Monday, June 29, 2009

Gavin's New Look

It has definitely been a very long and emotional two weeks. Let me begin by going back to the morning of Gav's surgery...

Since Gavin's check-in time was 6 a.m., we had wanted to leave the house at 5 a.m., to make sure we got there in plenty of time. I woke Gav up about 2 a.m. for his last feeding before surgery. Afterwards, he drifted back to sleep, happy for the late-night snack; while I laid there sobbing at the thought of what was to come. I ended up oversleeping until 5 a.m., so we quickly threw some stuff together and headed out. I had forgotten the camera at home, so his initial post-op pics were taken from my camera phone.

I sat in the back seat of the car with him on the ride up so I could hold the pacifier in his mouth, since he was a bit hungry. But despite his hunger, he was so good the whole morning! Once we got there and waited for Dr. Martin and his team to take Gavin back to the surgery room, he was all smiles. He cooed and talked the whole time, completely unaware of what was about to happen. I cried most of the time, but completely lost it when they came to take my sweet boy in for surgery. We took this picture of Gavin before they took him back, and it quickly became the cell-phone wallpaper for me and both grandmas.

He was expected to be in surgery for 2 hours, but he was in there for 4! I was so anxious the entire time. Thankfully, my mom, Matt, and his parents were there as well. When Matt and I finally got to go back and see him, I practically ran down the hall. Then, when I saw my sweet boy, I was overwhelmed with emotion. He was groggy and swollen, and he looked so different. We all agreed that he looked older, but we weren't quite sure why. Here is one of his first post-op pics:

We had been given a private recovery room so that I could breastfeed, but Gavin wasn't able to latch on, he just kept crying and it was breaking my heart. Since I hadn't fed him since 2 a.m. that day, my breasts were so engorged that I thought they would pop. (And thank you, Joy, for telling me to wear dark colors because of the blood. It also helped conceal the fact that my shirt was soaked with milk due to leakage!) I tried to self-express some milk into a bottle so we could feed him and wow, was it painful! But I managed to get some out, although he still wouldn't take the bottle. I began to get really nervous that he would get dehydrated again.

When the ambulance arrived, they strapped Gavin in his carseat on the gurney. It brought tears to my eyes to see my tiny little boy in his carseat being wheeled on a gurney through the hospital halls. Luckily, they allowed me to accompany him on his ambulance ride across the street to the main hospital. When we arrived at the hospital, we were transfered to a room. (If you call it that - it was more like a closet with curtains for walls!) They brought me a breast pump so I could finally relieve some pressure and we could try to feed Gav. He still refused the bottle, so we tried a medicine dropper, which wasn't going great, but at least we were able to get some milk into him. At one point, the nurse came in to fix his IV, since it was coming out and I had to hold his little arm while she did it. It was awful - I was sobbing my eyes out, Gav was crying, and both grandmas were crying. What an emotional family we are!

That night and the following morning were rough. Since Gav likes to sleep on his tummy, I just let him sleep on my chest while I laid on the chair. Matt went out and slept in the car since there was only room for one chair in our room (or, closet). Gavin was so lethargic most of the night and the following morning. But thankfully, he began taking a bottle that morning so we could discontinue using the medicine dropper. I made sure to bug the nurses about keeping up on his pain meds and antibiotics. His morning nurse laughed when she gave him his Tylenol with codeine, because she said she had never had a baby like his medication so much. That's our boy! He did so well during the whole ordeal, I was so proud of him.

That day, Matt went home to get some much-needed rest, so my mom came to the hospital to keep us company. She said she loved every minute with Gavin and was so excited that I had called and asked her to come down. We were released about 3:30 p.m., so my mom loaded up our stuff and got the car ready for Gav and I while we waited in the room. It was so nice to finally be headed home. My mom dropped us off and I thanked her and told her I loved her.  I had no idea that that was the last time we would ever get to see her...


  1. Your last paragraph has me in tears.... {{{HUGS}}}

    Wow, so they did his surgery in the outpatient surgery center at the FMO. Interesting. Rachel has her very first surgery there, as well as tubes put in her ears there too.

    How are things going as to Gavin's recovery two weeks later??

  2. He looks adorable and very grown up now. One of my favorite pics of Aiden is when he was dressed in the gown and had no idea what was about to happen. I am sure his face is changing from day to day as the swelling decreases. Take LOTS of pics, you can never have too many (though my husband would disagree since our computer is running slower from having too many pictures uploaded to it.) :)

  3. Gavin looks great! I know you are so relieved to have this step behind you. So sorry for your tragic loss and praying for you...

  4. Hi, Kelly....little Gavin looks so sweet. We are continuing to keep you all covered in prayer. I wanted to let you know that I post on our family blog MUCH more than Reid's cleft blog. I haven't had time to update his blog in to keep up with us follow us at

    Do take care....and know that you are being thought of.

  5. Hi! Just stopping by from Darcy's blog. My little boy just turned 2 and was born w/a unilateral cleft lip and palate. I look forward to hearing all about your sweet little guy :o)