We left for Orlando on Sunday, September 25th for what would be one of the most difficult times I have faced (and I wasn't the one going through the surgery.) I am so thankful that we had family that came to be with us. The prayers and support of family and friends is what held us together. It is humbling to know that so many people were praying for Isabelle and our family.
Monday morning we arrived at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Isabelle's pre-op testing. She started out with a sedated echo cardiogram. This little girl is feisty and decided she had had enough sleeping so she woke up before the echo was even completed. At least she cooperated so they could finish everything they needed to do.
|Waking up from her echo|
Last but not least...the chest x-ray. This one was short and sweet. Once we got into the room, we were in and out within 5 minutes.
After the x-ray and lunch, it was the waiting game (4 hours of waiting). We had to meet with the surgeon so we could ask our questions and find out all of the details of her surgery. In reality, I didn't mind waiting because if he was working on my baby, I would want him to take his time, do everything right and not rush out to meet someone else. So I was just fine waiting our turn. But once the meeting started I realized I didn't really like these types of meetings because the Doctor has to tell you all of the worst case scenarios and my worries and fears multiplied by 100.
After our long day at the hospital, we packed up and headed back to the condo to meet up with family that drove in. It was nice to be able to sit around with family to help take our minds off of what was going to happen the next morning.
That night, we took the boys for a swim (in the rain) and then spent some good quality family time.
|Can you tell I am excited to be sitting in the rain?!?|
We had taken them out of school for the week because I needed my family to be together. But...everyone knows that you go to Orlando for vacation - Disney World- so trying to get the boys to understand that this trip really wasn't a vacation was hard work. I was thankful that everyone took turns keeping the boys so they could do some fun things to help keep their mind off of what was happening with Isabelle.
I can honestly say that I got maybe 2 hours of sleep Monday night. I just starred at Isabelle all night. I watched her sleep and realized that my baby had no idea what she was facing the next morning. I had held in my tears until that night. While I was watching her sleep, I cried for what she was facing and selfishly, what we were facing. I tried to prepare myself as much as possible but I didn't know how to prepare for something like this. I had read blogs and boards but until you are in that moment and it is your baby, it is hard to comprehend the emotions.
We got up the next morning and spent some more quality time with Isabelle. We arrived at the hospital at 6am to get checked in. They got us back into our room pretty quickly and the nurse started getting Isabelle's vitals (well, tried. Isabelle was on strike since we didn't give her any milk). At this point, we were all holding it together pretty well. Then the head nurse came in our room and told us that we are going to be put on hold for a few hours due to a newborn born on Monday that needed emergency surgery. We were able to feed Isabelle which meant that we had an automatic 2 hour hold on the surgery. About 30 minutes later, the head nurse arrived and gave us the news that Isabelle was getting bumped and we would have to wait to hear from the surgeon's assistant later that day to find out if she would get in on Wednesday.
I had mixed emotions at this point. My heart ached for the newborn that needed emergency surgery. I could relate to that new Mommy that has her baby taken right after birth. We were blessed that Isabelle's surgery wasn't considered an emergency but I had prepared myself for this day the best I knew how and now it wasn't happening. Which meant, that I would have to go through this entire process again the next day. I just wanted this entire event to be behind us so she could start recovering. However, I do know that everything happens in God's timing. Tuesday was not Isabelle's day. This little newborn needed the surgery more than Isabelle on that particular day.
So, instead of surgery we had a family day of swimming, playing and eating (and getting lost for about an hour but that is another story). Although this wasn't what we had planned, we did enjoy one last day together before the surgery as a family.
|After seeing this picture, I now understand why so many people say Isabelle is so pale and needs to get some sun. Ryan and I just realized that no one ever says that when Ryan is holding her.|
|Love the face, Izzy!|
We woke up bright and early again and headed back to the hospital. We got checked in, were sent back to our room and the nurse came in to get Isabelle's vitals. We saw the head nurse from the day before and we prayed that she would keep walking (which she did). Wednesday was Isabelle's day.
|See what I am talking about... those veins!|
|Poor baby girl had to have her arms restrained. Even being sedated, she is a mover.|
Special thanks to Allison and Lila who kept the boys busy during the surgery. The boys made a new friend with Lila and were talking about her for the rest of the week. They made Isabelle a poster and had everyone sign their names so we could hang it in her room. Isabelle couldn't say it at the time but I know she loved it! I am sure she had the coolest room ever- filled with a poster, a special picture from Aiden (he drew a picture of a thunderstorm since she is always sleeping during them) and a turtle from Allison, Mark and Lila.
|Getting out of the hospital for a much needed break (play area outside the hospital)|
|This is as close to Disney World as the boys got... the lobby of the hospital.|
|Isabelle can hardly believe it herself!|
|Isabelle ready for the ride home|
|Isabelle learned to take a pacifier while she was in the hospital. Her thumb is still her first choice but she is learning.|
|This sling has been our best friend. If she is uncomfortable or fussy, she gets right in and falls asleep. |