This day I have been dreading and looking forward to at the same time.
My little guy has taken us on a rollercoaster ride this year. Last October he surprised us at birth with a cleft lip and palate. Shocking but wouldn't have changed a thing except we would have been better equipted to deal with his issues.
After he was born, I felt like they couldn't fix it fast enough. They closed his lip at 3 months. At that time, I was used to my wide smiled baby and questioned if I should really let my baby out of my arms and trust the doctors. Was it necessary? The doctors assured me that it wasn't just cosmetic. There were feeding and speech issues that needed to be addressed. I knew but didn't make it easy. I worried I wouldn't recognize him, he wouldn't be my same baby. He was and he wasn't. He looked different. I had to rememorize his face.
He didn't heal well. His lip wasn't a good fix, under-rotated. His seam pulled up. His right nosteril became swollen and scarred, leaving it very small and hard to nereath out of. Different and disappointing but at the same time nice to be on the way to finding his new smile. I guess it is best described as confusing.
Special bottles, lots of bacitracin, neutosurgeons, geneticists and a helmet. Lots of stares. Sweet baby, lots of Smiles, loving big sister and proud parents. We were making it. I think that Heaveny Father knew I needed these things to make it through this past year.
Next step, palate closure, allowing him to swallow normaly and have positive air pressure (This means he will soon be able to say dada. I think my husband is tired of being called "mama"). This is usually around 9 months but the little guy also needed some revisions and a lot of scar tissue. Better to do it all at once. We waited until 11 months, when the doctors said the scar tissue would be ready to be removed.
That day is here. Were waiting. He went in for surgery about 3 hours ago. He now has new tubes in his ears and his palate has been closed. They just started the lip and nose revisions. All updates indicate that things are going well. Relieving! He has to stay in the ICU tonight. Lots of bleeding and risk of choking on his tongue. I am staying with him because I can't imagine leaving him alone. He is old enough to know the difference and no one knows a child like their mother. One comfort, a good family friend is one of the head pedatricians at the neighboring military hospitals and just happens to be on duty here this week. Nice to have someone who knows us personally. (His 4 kids are also our babysitters.)
There will be many more surgeries in the future but we will have at least a 3 year break. Thank goodness. It has been a tough first year.
Why do I write this? A little reflection perhaps. Maybe, just the need to share it. Far to personal for my family blog. Funny how that works. Not for pity! We were blessed with an amazing little boy that Heavenly Father trusted me with. I am very thankful for that!