I've been working on a great post about developmental issues (and how Becca's development is awesome), but - and I know you've heard this before - I haven't gotten around to putting it on "paper," so bear with me. I did just finish a weekend leading a trip of 35 (mostly youth), complete with a trip to the hospital (back to VCH!) and a broken-down church bus, so cut me some slack. (All are now well, thank God, excepting the bus transmission.)
But I did want to give all you Monday morning readers a teaser and a heads-up. Becca will be having her long-awaited surgery Tuesday afternoon at 1:30. Dr. Morgan will repair her left inguinal hernia and check for one on the right, and Dr. Werkhaven will place tubes in her ears. While she is still sedated, the wonderful audiologist Mary will repeat the ABR, which is the extensive hearing test to make sure that the tubes do, indeed, fix her hearing issues. We should know something relatively definitive about her hearing by late Tuesday afternoon.
Each of these procedures are considered minor and would be outpatient surgeries for a less medically-involved child, but they will keep Becca overnight for observation, as we aren't sure how she will do with the anesthesia. (So finally, a chance to see our fabulous night nurses!) We will not be back in the NICU; we expect to be up on one of the higher floors, but if things do get complicated, she would end up in the PICU (Pediatric ICU) now that she's a graduate who has been out in the big, wide world (though that really just means our house). We expect to be sent home sometime Wednesday afternoon.
John and I are feeling pretty good about the surgery. We're particularly excited for her to finally get the tubes in her ears, as even though she is definitely hearing better than she used to, we're afraid that her hearing loss is already affecting her communication development. (That is, it's affecting her in ways that she will make up pretty easily, but we'd rather get the show on the road if she is going to eventually have normal hearing - or know for sure if she is not.) We are, of course, nervous, as any parent would be with the risks of anesthesia, but her risks are a bit greater than most children's, and she has less reserve if anything does go wrong. However, she's already showed us how incredibly strong and resilient she is, so I, at least, feel a little less nervous that I might had she not already come through so much. That might be a little counterintuitive, but perhaps you understand.
Assuming she comes through the surgery and anesthesia fine (which I'm going to assume until I have good reason not to do so), I'm most concerned about the next week or two. Becca's gotten into a pretty good routine these past few weeks (though Mommy's trip this weekend threw it off a bit), particularly concerning the nights. She's sleeping great, but she won't go to sleep without a bath. She LOVES her bath. And we love giving it to her. But she won't be able to take one for 10 days post-surgery (in order to keep the incision dry). We are already plotting ways to get her in the tub and convince her she's having a real bath while just sponge bathing her so that she'll still be in her routine - and thus, sleep.
I just said that my biggest concern is whether or not Becca will be able to sleep at night without a bath. Look at some of the old posts and think about how amazing our girl is! From "will she live" to "will she let Mommy sleep all night" - nice. What's a little surgery for a girl like that?
We are well-acquainted with Vandy's WiFi, so we'll be sure to post an update as soon after the surgery as possible. She's likely to be sedated until around 4 CST (but who knows when we'll actually get settled in a room, etc.). I'll try not to leave you hanging on this one! We'd appreciate your prayers and feel free to share this information with your church staffs, etc. (you know, since we've got a pretty clergy-heavy readership here...I'm willing to bet that one of you is reading this post while in a boring staff meeting!).
Be well, do good work, and we'll be in touch.
p.s. Height and weight check: 20.5 inches and 9 pounds, 3 ounces. She now eats her birthweight in milk each day. Chunky monkey!