Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Neil's new ride....

You might be able to tell from Neil's slightly excited appearance in this pic that he's pretty happy about his new set of wheels. Anybody who know's Neil know's that he buy's cars more often than I buy shoes. I've come to accept this weakness over time and pretty much just let him do his thing and hope that his car addiction won't ever leave us living in one unable to afford any other form of shelter. I must admit though I'm quite impressed with this one....It's got all the bells and whistles and it's REALLY nice to drive....so much so that I think Neil might find he's the proud new owner of a lovely blue minivan full of cheerios and baby sick while I get to drive in style for a change :)

So photogenic!

I love these pics of Seb out in the snow, he's just so darn handsome! I took quite a few pictures on this walk but he was running around so much it was hard to get anything in focus so I was pleasantly surprised when I uploaded my pics and found these. I absolutely love his little beaky lip!

More about Bel.....

It's been two weeks since Isobel had her surgery. She's been home for 9 days and she's doing amazingly well. Even the day she arrived home she had us all watching in disbelief as she made her first attempts to crawl around the kitchen floor. Now she's moving so fast you'd never believe there was anything wrong. She's still got a pretty fresh scar and if you think that her ribcage was cut open and is now loosely held together with a few bits of stainless steal wire it's hard to believe she's crawling and rolling all over the place!

Here are a few more pictures from her stay in hospital and from the days since she's been home.
Our first cuddles two days after her surgery just before she was moved up to the ward. It was SO good to be able to just pick her up.

Being moved from the PICU up to the ward. She looked so tiny in that big bed.

Trying to get some rest. It was so hard for the poor little munchkin to get any sleep, she'd be woken up continuously for blood pressure checks or to be given her medication. By the end of her stay in the hospital I think she was totally exhausted.

This was the morning before we left the hospital, 4 days after open heart surgery. She's smiling and happy but doesn't look quite right. Apart from being exhausted she decided to stop drinking the hospital milk and was starting to get a little dehydrated. Once she got home she started drinking again and finally got a good nights sleep. In this picture she's surrounded by all the teddies she received while in hospital. When we got home there were even more presents! Fruit baskets and flowers and cards and some really cute books for Bel. Thank you so much to all our family, friends and neighbours for being so sweet and thoughtful, it means a lot to us.

With Nana waiting to go home and finally out of the yucky hospital PJ's.

Such a sweetie pie!

These are Bel's scars one week after surgery. There's the main incision and the smaller scar below is where her chest tube went in. It's not too clear in this picture but she was also covered in tiny spec scar's where all the other lines and wires went in. She has these on her neck, wrists, ankles and stomach. You can just about see a few of these either side of the chest tube scar.
Two weeks after surgery and it's all healing nicely, she had the last stitch out yesterday and doesn't look so much like a pin cushion anymore.

Crawling around again and I'm sure, so happy to be home!

Out for a walk in the park with Seb and Nana. Bel gets the comfy ride on the baby sled.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Bel's story so far....

On Monday afternoon I got a call from the hospital asking if Isobel could come in for her surgery in two days time. The lady was asking me questions and I couldn't answer, I was in complete shock. I knew my baby girl was going to need this operation and I was gradually adjusting to that but I thought I was going to get 4 weeks notice, to recieve a call like this out of the blue threw me, literally, I couldn't speak.

As I write this it's about 10.30pm on Thursday Januray 7th and Isobel is still in the paediatric intensive care unit after her open heart surgery yesterday. She's still on a morphine drip and being closely monitored but she's doing amazingly well. The last three days have been an absolute whirlwind. Too many trips to the hospital to count, a trip to the airport, frantic phone calls, pacing and waiting and some of the most horrible and terrifing feelings I've ever had. Amongst all this my Mum magically arrived and made everything seem so much better and I realized that I really am the luckiest person alive to have such an amazing family. A precious, brave and beautiful daughter who can light up a room with her smile even when she's in horrible discomfort and pain, a shining star of a son who makes sure we all have something to laugh about and who gives THE most amazing cuddles and an unbelievably strong and supportive husband who, although he was as terrified as me, made sure I had a shoulder to cry on and arms to fall into when I felt like I couldn't stand up any more.

We really are the lucky ones.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of days starting with our pre-admission visit at the hospital on Tuesday morning and finishing with Isobel when we last visited her this evening.

The chest x ray tube. She didn't even cry!

Taking blood.

Her bath the night before surgery. The last photo of her without a scar on her chest.

Sebastian kissing his baby sister bye bye before she leaves for the hospital.

Waiting to go for surgery.

More waiting.

On the stretcher with Mummy being wheeled to the OR.

About two hour's after 5 hours of open heart surgery. Fully sedated in the paediatric intensive care unit.

6 hours after surgery, although still heavily sedated, Isobel wakes up and finds her thumb.

This morning. She's still very groggy but some tubes have been removed and she is doing really well.

Grandad and Nana visit.

At about 7pm this evening, we arrive to find her sitting up in bed. The nurses say that she's been bright and alert and curious about the goings on in the PICU.
I can't tell you how relieved we feel to see her like this. I feel like crying I'm so happy!

Isobel's new friend...a huge stuffed wolf toy (we named him Defect) sent as a get well gift from the superintendent at Neil's police station.

Although she's still not herself and is obviously in lots of pain and discomfort Daddy gets a few of the most precious and heart-warming smiles he's ever recieved.

Love you Bel, every minute we spend away from you feels like an eternity. Can't wait to have you home.


Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Our little Baby Girl

Baby Bel before her surgery

Our little girl Isobel went into surgery today on the 06th January 2010 at approximately 1230hrs to correct her Atrial septal defect (ASD). Surgery went very well and her heart has been repaired. The surgeon fixed the hole and her leaky valves. Seeing Isobel wheeled out of the theatre on that huge bed was a a huge relief, I have never felt such weird emotions all at the same time. Seeing all the tubes and bandages stuck to isobel made my heart melt. I felt so sad, but happy at the same time that the operation was successful. Isobel was in surgery for nearly 5 hours.

This is a little snippet so you guys can see little Bell recovering. Sophie will add some more on later.

Sedated in the paediatric intensive care unit immediately after surgery.