She had a really good new years eve night...she slept well. (And so did I!) She cried when she was awakened with a fingerstick at 5:30 yesterday morning, but feel right back to sleep. I think she was starting to get used to the poking and prodding.
Her swelling slowly started to decrease as the day went on. It felt good to hear the nurses comment on her beautiful blue eyes as they began to peek through her eyelids. I closed my eyes to hear what she was hearing and then barely opened them to see what she could see now. It was amazing to watch her rediscover her hands and then her toys and then faces throughout the day. She was so happy when she could watch her toys move around in her little fat hands and then shove them in her mouth. Her ears have started to go back to where they are supposed to be...they were being pushed forward by the swelling. And you can start to see the lumps and bumps that Dr. Miller had told us about on the back of her head. The back of her neck is so swollen she looks like a bald, heavy weight boxer from the back.
A partner of Dr. Puccioni stopped by in the morning and checked her over. He said she looked great from a neurological standpoint - was moving and making noise and eating like they would expect her to. He said it was up to the Dr. Miller, but he had no concerns about her going home. Dr. Miller came in later and was very pleased to see that her eyes were beginning to open. He said again that they really would not be doing anything for her in the hospital that we could do at home. The only medications she would continue taking Lortab for pain every 6 hours, Iron every 6 hours, and cephalexin (an antibiotic) twice a day. And Nile would have to put the light sabers away for a while. If we had any questions, we could call him and he would tell us if she needed to be seen right away. Otherwise we could drive back down to Omaha to see him or Dr. Puccioni. But judging by how quickly she was progressing, he thought we could handle it at home. We would follow up with Dr. Miller in 2 weeks and Dr. Puccioni in 3 weeks. If she has no neurological problems, we will not follow up with Dr. Puccioni after that. But she will see Dr. Miller about every three months for a while to make sure her skull is developing as it should. He said we will know if she needs to have any other surgeries in 9-12 months, but he is hopeful that she will not. He also gave us the option to stay one more night if we weren't comfortable with leaving. I thought there was no way I was going to bring my swollen, hurting, vulnerable baby girl home. I can't handle this...think of all that could happen. It didn't matter that she was ready...I wasn't.
I noticed when some of the swelling went down that she still has the faint tattoo of the neurosurgeon's initials...I guess that means I have the right baby. She already looks so different. I'm assuming that when the swelling goes down completely she will look more like the Adeline we are used to again - just improved!
When she woke up from a nap at noon yesterday she was talking and talking, like she would usually do before the surgery (wonder where she gets that?) but with her eyes closed. I let her finish her conversation and then snuck over to her bed. I said "good mornin' baby girl!" and she peeked out of her little eyelids slits, looked at me, and SMILED!!! It was the medicine that I needed to start recovering.
I decided that it would be best to get her out of there. It was an extremely intense, life transforming (in so many levels) three nights in one of the best children's hospitals in the world. I needed to trust that all that was medically necessary at this point was already done. And now Aaron and I had to take responsibility and use our own resources and parental instincts to help her heal.
It did feel good to walk in to our home last night. And the little trooper did surprisingly well. We went to bed very late - close to midnight. She woke up (pretty upset) at 3am to cuddle and eat a little and then at 7 am to eat a little more and take her pain medication. Grayma and Graypa spent the night with us, and my dad said that Grayma had a hard time listening to her cry.
Grayma and graypa and some good friends helped to buy a video baby monitor to put above her crib in her bedroom. I would have liked to put a crib up in our living room, but I know with a 4 year old brother running around she wouldn't be able to get any rest. Our house is 100 years old, and walking up the noisy stairs to the second floor bedrooms and opening up the creaky door every time I wanted to check on her would not promote a peaceful environment for healing. The monitor was the greatest gift...I was able to peek in throughout the night, and then this morning I have been able to do things around the house (i.e. give Nile the attention he has been starved of) without having to constantly worry about how she is doing.
Went to mass this morning. My mind and heart was overwhelmed with thankfulness and praise. I even starting thinking about when Dr. Puccioni and Dr. Miller were children. Did their parents have any clue that their children would grow up and change lives like they do? That their little babies would be so gifted that some day God would use their minds and hands to perform medical miracles? Its unbelievable.
They announced that next week's Knights of Columbus breakfast will be a benefit for Adeline. I couldn't help but cry. We are so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by so many generous people... at church and at work, family and friends. I guess God knew what he was doing when he sent us to live in Sioux City. I really wasn't sure what He had planned 5 years ago when we moved. And we really aren't sure how to accept all of the love and support and generosity. Sometimes it feels pretty surreal, and sometimes I wonder how we would get by without it. I don't think we will ever be able to fully return the favors, but we will spend the rest of our lives trying.
I told myself that I wouldn't refer to the obvious cliche - starting off a "new year" like we have - but gee wiz, God always has a perfect plan.