A Tough Day of Surgery for Lewie

5.23.2013

Wednesday, May 22nd had been on my calendar since January.  It was the day my little guy would be going to the Connecticut Children's Medical Center to be administered anesthesia to have dental work done.  My baby needed five fillings, but one cavity was so big that the dentist wasn't even sure if he could save the tooth.

At first I was embarrassed when I was told of the work that needed to be done on Lewie's teeth.  I suddenly felt guilty about those occasional nights when my little guy fell asleep before I could brush his teeth.  My dentist reassured me though that his cavities could be a result of multiple things--sticky and sugary snacks, fruit juice, or even genetics.  "Some kids' teeth are just softer and more prone to cavities than others," I was told.  I guess this made me feel a little better.

I dreaded today but did my best to conceal it.  "Lewie, the dentist is going to work on your teeth today, so they're nice and healthy," I told him.  "We're going to go to a building where there's lots of elevators, and I've been told that they may even allow you to drive your very own car."  This last comment was enough reason to get Lewie excited.  Drive his own car?  Well, this prompted questions like, what did the car look like, how big is it, and could he drive it for a long time?  Of course, I didn't have all the immediate answers.

The transition before surgery and the anesthesia was smooth.  All the nurses and staff at this particular hospital LOVE their jobs, and it shows!  Everyone greeted us with a warm and friendly smile, and Lewie was welcomed with enough "high fives" to last a lifetime.  The ID bracelet he needed to wear was called his "driver's license," and he was told that very soon, he'd be allowed to pick his very own car or motorcycle to ride to the surgery room.  During the surgery prep, Lewie was told he'd be wearing his very own hospital pajamas, and that Mommy would have to dress in silly pajamas too.  (I wore a yellow gown that was referred to as the "banana outfit.")  Lewie was told he could choose the scent for the mask he would be wearing.  "Do you want bubble gum, watermelon, or banana-berry?" the nurse asked.  "Banana-berry," Lewie answered without hesitation.  He agreed the scent did smell good, and she immediately coated the inside of the mask with it.

As we waited for the anesthesiologist and the dentist to come and explain everything to us, Lewie had a chance to watch Cars 2 on his own personal, hand-held DVD player.  After all the information was discussed and signatures were collected, Lewie finally could pick his own vehicle to drive to the operating room.  To my surprise, he not only chose a motorcycle but a "police" motorcycle.  He drove it down the hallway and was way disappointed when, in less than two minutes, he was told he reached his destination.

As we entered the operating room, for a minute, both he and I cringed.  There was no hiding it; this room looked like an operating room, and there were at least seven doctors, nurses, and/or doctors in training all dressed in scrubs, scrub caps, and masks.  "You can pick up Lewie, and have him sit-up on the table Mom," the nurse said.  I put on a fake smile and did just that.  Then I held his hand, as Lewie was told to take deep breaths into the mask.  His goal was to try and blow up a balloon that was connected to the mask, but with each breath, I watched my little boy become weaker and weaker until he was coughing and then collapsed into the nurse' sprawled out arms right onto the operating table.  At that point, I sobbed uncontrollably.  "It's okay," the nurse reassured me, "the coughing and the muscle twitching is all normal."  I was happy I managed to stay strong for my little guy who was obviously very nervous during those last few minutes, but at the same time, I felt overwhelmed.  My little boy was trusting me; did I make the right decision?  How could I get this metal image of my little boy's limp and lifeless body out of my head?

The recovery after the surgery was just as difficult to handle.  My little boy woke up crying in pain, and because his mouth was all swollen, it was difficult to understand him.  The nurse gave him some morphine and several ice pops, but when it was time to try and change him from his hospital pajamas, he started vomiting uncontrollably.  We all tried to comfort him.  The nurse even gave him his very own Lion Webkins stuffed animal to take home.

Now, at home, he's vomited a few times and is still not ready to eat any solid foods.  While his tooth surgery has been labeled a "success," I still wonder if today will have a lasting impression on Lewie.  Will he remember it because he got to drive a cool motorcycle, or will he remember it because he never felt so much pain before in his life?  I guess only time will tell.

Lewie showing us that he's getting surgery on his teeth.

Chillin' out watching Cars 2

Still relaxing with his own DVD player.

Checking out the cool motorcycle .  (He wanted the 'Police' one instead of the red one.)

The last smile before surgery.

A final stop at the emergency room.

Lewie Meets Thomas the Train!

5.11.2013

Last Sunday, our son Lewie had a chance to meet Thomas the Train and receive his little Junior Engineer Certificate.  For the past few months, Lewie knew he would be meeting Thomas in person, so the anticipation of seeing him steadily grew, and grew, and grew up until the final moment!

Indeed, there were no disappointments.  The Day Out with Thomas (part of the Go Go Thomas Tour 2013) was so much fun!  We arrived about an hour before our train ride, so we could enjoy some of the other amusements. They had ice cream, cotton candy and food vendors; a fun house, merry-go-round, and car ride; and, of course, above all, they had trains!  With Lewie being such a train aficionado, we didn't have to worry about standing in long lines for the rides; he was content just looking at the trains (or more specifically, the trains' wheels).

My husband and I smiled from ear to ear the whole day as Little Lewie's enthusiasm was contagious.  Everything made him shake with excitement--seeing Thomas, watching the engineer shovel coal into the firebox of a steam train (located on the opposite end of Thomas), listening to the steam train's loud whistle and Thomas's little whistle, handing his train tickets to get punched, and riding the train while listening to Thomas talk to us on the intercom.

After our train ride, my two Lew's went to get ice cream, while I took a look around the Thomas the Train gift shop.  Consequently, Sir Topham Hatt was there to greet all the visitors...

Thomas proved to be a "really useful engine" that day as he made Lewie one of the happiest little boys on the planet.  Who would have thought a child's happiness could bring so much happiness to our own hearts?  Well, there's no doubt about it, our "fireboxes fizzled" with joy! (Note: Please don't feel obligated to view all the pictures and videos...He was just so excited that I couldn't put down the camera.)

Having lunch before meeting Thomas.

Lewie and Daddy pointing to the Essex Train Station on the map.

Me and my little guy at the restaurant.

Lewie sporting his Thomas the Train Overalls.

"Hey Everyone, Look it's Thomas."

Admiring his "James" train tattoo.

Checking out the steam engine on the opposite side of Thomas.

Thomas pulling in from one of his trips.  His eyes moved, and he whistled to everyone!

Waiting patiently...

Lewie took a picture of us on the train.

Well "Buff My Bumpers"...It's Thomas on the intercom!

The best train ride ever!
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Lewie meeting Thomas.

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Lewie explaining how a train's wheels work.

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Lewie enjoying the train ride. 


Daffodil Festival

5.01.2013

Ever since Lewie was born, my mom and I have made it a tradition to go to Hubbard Park's Daffodil Festival.  The park has 61 varieties of yellow and white daffodils on display, and altogether, it's projected that over 600,000 of them are in bloom right now!

The first year we took Lewie, it was easy peasy.  Being 8 months old, he sat comfortably in his stroller watching the hustle and bustle as my mother and I whisked him from one vendor booth to the next looking for beautiful treasures to take home.  His reward for being such a good baby was a homemade baseball cap with his name on it and some of mommy's ice cream.

Now it's four years later, and I had to plan our festival visit a little strategically.  I volunteered my husband to come to the festival so he could take Lewie on the rides, while my mom, girlfriend, and I had time to look at the arts and crafts.  My husband's "reward" of course was his own set of tickets to go on rides with Lewie and an opportunity to buy a steak sandwich among other things in the food area--a grand concession tent that has over 50 food items to choose from!  My husband had never been to the festival before, so it was fun to include him!

I'll admit that this year I was the one who was spoiled the most.  Not only did I get a chance to spend valuable time "shopping" with my mom and friend, but I had a chance to skip over to the ride section to see my "boys" in action too. It was a wonderful, wonderful time, and in the midst of it all, I was able to capture some daffodil photos of my little guy too.  Here's my four year old, and his many "personalities."

Lewie, the Philosopher

Lewie, the Angel

Lewie, the Bold

Lewie, the Entertainer

Lewie, the Superhero

Lewie, the Dreamer
(He looks like my dad in this photo.)

Here's to wishing everyone a happy spring and some happy festival days ahead!