Sunday, June 16, 2013

Moving on Up!

We have good news all around... We are out of the PICU! We have removed all tubes except for an IV to get fluids. He was able to get out of bed and he even took a few steps. Because there was no muscle to work with for surgery it has really cut down on the healing time. I'm really trying to find the good news with his unexpected diagnosis. The surgeon had originally said that we would be in the hospital for 2-4 weeks but with the way Cooper is progressing so quickly we should be going home in the next few days!
Riding in the Wagon!
Today Cooper was able to eat some food. He was so excited! We also had some visitors, the Londono family. They brought Coop a Tigger stuffed animal that he has not let out of his sight. All the excitement for the day has worn him out. Here's to him sleeping through the night!
Elizabeth, Cooper, and Victoria
Too Much Wagon Excitement!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

PICU Day #3

Today was much more eventful than yesterday.  This morning, Cooper's surgical team decided that he could be extabated after he was given an epideral. So around 10 we got to watch one of the anesesiologists give his epideral, and then around 2pm, Cooper came out of his sleep and they pulled out his breathing tube.  He was very upset at first, he cried and whined for about two hours. But after some drugs he is back with us!  The nurses removed several of his 'tubes' and he seems to be recovering. His face and extremities are very swollen. He does have a pitiful little growley voice, but he still has a great sense if humor. He played peekaboo with the nurse that pulled out his tube!

One of Cooper's favorite things that is attached to him is his oxygen detector (I'm sure that's not the technical term).  Here's a picture of him and his ET toe!
We will remain in the PICU for at least another day.  Later this evening, the surgical team plans on taking out Cooper's drains... Just another step towards getting completely unplugged!  We have a sleeping room again tonight, so we will be on rotating watch.  We are also very grateful for Grizzy making the trip between Colorado Springs and Denver and taking care of our house and dogs during this time.  We couldn't have done it without her!

We have been keeping a close eye on the situation back home. The Black Forest Fire has created such chaos in our beloved city.  We are praying for everyone that has been affected, it is such a tragedy. 

Much Love from Denver,

Ryan, Ronda, and Cooper

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

PICU Day #2

Not a lot to report today. The surgical team came in this morning and made the decision to keep Cooper on the ventilator so it has been a very quiet day. We have seen six doctors and a bunch of nurses that come in every hour or so. I really can't get over how kind everyone has been. This is an amazing hospital. Tomorrow the same thing will happen. A team will decide if he is ready to wake up or not. He's had a fever on and off but I guess that's normal.

The big news today is the Black Forest Fire. The evacuation area is about two or so miles from our house. The wind is blowing north so we don't believe that we will be evacuated but we needed to get a plan in place just in case. Ryan's Mom, Barb (aka Grizzy), is staying with our dogs at the house. Ryan made a trip back home to trade cars with her in case she needs to take the dogs somewhere if the fire heads south. The trip normally takes about an hour but today it took over two hours because of all the people being evacuated. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this fire.

The love that we all have felt from everyone has been amazing. Thank you for all your prayers, kind words and good thoughts. Until tomorrow... Here's a video from today.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In the PICU

What a day. The good news is that he made it through the surgery and he is Thank you to everyone for your good thoughts and prayers. They were felt!

Ready for Surgery
Cooper charmed every nurse and doctor that we saw before the surgery. They let Ryan and me go back to the Operating Room with him until he fell asleep. He never cried or even fussed once. Such a trooper! His surgery lasted about 4 hours and we got an update every hour. The surgeon came and visited with us after he was all done. He had good news and some not so good news. Cooper did great in the surgery. Unfortunately the hole in his abdomen was much larger than he ever imagined it to be. He had hoped to be able to stretch the muscles and sew them together to create a tight firm belly. Cooper's stomach muscles are pretty much nonexistent so they had to use a mesh to hold everything in place. What this means is Cooper will still have a belly. It is about half the size as it was before. The doctor thinks that Cooper will grow into it over the next few years. The bad part about this is that Cooper will always have a weak abdomen. He won't be able to participate in all activities and he will always have to be extra careful. I think I went into this somewhat naively. I thought that he would be "perfect" if he could just get through the surgery. I didn't think about the chance that this would be a lifetime thing.

After speaking with the doctor we met Cooper in his room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. It was quite a shock to see my tiny little boy with so many tubes sticking in and out of him. He has eight tubes! One down his nose to suction anything in his stomach, a breathing tube down his throat, a central line in his jugular, an IV in each arm, two drains in the incision and finally a catheter. When we came into the room Coop's nurse was getting him all hooked up to various machines. I guess Cooper didn't want to be asleep anymore so he semi woke up and tried to pull the breathing tube out. Ryan yelled at the nurse and before we knew it there were a dozen nurses and doctors in here. I guess when he pulled the tube out all his stats dropped and all kinds of alarms went off. It was a very scary 45 minutes that they worked on him. Since then he has tried to wake up a few times. They had to restrain his arms so he doesn't try to pull out the breathing tube again. The nurse thinks that he is a trouble maker!

State of the Art
Ryan and I will be staying in the room with Coop. I hope we get some sleep. I don't know how it will be possible. We will write again tomorrow!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cooper's BIG Surgery

As most of you know Cooper was born with a rare congenital condition called Gastroschisis. It is where there is incomplete formation of the abdominal wall so that the intestines protrude outside the body. Babies born with this condition have surgery to repair it as soon as they are stable enough after delivery. The doctors in China did not perform this surgery correctly on Cooper when he was born so he is having surgery to fix it now! We knew all this when we chose to adopt Cooper. We thought that he would have the surgery as soon as we got home with him from China but Cooper was malnourished and too small to do it until now. So tomorrow, Tuesday June 11th, we will be moving up to the Denver Children's Hospital. They believe he will be in the hospital anywhere from 2-4 weeks. We won't know how long until we see how the surgery goes. There are all sorts of complications that can happen. The doctor has told us on many occasions that this surgery "is a really big deal!" He has been incredible over the past year getting us and Cooper prepared for this surgery.

So please send some prayers for our amazing little boy. A year ago we were getting ready to board a plane to pick him up. I can honestly say that it has has been the best year if my life. 

Our plan is to update the blog daily like we did while we were in China so all our friends and family can be updated on Cooper's progress. Much love to you all!