.6. Oh, and Anthony left for his sister's baby shower in Dallas. Originally, we thought Jay would be fine by Saturday- we definitely didn't expect him to be in such bad shape and of course no one planned for Charley's fever. Anthony wanted to stay so badly- but I told him go (what was I thinking!?) and promised that my mom and/or sister would help out. I could see how hard it was for Anthony to leave. :(

Sitting on the floor while feeding Jay on the couch. 
All lights were on, TV was on, Jay and I were talking... 
and this little sweet girl passed out because she was so sick. 

Jay was able to walk on his own a little on Saturday- but not much. It was still pretty much just on the couch or my bed- being super uncomfortable. He was very alert that day, and starting to get bored, so we took a trip to my parents to let him sit on the couch there (and let Charley get out and get rid of her cabin fever). My mom followed us home and stayed the night with us since Jay still needed 24/7 care. It was SO great! I'm sure I could have done it alone (both kids in our bed), but this was one of those times I decided to let someone help- which is very hard for me. I hate burdening people!

Sunday he woke up feeling so much better. He was walking alone pretty well (still semi-hunched over). He walked outside and got some fresh air. He sat on the floor for a few minutes and played, but still couldn't get himself on/off the couch and potty without assistance. He was taking his pain meds WAY less and was definitely starting to look close to normal. I am guessing this is how he was supposed to look the day before. I was supposed to be working in the nursery during church that morning and then teaching the 2's class during classtime- but I couldn't take a post-op kid and a feverish kid to church. So frantically got all the stuff together and my best friend (who is 35 weeks pregnant with her third kid) so kindly stepped in and helped out. I am so thankful for the people in my life!!

Sick little girl on the couch. 

So that brings us to today... What will today look like?! I am going to take Charley into the doctor to have her ears checked- she's on day 3 of fever and little sleep. I'm sure it's not her ears and just a cold, but I want to make sure. I will also have our pediatrician take a look at Jay and tell him about his recovery- just to make sure all is well with him. Plus, he's got a little redness above his belly button (not near the incision but near where they fixed his weak tissue), so I will have him look at that and see what he thinks. I'm sure I will come home with both kids being "fine," but at this point in my past four days and my exhaustion, I would rather someone else just tell me it's all good!

That's our story. I'm not gonna lie- it was WAY more than I thought it was going to be. All the doctors/nurses/friends that have already done this seemed to think it would be similar to getting tubes- in and out and over it. Not to mention all the internet research I did on this topic- everything was pointing to "easy!" surgery... which I would NOT classify this for Jay. I don't know if it was harder on him because it was a little more invasive (as the doctor pointed out afterwards due to the repair of the tissue and the size of the hernia). Yes, I am glad we did it. But geez... I'm pooped and Jay is drained- and seriously traumatized! I hope he will trust me with doctors again! :)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This is My "Routine"

Tomorrow morning around 7:30 am, my sweet Jay will be having surgery to repair his umbilical hernia.

It's a relatively quick and easy "routine" surgery. Which is fine, but this "routine" happens to be mine.

This "routine" is my firstborn. He is the most wonderful little boy that I have ever seen. His giggles make me happier than anything in the world. His sister adores him. His parents would do anything beyond imaginable for him. He is 1/3 of my whole entire world. So what I would like to say his doctors and nurses tomorrow is, "While he is a routine surgery for you, he is our everything."

Jay was born with this. When his cord fell off, I showed my oldest sister in excitement. When she exclaimed, "Um, that's not normal" after seeing his belly button, I had no idea. While this has never been bothersome to him, we have kept a close watch on it. Kids notice and point it out and say things like, "Woah! Look at his belly button!" Most adults don't have a clue and say things like, "Aww, look at his outy!" While none of this ever bothers me, we never wanted Jay to feel self-conscious about it. And he doesn't. He doesn't even realize it's different than anyone else's.

The Progression of the Hernia....

8 months old

10 Months Old

14 Months Old

2 Years Old

2.5 Years Old

3 Years Old

But after his three year appointment and the hope that "it will close on its own by the time he's three," we were referred to a pediatric internal surgeon that specializes in hernia repair. We met with him a month ago and he was wonderful. So sweet and said Jay reminded him so much of his own son when he was that young. He promised me he would treat him as if he really was his own son, then boasted that he's done over 33,000 of these. He told us that likely this would never heal on its own (though it's gotten tremendously smaller) because the tissue along his abs up until his lower chest is far too weak. In fact, it's so weak that he thought he might have a double hernia. So tomorrow, not only will they repair his hernia but also the weak tissue as well.

At the end of the appointment he let EACH kid pick a special prize from their treasure chest- which just so happened to be filled with animals. He won Jay over for sure! I happened to be flipping through a publication with the top doctors in Houston a few weeks ago, and saw his name as one of the few top pediatric surgeons in Houston. Good referral by my doctor for sure!

Anyway, we are totally prepared and optimistic and hopeful and all that good stuff for tomorrow. We know it's short and quick and should be easy. And that's SO easy to say and think until it's your baby. And then it's the most serious surgery in the world.

The nurse from the surgery center called me a few days ago and was explaining everything (get there at 6:30 am, no food or drink after midnight, bring his favorite blankie/stuffed animal, etc.). When she was explaining how they would take him back my voice got all wobbly and my eyes teared up. I definitely said, "Do most parents cry?" And she chuckled and answered yes. Then I asked what they would do if Jay was scared and crying. She gave me all the good reassuring words about how they work with kids all day everyday and how the nurses will love on him and distract him and treat him as their own. They were all good answers, but I was ridiculously emotional just being on the phone with her! Ha!

So, say a quick prayer for our little guy for Friday morning!

Goodbye hernia! It's kind of sad knowing you will be gone- you are a piece of Jay and one of the things that makes him so special and unique.

Monday, September 23, 2013

I'm a Wimp.

I'm such a wimp.

You know why? Because I miss my kids while they are at school. I hate that Jay spends half his week away from me. I hate that Charley spends two days there.

I hate that we can't just pick up on any day and have an adventure. I miss our summer. I knew at the beginning of the summer that I was going to love having them everyday. But I didn't realize just how much.

I miss going to the zoo on a random Tuesday or going to Austin mid-week. I miss play dates with friends all the time and hitting up our favorite play places. 

More than anything, I just miss my babies. I love their company. I love watching them learn and discover and play. I love teaching them things and taking long morning walks. I love watching their personalities unfold and their senses of humor develop.

I know school is SO good for them. And I truly love and trust their teachers to no end. They love their friends there and seeing how incredibly independent Jay has become is amazing. This is good for them. I know it is. 

But I still miss them terribly during the day.

I can't even imagine how I'm going to be when they leave for college. Yikes! 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Baby Steps

So Little Miss Firecracker has been having a tough time transitioning to school.

The first few days were great- it was short, I stayed for a while- she loved it. Then it hit her. Mommy leaves.

The last four school days she has cried the entire time. Yesterday it was just on and off for the whole time. Poor little girl.

So her SWEET teachers pulled me aside yesterday afternoon and we came up with a plan. I was going to stay a little longer with her in the morning and get her a little more acclimated to the room. I would play some and then head out right before they went to the playground. We did that today. If I got more than an inch away from her, she would start crying. Seriously- girl is street smart and picks up on everything. At one point, her teachers and I were talking in code about me slipping out and then watching through a one-way window to make sure she was doing ok. We never used the words "leave" "go" "come back"... NOTHING. And as we were talking she ran over to me, threw herself on my lap and cried, "No mommy weave. No mommy weave. Sit nest me." Poor girl. She can sense it!

Anyway, I eventually did just slip out (no, I didn't tell her bye- it seemed to cause too much anxiety and then I would leave her sobbing hysterically). Well, I ran a quick errand (like 15 minutes) and came back. I peeked in and the teachers gave me the thumbs up that she was doing ok. They said they'd call me if they needed me! Woohoo!

Now, she did cry a little a few times during the time I was gone, but not hysterically and not nonstop. So we will call it a small victory. Baby steps. I just have to realize she has been my little buddy for the past 19 months. She'll get there- she does great at the church nursery!

On to a Jay update... he's doing GREAT at school. Loves it and his teachers love him. Not in a million years did I think this is the way it would go. I thought for sure it would be the other way around!

Now, gymnastics is another story. Ha.

First of all, like I mentioned, it's pretty intense. It's very fast paced with tons of stuff going on all around. Not to mention all the kids in the class have been taking for years (years! He's only three!!) and know what to do. But this is a lot for him.

So the other day my mom met me up at the gym to watch him. The plan was for her to watch and then take him to her house for some alone time (Jay's request. He's Mr. Independent these days and wanted to go to Gubby's house alone!). Well, the first 10 minutes in the circle (where they stretch and do silly things like march and donkey kicks) he refused to do anything. Just sat on his legs and crossed his arms. I was horrified! The teachers all went over to help him and were so sweet- and he just wouldn't budge. He never acts like that!!! My mom urged me to go out there and tell him he had to participate. I was grateful for parenting advice and the fact that she could watch Charley while I went out there.

I motioned to his coaches to see if they wanted me to come help and they nodded yes. So out I went. He refused for me for a while. What I really wanted to do was shout, "We are leaving if you don't do this!" but that's exactly what he wanted to happen. So, I sucked it up and sat there right next to him making him do each move. Yes, I was so embarrassed that a jillion parents were watching my kid refuse to do something. Yes, I was embarrassed that I was sitting out there with him. But I had to swallow my pride and teach my son a lesson. A lesson that was, "If we start something, we give it our all and finish it."

He eventually loosened up quite a bit and I started by backing off the actual gym floor and standing to the side. Then I moved back to the seating area and watched. He's so cute- because he'll look over every three or four minutes and make sure I'm paying attention. And he gives me a thumbs up- and I give him one back. He's SUCH a dear!

I know this is way out of his comfort zone. And I get that it's probably too much, too fast for him. But for the time being, we are using this as a lesson. We will keep him enrolled there for a few months- long enough to know he's not getting out of it. If it's still too much for him after a few months, we will look elsewhere. But for the time being, we are taking baby steps.

Baby steps for both my babies. Funny.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I've Got Nothing

I've got nothing to write about other than ordinary days (which are wonderful). So because I'm so sleepy, I will leave you with pictures from the past week and a half...

I know, I'm so lame. Judge me.

My guys. They even sleep the same! 

Picnic on our bedroom floor! 
They ate pizza and watched cartoons while we watched football in the other room.
Go ahead and send our Parents of the Year award. 

This picture is amazing to me.
Tex is SUCH a good dog and part of the duck duck goose circle.
Jay is making the elephant toot. 

My monkeys going ape at the zoo. 

They really do have so much fun together.
Best buddies. 

First movie! 
Nice choice, mom...
4D (which scared them)

Reppin the Ags before the big game. 

They are my world!

I mean, are you kidding me?! 
I love them to pieces! 

I just thought this was cute. So many Aggie boys. 
All huddled up. 

How potty time goes in our house (this was first thing in the morning, hence the pappies)
Jay likes to make "tents" with his shirt for his penis and teetee
Charley sits on her potty (fully clothed) pretending to go. 
Just a typical day. 

My snuggly lion after bath. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Three with Mickey!

So this year we had several birthday parties for Jay. Though I'm pretty sure that's the case every year with both kids. Out of town family, in town family, friends, actual day-of birthday, etc...

Usually we just have one big party (with friends/family that is in town) where I actually put a big effort into decorations and the like.

This year, I promised Anthony I wouldn't have any major birthday parties ($$) because we went to Disneyland for his actual birthday! Honestly, I'm so glad I did it that way! It saved me so much stress and craziness with our already crazy month of August. And I'm pretty sure Jay doesn't notice that stuff anyway. Have a candle and some presents and we're all good!

We started with having a party in Dallas with Anthony's side of the family. His grandmother/aunts were in town from Iowa, so we had a joint one for Grandma and Jay (both August birthdays). Grandma bought lots of decorations and got a cake, and of course there were gifts aplenty!

Napping with his new stuff. 

Then, we had the "actual" party at Disneyland (I won't post them all, again... just a few!).

Once we got home we had a Houston family party with the cousins/my parents. That one's so easy- pizza, cupcakes (store bought, baby!), and swimming! Always a great time!

Cousin Jill is always close by to help!

Big elephant from Grandeb!


My girl!
Naked, eating chocolate on a roller coaster. 
Love her. 

And finally,  we had a little party with a FEW of his closest friends. It's the friends I can call anytime to play or just hang out. The kids Jay has a BLAST with every single time. It's his little group. And I think it helps that I'm great friends with all the mommas! Ha! But really, these are the girls that I knew I could send an email to inviting them for a lowkey birthday party playdate. I knew they wouldn't judge for no invitations, or for homemade cupcakes, or pizza, or no decorations. I knew they would all just come over and celebrate Jay and we would all have fun. And we did!

The extent of my decorations!

My birthday guy! 

Yup, we played in the garage. Classy, huh?!

Love all these kids! 
And yes, they just ate on the ground/hard concrete. 

Love this! Sweet sweet friends to him! 

Such typical second kids... ha! 

Hello blue eyes! 

And we played inside! 

Jay-bird... You are a very loved little boy. I hope you always remember that. There are a lot of people who will always be there for you. I love you to the moon and back!