in which a very nice surgeon takes a knife to my baby’s neck

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, then you most likely know the story of the past few days. But if not, here you go… :)

After being admitted to the hospital again on Saturday night, the short story is this: the new antibiotics didn’t do much for Audrey’s lymph node swelling, so after running some different tests to rule out a few things on Monday, she had “minor” surgery yesterday afternoon to clean out and biopsy the lump on her neck.

I say “minor” in quotes because really, when it’s YOUR baby being taken back into an operating room and there is general anesthesia and Very Intimidating Release Forms to sign, no matter WHAT the surgery is for? There is nothing minor about it. And on top that, there were still a lot of questions about what they might find when they got in there. So that 45 minute wait in the operating room waiting area was pretty awful. (Thank you to everyone on Twitter for trying your best to distract us! It worked kinda. I mean, as much as you could expect!)

The verdict: it was/is an infection. WHEW. They cleaned it out and took routine samples for pathology and the microbiology lab, then put in a drain to let any excess fluid out over the next day or so. No lymph nodes needed to be removed, and they should go back to normal once the infection is completely gone.

Side story: when the surgeon came and got us from the waiting room, instead of talking to us in the main area like we watched other doctors do, he pulled us into a private room and closed both doors. I THOUGHT I MIGHT DIE RIGHT THEN AND THERE. What was he about to TELL US? OMG. My heart was racing. He quickly said he just wanted to protect our privacy, which I appreciate. But HOLY CRAP.

Audrey recovered quickly from the whole ordeal. We were prepared for much screaming and yelling after the anesthesia wore off, but she only fussed a little. She was SUUUPER sleepy, but content with just snuggling on Dan’s lap in recovery and chug a whole sippy cup full of apple juice while we waited to be taken back up to our room.

Mildly disgruntled patient (she's doing great, had some juice, suuuuper sleepy!)

As it stands now, we’re just kind of hanging out today. She’s got tons of energy after a good night of sleep and a huge dinner last night, and two breakfasts this morning (that’s my girl!!) A few more doses of iv antibiotics and the doctor will be checking in on us again this evening to take their first peek under the gauze on her neck. If they’re able, he’ll remove the drain and we’ll be able to go home- either tonight or tomorrow morning. Another week or so of antibiotics and hopefully, this will all be over.


One of the hardest things about these few days (other than SOMEONE CUTTING INTO MY BABY’S FACE and fear of the unknown) is keeping Audrey occupied, especially when she was hooked up to the fluid iv and leaving the room was a huge production. She has felt perfectly fine this whole time, which is GREAT, but it does make things tough because she just wants to play. Monday was the hardest, because MAN, she wasn’t allowed food OR running around until they decided on a course of action. So every time we’re giving the all-clear for leaving the room, we take full advantage.

Food & running around. Bliss.

I leave & Daddy spoils her with Twix ice cream bars. (She earned it!)

Getting her play on before she's confined to her bed for a while!

Build-a-Bear & the Pirate Parrot for the kids!

I want to also say THANK YOU SO SO MUCH to everyone for all the messages and texts and offers to help. You have NO IDEA how much it all means. I cried in the car on the way into the hospital yesterday morning, just so overwhelmed by it all. So many people were thinking about us and praying and wishing Audrey well, and that makes us feel so damn lucky. We had a few scary moments where we weren’t sure about a diagnosis, and more than a few stressful and exhausting days and nights. Knowing you all are there to send love and maybe even some temporary distraction and entertainment is a huge comfort. MWAH! :)

I also can’t say enough about this hospital here. I mean, thankfully we have extremely limited experience with hospitals in general, especially with the girls. But the nurses and doctors have been helpful and concerned and friendly and the facility is absolutely amazing. I have more thoughts on this that I may write about later when my brain isn’t fried, but I have to admit that being here for just a few days has changed my thinking on a lot of things. Perspective and all that.

Now, we just want to get home. We miss Maggie. She’s been back and forth between the two grandmas, my sister, school, and each of us has taken a night at home with her- totally fun for her, and she’s been a major trooper through it all, but I know she’s getting worn out too. We’re definitely looking forward to our first night with ALL of us home, in our own beds, hopefully sleeping for eleventy billion hours because HOLY CRAP WE ARE TIRED.


  1. Cari

    May 23, 2012 11:24 am

    Still thinking good thoughts for you all. You have a couple of tough girls, to be able to weather all this with aplomb. You’re definitely doing something right in the Mama department!

    • Jen

      May 23, 2012 11:30 am

      ha thanks ;) I think sometimes it’s just their genetics… we have some tough ladies in our family! And Audrey especially does NOT take anybody’s crap. Which doesn’t bode well for US, of course… LOL

  2. Melissa

    May 23, 2012 11:30 am

    SO relieved this has a happy ending for you guys. Anything medical/hospital-related is scary, but when it’s your kid? Yikes. Plus (based on memories of my hospital RN days) it sounds like Audrey held up way better than most adults do. lol :) Yay for coming home soon! It will be wonderful knowing she’s ok and the lump is gone, and just getting back to normal life!

    Hang in there, we’re all still thinking of Audrey & all of you.

    P.S. I’ve never EVER heard of doctors/surgeons talking to people in a common waiting area, only in private rooms, so that surprises me you saw it happening to others!

    • Jen

      May 23, 2012 11:32 am

      I was kind of shocked too! I got to hear the entire story of the family next to us (girl with clotting disorder needed her tonsils out, so obviously some concern during surgery!) and I felt kind of uncomfortable trying NOT to listen. heh Odd.

      And don’t worry, Audrey yelled at all the nurses just as expected. Though she did finally high-five one of them today, so that was cool :)

  3. Athena

    May 23, 2012 11:41 am

    so glad to hear you have answers and an end in sight. definitely not an easy thing for anyone, but especially your baby!

    also glad to hear you had a “wonderful” (hospital does not equal wonderful…) experience at childrens. i love that we have such great resources so close to home.

    still thinking about you all. xo

  4. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks

    May 23, 2012 11:58 am

    It’s such a relief to hear your baby girl is going to be just fine. Here’s to lazy days at home and plenty of sleep to catch up!

  5. Tracy

    May 23, 2012 12:09 pm

    MWAH~ back!
    Glad everything is working out for the best.

  6. Kris

    May 23, 2012 12:34 pm

    So glad to hear its all working out. Poor Baby. Poor parents. And poor Maggie. Thanks for keeping us non-twitter folks updated.

    Keeping you all in my thoughts for Audrey’s speedy recovery. :)

  7. Jane

    May 23, 2012 12:41 pm

    Glad to hear that Audrey is on the mend! No idea how I would have handled that… counting my blessings. I’m sure you are too!

    Prayers for a speedy recovery and a few good nights of sleep for all of you!

  8. HereWeGoAJen

    May 23, 2012 3:09 pm

    I’m glad everything is okay! Audrey is a tough girl. :) I hope you get to go home soon!

  9. Sarah

    May 23, 2012 6:04 pm

    Been following along, so glad that she is doing better!

  10. Carley

    May 23, 2012 6:16 pm

    So glad she is doing so much better! Any surgery is scary! We went through a “routine” surgery with Dexter and I’ve never felt so helpless in my life as during that time. Hoping you get home soon and are done with hospitals!

  11. K

    May 23, 2012 6:45 pm

    Holy snakes do I hope you are going home tonight (if not tomorrow).

    I’ve said it before, but sleepovers in hospitals BLOW.

    Much love to all of you.

  12. jesser

    May 24, 2012 12:54 am

    WOW. I’ve been following you through this whole deal and my heart goes out to you. It is SO scary not knowing what’s going on with your kids. I’m so glad it’s all positive and hopefully almost over with. Hope you are getting some rest and will be home soon.

  13. Laura Diniwilk

    May 26, 2012 8:46 pm

    That picture of the hospital gown from behind…so adorable but also so heartbreaking – no one should have to see their baby in a wee gown! So glad she is doing well and it was just an infection. I have been thinking of you guys!

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