Our Penguin has had a problem with fluid in her ears since she was 4 months old. This causes ear infections, and although she was never in any noticeable pain, there were infections (says the doctor), which means there were antibiotics. I am really not a fan of antibiotics, but I also didn't want my baby suffering with an earache that I was oblivious to. 3 rounds of antibiotics later (trust me, I was not happy about this and neither was Pearl), the fluid was still persistent. The recommendation from our pediatrician (who I really love and trust) was to proceed with the minor surgery to place tubes in her ears. I wasn't too concerned about the ear infections-- they didn't seem to bother Pearl and so I wouldn't have gotten the tubes if that was the only problem. The main concern, however, was that with the fluid in her ears constantly she could not hear and process sounds clearly. This is a major concern with speech and language development, and I really didn't want to risk the fluid negatively impacting her normal development.
So on November 4th our little Pea Baby had the tubes put in. The night before we let George sleep at my parents' house because we had to be to the hospital really early the next morning. It was weird not having to divide our attention and John and I had so much fun just soaking up all the time alone with our baby girl. Individually we get one on one time with Pearl, but we rarely get to enjoy just her when both of us are there. It was so much fun, and we had such a lovely night together.
We gave her a bath and then just sat in her room and played with her.
She was so sweet and I think she liked not having to share her parents with her brother for a night :).
While I was nursing her to sleep John was able to place his hands on her little head and give her a blessing of health and comfort. I am in love with those tender moments of parenting and caring for our children with my husband. No pictures of that (obviously), but here are some of Pearlie with John and me that night. I love the one of her with John.
The next morning we woke Pearl up before the sun had risen and drove to the hospital.
She was such a happy baby for how little sleep she had gotten. She started in her jammies and ended up in a little hospital gown. Cutest thing ever. The best part is that they let me keep it. No idea what I will do with a tiny hospital gown, but I love that I have it.
Her foot was hooked up to an oxygen monitor and she was loving the built-in cord to play with and chew on.
We played with her for a little while in the room while we waited for them to be ready for her.
Then we walked her to the OR, gave her a little kiss, and handed her off to the nurse. I wondered if I would be sad or worried at this part (even though this is a routine surgery, it is still MY baby going back there to be put to sleep), but I was fine. We were then walked to a little room where we watched ESPN and drank juice.
A nurse brought her to me as soon as she woke up. She was groggy and could barely open her eyes, but she was pretty unhappy. She wasn't crying hard, but was just so obviously confused and sad. I asked if I could nurse her immediately and they told me I could. I know you already know this about me, but holy cow, I love nursing my babies. I love that I am the only person in the world who could offer that kind of comfort and nourishment to my baby right then, fresh out of surgery. Breastfeeding is one of my all-time favorite things in life right now.
The doctor came and talked with us and told us how everything had gone. Things went smoothly (aside from her oxygen levels getting really low when she was nursing), and Pearl fell asleep right as they cleared us to leave. It was kind of bad timing because she woke up when I unlatched her and put her in her car seat. And as you can see, she was not a happy girl.
After one sad day Pearl was pretty much back to normal. I have no idea if the tubes are working or not. No clue. She seems the same to me, but I also never knew that she had ear infections. We go back to the ENT for her follow up appointment tomorrow and I am so hoping that there is no fluid and that things look good. Wish us luck!