Monday, August 15, 2011

Gino's Big Adventure

Well this past week was an adventure for our family to say the least. Monday night little Gino started throwing up bright yellow stuff so I put a call into the doc. Sure enough they suggested we head to the ER. After some tests and checking him out in the ER they sent us home and had us watch for dehydration among other things. We kept an eye on him and it was more of the same until the next afternoon. I was told to see my pediatrician the next day. Around 2ish we headed there (earliest appt they had). Well, we were there for the next 3+ hours, waiting and deciding next steps as our little guy was still throwing up. All the symptoms weren't adding up, so we headed back to the ER for an ultrasound. They currently thought it was something in his stomach causing him to throw up. The ultrasound and CT scans didn't show anything obvious so the Pediatrician called Oakland Childrens Hospital and Sutter in Sacramento to see if they had a room to take us. When Oakland heard the symptoms they called for an emergency helicopter from Lodi to the Oakland Children's Hospital. We had both sets of our parents with us while we waited around. It was a LONG evening, and such a terrible feeling not knowing if your little 3 week old baby was going to be okay. He was such a good sport, didn't seem like he was in much pain...he is a pretty calm baby in general. One of the hardest things to watch was them putting in the IV. They had SO much trouble putting it in his little hands. He was screaming for what seemed like an eternity. We all had to leave the room. They tried infrared, among other things and finally got it in before the flight. As the pilot/nurses arrived for the flight, who would have guessed but I knew the pilot. Nick Highfill, my brothers childhood friend, was the pilot. At first I thought - is this safe how can Nick be a pilot!???!! Then I realized it was a bit more comforting. He had young children of his own and did his best to make me feel safe and that everything would be all right. I had never been on a helicopter and sure as hell didn't think my first time would be like this. It feels like you are floating and going VERY slow. I finally asked him how fast we were going and he said 125 +, and we were there in 35 minutes. I tried so hard to be strong but when I hugged my mom and mother in law, I broke down as well as looking at Mike as I took was a little much for me! But other than that Mike and I tried to be strong in this scary situation. The moment we landed in Oakland, I felt better. A team of doctors rushed in when we got there and started checking him out. They thought they were going to have to do emergency surgery right away because they thought his intestines were twisted up. That was not the case, but you instantly felt like whatever it was....they were going to figure it out and fix your baby. We just waited by as they took test after test! Finally they discovered it was a hernia or small hole in his stomach lining and his intestine was getting stuck in the hole and backing everything up. After all of the testing and deciding we didn't need to do immediate surgery we headed home at 5am that morning to gather up some things. At this point we hadn't slept in almost 72 hours. We came home from Oakland, left Gino there, and slept 3 hours before gathering our things and heading back. When I called in to check on him they said " We don't have a Gino here" " I said "what do you mean???" This was a bit alarming but after a few moments on hold I was given an update on my baby. Come to find out when we got there the social worker asked Mike if there was a reason we need him to have an alias. We were puzzled, no we are not famous or hiding from anyone....he can just go by Gino Ray Coldani!! Somehow they had him listed as Borax, Sixty One....on everything!!!! So his nickname has changed from little stinker, which clearly he still is, to Borax!! It was so funny to see Borax written on everything; I guess since it was a transfer from ER to ER they just gave him an alias. Gino spent the next 3 days in the NICU. You knew it was a delicate place in the NICU, you had to scrub in and wash your hands/arms before entering, they even had to check Gino to make sure he wasn't bringing any germs into the area where the other babies were staying. He was the only full term baby in there, the other babies were so small and fighting for their lives, it was so sad.We stayed at the Family House (Their version of Ronald McDonald House) across from the hospital. It was nice to be able to be so close, and go back to feed him at a moments notice. I have lots of milk stored up since he couldn't eat for a few days. Thursday morning Gino went into surgery. Although they said what happened to him was abnormal, the hernia was common routine procedure. The surgeon said it would be 1.5 -2 hours. As we wheeled him in, they did some prep work before he was off on his own. And sure enough on the wall next to him were all these stickers of Tinkerbell. Being a Children's hospital, there were characters everywhere. The chances of it being Tinkerbell were slim. But that has always been my favorite character, and is Giadas too. It made us feel like Giada was there with us and he would be okay. We really missed her, she had stayed with my parents all week, we had never been away from her for 4 nights! So they wheeled him off and we waited. We tried to distract ourselves talking to family, but once the 2 hour mark fell I was beyond anxious. I went in to check...he was still in OR, then you start thinking..."why is it taking so long, they must have found something else, etc etc" Finally the surgeon came out and all was well. He was so alert after surgery even to the surprise of the doctors...and STARVING, he hadn't eaten since midnight for fasting! He has a small incision that is already well healed and hasn't complained much at all. We would be headed home 24 hours later on Friday. We feel very blessed to have this all end so well despite the roller coaster it took to get us to the diagnosis. It is so wonderful to have our family home and not holding our baby with all these wires and cords attached. I think Gino was happy too. As we walked out of the Oakland Children's Hospital, literally a step outside the door he smiled his 1st smile. The nurse holding him said, " Oh he's happy he's smiling" Mike and I quickly looked back because he hadn't smiled yet...sure enough she was right! Thank you to all family/friends for the well wishes, and help with Giada while we were away.

Our little stinker.... Borax, Sixty One
Homecoming #2
Giada had some pool time with Nana while we were away!
When we got home to see Giada she said to Gino "I was waiting for you, you are so cute"


SweetP's said...

Julie...I am so glad your little Gino is okay! It's so not a fun experience in the NICU even though they take such good care of all the babies. I love the Borax for the books for sure!! XOXO Heather Pinasco

Sara Parr said...

Julie! Don't think I ever even said congratulations and HI! to Gino! SOOOOOOOOOO glad you are all home safe and healthy...that is quite a story! Borax is HILARIOUS. How about John Smith?! Nope, Borax comma Sixty One. That one has to last a lifetime. Cheers to smooth sailing ahead!

Amaya Jaime said...

oh my gosh!! i cant believe you went through that!! i cannot imagine!! soooooooooooooo happy that you guys are all home safe and that gino is okay!!! xoxo!

Sam Valtenbergs said...

Such a crazy story guys! But nice to hear the little fella is okay... Must have been terrible, I can't even imagine.

Julie: very disappointed to see the chipmunk missing.