It’s been a few days since Hope’s surgery and The Civee and I already can tell one thing about her new smile–it’s just as cute as her old smile.
Monday night going into Tuesday wasn’t as rough as we had feared. The hospital let us feed her a little later than usual, which meant that Tuesday morning, pre-surgery wasn’t miserable for Hope or us. In fact, in the pre-surgery room, she was very happy, not knowing what awaited her. It was tough to give her to the nurse to take into surgery. But as the nurse wheeled Hope into the surgery room, Hope rolled over onto her stomach and got up on her hands and knees, showing off her latest trick, and a round of laughter erupted from inside the surgery room- meaning either the doctors were sampling the laughing gas, or they found our daughter’s antics amusing.
The next few hours were anything but amusing. Although the surgical waiting room at Childrens’ is pretty nice, Let’s Make a Deal and free Internet access (on IE 6, no less) wasn’t enough to make the few hours of Hope’s surgery go by any more quickly. After what seemed like a day, but was more like two and a half hours, we met with the doctor, who told us he was pleased with how Hope’s surgery turned out. Not only did he have to bring both sides of her lip together, he also had to separate her upper lip from her gum on both sides and attempt to straighten out her nose. All the taping that The Civee and I had done over the past few months helped, bringing the skin closer on its own. Additionally, Hope had some excess tissue which made the surgery a lot easier for him (we were later told they might use her case at some sort of medical conference). He also did a lot of extra work on her nose, helped by two nasal stents which he was able to use because he trusted The Civee and I with keeping them clean over the next few weeks.
After another hour or so, we finally got to see Hope, and despite the doctor’s good report, it was a little upsetting. Hope was still under anesthesia, her eyes were closed, her face bloated and the sounds coming from her mouth told us that she was in pain. She slowly woke up and by the end of the night, flashed a slight smile or two. Until her post-surgery appointment sometime in September, she’ll be in arm restraints, which could be frustrating to a baby who wants to put everything she can grasp into her mouth. The sensitivity of the nose and mouth also means that laying on her stomach is out, as we don’t want her rubbing her mouth or nose into the ground.
But since coming home Wednesday morning, Hope has been slowly getting back to normal. Her face is still very sensitive, but each day, she has been smiling and talking more. And she’s finally big enough to try something my mother’s been wanting to get for her grandchild for the last 32 years: a Johnny-Jump-Up. Thanks the The Civee’s father, we were able to get the device mounted from one of our abnormally-wide doorways. Even though Hope is still learning how to use it, we think she likes it: