Monday, January 30, 2012

"Surgery Morning," or, "How I Learned to Stop Panicking and Love the Donut"

Here is what your Dad and I got at the hospital cafeteria this morning after we saw you off for surgery:

  • Juice
  • More different juice
  • Two fairly enormous coffees (mine is mostly ice, don't worry)
  • We each got sausage and mediocre but delicious corned beef hash
  • Your Dad got eggs
  • I got a pile of home fries, which are the kind that are basically individually fried potato product nuggets
  • Two donuts: I think one is molasses, and the other is coconut
  • We both grabbed a handful of ketchup packets
What the hell else can you do when you know that at this very moment, your baby is in the process of being cut open, dissembled, and reassembled to be stronger and more efficient than he started out? Food has always been a major comfort factor for me (hence bringing most of the snack aisle of the grocery store to the hospital when we were getting you out, and eating Thai take-out piled into my hospital room with your grandparents the night after you were born, and enjoying the hell out of stir-fry and college-style fried tofu made by your Papa and Aunt Erin last night despite being so tired I almost fell asleep on my plate), so of course your Dad and I bought half the cafeteria before bunkering down by the windows to wait out your surgery. We only didn't get bacon because we know we'll have some at home in a few hours, assuming all goes well.

You've had three nurses so far, and while all of them have been wonderful, two have been truly exceptional. Darcy, who was with you during the day Saturday and Sunday, was clearly extremely good at her job, but wasn't especially warm and fuzzy. I can understand why she works where she does: she clearly REALLY knows what she is doing, and the unit you're spending time in requires a lot of extremely specialized knowledge, but babies are clearly part of her job, not the reason for loving her job. Cathy, who was with you Friday and will be pretty much directly on top of you today after surgery, is just awesome. She is caring for the whole family, not just you: she insisted on getting an insulated mug brought into your room so that I can stay hydrated, has been extremely communicative, and is clearly wonderful with babies. Dee, who has been with you during the nights, really has a "everyone's grandma" vibe, and kind of vaguely smells like chocolate. I find her to be amazingly comforting and warm. The first night she was with you, she made sure you had Alfred (the crochet bear your Aunt Katie made for you), Yelling Bird (the stuffed robin the hospital gave you), and the elephant blanket your Nana and Papa gave you all in your little incubator thingy. Angie, your nurse from the NICU came down to check on you the night before last, and she and Dee set you up in the little snuggle sacks you had grown to love. I can't say enough good things about a nurse who happily and enthusiastically goes out of her way, up to and including experimenting with new things, to make sure her patients are happy and comfy.

Dee truly wins the Number One Awesome Award, however, because when we got to this hospital this morning, she had a wheelchair in the room. My first thought was "oh, nice, shove the extra junk into the room with the smallest patient and least equipment," but no. Dee had ordered it brought down so that I could hold you and be wheeled up to the OR with you. Granted, the anesthesiologist who came to escort you up needed to take you on your bed, so I had to put you back down, but I GOT TO HOLD YOU! For, like...minutes! I desperately hope that you are as snuggly and excited about being held post-surgery as you were today, because the second I had you in my arms, you calmed down, passed out, and turned into a happy little pile of goo. I don't think I've seen you quite so contentedly asleep so far. You startle really easily, and need a lot of contact to be completely calm (which has so far been mimicked by strategically placed blankets), but when I had you bundled up...oh man.

Of course your Dad got a bajillion pictures. We joked the whole time we were with you this morning about his fatherhood-induced AV superpowers. You actually had your eyes open when we got to your room (a beautiful phenomenon that I've still only really seen three times, including this one), so he was taking photos like it was his job...which to some degree, it is. Damn, you're a cute little dude. Nurses who have basically nothing to do with you keep ducking in to the room to tell us how adorable you are, which is not only just awesome to hear, but is especially funny considering my paranoid worry a few weeks ago that you might be funny-looking. It's going to be really rough seeing you all puffy and...well, damaged...for the next few days, but everyone assures us that babies your age bounce back from surgery and heal REALLY fast. Growing is basically your job at this point, and if they're not only giving you IV nutrition but also little bits of colostrum as you can stomach it, I'm optimistic that you'll be back to your adorable self quickly. 

It's a tiny bit after 9:00, so we're relocating from the cafeteria up to the windowless, crappy waiting room in the SCU (Special Care Unit, which we have to pass through to get to the PICU, and which is sadly where families generally wait not for optimistic, progressive news but instead for darker updates on loved ones). I'm so excited and scared to see you. I know you'll look like hell for a few days, especially at first, and it's going to be absolutely terrifying, but we'll be over the first hump. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to hear that you finally got to hold Hudson! That nurse is amazing for setting that up for you.