Thursday, April 12, 2012

Whew, What a Day!

I want to begin by saying THANK YOU SO MUCH for each and every one of your thoughts and prayers that you've said for Tessa and us. God is at work and He is Good.

How do I even describe everything that happened???

Writing it sure is a whole lot "easier" than talking on the phone about it. We have some "big ears" around here who don't need to hear certain things (if you know what I'm talking about). Mark and I didn't even have a chance to process together until after Tessa went to bed last night around 10 p.m.! Crazy! It sure felt good to get those inner thoughts OUT!

Yesterday was a day full of waiting. We were scheduled to start surgery at 10:30 a.m. but didn't get in until 11:30 a.m. I guess after I see that in writing it doesn't seem so hour, what's an hour, really? But when we'd been waiting there since 8:ish, super hungry, tired, just wanting this day to be finished, with a little girl who has no clue what exactly she's in extra hour seemed like an eternity! But, regardless...we tried to make the best of it.

See if you can tell what was in the corner of the room? (Our daughter doesn't get much t.v.!)

We were in the pre-op area for quite some time as well and were pleasantly surprised when Dr. Urata came to ask if we had any last minute questions. "When are we going to get the show on the road???" No, not really quite that blunt. ;) He mentioned that he was going to just focus on the lip nose. Hmmm, I guess that's a good thing, less change! He takes off and we wait quite a while longer. Tessa had gotten her "happy juice" so she's pretty much in a daze (glued to cartoons). Mark and I weren't necessarily in the mood to chit-chat. So, there we sat. Just thinking, letting my mind wander to the "what ifs". I got pretty weepy a few times. As they rolled her bed out into the hallway Mark hands me the camera. I decided I was a bit too shaken up to get the movie of them taking her away. (I don't think Tessa would really appreciate the state her mother was in while recording the movie...she watches them all the time!) Here's a little something I did get though...pretty good spirits, you think? :)

We said our good-byes, took one last look at that precious smile and then bee-lined it to the cafeteria. We finally got our food and sat down (12:15) at a table in front of some windows RIGHT BEHIND Dr. Urata! What in the world? "Hey, what are YOU doing here? Aren't you..." He replies with a smile on his face, "What? Is there somewhere else I should be right now?" Obviously, the man needs to eat. It just kind of threw us off. :)

This is our next waiting period. We were in the cafeteria for a while, then we got a coffee and walked around, got Tessa a fun "get well soon" balloon, made our way to the "waiting room" and sat there FOREVER. Yep, she was in the Operating Room for over 3 hours! And then, to top it all off, our computer wasn't connecting to the internet (hence the lack of updates throughout the day). The ONE advantage here was I felt the baby move a ton! I never just sit around long enough to feel this amazing child growing inside of me. Thank you, God! :)

Finally, we were called to head back to the Recovery Room. This part is always such a weird feeling. I remember when Tessa was ONE and having her first final lip repair done...what's she going to look like? Am I going to recognize her? Will she be awake or sleeping? So many questions! Walking into this situation left me a bit speechless. Praise the LORD she was sleeping for so long and praise the LORD one of her surgeons followed us to her bed! Wow. I think that is what both Mark and I said when we saw her. She looked completely different! Not in a bad way, but just in a "wow, that doesn't look like Tessa" way. I didn't get emotional (perhaps I was already spent? or, let's give God some credit here where credit is due. He prepared us, He was with us, His peace...the whole day. Thank you, God!), but we were so thankful she was peacefully sleeping so we could just stare at her for a while. Dr. Mancho (Dr. Urata's side kick) did an amazing job of taking his time explaining EVERYTHING to us, answered all of our questions, and even drew a picture of what they did.

We just sat and stared, can't believing that this was Tessa. She looked great. They ended up doing a bit of her nose, put some stints in her nostrils, removed a pretty good amount of her upper lip and re-connected it below her existing lip. See for yourself:

Pretty impressive, huh?

So, how's Tessa doing with all this? Pretty good. The first 24 hours she was extremely melancholy. (That's Mark's word. :)) We took her home after she drank some fluids and ate a popsicle. She got a nice wheelchair ride all the way to our car...pretty sweet deal! The whole time, pretty expressionless. She was worked! But, we got to take our baby home. :) Praise the Lord! We left at the prime rush hour time but didn't hit much traffic. Praise the Lord. We put in her prescription and they bent the rules to get us bubblegum flavored medicine. Praise the Lord. Grandpa and Grandma Fieldhouse went to the store to pick up some popsicles and then met us at home with proud sister, Molly. Praise the Lord. So much to be thankful for!
Molly's reaction..."Tessa owie, why? Why Tessa owie?

We realized very quickly that she doesn't like her nose splints, they are REALLY bothering her and she's concerned with others are going to say when they see the splints. "Mom, what if my friends laugh at me or think I look funny?" I personally don't think the splints are that bad (they're clear), it's the black blood that is pooling under her nose that bothers me. It just makes things look all the more painful! I've learned today, though, from my patient husband, to NOT pick at it! I had been taking a tweezers to the dry blood (not the scabs) and trying to pick it off. It wasn't doing any good. I thought it might make Tessa's first look in the mirror a little less dramatic. Is this MY vanity coming out? Please forgive me, Lord, if it is. She doesn't want anything bothering her in that area. (She's still bleeding, mostly out of her nose.) The first look in the mirror wasn't that bad. She looks very different but the only thing she saw was the splint.
I think she's just plain uncomfortable. Poor thing. She's having a tough time talking & smiling (even with her eyes) today. It's got to feel so weird to her. She did, however, sing a bit tonight. THAT made us happy, I think our Tessa is slowly coming back. :)
She's asleep in her bed again tonight...breathing VERY heavily. I'm thinking that probably has something to do with those stinkin' nose splints! Only 2 days shy of a month before they come out! Whoo-Hoo! Only 5 more days of yucky medicine! (The bubblegum just isn't hiding that awful taste.) It's going to be a long road ahead here, folks. Please don't stop praying for us. We've got some giants to face. I am confident that God gives us the strength we need for the times we need it most. He's at work for sure! She's been pretty sheltered/confined these last couple of days...we can only "protect" her so much. From here, people will be people and kids will be kids. God, give her strength!

I'll do my best to take more pictures so you can watch the healing process. :)


Autumn said...

Wow. Can't wait to connect with you and see her in person. Will keep praying.

debtfreesoldier said...

So good to read the update and to see the pictures! She looks great. We will continue to pray for you all as she heals. We would love to come and visit whenever you are feeling up to it. Love you!

Scott and Susan Vanden Berg said...

Thanks for the update--so honest and real. Hugs to Mark and all his beautiful ladies!

Anonymous said...

Oh my sweet little Tessa! She is looking so good in spite of the splints. Please tell her Miss Claudia is praying for a speedy recovery and that I love her.
Hugs to you and Mark too. What an ordeal!

Mary LeMonnier said...

First time on here! Somehow I didn't know about this blog. :) We will be absolutely praying for her continued recovery!! Glad that she is doing a bit better now. You made me cry thinking about one of my babies being wheeled away into surgery. You are one strong mama!!!