Saturday, September 6, 2008

So...what have you done this week?

I took a lot of pictures last week for Maddie's surgery. I thought I'd make a couple of posts about the different things that happened.

If you read my sister's post, there is no need for me to go over everything. So I'll just re-cap a lot of the details on Maddie's surgery.

Oddly for Maddie, she had a very difficult time sleeping the night before the surgery. She probably felt the apprehension that we were all emitting.

I had set my alarm for 4:30am so that I could be ready to go to the hospital with Mark, Kristen, and Maddie at 5am. After finally going to bed at midnight I think I woke up every hour. Finally at 4:15 I just decided to get up and get ready. As I walked into the bathroom my mother popped out of no where to announce that Kristen had been up most of the night with Maddie. Apparently Maddie wanted to eat but obviously, due to the surgery, she couldn't.

There was nothing that I could do about that so (according to my mother) I shut the bathroom door in her face. About 20 minutes later I was ready to head to the hospital. I walked into my bedroom to find Kristen in my bed with Maddie. "Kristen - what are you doing?!? We're leaving in 20 minutes!" "umm, no...we're leaving in 1 hour and 20 minutes." "what??.....oh my gosh, I never changed my phone to central standard time." I had actually set my alarm for 3:30am CST. So the good thing was that I was able to take care of Maddie while Kristen showered and got things ready for the surgery. The bad thing was that I had no idea what kind of night was ahead of me in just 18 was going to be a very long day and upcoming night (the honest to goodness worst night of my life).

Here is a picture of Maddie on the way to the hospital at 5am (central standard time, for those of you who haven't gotten off eastern time yet). At this point she has no idea what she is in for. Later, Kristen and I decided that Maddie would never wake up in the middle of the night again. The one night she has problems sleeping we take her to the hospital, cut her chest open, stop her heart, and then stitch her back together. That'll teach her! I think we just cured any sleeping problem Maddie would ever have.

As most of you know, my sister blogged the whole day so we could all keep up with the status of the surgery. There were at least 10 people from her congregation (Hillsboro church of Christ) in the waiting room at any given time. That doesn't include all of Mark's family and our family. We took up 1/4 of the waiting room.

I love Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. This was our second stay there and I can honestly say that if my children ever need service from a children's hospital, they will be medivac-ed to Vanderbilt. The staff is loving, caring, and completely understanding of when we had questions...lots of questions...along the lines of: how many of these procedures have you done? how do you know how much pain she is in? on a scale of one to ten, what is she now and when will she be a one? what is that tube? what does that monitor regulate? etc....

Anyway, there was a flat screen tv in the waiting room that let you know the status of your child. We didn't actually need this screen since the attending nurse in the surgery was calling us every 1.5 hours to let us know what was going on SPECIFICALLY during the surgery. It was weird to receive the call telling us that they had just stopped her heart and she was on bypass. As in - a machine was keeping Maddie alive. They had stopped her God-made machine and we were depending on the man-made machine. It made us a little nervous, to say the least.

Obviously the surgery was a success! But what about Ruthie?! What was she doing the whole time? Did she have any sympathy pains? Did she miss her sister? NO. She couldn't care less that Maddie wasn't around. She was loving all of the one-on-one attention she was getting. She was made to be an only child and she will be very surprised when Maddie returns this weekend. (what? where did that chick come from? I thought they had gotten rid of her for good!)

Here is Ruthie after finishing her lunch. Mom never noticed that Ruthie was in a high chair that was completely uneven. But, then again, neither did Ruthie.

Auntie Katie and Ruthie. She was very cuddly that morning. That afternoon she puked on me. I guess that's how love is.

Ok, I attached this picture out of order and I'm too tired to move everything around. Here is Mark's mother (the girls call her Bobbi) talking so sweetly to Maddie. The thing I love about this picture is Maddie's face. She is plotting. Plotting her revenge on all of us involved in the surgery. Her eyes rested on each of us as we stood around her and I know she was memorizing our faces so she could remember who we were and what she was going to do to us when the time was right. I will never turn my back on this child for the rest of my life because I know she saw my face.

One of the best things about this week (other than the successful surgery) was that my friend from college, Ashley, came up to Nashville to visit. I got to meet her son Noah (who looks exactly like his father). Ashley is the kind of person that oozes goodness and sweetness (but is still funny and down to earth). If you're lucky enough to be around her, try to get some of that ooze on you because it will make you want to be good and sweet just like her. That's why I'm standing so close to her in this picture - I need as much of that as I can get since I was not naturally born with it like she was.

I can't say this enough - thank you all for your prayers for Maddie's surgery. We've said this before but I will repeat it until the day I die - we are thankful for the doctor's, their equipment, and for Vanderbilt - but it was God who we trusted the whole time.


Anonymous said...

Great to see Ashley and you together; just like old times.


Rachel said...

Glad to hear everything went well.
The good thing about Maddie having surgery when she is this young is she won't remember it! Beth (Jeremy's sister) LOVES Vanderbilt as well. Her son is having surgery there on the 11th.

Glad you got to see Ashley!

Cary/Ashley said...

It was soo good to see you too!
Thank you for your kind words...YOU truly are a blessing to me.:)
Is DJ, our Dr.Jewell?
Glad you made it back home safely...I know Brian and the kids missed you!