About the Surgery

So, Natalie had her cranial vault reconstruction surgery on January 11th. The Surgery went well & since then Natalie has been healing up nicely. It was about 7 hours from the time they took her back until we got to see her again & for me, that was the worst part.

She was sedated for 24 hours after the surgery & they did a scan of her skull every few hours the first day to make sure that everything was going good still. She had alot of swelling & couldn't open her eyes for a week.

Wednesday Morning
 This is Natalie right before they took her back for the surgery.
She was happy & playful <3

Wednesday afternoon
 This is what we saw the first time we got to see her when she was out.
She was sedated but occasionally would try to flick the breathing tube from her mouth.
She also had a drainage tube connected to a bulb to drain the excess blood from her head due to swelling.

 Wednesday evening.

 They took her breathing tube out on
Thursday around mid day. & they let her slowly wake up on her own.
She was so upset that she couldn't open her eyes & they had to keep her pretty doped up.
This was the hardest day because she didn't understand why she was in pain & couldn't see.
When she would hear our voices she would shake her head frantically & reach out her hands.

This was a good day :)
She got moved out of ICU & into a regular room.
Mike and I could both spend the night
(only 1 allowed at a time in ICU)
& we could take her out of the bed for the first time.

Natalie was growing use to not being able to see well.
Though she could open her right eye up slightly, the swelling was actually at its worst on this day.
Things had to get worse before they could get better.
She was playing in the crib after drinking some milk.
Happy, despite everything <3
 More playing.
Which was starting to get scary.
Since she couldn't see well, she was feeling around for things & kept trying to stand up.
The crib rails are metal at the LSU hospital where the surgery was preformed, so naturally we were worried she would fall and hit her (still swollen) head!

We got to check out of the hospital!
Natalie could open her eyes a little less than half way.
With lots of care instructions & meds we left so happy (but nervous) about getting to sleep in our own beds!

It was amazing to me how happy & laid back Natalie was during the whole thing. The first day she was a little scared she couldn't see but, she did AMAZING! The nurses loved her & kept saying how well behaved she was and how most babies freak out. :)

Though, there were a few complications afterwards (stitches bleeding, her not wanting to eat without vomiting ect.) the whole thing wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Don't get me wrong... I have NEVER been more sick/worried/scared or nervous in my life! But, she did good, as usually :)


We had a picture day...

My sister is NOT a pro, but she did good! We decided we wanted a few pictures of us as a family before Natalie goes in for her surgery on the 11th. Out of almost 200 pictures (its hard to get a very curious child to sit still) we have about 20 that I edited to look really really nice. My sister snapped the pictures & I cropped and "improved" them. Here are a few...