This doll has a cleft lip and No-Nos -how cute is that!
At our Pre-op with Dr. Obaid, he clearly explained what he would be doing to repair Kymee’s cleft palate. I am still wondering whether I wanted, or want to know the information. Dr. Obaid was professional and matter of fact – and I smiled as I listened – then walked to the car and shock set in.
“Did he just say what I thought he said?” I asked Emylee.
We sat in the car, laughing and making jokes at what is not funny at all. Our warped way of dealing with the stress.
So what is Dr. Obaid going to do to “fix” Kymee’s cleft?
He will cut around the gums, by the bone,
and pull the palate together to meet in the middle
He will then stitch the two sides together to create a palate. The sides will be left open. Skin will grow where there is a bone, so the sides will eventually close up where the middle will not naturally close. The surgery itself with take approximately 2 1/2 hours.
He said he would be putting a suture in Kymee’s tongue and then taping the string to her cheek for a day or two. It would look like “he had not quite finished surgery.” Then in his words, “We could pull the string if Kymee stops breathing.”
Emylee suggested making a shirt for Kymee which reads, “In case of emergency, pull string.”
(This picture is the least horrifying one I could find on line)
I’m not sure which scares me the most – the fact that she might stop breathing – and I would have to DO something, or the fact that her tongue will be tied down.
So, being the people that we are, Emylee and I both went home and researched this “tongue thing.” What we found is that is is preventative treatment. One of the challenges of Cleft Palate Repair Surgery is that the tongue will snag on the sutures, hurt it, and the baby can swallow her tongue and choke. Stitching the tongue down prevents this.
Kymee will get her tongue pierced before Mandy – image that!
Then Dr. Obaid said we may be able to take her home in 24 hour! SERIOUSLY??? I don’t want to take her home if there is any chance that I have to “pull the string!” We can take her home as soon as she is eating on her own. Let’s keep the food and pain meds coming through an IV – for Kymee and me!
After surgery, Kymee will eat from a 1/2 oz syringe for 3 weeks. Then she can go to her cup but no bottle.
She will wear “No-Nos” for around 6 weeks so that she can’t touch her mouth or put anything in it.
(Here is a picture of Kymee with No-Nos on from her first surgery. Because she always scratched her face with the No-Nos, Emylee suggested that I put leg warmers over them. I’ll do the same this time.)
I know countless children have had this surgery – but they were’t my kid. I won’t lie – I’m nervous and scared. I’m excited for her to get it done and over with, but it doesn’t make me worry any less.
I take comfort in knowing God is in control. He gave Kymee to us, and He will give us courage and wisdom to care for her needs.
Psalms 55: 22 gives me comfort.