Yesterday, Hope, The Civee and I returned home following Hope’s surgery to repair her cleft palate.
We went to Children’s Hospital early Monday morning. And by early, I mean we were the first family in the surgery waiting room- we were even assigned pre-surgery bed number 1. The surgery, which was performed by the same doctor who did Hope’s cleft lip repair, went well. The wait seemed like it went by quickly, especially compared to the wait during her first surgery.
After surgery, however, was another story. Hope was clearly in pain, and for a baby who likes to move around, not enjoying being hooked up to the IV and other monitoring tubes.
The doctors gave Hope a lot of pain medication. And there were points when she was clearly affected by the drugs- looking up at the ceiling, letting her eyes roll into the back of her head, staring at her hand, watching it as it moved. And despite the fact that these drugs were supposed to make her fall asleep, they didn’t. Hope would sleep for a half hour or so, wake up and be hyper for a few hours. Hope didn’t sleep much Monday afternoon. Or Monday night. Or after midnight Monday.
While the hospital staff took good care of Hope (and us- I have to say they have some of the best apple juice I’ve ever had), the recovery room wasn’t exactly what I’d call babyproof. It being a hospital, we didn’t want her walking around on the floor. The crib/bed was really high off the ground, and as I mentioned, she was hooked up to an IV which would get tangled the few times we let her on her own. The thing that calmed her the most was if The Civee or I took her for a walk to go look at the fish tank in the lobby.
And perhaps for Hope, once again, the worst part of the recovery phase of the surgery is having her arms confined in arm restraints (which, the hospital calls “Welcome Sleeves,” a euphemism much like “convenience fee” or “image enhancement camp“). We haven’t had a meltdown yet, but she’s clearly happier when her arms are free of the “welcome sleeves.” Sadly, the doctor put the kibosh on my idea of baby boxing gloves (or something similar), saying he didn’t want the chance of anything going in her mouth.
Following a palate repair, babies aren’t in the mood to eat (or do anything else). But Hope took just enough milk Monday night and was alert enough that the doctors were fine with sending her home.
From the second we got home, Hope seemed much more comfortable. She was able to walk and crawl around (more on that later). She was able to eat again. And most importantly, she’s been sleeping. She took a few large naps during the day yesterday and today. She slept from 7:00 last night until 10:00 this morning. The Civee and I put her in her crib around seven tonight, and we’re hoping for a repeat performance.
As for food, Hope can only have pureed foods or liquid. Her milk/formula intake has been pretty light, but so far she’s had apple juice, apple sauce, cream of broccoli soup, Jell-O and ice cream. Today was the first time she had either Jell-O or ice cream, and I have to say she really enjoyed both.
Overall, she’s happier at this point than she was after her last surgery. Sure, she still has to wear the “welcome sleeves” for a few more weeks- but that hasn’t stopped her from playing, or walking around. As you can see in the video below (I apologize for the poor editing), she’s already working on her zombie walk for next Halloween.
And I should add that The Civee and I really want to thank everyone for the kind words, prayers and help. We really appreciate it- it’s made everything a little easier.