10/14/08

Surgery #1


It was an early morning for all of us, since Mike had to work until nearly midnight last night, and we had to be up at 4:30 am to get ready for the hospital. Flynn at least had a good night's sleep, and woke up grinning and giggly and full of warm little baby grasps, which just broke my heart. She was happy in the car all the way to the hospital, thinking we were going on some adventure in the dark of the night, I'm guessing. But you can see by her suspicious face in the prep room that she was beginning to suspect something nefarious afoot.

The dreaded hand-off, performed with admirable swiftness by the nurse who took her into surgery.

Waving goodbye...to a screaming Flynn, who was now certain she was not going to like what was happening.

I got to walk a few blocks to fetch breakfast for all of us, and shake a bit of the stress out of my spine. It was a gorgeous morning - just stunning, crisp and cold and full of golden sunrays, with the Colorado sky as blue as heaven.


The grounds of the hospital are really quite beautiful, and it's a lovely area to walk.

A vintage gas station across the street.

Red berries ready for winter.



Mike and NaiNai Susan in the waiting room. Once she went into surgery, I have to say, I felt much calmer and more sane than I had for the previous few days. I felt good about it. It seemed like my fever of worry had broken.

But I must have had a lot of pent-up stress chemicals in my blood, because the minute they called us into the recovery room, and I saw her all groggy and helpless and hooked up to machines, I burst into tears and just could not stop crying. Fortunately, Mike waited until after I calmed down to take these pictures.

Unlike me, QiuQiu was a champ, and started drinking apple juice about 15 minutes after moving into the recovery room...long before we transferred to her pediatrics ward. The surgeon told us that her cleft palate was exceptionally wide, and was a bear to close, but that she came through the surgery in ideal form (all three hours of it!) We were amazed by how well both her lip (even as wide as it was) and her nose came together with this first surgery. I hadn't expected as much symmetry as we got. I hadn't expected that tiny, dimpled little nose!

Here she is fighting her arm snuggies for the first time. Oh, the horror!

I think her lip looks really beautiful (although yes, I still do desperately miss her wide, wide grin). And remember this is just the "adhesion". This is a very rough closure which will allow the lip to readjust to its new shape. There is no cosmetic surgery done yet. In the end, this scar will be cut away completely and re-shaped for the cosmetic sutures, six months or so from now.

Resting with daddy. That black thread is a stitch through her tongue, in case she were to try to "swallow" it so that it stopped her airway. This stitch was removed before we moved to the overnight room. The blue tube is oxygen which blows in her face. When she falls asleep her breathing becomes very shallow and she doesn't oxygenate very well.

Water for us, juice and a feeding syringe for Flynn. She loves her feeding syringes, oddly enough.

Daddy trying to catch a few winks in recovery.

Comforting.

In the overnight room, looking a little more alert. She goes in and out of alertness, but mostly she is very, very stoned.

This is one of her more alert moments.

With NaiNai, calling relatives.

With Grandpa, stretching her legs.

The city at sunset.

We will be in the hospital overnight, and I expect it will be a rough one for all involved. The surgeon will check in with us again in the morning, and they expect to release her then. She has been doing very, very well. All her vitals are strong and she has been drinking juice, formula and melted popsicles like a champ. So much, in fact, that the nurses had to cut her off around 5pm! At least she's enthusiastic!

45 comments:

Elaine said...

Your girl is a real trooper. I've been thinking of you all today, glad to hear it went well.
--QiQi's Mama

Stefanie said...

Oh my, how can it be? She is even more beautiful than before!! So glad to hear she did well, she is an amazing child :)

Chrissie Larkin said...

I HAVE BEEN THINKING OF YOU ALL THE WHOLE DAY! HOPE YOU GOT MY TEXT AND VM'! LOVE AND HUGS!

Naenay1012 said...

sI am so glad it went well for you all. She looks really good.

Vivian M said...

I was amazed at the results...Flynn looks amazing! Just curious, why is her foot wrapped up? It almost looks like a cast.
Hang in there, tomorrow might be a little tougher when the woozy meds wear off.
Boy does that hospital room bring back memories.
Huge hugs to you all!!!

Mamacita said...

Wow. I'm so glad everything went well and she looks so calm and revived in the pictures. I can't explain why, but seeing it all just made me feel weepy. I hope you all sleep very soundly tonight.

3D said...

Thanks for the update! I am so happy that QQ is doing well and is a real champ! Hugs to you all!

Keep smilin!

Rhonda said...

I'm so glad to see that everything went so well! Big hugs to all of you.

Heather said...

Yippee! I was so emotional when reading this post and seeing the pictures of you all and Flynn. I could almost feel the stress and relief. Flynn looks beautiful, even all puffy and stoned! You will be amazed at how quickly she recovers! Children are so resilient and strong.

I don't want to answer for you, but, Vivian, I'm guessing her foot is wrapped up because they put the IV in her foot. They probably had to wrap it to both keep her foot straight AND keep wandering, little hands from pulling it out.

Tami said...

So glad everything is going so well. you have been in my thoughts and prayers!

A Beautiful Mess said...

Thank you for posting. I am happy that today is over for you and Flynn!
You made it:)

Sending lots of good thoughts for fast healing and comfort for your baby girl

mama d said...

She looks so beautiful and loved. Thank you for posting.

ThatGirl said...

so proud of you, mom!

insanemommy said...

Maia, it is hard to believe that Flynn could get any more beautiful. Yet, she does. Even in her groogy state she looks so happy! I hope tonight is not to wicked for you and that your little pumpkin heals quickly.

sarahthefantastic said...

Well done, everyone! She is still the amazing girl we all admire and love! Popsicles on the first day!! WOW! You are so lucky she will take things to hydrate. (We had a big battle over that with YaYa.) Hope you all get lots of rest and are all feeling better soon. She looks as beautiful as can be. I am so glad today is over.

tiffany said...

She looks so great for a girl who has had a rough one. She is such a tough and special cookie. A night in the hospital is never full of any rest so I hope you have some lazy days at home ahead.

Virginia and Doug said...

Oh my goodness! What a trooper! And the so called "rough" results look amazing. I don't think her little face has lost any of its character at all. She's just that much more stunning! Crossing my fingers for a smooth recovery.

Gin =)

p.s. Thanks for the sweet comment you left on our blog.

Duchess of Lanier said...

Oh, wonderful report! Crying with you as I read along... but all is well. Love the photos with Mike and so happy that grandparents are there with you. Hope she rests well tonight. And you all are bound to crash tomorrow once you are back home.
Hugs and hugs,
Trena

Anonymous said...

Glad to see that Flynn came through the surgery well! I have been thinking of her and you. Here is to a quick recovery!

Jannine

Blessed Single Mom said...

She looks great. I am so glad everything went well. Kids bounce back so quick. I hope you get home soon.

M@rgriet said...

Glad to see you had the chance to give us some news and SO relieved yesterday is over and all went well. Flynn looks great, even just out of surgery!!! Hope she'll have a speedy recovery (and now I'm gonna wipe away these tears and get some work done) XXX M

Meghan said...

So happy to hear that everything went well.

Janelle said...

sweet, sweet baby. crying tears with you as you love her back to wellness again. take care.

Janelle

mom to many said...

Glad things went well, thanks for the inside look at her surgery. Our daughter's is in 2 weeks and I am terrified.

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

oh... you have been in my thoughts... she will still smile with her eyes, as well, as another gorgeous smile... and yep, it was gorgeous before...

MotherMotherOcean said...

I am glad you all pulled through this okay. She looks great and so do you all. Wow...

Barbara said...

Whew, good job everyone! I would have been bawling my eyes out, just like you!! I'm keeping you all in my thoughts.
Barbara

Vivian M said...

Thanks Heather...Kerri's IV was on her arm and they used a board, it never crossed my mind they would put an IV in a child's leg.
I hope Flynn is feeling better today!

Snowflowers Mum said...

good news Maia, so glad she came through the surgery well.

I cannot wait until you are home and she is feeling better!

Hugs from all of us.

Yoli said...

I am so glad this first surgery is behind you and that it has gone so well. I told you but you knew already that she is an amazing little girl. By what can be gauged in the pictures, it looks like a wonderful job. Mike looks exhausted poor thing. I hope he got some rest.

Maia, wishing QQ a smooth recovery.

Cindy said...

Wow! She is bouncing back so quickly and beautifully! Thanks for the update and enjoy your next few weeks of quiet, cuddly recovery with your precious daughter.

Juliette said...

You were all in our thoughts and it's good to read everything went well.
Hoping the night wasn't too bad and that Miss QiuQiu can come home and rest with Mommy.
Your girl is such a sport, a fighter, a sweetheart...We have a lot to learn from her.

J said...

I'm so glad to read that it went well. I hope the recovery goes just as well! I'll be coming by with a nice big pot of soup & some homemade bread for you guys once you're back home.

My Heart Beats In China said...

Oh, what relief! She's amazing, drinking and being the good pedi patient. An absolute stunning beauty you are Flynn. Keep drinking and taking popsicles and you'll be home soon.

Big hugs and kisses.

Ivy and Kira

kerri said...

Been thinking of you all, so glad things went well.
Just seeing the post made me emotional, so proud of you Mom, your QQ is one strong, resiliant little soul..

Michele said...

She is one spectacular little girl to come through it so well.

Carrie said...

lots of hugs and love from our house to yours!

Amanda said...

I have been thinking of you all non-stop..and am so thankful that you posted the update and photos.

Miss QQ? Wow...she is such a little warrior! Strong, and a gorgeous girl.

Melissa said...

I am so glad everything went well. She looks as cute as ever.

mam said...

She's just the most adorable thing. I'm glad things went as well as possible!

Maia said...

Hope you guys are still doing great today! Thinking of you all!

Laurie said...

Thinking of you...

Even with the tubes and being "stoned," Flynn is still a stunningly beautiful baby.

Hang in there...

tracy said...

amen amen! i'm so glad everything is going well - her first surgery is over and you can now relax and enjoy the holidays and look forward to more of flynn the amazing!

Tish said...

i've been thinking of you and wishing for great success! isn't it the worst ache in your heart to see your child after surgery? looking forward to more updates!

kris said...

i know i've been scarce but you have each been so close in my thoughts- reading this brought me to tears as so often your posts do- each of you are so brave- flynn especially... she is such a trooper- and i was surprised and not surprised that she still looks just like flynn!! she was perfectly beautiful before and perfectly beautiful now... but we knew that all along i guess :) love you guys.