Tuesday, May 01, 2007

She surprised everyone but us...

Today our baby girl had surgery. Very minor surgery (just got tubes put in both of her ears), but let's face it -- when you're putting your child under general anesthesia, any surgery is major to you.

Originally, I had scheduled the first available date, which was last Wednesday at 10:15. As I wrote it on the calendar, I called back about 5 minutes later and rescheduled for the first date we could get the first appointment of the day. When I thought about not letting Georgia eat or drink ANYTHING until 10:00 in the morning -- let's just say it wasn't a good idea.

We had to be there at 6:15 a.m. today, so we opted to just have Mitchell spend the night at his Nana and Papa's house. He is SUCH a trooper and thank goodness his new "thing" is that he is all about having sleepovers at the grandparents' houses. He had a great time, and it was nice for us to just be able to come home and focus on Miss G last night and this morning. We had to leave here at 5:45 a.m., so that meant we had to wake our little sweet pea up.

I gently rubbed her back and said "Good morning, Georgia. Time to wake up, honey!" She just lifted her head up off of the crib mattress and looked around the room with squinty eyes. After about 30 seconds of that, a big smile spread across her face and she struggled to sit up. At this point, my husband walked in the room and with a head full of crazy hair, she lit up our hearts with the sweetest "Da-DA!" you've ever heard. I scooped her up and was met with her sweet little head on my shoulder for a morning snuggle that was truly a blessing.

I'm sorry, but how many people do you know are that SWEET when being forced awake before 6 a.m.? I really need to take a page out of her book...our baby girl is seriously just happy to be alive and in the room. We changed her diaper, grabbed her beloved Duck Duck and loaded her into the car. I thought maybe she would figure out that she hadn't had her normal bottle or sippy cup as we drove to the surgical center, but instead she just happily babbled to herself and Duck Duck. Her little giggle over who knows what spread to the front seat because we couldn't help but join in as she just laughed at herself in the mirror and her scruffy purple duck with the pink plaid bow.

We got to the surgical center to get checked in. (Can I just say here that it was COMPLETELY unnecessary for us to be there over an hour early?? Really. It was just dumb.) The woman at the front desk immediately got caught up in Georgia's early morning goofiness. She couldn't stop telling her how cute she was, and she couldn't stop telling Chris and I how amazed she was by Georgia being so awake and lively so early in the morning.

Chris and I just looked at each other and smiled -- we weren't surprised. She's always been like this.

When the nurse came in to get us for all of the pre-op stuff, the woman at the front desk told her "This is Georgia and I guarantee you, she'll be your favorite patient of the day." What a nice thing to hear, even if she does say that about everyone. Georgia began to charm ol' Jude's socks off as well -- holding her foot up and saying her favorite word, "shoes" about a million times as she put the pulse ox thingie on her big toe. When we were done in the first little room, Jude took us back to the rows of beds that you wait for the doctors in.

That's where the baton was handed to the next nurse as far as being smitten with Miss G goes. Georgia began doing her "talking" thing for this nurse...if you haven't seen it in person, it's hard to describe. Basically she gets very animated and jabbers for about 30 seconds in a very conversational tone -- it's evident that she is telling you something very important. The problem is, you can't understand a single word.

It comes out something like this:
"Dabajanabadeedodi." (One hand up in the air.)
"Shambaloomabadadadama." (Pointing across the room.)
"Shumtanastabodido." (Annnnd, she's finished.)

Yep, one of those and that lady was reeled on in. She just went on and on about how much Georiga had to say for such a little person.

Chris and I just looked at each other and smiled -- we weren't surprised. She's always been like this.

We then went back out to the waiting room where we caught some Clifford on the flat screen, played with the bead maze, and played walk around the room like a 2 foot, 4 inch drunk with an empty paper cup. Good times.

After about 30 minutes, the nurse came to get us and said that the doctors were ready for us. As we got back to the row of beds, we found the ENT and anesthesiologist waiting for us, along with two other nurses. We filled out all of the last minute consent forms (you know, the ones where we say we understand that things for this run-of-the-mill procedure could go very, very wrong...the ones that put a lump in your throat while you sign as the doctors tell you it's a really simple, uncomplicated surgery) and I got the pleasure of getting into a white paper Elvis (the fat years) suit and a lovely blue paper hat.

As all of this was going on, Georgia took this opportunity to start working the doctors over. Well, doctor. Our ENT (as our pediatrician explained when we first were referred to him for our son about 3 years ago) is one of the best in town, but his bedside manner is not his strong suit. He is a nice enough person, but we have yet to see his sense of humor over the years and he is pretty much all business. Fine with us -- he's cutting holes in our kids' ears, we're happy to know he's got it under control. In any case, he was not prone to fall under Georgia's "I'm so cute" spell, he was there to work.

The anesthesiologist, on the other hand, was more of a softie. I had spoken with him when he called our home the night before. (By the way, how impressive is that? He called us at home to make sure we didn't have any questions, to let us know how everything would go in the morning and to just make sure we were comfortable with the whole procedure. I was blown away that such a caring customer service step would take place in this nasty medical environment.) During our conversation on the phone, he told me I was welcome to go back with Georgia as he put her under. He said "Well, she's 14 months old so she probably won't just go off with me." I told him that she just might, actually. While we were filling out the paperwork and getting me in my paper suit, he said "You were right -- I bet she would go with me if I wanted her to!"

Chris and I just looked at each other and smiled -- we weren't surprised. She's always been like this.

Finally it was time for the surgery so Daddy gave her some squeezes and kisses and then I carried Georgia and Duck Duck down the hall, following the doctors and nurses to the OR. I don't care if it is a simple little five minute surgery -- it all hits home when you walk into the big, sterile operating room, complete with a team of doctors, nurses, tubes, wires and machines. I sat on the little chair with her as the anesthesiologist got her mask ready.

This part sucked. Really bad. I'd been through it before with Mitchell when he got tubes and I knew exactly what to expect, but it still sucked.

I held Georgia while he put the mask over her face. Her cute side faded away and her feisty spirit emerged as she fought both of us. Holding her still for the mask to stay in place, was a bit like trying to change her diaper these days -- she definitely got her wiggle on and made it known that she did not approve of this next move of ours. *Patting myself on the back* I managed not to cry, instead just sang Georgia her name song and told her it was okay to go night night, that Daddy and I would be there when she woke up.

Like I said, I *know* how it goes, I know what it looks like, I know what it sounds like, but still. She stiffened up, her breathing became labored and squeaky and it really did look like she was slipping away. The broken record in my head was "She's just going to sleep, she's just going to sleep, she's just going to sleep" as I helped lay her on the table. They assured me she'd be fine and that they'd take good care of her as I turned to go find my husband.

I really didn't think I would, but I did cry on the walk back. The nurse was comforting me and I assured her that I knew it was fine. And I was. It's just -- ugh. I don't know how to put that feeling into words, walking away from that O.R.

We got our stuff, and headed to the waiting room. We weren't there very long - -just a few minutes, I think. The ENT came out and said that everything went great. She had a lot of thick fluid in her ears that they were able to remove and they put in the first set of antibiotic drops for us. He explained the post-op instructions, when to call for a follow up visit, yadda yadda. A few minutes later, the anesthesiologist came out to talk to us as well. He told us that he gave her some pain medicine in her nose during the surgery to help and that he thought she did great. He said she was still sleeping and that he was a fan of letting them wake up as slowly as possible so that it wasn't such a shock to them. Still, he warned us that most of the time, kids would be upset, usually some crying and even times screaming for up to 45 minutes because they were jsut so confused and disoriented. He wanted us to be prepared for that so that we knew it was normal, and assured us that by this afternoon, she'd be back to her normal self. We thanked him and waited for the nurses to come get us.

A few minutes later, in came the recovery nurse. She had a big grin on her face and said that Georgia was awake and that we could come see her, but that we might not be able to take her home because they might want to steal her because she was so cute. As we walked down the hall to the recovery area, she told us that she couldn't believe what a great mood Georgia was in, and that she actually woke up giggling and chattering away.

Chris and I just looked at each other and smiled -- we weren't surprised. She's always been like this.

As we walked in, we saw Miss Georgia cuddled up in a blanket in the arms of a Grandma-ish looking nurse, clutching Duck Duck in one hand, the other hand animatedly pointing around the room as she busily educated the nurses on the finer features of the recovery room. A huge smile lit up her face when she saw us and she immediately reached out and lunged toward me with both arms in that "Mommy, hold me!" posture that I'm so familiar with these days. I gladly took her from the nurse and planted lots of kisses on her sweet forehead as she snuggled into the recliner with me. Chris got the bottle we'd brought out of the diaper bag, which got her very excited. We spent the next 20 minutes or so, cuddled up in the recliner laughing with the nurses about what a sweet baby girl we have. It then launched into talking about each of their older children and what they were like as kids. Funny how that happens -- parents are just physically unable to help themselves from sharing about their own kids, aren't they? After a few goldfish and lots of flirting, we were ready to go. We waved bye-bye, blew kisses and thanked everyone for taking such good care of our precious baby girl.

As Chris and I walked with her to the car, we laughed at how she'd spent the morning entertaining and charming the staff. We also talked about how as usual, she had surprised everyone but us with her sunny disposition during an experience that is usually expected to be anything but happy.

That's our Georgia.


Jamie said...

I'm glad that it went as well as possible. What a little sweetheart you have there. Give little G some big gentle hugs from me.

Renee said...

Dang, girl! You sure know how to bring tears to someone's eyes. You are so gifted with words, and evoking emotion.

I'm sooo happy that things went so smoothly for little Miss G, and am so happy that you and Chris are blessed with such a little ray of sunshine. She's a treasure...that's for sure!

Stessed Momma Kim said...

Tara, I'm so glad it went that well! WTG Miss Georgia!

But you know you'll have your hands full when she can REALLY flirt, right? ;)