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!!!!!!


  1. Such a trooper. He sure has a special spirit, like he remembers he chose this before he came here and is ready for whatever it brings.

    We have surely been blessed by this little man.

    Love you

  2. I'm sooo happy everything went so well for you guys. Well done Hofmann family!

  3. Such a beautiful post. It made me year up. He's do handsome with both smiles. :-)

  4. Hi Kristy,

    I came across your blog after reading a comment you posted in the Cleft Group at Your outlook has been so encouraging! We found out on Tuesday that our baby girl (due 10/25) as a cleft lip (unsure about pallet at this time).

    Reading everyone's stories of their journey raising these fabulous kids with clefts has really lifted my spirit and I am feeling more capable each day. This specific blog post about Hudson's surgery had me in tears as her surgery is my biggest fear.

    Thanks for sharing your story through it all. If you're interested in connecting my email is:

    Blessings to you and your boys!