In 12 days we say goodbye to something. Something at first we saw as a problem but have since accepted and grown to think it might be one of the cutest things on earth.
Good bye to the laughing wings we first met in China.
Goodbye to drooly smirks….
Goodbye to open passage into nose…
We are going to have the girls’ first surgery on Oct. 3rd. That does not leave us much time. In 12 days, both my girls will wake up early, ride to the cities, get a bunch of needles stuck in them all without any food in their bellies. Jenna has to check in at 7:30 AM and will, I think, be hooked up shortly after. Her surgery will last about 3 hours, 9-12. Meanwhile, Quinn will be wandering around the waiting room hungry and tired until it is her turn to get stuck with a bunch of needles at 10:30 (having just witnessed her sister go through the same ordeal a few hours earlier then disappear). As Jenna will be coming out of anesthesia, Quinn will be going in.
The doctor is going to close off the soft palate first. I think they just stretch this closed and seal it off. Then move onto the first part of the lip repair – what he called a lip adhesion. They are going to cut open the inside edge of both upper lip grooves and stretch and glue the upper portion of the lip together. The lip will form an “M” shape after the adhesion instead of being straight across like a normal lip. But the lip will be closed off and the skin and muscles will begin to stretch, which paves the way for the final lip repair in another couple of months.
On top of these two items, the doctors are also planning to put in ear tubes. They found that there is fluid behind their middle ears. This is typical for children with cleft palates as the muscles that normally hold the Eustachian tube open don’t have anywhere to attach to, since the top of the mouth is open. The fluid hasn’t seemed to cause the girls any pain – as far as we can tell – but their hearing has probably been muffled.
With all of this, we are looking at spending 2 nights in the hospital. When we come home, the girls will have about 2 weeks of liquid diets as part of their recovery. I was told they will come home with some very heavy pain killers. They might also come home with braces on their arms or cups on their hands to keep their hands away from their mouths. Hopefully we can get them to not touch their mouth because I have a feeling that the braces will cause a lot of frustration. Part of me is looking forward to their surgeries because it is the start of their healing, they will be able to talk, when it is all said and done, they won’t have so many people staring at their faces. But the other part of me is scared and doesn’t want it to happen. They are perfect the way they are. I don’t want them to go through the pain of surgery and recovery. I don’t want them to have to go under anesthesia but it is going to have to happen…. in 12 days.