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Peter is going in for a tonsiloadenoidectomy (getting his tonsils and adenoids removed) because he has obstructive sleep apnea. I am super nervous. I hate the idea of my 14 month old getting surgery! They said they normally wait until they are 2, but since he stops breathing in his sleep it is important. They said that they are happy that he hasn't died in his sleep already! YIKES!
Those of you who have had kid's that needed surgeries, do you have any tips? How can I make it easiest on him? Anyone have experience with surgeries on kids under two? tips for how to relax mommy?
Aiden had his tonsils and adenoids out right after he turned 3, because he had constant ear infections from November-June from the time he was 9 months old. They were also obstructing his airway. To be honest, there's really nothing that I found to soothe the mom part. I knew that it was routine, and that the doctors knew what they were doing, but wondering how the anesthesia would affect him really bothered me. I'm going to be honest. It was not a good experience. When he came to he was thrashing and screaming. It took 2 hours to calm him down enough to snuggle him and even then he just lay there in my arms and whimpered. His recovery was a hellacious 14 days. He would eat a bit, but refused to drink (or eat anything that was liquid based like popcicles). He almost had to be readmitted to get fluids. He is a kid who LOVES to take medicine, but he flat out refused to take his Tylenol with codeine. I had to add sugar to it to even come close to getting it down his throat. That being said, it was TOTALLY worth it, and I would do it again a million times to achieve the outcome we've had. He hasn't had a single ear infection since the surgery, he no longer snores, and his airway is totally clear. His recovery isn't typical. I have a TON of friends who I've warned with Aiden's story whose kids were bouncing off the walls and eating and drinking everything under the sun by the next day. I just like to warn people, because I heard many good stories about it when I was talking to people, so I was completely blindsided by what happened with him, and I think that made it harder, because it was completely unexpected.
One of the biggest tips I can give you is make sure that you keep up on his meds. They usually tell you to give them every 4 hours. Try to give them to him a half hour before the end of the time limit. I found that if I waited 4 they were starting to wear off, and he was in a lot of pain until the next dose kicked in. If I did it a half hour early it gave him continuous coverage and kept him more calm and happy. If he's having issues with pain don't let him sleep through a dose. An easy way to handle it at night was to pre-fill medicine syringes and put them on my bedside table. I set my alarm for a half hour before the meds wore off, and would just lean over and give them to him and he went right back to sleep. Don't be surprised if he sounds like he's talking through his nose for a LONG time. That's normal. Also, don't be surprised if he wakes up with a sore throat in the morning and after naps for a while, but is fine shortly after. All the breathing without taking in fluids dries out the tissues in the nose and throat, and it hurts when they first wake up. As they start taking in fluids throughout the day it gets better. I hope everything goes perfectly, and Peter's recovery is easy!
Olivia had surgery when she was four months old. The hospital we went to said that the very best thing for baby is to hold them ASAP when they get out of surgery. As soon as she woke up they came to get me and had me hold her. Of course that's not pain management or whatever but she did calm down once I was holding her, and I felt a lot better when I was holding her too!
My oldest was 4 when she had hers so I'm not much help there however we read her a ton of books and brought her on a tour beforehand.
I HIGHLY recommend though making DH do the anesthesia. DH said afterwards that he was crying and normally nothing bothers him. He said I would have been a mess. They said it's normal for them to resist and she did. We stayed with her the second she was out. She had both legs operated on so no suggestions with what to expect with the pain and such.
Katrina, mom to 7 wonderful children on earth, and 4 guardian angels in heaven.
the night before the surgery we did everything as normal, but 20 minutes before the food cut off I woke him up and gave him a large serving of oatmeal.
His surgery was scheduled for 8am, so we got up and headed into the city early, we played and read books. and most importantly DID NOT EAT in front of him.
I felt terrible for him, but as long as he was distracted he wasn't asking for food.
He wasn't taken back to surgery until close to 2:30 - there was a surgery a head of him that didn't go well.
We made sure we walked back with him to the O.R. the anesthesiologist put a mask on him and he started screaming, we all sang twinkle twinkle as he was being put under and it was heart wrenching to hear his cries get further and further away as he went under. But managed to keep smiles on our faces until he was asleep and we were ushered out.
Then we both fell apart in the elevator.
The surgery was about 2 hours long and they brought us in before he woke up. WE then had to hold him completely still for 4 hours or he could bleed out. luckily he was groggy for all of it, and content to just lay there in my arms.
He wasn't allowed anything to eat until the next morning, but after a little while they let him have some juice.
Make sure you take a cup the child is comfortable with, the juice they have is in those stupid plastic cups, luckily we had a sippy in the diaper bag.
We both stayed the night, but we were in a ward, not in a private room, so there was no privacy, and we just stayed up all night watching him sleep.
In the morning he had some cheerios and was his normal self.
My biggest advice is try to stay happy and playful and smiling in front the baby, and don't eat in front of them. Bring a bunch of toys, even if you don't need them. the wait may be longer than you expect, ours sure was - and he got bored quickly.
Marsi got a special new hospital toy as well as more comfortable toys. Also, I agree to hold and comfort baby as soon as possible after surgery. Marsi's surgery was a little different and I couldn't snuggle with her when she had her chest tube in. Once that was out and I could hold her, she did wonderful. Keep up on the medications and make sure they don't do too much when they get home. Marsi came home and despite our efforts to keep her down, she was acting like herself and when the medications were only half done, she was in screaming pain and we had to alternate Tylenol and Ibuprofen until she calmed down and rested. I also brought her usual blanket that I put her to sleep with as a comfort to her. Marsi was only 5 months old so it might be different with a 14 month old. Many prayers for a great surgery and a quick recovery for Peter.
I am going to be completely honest that the hardest thing I have ever had to go through was handing my baby over to the doctor. I was not able to go into the OR until she was asleep. It is so hard, but you will have all the time he is in surgery to cry. Try to be strong for him before that. Bring a book, laptop or something to keep you busy. It is so much worse to wait with nothing to do. Since I know your religious preference, ask your DH, home teachers or bishop to give you a blessing. It isn't selfish. I know that I thought it was selfish for me to ask for one when it was Marsi going through the surgery. I know that it helped me through it.
Peter had a blessing on Sunday.... I should probably get one too...
They gave me this big list of horrible things that can happen, and made me sign it! So know I know all the bad things that can happen? I don't want to lose another baby! i have really gotten attached to this one!