After four months, the medically inevitable is days away for Hope: her first surgery is Tuesday morning.
This surgery (the first of three, we’ve been told) will repair her lip and nose, bringing the two sides of her lip together and straightening out her nose. It’s mostly cosmetic, while the second surgery, to repair the palate (hopefully sometime this fall) is more functional.
The Civee and I are looking forward to getting this out of the way. It’s a routine surgery and the doctor who will be performing it has done good work in the past. But we’re not looking forward to the night before or the few days after the surgery.
We’ve been told we won’t be able to feed her after midnight the day before the surgery, which is scheduled for around 8:00. I have asked the hospital if we could drop her off at 1 that morning. They said no, probably because they don’t want to deal with a crying, hungry baby any more than The Civee and I do. To put it mildly, Monday night will be rough.
After the surgery is also looking to be challenging. We have no idea how she’ll react to all the work she’s had done. We hope it doesn’t mess with her feeding. She’s usually a very happy baby and we don’t want her temperament to change for a long time.
Our other concern is something that’s surprised both of us. Obviously, we love our daughter and want her to be healthy. But we also love her appearance. How are we going to react to seeing our baby looking very different? Of course we’ll still love and accept her (and this surgery, even though it’s cosmetic, will have a great impact on her quality of life), but she’s just going to be a little different. We’re sad about the prospect of saying goodbye to how she looks now. But she’ll still be our Hope.
Over the past few weeks, she’s grown a lot. At her last hospital visit (three weeks ago), she was 13.5 pounds. She’s getting better at grabbing objects and moving them to her mouth (her success rate is 50 percent…the rest of the times, she usually hits the object against her forehead or cheek). She’s making different kinds of noises when you talk with her. And, in a move that’s going to have us childproofing the house pretty soon, she’s able to get on her hands and knees and inchworm her way around. She doesn’t make it that far, but here’s a short clip of her in action: