Now what?

As a mother I have spent the last week in awe of my little guy.  In awe of the doctors and the amazing work that they do.  It hasn't been all easy though.  First, I am having to adjust to his new face.  As happy as I am, it's still not the baby that I brought home from the hospital.  There is a part of me that misses his cleft.  It was who he was when he came into our lives and he was perfect.  Every day it gets a little easier. With each smile I am reminded of why this was so important.  After all, this isn't about me.  It's about Graham and providing him with the best life possible.
I keep finding steri-strips stuck around the house.  As much as I am happy that I no longer have to tape my baby's face up there is part of me that misses it.  I don't know why.  It's just how I feel.  Maybe it's the fact that he is getting older.  He's had his surgery that we have been thinking about and worrying for the past 9 months and now we are done.  There has been milestones to achieve over the last 9 months.  First his birth, then feeding.  The taping began and then the NAM.  The weekly appointments.  Now we are done.  Life as we know it is back to normal and that feels weird.
Second, we are adjusting to a severely out of sorts little guy.  It's not who he was before surgery.  I am not going to complain because he has every right to be out of sorts, but that doesn't mean that I am enjoying the sleepless nights again.  He's waking up every 2-3 hours and won't go back to sleep without nursing.  He is refusing the bottle, refusing a binky and I am going back to work next week!  It stresses me out a bit.  We have reverted to getting naps in the swing and car seat and he is refusing to be put down in his crib.  I don't mind dealing with all this but when I have to rely on someone else to do it for 12 hours, it worries me.  I am hoping for some major changes in the next 5 days.
Our post op journey has been full of ups and downs.  The first few days were a honeymoon.  Saturday Graham's sutures were slightly red and he was starting to get more fussy and refusing to eat.  I called the plastic surgeon on call and they assured me all was fine.  They also prescribed us some tylenol with codeine thinking that maybe constipation from the oxycontin may be playing into his fussiness.  The night was rough to say the least.  He was awake from 1245 until 530 am and mostly inconsolable.  I was exhausted.  Sunday came around and we got a call from the on call plastic surgeon.  She was checking in and said she had been in touch with Dr. Hopper (who was across the country).   He wanted me to send a picture via e-mail just to make sure that things were looking ok.  Within a half an hour of sending the picture a prescription for Keflex was called in and an appointment was scheduled for monday morning.  Wow is all I can say!  Sunday was a replay of the night before.  He slept off and on in his swing.  Luckily, my mother-in-law was here and took over at 5 am so that I could catch a few hours of sleep.
Monday morning we headed off to clinic where Dr. Hopper was pleased with decrease in redness after starting the antibiotics.  We also stopped all narcotics now were just using tylenol and ibuprofen.  I was hoping that things would start to improve with the infection and pain under control.
Each day is getting a bit easier, but he is still not back to his pre-operation norm.
Friday was a big day!  Graham and I headed back to Children's to get his sutures removed.  All of the cosmetic areas were sutured with regular sutures while the ones inside his mouth are all dissolvable.  This is surgeon specific and ours believes that non dissolvable ones leave less of a scar.  After seeing the results, I will have to agree.   Although it was a feat getting them out, it was well worth the struggle.  Even at 8 days post-op you can hardly tell that there is anything there.  We are now using a silicone gel on the scar for the next 6 weeks.  This will help with the scaring and long term results.

I never get sick of looking at these.  I am truely in awe!



malia said...

amazing jenn! i love that big pile of drool. we're excited to have you back at work and he'll figure things out. it's always worse for us than it is for them :)

Jenny said...

Wow! It's truly all i can say....he looks Amazing. Hard to believe he could get any more perfect & there goes God again proving me wrong!

Joia Poort said...

He does look amazing. He's such a cute little boy. I'm so glad this surgery is behind you.

Heidi Bruch said...

Omg, Jenn! The last photo is amazing. Thank you for sharing. He is gorgeous. Love that drool.

Anonymous said...

I am a grandmother too a little guy now 6 that was born with a cleft lip and palate. what a treat to have. My daughter went through the same things you are going through. He has a big surgery at the age of 8. Taking his hip bone to make him a palate. We enjoy every minute and day with him. Your little guy is beautiful

jackiw said...

I have just stumbled across your blog, my little cleft baby is 7 now and I can so relate, I still miss his gorgeous smile, I miss that little gappy gummy giggle and even now still have to take a 2nd look at his gorgeous smile.

KristiK said...

Stumbled across your blog here at Operation Smile and I must say, your story and photos are amazing and inspiring! :) What a beautiful family you have! Graham's smile - before and after surgery - is perfect.
Love for y'all to check us out at www.facebook.com/operationsmile or www.operationsmile.org if you haven't heart of our cause yet. :)

Best wishes to you and your family!

KristiK said...
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