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A Festivus for the rest of us

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The above photo was taken on December 9, 2005. It's of our 5-month old son's itty bitty piddies. This holiday season, we're festive from head to toe!

Yesterday, our 22-month old son had minor oral surgery. Of course, you try to tell any 22-month old and their parents that the surgery they just had on their mouth is 'minor'... The old adage is true though. Kids really do bounce back at an amazing pace and he's already running around and causing mischief again, hardly missing a beat.

Monday was by far the most difficult day I've ever experienced as a mother. When we arrived they let me go back with him while they prepped him for surgery. He was understandably nervous and hyper until they gave him a sedative just before taking him back to the operating room. After that they walked him down the hall to the toy bin and let him pick out a new stuffed animal. It was full of choices like dolphins, killer whales, sea horses and the like — but of course my boy dug around and selected the only shark they had. Already realizing the "50% naughty, 50% nice" jammies I had dressed him in were true to form, the nurse joked back, "Why am I not surprised? That right there says so much." By the time he got back to his room he was already becoming increasingly groggy and wanted to climb up in the rocking chair and be held. I cuddled him and quietly sang his favorite song over and over as he held my hand and stroked my cheek. Unfortunately one of the most zen moments I've ever had in my entire life had to come when he was drugged right before his surgery. Ha!

Soon they came to escort him back to the OR and rather than use the tiniest gurney I've ever seen to take him there, they let me dress up in a robe, cap and mask and carry him back. I was able to stay with him until the last possible second so the last thing he'd remember was me being with him. He was then placed on the tiniest operating table I'd ever seen, as his eyes got big as saucers from all the bright lights and people running around. I think the hardest part for both him and me was the anesthesia. He was terrified when they started to strap him down and place the mask over his face. I'd been warned in advance though that the more he fought, the better it would be for him since that would cause him to breathe more deeply, inhale more of the gas, and go out more quickly. A nurse took my hand while I held his — and somehow I managed to keep my tears back until they told me to kiss him goodbye and she walked me from the room — still holding my hand until I joined Todd and our youngest son. I'd never seen a child look so innocent and defenseless as he did when I left, and it really shook me. But Todd immediately placed the baby in my arms when I got in the waiting area and we started pacing for what seemed like an eternity, but was actually only a few minutes. When the doctor came out to tell us all was fine and he was waking up, we were all quickly ushered back to his room. I'm so glad they let daddy back for this part!

They braced us during our walk back that infants and toddlers don't wake up very well from anesthesia. They are terrified from the out of control feeling and waking up in a strange place with strange people. A nurse was trying to rock him but he was having no part of it. He saw me and lunged into my arms and I switched places with the nurse. He quieted down a bit until it was time for a vitals check and injections into his IV. Then he was just plain mad. I've never seen the child so relieved when we were finally given the all-clear and allowed to take him home. There was no doubt as to his response when we asked, "Do you want to go bye-bye?"

He napped most of the day yesterday and even mustered up the energy to play a bit here and there, and munch on popsicles. His balloons from Grandma were a huge hit and he took great pleasure in dive-bombing them. Today other than a bit of fussiness and fighting off taking his pain medication, you'd hardly know anything had happened.

Ob la di, ob la da.

My heart truly goes out to parents of children facing major surgery. I simply cannot fathom the strength required to get through something of that magnitude.

The youngest son turns SIX MONTHS OLD later in the week. It's hard to believe in such a short time I've gone from this to this all over again. Our oldest would have been approximately 6½-months old when we conceived his baby brother, and it just seems impossible. Our oldest seemed...well...so "old" to us at this age. But our youngest still seems, and acts, like an infant to us. I truly cannot imagine getting pregnant again right now at his age! Yet, I did with his brother.

As if we didn't have enough to deal with out of big brother the last couple of days, little brother is angrily working on cutting his first tooth. The diapers have been horrid. The attitude even worse. Reaching that 6-month "can take Motrin" milestone is cause for much rejoicing. Tylenol just ain't cuttin' it (the pain or the toofer).

He's sitting up for longer stretches now, too, and I'm counting the seconds until we can ditch the baby carrier once and for all. It's all I can do to lift him in it these days. Anyone that sees him can only use the words "future linebacker" as their description. Where his brother was always long and lean, he's short and stout. And is he ever stout! He literally eats twice the food his brother did at the same age. I can hardly keep up, and I think I may need to warn Gerber Tender Harvest and Beech-Nut to up their production levels soon...

So that's been my week thus far. Is it wrong to want a margarita before 11 a.m.?

posted on 12.13.2005 @ 2:40 PM :: mail a comment  
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Original images and works ©2001-2007 to Todd and Robyn
Orlando and Tampa area newborn and maternity photographer

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