Sunday, December 4, 2011

Day 3 Coming Home

On Friday November 25 we had been in the hospital just 48 hrs and the nurses came in to tell us we could go home! What?!? We were told we would be there 3-5 days! We couldn't believe we were already going home. Eli woke up happy and ready to play. His eyes were puffy but not swollen shut. He was doing great! The nurses told us that the neurosurgeon's nurse practitioner would be down to change his bandage and give us some instructions for at home.

Reading some books while waiting to be discharged.

When the nurse practitioner came in to change his bandage we asked her about us going home early. She said that usually with most kids by this time in the process his eyes would've swollen shut. The fact that they hadn't and that he hadn't been on much pain medication except Tylenol were both good signs for his recovery and that there was no need for him to stay. Instead of putting another turban on when she changed his bandage, she just put a piece of gauze over the incision and then a net stocking over that to keep it in place. The nurses told us when our one week post-op check up would be and then said we could go.

Teagan showing Eli his new car. They were just hanging out until we got our stuff packed up.

Since we've been home Eli has done awesome! The first morning his left eye was pretty swollen, so much so that he got a black eye, but since then the swelling has continued to go down! Until a few days ago he did seem to freak out if he was left all alone in a room and he's still not comfortable rolling, but he is loving playing in his exersaucer and his bouncy seat. He has even started sitting without any support.

Align Left

One week post-op. (age: 6 1/2 months)

We have our one week post-op appointment tomorrow morning. We're looking forward to hearing what the doctors have to say. We'd like to thank you again for all of your prayers and support! They definitely did not go unnoticed!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Day 2 in Hospital/Thanksgiving

Eli woke up on Day 2 in the PICU a little swollen but not bad. The doctors had told us that each day would progressively get worse so to be prepared. Dr. Iskandar came to check on him and he said that he would get a new turban because his was getting a little snug. He also said that he could move to general care. After that he proceeded to have more wires unhooked and by 11:00 am we were moving rooms.
Our families started showing up and we discovered that someone had provided a Thanksgiving dinner for anyone on the 4th floor (the floor we were on). It was a full spread, including dessert. It was nice to all be able to sit down and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal together. While we were eating lunch we had left Eli in his room to take a nap. I checked on him a couple of times right after I had laid him down and he was asleep each time I checked. I went and told the nurse that we would be in the lounge if she needed us and explained that Eli was sleeping (later she told me she had checked on him not long after that and he was sleeping). My brother even went in the room to get something a little later than that and he was sleeping. As soon as I finished eating I went to check on him again and when I walked in he was still asleep but his turban was on off and so was the gauze that was protecting his incision! So I went and got the nurse to ask her if she knew what had happened and she didn't. She went with me to check on him and after seeing him she said she would call someone to come and redo his turban.

Waiting to get a new turban.

It was the first time we got a really good look at his head. And just as the plastic surgeon it was pretty lumpy bumpy! When the doctor came to redo his turban Ryan was just joking around and said something about giving him a chin strap so he couldn't get it off. The doctor took him seriously and gave him one!

With his new turban...chin strap and all!

As the day went on his swelling did get worse but he didn't seem to be in much pain. The nurses continued to give him Tylenol but he hadn't had Oxycodone since 4:30 am. The whole day he was such a good baby. He would play in his bed for awhile and then he would want to be held and play with Ryan or I. He loved having all the family around and getting to interact with everyone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Eli's Surgery

So my intention was to update Eli's progress while we were still in the hospital. The two days we were there were very busy and we actually came home a couple of days earlier than expected. A week later we would still like to tell you how everything went and how he's progressing now.

This first day is written by Ryan.

On Tuesday November 22 we started our journey by heading to the UW Children’s hospital to have Eli’s type and cross lab which is where there check his blood type and put an ankle band on him. This assigns the blood to him in case a transfusion is needed.
We then went and checked into the Ronald McDonald house to stay the night before surgery and since only one parent can stay at the hospital I would be spending the nights there.

Operation Day
We arrived at the hospital at 7:15 in preparation for the 8:30 surgery. We were checked in to the pre-OP room and then got to talk with several nurses, anthesialogists, and our two surgeons. Questions were answered and the days schedule was given. We were blessed with two wonderful surgeons, Dr. Iskandar – Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Dr. Mount – Pediatric Plastic Surgeon. We asked about the length of surgery and Dr. Iskandar said they would be done by lunch otherwise they would get hungry and need to take a break. Both Drs. did a great job of making us comfortable with the procedure. The whole time this was going on we had a very happy baby.

Around 8:50 it was time for him to be taken back to the operating room and ReneƩ got suited up to carry him back. She got to hold him as he drifted off to sleep. We were then off to the waiting room where we had a great support group of family and friends.
We were told that it could take an hour or so to get set up and they would let us know when the surgery started via our pager. After an hour and a half we decided to ask for status and found out our pager wasn’t working and that they started the operation at 10:20 and everything was going great.
We continued to hang out in the waiting room and found that technology made the wait easier. There were smartphones and Ipads in use. It helped to see all the prayers and well wishes.

Then at 11:45 a nurse came out and told us that everything was going great and they had started to close.
Next thing we knew the surgeons walked out around 12:30 to see us and tell us everything was done and went very well. They explained what they ended up having to do. Dr. Iskandar also stated that they took a vote in the OR and they decided to make him look more like Mom than Dad. A surgeon and a comedian. All joking aside, both of the Doctors were great, very personable and down to earth. We were told that he was in recovery and that we would be able to go see him shortly.
Around 1:00 Renee and I got to go back to the recovery room and see our Little Elijah. He was still asleep when we got there and had a little turban on. The surgeons even put a tigger sticker on it. He started to respond to our voices by cracking his eyes and squeezing our fingers. We then got to talk with the recovery nurses and the head anthesalogist who both said that he was doing very well and did perfect during the surgery. He then had to have some blood drawn to check his levels. After he started to come out of the anthesia, he was moved to the pediatric ICU.

Once we got up to the PICU we were met by several nurses and doctors who went over things with us. The attending had some concerns of him being anemic and pale. He talked to us about him possibly needing a blood transfusion, and that we would find out when the blood test results came back to see if his hemoglobin level has went up. After the results came back it was determined that he needed a transfusion. It was pretty amazing to see how much his color changed and he started to perk up during and after the transfusion which took 4 hours.

By night time of the first day he had really perked up and was playing with toys and we even got a smile out of him. It was amazing to see the changes he went through in the course of a day. He was one tough little guy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Eli's Head

When Eli was born there were a few things said multiple times in the operating room. One was that he had a lot of hair. I remember the anesthesiologist saying that they should get a barber in the nursery. Another thing they kept commenting on was how big he was (8 lbs 15 oz), especially for being a week early. They also kept saying he had a big head! Which is partly why the nurse had to lay/push on my stomach for quite awhile along with using the vacuum to get him out (and I thought having c-sections were easier than labor...ha!). When we finally got to hold and love on him we did notice how big he was but we also noticed that his head was a little misshapen. We didn't think much about it at the time because he was a c-section baby that was stuck pretty high up and didn't have a chance to have his head molded in the womb or on the way out.
Fast forward a month...his head was still a little oddly shaped so at his 1 month well check we asked out pediatrician (Dr. O) about it. They measured his head like normal. It was still on the big side but they weren't to concerned about it. Dr. O also thought the shape was due to the c-section and that it would shape out on it's own. He continued to keep an eye on it, even having us come in at 3 months to check the growth. It was still in the 95% but on the curve. Through all this Eli's head continued to grow out in length but not in width creating his head to look like an oval from the top. At 4 months we were prepared to go into the doctors office and ask for a referral for a second opinion. Thankfully we didn't have to ask, Dr. O brought it up first and said he wanted us to get an opinion from a place that treats different forms of Plagiocephaly (abnormal head shape) with DocBand Helmets. We went to Cranial Technologies, Inc in Chicago for a consultation. They took measurements and pictures of his head (that look like baby mugshots) and then after a clinician looked at them she came in to talk to us. She looked at Eli and felt his head. She said that he had symptoms of Scaphocephaly but was concerned about some ridging along his saggital suture. The saggital suture is the suture that goes down the middle of your head. She wanted Dr. O to run some tests to see what was going on inside Eli's head.
A CT Scan was ordered and an appointment with a Neurosurgeon was made. We went for the CT Scan and he did great! They did have to put him under anesthesia, but he came right out of it and didn't have any problems. A couple of days later we met with a Neurosurgeon that showed us the scan and then told us his diagnosis was Saggital Craniosynostosis (Craniosynostosis is a condition present at birth in which one or more of the joints between the bones of your child's skull (sutures) close prematurely, before your child's brain is fully formed.) The treatment for this would be a cranial reshaping procedure (surgery to fix it)! Although we were initially taken back by the diagnosis, in the back of out minds we kind of knew this was coming.

October 11, 2011 Before CT Scan (age: 5 months)

After CT Scan (happy as can be)

We decided to get a second opinion, not because the diagnosis would change but we wanted to make sure whoever did the surgery would be very experienced. So our pediatrician got us in at the Children's Hospital in Madison, WI. We met with a Neurosurgeon/Plastic Surgeon team. They agreed with the diagnosis and told us how they would proceed. We decided to go with this team for a lot of reasons, but mainly because they do this surgery 15-20 times a year, they are pediatric doctors, and they have been working together for 12 years.

November 16, 2011 1 week pre-op (Age: 6 1/2 months)

So this Wednesday (Nov. 23) Eli will be having surgery. It will be a 2-3 hour surgery and he will be in the hospital for 3-5 days. I will be trying to update on this blog throughout our stay at the hospital and the recovery after.
God has continually shown his hand in all this and we have complete faith that He will continue to through the surgery and recovery process. Please lift up the following in your prayers this week: surgeons, surgery team, nurses, Eli, Teagan, Ryan and myself. Pray that we can be a light to the hospital staff and other patients this week also!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

At 6 Months You...

* recognize your name when said
* recognize the sign for milk and get excited when I use it to ask if you want some
* can sit up in a folded position
* are definatly a mama's boy right now
* try to get your toys that are out of reach

Monday, October 17, 2011

At 5 Months you...

* recognize when your name is being said
* crack up at your brother all the time
* reach for objects and hold on to them
* talks with inflection
* have been to both the apple orchard and pumpkin patch
* love going on walks

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Flat Teagan

So we do little learning activities every once in awhile and we talked about our bodies and different feelings that we have. Teagan really got into it, he now says "I'm sad Mommy" when something isn't going his way or he'll ask if I'm happy or sad. We talked about how everyone is the same and different at the same time, for example everyone has hair but it's not the same color. So to learn more about how T is made I had him lay down on a big piece of paper and I traced him. We then taped it to our basement door and I had him add his eyes, nose, mouth, hair, and color in his clothes.

When I went to hang up his guy he said to me "There's Flat Teagan". Now most of you might know the book Flat Stanley well I've never read that to him before but our church this summer did a little competition that involved our Senior and Teaching Ministers. We were given Flat David's or Flat Erik's to take places with us throughout the summer and take pictures of them doing certain things. We had a Flat Erik (who Teagan still plays with) that we took pictures of, so when I hung up T's body he naturally thought it was his Flat Self!

Here's a better picture of his drawing. I think he did pretty good at placing everything for being two. Since T already knows his ABC's I started to teach him how to spell a few words like his name, MOM and DAD. I traced out the letters with our magnet letters and then we put the paper on a cookie sheet and he matches the magnet letters to the ones on the paper.

He gets so excited to tell or show Ryan the little activities we do during the day!

At 4 Months you...

15 lbs 15 1/2 oz 25 3/4 ins.

  • roll from your tummy to your back

  • talk all the time

  • lifting your head up while on your tummy for longer periods of time

  • ate cereal for the first time

He looks like he likes it but it has taken him a few days to really get into it.

Friday, August 5, 2011

At 3 Months you...

*are a smiling fool

*have started sucking your thumb when you go to sleep or get really upset (mommy is trying to figure out a way to stop that :))

*are focusing more on things going on around you

*took your first trip to the lake

*are sleeping 10-11 hrs at night

Thursday, July 14, 2011

2 years and 2 months, 2 months and 2 weeks

At 2 years you...

*recognize all your letters

*can count to 15 and use one to one corspondance

*sing along with the radio

*pretend play with your cars and trucks

*went and saw your first movie "Cars 2"

*speak in short sentences as well as in the third person ("TT play outside") :)

*love to be my helper

13 lbs 8 oz 23 3/4 in long

At 2 months you...

*smile all the time

*like to play pat-a-cake

*talk to us with "coo's"

*sleep on average 9 hrs at night

*scoot backwards by pushing off with your feet

Eli got to take his first bath finally on his 2 month birthday! He loved it!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Elijah Thomas

Meet Elijah Thomas born on May 2, 2011. He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 1/2 in. long. It is now 1 month later and he is already growing fast!

At 1 Month you...

*like laying on your tummy

*music calms you down

*like to watch the ceiling fans

*have started to hold your head up a few seconds at a time

*sleep 4-5 hrs at a time during the night

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Boy or Girl?

In less than 4 weeks we get to meet our Sweet Baby Triplett! We've had A LOT of projects going on around the house in preperation for the Wee One. We are finishing our basement and hopefully we'll be moving Teagan into his big boy room very soon! Here's one of the simplier projects I've been working on...burp clothes!
Will Baby T be a boy...

or a girl?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines Day!

I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day! Here are a few pictures from ours...

These are the Valentines for Teagan and his friends. They have a little pocket in them to put a little note and treat. I plan to use Teagan's as he grows up to put little notes of encouragement or a treat of some kind. I'll leave it on his bed or in his pack back as he gets older as a little surprise.

Our Valentines dessert...Red Velvet cupcakes with Heart sprinkles. Teagan picked the sprinkles out...he's really into hearts right now. I guess it's good timing.

All Gone!

He found his M&M's. His favorite candy right now!

My Valentines present from Ryan! More crafting fun!!