Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Eden, Version 2.0: Post Cochlear Implant

It's over and we're all home! On Sunday Eden had kind of a rough night because of her cold. Her congestion and cough seemed a little worse than the day before and I had prepared myself for the fact that her cochlear implant surgery would probably have to be postponed. We got to the hospital at 6:30am Monday morning. We didn't have to wait long before moving into the pre-surgery room where we dressed Eden in her hospital gown and talked with her nurse and anesthesiologist. We told everyone about the fact that Holland was in the hospital being treated for pneumonia, and that we were pretty sure Eden had the same virus. The anesthesiologist checked her over, and said that because her lungs sounded clear and she didn't have a fever she was good to go for surgery. At that point I felt really emotional and not at all prepared. While we were waiting I cried a little bit thinking about how this was the last time I would see Eden as she was. I also starting worrying about her having another scar, about sending my baby for a surgery that she didn't really NEED, and about all of the risks involved with the surgery itself and the anesthesia. I found myself wondering if we were making the right decision.

Just after 7:30am the anesthesiologist came to get Eden to carry her back for surgery. We went to the waiting room to wait. And wait. And wait. We were told that Eden would be put to sleep using a mask, then they would put in an IV and intubate her (put her on the ventilator). There is no way that I wanted to be around to see that, so I am glad that they didn't make the offer. After about an hour and a half of waiting the audiologist came out and told us that they had done testing on Eden's right ear and everything looked great for implanting that ear. She said that she was able to get great responses and it was one of the easiest cases she had done in a long time. That was reassuring to hear. I wonder if she says that to everyone:) We waited another hour and 45 minutes for the surgeon to come out. He told us that everything had gone really well. They drilled down a portion of her skull behind her ear where the implant will sit. He said that the internal structure of her ear was fully developed and almost adult sized. He had no problem getting the implant completely into her cochlea and he feels confident that she will respond really well. Then he told us it would be about 15 minutes while they finished stitching her up and woke her up from the anesthesia.

After about an hour and a half we started to feel a bit panicked. I went to the receptionist who had Eden's nurse call me. The nurse said in the nicest way possible, that Eden was having a little trouble maintaining her oxygen saturation and they were working on finding a good setting for her. They wanted to watch her for a few minutes and would have us back in about 10 minutes. About 15 minutes later we went back to see her. This was the absolute hardest part of the process by far. Eden was crying and holding her breath long enough to turn blue and drop her oxygen saturation down to 50%. I knew it was just because she was mad, because she has done it at home when she has gotten really hungry/tired/mad. About three times she has cried hard enough that she forgot to breathe, turned blue, and actually passed out. It only takes a split second for her to start breathing again. The nurse seemed really surprised when I told her this. I thought it was just something quirky that some babies do. It was scarey the first time, but after that I just chalked it up to Eden being a drama queen. It takes a lot to get her riled up, but when you do...watch out!

I sat in a rocking chair and held Eden for a few minutes while she whimpered and cried. John suggested that she might be hungry, so the nurse went to get her a bottle of sugar water. I tease John that when the babies cry, he always thinks they are hungry, hot, cold, or poopy. Just because that's when HE cries. Well, in this case he was right on. Eden sucked down a 3 ounce bottle like she was starving, and after that was a lot calmer. I carried Eden in a wheelchair up to her room. Once there, we fed her a 3 ounce bottle of formula and she fell sound asleep for a couple of hours. When she woke up she was solemn, but not really crying. She looked around at us and checked out her new surroundings. She ended up sleeping most of the day but did wake up for a litte while and gave us some great smiles to reassure us that she was still our Eden. John and I left around 4pm for a few hours to visit Holland at her hospital, just about 10 minutes away. When we got there Holly was in a great mood. She was very happy to see us, was off her oxygen, and was just smiling and playing away. We hung out for a few hours, then I left to go stay the night with Eden. John stayed with Holland. Both girls had really good nights and slept pretty well under the circumstances (it's virtually impossible to get a good nights sleep in a hospital with how many times people are in and out of your room!!!).

Eden woke up around 5 this morning in a great mood. She was back to herself. Through the morning she sat up in a high chair, played with her toys, ate cheerios, watched cartoons, played games with mommy, and smiled at everyone who came in the room. One of the resident docs came in around 6:45am to take of her bandages. The incision is behind her ear and much smaller than I even anticipated. It is covered with tape and really doesn't look bad at all. Eden doesn't seem to notice it at all, and even lays with that side of her head down. She was on pain meds all day the first day, but by today didn't seem to really need them. She didn't complain at all. The only problem we had was that she had a little trouble coming off the oxygen. Every time they tried taking it off she would drop her oxygen saturation into the high 80s when she was sleeping. They want it to stay above 90, even when she is asleep. Holland was discharged around 11:30, and she, John, and my mom came to visit Eden. They seemed very happy to see each other. Actually, shortly after Holland got there, Eden started doing better off the oxygen. I wonder if she knew her sis was finally back. Around 1:00 they discharged Eden and we all got to come home together.

Both girls seemed very excited to be home. They were very animated playing with their toys and each other. They took a bath and splashed, and kicked, and had a great time. The only concern I had this evening was that the side of Eden head was becoming really swollen. I had the on call doctor paged and he called me back in 2 minutes. He said that swelling like this is normal, especially in babies, and should go down in a couple of days. We'll keep an eye on her. Otherwise, we all have come through an immensely stressful 5 days relatively unscathed. At least we are all still alive and kicking. We made it through another day. Can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring.


Anonymous said...

Hi Billie,
I am so happy to hear that everything worked out and the girls are back to their normal selves. It will be so exciting to see how Eden responds to sound. Now that Eden's surgery is done and Holland is feeling better, you need to take a little time for yourself. I am sure that's easier said than done!

Emily Avey

Kate Giovinco Photography said...

Glad the girlies are home and doing well.

That was a rough few days glad everything is getting back to normal.

Cant wait for updates on Edens implants

Anonymous said...

I am so very happy to hear that you are all home together again. I know that I have said this before, but once again I must say that you are all such a wonder and inspiration. I love you guys so very much! Jessie

Anonymous said...

Oh, i am sooo happy to hear the good news! You have been in my thoughts, nonstop, the last few days. Words can't describe how grateful i am that everything went well and that you are all home, safe and sound. thanks for posting, i was going a little bit crazy :) i miss you and love you all so. take care of yourselves, we'll talk soon. please kiss my beautiful girls for me:)
love always,

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear that both girls are well and back home. Also, glad to hear that Eden's surgery went well.

Anonymous said...

That's terrific! I love happy endings. I'm glad Eden didn't turn blue on me that "stranger danger" day! (-; I would of felt really bad. Big hugs for the girls. Love, donna

Anonymous said...

I am very happy to hear that both girls are well on their way to recovery. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers! Thank you for taking the time with all that is going on to keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

Wooohoo!! I'm so excited to hear that the surgery went well and Holland is back at home with all of you where she belongs! I know you guys have to be elated and exhausted from these last few days! I think Coldstone is in order! Love and Big smooches, Mamma Jules

Anonymous said...


Lauren said...

Dear Billie and John,

Hi, this is Lauren, Kendra's friend. Oh my goodness, your post had me crying! At first I felt your pain as a Mom (My son had almost the same due date as your girls) and cried and then to hear the great outcome and that the girls are just fine, made me cry tears of joy! I am so happy and think with all of my heart, you and John are such truly amazing parents. I don't have your strength. You are a hero Mom to us all. I know you wrote that Eden didn't NEED the implant, but she will benefit so much throughout her whole life from it. Please feel good in the decision you and John made.
Thank you so much for updating everyone! You guys are great!!!
Lauren :)

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that everything went well and you are all back home. I'm sure Holland and Eden were relieved to be back!
Love, Amy

Anonymous said...

Friends of Friends post now :) The love is growing ;) Oh how, you love it!!!!!!!!--So glad the girls are better and on their way to recovery. Love you. Sara

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear that both girls are out of the hospital and home. That must be nice for everyone. I am glad that Eden's surgery went well.

Always in my thoughts, Kris

Kendra Lynn said...

Oh I'm so glad the surgery went well! I know that she's going be just fine!