Tuesday, June 17, 2008

More Post-op!

Thanks so much for all of your emails and calls! We are finally home after an unexpected hospital stay, although this had nothing to do with Owen's response, but more to do with the caution of our anesthesiologist (she keeps all babies under 5mos. overnight for observation and O is 4 mos). We waited quite a while this morning for the "orders" to go home to come through, as the dr.'s told us we were going home at 7:30am on their rounds, but then went into another surgery forgetting to submit the order that we could in fact head home. Alas, such is life in the midst of a busy hospital! We were very grateful that everyone at Children's was so nice and helpful- the nurses so gentle and supportive of us and the doctors very communicative and understanding- esp. the 2 female anesthesiologists on Owen's case! Our craniofacial surgeon looked like he was going to the circus the morning of the surgery. Brian and I both laughed that he had his "game face" on and when talking with us appeared to have tons of energy and just couldn't wait to get started- the mark of a good surgeon, I suppose, on a Monday morning at 7am! :)

Again, everything went very well- Owen is very swollen and recovery will take a while. He has nasal stints in his nose to hold the shape (one of his nostrils was flattened as a result of the cleft lip and they moved it up a bit) that are supposed to stay in for 4-6 wks., yet he is already frustrated with them and trying to figure out how to breathe with smaller openings in his nose. He did nurse once at the hospital, but hasn't since (they had him on an IV), so we are hoping he will soon begin to nurse regularly and would ask your prayers for that as well.

We will post some pics of our brave, brave boy before surgery as soon as we rest a bit- they woke us every 2 hrs. last night in the hospital to check his vitals and we are all exhausted. Thanks again for your love and care- we are new to this adventure of parenthood and the fact that our heart now walks around outside of our bodies! We are anxious for him to be more comfortable and literally "breathe easier". That is the hardest thing for me- watching him struggle to breathe normally with the stints. Brian struggled yesterday as we heard him screaming and wailing in agony after he woke up and spoke of the pain of that moment. I, rather, was overjoyed to hear his cries, which in my heart meant, "he is awake (my biggest fear was that he wouldn't wake up) and thriving and wants us to know his pain!" ;) I suppose that is one of the beautiful things of parenthood together as married people- one of us holds the other in weakness and those times , thankfully, often don't coincide, but offer us each the opportunity to care and uphold the other. Thank you, too, for upholding our family- we appreciate all of you! In thanksgiving...Megan

Monday, June 16, 2008


To all who visit our West Coast forum here, I wanted to let you know on behalf of Megan, Owen, and myself, Owen came through the surgery with success. He is doing well in his own room, and we are actually staying overnight with him. The change in plans came about as a result of the anesthesiologist expressing the practice to keep any infant in overnight for observation under 60 weeks (Owen came in at 53). There was no surgical need to detain him, just the unlikely and highly infrequent heart/respiratory issues that little ones like him may suffer from.

He has now a joined cleft lip, and a stitch in his right nostril that was collapsed due to the previous dysjoined muscle tissue. The notch in his gum will wait until he's older, and there seems to be no outward signs of soft palatial cleft, although the jury is out until he gets into his higher vocal communicatory ages, around kindergarten and first grade.

Sorry if this seems direct and somber; its been a tough day - I think moreso for me than Megan! We both wept when they took him, and I had trouble when he came out while Meg did a little better seeing the glass as half full. You'd think I'd be elated when we knew he was okay, but his screams and sobs will never leave my mind, which in turn made me sob. I couldn't contain myself and wanted to rescue my son from all the pain and struggle. From time to time I weep at the memory (like now), and pray that this is the worst he'll ever endure in life. And to think that others have struggled well beyond a child with a cleft lip, like the woman we met in the waiting room whose son was Owen's age with a heart transplant. This being a daddy thing is much more painful than I've ever thought. . .

For those of you who have prayed and thought of us, we cannot thank you enough. We have been aware of the work of God in our lives over this weekend and today, through your spoken and thought concerns to him on our behalf. Please continue to pray and think of us, his recovery has just begun.

More soon, perhaps when one of us isn't so raw from the experience!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Owen's surgery!

Wow- it's been so long since our last post (it's becoming a theme!)- life has been really busy lately! We are well- Brian just finished his spring quarter Friday at 5pm and we are very happy to have our Daddy back! We have been passing like ships in the night lately, passing Owen to each other on our way out the door, which has been difficult. We spent Father's Day relaxing and spending time together, which was great! I am trying to make this really quick, as we have to be up at 4:30am to leave for the hospital at 5am. Tomorrow June 16th is Owen's surgery for his cleft lip at Children's Hospital here in LA. We have been preparing for this day since his birth, and yet, several times today Brian and I have joking said, "let's just skip it!- he's perfect just the way he is!" :) Tomorrow morning at 7:30am PT Dr. Hammoudeh, the craniofacial surgeon, and his team will repair Owen's cleft lip and determine if there is a soft palate cleft (there is not a hard palate cleft, which is great news!). We would appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers as we experience this together. The staff at Children's is great and the craniofacial team is world renowned, but he is soooooo very little and he is our baby! It will probably be the longest 3.5 hours of our lives as parents, but we are trying to trust in the Lord's faithfulness and focus on caring well for Owen.

We will post an update with more details once we're home tomorrow night (Monday). Thanks is advance for your thoughts and prayers! In the meantime, here are some recent pics! Enjoy--- he is just the cutest ever!

This pic is a bit older, but we don't have many of the three of us- this was taken Easter morning .

Four months and cute as cake! He's always moving his hands and feet, which makes taking a clear picture a challenge! :)
At the Farmer's market with Mom

Happy 1st Father's Day, Daddy!
Look at that face! He's cutting teeth now, which means drool, drool, and more drool! :)
Our smiley boy- O smiles and laughs all the time now, is beginning to make other sounds, and also "talks" to us.