The Surgery

June had her tonsils and her adenoids removed on January 21.  We had delayed the surgery for some time, not willing to let our little baby go through such an ordeal.  After she turned 4, it seemed a little easier to tolerate.  Well, for me at least.

June had never been a good sleeper.  From practically day one it was a struggle to get her to sleep.  For her third year of life she developed night terrors, she'd be scared of things before falling to sleep, and as she thought about it she'd work herself up into a frenzy.  I would get so tired after night after night of her crying out 6 and 7 times that I'd start barking at her to just go to sleep.  While once in a while calming a scared child to bed after a nightmare is a sweet and endearing thing, when it becomes the norm it is hard to handle.  We weren't sure if we were being manipulated or not.  We weren't sure what the cause of it was.  We did not know how to handle it and we were all exhausted.  Was it night terrors?  Was this how it was always going to be for June?
June, in the pre-op room.
Her doctor thought that she had sleep apnea, and as time went on, Adam and I became more and more worried when we watched June sleep at night.  She'd fall asleep, but her breath sounded so labored and almost like wheezing.  Her eyes never seemed all the way closed, you could see the whites of her eyes and her eye sockets looked sunken.  Her whole chest would move up and down in a labored fashion.  And the noise of it.  It was not a funny snore that you would tease someone about.  It was a desperately sad sound emanating from a little girl who just couldn't breathe well enough.

That did it.  After a few nights of being scared that she would stop breathing in her sleep (though not really thinking she would, but still being scared it could happen) we scheduled the surgery.  Luckily we were able to get her in fairly quickly.
Hamming it up, just after being given medication.
I can't say enough about how good the experience was as a whole.  June stayed over night there (we called it having a sleep over at the hospital with Mom and she was all about it).  She was the only child in the pediatric unit and as a result, had the nurse at her beck and call all night long.  They even gave her a huge stuffed animal - an Easter bunny.  She ate many many popsicles and ice cream until she couldn't eat it any more.  The very first night after the surgery she was far more interested in our sesame chicken and dumplings than her hospital chicken noodle soup, apple sauce, and jell-o.  We were surprised that she could eat it right away.  (And yes, we were careful not to give her anything remotely sharp.)
After the surgery.
She only lasted about a week on soft foods - not the 2 weeks that was recommended.  And she hated the pain medicine, but downed the antibiotic like candy.  She only took the pain medicine for the first two days or so.  After that it was not happening, though we gave her some over the counter stuff.  She had a raspy cough, which we were told was common due to the breathing tube during surgery.
She did not feel so hot at first, and coming out of anesthesia was a screaming nightmare.
Her doctor said that her adenoids were more than 75% obstructive and that her tonsils were even more than that.
Watching a video in the children's unit.
I asked her often if she could breathe better or if her throat felt different.  She said no each time I asked.  But from the first night home after the surgery, she has slept so soundly, with the most peaceful expression on her face.  She looks like a little angel.  And I was wrong - she gained five pounds in the first month after the surgery, not over 2 months.  (Adam told me I got that wrong in my last post.)  She hovered at 28 pounds for so incredibly long.  I am happy to report that she is finally solidly over 30 pounds.

Another thing I have noticed is that she doesn't seem to have to chew her food endlessly now the way she used to.  She is more chipper and is less cranky when she misses her nap, though perhaps she is just growing out of those.  She no longer wakes in the night.  She no longer cries out afraid.  She has told me many times after I tuck her in that, "Mommy, you can go downstairs.  I'm not scared anymore."

We are a happier and much more well rested family, which is a wonderful, beautiful thing.


  1. Wow. I am so glad to hear all is well. That photo of her captioned "after the surgery" where she looks so tiny in such a big bed is heart breaking. I'm sure those first few days were awful for all of you but how wonderful that she can sleep peacefully!

    We are still trying to work though it out here. Surgery may still be in the cards for us, though i'm still hoping to avoid it. Your post gives me courage though. :-)

  2. ohmigoodness--what a little trooper! glad everything went so well. such a traumatic thing to go through. glad its over and done. love the last pict of her little face--so sweet...

  3. What an amazing difference. I'm so glad she is (and all of you are also) feeling so much better. Not having fear anymore is so awesome. I love the photos of her, especially that last one. What a gorgeous girl you have!

  4. What a wonderful success! I'm so happy for you and the family, Amy. Hooray for Junie! Isn't it true that often life is difficult for reasons we don't know? I love an elegant solution.


  5. Amy, I miss you!! I just figured out I could get to your blog on my phone since it's blocked at work. June looks so beautiful!! I can't believe how old Miles is already. Anyway I just wanted to say hi. (Karen)


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