I'm chronicling our adventures down this fun, crazy, and sometimes unfathomable path called life. At least I'm not at the wheel!
“In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
Success! We were able to come home yesterday, and the last 24 hours at home have gone fairly well. Titus was understandably upset coming out of surgery, but they were willing to give him all the pain meds we asked for in recovery, and Titus even talked a little to us in between bouts of crying. The nurse we had on the floor was very quick once we got up there and really stayed on top of his pain management. We were discharged the next morning, and once Titus had the IV out (he didn't like being tethered), he was almost back to his normal cheery self.
Now we just have to make it through the next week until the sutures come out, and he'll be set for a few years! Liz is already talking about when she will get to stay at the hospital and have an "ouchy lip."
Well, this four-ring circus has barreled down the track through summer, and we've finally made it to the summer finale. We had a blast in the midwest, hanging out with all the cousins and other family, and enjoying the cool-ish weather thanks to all the rain. We made it through our first week of G3 (our church VBS program) and even arrived early most days (since I was teaching and all...). Art classes, hanging out, crazy summer rainy concerts at the biopark...and now our summer is drawing to a close.
M1: The surgery
Titus has his last surgery on Monday. With two surgeries under our belt, we know what to hope for and (sort of) what to prepare for. Again, you can pray for wisdom for everyone who will be caring for Titus, and good pain management. This one will be the last one for a while, but the longest--four hours! I guess the lip repair was not partial, but temporary, so the surgeon has to go in and undo the lip repair before he can complete the final one. It's a tricky surgery because he has to knit together all the muscles and blood veins, and there's the 'look' to figure out as well. We are so blessed to have a great surgeon!
M2: The peaches
I figured I'd need pictoral proof for this one. Yes, that peach is 9.5 oz, and we're getting a lot of peaches that are over half a pound. Such great timing with the surgery and all...but I get to practice giving out of the abundance that God has given us.
M3: The Olympics
It's been so fun watching the Olympics now that the kids are older. Lizzie says her favorite is "Katie LeDucky" and always asks if she is swimming. The kids do gymnastics, so they've also been having fun watching the men's and women's events. We talk about what events the kids could do some day (even though I don't really want them to), and marvel over the athletes. And just in case we do end up there some day, I'll give you a sneak peak:
I had great plans for this summer. After all, it's the first summer I've had four kids, and the thought of all of them trashing my house every day was a little scary. I was going to have a schedule for the week, with special time for each child, and lots of fun activities out of the house like using our zoo membership or going to the splash park. I imagined all these when we were about a month out from finishing preschool. Then one day I woke up with a sore throat, and the next day I started running a fever, and 24 days later I'm finally better.
Frankly, it's such a novelty to have energy for activities besides subsistence, I think I could take on the world right now. Unfortunately, I'm not sure I have time between everything that has come up this summer. Piano lessons, speech therapy, a VBS week here and there, summer travel--I think we'll hit Titus's last surgery (August 15) before I can catch my breath. And then school starts. Boom.
Not to mention ALL the things that piled up when I took a hit for 24 days. Nothing with imminent deadlines (thankfully), but still...my long term to-do list was quite neglected.
The post I wrote about plans has come to mind a lot in the last few days, and not just because that was my last thought before surgery + illness derailed everything. I am still thinking about that same tension between order and real life,
but it'll be a good summer to practice being a little more relaxed
about it too. We can definitely take this summer one day at a time, and have fun doing whatever happens to come up that day. Like a picnic at the playground during piano lessons. Or playing house in the bedroom while Titus has speech therapy. Or improptu outdoor dinners with after dinner gymnastics entertainment. This summer, we will pursue memories instead of plans.
We are going on 18 hours of no pain meds, and Titus is doing great! He will be two weeks post-op tomorrow, and it has been a real struggle to manage his pain levels. We kept thinking he was ready to ease off the ibuprofen and tylenol, but even this past weekend, we were up in the middle of the night with him. Of course, we discovered yesterday that he has an ear infection and sinus infection, so that might also explain it. Poor baby.
But this morning he got up...no hour-long crying spell! He ate breakfast without fussing! My baby is back! He still has copious amounts of nasal secretions (isn't that a nice way of putting it?), but the end is in sight.
In the meantime, we are trying to stay ahead of our packed week of preschool activities--the joys of having two children in different classes. And yes, I know it could be way worse. :) Whenever I ask a parent if they are almost done with school, I get pretty much the same answer: "Yes," answered with the same drawn out tone you would use to describe the end of a dentist appointment involving multiple pulled teeth. Hang in there--the end is near!
This morning our church held a baby dedication, and based on these pictures, someone felt perfectly fine with standing up in front of everyone.
They are a bit blurry, but you can see Titus attempting to make a run for it and doing his best Sumo wrestler impersonation. Of course, he was not interested in being held AT ALL, and based on all the tugging, what he really wanted to do was run around the stage.
Titus has been doing well, aside from the diet restrictions (liquids till Monday, then soft foods like yogurt and purees until Wednesday). His "Mama" already sounds more clear, and I'm excited to see what kind of progress he will make in speech once everything is healed up.
Of course the baby dedication was held to coincide with Mothers Day. Maybe I have a lot more adoption friends in my facebook feed, or maybe it's because I know of some people who have lost mothers in the last year (although, I'm sure that happens every year), but this time, it's a little bittersweet. I keep thinking about the mothers who will not be celebrating with their sweet child today, especially the ones who have contributed to my motherhood. How do you celebrate something so full of both joy and sorrow? It's a hard lesson to teach my kids, and one that will probably be
taught sooner rather than later, thanks to our conspicuous family.
But there is always hope. Our service this morning began with Joy of the Lord by Rend Collective. That's how we manage to make it through this whole life, fraught with pain but filled with joy too. And I will teach my kids to look to the One who will, one day, make all things right.
Yes, a 6am post about going home really means that we will try to go home today, and it all depends on the discharge schedule, and his fluid intake, and how he does on the oral pain medication. But really, can you take anything a sleep-deprived person says at 6am seriously? You shouldn't.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Titus did great waiting for the surgery, despite a very empty stomach. He went back to surgery around noon and was done in two hours, and the doctor was very pleased with the repair. We had the same recovery nurse as last time, and she remember how hard it was for Titus. She was really aggressive with pain management and even gave him some alternative pain meds that aren't super common for kids. I think those helped a lot, and we'll definitely remember that for next time. He also wanted to drink something right away, and that was really good sign too.
It's always a little rough after the transfer, since the pediatric floor has to review his chart and get everything settled before they start medicating. I was a little frustrated at the beginning, but we got the pain meds going again and even had a chance to visit the outside play area. One advantage of going later in the day is that we hit Titus's nap time/sleep time a little sooner--three seconds on the porch swing outside and he was out! The nurse was able to find a rocking chair for our room, and we also spent a lot of time in that. He settled down to sleep around 11:30PM and got a good five hours in before waking up again. So I was able to sleep a little better this time around too, especially since I didn't have to worry about his lip.
The surgeon signed off on his discharge, but the nurses want to make sure he is doing well on the oral pain medications before they let him leave. So you could pray that everything falls into place this morning so that we can be home tonight.
Here we go again. If you see a mom with two kids dressed up to go shopping, she may have just decided that a put-together outfit will help her hold it together today.
Of course, I had hoped that doing this once already would calm some of the nerves. I am less worried about the unknowns this time, which is nice, and I know that in a week, it'll be better. Still, I should probably accept that the day before surgery will just be one of those days. So there's going to be a lot of deep breathing today, and songs like this one on repeat in the car.
I know so many people prayed for Titus to feel better the afternoon after the first surgery, and we absolutely saw those prayers answered. So here are the specifics for this one:
1. Pray that Titus will handle waiting for the surgery. We found out yesterday that another (littler) baby will get the first surgery slot, so Titus will probably not begin his surgery until around noon. He can't eat after midnight, so I'm not anticipating as happy a wait in the pre-op room this time. Maybe you could pray that he sleeps late tomorrow too. :)
2. Pray for a successful surgery with no complications. It will probably be from around noon until 2:30 PM. We are thankful for such a great team who will care for Titus before, during, and after the surgery.
3. Pray for his pain management. We've been told this surgery will be worse, because it's mostly muscle/soft tissue, and it's back where he swallows (they are repairing the soft palate). The surgeon is going to try something different this time for the pain, so we are really praying that it will be more effective.
4. Pray that I will sleep well tonight. Last time I had strange dreams and very restless sleep, and that was not a great way to go into the surgery.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying--I will try to post an update tomorrow after the surgery.