Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hooray for 2008

Some good stuff happened and was done this year to and by members of our household:

- writing a novel (and starting two more)
- making Baby Hurricane, a very fun ELE application with a cute lil baby in it
- making The Embezzler, a very fun ELE application with a cute Jon, Morgue and Debbie in it
- learning to crawl
- losing something in the neighbourhood of 50 kilos, and gaining close to 10 kilos. So that's about a 40kg net loss for the family
- learning to eat solid food, pull up on furniture, play hide and seek, stand, turn pages and lots of other cool stuff
- 3 submissions of manuscripts, 3 rejection letters (2 almost identical!)
- winning the Drivethru Theater competition (and coming second!)
- surviving our first full year as a family with sanity mostly intact
- successful lung surgery and recovery (we've all mostly recovered now, I think)
- sucessfully running Prize-giving
- getting a new kitchen
- taking over 3000 photos of Dominic

Hmm, no wonder I feel tired :-)

Looking forward to 2009.

Happy New Year everyone!

Dom says: Have a merry messy New Year!

Dark Knight

Ever the up-to-date movie buffs, Debbie and I saw The Dark Knight a couple of days ago on DVD. There are actually a bunch of new release movies out this month that we're keen to see, so it could be a very cinematic holiday (in the home cinema sense).

We watched it on Debbie's laptop, with headphones, in bed. We decided on the headphones because the soundtrack uses a lot of quiet-tense-scene-with-sudden-loud-noise moments to build tension, and these are not so baby friendly in that you have to choose between:

- be able to hear everything and have the baby disturbed every time someone fires a gun
- have the gunshots at a reasonable volume but miss dialogue

So headphones was a much better option. It did lead to hospital flashbacks as we had the power cable for the laptop and two sets of headphone cables draped over Dom, but he managed to stay relatively untangled and asleep.

That logistical stuff aside, I think it's safe to say that we agree with popular opinion and think that Dark Knight is a kick-ass movie. I was surprised by how tiwsty-turny the plot was, and by the fact that the crime plot was pretty... sophisticated? As in, you could make the movie with Bruce Willis as a recently retired ace-cop who gets called in by Gordon to help with a jursidiction problem, and John Malkovich as the insance maverick criminal who wants to watch the world burn, and dispense with much of the superhero stuff, and it would still be a good movie. It was long, but only because they packed in a heck of a lot of plot.

It was neat. I was impressed. Not as many dinosaurs, lions, giraffes, muppets, animated characters or songs as Dominic might have liked, but for Debbie and me it was pretty much spot on :-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008


Discovered today the fun of taking photos whilst rotating the camera. I'm pretty sure I've seen Morgue doing much the same thing in the past, with enigmatic-arm-sweep-cam.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas swag

Dominic has been a little unwell the last couple of days which has been kinda stressful, but he hasn't been *that* unwell so we've still had some great times. Actually he was incredibly full of beans and smiles during the day yesterday, he just didn't sleep well on Christmas Eve and had a bit of a temperature on Christmas day (as well as weird sleeping times). He didn't sleep brilliantly last night either, and was upset when he woke up in the morning, but has been pretty good since a quick morning shower and change :-)

Photos from today:

Dom's new activity table in action.

Dom's awesome dumptruck that Gino and Viv and Angelo gave him for his birthday, with some extra blocks in the back and a new crew that Dom got for Christmas. Dom particularly likes the little knight. Megablocks stuff is awesome :-)

Post Christmas domestic violence! Dom's morning star being put to evil use (well, the use it's designed for I guess).

PS: I shaved off my beard yesterday as Debbie was curious about what I look like without a goatee. Anyone want to see a photo?

Monday, December 22, 2008

Another rejection letter

Harper Collins are a speedy bunch! Next up... Scholastic? Nope, they no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts. Hmmm, best take a look around methinks...

Crazy Hair

I look forward to being able to style Dom's hair in increasingly silly ways as it gets longer and thicker. Some of his hair is getting quite long, but it's still very fine.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday and beyond

Day 4 - Saturday
We’d had a pretty good night’s sleep, with Dom on a much lower amount of morphine but far more comfortable thanks to having the catheter out and the amazing healing ability of his young body. A very helpful and keen nurse brought supplies for removing chest drains at 8am, and shared her sentiment that she couldn’t wait to see Dom freed from some of the tubes and cables that had been tying him up. This was indicative of the attitude of a lot of the nurses – they had a very obvious compassion and desire to see Dom doing better, and even though they worked in a hospital ward they thought that Dominic was especially festooned with cables . We had a long, nervous wait for the Prof to arrive. I was confident that there hadn’t been much fluid draining overnight – the suction machine showed something between 10 and 20 mls since 4pm the day before. Early in the morning, about 9am, my parents arrived. It was awesome that they’d driven all the way down from Tauranga to be there. They bought us hot drinks and a paper, we had whispered conversations while Dom was sleeping, and I showed them around the ward and told them about the journey so far. When Debbie’s mum arrived I went for a walk with my parents to the Ronald McDonald Family room (one floor up, next to Ward 18) and showed them where the washing machine and drier were. I asked them to do a little laundry for us – we’d brought enough clothing for 3 nights, knowing that there were laundry facilities on site.

Barbara brought more delicious food in with her, and Dom spent most of the morning asleep. We had to hold Dominic down for another heel prick in the early morning which was horrible. Around lunchtime the Prof popped in and checked the drains, said they could come out! There was a few minutes spent working out how to get the morphine drip to squirt out 2ml in one hit (a bolus?), then the Prof popped off to see another patient while the morphine kicked in. It’s a bit rough with little kids sometimes. If a heel prick is needed (or indeed a regular vaccination) the parents are asked to hold down the baby for the duration of the procedure. Babies don’t like being stabbed. For heel pricks they are cut then their heel is squeezed over a period of 30 seconds or more to get enough blood out. With the removal of chest tubes we ended up holding Dominic down again. It was pretty horrible, but I managed not to faint  The prof peeled off the dressings, cut the stitch that was holding each tube in place, and slid them out. There was a little bit of fluid on the end of one of them, but not much in the way of blood or pus or anything. The front drain site did ooze a little, making a little reservoir of tan liquid under the fresh, clear-plastic dressing that was slapped over it. That drain had been oozing for a couple of days – nothing to be worried about, just a consequence of having a hole cut in Dom’s side and a tube inserted to keep it open.

The local anaesthetic in his back came out too – a tricky bandage to remove but a tiny tube. It was a huge relief that Dom was down to 5 wires after the chest tubes, local paravertebral infusion and spare IV come out. His morphine was turned down to .5ml/h. He had another chest x-ray shortly after tubes came out (his third in three days), then his morphine was turned off at 2pm. Dom woke up in the afternoon and was a little uncomfortable but distractable with TV. Pringle phoned the ward to say that the chest x-ray clear and we could be discharged. The nurses on the ward were a little surprised that we were being discharged, and made it very clear that we were welcome to stay if we were at all unsure. We left hospital at around 6pm, once Dom’s morphine had worn off and we could see that he was OK. He was a bit grumpy in the last hour in hospital but as soon as he realised we were leaving he perked right up! It was a very smooth car ride home, with Dom being happy and curious and quiet the whole way home. He even slept for about half the car ride.

When we got home we decided to have takeaways for dinner with my parents. We were amazed at how much Dom had improved since the morning. He went to bed at about 7.45pm, and I followed shortly after.

On Sunday Dom was in good spirits, crawling around and playing with toys. He only stayed up for about 45 minutes at a time and had frequent naps, and wasn’t really eating solid food, but he was much more himself.

Unfortunately he was less comfortable by Sunday night and on Monday he was in a bit of pain, complaining and not being keen to do much other than sit on one of us, have breast milk or sleep. His tummy was making ominous bubbling sounds, he threw up once, and he was obviously constipated. He slept a lot of the day, but wasn’t happy.

On Tuesday we took him to the GP as early as possible (11.45am unfortunately) to see if there was anything we could do for him. We thought it was constipation and tummy trouble. The GP took a look at his chest and thought one of the drain sites was infected! She swabbed it and phoned the hospital, trying to make an appointment for us. We thought it looked like a rash under the dressing, and that the drain site had some yellow gunk around it but that was the dried up ooze from when the drain was taken out. Either way, we were happy to get a second opinion – especially as the issue of his tummy discomfort hadn’t been dealt with to our satisfaction because the GP had been distracted by the infections issue.

At 1.15pm we left the GP with a referral to hospital. More than an hour of sitting around for a 10 minute consult and a referral. We had a quick bite to eat, threw some stuff in a bag, and drove down to Wellington Hospital.

We’d been told by the GP (who’d spoken to one of Dom’s doctors) to go the pediatric day ward. When we got there they told us that they didn’t deal with surgical patients so they escorted us to A&E – a lengthy walk through the hospital. We checked in and sat in the windy lobby of the A&E department, with Dom making whimpering noises of discomfort pretty much continuously. After about 10 minutes the house surgeon who’d been on the team looking after us showed up in A&E and told them that we were supposed to be in the pediatric day ward, and that there’d been some miscommunication. The prof had sent her to escort our family back to where we were supposed to be. It’s little things like that which make you feel looked after, even in the face of a minor stuff-up 

The surgical team (Prof, AJ, Hany the house surgeon) took a look at Dom and immediately said “contact dermatitis!” not infection. It took the prof about 5 seconds to make his diagnosis, which was handy as he was paged for a surgical emergency just after he popped his head in the door. The hours worked by staff at Wgtn Hospital are kuh-razy. We saw the surgical team most days as early as 8am and as late as 8pm.

The pediatric registrar took a look at Dom to see what the problem was – he thought constipation and upset tummy, much as we had. Dom wasn’t running a fever or anything so he thought we could probably go home, just keep an eye on him. The prof rang through asking for a chest x-ray just to be sure there was nothing untoward going on.

We trekked to the x-ray department, waited, had one x-ray which was not quite clear (Dom slightly rotated?), had another x-ray which was clear, then headed back to the Ped day ward. We waited a while, then saw the registrar again. He said the x-ray showed fluid around the lung and we should expect that Dom might need further surgery to drain his chest. We were pretty worried by this, but he said the prof would make the call. A nurse arrived shortly after that to start rubbing numbing cream on his elbows for IVs, and said that we’d be moved shortly back into Ward 19. By this time it was after 4pm.

We waited about 25 minutes, Dom went to sleep on Debbie, and finally we were moved into Ward 19 again. We had a 1 person room this time, which subtle clues to indicate that it used to be a toilet/shower and had been converted into a room with a bed (there was still a tap in the wall for the shower temperature). We waited some more, were seen by a paediatrician who wanted to keep Dom in for obs, had more fussing about with numbing cream and checking Dom’s bruised arms for good spots for IVs. We were both quite stressed about the prospect of more surgery, and said so to the paediatrician. She looked a little confused and asked one of the surgical people (who was just across the hall) to come and talk to us. It turns out the first paediatrician had read the x-ray wrong, and that Dom’s diaphragm was slightly elevated because of the removal of the lobe and there was no significant fluid in the chest cavity. Even if there was some that wouldn’t necessarily mean surgery, but given the x-ray Dom was fine.

We were much relieved and were happy to stay in overnight for observation. Dom had pain relief (he hadn’t had anything since 10am with us being out all afternoon), was a bit unsettled and unhappy for a while, but got to sleep before about 6.45pm. We went and grabbed a TV and rigged up an aerial using a coke can and an alligator clip, watched some TV, ate some bad hospital cafeteria food, then went to sleep. Dom pooed at some point and was much more comfortable, and in the morning we were discharged and went home.

Since coming home Dom has been much, much better. He’s been crawling around, climbing on stuff, smiling, generally being much like his pre-op self. He still gets tired a little more quickly, and he’s got some nasty nappy rash thanks to his bipolar bum (he pooed about 8 times on Wednesday, and not small amounts), but he’s doing well.

We got out of hospital almost exactly one week after we arrived (9.05am Wednesday, 5 minutes off our arrival time) and this time it looks like we’re out for good!

These two photos from yesterday show how incredibly well Dom's surgery incision has healed up. Only 9 days after the surgery and it already looks like a minor scratch!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Last Friday - with gossip!

Day 3
The doctors came around at 7am when we are all asleep (Debbie and Dom in the cot, Matt on a mattress). When we woke up we found out that the chest tubes have to stay in but the catheter can come out. We have to hold Dominic down for another heel prick, which is again horrible. The catheter comes out at about 9am, Dom is much more comfortable once it’s out. He’s able to sleep on his tummy, his preferred position! The day settles into a routine of Dom breastfeeding and sleeping. Sleeping – not passing out! Hooray! At one point his IV springs a leak and starts spurting blood out of the back of his hand. It makes a disturbing mess on the sheets and takes quite a while to get sorted out (the spurting blood is stopped reasonably promptly after we frantically buzz the nurse, but getting the IV sorted and the machine to stop complaining about occlusions downstream takes the better part of 20 grumpy minutes). Dom’s morphine is turned down to 3ml/h in the morning, then 2ml/h at night. Dom is properly awake in the afternoon and evening for an hour or so, able to sit up and look around, watch TV, read books and stuff. It’s a relief to see him properly conscious – though his desire to crawl off the bed or roll over a lot sees him pretty tangled up in wires on more than one occasion!

Night 3
We are looking forward to quite a settled night, with lots of feeding and sleeping. Unfortunately a new person is moved into the room from 5pm. We’d had the room to ourselves since Dom’s operation, which was quite a luxury, but it came to an abrupt end when three women and a baby shuffled in and started talking loudly. It was 2 CYFs workers and a young mother, who struck us as being a little… trashy? She’d been accused of hitting her 5 week old baby and been brought in by CYFs for a bunch of tests on her son. The x-ray and physical exam had shown no signs of anything untoward, and she was waiting for a CT scan before she could go home. She was loudly protesting her innocence, speculating about which of the people she knew was likely to have made the complaint, burping and farting and smelling of eggs. Or maybe that was her sandwiches? Her baby cried a lot, unsurprisingly, though he settled when she left him in the care of a CYFs worker so she could go out for a smoke. Thankfully she refused to stay in overnight so was gone by 10pm, after a late-night trip to the CT scanner. We were all reasonably settled after that, and we all got some sleep. Dom was sleeping 1 to 1.5 hours between feeds, so Debbie was able to climb out of the cot and stretch out properly for most of the night. There were still lots of hassles with IV lines twisting and occlusions and air in tubes to keep us on our toes, but it was a very peaceful night compared to what had gone before.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Last Thursday - with a photo of tubes

Day 2
Dom very doped on morphine today. Able to sleep for 40 mins at a time. This meant we were able to get some rest during the day. In the morning we had to hold Dominic down for a heel prick so he could get a blood count. Debbie’s mum came in to visit with lots of yummy food, which was awesome!

Dom didn’t eat much at all during the day – a light breast-feed here and there. He was getting lots of IV fluids though. We spent a long, long day looking after the little guy, untangling his cables and getting nurses to clear error messages. Our stress levels dropped significantly though, as Dom wasn’t screaming in pain (even for the heel prick, where he cried but not as much as the terrible 5am patch). He’d cry when he woke up, and need settling with being sung to, stroked, breastfed or what-have-you. Prof Pringle visited, said Dom was doing well and that the chest drains may come out in the morning if there wasn’t too much fluid coming out overnight. Debbie had to use a breast pump as Dom’s crying but not eating was leading to some serious engorgement.

Dom woke up groggily around 5pm, watched a little bit of a Winnie the Pooh DVD, then conked out again. He had some pamol but vomited, so had to have suppository pain relief.

Debbie’s sister, her husband and Debbie’s mum popped in for a brief visit again in the evening, while Dom was sleeping.

Night 2
A crazy night of Dom trying to sleep sitting up! From about 9pm onwards Dom refused to let his head tip down past about 45 degrees. He wanted to sleep in a kind of kneeling position, but was clearly neither awake nor asleep. Very stressful. We took turns climbing into the cot with Dom and trying to support him. From 11pm to midnight Dom slept in a stroller, with a million cables trailing in and bandages tied around the stroller to keep him in place. Dom got a little sleep but it was a pretty crazy night. About 5am he had a proper breast-feed, and seemed a little more settled.

In all we each got about 4 hours sleep at varying times in the night which was a huge improvement on the night before!

We also watched some QI on Debbie's laptop during the evening, middle of the night, whenever.

The following photo shows most of the tubes and drips that were attached to Dom:

The two big tubes on the left are the chest drains - stitched into his side, with thin tubes running a few centimetres up into his chest cavity. On his back is a local anaesthetic tube (paravertebral infusion) which is attached to the round thing with red tape on it. His right arm has an IV drip going in with morphine. His left arm is also bandaged as it has a spare IV line in it.

Not shown are the less invasive but equally tangly oxygen saturation monitor (glowing red attachment clipped to his toe) and pulse/respiration stickers with wires attached, of which there were three on his chest/tummy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Last Wednesday - Surgery Day

I may blog the end of last week in 1-week-delay-real-time. Here's last Wednesday to start (in ridiculous detail):

Wednesday started with Dominic waking up a little earlier than usual for a breastfeed at 5.25. He then when straight back to sleep and Debbie and I woke up properly before Dominic, and both moving about at normal adult volume with no regard for whether we woke the little guy up. It was about 5.40am and because of his afternoon surgery we were under strict instructions to give him no solid food after 6am, and no breastmilk after 8am. We knew that if he didn’t wake up before 6am he wouldn’t get to eat anything all day.

He did stir at about 5.45 and was quickly whisked off to the lounge to have a bit of toast with marmite while mum packed the last of the toiletries. Despite being up almost 2 hours before we had to be in the car it still felt like a flying start to the day as we packed last items, checked what we had, got Dom changed and fed and ready for the trip and loaded up the car. We were on the road by 7.40am and had a relatively smooth drive down, though we did hit traffic once we reached the Ngauranga Gorge.

Half way down to Wellington I realised that I’d forgotten to put the two carefully packed bags of toys and books in the car. Cursing my gooberdom we arranged to phone Debbie’s mum and get her sister and brother in law to stop in and collect the books on their way down.

Anyone who has been to Wellington Hospital recently will know that there is a lot of construction going on. Debbie and I were not aware of this fact and blithely drove into the usual entrance (after missing it due to lane-merging issues and having to pull a U-turn and double back). It wouldn’t have been too insurmountable an obstacle if it hadn’t been for the fact that tired, hungry Dominic had been miserable for the last 15 minutes of the car ride and had been crying louder and longer than he has in recent memory (Dominic isn’t much of a crier, so 15 minutes is a big, big deal for us).

Debbie alighted with Dominic and I went in search of a park, only to find that all accessible parks were now ‘outpatient only’. I parked the car in one anyway and ran up to meet Debbie at the children’s ward so we could check in – pretty much exactly on time at 9am.

We entered the bustling children’s ward, went to the front desk and announced our presence. The helpful desk person repeated Dominic’s name, smiled and asked us to wait in the interview room for a nurse. The interview room is a small room at the end of a corridor with a few chairs, a few toys and books, and an oddly sharp-edged low coffee table. Dominic had been in the car for over an hour and was keen to rampage about so we let him crawl, grab and chew (after wiping a few toys with baby-wipes). I asked the staff at the front desk if there’d be time for me to move the car (I didn’t want to get a ticket if possible) and they said it’d probably be OK. I dashed out, drove out of the new exit and was informed that the old exit was now both an entrance and exit, accessible from the imaginatively named ‘Hospital Street’. I zoomed up the hill, parked, grabbed a bag from the boot and raced back to the interview room.

Debbie was still waiting. Dom was still crawling, chewing, and talking. We waited another half and hour, then decided to go check to see how long it would be. It turns out nobody knew we were there so we would have waited until we died of malnutrition or boredom it seems if we hadn’t gone and asked.

Within 5 minutes a very helpful nurse arrived, weighed Dom (9.43kg), measured him (81.5cm long) and measured his head circumference (48.5cm). His oxygen saturation level was a healthy 100%. We were shown where our room was (room 9) and asked a bunch of health-related questions. The room was not dissimilar to the maternity ward ones, with curtains to section it off into 4 areas if needed. There were already two infants in the room along with their associated adults. Dom was to be youngster number 3.

The registrar appeared a little after 10am to take a look at Dom. He was getting pretty tired and hungry by this stage so was not hugely impressed with efforts to get him to sit still while someone pressed a stethoscope to his chest and back and prodded him in the abdomen. The check took about 10 minutes and then we were informed that we should expect visits from Mr Pringle (the specialist/surgeon) and an anaesthetist. No time more specific than ‘the afternoon’ was given for the surgery but they made sure to let us know we weren’t to give Dom any food or liquid other than water.

We briefly attempted to get Dominic settled in the room, hoping that he might agree to have a nap. He was all kinds of tired but refused to sleep – he was very hungry and in a strange place after all. So plan B was to take him down to the play area and keep him (and us) distracted for a few hours.

A few hours is a long, long time for a hungry, tired baby and two tired, stressed parents. We played with a variety of toys, crawled through a tunnel which was quite big for a Dom but a tight fit for his parents, and generally romped about. Dom was very cheerful in the face of it all – as long as we didn’t expect him to sleep he was OK.

After an hour or so we were visited by Mr Pringle who chatted to us for a minute then drew on Dominic with a marker pen so there’d be no doubt during surgery about which lung they were supposed to operate on. Dom found this rather amusing and was happy to oblige – a distinct improvement on his reaction to the stethoscope!

We trudged back down to the play area once again and tapped our feet some more. Shortly after that the anaesthetist came and saw us. He asked us a bunch of medical history questions then proceeded to freak us out with all the things that could go wrong. I know ‘informed consent’ means we need to hear this stuff, but popping Dom’s lungs from putting in a line in his neck, breaking his teeth with the breathing tube, and killing him? That sounds a little OTT to me. He left us feeling rather nervous about the whole thing.

At lunchtime we were warned that police dogs were on the way! A number of police officers arrived along with two police dogs – a retired canine and a 2-year-old dog which was incredibly full of beans. With them was ‘the big dog’, a police officer in an awesome dog costume. His eyes were peeping out of the mouth-hole of a huge Alsatian head, his front and back were draped in fake-fur, and he had fluffy arms. Under that he was wearing a regular police uniform.

Dom met the retired police dog (Blade) first. Blade was wearing a santa hat and was very calm and collected. Dom was hesitant for about half a second then started squealing with delight and wanted to pat the dog. Blade was very obliging and Dom chuckled away as he touched the doggy’s fur.

Then he met the Big Dog. He was a little more hesitant, until the Big Dog asked us what Dom’s name was. As soon as the huge costumed head said his name Dom burst into giggles and was smitten. The third dog was equally fun – a bouncy young chap who was super-keen on sniffing and licking everybody and everything in the ward. Dominic’s feet got licked which caused great delight, as did having his hand licked.

It was a pretty exciting visit all in all and Dom thoroughly enjoyed it.

A little while later Mr Pringle’s understudy, a rather hunky young doctor, stopped in to introduce himself. He was very polite and chatted to us about the procedure, checked to see if we had any questions. I was slightly tempted to ask him whether he’d ever been called McDreamy by a patient, and was also tempted to ask whether he was a med student or a specialist in training, but I didn’t ask either. He told us that they were doing Dom’s operation second in the afternoon, after another operation that had a 19 in 20 chance of being relatively smooth and quick.

We changed Dom into his surgical scrubs outfit, and about then the fire alarm started to ring. Oddly I’d been wondering how much of a delay a fire alarm would cause. The fire marshal came through to inspect the alarms and stuff and said that it was only a drill we didn’t have to go stand outside, which was nice for all the little kids plugged into drips and machines and stuff. We were told that Dom’s operation was now scheduled for 2pm.

Dom finally succumbed to exhaustion at about 1.40pm, falling asleep whilst being carried around in his surgical outfit. He slept happily on Debbie for a while, and when 2pm rolled around I went to the desk and asked when we were moving up to surgery. The answer? “Right now.” Which is about 10 – 15 minutes away in hospital time.

Debbie, Dom, a nurse and I all walked to the lifts then waited 10 minutes as a number of lifts descended past us, then skipped our floor on the way back up. Eventually we got in a lift going down, went to the basement, then rode back up to the surgical floor (6?). There’s a kind of waiting room next to the operating theatres, and we stood around in there and answered a number of health questions, twice for two different nurses. Time ticked away slowly. People wandered in and out. There was a mix-up where someone had been waiting in a ward for more than 20 minutes for an orderly to bring them up, but none of the orderlies knew anything about it. That person arrived 45 minutes after the surgical nurse rang to get them brought up.

Debbie had decided that if Dominic was awake she’d carry him into theatre, to keep him settled. He did wake up after about 25 minutes in the waiting room, so Debbie was given a big white jumpsuit, hairnet thing, and paper shoe-covers to put on. Dominic wasn’t particularly happy (probably very hungry and still tired after only a 40 minute sleep), but we played peekaboo with him to keep him entertained, and he thought Debbie’s crazy outfit was pretty funny.

Finally the team was ready and Debbie carried Dominic into the theatre. Along the way a number of medical professionals in full surgical gowns and masks made cooing noises at the cute little baby wandering past their operating rooms.

In the operating room there was a big team – something like 10 people. There were also posters on the wall like you get in a GP’s office – parts of the eye, your amazing body, bones of the arm etc. Debbie found this a bit odd (and worrying) as the only people who are conscious in the room should be pretty familiar with that anatomy stuff, right?

She put Dom down and he wriggled and tried to fight the mask, but a couple of breaths of the anaesthetic and he was out like a light. Debbie had been fine, but when she went to leave the room her legs were quite shaky. She came back into the waiting room, I helped her off with the overalls and stuff, and we asked the nurse how long the operation would be. “More than 2 hours” was the answer, so we wandered out into the hospital feeling oddly stressed out and relieved at the same time. Stressed out that Dom was having an operation, but no longer having to carry him and try to keep him jolly in the face of no food and little sleep and fret about his emotional state.

We left our cellphone number with the ward and the surgical nurse and decided to go for a walk.

- Walk to Baby Star. Eat at café we went to after Dom was born.
- Call from my mum, Debbie’s mum, walk to Newtown, get McDs.
- $2 shop supplies, walk back (5pm), still no word.
- Wait and wait. 6pm no word.
- 7.30pm Debbie up to recovery room. Dom asleep but slowly stirring.
- 8.05pm Matt up to recovery. Nearly faints 5 minutes after arriving. Sits down. Nearly faints again. Recovery staff spend more time looking after Matt than Dom.
- Dom with multiple tubes into and out of his person. Slowly wakes up at around 8.20pm. Has a breast feed. Groggy and a bit upset.
- C-section babies arrive in recovery room – twin boys!
- Wait for orderly for ages. Finally wheelchair arrives. Matt rides wheelchair (not allowed to walk after fainting) while Debbie and Dom ride bed.
- Down to ward around 9pm, transfer Dom from bed to cot. Lots of tubes. Machines go beep. Another breast feed. Mum and dad take off shoes, eat toast.

Obviously there's a lot of detail left out at the end there. I may expand those bullet points, but I may not. I think you still get the idea :-)

Monday, December 15, 2008

What it was like...

Extensive write-up of the lobectomy coming soon. Here's a cute pre-surgery photo in the meantime :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Home again

Dom slowly recovering :-)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

1 Year Old!

Dominic was born a year ago. Far out.

In the weekend he particularly enjoyed climbing the stairs at Granny's house - and sliding down the ballustrade (with a little help from his mummy).

Operation tomorrow - we will be out of blog contact for at least a couple of days, but I'm sure my mum will leave a comment here about how the operation goes if I ask her nicely :-)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Singing Happy Birthday

We went to the zoo! There are heaps of photos on Flickr (we created an account yesterday so we could make a flickr group which you too can join and upload photos to).

The group is here.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Dr Horrible DVD

We are keen to get a Dr Horrible DVD, but the postage on one DVD is pretty steep. Anyone else keen to get one? We could put in a combined order and save on postage :-)

Currently $9.95 US plus postage - $8.98 for one dvd, $12.95 for 2, $16.96 for 3... Shipping on the 19th Dec (preorders open now).

Anyone interested? Or are we going to have to buy Veronica Mars DVDs to make the postage more 'economical' :-)

Monday, December 01, 2008


Dominic has recently decided that hiding under the dining room table is just about the coolest thing ever :-)

Operation booked

Dominic is now booked in for his lobectomy on the 10th of December, just after he turns 1. Debbie will be staying with him in hospital, and I will be trying to suss out whether I can stay in as well :-)

When we talked to the surgeon last we asked about the typical recovery time and he thought that about three nights in hospital would be standard. Of course we thought we were only going to be in hospital overnight when the little guy was born and that didn't quite work out, so we'll just have to play it by ear. One significant difference is that Debbie will be physically fine since she's not having an operation or giving birth. We will of course let people know how the surgery goes and whether we're visitor friendly and such.

It will be awesome once the operation is over and Dom's all healed up!