What a Week

Today, I’m going to play a little catch up.  🙂

I promised on Friday to blog four days a week in September and I apologize already…Labor Day threw me off.  So, this week it’ll be three and then hopefully four days the rest of the month.

Last Monday, my big kiddos went back to school.
Here they are ready to conquer second grade (Nixon) and third grade (Ebby Lee).

He’s in a class with a lot of friends so that definitely helped his “go back to school” attitude.

Ebby Lee was excited about her teacher (her teacher was at the top of her wish list) and couldn’t wait to start school.  Oh, how they’re so different!

All six of us were in attendance at drop off.  #thegangsallthere

We took a quick picture in front of their lockers before stealing a kiss (without anyone seeing-how embarrassing!) and then sending them off to class.

Then the little kids and I me lots of friends at Spoon’s (a local diner) for a quick sendoff breakfast.  I wasn’t sure how Britt would do at a table with just kiddos, but Miss Ashby was the best babysitter ever and handed her Puffs and her bottle on request.  #ashbyforthewin

A fun breakfast with some of my favorite mamas.

My first day of school outfit consisted of a comfy cotton dress (bought mine back in spring so super limited sizes and colors), my favorite gold sandals, a three day old hair ponytail (thanks to this dry shampoo), and an afternoon cup of coffee in my new favorite mug.

Someone was happy to see the big kids come home from school.  Britt LOVES the big kids.

On Tuesday, they were all smiles again.  That’s a good sign.

Wednesday morning, Tab, Britt, and I headed to Medical City Dallas super early for her surgery.  Britt was born with a cleft lip and palate.  While she was in China, she had her first lip repair surgery, but her palate was still open when we got her.  We knew we’d need to get that taken care of rather quickly so we met with two different doctors in the area-both were great but one we liked a little more-and scheduled this surgery.  (We did this back in June!)

She was so sweet waiting for her surgery.  That loopy medicine they give kiddos to help with their separation anxiety was hilarious.  We’d ask her where her nose was and she’d only get her finger about halfway up to her face before laughing.  It was too funny.

Surgery went great!  As you can imagine she has such a tiny little mouth and her palate was pretty wide.  The doctor thought it went well considering.  The plan was for us to stay one night and then head home on Thursday.

After surgery I snuggled this girl so much.  I could get emotional just writing about this, but it broke my heart to think about her first surgery.  She was there (hopefully with a nanny) in a hospital without a mama bear ready to love on her the second she could get a hold of her.  This time she found comfort in my arms which was almost more than my heart could take.  #godisgood

There is an outstanding team of cleft doctors associated with this hospital. So we made this our home for the night.

I even watched Big Brother while we snuggled.

 This girl just wanted her mama.  I’m telling you the awesomeness (is that even a word) of that isn’t lost on me.

On Thursday, we were hoping she’d be drinking more (a liquid diet is NO joke) and she just really wasn’t there.  Anything she was drinking was coming back up which was awful.  So we buckled down for night number two…

Kind of blurry…but they had a bigger room open up and we got to move to a room with a bigger bed.  The first night the couch turned bed was so tiny (there was no way I could fit with Tab) and Britt just wanted her mama.  The bigger room was GREAT news!

Friday wasn’t looking good for a while.  She still wasn’t interested in drinking much.  We took her off the pain medicine (which we decided was causing her to not keep anything down).  After hours of just sitting around holding a sleepy baby I begged the nurses to let us go.  I really thought she’d do so much better at home surrounded by her people.  I promised to come back in a day or two if she hadn’t started drinking more.

My prayers were answered!  The nurses and doctor agreed and they let us out!  We arrived home around 6:00 on Friday evening and were so excited about being home.  When Ebby Lee and Bowen arrived she had a big smile on her face.

Since then she’s slowly begun drinking more everyday.  The night time is definitely the worst part of the day.  I don’t think she’s in a lot of pain but she has a hard time getting comfortable.  She has to wear little arm restraints to keep her from putting her hands in her mouth and they force her to just sleep on her back.  She’s a side sleeper and is not happy about this new arrangement.  But we’re doing our best and today marks day six…hopefully the next week will fly by and we’ll be getting the all clear from our doctor really soon.

When Bowen was a baby he had a surgery in this same hospital and in fact we were just one room away from where we stayed with him.  Isn’t that crazy?!  But both times I’ve been in the hospital with one of my babies, my heart has desperately gone out to all the moms who have babies in the hospital for reasons other than a surgery.  Yes, we have had some tough days but they have been nothing like other moms experience.  My heart breaks for other mamas dreaming of the day they can take their babies home and not even knowing if it’s a reality.  Those moms and babies were and are on my heart.

THANK YOU for checking on us.  THANK YOU for calling.  THANK YOU for the texts, e-mails, and messages.  THANK YOU for praying for our girl.  I had friends watch my kids for days, carpool to practice, and take to games.  I had friends drop off goodie bags (it felt like Christmas), food, and more.  I had a mother-in-law who took over for days and continued to remind me not to worry about the big kids at home.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  To get an e-mail saying you were praying for us in Minnesota (or other places all over), just made my day.  So from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!

We go back to the doctor in eight days and he’ll take a look to decide if she’s ready to begin soft foods or if she needs to continue the liquid diet for another week.  Until then, we’ll be doing all we can to get as much fluids down our girl as possible and to love on her as much as we possibly can.

I am by NO means a cleft expert, but I’m a mama who’s experienced a palate surgery.  If you’re a mama too with some questions prior to your little ones surgery, please reach out.  I’d love to encourage you.  You can e-mail me at alittlebitofeverything83@yahoo.com.

Happy Tuesday, Friends!  XO

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  1. 9.5.17
    Elspeth Mizner said:

    So happy she is on the road to recovery! Been praying for her and your family! Hopefully week 2 is better!

  2. 9.5.17
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    You and Britt are both such troopers! I know it's been hard, but you've both handled it like rock stars! Britt is so blessed to have you as a mama! I know you're doing everything possible to make this a smooth recovery 🙂 .

  3. 9.5.17
    Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said:

    Your words about her wanting her mama in the hospital got me all sorts of teary. So happy she is on the up swing! Love that sweet girl and her little winky smile!!!!

  4. 9.5.17
    Meredith Irvine said:

    Loved reading your honest account of the last week and following along on your journey with Britt! Best wishes for a smooth week 2 with some sleep for Britt and Mom!

  5. 9.5.17
    Barb said:

    Have been praying for you and Britt and the family this last week and will continue. God is good all the time!

  6. 9.5.17
    Simple Purposeful Living said:

    Oh sweet mama this post made me tear up. She is precious and so loved. Praying for you all in Iowa and I just love following your family. You all are just precious! It takes a village and I am so thankful for mine as you are for yours! Xoxo ERIN

  7. 9.5.17
    Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said:

    This post made me super teary – especially all the snuggles. What a blessing you all are to each other. Will continue to pray for this next stage of recovery!

  8. 9.5.17
    Laci said:

    Thought of Britt all weekend, I can't imagine how tough this recovery must be!

  9. 9.5.17
    Angelique said:

    Little Miss Britt is such a strong girl and you are a wonderful example of a strong woman to her and the rest of your family. Way to go mom!


  10. 9.5.17
    Christina said:

    Greetings from another Minnesota mama who's praying for you all!

  11. 9.5.17
    mandabee said:

    Such a strong little girl! Praying for her fast recovery!

  12. 9.5.17
    Yolanda McLean said:

    Oh Momma, all the tears over here. God is so very good!

  13. 9.5.17
    brookerichardson said:

    Continued prayers for Britt and you as well!!!! I can only imagine all the emotions during this procedure and the thankfulness you felt to be right by her side.

  14. 9.5.17
    live compassionately said:

    Praying for your sweet girl. Your heart just shines through in this post and it is beautiful. So thankful you and Tab (and your kiddos!) listened to the call to adopt!

  15. 9.5.17
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    Seeing Britt snuggled up to you seriously make me cry. I am just so happy that she has a mama like you now! (And family! You all rock.) Hang in there!!
    That Inspired Chick

  16. 9.5.17
    dresselfamily.blogspot.com said:

    Oh that made me teary. What a brave little girl and brave momma and yes god is good

  17. 9.5.17
    Kelly Henderson said:

    I am cleft Momma too! Our oldest was born with an unilateral cleft lip and incomplete cleft palate. Actually we never knew her palate was affected until she was much older. She's 14 now and has had 7 cleft related surgeries. Most people don't notice she's a cleft kid now. I remember the liquid diet and feeding an infant through a syringe, we had formula stains on our ceiling from trying to get the air out of the syringe. Ha! They have been painted over now but that is a true story! I tell EVERYONE the best thing about a cleft kid is their smile! Her smile is the thing that draws people to her, her so called birth defect! Prayers for Britt as you navigate the cleft world.

  18. 9.5.17
    Olivia said:

    Thank you for sharing!! What a sweet story, I know Britt is handling this like a champ. You deserved your Labor Day holiday!

  19. 9.5.17
    Sharon said:

    Our adopted daughter had her lip revision surgery done at Medical City. We used Dr. Hobar and loved him! I was amazed at how quickly they heal at this age, so I bet she is back to normal quickly! I am not looking forward to the bone graft surgery for her. But at least then she will understand what is going on and be a bit older. The nurses at Medical City were so amazing. The night time thing and "no no's" are the worst. Hope she feels like her old self soon! BTW, our daughter loved baked sweet potato when she got to soft foods. Don't know if Britt will like that but our daughter subsisted on those! Felt a little more nutritious than all the milkshakes we gave her…

  20. 9.5.17
    Lindsay's Sweet World said:

    I am SO happy to hear that everything went well, Erika! I've been praying for your sweet girl! I hope she has a speedy recovery.

  21. 9.5.17
    Jen said:

    I bet it's been such a tough week. It's only going to get better from here. So glad you have so much help for the rest of your fam. What a blessing. Prayers for a smooth rest of recovery.

  22. 9.5.17
    Flmgodog said:

    Miss Britt is so lucky to have a mama like you. My daughter is a cleft kid. She looks amazing now! The first week or so after surgery is so hard…but you survive. You are doing amazing. Years from now you will look back on this time and wonder how you actually did it all. Those arm restraints are the devil but I know they are needed. My daughter only had them the first few weeks. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  23. 9.6.17
    Unknown said:

    So happy to hear miss britt is doing good! She's so lucky to have such a great momma like You! Still praying for a quick recovery!

  24. 9.6.17
    Unknown said:

    So happy the big kids school went good! They are so dang cute! As for Britt, I'm in tears! So happy she is doing good… as a kid who spent a good portion of my childhood in a hospital my heart feels for that sweet little girl. As for you Erika I am so happy you get to hold your little girl as she recovers. I couldn't imagine being in a hospital without my mom and I'm 19. This will be the hardest time of your life but with Gods strength and constant love you will get through it. God bless you and your sweet little family. May God give you guys and the doctors the correct resources to heal that beautiful girl. Prayers all the way from Oregon!

  25. 9.6.17
    daniellem02 said:

    So happy that Britt had you for comfort this surgery! When I look at the "waiting child" lists on adoption agency pages, sometimes it says "he/she has had one surgery already" and I always wonder if they were alone! Praying for you all

  26. 9.6.17
    Unknown said:

    This post made me tear-up…for your Mama-heart (SO hard to see our babies go through this kind of stuff), but also for how precious the snuggling pics are! I've been praying each day for your sweet girl (and you!). Relieved to see she's healing a little bit each day…can't imagine the relief! What a BUSY week for you all!

  27. 9.6.17
    Unknown said:

    I have a son that was born with a cleft lip and palate. The palate repair is no joke. This will be behind you though before you know it! Praying for your sweet girl.

  28. 9.6.17
    K. Elizabeth @ YUMMommy said:

    Glad that everything went well with Britt's surgery and that she did better once you guys got home. There's just no place like home and love is the medicine. I hope you guys get the all clear at your follow up appointment. Also, happy to hear that the older kids are enjoying school!

  29. 9.7.17
    MissKimmie said:

    Praying for your big little family. What a wonderful mamma you are.

  30. 9.7.17
    Deena said:

    I'm sure it was hard to see sweet little Britt suffering but good that you were both there to comfort her. She definitely loves herself some mom. I hope everything goes well and heals fast. 🙏🏼

    It's always so fun to see back to school pics. My sons are grown up and it happens so fast.

  31. 9.7.17
    I Like Ike said:

    Praying for you girls! My son has a routine tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy this summer and that little routine surgery and recovery was so incredibly hard on us… and yet the whole time all I could think about was how basic and simple this was compared to what some babies and momma's endure. It wrecked me thinking of those sweet momma's who give it all, all the time, for sick babies. And it made my thankfulness for my childrens overall good health through the roof!

    Praying Britt is cleared really soon!

  32. 9.9.17
    My Glittery Heart said:

    I'm in tears. Our God is so good. So thankful that Brit found her forever mama and family! All the praise hands to you!!