Friday, June 24, 2011

McKinley Beth: Day 4

Guest Documentarian: A red-eyed daddy.
Reason for Guest Documentarian: Neither one of us had the nervous system left to type but only one of us did not have major surgery this week.

Oh what a day. I am sorry if the preceding picture is hard for you to look at. But think about it this way. It was even harder for us to take it. This has been a great but a very stressful and heart-breaking day.

The surgery went so smoothly. Less than one hour after the surgery started, McKinley Beth was in recovery, intestines inside her tummy for the first time in her life. They removed the cyst filled with the gel-like substance. Then they carefully put the intestines back inside the small hole. They closed the hole and wound it in such a way that it really does look like a belly button. Dr. Letton is incredible. If you ever find yourself giving consent to Dr. Letton to perform surgery on your child, be very thankful. He is fantastic. And he even made numerous visits to our Fighter's bedside to be sure everything was okay. He even prescribed her some more pain medication. His team made us feel so confident in the surgery.

Look at that sweet little belly button below.

But then came the recovery. Our Fighter was pretty much out for about six hours after the surgery, sleeping off the anesthesia. She was obviously in a great deal of discomfort. We had a few go-rounds with a nurse who just seemed to be having a bad day but it was bad timing for her. And our Fighter's breathing became very irregular. Even out cold, you could see a drastic difference between our usual calm princess and this poor, hurting princess. She was sleeping with her mouth open, a first on this side of the womb, at least. She was not holding stiff and even out cold would react when her abdomen would be touched.

And then she came to at about 8PM. Holy cow. She was in such pain. She writhed. She couldn't even scrape together enough air to scream. When she finally did give voice to her pain, it was just soul-crushing. I told Danielle that I just didn't like it and I was done. My emotion and helplessness as a daddy was just awful. I couldn't help my Fighter in the womb and I couldn't help her now that she was right there. She got rigid and her entire body got red. Our wonderful overnight nurse went to get pain meds and called for stronger pain management help. Danielle was a wreck but was holding sweet McKinley's hand and keeping her other hand on her head. It was a good thing too because McKinley was pushing herself up off of her pad and onto the warming pad. She was hurting so badly. Her tummy was swelling. If you have had surgery, you know that the first day after is very painful because the body swells and that swelling causes discomfort. We just kept telling her we were there. She located us with her eyes and just looked at us. I had to leave the room but Danielle stayed there with her. I came back in with the nurse and Danielle and I left. It was horrible.

About an hour later the nurse called to say that my three day old daughter was on a morphine drip and it was managing her pain. The nurse speculated that her little bladder was full but she wouldn't urinate for fear of the pain it might cause. So the nurse drained the bladder for her and that was exactly the case. A full bladder lessened the tightness of the tummy and McKinley seems to be resting much better now.

It was just a terrible few hours of helplessness and sleeplessness crashing into each other in a horrible way.

But the most important thing is our baby girl has had successful surgery. We are all exhausted and tomorrow Danielle gets released from the hospital. We will stick around as long as we can so Danielle can pump. Her milk is really coming in. We have been able to bank a considerable amount to fatten up our Fighter as soon as she can drink. We are hoping that happens sometime between now and Sunday.

We have a little ways to go yet with our Squeaky Fighter. If you pray, pray for her pain to be considerably less. She is so beautiful. I promise you there is not a prettier baby girl. Every one has been smitten by her. Now we want to lose the collection of tubes and censors covering her (one PICC line in each arm, an IV in one foot, heart monitor on another, oxygen on the nose, tummy tube in the mouth, censors on her chest, sore tummy...poor baby) so her family can hold her. Her momma is ready to cuddle in good with her and there is a line forming behind her with people just beside themselves. Her two aunts may arm wrestle each other to see who gets to her first. And Honey and Poppa are just about to pop, they love that baby girl so much.

If you are a parent of multiple children, isn't it incredible how you can love your kids so differently and yet so similarly? I love my Squeaky Fighter.


Missy said...

This makes my heart hurt, but I know that God is there in every moment. We will keep praying for the Squeaky Fighter!

Scott, Stacy, Maddie, Elle and Lola said...

Oh wow this really made me cry for you guys and sweet McKinley. This day will hopefully be her worst. I hate that you had a not so good nurse. I think it could have been so much better with someone you felt more comfortable with. But now this day is over and I am so thankful that her pain is under control. She is doing so well and so are you guys. I cannot wait to be there next week to see her! Her little belly looks perfect, he did a great job! Love you guys!!!!

Kristine Blocker said...

I read your post with tears coming down my cheeks. As I pray for your little fighter I've thought of my own fighter and how strong she was after her 2nd :) accident. I know Taryn's will to fight comes from the Lord just as McKinley's does. If McKinley could talk I have no doubt she would be trying to comfort you and telling you she can do this just keep holding my hand. So grateful for the nurse who listened to your pleas. Can't wait for you to be able to bring her to Hot Springs and show her off!

Charla said...

Thank you, Lord for a successful surgery! I am praying for that sweet girl to get some rest and to be comfortable. Love you guys!

Pat Ervin said...

Your post brings back memories of a time when we too had a sweet daughter under the surgeon's hand. My heart aches for you and Doug adn I continue to pray for you and for McKinley.

mgoff said...

Thanks for the update Craig, I know you both have to be exhausted. You and danielle are being so strong! Mckinley is so lucky to have you guys as parents! hopefully the worst is behind you!