What If The Worst Had Happened?

We had a couple of rough recovery days.
The days right after Bette’s surgery.
But now she is feeling much better.
And so are we.

Lilla was away for the weekend.
Which gave us.
Jay, Bette, and I.
The chance to rest and recover.

While Lilla was off having a ball.
We were sleeping.
And eating.
And chilling.

Except we made the decision.
To try and start the week off.
As ahead of the game as possible.
Instead of behind like usual.

So between periods of rest.
We tackled the dishes.
And the laundry.
And general housekeeping.

As the weekend crept by.
When Jay and I found ourselves alone.
Folding, washing, picking up.
The same questions would pop up.

What if?
What if the OR nurse hadn’t caught the mistake?
What if Bette had been operated on as a 55 pound child?
What would have happened?

Would my baby have died?
From too much Tylenol?
Too much anesthesia?
Days later, the questions still haunt me.

As a mother.
The thought of my children being harmed.
Or even losing one of them.
Scares me beyond reason.

My mother was terrified.
Absolutely terrified.
Of something happening.
To my brother or I.

If either of us had died.
Part of her would have died too.
And she would have never recovered.

But her mother, my grandmother.
She lost four children.
Two as babies and two as adults.
Which is such a heavy cross to bear.

A cross that few people nowadays.
With our medical care.
And long life expectancies.
Can even fathom or relate to.

My father always says.
The only thing worth hoping for.
In life as a parent.
Is that your children outlive you.

That despite whatever else happens.
Over the course of your long life.
That if your children outlive you.
You are indeed blessed beyond measure.

Jay has gone back to work.
It is just the girls and I again.
Together at home.
Intimately navigating through the day.

So when the haunting questions.
Start to creep again into my mind.
About what could have happened to my Bette.
I remember.

I remember that God is the God of all things.
That He is in control of my life.
And my children’s lives.
And that He holds them in the palm of His hands.

And I thank Him.
That He put that nurse there.
To see and catch the mistake.
About Bette’s weight.

I thank Him.
That He is not a God.
Who finds the details of my life.
To small to be bothered with.

I thank Him.
That He is a God.
Who hears prayer.
And answers prayer.

I thank Him.
For His infinite mercy.
For His overflowing goodness.
And for His amazing grace.

And I thank Him.
For the life of my child.
For protecting her.
And for keeping her safe.

Our Cochlear Implant Surgery: Complications And Outcomes

Thank you to everyone who prayed for Bette and her surgery. Things did not go quite as planned and I know those prayers made all the difference. We really cannot thank you enough.

The day started out like all our other surgery days. Up at the crack of dawn, heading off to the hospital, checking in at the surgery center, answering the same 20 questions over and over, and then waiting to get the show on the road.

 Bette was so good while we waited. She roamed the halls, flirted with the nurses, and checked out all the Christmas decorations. Right before it was time for her to go back, but after she has been given some tylenol and other medicine to mellow her out, Jay and I prayed over her, hugged her and kissed her, and told her how much we loved her, which is such a joy to say now because she can actually hear me when I say it.
Bette’s OR nurse promised to keep us updated as they surgery progressed. We walked her back as far as we could go and said good bye. Then we went to have breakfast, found some comfy chairs, and settled in to wait.

After only three hours the doctor called to say she was finished, which we were thrilled about, but which was also a little odd. Usually the nurse just calls. We ran to gather our things and talk to him while Bette was in recovery. But when we arrived, we found a crowd waiting for us. There were nurses in the hall, audiologists hanging around, and even the floor manager was there.

Her surgeon said the surgery itself went great, but something had happened. The nurse who had checked us in recorded Bette’s weight incorrectly as 24 kilograms instead of 24 pounds. She more than doubled it, which resulted Bette being initially medicated based on that weight. Until the anesthesia nurse, by the grace of God, caught the error in the OR before the surgeon began. They assured us she was fine, though she would probably be more groggy afterward than at the last surgery, and that the nurse who made the error would be reviewed.

As parents, we found the prospect of what could have happened if the error had not be caught extremely unsettling, but we appreciated that they were honest with us and also thankful that the mistake had been corrected just in time.

They all seemed to be really glad we did not flip out, which is what I think they were expecting.

After that, we went to meet Bette where we were attended to by our wonderful nurse Lauren, whose daughter also has a cochlear implant. Bette was extremely groggy and unhappy, but determined to fight it. We were like, Baby, just go to sleep.

She eventually did, after she had eaten and drunk something, but not before she threw up all over me. After that she felt much better and drifted off the sleep. I, on the other hand, did not feel better or have a change of clothes, but it was okay. You gotta take ones for the team sometimes.

Poppop and Gigi brought Lilla to visit, which really perked Bette up. We tried another wagon ride, which Bette was not that into.

She has to wear that wrap on her head for a few days. And I find it to be a major oversight that those wraps do not come in pink and purple. I mean, come on!

We spent the late afternoon entertaining Bette, letting her eat and drink, and waiting to be discharged. She had a field day with a box of latex gloves. She made friends with a boy in the room next door, who gave her a balloon that provided some wonderful additional entertainment. We finally got the OK to leave around 6pm and headed out.

Bette went straight to bed when we got home and slept for 14 hours straight. She is doing alright today, but her recovery from this surgery will be harder than her recovery from her first surgery, which really wasn’t all that great either. But hopefully in about one week’s time, she will be feeling much better.

We are so thankful that the surgery is over, that it went well, and that Bette made it through. We are so thankful for her life and that some very bad outcomes which could have happened did not. And we are so thankful for that nurse in the OR, who realized Bette did not weigh the same as a six year old boy! God is so faithful!

A Successful Surgery

I am happy to report that everything went well with Bette’s surgery earlier this week. She was in and out and before we knew it the whole thing was over. I think it was our shortest hospital stay ever.

Her surgery was so sudden that I felt a bit unprepared. We didn’t find out until late Thursday afternoon that she needed to go in the next morning. We scrambled around that night reorganizing our schedules and getting the hospital stuff ready. When everything was settled and everyone was finally in bed, I stayed up for a little bit and prayed over my girl; for her doctor, for the surgery team, and that the Lord would protect her and keep her and bring her through safe and sound.

We arrived at the hospital at the crack of dawn, as usual, and checked in. It is actually painful how early we always have to be there.

We were escorted back to the surgery area where Bette changed into her tiny little gown. We then spent the next hour answering questions and entertaining Bette.

And by entertaining I mean trying to make her forget how hungry and tired she was. There was a lot of crying interspersed with spurts of laughter.

Thankfully children’s hospitals are full of things to distract kids. Our nurse brought us some bubbles, which helped for awhile, but Bette was happiest when we let her roam the halls. She always made her way to the nurses station to talk and flirt with whoever was there.

It did give me pause that she was walking around on those germy floors in just her socks. I eventually got some shoes on her and at about the same time she discovered the remote control. She loves pushing all those little buttons.

Then at exactly 7:30am, her nurse came to get her. We hugged and kissed her, walked as far as we could with her, and then watched as she disappeared behind the big doors.

And then before we knew it, the surgery was over, her doctor was sitting in our little room telling us how great everything went, and the recovery room nurse (the same sweet nurse who brought her to us after her implant surgery) was bringing her back to us.

They discharged us as soon as Bette ate and drank something and proved she was going to be able to keep it down. She wanted out of that room and was ready to go.

We came home and found Mike and Lilla playing dominos, which was her math lesson for the day and exactly why I love homeschooling. We were so glad to see them and be home. We celebrated by all eating some delicious petit fours.

And now we just are hoping and praying that Bette’s ears will drain and clear and be totally dry by her next surgery. We are counting down the days… less than three weeks to go!

Thank you, friends, so much for praying for her and for us! It means so much!

A Sudden Surgery

I knew there was a chance it might happen, but tomorrow it is for sure. Bette is having tubes put in her ears. She has two bad ear infections, which a previous round of antibiotics did not clear up at all. She cannot have her next cochlear implant surgery if she has any type of infection. Her ears need to get cleared up and cleared up fast. The tubes will help get this done.
The ear infections definitely explain her disposition lately. I feel bad for the poor baby because she has probably been uncomfortable. Two ear infections would certainly make me fussy. I am fussy even if I have a stuffy nose, for heaven’s sake.
We go in at 6am tomorrow morning. The procedure itself is pretty quick, but it is still surgery and Bette will undergo anesthesia, which is always a little unnerving when little ones are involved.
We would appreciate your prayers so much tomorrow… That everything goes smoothly; that the surgeon has steady hands; that there are no complications; and that sweet Bette starts feeling better soon because she has not been herself at all lately.
Thanks you friends!

Post Cochlear Implant Surgery


We made it! And everything went really great.

We had a little scare before the surgery because Bette was running a temperature which generated some discussion among the medical staff about whether or not to proceed. I could not fathom how she had possibly gotten a virus, because I have been really careful about not exposing her to anything the last few weeks. Then one of the nurses asked me if she might be teething, and of course, that was it. I felt her gums and she had two molars coming in!
So, once we figured that out, things moved really fast and off she went right at 7:30am to surgery.

After that, it was smooth sailing. Bette is recovering now and doing well. Just for today she has to wear that big blue wrap on her head to protect her incision, particularly from her prying little hands. Miraculously, she has not been tearing the wrap off and so far seems content with it.
There is just so much to be thankful for! It was a great day. And we are so thankful to God for His protection and provision and for bringing our baby through without complication and giving her back to us unscathed.
I have a lot more details and pictures to share of her surgery day so check back soon!

And thank you sweet friends for all your wonderful prayers! They were much needed and much appreciated!