About Me

We found out at our 20 week ultrasound that our baby boy would be born with a cleft. This is his story.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

3 months old and 3 weeks post-op

It's hard to believe it's only been three weeks since Dallin's surgery- he looks so good and we have adjusted really quickly to his new beautiful smile! We had his follow up appointment this week with Dr. Morales. I have been so looking forward to this appt! I was so excited to be done with the arm restraints and the logan's bow, although truthfully we haven't been great using them. Mostly I was excited to get the nose stent out. It gets plugged up with boogers and makes it hard for Dallin to breathe.

Dr. Morales was very pleased with Dallin's recovery! It was funny, he acted like he didn't want to brag, but couldn't help but comment on how good he looked. We think so too:) Then he undid the stitch in his nose and took out the stent! Yeah! And then put it right back in. Boo! Turns out Dallin has to keep wearing the stent for 3 months! I really was not expecting that. As the scar in his nose continues to heal, it can tighten up and make his nostril close up in the stent isn't in. I understand the reasoning, but that doesn't make me excited to do it. I want to look at my baby and just see him! I took his nose stent out last night and just stared at his cute little nose forever.

We started massaging his scar with vitamin e oil. As his scar heals, it gets tighter, and is making his lip pull up a little. The massaging will help with that.

It's been fun to be here in Provo where no one knows that Dallin had a cleft. The nose stent prompts a lot of questions- does he have health problems? Does he have problems breathing? I think it's funny because his nose has never even been the problem! When I say that he was born with a cleft lip and that his surgery was only 3 weeks ago, people are really surprised! They say they never would have known he had a cleft. That makes me so happy. I have hoped this whole time that Dallin would never have to look or feel different.

Just some advice for when you come across someone who looks different:

-If you are a friend, neighbor, family member, etc. it is okay to ask appropriate questions. I have no problem at all answering any questions you may have!
-If you are a random person in the grocery store or at the bank, please don't ask. It's not really any of your business.

We love Mr. Dallin so much and are so happy with how this is turning out. We still miss his cleft; I keep looking at pictures before the surgery so that I can see that cute smile I miss so much. But we love this new smile, too and are excited for Dallin that it is looking so good!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

One week post-op

Dallin is looking amazing, if I do say so myself! I had no idea that only one week later, he would look this good. I'm having a hard time wanting to keep the Logan's Bow on when he looks this good. Shh. . . don't tell:) We swaddle Dallin at night with his arm restraints on. When we unswaddled him this morning, this is what we found:

Ha! Where there is a will, there is a way!

Love these boys!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011

72 hours post-op

It's only been 3 days since Dallins surgery and he is already pretty much back to his normal happy self! I even got a few smiles out of him today:) He's been off pain meds for about 18 hours and seems to be doing great! I also think he is looking more and more like the baby I knew before. It's a good day! Looking good, stud!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dallin's accessories

I'm sure you have noticed that Dallin is now wearing the hottest trends in accessories:)

The Logan's Bow

The Logan's Bow is the metal appliance that is taped to Dallin's face. It is there to protect his lip from accidentally getting hit or touched. He'll wear this for about 4 weeks.

Nose StentsDallin has nose stents sewed into his nose. These tubes are there to help keep the structure of his nose intact as everything heals. Dallin's left nare was somewhat flat, and his nose repair helped "fix" that (I liked his nose the way it was, so I'm not sure "fix" is the right word). I'm not exactly sure how long these will stay in, but at least until our follow up visit in September.

The Arm Restraints or "No-No's"

These bad boys are on to make sure Dallin doesn't put his hands in his face and mess with the incision site. We don't want to have to do any emergency lip repairs! He'll have to wear these for about 4 weeks as well. Honestly, they're not as bad as you might think. I take them off a lot when I can watch him and make sure he doesn't put his hands where he is not supposed to. He mostly just wears them when he is sleeping. He is used to being swaddled (we made sure of that!) so the no-no's aren't too big of a deal for him. Yet.

Dallin is adjusting very well to his new accessories! He seems to go cross eyed quite a bit, trying to focus on the Logan's bow:) It was funny- in the hospital, they took off his arm restraints for a minute to let him stretch, and he had his hand up and grasping that Logan's Bow before anyone even had a chance to stop him! He had a death grip on that thing and it took quite a bit of prying to get him to let go! I told the nurses he must have been planning that: "The second they take these things off, I am grabbing that stupid metal thing!"
Hunter has been very good so far and hasn't tried to touch Dallin's face or yank on the Logan's Bow. The first time Hunter saw Dallin, he got a sad look on his face and said, "Mouth!" He knows something is different and that Dallin doesn't feel his best, so he's being very nice to him (mostly by just leaving him alone:)).

Don't be surprised if you start noticing all the babies wearing these hot new fashion trends:)

The Surgery Story

Well, Dallin's cleft is no more! It's unbelievable to me how in an hour and a half, such a huge part of him is now gone. I am slowly, very slowly, getting used to his new smile. Dr. Morales was his surgeon, and he did an excellent job. I would recommend him to anyone and everyone whose kid has a cleft. I think he really is the best.

Our day started off super early. Dallin woke up at 1:00 am to eat, and really didn't go back to sleep until 3:30- what a night to have an off night! I was planning on waking him up to feed him at 3:30, since he couldn't eat past 4, but decided to let him sleep since it took him so long. He actually woke up at 4, though, and I decided to just feed him (don't tell anyone:) ). We were on our way at about a quarter to 5.

Mr. Bright Eyes! Getting ready to head down there.

We checked into the hospital around 6:30. A nurse practitioner checked all of Dallin's vitals and his weight and gave him the okay for surgery. Dallin was put in his hospital gown, which I thought was so adorable!

He wasn't really a fan:)

We then went into the surgery waiting room. Greg was able to get Dallin back to sleep which was so nice. The poor boy was hungry and could not understand why I wouldn't feed him! I was grateful he was able to sleep. The surgeon, Dr. Morales, came to meet with us in the waiting room. He explained the procedure and answered our questions. He really is a fantastic surgeon! I've heard some people complain of his bedside manner, but I think he was very professional and kind. The anesthesiologist came next and explained what he would be doing. I wanted to make sure he'd be watching my baby the whole time, and he assured me he would. We figured he could be trusted once we noticed his BYU lanyard:) Then came the hard part. We walked with the anesthesiologist to the doors that led to the operating room, and handed our baby off to him. I started crying the minute those doors closed. I knew that was the last time I would see his sweet little cleft.

We went into the family waiting room to wait during his surgery. My friend Brittany had sent us a hospital pack to take with us that was really a lifesaver! We had snacks to munch on, and a puzzle book to keep our minds occupied. While we were waiting, our friend Casey Udy (remember her?) came to visit us. She brought a toy for Dallin and for Hunter. I thought that was amazingly sweet of her to stop by! It sure made waiting easier.

We were told the surgery would last an hour and a half, so at 9:30 exactly, I started getting anxious. I went to ask the sweet ladies at the check in desk if they had any news. They said we should probably give them about 10 more minutes and then they would call. About a minute later they let us know that the surgery was over and Dr. Morales was coming to talk to us. She said he wanted to meet with us in the private consultation room, not because he had bad news, but because he thought that was more respectful. I thought that was nice of him. He let us know that everything went great and that Dallin did good. He gave us instructions on how to take care of everything, and then we went back to waiting until we could go see Dallin. After about 10 minutes I heard, "One parent for Dallin." I told Greg I was sorry, but I got to be the one parent:) I was so nervous as I walked back to the recovery room. I walked back to bed number 3 and saw my sweet baby's new smile for the first time.

Looking back now, I can say that he looks so good! But then, I just cried and cried and cried. I couldn't even talk to the nurses because I was crying so hard. The thought running through my head was, "I hate it. I hate it. I want his old smile back." One of the nurses said, "Isn't is so exciting to see him put back together?!" Um, yah. Not what I'm thinking at all. I don't "exciting" is the word I was looking for. I got to hold him and again I just cried and cried. He was pretty calm, but had an occasional wail that just broke my heart. The breathing tube he had during surgery dried his throat out and made that cry sound so sad. After a few minutes we were able to go upstairs to his room.

We spent the rest of Tuesday and Wednesday morning hanging out while Dallin pretty much just slept. We had some visitors which was so nice! It was great to feel their love and support.

Thanks everyone for stopping by!

Dallin wasn't very interested in nursing, or eating anything for that matter, all day Tuesday. He had an IV that was keeping him hydrated. I was really missing nursing him and started wondering if he'd ever want to do it again. I was thrilled when, at 1 in the morning, he nursed like nothing had changed! And he's been eating great ever since. The nurses were amazed that he nursed so early, and said he was definitely above the curve. Go Dallin!

When Dallin woke up on Wednesday morning, he was so swollen! I really wasn't prepared for that. I didn't think he looked like himself at all! I kept rubbing his hair, because that's the only part that really looked like him. It seriously broke my heart.
Fortunately the swelling went down fairly quickly and he started looking more like himself.

Around noon we got the all clear to head home! YEAH!

We are home now and are doing good! Dallin has so many fluids in him that he just looks so chunky! I've never had chunky babies, so it's kind of fun:)

I want to thank everyone for your text messages and phone calls while we were in the hospital. It meant so much to us to know that people were thinking of us and praying for us. We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Quick Update

Dallin's surgery went well this morning. He is in recovery now. He's been sleeping most of the day. We still can't get him to nurse, or eat anything for that matter. He's been awake a few times and acts pretty sad when he does wake up. It's so sad to see him like this! I am excited to get my happy baby back. I think he looks pretty good, considering what he went through. I cried and cried when I first saw him- he just looks so different! Dr. Morales did an excellent job, though, and we are excited to fall in love with this new smile.

1:00 am update: Dallin just nursed! What a champ! He just latched on like nothing has changed. The nurses were amazed and said he is way above the curve! Way to go, little man!

August 3rd, 10:30 am update

We are on schedule to come home today! Dallin is nursing well and is off his IV. Swelling in his face is at its peak today, which is hard for us to see. He doesn't look like himself at all. Dallin is still extremely tired and out of it. We are anxious for him to get back to normal!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Surgey Info

I can't believe that Dallin's surgery is tomorrow. Today has been emotional and stressful as I try to get ready for our hospital stay. The hospital just called me and told me the schedule for tomorrow and I thought I'd share since a lot of people have asked.

No food after 4:00 am

Check into Primary Children's at 6:30 am

Surgery at 8:00 am

The surgery will probably only last an hour and a half. That will be a long hour and a half!

Thank you to EVERYONE for your love, support, encouragement and prayers! It makes this whole experience so much easier.

Well, wish us luck!