Emerson’s Surgery

We made it! It’s all done, and praise the Lord! If you missed the why of Emerson’s surgery this morning, read this post from yesterday, I explained the whole thing. We arrived at the 3rd floor surgery center at TMH, right at 7:25 a.m.. We checked in at the front window, and then they sent us to a smaller room for “registration” and checking all our information and insurance stuff. While we did all the paperwork, Emerson watched “Coco” on Daddy’s phone.

Grandmommie presented her with one of her special “Burden Bears,” specifically for the surgery today. This is kind of my Grandmother’s ministry, and she does this for so many people, whenever they are going through a tough time or a medical situation. She crochets tiny blankets for the little bears, and gives a card with a sweet “burden bear prayer.” And Emerson absolutely loves the tiny bear! Grandmommie even found a special that says a sweet little rhyming prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep…”

We h ad to put on this funny little robe and giant socks, and everything was just so huge on our teeny tiny girl. But she didn’t let that slow her down one bit! She was just marching all over our tiny waiting room, but kept slipping up a little bit. She also got to watch a little bit of TV in the room, but was a little more excited once she saw puppies on Paw Patrol.

While in our little room, Dr. Whitaker came by to visit and discuss and make sure we had no questions. The anesthesiologists also came by and checked her out. We made sure everyone was aware of her VSD, because we didn’t want any bad reactions or side effects or something, I don’t know, just something bad, if they weren’t aware. They all knew of course, and had spoken with her cardiologist ahead of time as well.

The nurse and anesthesiology team came back to get her, and we got to walk her as far as the Operating Room entrance. They then took her from us, and she didn’t even fuss or cry a tiny bit! They walked away, and she didn’t even turn around and look back at us! She was perfect and didn’t cry, but I can’t say the same for myself. (Or my Mama or Grandmother.)

My Papa then took Jeff and I to get breakfast in the hospital cafeteria, and my breakfast below was a whopping $3.49, and super filling. It only took us about 20-25 minutes to walk there, eat, and walk back. But by the time we walked back into the OR waiting room, the surgery was done! Dr. Whitaker had just come out to talk to us, but missed us. He gave the report to my mom, grandmother and Jeff’s dad Dave instead, and they filled us in. Thankfully, the breakfast adventure was the perfect distraction during the surgery, because it completely kept me occupied and didn’t give me time to just sit there, stewing, getting myself all worked up and anxious. So big thanks to my dad for taking us on a breakfast journey.

After just a few minutes in recovery with the nurses, they allowed just one of us to go back there with her. When I walked in, she looked absolutely tiny laying there on a giant, adult-sized bed. Her nurse was there taking care of her, but when she heard my voice, she turned my way and just gave me the sweetest little look. I got to sit down and hold her and cuddle her and give her a thousand kisses on the top of her head, thanking the Lord over & over & over again for keeping my baby safe during surgery.

After another 20-ish minutes, they took us back to the little room we started in, and the rest of the family was allowed to come back and visit. We had to stay in there for an hour in recovery (since she was intubated and put on an IV, they wanted to watch her a little longer), so we all took turns holding her and trying to keep her calm and happy. She did really well, and was fine for the most part. They brought her apple juice and a cherry Popsicle (her first!), and she loved both.

We also got to watch a little bit more “Paw Patrol,” and Emerson was on high alert watching for puppies on the TV. She did great, and was mainly tired, but just a little fussy and fidgety. She only cried right at the very end when the nurse came back to take the IV out of her foot. Once we got the OK, we started feeding her blueberry Puffs, because girlfriend was hungry!

The doctor did internal dissolvable stitches, and a couple of layers of dermabond glue on the outside. So luckily, there’s nothing there for her to mess with or accidentally pull open. Some of the coloring below is from the marker pre-surgery, but most of it is bruising from surgery.

She was exhausted from the medicine still, and fell asleep pretty quickly on the car ride home.

Once we got home though, I made her small PB&J (the first time she’s had one!), and she ate a whole cup of mandarin oranges. Then she chugged down a 6-oz bottle of boiling hot milk, and took a two-hour nap! Mommy settled in on the recliner, & Daddy laid down on the couch, and after an episode of Parks & Rec, we both took a nap too. (And yes, we still have the Moana birthday poster on the wall from her first birthday party, haha.)

Grammy & Pepaw came over in the afternoon, and they stayed and played for a few hours. Aunt Meggie & Uncle Bo came by around 5, and stayed for almost an hour, before heading to a church group dinner. Baby girl was busy busy & going just as fast as usual! If you didn’t know she had surgery this morning, you might not have even known! Our discharge instructions said “resume normal activity; resume normal diet,” and man, she got right back to it!

We went for a quick dinner at Captain D’s with my parents, and Emmie really enjoyed the hush puppies. She is also obsessed with dipping sauces, and she wants to do it herself. So she will dip a fry in the tartar sauce, and dip practically her entire hand in with it. But then she just sucks/licks the sauce of the fry, and does it all again with the same one. Either way, she ate well, but was definitely tired and ready to get home. Once we gave her a quick “hobo bath” with baby wipes (can’t get her neck wet until tomorrow night), she wanted to play for just a few minutes while her bottle heated up.

You can see in the photos below that the bruising has gotten a little darker and a little larger throughout the day. We’ve been alternating Tylenol and Motrin today, and we made sure to give her one more dose of each before bedtime. Hopefully she’ll sleep well, and not be bothered by her neck.

Tonight while I was rocking her to sleep, I said a special version of our night-time prayers, thanking the Lord over and over again for keeping my baby girl safe during surgery. It was just a tiny little thing, but anytime your tiny one-year-old is put under for a surgical procedure, it’s a big deal! So we definitely have a lot to be thankful for tonight. My girl is tough and brave and such an amazing little girl. She did beautifully today, and I think recovery the rest of the weekend will go great!

Thank you friends, family, and readers for all of your calls, texts, messages, emails, & comments the last few days to all of us in our family. We all appreciate it so. very. much. It means the world to us to know we have so many people who love our little family, but most specifically our tiny, precious girl!

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