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 4, 2011

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!

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