Olivia Rose: Surgery

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
My first baby to need surgery. Man, this was a hard pill to swallow. If you read about Livy bean's fractured finger, then you might have an idea as to why our girl had to have surgery yesterday. After a follow-up appointment with her pediatric orthopedic doctor, x-rays showed that Olivia's alignment in her fractured pinky finger was way off. It was actually worse than the initial visit for the fractured pinky. The biggest concern with the alignment being off (the bone was pushed down as well) is the loss of motion range in her pinky and that is what started us on the discussion of surgery with her doctor. I'll admit, I bawled so bad when surgery was brought up. I mean, I was already emotional about the entire ordeal, to begin with... but Justin and I both thought that she'd be in a splint for a few weeks and that would be the end. Of course, we didn't have to opt into the surgery but I couldn't live with myself knowing that we didn't do all we could for the sake of our own feelings.
So, surgery. I collected all the information, Justin and I weighed the pros/cons, and then I researched the snot out of the pediatric surgery facility. Let. Me. Tell. You. The reviews were mostly bad. There was even a review in there specifically warning service members to stay away. SO MANY TEARS. Not only was my baby getting surgery, but the facility the physician uses was completely terrible. I remember calling Justin at work to talk about it and he was so dang calm. He said, "Babe. Then we will find another facility. We will find another doctor if we have to." Justin always manages to ease my mind and defuse a stressful situation. 
After collecting myself I called the ortho office and left a message for the doctor's PA. Instead, I received a call back from the doctor. He talked to me about the procedure, the need, and the facility in amazing detail. Just getting all the information from a physician that we had deemed credible.. I don't know, it definitely changed my attitude. I ended up calling the pediatric surgery facility to go over each of my concerns and I was met with honest answers and acknowledgment about their reviews. After thinking about it over the weekend, we filled out the pre-registration information on Monday and got a pre-op call shortly after.
I appreciated how thorough and prompt the staff was. So far so good. Tuesday morning came and our family was out the door by 5AM. We were required to be present at 6am for her surgery to happen at 7am. When we arrived, there were three other families there too. I couldn't believe how small these babies were. It shocked me. I initially had this idea that we were the worst parents on the planet and surely it wasn’t normal for your child to need surgery.. or general anesthesia this early in life... WRONG. I can still be extremely naive. Once we got into the office, we filled out the necessary forms, had a short wait, and then we headed back to get Olivia prepped. 
The nurses were so sweet and kind with our girl. Putting in her favorite movie - Moana. And dishing out the sweetest compliments on how adorable she was. Olivia did great with all of the vitals they needed, not giving a single fuss about anything. I appreciated how much feedback the nurses gave on the staff that would be present during Olivia's procedure in the OR. It seemed like we got the best, most knowledgeable bunch possible. I instantly got a wave of calm. The anesthesiologist, nurse that would be in the OR, and her physician all talked to us a great deal. Everything was explained - numbers, times, options, etc. They left me without a single question. Justin had to take Ava to school (forty minutes away), so he left just right before Olivia was taken back to the OR. 
They did give our babe some "giggle juice" beforehand to calm her before she had to leave us. Because we had explained to Olivia that we were there to fix her finger, I don't think she felt as nervous when the nurse carried her away. I told her I loved her, she said she loved me, we hugged/kissed/she hugged brother, and then I went back to the waiting room. I really loved that we were able to bring Olivia's personal items from home during this process too. I mean, I felt like she had a sense of familiarity with her even though I couldn't be there. I brought one of her favorite blankets and a Moana doll that was gifted to her after her fracture happened. I'm so glad we did that.
Over an hour passed before a nurse came to grab both Justin and I for an update with the pediatric ortho. Everything had gone successfully and he had taken a little more time to ensure that he did his best work. He didn't have to cut into her finger (THANK YOU JESUS) and was able to get that bone back on alignment. The doctor also put Olivia in a hard cast for the next four weeks (it is going to make life interesting), but we are 100% okay with this. The splint situation was not going to work for our adventurous, active girl. About 20 minutes later we were reunited with our sleeping beauty and again, the nurses on the "other side" of her surgery were just as amazing. So attentive and completely sweet. 
Olivia was still pretty out of it when we walked back into the room, but her first word was "Daddy" and she looked at him right in the face before dozing off again. They gave her more time to sleep off some of the gases from the anesthesia, and we stood by her bedside while she slept. She was so peaceful, snuggled up in her blanket. A little while later our girl was becoming more aware and instantly started talking about the IV in her foot and that she wanted it out. The nurse took out the IV, brought Olivia some water and a popsicle, and we helped her sit up so she could indulge.
I still can't believe how calm Olivia was. Her resiliency just amazes me. She didn't have any lingering effects from the anesthesia and immediately started eating food when we got in the car. I packed her applesauce, a granola bar, and a banana - all of which was gone by the time we got home.
As much as I gripe about the state of Texas, I am so dang grateful for all of the skilled and knowledgeable people that took care of my girl. Who knows if we'd have been afforded the same situation anywhere else. The next few weeks are going to be challenging, as far as getting Olivia to slow down a bit, but I'd take that challenge over any other option.
Our baby is healthy, healing, and safe. I could not ask for more.

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