We made it to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, part of OHSU, in Portland, OR at 7:15 and headed right in to the surgery check in desk. Timothy, as well as Mama and Papa, got hospital bracelets. Timothy was not a fan of his bracelet, but eventually got use to it. We were instructed to head up to floor 8 and check in at the surgery waiting area under the big maple leaf.
After checking in at the surgery waiting area, we got busy.....waiting. It was now 7:35. There were 3 other couples already waiting there, each with a child, and 2 other couples showed up right after us. I didn't realize it would already be so busy that early in the morning. Timothy sat quietly for a bit, then wound up getting down and playing. He entertained himself quite well, and I was really surprised he didn't seem grumpy at all at this point. I expected him to be wanting to eat and drink, but I think he was too caught up in this new adventure, he didn't care about being hungry or thirsty yet.
We were given a little booklet to fill out about Timothy and his likes to help the staff get to know him better and do things that would help keep him calm and give him comfort. For instance, they asked if we brought anything special that might help calm Timothy. We brought one of his blankets, so I made sure to make note of it. I thought the booklet was pretty cool and a great idea. The booklet also contained a chart and your specific case number. Your case number would be put up on the board in the waiting room, and the color it was would indicate where your child was in the surgery process. It was pretty awesome.
We got called back at 8:35 to a holding room and a nurse took Timothy's vital signs and instructed us to wipe him down with these special wipes and then change him into his surgery pajamas. They were huge on him, but he looked so adorable! The anesthesiologist came by and talked to us about the anesthesia process. Afterwards a different nurse came in and was about to start giving him his pain meds to wind him down and start getting him sleepy, when she was stopped and we were told an emergency just came in and our surgeon was the only one not in surgery yet, so he was called away to it. Apparently a child swallowed a coin and it was lodged in his throat. And just like that our on time surgery for 9 am got pushed back an hour.
Timothy was a trooper. You could tell he was getting tired of sitting around and he was starting to get grumpy. Definitely no fun when you're hungry and thirsty. We completely understood that shit happens and emergencies come up, but it didn't make knowing we now had to wait another hour any easier.
At 9:25, after waiting 50 minutes so far in the holding room and just when we thought we couldn't wait any longer, a nurse came in and began the medication process. Timothy was given some Tylenol and a drug pretty much equivalent to a Valium. It only took about 5 minutes and our sick of waiting little baby turned into a laughing and loopy funny boy.
It was the funniest thing! He kept smiling and giggling and petting Papa's beard and petting the wall, haha. A few times he tried to get down and walk, but there was no way he could. He was such a little ham and made waiting the last 30 minutes for them to finish setting up his surgery room not so bad.
At 9:55 we did the pass off. The nurse wheeled the crib down while Papa carried Timothy. Once we got to the "kissing corner" we each gave Timothy a kiss and passed him to the nurse. He didn't put up much of a fuss other than arching his back. And there were no tears from him....this definitely helped me. If he had cried, I probably would have cried too. I already felt like puking, so it was nice to not have any tears in the process. I snapped one photo, then quickly turned around and we walked back out to the waiting room.
Back out in the waiting room, Sam headed out in search of some much needed food and coffee for us while I sat down and sent out my online updates to people. It was so nice to drink a coffee and eat a muffin and salad. It was the first thing we'd had all morning and definitely took my upset belly and faintness away. I needed that.
Every so often we would look at the surgery update screen to see what color our case number was. It went from green (active surgery) to yellow (finishing up) and then at 10:45 the surgeon appeared and told us everything went well and Timothy would be in recovery soon. I was surprised and thankful the surgery didn't take very long at all. After speaking with the surgeon, we watched as the case number color changed to purple (in the process of being moved) and then finally blue (in recovery area).
At 11:20 we were called back to the recovery area to see Timothy. He looked so precious laying there sleeping in that baby crib cage! Next to us, separated by only a curtain, there was a child screaming his lungs out and I was so thankful that wasn't Timothy and hoped he would wake up much more calm than that! We talked with the attending nurse for a good while and she explained all his after care to us all the while Timothy just snoozed away. He only opened his eyes once when we lifted him to move some wires and tubes.
At about 11:40, we were moved back to a private recovery room where we would finish out our wait for Timothy to wake up. I didn't think it would take Timothy very long to wake up, but boy was I proved wrong! So we patiently waited and rubbed his back and talked to him. We ate some snacks and talked to the nurses and got things prepped to go home. When Timothy finally started to stir, the nurse gave us a water cup and when he decided he wanted to sit up, he wasted no time chugging that water down. Thirsty boy! Once the nurse and the surgeon came and took his stats and checked him over one last time, we were given the ok to get him dressed and then we finished up some paper work.
We were finally able to leave the hospital a little after 1:00. Ohhhh we were so ready to get out of there! We grabbed our little man and his blankie and we booked it.
His after care and recovery is simple. We are to give him Tylenol every 4 hours for two days and then as needed after that. If we need to, for breakthrough pain, we can give him Ibuprofen in between the Tylenol times. He drank a whole cup of water and started munching on crackers right out of the hospital and last night was already back to eating anything he wanted. He slept great last night too, going down at 8 and not waking up till 5 when we gave him another does of Tylenol and then went back to bed until 8.
He can go about as he pleases, but we need to be careful when lifting him and of course just watch his activity. His dressing will come off on it's own in 7-10 days. We can sponge bathe him or hose him off and pat dry, but we can't let him sit submerged in a tub.
I am so glad to finally have this surgery behind us. We had been dealing with this since the week of Thanksgiving and his hernia just kept getting bigger and bigger. This past week it really started messing with his bowel movements, so I'm very glad surgery is now done and he is on the mend. We are to go back to Doernbecher's in about 4 weeks for a follow up.
I want to thank everyone who reached out to us to lend their thoughts, prayers, and support. It truly means the world to us and it was reassuring to know we had tons of people thinking of little Timothy and us all day!