Tuesday, December 02, 2003 4:27 PM

Sophie's operation is over, we're okay. Sophie's operation was a success, but they found that her eyelid muscle was severely atrophied and shredded (the doctor's words). It's not great, because we know she is never going to be able to lift that eyelid normally at all. But in a way it's good to know that she was born that way (had nothing to do with the forceps when she was born) and that we tried every avenue before resorting to surgery, and surgery was the only thing that was going to lift her lid up enough so that she can see properly. All the patching in the world wasn't going to do it, and it wasn't a pinched nerve either. She will still need some patching to build the strength in her eye; we'll be finding out how much. Anyway, we know made the right decision. She looks pretty bad right now - her eyelid is purple and swollen and bloody, and wide open. It's going to get much better in the coming weeks, and they warned us about it, but nothing really could prepare us for it. They can't bandage it because it would cover her eye - so we need to put ointment on it and in it about 4 times a day, not to mention making sure she doesn't rub it, bump it, or touch it. She has a plastic shield we can tape over the eye for when she goes to sleep, and we'll be putting clean socks over her hands in case she tries to take off the shield in her sleep. She likes to sleep on her stomach, so tonight is going to be pretty interesting. So far we've let her take all her naps on our laps so we can see what she's doing. The operation took about an hour - from giving her anesthesia to waking her up from it. They brought her to us as soon as she began to wake and it took about 45 minutes to completely wake up. She is one STRONG baby - at one point it took the two of us and two nurses to hold her in my lap and keep her hands away from her eyes. She didn't know where she was or who we were, and frankly, it was quite scary for a bit. I sang for about an hour straight, and somewhere in the middle of my Sesame Street medley she calmed way down and had a bottle. I do want to say in all this - from about yesterday afternoon throughout today - that I have felt an incredible sense of peace. I know it's because of all Sophie's fans praying for her; I guess some of it spilled over to me. Paul says he totally feels like your prayers have helped him too. I really felt that I had nothing to worry about for Sophie's well-being, and my severe cold symptoms and usual pregnancy hunger and tiredness were all suspended for hours and hours so that I could concentrate on Sophie. As soon as they put her in my arms, I knew without a doubt that I could take care of her and comfort her for as long as she needed, and that she would be perfectly fine. (Not to downplay it - this was the most traumatic thing we've all ever been through.) And we really want to thank everyone for your prayers, because they truly have worked miracles today. So now we're home, and we're finding how incredibly difficult it is to do the ointment and the Tylenol and all that - but the AMAZING thing is that she's crawling around on the floor and playing with a huge grin on her face. I would never have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself. She's laughing, she's playing with her toys, she's trying to climb up on everything like usual (with Daddy hovering in the background, ready to catch her). She's even standing up and laughing to herself like Ernie on Sesame Street. She's really not herself yet, it's going to take a while, but it's good to see that grin once in a while. It's going to be a very, very interesting few days (and weeks) while she recovers. It will take 4-6 weeks for all the swelling and bruising to go away, and up to a year to find out what kind of mobility she will have with that eyelid. We also need to wait and see how the eye underneath is doing - before the surgery, her cornea was actually changing shape to adapt to her limited vision. The point of all this surgery was that she would be able to see properly, and we pray that that will be the case. Her eyelid right now is permanently lifted, and she may not be able to close it all the way. I'll take that over having limited vision for her any day. We also have to note: She charmed the entire recovery room - staff and patients - and the nurses even gave us big hugs and kisses when we left and asked us to bring back the twins and Sophie later on so they could see them. Sophie even got a rose to take home! I told them, "If you think this is good, wait till you see her on a normal day!" Not to mention that on top of all this surgery, Sophie has 3 new teeth coming in, bringing her up to a total of 5. Maybe it's good that she gets all this painful stuff out of the way now so that she can concentrate on her first Christmas and turning 1 in February. Okay... that's probably more than you wanted to know, but it gives you a pretty good picture of Sophie right now. Please continue praying for her speedy and complete recovery, and for her parents too. :)

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