Wednesday, February 25, 2009

little m's surgery day!

i honestly can't believe that little m's surgery has happened
it was such a fight for it to happen, with so many ups and downs along the way...
we left our house at 5:30 to get to stanford in time to check in. 
we took lots of pictures and video along the way since when little m is bigger this day will be such an important part of her personal history!
grandma and grandpa drove up to meet us early and be there for the surgery. m was silly as can be, despite the early wake up call and no breakfast. she was crawling around in the waiting room and climbing on us as we waited to be called in.
little i.d. band for our little patient. 
her surgery took place in the regular surgery facility, 
so she was the only tiny person in the pre-op and post-op areas! 
they were scrambling to find her a teeny gown and socks. 
our nurse couldn't figure out how to get her blood pressure with the equipment she had, so there seemed to be some makeshift action going on...
m was very playful as the nurse took her vitals and got her ready.
waiting with her daddy for the doctor to fill us in + give us the okay
dr. ort, one of the doctors from california ear institute came and initialed m by each ear
it was a little scary to hand m over to the anesthesiologist and say goodbye, 
but he was so friendly and experienced that it really reassured us. 
m was fixated on his hat so we watched them walk down the long hallway. 
we just stood there for a couple of minutes hugging and praying that our baby would be safe, and then went out to wait.
some of us read, paced, chatted, texted...
sometimes while we waited we were surrounded by lots of friends and family
other times it was a little more on the quiet side
i kept looking up at the big computer screen that tracked all of the procedures for the day. 
it kind of reminded me of the screen at the dmv, 
when you are waiting for your number to pop up...

finally they finished the surgery!!!! and came out to get us.
but only one parent could go back and be with her. without even asking i said, "i'll go!" and left matt in the dust. 
dr. roberson (who i think is fabulous) came by to fill me in on the surgery; 
he said everything had gone as well as possible, 
and that m had done a great job!

she alternated between sleeping and being very upset and inconsolable as she came out of the anesthesia. they had no room for us in the children's hospital, so matt and i took turns holding her in the recovery room. it was a very long wait, from about 11 when the surgery finished to 6 pm. um, yeah. 7 hours of tag-team baby holding until they could locate a room for her. 
they just wanted to monitor her overnight since she's only ten months old.

unfortunately, the room they finally got us was in the pediatric oncology wing. 
and we had to share, so we traipsed in to this poor little boy's room who is fighting freaking cancer. 
a four year old + cancer. 
it kind of put a damper on us post-surgery.
i am not kidding you, 
it always puts things in perspective for me to spend a couple of minutes (or the night) 
in a children's hospital. 
we may have quite the road ahead of us with little m,
 but our journey will be a lot easier than many others'.
we figured m was slowly recovering when she dove into a bowl of cheerios, although her fine motor skills were, well, a little on the slow motion side of things...
for once our little one was snuggle city 
(how did i, queen of snuggling, end up with a non-snuggly baby i'll never know...)
be fooled by this photo. 
my daughter did not sleep in her crib.
m slept until about 9 pm and then she was awake all night long. 
we walked the halls, i.v. in tow, and made friends with the nurses, flipped through the channels on the lounge's tv, and looked at the art lining the walls.
the next morning her doctor came and took off her fancy purple bandages, 
and said we were free to go!
now she just has small band-aids over her incision sites (behind each of her ears); 
we head back to the surgeon next week to make sure it all looks good, but she seems to be adjusting to her old self!
we will go in a few weeks to get the external portion of her implants, and to get them mapped, which is when she will get sound in those lil' ears!


  1. I love all the pics! SO glad surgery went well. I'll have to look you up on facebook....

  2. i agree - these pics are wonderful! i laughed out loud at the part when you "left matt in the dust"...awesome.

  3. Amy shared this with us. We are so thankful that she has been implanted! How exciting for all of you when she hears her first sounds! Her world will never be the same! How blessed we are to live in an era where such technology exists. Best wishes for an ever expanding life for Monrovia and you. More good than bad! Fondly, Mark and Joan Hoffman

  4. Congrats on a successful surgery! Wow ... our babies aren't too far apart in age huh? To me, the surgery was the hardest part and I feel so at ease now that it's over. Just think ... our little ones will be hearing in no time! AMAZING!

  5. Hmmm, I posted a comment earlier, but it didn't show up. I am SOOOO glad to hear that her surgery went well! I must admit that I started to cry while reading the update, just because I am so scared about what Troy will have to go through in about 6 months. It sounds like you are doing well and I pray for a speedy recovery and SOUND! ~Shelley
    P.S. Little M got her own special little blog on my page so my family/friends can come and read what she went through. Hopefully this will get them prepared for Troy's surgery later this year.

  6. this story gives me goosebumps. I'm so proud of you guys for fighting for this amazing dream. She's a lucky girl to have you 2.

  7. love the post. prayed for and with you all this morning at fruitvale!

  8. thanks, friends, for all of your comments! i appreciate you being a part of our journey! this new leg is just beginning!

  9. Susannah, Come and stay with me and Ed when you come south and across the bay to Stanford! We live about 5 minutes away from the hospital. Congratulations on Monrovia's successful surgery! You and Matt are brave to do it and it will turn out great! Being parents forces you to find out exactly who you are and go out on limbs to get there.
    Call me at home 650-328-0377 or send me an e-mail. Really we would love to see you, Matt, and Monrovia!
    xoxo, Sarah

  10. Your story sounds very familiar. My son also had surgery done by Dr. Roberson at 9 months and also spent the night in the ped. oncology ward. It definitely put everything in perspective for us! Your little girl will be just fine. CIs are amazing and the team at CEI is incredible! Feel free to read our blog about Kevin at He is only 2 years ahead of your little girl.

  11. How did I miss this post??!! I am SO relieved that her surgery went off without a hitch. We had EXACTLY the same room for us in the "inn" so I sat by myself with her in recovery for 3 hours before demanding that they let Michael back because he still hadn't seen her post-surgery. We waited about 6 hours and also ended up in oncology and shared a room with an adult (former child patient so she still went to LPCH) who had a 4 year old who kept wanting to touch Landry. What a nightmare!!! For so many reasons, I'm glad that the surgery process is over for you guys!!

  12. oh my goodness- too crazy that you guys both ended up at stanford oncology! yes, i, too, am thrilled that surgery is over!!!! yippee!


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