Friday, September 30, 2011


We had a pretty good first night at home!  I think Fitz was happy to be in his own bed last night.  We added a couple more books under Fitz's bed, so it would be jacked up even higher than it was before, because Dr. Grant said if the bed is elevated, it helps him breathe easier and it helps the swelling go down.  His face looks much less swollen this morning.  He's sleeping or I would post some pics...I'm sure we'll have some later to post.

I got up twice during the night because I could hear Fitz making noises on the monitor, and when I looked at it, he was rubbing his face.  That may not sound so unusual, but he had arm splints on to prevent him from doing just that!  The first time, he had worked the splint down a little so he could bend his arm.  I had to put it back on and that woke him up a little, so I had to get him back to sleep.  He went back to sleep pretty quickly.  A couple of hours later, I heard him again, and when I looked, he was rubbing his face again!  When I got to his room, he had the splint completely OFF, with the velcro straps open!  It was laying under his other arm.  I'm not sure how our little Houdini managed to, not only get the splint off, but get it under his other arm!  He went back to sleep pretty fast that time, too, and then woke up at his normal time, around 5:15 a.m.

He drank 4.5 oz this morning, and it took him less time than yesterday, so I think he's getting used to his new lips and how to drink with them.  I'm going to try to get him back on his usual schedule today...we'll see how that goes!  I'll update more later, with pictures!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Post Surgery

After I posted yesterday, we decided Fitz needed to wear his pajamas that we brought for him.  I thought he looked like a little redneck baby in his hospital t-shirt and diaper, and that he would be more comfortable in his own clothes.  Tootsie helped me thread his IV cord and breathing monitors through his pajamas and we got this baby dressed!  We gave his arms a break and took the splints off while we dressed him, and of course, he immediately touched his face with his hands...little stinker!

Dr. Grant, the plastic surgeon who repaired Fitz's lip yesterday, came by to check on him, and brought him this sweet teddy bear, who has stitches just like Fitz.  How cute is that?  A really sweet person came up with that idea, I love it!  
Dr. Grant said there are three things they will look for before we can go home:  that Fitz is making an attempt to eat, that he is not taking any medication by IV, and that he is breathing well.  He took a small amount of Pedialyte twice yesterday, and we tried his formula twice.  He only took about 1/2 an ounce, but he did try to take the bottle.  We're going to try again this morning.  He has only had 3 doses of Motrin, and he has had it by mouth, so that's no problem.  And, his breathing has been great all night long, no problems at all.  I'm praying he will take more formula this morning, not just so we can go home, but because he has not had a full bottle since 8:30 Tuesday night!

Once we finished dressing him, Fitz was his usual happy self!  He tried to smile at us a few times...we could tell with his eyes, and his dimples peeked through just a tiny bit.   I must say, it made this mama feel much better once I saw that sweet smile peeking through that swollen face!  He laid on his bed and kicked his feet and played, just like he did before surgery.  He also started holding that left arm up again!  He showed it to his bear, and cooed and "talked" to the bear.  He was pretty interested in him.  I think it's because he knows they have the same stitches, ha!

He didn't sleep through the night, and I didn't really expect him to, but it was not too bad either.  We got him some more pain medication during the night because it seems to relax him, and he went back to sleep after that.  Dr. Grant will come back to see us this morning and I suppose we'll know about discharge times/instructions at that time.

Thank you again for all of your prayers!  If you think about us this morning, we wouldn't mind a bit if you said another one for our boy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Look how happy our sweet boy was before surgery!  This was at about 7:00 a.m., and he had not had a bottle since 8:30 last night, and he was still just as happy as he could be!

Every nurse and doctor that came in to see Fitz before surgery fell in love with his big, infectious grin!  He kicked, played and laughed all morning long.  

We had to take one last family photo before his big looks just like the first one we took when we left the hospital, except Fitz is much bigger now!

They took him back for surgery at about 7:20 a.m., and gave us a pager so they could give us updates.  They buzzed our pager at about 8:00 and told us they were done with the circumcision and the tubes.  Then, the Audiologist came out and said he passed the hearing test with flying colors!  Praise the Lord!  They told us the plastic surgeon was starting the major part of the surgery then.

The time went by pretty quickly because we had some visitors.  Pappy came to see us, and our pastor/friend Bill came by.  Our friend April (whose daughter had a cleft lip/palate) came to bring us some arm splints and a book about clefts.  Then our former neighbor who works at Children's (Cindy) stopped to see us because she saw on Facebook that we were here!  It really helped the time to go by faster for us, Tootsie, Grandmama and Papa.

The hospital buzzed us at 11:00 and the plastic surgeon said the surgery went well, he was finished and Fitz was heading to recovery.  They had said it would be about an hour for him to stay in recovery, and they kept their word.  They paged us at 12:00 and brought us to his room.  He came up about 30 minutes later and I was so excited to hold him!

Remember I said I was worried about how he would look?  Well, I could have never imagined exactly how he would like right after surgery.  I know it's not  the way he will look forever, and I'm glad because he does not look too comfortable right now.  He is still very swollen, but I know people are waiting to see how he looks, so I'm going to share some post-surgery pictures.  

Dr. Grant said his lip will go down into place gradually over the next 2 weeks, and he will look totally different once it's in the final place.  To me, his mouth and nose just look so tiny now that I don't see how he can possibly breathe, but my mom says they are just normal size now, ha!  I'm accustomed to seeing him with a wide open mouth and nose.  

This is a view looking straight at him.  That part that you see inside his mouth, under his lip, is that extra tissue that used to stick out from his nose.  That is the part that will go down in two weeks.  He also has to wear arm splints for two weeks so he won't pick at his stitches.  

In this view, you can see the stitches, and where his scars will be.  They should turn out to be where those 2 little lines are on our lips, and the doctor also made a little bow for his lips at the top.  I can not wait to see the finished result!

We took these pictures after he had some Motrin because he seemed to be in some pain.  They had told us he would be able to take a bottle, which surprised me, but when he woke up, we gave him some Pedialyte at about 2:00 p.m. and he drank about 1.5 oz.  He seemed to like the Apple flavor and was glad to have something in his empty tummy!  

He's sleeping now, and does not seem to be in any pain at all.  I'm so thankful that the surgery went well, and his breathing is great, no problems at all!  We are praising God for taking care of our sweet baby!  I think I'll feel much better when he can smile at me.  It hurts me to see him in pain and not able to smile at me, but he calmed down and settled right into my arms when they brought him to his room.  I think he was glad to hear my voice!

Thank you all so much for your prayers.  We appreciate them more than you could ever know!  I'm sure I'll update again later tonight or tomorrow when we get home.  Please continue to pray for a swift recovery for our precious boy!

It's Almost Time...

for this sweet boy to have his big surgery!  Our pal, Skylar, gave Fitz a pre-surgery gift...his first baseball glove!  I put it on his hand and he seems to like it.  In fact, 
he seemed to be fascinated by it, ha!  You can see in this picture, that a ball is in the glove.  It has velcro so it sticks inside the glove.  Pretty cool.  Thanks, Skylar!

By the time most of you read this, we'll be at Children's Hospital, waiting for Fitz's surgery.  I must admit, it makes this mama nervous!   Fitz spent most of the day yesterday with Tootsie while I was working.  Then, Grandmama and Papa came over and had dinner with us so they could spend some time with Fitz before surgery.  We're praying for a good night's sleep, and that Fitz sleeps while we drive to the hospital, since he can't have any formula after midnight! 

I plan to take our laptop to the hospital so I can update the blog after surgery.  I would like to ask all of you who read this blog to pray for my baby.  Please pray that the surgery goes well, that there are no complications and that Fitz has an easy recovery.  Please pray for strength for me and John.  Please pray for wisdom and steady hands for the three surgeons who will be working on Fitz.  

Please pray that John and I will adjust quickly to Fitz's new face...we like the one he has now a lot.  Please pray that Fitz is not nervous if he wakes up in the hospital.  I have no idea if he feels nervous yet or not, but I don't want him to.

I know Fitz is in God's hands, the ultimate healer and physician.  I also know that God answers prayers, as He has answered every prayer we've ever prayed, especially about Fitz.  He loves Fitz more than we do, and we are so thankful for that.  Thank you, Lord, for this precious baby.  We know he's in YOUR hands.  We praise your Holy name, Lord!

Thank you all for your prayers, texts, e-mails, cards and words of encouragement!  We appreciate each and every one of you!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Our Saturday

Fitz and I had a very relaxing Saturday while Daddy was at work.  We went grocery shopping and did a little cleaning this morning, then we played and napped the rest of the day.  Fitz has been trying to sit up while he's laying in his Boppy pillow, so today, I sat him up and put it around him.  I added some head support behind him since he only holds his head up for little bit at a time right now, and he was pretty happy about his new position.  In that picture above, he looks like he's saying, "Please mama?"

We've been working on reaching for things.  He likes to hold things in his hands, but he doesn't reach for them himself.  If his hand runs into something (like my hair), he grabs on and will not let go, but he will not reach out and grab it.  You can see from the top picture that he grabs his hands and holds them, but I want him to grab his toys.  We practice with the rattle he has in his hand in this picture.  He will hold it up in his hand and watch it, and grab it with his other hand.  He even tries to put it in his mouth.  I put that Sock Monkey rattle on his foot because he has recently discovered that he has feet, but he didn't seem to notice that one of them had a growth on it, ha!

I spent a good part of the day holding Fitz and thinking about his upcoming surgery.  I'm glad he does not know what is coming, so he does not have the anxiety of anticipation.  I know everything will be fine, and it's for the best that he has surgery...but it's still hard.  God is in control and will take our fears away.  I am so thankful to know God, and His perfect love.  We will continue to praise Him and trust in Him, for his ways are perfect.

"There is no fear in love.
But perfect love drives out fear..."
1 John 4:18

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Even more to be thankful for...

As I have said many times, God is teaching me to be thankful in ALL circumstances.   I saw a video this morning which makes me even more thankful than I was before.  

First, I'm thankful for projects like Operation Smile, that perform cleft lip repair surgery on children in other countries.  Second, I'm thankful that Fitz was born to me and John, and that we live in the United States of America, where he has an opportunity to have his cleft lip repaired before he even knows it needs to be repaired.  Next, I'm thankful that he does not realize that he looks different than other babies.

The little girl in this video is precious, and I am thankful that she was able to have this surgery, and that a friend of mine on Facebook posted it for me to see.  What a blessing.  We all have so much to be thankful for, in all circumstances.

"Be joyful always; pray continually;
give thanks in all circumstances, 
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Do It

Guess who got his first pair of Nikes this weekend?  How cute is he in his big boy shoes??  My cousin-in-law, Brianne, came to visit this weekend and we took her to a nearby (I wish it was more nearby than it is, but it's not too far) outlet mall and shopped til we just about dropped!  We got lots of cute clothes for Fitz and a few things for mom and dad as well, but these are by far my favorite purchase:

We hope you had as much fun as we did this weekend!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pre-Op Appointment

We had our pre-op appointment yesterday for Fitz's surgery, and I must say, it went much better than I had anticipated.  Last time we had an appointment at the "Cleft Clinic" at Children's, our appointment was at 10:00 a.m., and we were not called back to a room until almost 2:30 p.m.!  Fitz was only three weeks old at the time, so he slept through it, but it was a rough day for me and Tootsie!

Yesterday was much better.  We got there at 9:05 a.m. for our 10:00 a.m. appointment so we could feed Fitz and get signed in.  They went ahead and checked us in, and then we saw some people from the Audiologist department first.  Fitz has had fluid in his ears since birth because of his cleft palate, and he failed his newborn hearing test because of the fluid, so they just wanted to check him again.  He still had fluid in his ears, which was expected, but they said they will do his follow-up hearing test during surgery after they put the tubes in.  I thought it was kind of funny that they could do a hearing test while he's under anesthesia...but I guess they know what they're doing.

They took us back to weigh him at about 10:30 (so fast!), and then put us in a room.  He now weighs 14 pounds and is 24 inches long!  The doctor and everyone we saw was very impressed with his weight gain and progress with eating and praised us for how well he is doing!  They said we will probably be the first surgery of the day on September 28, so we'll probably have to be there pretty early, but that is fine with us!  The surgery will take about 3.5 hours from start to finish, and they will use gas to put him to sleep, then start an IV, so he won't even feel the stick from the needle.  I was very thankful for that!  They also said he will have to wear arm splints for about 2 weeks so he can't get to his stitches, but that we should not have to use a feeding tube.  He should be able to take his bottle, if not the first day, then the next day.  I was thankful for that as well.  We will have to stay one night in the hospital, which we already knew, just to monitor his breathing.

I'm still pretty nervous about the surgery.  Everytime I think about it, I have to turn it over to God.  I'm nervous because he's just shy of 4 months old, having major surgery.  I'm nervous because he's going to look so different and I love how he looks right now.  I'm nervous about the recovery process, feeding after surgery, staying in the hospital again (what if they keep us 2 weeks again?), and I could go on and on.  BUT, I know God is in control, He knew this surgery was coming before we even knew we were pregnant, and He will take care of my baby.

When we found out Fitz had a cleft lip, I was anxious about how he would look, and how I would feel about it once I saw him.  Now, I can not imagine him any other way.  I don't even see that when I look at him, I just see my sweet baby boy.  I was also anxious about how other people would react to his cleft lip.  For the most part, people don't have much reaction.  Children always ask questions, and that is perfectly fine, because all they know is that he looks different than they do.  Adults either do not ask anything, or they ask when his first surgery will be. 

For the first time the other night, an adult reacted in what I consider to be a shocking way.  We were out and about and a lady that I vaguely know saw me walking with Fitz in his stroller.  She got excited and asked to see the baby, so I proudly wheeled him in her direction.  She looked into the stroller and exclaimed, "Ohhhh!  I didn't know he was....,"  as she waved her hand in front of her face.  I should have said, "He was what??"  But I just gave her a look (I'm sure I did because I have no poker face), and said, "He has a cleft lip."  She said, "Yeah, did you know that...before?"  Me:  "Yes, I did."  She then said, "Oh, well I just didn't know."  Why should you know?  What difference does it make to you?  Then she said, "Weeeellll, he's....sweet."  It was very surprising to me, because it was the first time an adult had a shocked reaction, and failed to hide it.  It hurt my feelings, and I was just very thankful that Fitz is not old enough to be hurt by it.  I had to pray about it as I continued to (power) walk, and as I was praying, I realized that maybe God was trying to show me that I should be careful about what I say to people.  Maybe she didn't know she was being rude, and I'm going to try to be more aware of what I say and how it may affect people.  I would never want to be rude to someone like that, and I can be very blunt.  I thought I would share it with all of you, so maybe you'll be more aware as well, so here's a public service announcement:  when you see a child, or anyone really, who is different from what you expect them to be, just smile and go on about your business.  Their parents (or they themselves) already know they look different, and they love them regardless of what they look like, and most likely, think they're the cutest thing on the planet.  There is no need to make a shocked face and ask stupid questions, just go on about your business.

We love Fitz Garrett more than anything in the world, and thank God for him every single day.  I can not imagine how he will look after surgery, but I know he'll still be my sweet baby.  It is such a comfort to know that God made Fitz just how he wanted him to be, and knew all about him before he was even formed.  We praise God for our miracle baby, and for giving him to us the way He saw fit to make him.  Thank you, Lord.

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in
my mother's womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully
and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven
together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my
unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written
in your book before one of them came to be."
Psalm 139:13-16

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Future Lefty?

Fitz has made a recent discovery...he has a left arm!  In the past few days, he seems to have found his left arm, and he looks at it all the time.  It is quite entertaining!

I've tried to show him that he has a right arm as well, and feet, too, but he only seems to be interested in his left arm and hand.  He will hold his left hand with his right, on occasion, but his primary focus is that left arm!

And how about those super cute pajamas?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Week in Review

This week...

- Fitz and I had a lazy Labor Day on Monday and just hung out all day long while Daddy was at work.
- I had court every day the rest of the week and was busy, busy, busy.
- We tried out the Bumbo seat for the first time and Fitz loves it.  His neck is strong enough to hold his head up for several minutes and I think he was surprised that he could sit up like that on his own.  He looked all around the room with wide eyes!
- Our intern started at the office and joined me for DHR court...she probably learned more that day than she has in her 3.5 years of college.

- We tried to get some pictures of this precious robe that my friend Missie got for Fitz, but as you can see, he was not having it.  He does not mind bath time at all, but he always has a bottle right after his bath, and I think he was mad that we tried to take pictures after the bath instead of feeding him right away, ha!  (Missie, I promise, he loves his robe and slippers!)
- I did not weigh myself yesterday like I have been, but since the weather is nicer, Fitz and I walked at the park yesterday and will be walking again this weekend.
- Daddy bought a new truck and traded in his Jeep.  He has a slight obsession with car buying, but our monthly payment actually went down, so I agreed to the purchase.  However, I've told him there will be no more car purchases for at least 5 years.  We'll see how that goes, ha!
- I'm getting a little more nervous as Fitz's surgery date approaches, but I keep giving it to God.  I trust Him completely and I know Fitz is in His hands.  We go for our pre-operation appointment next week, so maybe we'll have even more information after that.

That's it for this week folks!  I'll try to blog a little more next week, as I don't have court at all.  Happy weekend!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fitz's First Road Trip!

This weekend, Tootsie and I took Fitz on his first road trip!  We went to Jackson, Mississippi so that Fitz could meet the rest of my family that he has not met yet.  We were especially excited for him to meet my grandmother, his great-grandmother.  The picture above is four generations:  me, grandmama, Tootsie and Fitz. 

My grandmama has 3 great-grandchildren!  Above are Addi, Brooke and Fitz with their great-grandmother.  Grandmama has Alzheimer's, so we never know what she'll remember or what she may say.  A few weeks ago, my mom went to see her and when mom walked in, Grandmama asked, "Where's that baby?"  We aren't sure if she thought mom had a baby, or if she knew it was me that had a baby, but we were thankful that she put together the fact that mom went along with a new baby!  Then last week, she told one of the nurses at the home where she lives that she was going to see her 3 month old great-grandbaby, which really impressed us!
I told Mom that I was curious about what Grandmama might say about Fitz's lip, because it is really a little too complicated to try to explain to her, with her mind the way it is right now.  She told my Aunt Joan (above) that he sure did have a big nose, ha!  I tried to tell her that it was his lip she was seeing and not his nose, but she didn't get it, and that's ok.  No telling what she might say next time she sees him when it's been repaired, although, she may forget it looked different by then.  Either way, she loved him, and told him that someone took her car away, but if she had one, she would take him home with her!  So sweet.

We wondered how Fitz would do in the car, so when we left Friday, we planned it so we would leave during his long nap.  He slept the whole time, and we stopped about halfway there and ate lunch, so that we could feed Fitz and get him out of that carseat for a little bit.  He ate his bottle and went right back to sleep when we got in the car.  Friday night, my cousin Matthew and his wife, Jennifer and daughter Addi came over, as well as my cousin Casse.  We ate and passed Fitz around and had a great time!

Casse has been very excited to meet Fitz and wanted to make sure she was on the blog, so here she is with Fitz!  She loves babies and her friends call her the baby whisperer.  Fitz loved her!  My Aunt Shelley had set up a pack-n-play in my cousin Rachel's room for Fitz, so I could sleep in there with him.  He went to sleep about normal time, so I put him in the pack-n-play.  Well, he must have known that was NOT his bed, and he was NOT going to sleep in there.  I tried a few times before I gave up and let him sleep with me in a recliner.  I was too scared for him to sleep in the bed with me, but he slept all night in the recliner and did not wake up one time!

My Aunt Shelley (above) made lots of yummy food and we ate and visited some more Saturday when the rest of the family came over.  It was a great weekend and I'm really glad Fitz finally got to meet the rest of our family.  I wanted them to meet him prior to his first surgery, so this was perfect timing.  We had a great time and can't wait to see everyone again at Thanksgiving!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dear Fitz (Three Months)

Dear Fitz:

You are 3 months old today!  I think you've grown more in the last month than in your first 2 months combined!  Look how well you can hold your head up now.  You are getting stronger every day and love to kick your legs and try to stand up on them while we hold you!

You now drink between 5 and 5.5 ounces at every feeding, and you weighed a whopping 13 lbs at your last doctor's appointment!  I love that you're getting that cute baby fat on your chunky little legs and arms.   You are still sleeping really well, and most nights, you sleep through the night!  On the nights that you wake up, you usually fall back asleep by yourself.  However, sometimes, you need Mommy or Daddy to help you fall back to sleep, but you never want a bottle during the night anymore.  You take your 6 bottles a day during the day.

You are now wearing 3-6 month clothes and size 2 diapers.  We are working on doing more "tummy time" because you don't seem to like it very much, ha!  You don't mind if we put you on our chest and let you look up at us, but on the couch or the floor, you get pretty mad.  You'll never learn to crawl on our chests, so we're working on getting you to like it a little more.

You continue to be a very happy baby, hardly crying unless you need something!  You smile more and more everyday and all the time!  You smile when we talk to you and play with you, and sometimes we look at you when you're laying in your boppy pillow while we eat dinner, and you will just have a smile on your face while you look around the room.  It still makes me want to get another smile out of you everytime I see that huge grin on your face!

I can not believe it's almost time for your surgery.  If all goes according to plan, it will be at the end of this month.  Mommy is a little nervous, but we're leaving it all up to God.  I'm kind of sad because you won't look like my little baby anymore with your big wide smile, which I love!  But at the same time, I'm excited to see what the doctors will be able to do for you.  Either way, you will be my sweet smiling boy!

I can not wait to see what God has in store for you, little buddy.  He loves you even more than me and Daddy do, and that's hard to believe, because we love you more than anything in the world.  You are our perfect, special boy and we are so blessed to get to be your parents. 

I love you!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I admit, I may have a slight case of OCD.  Here are a few reasons why I think I might:

1.  I must have the volume on the TV and the A/C setting in my car on a "good" number.  This does not mean an even number, just a number that I think is good.  In the car, I like numbers such as 65, 68, 70, 72 and 75.  If the air is set at 72 and I get cold, I move it up to 75, I could never leave it at 73.

2.  I like everything to be in its place.  That "place" may not be where any other person would put it, but it's where I've decided that item belongs.  We have a really great girl who cleans our office once a week, and she does an awesome job.  BUT, every week after she comes, I have to move everything on my desk back the 1/2 inch from where she moved it.  Amy, if you're reading this, it's not your fault, it's my OCDness; keep doing the same thing!  I just don't feel right if things are not in their rightful place.

3.  I make my grocery list in order of where items are in the store.  I can not understand why anyone would make a grocery list any other way.  And as for people who don't make a list, I can't even fathom that.

4.  I always write down every penny we spend in my checkbook register.  Every time I use my debit card, I write it down.  Why would you not do that?  And I balance it ALL the time, just to be sure.

5.  Pillows - when I make the bed, I put the pillows in the cases tag first, and then the open end of the pillow case must face the outside of the bed.  It's just wrong to have that open end facing the inside of the bed.  I also like the sheets to be straight before I get in the bed.

6.  Did I mention I like things in their rightful place?

7.  I have a wonderful feeling when my e-mail/text inbox is empty.  When I finish reading a text, I delete it.  The only e-mails that stay in the inbox once they are opened are e-mails regarding bills.  When I pay the bill and delete the e-mail, it feels really good.

I'm glad John is pretty much the same way about putting things away at home, we both like the house to be neat and orderly.  As for these other things, he probably thinks I'm a little crazy.  Do any of you have any weird OCD quirks?