Thursday, July 9, 2009

Taking it Day-by-Day

Post-Op Pic

In my last post, I described Gavin's recovery in the hospital.  That evening, he still wasn't breastfeeding, so I had to try and pump as often as I could, but my milk supply was already slowing down.  The following day, on the 17th, I continued to try to breastfeed, but Gavin was too sore to do it.  I spoke with my mom that morning and teared-up as I told her that I never realized how much I would miss breastfeeding.  I was afraid that he would never latch on again and I would miss out on that special bonding-time that we share while he nurses.  My mom told me not to worry, that he would latch on again in time.  She also told me that she was proud of herself because she had finally figured out how to be a follower of my blog and had left her first comment.  This is what she said:

Hey Kel,
Now that it's all done, I still find that I have overwhelming emotions. The grand parent roller coaster is just as scary and emotional as the parent one. I love Gav's new look, though for some reason he looks older now, but I miss his big smile and will forever treasure that adorable photo of him in the surgical hat, it's precious. I love you all more than you know. Mom/Gramma

That afternoon, Gavin finally latched on and I was so excited, I cried.  I tried to call my mom to tell her, but I just got her voicemail.  She never got to hear that he had latched on...

My dad called at that same moment and I told him excitedly that Gavin had was nursing.  He was happy for us but concerned that he couldn't get ahold of my mom, either.  Later that evening, my dad arrived at the house to let us know what had happened.  I've never been so out-of-control with my emotions.  When I saw his face, I already knew what he was going to say and I began sobbing uncontrollably, shaking, and yelling at the same time.  It was the worst news of my life...

After that, with Gavin still only two days into his recovery, I had a very hard time.  Matt really had to step up and be both mom and dad for Gavin since I spent a few days just sleeping.  I rarely got off the couch and only moved to pump milk, which I wasn't even doing as often as I should have.  I wasn't eating or drinking regularly either, so my milk supply was dropping quick.  I was barely staying ahead of Gavin's appetite.

One Day Post-Op

Two Days Post-Op

Thankfully, I have wonderful, supportive friends and family who helped me get back on track.  I was able to build up my milk supply and continue breastfeeding, which is what I know my mom would want me to do.  She always told me that Gavin comes first and I need to take care of his needs before anything else, and she was right.  Overall, Gavin was doing very well with his recovery.  His scar looked great.  The stitches, arm restraints, and nose plugs didn't seem to bother him too much.  We did take the restraints off for awhile each day while we sat next to him to allow him to stretch his arms.

Five Days Later - Healing Well

One Week Later

On his one week post-op appointment, the stitches were removed and the arm restraints no longer had to be on.  However, Gavin was not happy to be wrapped up like a burrito to have the stitches removed and he let Dr. Martin, his staff, and most of the other patients know it!  After that, he still had to have the nose plugs in for an additional week.

Not Happy to be "Burrito-Wrapped"

No More Arm Restraints!

That week, the nose plugs kept falling out.  They would only fall out of one nostril at a time, but then we would have to keep pushing them back in and Gavin would fuss almost every time.  I know it must have bothered him because it was stitched in through the septum by a single stitch.  So, when it would fall out on one side, it would pull on the stitch and become uncomfortable.  Needless to say, we were very relieved to have it removed.  However, he had to be wrapped up burrito-style once again and once again, it did not go over well.  He yelled all the way to the car!

Happy to be Nose-Plug Free!

Since then, we have been diligently applying bacitracin cream to his nostrils and upper lip four times daily, as directed by Dr. Martin.  He looks great and is healing beautifully.  The only problem we are having now is that he has been very fussy lately.  On the 4th of July, he screamed throughout most of the fireworks show, which I'm sure my neighbors loved.  The noise didn't seem to bother him, it was something else, but we couldn't figure it out.  He finally calmed down after I got him naked and nursed him.  I guess he likes to be naked while he eats.  Hey, whatever works!  Matt suggested that Gavin may be fussy due to the anxiety I have been feeling lately and I'm sure that has something to do with it.

I'm trying my best to relax and appreciate the joy in my life, but I am just so incredibly sad over the loss of my mom.  I feel as if I will never be that happy again.  She was my best friend and mentor.  I know I was too dependent on her, but she never seemed to mind.  I cried today when I remembered a few moments we shared about a month ago.  On one occasion, I went to my parents' house when I needed a break for awhile and my mom let Gavin and I nap on her bed.  I told her that I always felt so comfortable and safe at her house.  When I woke up, I was hungry, so she made me a tuna sandwich.  Then, she even put some extra tuna in a tupperware container for me to take home and make sandwiches with during the week because she knew that I wasn't eating properly since I was so busy with Gav.  She always took care of me, even at 27.  Another time, we were out shopping shortly before Gav's surgery day and he was in need of a clean diaper.  She told me that we would need to change him in the car, and--being a naive new mom--I said, "How??"  She laughed and told me she would do it.  She just laid him gently on the backseat and changed him quickly and efficiently.  When she stood up, she complained of back pain (from years of holding 55 foster babies and 4 children of her own).  I then felt guilty, thinking that I should have done it, but she said she didn't mind a little back pain when it came to Gavin.  She loved and cherished every minute with him.  Oh, how I wish he could know her love!  I could go on forever about how wonderful and amazing my mom was, so I will stop this post for now.

I'm hoping to become more regular with my posting again, since I take pictures of Gav almost daily and love to share his cute-ness with everyone!


  1. Seeing all the pictures was great! He looks great!! It is amazing how quickly our little guys heal. Gavin WILL know how wonderful and amazing your mom was, he will know through your stories and through your love to him. Alexis, even though she was never around when my dad was alive, knows lots about Papa and will even say when she does something good, "papa would be so proud of me right now!" And he would be, just as Gramma is so proud of her strong Gavin and mom is so proud of her strong daughter who will carry on that legacy. I pray that you will be able to figure out why he is being fussy recently and be able to get past that soon. Never fun to have a fussy baby and not be able to figure out what is causing it. Thanks again for the update and the pictures.

  2. Oh, Kelly, this post breaks my heart. I, too, have a very devoted mother who I couldn't make it without. She keeps Sawyer and Riley for me while I work and I honestly wouldn't be able to do it without her. I know that I'm too dependent on her too...

    So glad that breastfeeding is going well. The week that I went back to work Riley was sick (with ear infections) so I didn't get to pump diligently and my milk supply plummeted. So no more breastfeeding for us.

    Praying for peace and comfort for you during this most difficult time...

  3. Well you sure know how to make a grown girl cry. :)

    A wonderful, wonderful post/tribute to the mother and grandmother your Mama was.

    Her time was cut short, and there are going to be a lot of 'firsts' that she misses, but she gave you 27 years of mothering advice through her example. And such a wonderful example she was.

    IN the post that your Mama wrote, about the grandparent rollar coaster just as tough as the parent one, my Mama says the same thing!

    Hang in there Kelly. I'm still praying for you.