mackenna’s surgery

We knew going into Friday that it was going to be a long day.  However, it was longer than we thought it was going to be, but the end result was much better than we ever could have expected.

Our plan was to wake MacKenna up at the normal time in the morning (6 AM) since we were supposed to check-in to the surgery center by 7:30 and would need to leave the house by 6:30 (in case of traffic and so we had more than enough time to get there).  But, MacKenna had other plans.  She decided to wake up at 5:15 screaming, and of course, since she was going to have general anesthesia, we couldn’t give her anything to eat or drink before the surgery.  Thankfully, she was distracted enough with toys that she didn’t freak out too much without food in her tummy.

We arrived at the center and checked in and after a short wait, we were taken downstairs to our room.  Right after we got settled in, the pastor from my church arrived to say a quick prayer with us.  It was so nice of him to come out of his way early in the morning to ease our minds a bit and remind us that it was in God’s hands.

We got MacKenna changed into her gown and then the waiting game began.  We didn’t wait too long, but enough for MacKenna to get really restless.  She was dying to walk around the hospital (yes, she is in fact walking now!), but with her instability and socks on a tile floor, it just wasn’t safe enough for her to do so.  So, I held on to a fussy, squirmy baby until her ophthalmologist and anesthesiologist came in to talk to us and get her ready to go.  Both Dr. Goodrich (ophthalmologist) and Dr. Elliot (anesthesiologist) did a great job of explaining exactly what would take place with the anesthesia and the surgery.  (Here is a great source on the surgery she had done.  She had a recession, in which they loosened the medial (inside) muscles in both her eyes so they would move together again.)

MacKenna surgery 1

In her hospital gown, waiting.  Thank goodness for a rocking chair she could play on!

And then they took her away.  You know how dropping your child off at daycare or leaving them with a babysitter is hard?  This was so much harder!  Dr. Elliot carried her out of the room and I couldn’t help but tear up.  I knew everything would be fine, but I just wish I could have been there to hold her hand throughout the whole thing.  No, I take that back.  I didn’t want to see them actually do the surgery, but I did want to be there to comfort her.

Matt and I spent our time sitting in her room, talking about what happens next, how awesome it was to see Dr. Goodrich smile for once (he’s extremely serious and soft spoken, but he lightened up a lot before surgery), and playing Pop Icon Quiz on our iPad and Kindle.  It was a long wait.  We knew the surgery would take an hour or hour and a half, but every time someone walked past our room, I expected them to walk in to let us know something.

About an hour and 15 minutes after taking her, Dr. Goodrich came into our room to tell us how the surgery went.  Everything went great and was a very easy surgery!  He told us that she would have some redness in her eyes (which we knew) and that we might see some purple streaks around the inside of her eyes from the stitches.  There might still be some wavering in her eyes as they are still learning their new alignment, but otherwise they should look much better.

They finally took us back to see her around 10:15 AM.  She was awake but groggy and immediately started screaming when they put her in my arms.  (Isn’t it funny how kids are fine around other people, but as soon as they see you, all hell breaks loose?)  I was able to coax her back to sleep and she slept for the next hour in my arms.  It was so nice to snuggle her – something I feel like I don’t get to do nearly as much anymore.

MacKenna surgery 2

Just woke up and snuggling with Daddy.

Once she woke up and she finally drank something we were able to go home around noon.  The ride home was painful.  Her eyes were so dilated and of course, while we were on the highway, the sun was directly in her eyes.  Poor baby!  I had to hold my hand in front of her face the majority of the car ride home just to shield her from the sun.  Oh, the things we do for our children…

Once home, she was pretty much her normal self!  Her appetite was a little off, but we gave her some special chocolate milk, crackers, and a waffle, and she was happy!  We had to monitor her movement all day, just because with it being an eye surgery and with general anesthesia, her balance would be a little off.  She never acted like she was hurting and only rubbed her eyes a little bit.  No drops, no pain medicine.  Just TLC for our little girl.

MacKenna surgery 3

Post-surgery Day 1

We are seeing improvement in the bruising every day.  They told us it would take a week or 2 for the bruising to go away, but it really is getting better daily.  She has a follow up with the doctor later this morning, but otherwise, everything has been going wonderfully!

MacKenna surgery 4

Post-surgery Day 2

20130203-184352.jpgPost-surgery Day 3

It is almost strange to see her left eye as straight as it is now.  I never thought I would get used to her eyes being crossed, but I definitely did.  I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to see her eyes straight again though!  To see them work together, to see her left eye stay in the middle, to see it stay all the way over to the outside.  I am hoping that it is helping her vision as well.  Thankfully, she never lost any vision in her eyes, but we think she had to be seeing double with her eyes crossed.  I hope this corrected that and she is seeing perfectly again.  It really can only get better from here!

Thank you all again for all your thoughts and prayers!  We could feel the love from everyone of you, near and far!  We are so blessed so many people are looking out for our little girl!  Thank you again!

  • So glad everything went so smoothly and your little miss is doing so well!! What a blessing!

  • So glad everything went well!
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  • So happy to hear all went well!! <3
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  • Woo hoo! So happy to hear MacKenna’s surgery was a success. The great thing about having the surgery so young is she won’t remember a thing. Give her extra snuggles this week and don’t you dare delete any photos of her with crossed eyes. I wish there were more of me when I was a kid with crossed eyes to look back on, but my parents took none. She’ll love looking back at those photos later on – trust me.
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    • Kristen

      No way I will delete them! I want them so I remember this time in her life! Now it’s weird seeing her with her eyes straight!

  • She looks wonderful. I cannot imagine how hard this must have been for you as parents, I have a daughter very near in age to MacKenna and I just wanted to send you love and prayers for a speedy recovery.

  • Jen

    I’m so, so glad everything went well! She looks adorable as always :)
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  • I’m so glad she’s ok! That’s so wonderful that the surgery went well. You are a trooper for getting through that, I’m sure it was so hard waiting while she was in surgery!
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  • Jpetroroy

    I’m so, so happy to hear how well things went. Thinking of you.

  • So thankful that everything went well!
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  • Poor baby and poor mama…but she looks AMAZING!
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  • So glad things went well!!
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  • Jen

    Hallelujah!!! Wonderful news! Your precious little girl has been (and will continue to be) in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Mary Kratochvil

    Thankful everything went fine, and she is on the road to recovery. Thanks for keeping us informed.

    • Kristen

      Thanks Aunt Mary!