Last week, we started our week with an early birthday party for Kyle. Jane Anne, Andrew, and Davis came over and my mom was here to help during Paxton's surgery. Since Paxton would be on a speical diet following his surgery, we wanted to celebrate early so that Paxton could enjoy it. My mom made one of his and Kyle's favorites...spaghetti! And, they enjoyed some cupcakes to celebrate our big five year old!
Early Tuesday morning, Jeremy and I took Paxton to the hospital to check in for his cleft palate surgery. I had been dreading and looking forward to this for months. Dreading it because I knew it would be painful and difficult for him and I hate the idea of him in pain. But, I was also looking forward to it because I knew that the sooner he had the surgery, the sooner he could recover. I was so thankful that they scheduled his surgery as early as they did so that he will be recovered and on a regular diet by Thanksgiving and Christmas. I want him to fully enjoy his first big holidays home!
Paxton had no idea of what was to come...
Last picture before surgery and last chance for him to put his fingers in his mouth for awhile...
During the last fifteen months, Paxton has been through more than I have been through in my entire life. He was found within weeks of his birth and placed in an orphanage. In January, he underwent his first cleft lip repair surgery far away from his orphanage and all that was familiar. About six weeks later, he underwent a second cleft lip repair surgery. Both surgeries required weeks of recovery and pain. He went back and forth between the orphanage nannies and the foster mom and dad that helped care for him. And, then in July, he left everything he had ever known to be adopted by strangers and then to move across the world. We is strong and resilient and amazing. He is definitely a little hero.
And, now, he had to have a third surgery within nine months.
I worried about how he would do and how it would affect attachment with us if the nurses or doctors were to take him away from us awake to take him to the OR. I had talked to the nurse on the phone about this the week before the surgery and she said that she would mark his file that it would be okay for one of us to go back to the OR with him until he was asleep. I was not sure if we would really be able to though since it would ultimately depend on the anesthesiologist.
Thankfully, our anesthesiologist came in and immediately said she had read his file and that I was welcome to carry him to the OR and stay with him until he was asleep! Praise God! They gave him a dose of medicine to calm him before we headed to the OR and then they allowed me to carry him all the way back and to hold his hand and rub his head as they put him to sleep. After he was asleep, I left and we headed to the waiting room.
The ENT started the surgery by placing tubes in his ears, which is a common need for children who have a cleft. The plastic surgeon, Dr. Yu, took over after the tubes and he closed the open palate in his mouth. The surgery took about three hours and after he was settled in recovery, we were taken back to see him. He was asleep at first and looked so small on the bed.
Tuesday afternoon was just filled with holding, cuddling, and rocking Paxton while trying to manage his pain and confusion. He slept on and off for most of the day. Jeremy spent the night at home and I stayed with Paxton. I slept in the hospital bed/crib with him (it was oversized so adults could fit, too). And, he mostly just wanted to sleep on top of me.
Our goal was to get him to take in some liquids by Wednesday morning so that we could be discharged. He was in a better mood and more awake early Wednesday morning, but he still would not drink anything. So, we were told that we could not leave until he took in a certain amount. Throughout Wednesday morning, I asked for prayers that he would start drinking and I tried and tried to get him to drink something. Finally, he started taking some broth and he took enough to be discharged around lunchtime on Wednesday. We were so glad to go home!
These were take Wednesday morning when we had started to see the first glimpses of his smile and personality again.
Thursday was Kyle's fifth birthday (how did five years go by so fast?!). My mom took Kyle and Connor to breakfast to celebrate his birthday and then Jeremy came home for lunch so that my mom and I could take him to Chick-fil-A for lunch. After lunch (and several days of doing EVERYTHING for us), my mom headed home. But, we were not alone for long. Jeremy's parents arrived mid-afternoon.
Jeremy and his parents took Kyle and Connor to Mellow Mushroom for a birthday dinner while Paxton and I stayed home. Paxton was in bed when they got home and we were able to do a quick little birthday celebration with cupcakes again!
The past few days have not been easy, but I pray that he is improving now. He has struggled with sleeping. I think between the pain and not being able to put his fingers in his mouth, he has found his comfort in and on us (which is a good thing regarding adoption and attachment, but hard when neither of us are getting much sleep). And, he still won't eat/drink much. He is pretty much surviving on milk, water, liquidy pudding, and ice cream. He will not even try most anything else and the few other things he has tried have been pushed away after a bite or two.
I am so thankful that my mom was here during Paxton's surgery and during our first few days home. And, I am so thankful that Jeremy's parents were here for the last few days. My mom and his parents were wonderful about doing everything for Connor and Kyle, doing laundry, cooking, cleaning up, and so much more. We would have been lost with out their help during the last week.
Overall, Paxton is doing really well for all he has been through. And, every day is getting better. Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for our little guy!