As with anything that has to do with a child, time is flying and we are rapidly approaching Isabella’s second surgery. No, not in a few weeks, more like in a few hours. It will be Wednesday midday. We aren’t exactly sure of the time yet, but we know we are the second case of the day so we are already looking forward to dealing with a screaming hungry child as we go through registration. As always, my goal with this post is to educate not only our family and friends, but also others who are on this cleft journey as well.
Recently, I was contacted by a good friend of mine who recently found out that a friend of hers had just found out that their child would be born with a cleft lip and palate. She knew to come to me because of this blog and that made me really happy. This blog has been a way for me to get some feelings out as we go along the journey, but also to educate people on not only what we are expecting, but what they can expect as well. My hope is that the emotions that you feel the day you find out quickly change to the ones that you feel when you finally get to put that little bundle of joy into your arms.
So back to Wednesday…
This Wednesday we are going to be back at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for another procedure. We’ve already gotten good news about this one as the ENT’s won’t be involved because her hearing and the tubes look great!
So what will they be doing? Here’s the easy way…let’s begin with what has been done and an old photo of the cleft inside of her mouth.
In this photo you can see the full unilateral clefting of the lip and palate. If you look closely you can see two little white spit bubbles attached to the palate where it is separated. In the first surgery, they attached the lip and fixed her nose with quite amazing results.
Now in this surgery, they will be creating two cuts on the outer part of the palate (think close to where your molars are in the upper, back part of your mouth) which will help prevent the palate from separating once they stick together (similar to what you can see done above for the lip) the cleft areas of the palate. Obviously there is pain and possible swelling involved and since they are close to the airway, we’ll be staying overnight at the hospital with her.
In addition to the palate, our amazing plastics team will be doing Isabella’s first “revision” and building up the interior portion of her left nostril and correcting the vermillion border and making both sides even. (Could you even really tell that they weren’t already?)
This is probably one of the few photos that you can really see both the nostril and that slight raising of the border. (And why would I not want to use this photo again?!?!?!?)
The doctors told us this should be very similar timing to the first surgery so we should have about three hours or so to wait, but with some friends from the Lancaster Cleft Palate Clinic who went through this last week, we feel like we are prepared and know what to expect.
Again, my hope is that this blog not only helps my family and friends understand what is going on (without repeating the same stuff over and over again) but also helps people who I may never meet, know, or talk to. However, with that said, if you have found out that you are going to be starting this crazy journey (either with fertility issues or with a cleft affected child) please never hesitate to reach out or send your friends my way. I want our family to be an asset for everyone.
I don’t normally ask for people to comment, but on this post, please let me know how this blog as a whole has affected you. Has it helped you understand what Isabella is going through? Simply kept you entertained with my amazing writing skills? Have you been able to share it with someone else who is on this journey and going through the same things? Let me know in the comments I’d love your feedback.