Happy dance happening around here! Benjamin's cast came off today! YAY! We have been counting down the weeks and days for this to happen. From the diapering, him not being able to move, not being able to all drive in the same car, no real baths, not being able to cuddle, and, well....... I could go on and on and on about all the reasons I have had for the cast to come off. Number one has just been wanting to see him be able to act like a kid again to not be restrained.
Like I said, I have been doing the count down and my happy dance has gotten bigger and bigger ever day approaching today. However I have also been scared. I have been burying my fears in the excitement of the cast being gone. For me surgery was my biggest fear, all the things that could go wrong and surgery just made it feel more real. When I saw Ben for the first time after surgery, I was apprehensive to look under his blanket at his leg, even though it was covered in a crazy huge cast. The fact that the cast had no foot on the end made it look strange, but it still didn't feel "real", it wasn't connecting, even though I knew it wasn't there and the cast had no foot, my brain was still seeing foot. I was scared for today because that is when it would become real.
We showed up at Ben's appointment today very ready, but not ready. lol It happened very quick too, the nurse came in with her fancy saw and not two minutes later he was free.
The nurse had me scoop him up off the bench and out of the back side of the cast. Tears instantly welled up. I could hold him again, I could cuddle him against my chest. But I was mostly crying because it clicked. There was no foot. I have known this was going to happen since he was a few months old, I knew his foot was removed 6 weeks ago when I saw him laying in his hospital bed after surgery. Just knowing it wasn't enough for me though, I still wanted to imagine my baby with his foot.
It has happened. It is real. I don't like it. I know God has a plan for this little man though and I am looking forward to watching him grow.
Anyways! Besides all of that, Benjamin is doing GREAT! His incision has healed beautifully, he has good blood supply to his stump heel and everything looks perfect to the doctors. Currently he is wearing a "stump shrinker", basically a very tight sock, he will wear that for two weeks. Then he will get his leg molded, a week and a half later, a fitting in his prosthetic, a week or two after that, and we will get to take his leg home.
Our little guy is so happy to be free of his cast, though still getting used to not wearing it. When we got home Josh set him on the floor and he was twisting and turning like he was still in it! It looked so funny! He has been totally content playing, he sat on the floor for over an hour and he didn't squeal for me to hold him! YAY! This guy even tried walking on his leg a little. Though he is very weak from being in a cast for 6 weeks and his stump is still sensitive. They said it will be a while for the sensitivity to go away, but that he will have no pain and he can do whatever he wants on that leg. Which is kinda crazy to us, but is so cool to see! This boy is going to just do amazing in life, I cannot wait to watch him grow.
Okay! I am going to share some pictures of Benjamin's leg, in the cast then of his stump before a bath, then after. Before his bath there is dried blood and tape on it, not pretty, but part of his story. SO! If you don't like that sort of thing, consider yourself warned! ;P Honestly though, it isn't that bad, and I don't usually like stuff like this ESPECIALLY in person! It could also be though that he is my baby and I'll love him no matter what! :D
Oh my goodness though! I have the cutest baby boy ever! Look at Him!
Un-casted leg pictures following these two, Just to warn you again. ;)
And all clean, Before and After
Who is good at self care? Not me! I am so bad about it, because I can get away with not having any, I am super mom!
I know, You are probably raising an eyebrow at those words or laughing because you think I am a crazy person. Well I used to think I could get away with not setting any time aside for myself. "Who has time for that anyways?" was my constant thinking. I have two kids, a small business, a husband and housework, the last thing I should be doing is stopping to do something I don't need to do.
I have in the past few months discovered though (the hardish way I'm sure) that when I set aside a little time for me I am a much more relaxed person. It can be hard to find time to take time for just me though, I can't even pee by myself, let alone take a whole bunch of time to do whatever I want. lol Nap times and bed time I'm usually trying to crochet stuff for the shop, or I am sketching designs for people, Or I am doing dishes, laundry and cleaning kid messes. I have noticed that I don't need much time, just enough to give my mind a break and relax. Lately that means crocheting granny squares for a blanket, for me. Not for the shop, a gift or for the kids, for me! Oh my goodness, I am so excited about it too! It usually isn't a lot of time, maybe 20min. or short 5min. snippets throughout the day. Those little bits of time though are so nice, I am even reading a book! Which it has been a year since I picked up any book besides my Bible.
I also have been treating myself to little "luxuries". Buying a little something just for me every now and then, not for the kids, house or husband. Right now I have buying plants, I love plants, either for my garden or pots inside. They never cost much, maybe 1-4 dollars, but I always feel treated and I get to enjoy them everyday! My latest spoil was an Aloe Vera, which I was able to split into three. It is so pretty and I even used on one of Josh's burns.
Side Note! It stinks! Why does it stink so bad? Is it just mine or do they all smell weird? Josh wasn't very happy about it being on him after he smelled it! hahaha
Anyways! If you don't take self care time you should, even if you are like me and you only get a 5min. snippet, I promise, it is worth it. :D
I am here with a full update on Benjamin's stay at the hospital and his recovery since then.
The morning of, he was unhappy about me waking him up at 4:30am. Of course he fell right to sleep as soon as he was in the car, but oh my goodness, he was the cutest thing when we got to the hospital. They took us back to the pre-op room and the slider was open, so he sat there smiling at every person who went past. This of course had everyone "Oooing" all over him, because he is the most adorable little man ever!
So many nurses and doctors came into introduce themselves to us and Ben. Before we were even aware of what was going on, the anesthesiologist team and a nurse came in to get Benjamin. They pulled out a phone with a little kid game on it and the nurse held out her hands to take him. He of course is very social happy kids he just went for it. As they left the room with our baby I turned into a mess. All of the scary what if's immediately go racing through my head as we were no longer in control of what was happening to him. Watching them carry him through the hall, and him looking back at us all confused was extremely difficult. I am so happy though that he left happy and without crying for us, that would have made it hundred times harder.
Waiting was torture, it felt like forever! We had a little pager that would go off when they had updates for us. We got our first one at 9 to inform us that surgery had officially begun at 8:40, which was about an hour after he left us. Around 12:45ish we got a page to meet with the Doctor, He informed us that the surgery went perfectly. Benjamin took to the epidural just fine, he had minimal bleeding and the doctor said he has a "robust heel", which I guess makes for a better anchor inside his prosthetic. Ben's doctor told us it would probably be an hour or so and we would get another page to let us know when he had woken up. Not 15min later the pager went off. We checked in with the nurse and she told us he had woken up and one of us could go back to see him.
This of course wasn't a decision I even let Josh weigh in on. lol I was going back to see my baby, the mom in me took over, I was going to go protect my little one.
The nurse walked me into a room full of kids who were recovering from surgery. At the foot of Benjamin's bed she asked if I recognized him. I didn't. My baby had so many wires coming off him and he looked so out of it. I'd never seen him look like that before. Suddenly my body started shaking and my eyes filled with tears. I was overcome with emotions of sadness, and relief, mostly relief, knowing that he had made it through the worst of it. The moment I got to the side of his bed he started to pull and reach for me. The nurse was great, he helped gather all Ben's wires and tubes up so I could hold him and give him a bottle of sugar water. Which he guzzled in no time! The nurse told me that he did great while the anesthesiologist were prepping him. Ben wasn't a fan of the gas mask though but as soon as he woke up they said he sat and played with it. After about 20 min we had one of the orthopedic doctors and Ben's new nurse come in to introduce themselves. Then the nurses moved all his wires and tubes around and started to move him to his room.
Josh was already in the room when we got there, we were in a shared room with a little newborn girl. Who by the way, slept all the time, except for at night and when Ben was trying to nap. ugh....
That day he spent most of the time in bed and a little while in my arms. Holding him was hard though with his wires and tubes, which included, a sensor on his big toe, three on his chest, a catheter and the epidural out of his back.
About 8 that night was a rough point. I was holding him, playing, getting him to smile and giggle, when all a sudden he turned grumpy, then 30 seconds latter he was screaming, arching his back and a heart rate that was sky high. The nurse came in and had to give him morphine, then after they had gotten a prescription the doctor gave him an epidural bolus. This helped him settle down but he still really wanted to be held, so I held him until he finally fell asleep about 9:30.
He woke up at 5:00 then 5:30 he had the same pain he had the night before. That was seriously the worst. My child is screaming in pain and there is nothing I could do, I couldn't even hold him properly because of the wires, tubes and cast. Around 10 that morning they paused his epidural to see how he handled without it. They gave him oxycodone and Tylenol, which he took to beautifully. After they pulled all his epidural and all the wires and tubes we were allowed to leave as soon as he peed.
During that wait time we had two nurses a physical therapist and the orthopedic doctor trying to figure out a car seat for us. Because of his cast angle he wouldn't fit in his own, so they have ones specially made for kids in casts. Yeah, no one could figure out one for him because of his odd angles. Benjamin was such a trooper though, I was pulling him in and out of the seat with every adjustment they made, he didn't like it, but he stayed very calm through the whole thing.
Finally after lots of phone calls they found out that Ben's cast counted as "body weight" so he could wear a harness. This harness is something else. I am not a fan. But it gets us from point A to B. His harness is very similar to one a skydiver would wear, we lay him on the back seat, then feed the seat belts through and tighten him in. One of the annoying things with it is, we can't have Claire's seat in there with him because it will bump him on the head, so if we want to go anywhere as a family we have to take separate cars. Which is not the end of the world. Just a little annoying.
Anyways! We were finally able to leave around 7pm on the 2nd to take our baby home. He was a little out of it because of his meds but he did amazing all night long. He since leaving the hospital he has not had any oxycodone, just Tylenol. which he hasn't had any of for 24 hours now.
Benjamin is now crawling with his cast and walking along the edges of the coffee tables and couches. He has been very clingy to me, even when others are around and wanting to give him attention. He goes and plays with Josh on the floor, but the instant I walk in he freaks out and climbs all over me. It is very annoying, but he is doing much better than I though he would be at this point, so I am okay with it.
I am very thankful to everyone for their prayers, kind words and thoughts. It has really made it so much easier knowing we weren't going through this alone. Josh and I are extremely grateful for our church and the meals they have provided along with ones from our friends. Also our families and for all their help too, they have really made things a lot smoother for us. We just love everyone so much for everything!
The past two weeks have been a struggle to get through. This precious little foot has caused so much stress and anxiety, I feel like I have aged 10 years in one. I am scared, upset and just sad about it.
Trust me, I know Benjamin will be amazing and better off with a prosthetic foot and leg. I know God is going to watch over him and that He has a plan for my baby. I have heard it all, I know it all, but at this point I just want to forget all that and be sad, because let me say, this sucks. It just plain old sucks....
I was thrown for a loop when the doctor first showed me his foot, all I saw when they gave him to me was his beautiful eyes and felt so much pride and joy. I was a little freaked out by the sight of it, but I very quickly thought it was okay. But that was because the doctors thought it was just fluid and swelling. After we realized it wasn't temporary and when we went to Children's and found out our options I was devastated. I was upset at God. Why would He let this happen to my baby? I could handle whatever being thrown my way, but this was just too much, this was my child. I Didn't like that He had allowed this condition to have affected Ben and that there was nothing I could do as a mother, nothing we could do as his parents accept make a very right, but hard decision.
It took me a while to get over this, and I'm not gonna lie, my frustrations still come to mind sometimes. I however don't think that will fully go away until after Benjamin can walk again. I was upset that He allowed this to happen, but I am also so excited that God has trusted Josh and I to raise this child, a child that will need so much love and encouragement, I am glad that we get to be his parents, as hard as it may be for us.
After the shock, anger and frustration I moved to denial that it was happening, which partially I think was because we didn't have a surgery date. Once we had the date of surgery though I just went blank, I don't even know what happened. I couldn't cry, even when I wanted to and it just didn't feel real. Then all a sudden, two and a half weeks before amputation, something shifted and the waterworks just won't stop.
I don't like to show my emotions around people, especially sad ones. I observe people, I see how they react, but I don't like to show mine. I feel crazy emotions when I read things, watch shows and movies, but I don't like being vulnerable and showing that to others. Josh I'm sure would be willing to share some of my crazy emotional reactions with other though, so he doesn't get it all. lol But lately I can't seem to hold it together you guys! Even when someone just asks how I am, and how Ben is.
The reality of all of this has definitely hit us here.
So this week as surgery approaches I will be grieving this precious little foot, no matter what, It just can't be helped, and I think that is okay and it's healthy. We know God will be with him no matter what, we know He will use our little man's life for good, no matter what. Even with this comfort, knowledge, even with everyone's kind thoughts, words and prayers, even with all of this, it sucks and we are sad.
We are happy to be Ben's parents though and we look forward to watching him grown and overcome all the things life trows his way.
Thank you to everyone for your constant love and for all your sweet comments and prayers for our baby boy.
Oh My GOODNESS! My baby boy is one! I cannot believe how fast it has gone by. The time flew with Claire, but it went by so much faster with Benjamin. It's always those first few months that feel like they'll never end, probably from lack of sleep. lol
This little man got so much attention and was such a ham at his party! I was smiles, giggles and loud shouting. He like his sister, was not into smashing his cake. lol He eventually picked it up and stuffed it in his face, but he wasn't into purposely smashing and getting his hands dirty.
So anyways! His party was a success, even though the cake was dry, the lemonade too tart, and I was a little stressed about having so many people in the house. hahaha
I am excited about the next year of this little boy's life and to see what God has in store for him.
On Easter Sunday we were all dressed nice and it was BEAUTIFUL! We haven't been getting a whole lot of sun here in western Wa, so it was very welcome.
My little sister, after church, asked me to take a picture of her and her boyfriend, after that I asked if she would take one of me and the kids. Because, let's face it, taking a picture with my camera timer is hard with two little ones. Here was the most perfect lighting, we all looked good and I had someone to take pictures. lol However, I still have two crazy kids! Perfect lighting, someone to take the picture and us looking good doesn't take that away!
Amy was able to get a couple of cute shots though. I even love this first one, the tickle to get her to smile! That however just drove her to the other side of the steps. hahaha!!!
It has officially been ages since I have done a blog post! I know I've said this before, but I think I'm gonna try to keep up with it. lol I know, we will see. To start off I thought I'd catch up on just a few pictures of Claire. She is growing up so much! Not only in size but in leaning new things and that personality of hers is just huge now!
Anyways! I'm not so good at the words part, so I'll just leave it there for right now.
I am finally getting around to sharing our vacation pictures! I didn't take very many this time around being as both kids were a bit moody! lol But I got a few pretty pictures. And thanks to my tripod and father-in-law I got a couple of pictures of the family. Then I handed it over to my hubby and he got a few of me with the kids! : D
We had a lot of fun getting away from home, work and our busy lives and chilling on the beach. : )