Sunday, May 2, 2010
Okay. I know it was, like, 9 weeks ago, but I am just now getting around to posting about it. As far as we can tell, Arwyn's surgery went well. We checked in the morning of February 22 at Monroe Carrell Children Hospital and Arwyn was fitted with a cute little hospital outfit and was given a snazzy blue convertible to drive to the OR. So far, so good. We were given the option of either having her drive herself back (which they and we preferred) or being given a sort of sedative and getting her sort of asleep. Hindsight is 20/20 so they say. She actually did great but I wish I had let them give her the sedative so she would not have remembered what happened as she was pretty angry with us over the entire thing.
After 2 hours during which Nathan and I had lunch, the surgeon came out and let us know that everything went really well. For kids that have cleft palate in the US, most kids now have the initial surgery in the first months of life, which I am sure is preferable for many reasons. Regardless, the tissue in the mouth of each child makes a big difference in whether or not the surgery will be successful or will have to be repeated. According to the surgeon, Arwyn has great tissue which made it really easy to complete the surgery.
A few minutes later they took us back to recovery to be with her as she woke up. She did not wake up well. If you have a child that has ever had surgery you probably know that some kids (and adults) take anestesia really well and some do not. Noah did great when he had his hernia surgery at age 3. Arwyn, not so good. Unfortunately for Arwyn, and many adopted kids, she had her lip repaired in China and it is entirely possible that there was little in the way of pain management after her surgery and she remembered her previous hospital experience.
So, Arwyn woke up very angry and in so much pain. I walked in to the recovery room to see a nurse holding my baby who was screaming for me and mama bear kicked in. I could not get to her quick enough and get her out of the nurse's hands quick enough. To be fair, the nurses were incredible and well meaning and doing their jobs but it was my job to hold her and soothe her during this time.
Soon we were taken up to her room in ICU and after much work and finagling and talking to nurses we got her (and us) settled. The next day we were moved to a regular room and were there from Tuesday afternoon until Friday morning. Arwyn continued to have considerable pain for several days and we continued to give her pain meds in the hospital (as well as once home).
She was on a full liquid diet for two full weeks. While in the hospital she said juices and broths and once home I prepared homeade soups and pureed them for her. After two weeks she moved to soft foods which we did for nearly 4 weeks. She is now on a regular diet once again and I can tell you she is quite glad!
I'm posting a few pics of her surgery/hospital stay. In case you are wondering, I am primarily doing this as a way for other adoptive families with cleft affected kids to see what is ahead of them.