Friday, January 8, 2010

Cardon Children's Hospital and a Double Serving of Yams

Eve had surgery yesterday. It was just an inguinal hernia, not a big deal. Even though we've only had one broken bone around these parts, this is the second child to have this surgery (Heidi in 1991).
Dr. M said it would be five hours tops in the hospital. Be there at 7 am, surgery at 9, out by 10, home by 11. Totally do-able.
I set my alarm for 4:15 am, so that I could feed the patient before the cutoff time of 4:30, then we snuggled and burped until it was time to leave. Daddy gave her a nice priesthood blessing, and we were off.
Eve has been alive longer than Cardon Children's Hospital has been open, so this was our first adventure there. It is beautiful and designed for children's needs. I was really impressed.
The waiting room was empty when we got to the surgery wing, so my hopes were high that this would be quick. We were taken back, weighed and measured (10 lb. 12 oz., 55 cm), and then we waited. And waited. Our room was directly across from the nurses' station--perfect eavesdropping location. A call came in around 8:45, and I could tell that our quick trip to CCH was in jeopardy. A new baby had been born at 7:30 with gastroschissis, a birth defect where part or all of the intestine is outside the abdominal cavity. I was slightly aware of what this was, since my friend's nephew had had this exact complication at birth, and I knew surgery was necessary. But when? The NICU determined that when was now. I was annoyed, because Heidi's hernia repair had been delayed for exactly the same reason--NICU emergency. And she had screamed from hunger for two hours before she was taken back. Not really what I'd been planning. This was a new hospital, a new huge hospital. Didn't they have provisions for things like this? Guess not. The surgery floor manager came to tell me of the delay, and I smirked, "This happened the last time we had this surgery done." When relaying the information to Eve's nurse, he quietly said, "And Mom's pretty upset about it." Weird. Didn't think I was upset. Just bugged. I mean, I had a NICU baby. I know things like that happen.

And this is the moment that it hit me. If I really wanted to keep my New Year's Resolution, I needed to act now. With a quick whispered prayer, I vowed that this would be my first challenge--give up my annoyance so that someone else could have the OR. They would never know that someone else had sacrificed their time so that their baby could begin their road to recovery. But I would know. And that made the next 2 1/2 hours waiting in pre-op bearable. In fact, they weren't difficult at all. Eve sucked her pacifier dry, but she mostly slept. And when she was awake, she charmed the staff with smiles and goos. By the time she was allowed to eat in recovery, it had been eight hours since her last feeding. But it was okay.

What difference did it make in the lives of the NICU baby and its family? None. What difference did it make in mine? A lot. Not only did Baby Eve stay calm, but because I had been mellow about the whole situation, the nurse called me back to feed her the Pedialyte, instead of the nurse doing it. She said it was because I "wasn't a freak-o mom like most that come through there." Small blessing #1.

Eve came home and she was quite cranky for the rest of the night. And who could blame her? Anesthesia makes most people a little grouchy, plus both incisions must hurt a little, as well. I just held her all afternoon. And that was the most important, blissful use of my time--nothing but me and my baby (and chaos building all around us!). Lucky me. Another small blessing.

I've decided to call these moments "Yellow Afghan Moments"--YAMS. If you missed my entry about Eve's yellow afghan, you can read about it here. I don't know exactly what these YAMS will be. They will probably evolve over the year as I know I will.

Hope you can recognize the value of everyday in your everyday--today and every day!

post-script: If you need the name of a really patient family photographer, Stacey Hemeyer took these new shots. You can access her website here. She's patient, and as a side bonus, she's reasonably priced as well!


  1. I love the YAMS idea. And I'm so glad that Eve's surgery went well.

    Ryan had double inguinal hernias, and we had them operated on the day before Dave and I were sealed. He was only 8 months old, so we had three children with us in the sealing room. I do remember that the woman who cared for the children and brought them to us when it was time for that sealing was a little nervous about being in charge of a little guy who was being held together at two points only by tape! But she was a trooper...and so was Ryan.


  2. Hey - this is your friend's, nephew's mom...that make sense? AKA Jenny Smith, sis-in-law of Janette and daughter of Theresa.

    Anyway, I came upon your blog through Jacquie's and had to comment about the gastroschisis. You are right, I never thought if another baby's surgery had to be bumped because of our little guy. Your comment made me stop and think about those days - glad and grateful they are over. I now have even more gratitude for the patient people - angels really - who sacrificed time and energy on our behalf. Thanks for the reminder of what a miracle really took place all those years ago.

    I am so glad your baby's surgery went well. What a beautiful girl!

  3. The new look and pictures are fab, and I'm glad the surgery went well, even if it wasn't the way you had planned it.

  4. I'm glad to hear the surgery went well. I hope baby Eve continues doing well. I'm also glad she was so good for that extra time. I've had that experience of baby crying from hunger, waiting for surgery. It truly is grueling.

    This post made me think about how we can make ourselves better through little things. The other thing that I think is important is acknowledging what we accomplished. Reflecting back on our choices and the result, helps us learn and grow.