Saturday, June 30, 2012

The new normal

Those lips! I miss them! All 3 of them! (Hey, I can, I'm his mom) It's been 3 whole weeks since surgery!

Well his new smile is already normal to me. I'm already forgetting what he use to look like... It makes me sad but I still have a sweet little face to love on that is JUST as cute! Curtis made a comment a few days ago saying he looks like a "normal" baby now and he didn't like it. I laughed and I had to agree with him a little bit. I disparately miss those lips. 

Hudson had a follow up appointment with Dr. Beals on Wednesday. He said things looked really good AND he removed the nasal stint. (yay!) It wasn't a fun thing though. We held him down tight as he cried and cried and Dr. Beals clipped what I assumed to be stitches in his nose and pulled the stint out. Gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. I don't know how he clipped what ever he clipped in that tiny little nose with tiny little scissors with a squirming around little boy with out it being a bloody mess! But that's why we pay the big bucks... but actually what we have paid in total so far has really been nothing. Thank you insurance.

I told him Hudson had lost a pound since surgery and that he is still struggling with eating. Boo. Frustrating I tell you! So he sent me over to Deborah the speech pathologist who is in the same place as Dr. Glick. Fortunately we were able to see her that same day but 3 hours later so I had to drive BACK to Phoenix. Another boo. She was very very helpful AND I was able to show Hudson off to Dr. Glick and her staff since he had his repair. There was also a lady there signing who ever wanted up for the Craniofacial Foundation of Arizona which Dr. Beals founded. I'm not gonna lie I mainly did it for the retreat to a Phoenix resort in August that is only $60 for me Curtis and Hudson for 2 nights! Sweet! It'll be fun to meet other families too I'm sure.

So Deborah watched me feed Hudson and came to the conclusion that his lip is still sensitive. Which makes sense since it's only been 3 weeks. Sure it looks good on the outside but it's still healing. So thats why he isn't eating so well. Even if it doesn't hurt as much as it did in the beginning she said he still associates his bottle with pain on his lip so he's careful. She also brought up that he ate so well that first day because it was probably still numb. Duh. So now comes the massaging... Easy? No. I'm suppose to massage his lip 2-3 times a day to help loosen it up and help it become less sensitive. Wiping his face off after spoon feeding him is like torture. He wont let me near his lip. I touch it and he flinches away and starts whining. SO that's going to be fun. She was very helpful and gave me some good tips though.

I also scored 3 bottles and 6 new nipples from Deborah. Which I have to order online and the nipples are like $3 each! Plus shipping! Not a fan. They need replaced after like 2 months. She only gave me new ones because I cut all of Hudson's bigger so he wouldn't have trouble eating which helped a little but she thinks he'll get better at using the uncut ones. So since Wednesday feeding Hudson has been a chore! It takes 20-30 minutes and he cries through almost all of it. It drives me crazy. It's like the first 2 weeks we brought him home all over again.

Since surgery he's been a totally different baby. Not cool man. He's always cranky and sleeping and naps are off. I guess he IS a "normal" baby now. Not a perfect little angel anymore. :) I'm hoping it's just him adjusting from surgery still and the fact that he got spoiled that week and he's probably teething.

So he's a free man for now until his palate repair at 9 months old. Dang, that's only like 3 months away! I get stressed just thinking about that one. It worries me more than the lip repair...

He likes that bottom lip a whole lot more now and spits and slobbers a lot more too!

He was really grumpy as we were waiting for Dr. Beals and right when I took the picture he smiled!

My sweet baby face.

Tough guy!

What do you get when you cross a cleft palate and green beans? A green bead waterfall out the nose! This is what happens likes 80% of the time when I spoon feed him. Makes him very angry and then it just gets worse.

4 week old Hudson and 5 1/2 month old Hudson!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Here's to you...

This post isn't about Hudson today like the last 20 have been. He's my little love and my heart has grown twice it's size to fit him in. I know I would do anything in this world for him. To make him happy. I'll love him forever, but I know one day he'll grow up and leave me.

This post is for Curtis Hofmann, my forever love. He is my constant. I love that he will always be by my side. An eternity with him is all I could ask for.

I'm sure he probably has not felt it these last 5 months as 75% of my attention has gone to Hudson. The dogs probably slept with him more than I did that first month we brought our little Hudson home. I've taken more pictures, talk more and posted more about Hudson that I have failed to mention the man I most desperately love!

Curtis has been an amazing dad and husband to Hudson and I. I know he can't wait for the day when he can shoot some hoops with Hud but for now he is patient. Which is one of my most favorite traits about him because, like I have said many times, I have no patience. Curtis literally completes me. He is everything that I am not. And I know that sounds cheesy but it is oh so true! He always does what I ask, even if it's a back massage late at night or washing the 7 bottles I have neglected. He never complains on the weekends when I ask him to get up with Hudson in the night. And most importantly he has never complained about getting up and going to work every day. Leaving behind his wife and son. He's always been a hard worker. He knows what needs to be done to provide for our family. I wouldn't want to raise my kids with any other man and I know I made the right decision to make him my husband.

So here's to you Curtis Hofmann! I love you to death and beyond! Happy Father's Day! We made one good looking little boy and I can't wait for more to come!

Your forever wife,

I had this framed as a gift for Curtis and it was too cute not to share!

 And these are the runner ups!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Custom made

Mr. Hud is 5 months old today! It's also been a week since surgery! I can't believe I'm a mom to a 5 month old! I can't believe I'm a mom PERIOD! Being a mom has opened a whole new door of emotions and feelings. Some not so good but a whole lot of great ones! Hudson is so stinking cute I just can't stand it! I have never seen anything more amazing than this kid. He lights up my life.

Month 5 for Hudson has brought HUGE changes as I know you've all SEEN. Hudson's custom made smile was completed last saturday after (of course) 5 months of preparation! There is no other word I can describe him with other than trooper! He is a trooper! He's been so strong and so tough through it all! He has endured countless NAM placements, he's been poked and prodded, gagged, cut up and put back together again. And still I have seen more smiles on that kid's face than all the other babies put together. I am so very proud of him. I know he wont remember all this but I will! And I think so much more of him because of it.

We have had some bad nights and days this week. He must have just been so hungry on saturday that he didn't notice his NAM was missing so he didn't notice he couldn't eat. Well Sunday he figured it out and so he's been having a hard time eating. Nothing is more frustrating that watching him struggle to eat. It's so sad and I wish I could just do it for him. And the past 2 nights ago have been no good to him. He has a stint in his left nostril that has been clogged with blood clots and he's having a hard time breathing out of his nose which wake him up multiple times in the night. And I don't blame him! I have had allergies as long as I can remember and nothing makes me more mad than going to bed with a stuffed up nose! Well Thursday I finally got down to business and while he was sleeping cleaned out his nose. It wasn't easy and it made for a crappy nap. But I did it! And he's been doing a lot better! It will be a happy day when I don't have to worry about NAMs, stints and stitches. What's it like to have a normal baby anyway?

He is looking so good! The glue over his stitches still has not come off yet and I can't wait for it to! Then I can get a good look at Dr. Beals' work! He is an artist for all I know! Hudson's nose looks almost perfect! He's been so spoiled this week since he had surgery but I figured it's ok. I've been rocking him to sleep every night and for every nap. I'm sure I'll regret it later... It's a bad habit to break.

I can't believe how active Hudson is getting. It is so much fun but I just can't keep up with him! He needs to move onto something new every 10 minutes. Tummy time is no longer an issue. I'll lay him on his back and he instantly rolls over to play. And keep your smart phones hidden! Smart phones only! If he sees one he is determined to get it into his hands! I swear he'll jump right out of my arms sometimes! He is obsessed with them and I don't even know why! He's going to be one of those technology nerds. This kid knows what he wants! The day he learns how to crawl will be a fun one...

I love that I get to stay home with this guy everyday. It has been so much fun to watch him grow! I just can't believe how big he is now. Everyone is right, you forget how little they were. I wish I could put a new born Hudson next to the 5 month old Hudson and compare them! Wouldn't that be fun!? I just can't get enough of him. I want to squeeze and kiss him all day long!! We have been so blessed to have him in our lives and we are so so lucky to have this sweet little boy!

"how you doin'?"

Long toes! Compliments from mom AND dad.

3 days after surgery

Love that smile!!

6 days after surgery

Such a goof!

Monday, June 11, 2012

New and improved!

Not many parents are blessed to have a second first smile to fall in love with. We are of those lucky few. It sure has been well worth it. I wouldn't call it a repair because to me there was nothing wrong with those lips of his! It was more of an... exchange. It reminds me of one of Brian Regan's skits. The one where he is playing in the out field for little league and he's yelling to the coach that he wants a grape flavored snow cone because it's his favorite. He tells the coach if they don't have grape then cherry is a favorite also but that grape is more of a favorite. So Hudson's first smile will always be my favorite and so special to me but his new one is also a favorite!

The day was both harder and better than I expected. We went to bed later than I would have liked the night before. Which I wasn't too happy about since I wasn't expecting to sleep the night after surgery. I got up at 2:30AM to feed Hudson since 3AM was the cut off for no food. It was hard to wake him up and I felt bad doing it. He pretty much slept through the whole bottle but he did eat it all. I held him a little longer before putting him back to bed. My alarm went of at 6:30 and I got up and started to get ready. Hudson was still sleeping so I waited until the last minute to wake him up. It's not fun to wake a perfectly sleeping baby. But he was all smiles that morning. I gave him a bath and we loaded up and left for Phoenix! I was still doing pretty well by then. And Hudson was just talking away in the back. I was actually happy that the new rescheduled time was earlier in the morning so he would be able to sleep through most of his hunger pains. But hunger really wasn't an issue all morning.
We were called back to prepare Hudson and sign a lot of papers. And then we waited in a little waiting room for the surgeon to come talk to us. Hudson even got to wear the tiniest little gown and he looked so cute in it! All he was missing was his little buns showing in the back! When Dr. Beals came in to talk to us Hudson was already falling asleep in his seat. He went over everything that would happen and what to expect after surgery. Then we talked with his nurse and the anesthesiologist who both fell in love with him. When they were finished talking it was time for them to take him. The anesthesiologist picked him and even carried his little blankie with him that he fell asleep with. He woke up a little and just laid back down on her shoulder and I watched them both walk away through the door. Then I remembered because he was sleeping that I didn't hug and kiss him goodbye! And just as I suspected the reality of it all had hit me hard. Tears filled my eyes as we walked back to the big waiting room. It was real. My favorite smile was never coming back. I had hopped he stayed somewhat asleep as they actually put him to sleep so he wouldn't be scared. I wished I could have been there with him.
The wait was better than I expected. The first 20 minutes were hard because I kept thinking about him in there and it made me sad. My mom and dad came about 30-45 minutes into the wait and then my Grannie and Grandpa and Uncle B showed up later too. It made it so much better to have them there and be able to laugh and joke. And just under 2 hours of waiting a nurse called me and Curtis back. I was so nervous to see him! My heart was pounding. It was like waiting to see your new baby for the first time again. What will he look like?!
The anesthesiologist was sitting in a chair holding a big bundled up little boy who was still asleep. My very first thought was that he looked so much bigger and older to me! You can't go through something like as a baby boy without growing up a littler faster. She got up and let me sit down and placed him in my arms. I just had to stare. He looked so different to me already. I kept kissing him and playing with his hair. I softly whispered to him so he would know I was there. I was so glad he was back in my arms. And I was so amazed at the job Dr. Beals had done. It was better than I imagine! Especially since it was only minutes after surgery. Dr. Beals came to talk to us and said everything went as planned. And after about 15 or 20 minutes of waiting he started to slowly wake up.
He was still super groggy but was looking around. He started to whimper and it made me so sad. I can't imagine how scared and uncomfortable he was. He was really raspy and kept coughing and spiting up blood. Although the nurse said that was normal since they swallow a lot of blood during surgery. It was scary to see though. Once he started to move around more we showed him his bottle and he got a little excited and opened his mouth for it. But eating was a different story. I could tell he was getting frustrated and he started to cry. It was such a different cry for him. It was so sad and I just wanted to cry with him. This was the part that was harder for me than I expected. I had a hard time seeing him like this and tired to hold my tears back. I tried to get him to eat more but he kept crying. It was scaring me. How was I suppose to take care of this poor little boy?! He needed to stay!
He did drink a tiny bit and the nurse said that his vitals were normal and that we could leave as soon as we wanted. I almost didn't want to. What was she thinking? This little baby just had surgery and now he can go home? So Curtis went to get the car and my mom came back to see us. He was still really whinny and just had the saddest cry I've ever heard. We got as far as putting his shorts on and said forget the shirt. He just wanted to be held. I was prepared for a long ride home with a crying baby but once we buckled him in his seat he went right to sleep. I sat in the back with him on our way home and tried to feed him some more but he just fell asleep to the comfort of his bottle being in his mouth. He would wake up every so often and let out a cry. My poor baby...
I was glad to finally be home. We got home around 2PM and then Curtis went to get him medicine and I rocked and tried to feed him some more. He was still having a hard time and just went back to sleep. We gave him some medicine and decided to feed him his formula now since he was just drinking pedialyte that the hospital gave us. He must not have liked the pedialyte because once he got a taste of his formula he started to eat really well and finished the 2 oz and so we gave him more which he finished really well too. It was such a relief! And he started to act so much better with real food in his belly.
My mom came over to help with him. This took some stress away and I even got to take a nap! What would we do with out our mothers?! Hudson was doing really well by then though. He even took a long nap and ate 6 more ounces. He also played a little with some toys. I was so amazed at how well he was doing now! This kid is tough!
I was really hopeful for a good night which we got! I kept him in his bouncer chair next to my bed and he only woke up once in the night. I fed him and gave him more medicine and then he woke up at 5AM and ate some more! After he woke up in the night I had to put him back in his room because although he was getting some sleep I wasn't! Every move he made I would wake up and check on him! So I actually slept better when he was in his room! Go figure.
He was a happy boy in the morning like always and flashed me some smiles! What a trooper! Nothing phases this kid. I was so excited to see those first new smiles and of course loved them! He has been so awesome and more than I could have ever asked for! I'm so grateful he is ours! He is pretty much back to normal now. He still has not perfected eating yet but it's better than I could have expected!
Oh ya and it was my birthday... ha Which really didn't feel like it of course. But I still felt special that day with all the birthday wishes. I can't tell you how important family and friends are! I don't know what has made me cry more, all the support, dinners, messages, thoughts, texts, help, and love or my little boy who just went through surgery. My throat burns just thinking about everyone who has been so kind to us. We have been so so blessed and I seriously would not have made it through these first 5 months if it were not for all of YOU! So thank you from the bottom of my heart! Our baby boy is healthy and that's all we could ever ask for.

Ok ok now for all the pictures! ;)

His morning bath. He was so happy!

Best friends.

Being goofy while waiting to be called back.

While we were waiting Curtis drew this up for me. :)

So cute in his gown!!

Falling asleep. Waiting will do that to you.

Right after we got him back.

And right after he woke up.

No fun. We were getting him ready to go home.

Just so miserable.

I didn't realize how bloody he would be. He kept drooling blood. :(

Little arm restraints.

He looks like he just sucked somebody's blood. Poor buddy. He has a tube in his left nostril that should be in for at least 2-3 weeks. Boo. It is to help give that nostril some extra support for now. It is stitched in and it'll bleed a little bit every once in a while. It's a pain to keep clean!

 Feeling good enough to play.

Mmmm blood mustache.

This was the next morning. Still the goofy little boy we love! :)

New smile!

Kind of hard to play with those restraints.

And this was this morning. 2 days after surgery. He is pretty much back to himself! Reaching for everything!

He looks tired but it was the flash. Look how good he looks! It is amazing!! Dr. Beals did an awesome job! When the anesthesiologist was leaving she said he's the best doctor in the world as far as she's concerned. :) I can't wait to see how everything heals! I love this little boy to death and I'm so so very proud of him!!!!!!