Surviving a Surgery with a Toddler: Things I Learned

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For anyone that missed my blog last week, my two-year-old daughter Morgan, had a minor surgery to remove an umbilical cyst. Here is the first post to get you up to speed just in case.

I am so happy to report that she is doing GREAT.

I learned so many things from going through this experience I wanted to share my tips on surviving a surgery with a toddler.

Many of the things I learned I have YOU to thank for. The support and advice of my readers’ comments were so helpful. I was so grateful I wrote that first post and got such awesome advice. It was easier knowing what to expect going into it.

Morgan’s procedure was fairly minor in comparison to many. We were lucky. But for any parent that has had to endure their child being put under anesthesia whether it be for ear tubes, dental work, or something else, can attest, the thought of your child being put under is downright scary.

Here is what I learned:

1. The surgery was WAY harder on me than it was for her. The day before I felt sick to my stomach and had so much anxiety.  Much more than I expected.

2. The “happy juice” is real.  It is called Versed (Midazolam) and they gave it to her about 30 minutes prior to taking her in to the operating room. It made her VERY loopy and relaxed. I now know what my toddler would look like if she was drunk. The medicine also takes away memory of the event. When they wheeled her off she was so relaxed it didn’t phase her.

3. I wish they had a “happy juice” for moms.

4. The time that the procedure takes seems like eternity. Bring mindless magazines to thumb through and busy your mind any way you can. Seeing the surgeon come into the waiting room with a good look on his face and hearing the words “everything went great” washed this intense wave of relief over me.

5. Watching her come out of the anesthesia was not fun. Thank GOD my readers commented to prepare me that kids can be inconsolable. She was upset and confused and pissed off! She had an IV in her hand and a heart rate monitor on her other hand and those two things set her off. She was fixated on taking them off and was screaming.

My husband and I had to restrain her to keep her from trying to pull them out. But she got so wild she tried to pull out the IV with her teeth. It was awful!

This part lasted about 20 – 25 minutes but it seemed like forever. One of my friends who has been through this said her child was like a “wild animal” – which is a very appropriate description! Once she was settled down, she was fine. The nurse said this part usual takes about 30 minutes and on a scale of 1 – 10, Morgan was about a 4 and did pretty well. So, just be warned that this is NORMAL and to be expected. I also can’t imagine what a “10” would be like…

6.The iPad was a lifesaver. Definitely bring an iPad with shows/movies or a DVD player with you. Once she calmed down, I put on a show on the iPad and they gave her a popsicle and she was much happier. The distraction was just what she needed.

7. I forgot to pack her socks and I wish I would have brought them.

8. I was scared about her being nauseous or throwing up from the anesthesia, but the nurse said that they give an anti-nausea medication via IV when they administer the anesthesia so she was totally fine and we had no issues.

9. If you can, line up childcare for your other children and get help for the rest of the day. My neighbor was nice enough to take Emma home from school for the afternoon so when Morgan went to sleep, I did too. I felt like I got run over by a train and was completely exhausted.

My mom then came down later and brought us dinner and was there to help until my husband got home. All Morgan wanted to do was sit on my lap on the couch, so it was so helpful to have my mom to help with Emma so I could sit with Morgan.

10. By the next day you wouldn’t have even KNOWN she had surgery. She was running around like nothing happened. Kids are pretty amazing at how resilient they are, she was completely oblivious and it was such a RELIEF.

I SO hope that no one reading this has to go through surgery with a little one, but if you do, please feel free to contact me if you need support.  The advice, love and good thoughts from my readers, family and friends meant the world to me. It’s times like this that make you feel so blessed to have the love and support by friends in your life.


Here is my Umbilical Cyst-less Easter Bunny one week later!

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JustAskBoo Orange County

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When I met Colleen, the editor of JustAskBoo Orange Co, my first question was “What is JustAskBoo??” as just the name in itself immediately piques ones interest!

JustAskBoo is a weekly email Newsletter full of interesting questions that “JABBERS” want to know.

Questions that usually start with “Does anyone know a good…?” Because really, doesn’t someone always know someone?

It’s completely free to join, and any JABBER can submit a question to be included and any JABBER can respond directly via email with a referral or advice.

A few months back I was going to look into laser hair removal, so I emailed Colleen to see if she could post a “Does anyone know a good laser hair removal place in Costa Mesa or Newport Beach?” question in the next weekly Newsletter.

From the Newsletter, I got several referrals, some of which were for the same place near me, which made me feel great knowing that multiple people had positive experiences there.

I thought it was especially helpful to pose a question like this to the JABBERS who are mostly all women because this was not the sort of question that I would want to put out there on facebook.

Like do I really want a random high school guy that is a facebook friend of mine knowing I am looking into laser hair removal?! NO!

On the flip side, it’s also fun to chime in with your own recommendation. I  know for me, when I LOVE a company, there is nothing I like more than referring them to someone else!

It is definitely worth signing up to check it out!  You can click here and click the blue bubble to “JOIN the Grapevine.”  Then you can look forward to the weekly Newsletter where you can exchange personal recommendations, seek advice, post announcements, promote special events, sell personal items, and even advertise your business.

And just in case you were wondering, the company was started in 2008 by a woman in Miami named Boo Zamek, who found herself connecting friends with each other. Yes, there is a REAL Boo!

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What The Go-To Mom Has Taught Me About Kids and Sharing

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I am a huge fan of parenting books because as a mom I really can use all the help I can get! With each one I have read, I have taken away different gems of advice or different ways of looking at things that have been helpful at challenging times. One of these gems was something I learned while reading The Go-To Mom’s Parents’ Guide to Emotion Coaching Young Children. And it had to do with kids and sharing.  What I learned from Kimberley has been so incredibly effective with my toddler (and even my five-year-old) that I felt compelled to share it with you!


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The Next Chapter

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My oldest starts kindergarten on Tuesday.

I wish I could say I am totally calm and zen about it, but I am most certainly not! I have been a somewhat stressed (but trying really hard not to be stressed) mixture of both anxious and excited nerves.

It has also been a nostalgic time for me realizing the first chapter of her life is coming to an end and a new one is beginning.

Not just for her but for us as parents as well.

And it’s sort of a big change. For a Type A sort of planner like me, change is a challenge and I feel like I am losing a bit of control.  Then the “Mama Bear” in me comes out and just wants to protect her!

But I have realized I cannot control what friends are or are not in her class, if she will like her teacher, if she will be able to reach the monkey bars at recess, if she will find friends to sit with at lunch, if she will wash her hands before snack, and on and on and on…but I have to know that she will be OK.

My cousin who has older kids and has been a mommy mentor to me in so many ways had a really beautiful quote.

Her advice was to go into the year with an “open heart” trusting in the fact that she will end up with the teacher she is supposed to have and things will work out the way they are supposed to and that everything will be OK.

I love the open heart reminder.

So with an open heart and also some nervous butterflies, I will go with her on Friday for orientation to meet her teacher and then on Tuesday to take her for the first day.

Wish me luck.

To the mamas that have been there before, I would love your advice!

As always, thanks for reading. xoxo

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