On the 1st of the month, Jack had surgery to pull his undescended testicles (TMI? sorry) into their proper place. He was pretty nervous about it, and he asked a ton of questions, of course. Stupid me didn't read the hospitals surgery welcome packet until the night before surgery, so I didn't find out until about 2300 the night before that the girls weren't going to be allowed even into the waiting area with us at the children's hospital (CHKD). Craptastic! So I emailed a few of my girlfriends and begged them to watch the girls first thing in the morning, and Stephanie came to my rescue. Phew! We parents both really wanted to be in the hospital with Jack, so it woul have been major suckage to not have been able to go together. In the end, we delivered the girls to Deep Creek, Chesapeake, and continued on our merry way to CHKD for Surgery Day.
Jack was pretty panicky about his poor nuts, up until we walked into the waiting area. When we walked in, there were toys galore, a painting station, a train table, and this, the game station. He played Nintendo for a while, really having no idea what he was doing at first, but before long, he was driving Mario expertly around the track. I have a feeling if we had a Nintendo, or more similar games for the Wii, he'd be a hardcore gamer by now. But we don't, and that's on purpose, so good.
The boys played on the train table for most of the time. I wish I had a better picture of Jack in his hospital jammies. He was absolutely freaking adorable. Just so cute! ♥
He was pretty cuddly the entire day, especially when nurses brought us back to take his vitals and ask him questions. Then he burrowed into my shoulder and refused to talk. I have said it before, but this is the little guy who hibernated during gestation in his little nest up in my ribs, like a bunny rabbit, and he frequently reminds me of this time now that he's here. He is the cuddliest of our children, especially when something is wrong. I love it. Just love it.
I didn't cry until they suddenly, after waiting for four hours, called him back for surgery. There was no warning, just, "Ready, Jack?" And that was it. They wanted him right away, and we couldn't even walk to the back with him. He clung to me, and I think I pretty much clung back. But I didn't cry even watching him walk, so tiny, through those doors. Not until we walked past another mother, sobbing into her husband's arms, into the parent's waiting area. Then I lost it. Seeing other people cry always makes me cry. You, too?
Then it hit me. We sat down across from each other, Rob and I, and I imagined what they were doing right now. Holy crap. It might have been a minor surgery, but it was still surgery. An OPERATION. On MY SON, for Pete's sake. Inwardly, I was freaking out. Outwardly, I was calmly blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, because for all I knew, everyone else in the room might have been going through a serious crisis, and of course our little boy's case was nothing like that, thank God. Thank God. Been there, done that.
We went downstairs to the café to get something to eat, and in our nervousness, we bought out half of the offerings. I got an egg and cheese sandwich, AND a drink, AND two cookies, AND a bag of chips, and do you know that I ate every last bit of it? Not all at once, of course, but eventually. I have no business eating that kind of crap. But, I did, so oh well.
Finally, Dr. H. came out to report on his surgery. It went very well, better than expected. They were going to have to go through the groin, especially for the right one, but the "boys" both ended up being lower than they were during the ultrasounds, and they were able to go through the scrotum for both sides. Yay! This, of course, was much less invasive than we'd planned for, so he would be in far less pain for a much shorter amount of time. Thank heaven for small miracles.
After an eternity and a half, we were finally allowed to go into the recovery unit to see our wee boy. Oh, my. He was not a happy child, not at all. He was shout-crying, in his loud litlte way, with his eyelids half-lowered and his mouth all bloody. Apparently something got cut during intubation (or extubation, I forget), but he's okay. He just looked a mess. He was in a TON of pain, though, poor thing. He wanted me to hold him, so I did, but we could not get him comfortable. Every time I tried to rearrange him, he just hollered out in agony. It broke my heart. They pushed more meds into his IV, three different times, after conferring with the anesthesiologist. Every time they came near him with a needle, he freaked out even more. Poor kid was so out of it, hurting, confused, and tired, that it took two hours for him to calm down.
Finally, though, he did, and was able to sit up to watch TV and take a little apple juice. He kept saying, then and for days afterward, "My nuts hurt, Mommy." I felt so bad for him. Soon, it was time for him to be released, and we had to get him out of the hospital jammies and back into his own. While doing this, he looked down and saw blood all over the area, including his thighs. (Why wouldn't they have cleaned this up?!) It looked much more gruesome than it actually was, and he freaked out a little about it. "Why did they do that to me?!" he demanded. I had to calm him all over again. There was lots of hair stroking, lots of shh-shh-shhing, and lots of soothing talk, softly into his ear. It made me hurt for him, but it's the kind of mothering I really like to do. Comforting. I like it.
He wanted to be carried down to the car, instead of pushed into the wheelchair, so I did. Good thing it was Jack and not Sophia, or I'd never have managed the entire trip! I put him down when we got to the car, and he was actually able to walk, slowly and gingerly, from the hospital door to the car. I think he even climbed into his carseat on his own, but maybe not. I can't quite remember. I buckled him a little too loosely for my comfort, for the sake of his own. And off we went, with me cringing every time Penelope the van bumped a little too hard.
We stopped to pick up the girls and then headed home. The girls went upstairs for naps, and we lay Jack on the couch to recuperate. Rob gave him some Tylenol with codeine for his pain, which the hospital had given us. Rob fell asleep, and after holding Jack a while, I set him up to watch Home Alone 2. He was laughing his head off, so I decided he was well enough for me to leave him for a few minutes. I hadn't eaten since breakfast, and I was starving, so I went into the kitchen to eat. I stayed for about 20 minutes, eating and then checking my emails on my iPhone. When I returned to Jack, he was still laughing and acting normal, but his face was bright reddish-purple!
I knew something was wrong, so I quickly tried to wake up Rob to let him know. He mumbled something about that being normal after surgery, but I didn't remember the nurse telling us that at discharge. I looked carefully over all the paperwork, but I didn't find anything about that, so I dialed CHKD. They asked me a lot of questions, and finally asked if his nostrils were flaring. They were! She stopped me and said, "Okay, bring him right back here, to the Emergency Room." Eek!
I woke Rob again to tell him we were headed to the ER, and he sleepily told me he'd stay home with the girls. Jakc and I raced to CHKD and got him checked in. We waited in triage for quite a long time, long enough for his color to go back to almost normal, before I remembered about the flaring nostrils. I went up and told them, and suddenly we were whisked into the back.
He was pretty cheerful, but maybe because the doc set him up with Shrek, and gave him some Lortab after 2 hours of monitoring him for further reactions from the codeine. When he had none, they gave the new med and then monitored for another 2 hours. If I'd known we were going to sit in the ER for four hours, I'd have brought some knitting or something!
He was pretty cold in the ER, so I bundled him up tightly. Everyone came to see him, because he was so little and cute. He wanted ice cream badly, and asked me about it every five minutes. I promised him we would go have ice cream as soon as we got outta there. He deserved it!
After his second release from the hospital that day, we were walking past the café to get to the parking garage. I asked him if he wanted a packaged ice cream from there, or if he wanted to go to Friendly's for a sundae, and he chose to go to the café. He picked a ginormous chocolate ice cream sandwich, and to my surprise, he ate every last bite! (I ate a Chipwich and yakked it all up when I came home, FYI.)
He's on he mend now, and he hasn't complained about any pain for the last two or three days. He doesn't want me to look at his booboos, but I've snuck a peek here and there, and things look good. Oops, I stil have to make his follow-up appointment with Dr. H. Remind me on Monday!!