Penny was scheduled for her first surgery at 12:15 on March 2nd. We had to be there at 10:15. She needed drops put in her eyes before the surgery – 3 different drops 3 times in 15 minutes. The first set of drops made her cry, of course. The second set made her scream! For a normally easy-going and happy girl, the sound of that cry was heart-breaking. But, the third set of drops, she didn’t even make a sound.
Penny lying in a hospital crib
From the pre-op area, the nurse carried Penny into the OR, with a porter pushing her crib behind. It made me feel better that she was carried, like they were going to take better care of her because she was a little baby and not just a patient. I’m not sure if I can put it into words the way I felt. But I think it would have broken my heart to see my little almost 10 pound girl wheeled away in a big 6-foot hospital style crib.
Beautiful Penny eyes
Penny was brought back to the day surgery unit at 3:00 pm. I’m sure for most people, that 3 hours would have felt like forever. For me it didn’t, thought I’m not sure why. Again, the nurse carried her instead of wheeling her. I had been waiting since 8:15 to feed her, and unfortunately had just pumped my breastmilk. So I fed her from a bottle – which actually worked better in this case. She was hungry, but still quite groggy. So the first ounce and a half was eaten a little at a time. Then all of a sudden she realized how hungry she was and chugged the rest. This was the first obstacle we had to overcome. The second would be holding down her meal. She did that as well.
Post-surgery Penny snuggling with her daddy
Unfortunately Penny’s oxygen level kept dropping. Usually to about 85% when it should be between 95-100%. Twice that I saw it dropped to below 80%. But as soon as the alarm went off, her oxygen level would go right back up to where it should be. The nurse thought it was a kind of apnea, where Penny would stop breathing, and as soon as the alarm went off it would startle her into breathing again. By 8:00, she’d been on oxygen to keep her levels up, still hadn’t had a wet diaper, and the nurses were a little bit worried. They called the anesthesiologist, who decided to keep us overnight for observation. By morning she was able to go without the pumped oxygen, so the anesthetic had finally worn off. She had one bout of fussiness at 5:30 where she only wanted to cry. But when a baby gets upset like that, their oxygen level goes down and their heart rate goes up. I had alarms going off for both, plus the O2 meter kept sliding on her toe, so the alarm would go off saying it couldn’t read her at all. And my poor baby was crying and attached to all these cords so I couldn’t go get a nurse to shut the alarms off. Finally, a nurse came and helped. Shortly after we did everything to stop her crying – fed her, changed her diaper, swaddled her and took her for a walk around the unit. Something worked because it put her to sleep.
We were discharged at 10:30 this morning, and headed down a floor to the vision clinic to see a doctor there at 11:00. The doctor pulled off her eye patch – which made her scream again, and checked out her eye. The doctor didn’t say much to me, just that it looked good, and that I should bring her back on Thursday. We got prescriptions for Tobradex (Tobramycin-Dexamethason Op) ointment which is a corticosteroid and antibiotic, and San Prednisolone (Prednisolon Ace Oph) which is a corticosteroid eyedrop.
So, surgery #1 is done. My baby girl still smiles at me, and I can still breastfeed her (if with a little difficulty feeding from one side). I’d say it’s been a success and not the most stressful 2 days by far. Surgery #2 is coming up on the 13th for her other eye.