Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Ashton had his long awaited scar revision and cranioplasty last week. The surgery was originally scheduled to be a tissue expander placement (which would allow the skin to stretch over the course of 3 weeks by fluid injections into the expander). We opted to do this surgery because as you can see by the picture below taken just a few days before the surgery, he had a big fat scar on his head that we wanted to get revised. The stretching of the skin would allow the surgeons to revise that scar during a cranioplasty (fixing the skull in this case with metal rods and plastic to fill large holes in Ashton's skull that were a result of his craniectomy when he was just a day old.)
With Tyler on nights, I went to the surgery alone with Ashton. Almost an hour into the procedure the surgeon came out...My heart DROPPED! She reassured me immediately that nothing was wrong, that on the contrary, after shaving Ashton's head and manipulating the skin with her partners it was decided that they could forgo the tissue expander. There was enough skin to do the revision and they wanted consent to proceed with the cranioplasty. I was NOT ready for that! I was prepared for a simple surgery. I was prepared to have Ashton back in my arms in an hour and back at home the following day. I was not prepared for a MAJOR surgery! Especially when the recovery time IN the hospital was 4-5 days if all went well with Tyler working nights. What about Isaac? Well, in all reality how could I deny Ashton this option? One less surgery? No needed fluid injections (That were described to me by the surgeon as feeling like braces being tightened every other day!) The whole lead up to the surgery was awful!!! He hated even taking his shirt off (new Toy Story Birthday shirt). Thankfully they didn't start an IV until after he was under. He's a hard stick. No kidding after surgery he had at least 6 missed IV sights :( Well, my anxiety was calmed after I cried for at least 30 minutes. I called my mom and OF COURSE she dropped everything on her schedule for the week and found a flight to San Antonio that night. The surgery lasted almost 4 hours and then I was able to hold my little boy and be reassured that everything went really well. Dr. Mancuso was wonderful too. She gave me the biggest hug after the surgery and talked about how well it went.

Ashton slept for almost an entire day. When he did wake up it was for short periods of time and he was SOOOO lovey! It was great! And miraculously he NEVER once complained of pain, even to this day that his head hurts. Here he is in the PICU the morning after the surgery. He doesn't even look very swollen!!!

Later that evening we transferred to the floor. This meant that he could see his brother again! He was so happy to see mom, dad, Isaac and Nana. Can you believe how happy he looks?

Ashton LOVED the activities there were in the hospital. We were across from the largest playroom in the hospital. He felt so good that we were there morning, afternoon, and night. We even played BINGO and won a prize. He felt sooo good that he didn't even want to stay in his room for a movie. Below is the morning we were discharged. They took the bandage off and he looked GOOD!!!

Seriously this kid looks GOOD bald! What a cutie!
Check out the scar...So small and close to the head!!! I am soooo excited for him~
The beloved NANA!!! Mom, thank you so much for dropping everything. It feels so good to know that my wonderful friend and mother will do anything for me whenever I need it! My kids were in such good hands and my house looked wonderful after you left!!! I hope that I will be the kind of mother you are to me.
See how happy they are!!!
So here we are 8 days out and things are looking good. The wound overall looks great, Ashton is extremely cautious with his head, although he still has had mishaps bonking his head on the car, wall, brother's head, etc. But we are optimistic that this it. And so is he. In fact when I mentioned to Ashton that he needed to rest after the surgery to help his head get better he mater-of-fact-ly stated, "but mom, I'm fine, member Dad gave me a blessing!!!" We are more than ready to finish this chapter and move onto the normalcy of childhood for this little guy. I LOVE YOU ASHTON!!! You are one brave, strong, faithful boy.


Mandi said...
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Mandi said...

Holly!! I am crying as I read this. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you- you are an amazing mother! Your faith inspires me! Actually, I have been thinking about you a lot lately and missing you guys. Wish we could be there to help you with things. I wanted to call you but lost my phone with your number in it. Can you email it to me? Wish all the best for you and your amazing family! Your boys are so adorable!

Kristin said...

That is one a brave boy you got there!! I'm glad everything went well and that your mom was able to fly out. Family is such a blessing!!

we love you guys! Sam and Kristin

p.s. I heard you're moving to CO? That's exciting :)

sarah said...

Holly - you are one brave, strong, and faithful mom. I have a special place in my heart for you guys. I clearly remember visiting you and your family in the family lounge during that first critical week. I was so impressed with your resilence and courage. And so impressed with Ashton's determination. Thanks for being such an inspiration, even though it's probably the last thing on your mind.

Brad and Jessica said...

wow! You guys have been through so much!! I'm so glad that Ashton's surgery went well.... he sounds like an amazing little guy! (He's got good genes though cuz I know his mom is an amazing woman!!) Hope his recovery continues to go good! You're faith, and the faith of your family, is inspiring :)

becca said...

We are so happy that Ashton's surgery went well. He is a strong boy to go through all that, but hopefully it is over now. He does look good bald! :) We love you guys, and are excited that you will be in CO soon!

joven said...
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Janelle Dobson said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad everything went well. Your boys look adorable and so grown up! This has been a difficult year for you- but you inspire us all by your strength and faith.

Kirst said...

What a cutie, seriously Holly I love Ashton bald A-dorable. And I can't get over how big Isaac is. I'm glad mom was able to come out and help and that everything is going well. Hang in there! I love you.