Today has been the most difficult day of our life so far. It is heartbreaking to see your little baby come out of surgery all puffy from fluids and cranky because he doesn't feel good. But the good news is that Santiago is doing really well and we are finished with the hardest part. Here is a recap of our day:
We woke up at 4 am this morning to pack up and head to the hospital. We had to arrive here at 5:30 am. Santiago's last feeding was over at 3 am because he couldn't eat for 4 hours before surgery. I was able to give him some Pedialyte on the way to the hospital because he was allowed clear liquids two hours before surgery so he drank about 2 ounces of that a little before 5 am. Hector's parents and my parents came with us for support today and we all had to wait in the waiting room until about 6:30 am then they called Santiago back to the pre-op waiting room and Hector and I were able to go with him. We talked to the anthesiologist team there and changed him into a tiny hospital gown. He was awake and happy. When it came time for us to let them take him away, that is when it got tough. Hector and I went back to sit with our family in the surgery waiting room. We knew pre-op would take awhile so we went to eat some breakfast in the cafeteria and then went back to the waiting room. There we waited for about 3 hours total where we would occasionally get updates from the operating room. A clown came and did some tricks for us and helped time pass a little. We prayed a rosary and talked. Finally after what seemed like forever, Dr. B came in said he was finished and everything went well. Later, the cranio-team coordinator came in to check on us and finally Dr. T came in to say all was finished and that Santiago was doing well. He told us that two incisions were made on Santi's head and that they successfully opened his coronal suture and we would be able to feel a "trench" on his head. He even told us that his bones had already shifted a little to relieve the pressure and that we would be able to see the difference right away when swelling went down. Next we had to wait for Santi to wake up and we would be able to go back. When they came to get us, Hector and I went back to recovery holding hands ready to see our sweet boy. When the double doors opened I immediately recognized Santiago's cry and my heart jumped from my chest. There were several nurses around Santi's little bed and they told me that he needed his mom. I don't think Hector or I were expecting what we saw. Santi was screaming with a full bandage on his head, all kinds of wires were hooked up to him and he was all puffy and swollen. They handed him to me and they wanted me to nurse him and we tried but he wasn't ready. Hector and I cried together because it was so hard to see our little boy look the way he did and be unconsolable. It was heartbreaking. We tried everything - pacifier, bottle, rocking, different positions, praying, singing, sh-shing. After about 45 minutes of this the nurse decided to give him some more pain medication and recommended me to lay him across my legs on his stomach. When we did that it was like magic - he immediately calmed down and fell asleep. After some monitoring, they moved us to PICU - Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Only 2 people are allowed in his room so the grandparents and Aunt Bianca have been taking turns coming to give Santi their love today. We are spending the night here and they have given us a room in the Ronald McDonald House where Hec and I will take turns napping or showering. Santiago has only eaten once today but they said that is pretty normal after surgery like this. He is being monitored very well here and being given antibiotics, fluids, and pain meds through IV. He still has all kinds of cords hooked up to him so it makes it a little awkward to hold him. He has been sleeping really well on his tummy and making the sweet sounds that he makes making us feel better. His puffiness has gone down a ton from the time Hector and I first got to see him after surgery until now. It's amazing. The little turbin bandage on his head will not stay on so you can see the small zigzag incisions they made and where they had to shave a little of his head. That too was a surprise to us because they told us they would just part the hair to make the incisions. We are tired but very gracious that all went well and now we are on the road to recovery.
Thank you all for praying for us today. We are so blessed to have so many wonderful people in our lives. We appreciate each and everyone of you and the love and support that you have given us. I will give another update tomorrow.
One more thing...Last night was a special night for us and for Santiago. We had him baptized at St. James the Apostle Catholic Church. Santiago wore his great Grandpa Vernon's baptism gown that has been in the family for 90 years. In addition to my grandpa Vernon wearing this gown, my mom and her siblings wore it and my siblings and I wore it. Uncle Travis is Santi's Godfather and Aunt Bianca is his Godmother. Hector J's Aunt Diana, Uncle Carlos, cousin Noel and daughter Sarah and Bianca's boyfriend Matt all attended along with both sets of grandparents - Pappaw Monty and Grandma Karen and Grandpa Hector and Grandma Linda. We all went out to eat at The Potatoe Patch afterward. It was very nice! Here are some pictures: