Not sure if anyone missed me but I took a few weeks off from here just to clear my head. Hunter is doing amazingly well. The recovery from his surgery was definitely rough the first few days. When we got home, he wasn't sleeping or eating. We expected him not to sleep much, but he just kept moaning this sad, sad cry. It broke my heart. I also didn't realize that he wouldn't have much of an appetite. He wouldn't drink his bottle at all. I think something about the sucking must have caused him pain. I started letting him drink water straight from a water bottle and he loved it. We also fed him all of his favorite foods (lol, it's funny that a 7mo has favorite foods). I think his (twin) brother was an important part of his recovery. After we got home from the hospital, Georgie was the only person who could make Hunter smile. He put Hunter in the jumparoo next to Georgie in the exersaucer-----huge smiles. It was adorable and made me cry. Slowly, Hunter started coming back to us more and more.
His incision is all healed at this point and his hair is growing back. His head looks a little bumpy still but I know that is expected. Of course, two weeks ago he fell out of his swing (he pushed off and fell out backwards). He hit his head hard on the radiator. Naturally, I freaked out and rushed him to the pediatrician, who said he was fine. I also called the NS and he told me not to worry. I think I will still worry about Hunter's head for the rest of my life. Hunter goes back to the NS for another follow up on Friday. His twin also has his own head issues and just got a helmet. He also goes for physical therapy but thank god he won't need the surgery. Back in September, I had never even heard of ANY of this kind of stuff....how quickly you become an "expert."
A few things for those of u getting ready for the surgery:
---Find out if your hospital has a Ronald McDonald House. That place is AMAZING! I can't stress enough how much being able to stay there helped us get through the surgery. It's impossible for you to sit at your little one's bedside the entire time. U need a bit of a break too. It was great to have a place to shower, sleep for a few hours (in a bed----not just a chair or pull-out bed in the hospital!) and get food. What an unbelievable charity!!!! If your hospital doesn't have one, try to stay as close to the hosital as possible.
---I know everyone says this, but the day AFTER the surgery is MUCH WORSE than the day of the surgery. I can't stress this enough. We thought we were prepared for it, but we were not. I don't think there's anything u CAN do to prepare for it. Everyone told us that we would ask ourselves why we did this to our baby. We kept thinking we made a terrible mistake and would never get our baby back. We both just kept sobbing at the hospital----in a way mourning our baby, thinking he was gone forever. He came back to us though and your baby will too.
---Your babymay look VERY different. Everyone says this, but I don't think u can ever be prepared for this. When we got to go into the recovery room after the surgery, I walked right past Hunter's crib. I had to ask a nurse where he was! She pointed to his crib. I kept looking at him, thinking, "Hmmm...is that really Hunter?" The difference is immediately noticeable. He really looked THAT different.
---Every recovery is different. Everyone said that their baby was only in the ICU for 1 night. Hunter was there for 3 nights. Most people get to hold their babies the day of or the day after the surgery. We didn't get to hold him for almost 3 days. Some babies recover quicker than others!
---If friends/ family ask u if there's anything they can do for you.....talk to them about FOOD! Our friends, family and even the staff from the boys daycare had food delivered to us at the hospital and to our house when we got home. When u r so focused on your baby's recovery, sometimes u forget to take time to eat. U need to eat and take care of yourself too! Having dinner delivered to us once we got home was great! The door bell would ring at 6pm w/ different meals for us everynight. It was a lifesaver!
I am sorry to be writing a book! For those of you just starting this journey, trust that you and your little one will get through it. It's such an emotional roller-coaster. I finally feel at ease. This site has been so wonderful. Thank you to everyone. Obviously this journery isn't over, but it's a wonderful feeling to be on the other side. Hopefully I'll be able to help some of u just starting out get through this too.