Monday, January 9, 2012

And away we surgery update

We are four weeks post op and I would say she is almost 100% back to herself.  Her palate looks really good.  It looks mostly healed over with a few white threads working their way out.  We don't have to see our Plastic surgeon for 6 months and even then only for a check up to make sure no holes opened up.  He says everything looks awesome.  Upside to palate surgery is we don't have to massage her lip or try to shove plastic tubes up her nose or anything else like that.  Instructions a simple and easy to follow enough.  Pain medication first week or so while uncomfortable, arm restraints 3 weeks, pureed food 6 weeks, post op check ups with ENT and Plastic Sugeon and report to speech therapy 6 weeks after. 

Wearing Arm Restraints

Happy girl on the morning of her first birthday, 3 weeks post op and no arm restraints!

Paige finally got her first tooth on her 1st birthday.  It is on the upper left, the opposite side of her cleft, and the right front tooth feels like it is right under the surface.  The only odd thing about this is that most kids get the bottom two first.  But some kids, even ones without clefts get them on top like Paige, so we are not entirely sure if it is related to having a cleft.  Some teethe as early as 3 months and others at 14....We have been saying she is "teething" for most of her life.  It seems to be that excuse you think of for why a baby is being fussy and drooling a lot.  We kept looking for the ones on the bottom...  Feeling them and asking them, "when are you going to pop out?"  This top tooth was so far out we must have not realized it was there for awhile.  

Here is a great pic we took right when we discovered her tooth and it shows her healing palate.  It doesn't look painful anymore and you can see the lone stitch hanging down. Please excuse dinner on her face...I'm guessing butternut squash.  

So she got to eat some cake at her birthday party today...the first solid thing since before the surgery.  The doctor said it was soft enough, but she should continue to eat puree food for two more weeks.  

Can I say, "I kind of miss the No-nos?"  She was easier to watch because she couldn't put anything in her mouth that she would choke on.  They never kept her from crawling, pulling up and playing...just keeping things out of her mouth.  Well, when you have a one year old, things in mouth are a pretty common occurrence.  We just try to be careful and watch that she doesn't try pokey things like pens. 

I felt so happy I could put a beautiful before picture and after picture up at her one year party, to show people how far we have come.  

Here is Paige as a newborn, 6 months and 1 year.

I write this blog to keep family and friends updated on her progress, especially those not on Facebook.  I also use it as a safe place to talk about everything cleft, so people know what they are getting and I am not posting hard to see photos of surgeries and such other places.  I hope that in sharing our story, it can help other cleft families on their journey, answer questions, demonstrate how to get through all the tough times and show them how a child with a cleft can be loved and adored.  

One thing that really hit me after the palate repair....I don't have a child with a cleft. I had a child with a cleft.  Her lip and palate are whole now.  Hopefully we will have no other surgeries until her bone graft at 8 or 9 years old.  

We made it!

I wanted Paige's 1st Birthday party to be special to celebrate making it through a year full of so many wonderful and difficult things in Paige's short little life. We made it through finding out about her cleft, a long labor and birth, countless doctors appts, feeding issues; Ear Tube Surgery, Lip Surgery, more doctor's appts.; normal baby issues, new job, new home, new church, Palate Surgery and it was ALL worth it to have such a happy, smart, funny and beautiful child with such a unique personality, joy and love for this World. Thank you everyone who has supported us and prayed and truly lifted us up through it all. We are blessed. We hope year two is slightly less eventful.

We took these pictures when she was 11 months, a week before her palate surgery and 3 weeks before her first birthday. We weren't sure how good-natured she would be after the surgery and she would be wearing her No-no arm restraints. My good friend, Sara from  Banana Bugz Photography  took the one year photos.  Then I had Amanda from Paper Cut Couture Etsy Shop to design the invite using Sara's picture. 

Every Cowgirl needs a horse!

The Party...
With lots of help from family and friends, we created a fun cowgirl party just for Paige! I cut and sewed the fabric bunting.  My mother helped me create the "Happy Birthday" banner and cupcake toppers and signs on her Cricut. The font I liked the most was from the Storybook Cricut cartridge and the western shapes were from a variety of cartridges. The polka dot ballons and extra large balloon, paper straws and high chair ribbon banner were from Polka Dot Market.  I've ordered tissue poms from Pomtastic Etsy Shop a couple of times and she has alway done a great job.    The wood tags were made with a wood stain pen and a wood burner which is cheap and easy to do. You can look up other projects, pictures and pin ideas I used for the party on My Pinterest Board.

I like the bunting and tissue poms in the leafless trees