Monday, July 11, 2011

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

This is my favorite picture

Every day has been an adventure with our little girl.  They began bottle feedings on Thursday at 5ml.  By Friday, they started her at 10ml.  Once it was established that she loves her feedings she began the process of increasing her intake from 15ml + 3ml every six hours.  This has lasted throughout the weekend and into this week.

Today is Monday, July 11th 2011. Georgia and Mom are sitting in the NICU chair right next to me, Georgia is wide awake with the hiccups and wanting to see her parents.  Georgia is eating 41ml of food with the goal of 56ml being reached tomorrow afternoon.  Today they will be removing every other stitch from her belly with the rest coming out by Tuesday. 

Our hope is to be home around Thursday or Friday, with the possibility of coming home more quickly.  I cannot wait to get settled at home with our 'normal' life.  Don't get me wrong, Kaiser Sunset and the LA Ronald McDonald House have been wonderful, and it has been such a blessing to have so few issues to worry about in the day.  It's the little things that you don't think of that are more daunting when you're having to deal with them.  Where do we do laundry?  Where do we sleep?  Where do we eat?  All of these questions were releaved the second we checked in at the RM house.  The cafeteria food is actually decent and there is a VONS so close to the RM House that we've been able to have at least 2 meals a day there. 

We both want to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this time.  At a time when it would be easy for Cricket and I to feel alone in our trials, we have been surrounded by your love from afar.  I will not update this blog until we have our little girl home, since there is nothing left but a few stiches, a few more feedings, and a mountain of discharge paperwork.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today is a Good Day

Tuesday was a special day for the Butler family.  Georgia's surgery was originally scheduled for 2:30pm, but was quickly moved up in the day and we found ourselves walking her to surgery around 10am.  Roughly 2 hours later Dr. Roman Sydorak came in with smile and thumbs up!  Her closure went well and he was even able to give her a belly button.  Among the good news was the revelation that she will not require an additional surgery when she's a toddler!  Praise God!  It was hard enough having my daughter, whom I've never held in my arms, go through so many surgeries - I could not go through it when she is a toddler.

The reset of the day our little girl was on the good stuff and slept most of the day, even when she opened her eyes it was clear she was under heavy sedation.  Cricket and I have developed a routine that makes the days go quickly, and having my work laptop has made it to where I can claim at least a few hours of work each day (such a blessing!).

This morning is Wednesday and we just received even more good news.  The pediatrician this morning is placing the order to remove the breathing machine and cathetor from Georgia, which we were told wouldn't happen for at least 3 days after surgery.  Our little girl is going to be such a fighter, we are already so proud of her!! 

The next step will be weaning the pain medication, monitoring bowel movements, and starting the feeding.  She has gained weight since birth and now weighs 6lb 12.5oz, so she's gained nearly a half a pound in the last week without even being fed!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Update for Sunday July 3rd

It was our intention to post updates directly to this 'blog', but FB and text messages became much faster and therefore the preferred method of getting the word out.  However, I believe chronicling these emotions will be something that Georgia can look back on to know how much her parents love her.

Georgia was born Thursday at 1:33am.  By Friday at 7:15am we were walking her down to the surgery room on the 1st floor of Kaiser Sunset.  I cannot describe the emotion of watching your daughter, whom since birth needed no medications or breathing tubes, be wheeled down a hallway to face a major surgery.

Dr. Roman Sydorak, our pediatric surgeon, is a blessing to the Kaiser system.  Surgeons know not to sugar coat much because information sharing on their end needs to be quick and concise.  He quickly walked into our post-mortem room at 8:30am and said "she did great!  the silo is installed and she's on her way back to the NICU".  The easiest way to understand a silo is to imagine a plastic bag with a hole in the bottom.  To empty the contents easily you can pull the handles upward and everything should slide out.  This is the physics of the Georgia's silo.

Friday we were allowed to stay another night at Kaiser, to remain close to our little girl.  Saturday became a little more stressful.  Cricket was discharged at 10am and check-in time at the Los Angeles Ronald McDonald House wasn't until 2pm.  We took a little trip to Target to get supplies, checked in at RM House, and ate a quick lunch.  By the end of the day, Cricket's feet-o-meters said that we were done being busy.  Any parent that has to leave their child at a hospital overnight will understand, it is the most empty feeling you can imagine, and has rejuvenated my desire to get her home ASAP.

That being said, the RM in Hollywood is an amazing facility.  It's far nicer than most hotels, and has the warmth you'd expect.  There are storage places for our food, a kitchen and dining room (built to resemble McD's of course), and secured parking while we stay.  Our room has a queen bed, it's own bathroom and shower, and all the amenities you'd need at home.  I can say with certainty that there's no greater feeling than knowing your belongings are secured and not having to live out of the back of your car.

Today is Sunday, I'm sitting in the NICU with my wife and child, just relaxing while the time flies by.  Cricket is healing very well, and has amazed me with how strong she was during the delivery and after when her child was taken to NICU.  It did help that Georgia is AMAZING and strong and Cricket was able to hold her before they took her to the NICU.  We are scheduled to have the primary closure of the O on Tuesday @ 2:30pm.  Please pray that Georgia is not in too much pain and can eat soon after having the final surgery.  I've attached another picture of our little girl.  The white wrap doesn't actually have any organs in it, it's simply the silo (which is empty now) and a lot of gauze to keep things clean.  Her stomach is as flat as a normal baby, it just needs to be buttoned up!