QiuQiu greeted the morning much more alert today, after a rough night of up-and-down. She did well and had no problems, but she patently did not want to sleep on her back (which was what the surgeon expressly specified she should do!) She wanted to sleep on her stomach, on either my chest or Mikes, or else in my arms while I stood up and bounced her. This was rather nerve-wracking since she was restless and still hurting, and would periodically swipe her face against our chests or shoulders. All attempts to get her to sleep on her back failed, however, and the nurses didn't push it. Hence the heavy drainage of fluids mixed with blood that was crusted on her lip bandage this morning.
The surgeon came to visit at aroun 9am, and pronounced her fine. We were shortly discharged.
This is QQ back in her civilian clothes on the hospital cot, ready to go home. We will miss the nursing staff at Rose - all of whom were truly exceptional. I have never encountered such warm, welcoming, caring people on a hospital staff. We're very glad of our choice of surgeons and hospitals. We were lucky enough to be in the ped ward during a very quiet time of year...in fact, we were the ONLY people on the floor last night! We got the royal treatment. The nursing staff waited on us hand and foot and kept QQ feeling comfortable. I had packed four (four!) bags full of things recommended by people on the Cleft board. Turned out, I should have brought nothing but a camera. I needed NOTHING, zip, zero. Everything was provided, and since I never had my hands free, I was never even able to flip through a magazine. Lucky if I was able to drink the ice water which the nursing staff constantly replenished...and we never did find time to cash in on our free meal from the kitchen.
QQ was very, very glad to get in the car, and even gladder to be at home among her familiar things. Her happiness was immediate and evident.
With her crusty lip strips, she looks a bit like she's wearing a kitty costume for halloween. It's kind of cute, actually.
We were concerned that she would be frustrated that she couldn't move around well with the arm braces, but she started crawling at lightening-speed as soon as her knees hit the floor...
...and was in the dog food before you could blink. Rascal.
Who, me? Nothing.
Happy to be back on her feet.
The surgeon told us that she was doing just fine, and that basically her main issues would be frustration and restlessness. It was our primary job, she told us, to keep her happy, entertained, active and distracted. Get outside, she told us, immediately and often. So we did.
It turned into a gorgeous fall evening and we all went for a stroll around the neighborhood.
Here you can see the opening in the bottom of her lip sutures. This is why it's called an adhesion. It is more "tacked" than actually closed. This will allow the upper lip to soften and relax into its new position over the next few months. By the time we go in for the cosmetic surgery in April or so, it will be primed and ready for the recreation of the upper lip and cupid's bow. And...look at that nose! Spectacular, I tell you! That's a good surgeon. In the spring, she will most likely add a nose splint inside to further enhance the shape of the left side of the nose. But I tell you what...I'm already impressed!
NaiNai Susan has been lovely enough to spend the day and night with us today. She has just retired from her own longstanding nursing career, and I can't tell you what a comfort it is to have our own personal nurse around for the first 48 hours home! Now that's peace of mind. Not to mention the fact that she gave M. and I a good, long nap this afternoon to recuperate from our very rough (and very surreal and delirious) night.
Sam spent the past 36 hours mostly by himself and was so worried that he refused to eat until we came home. Poor thing! He's very relieved to have the whole family back again.
There's that kitty-cat face again. By the time we went for our evening walk, she had used up what energy she had on her excitement at rediscovering all her toys. She was looking pretty dazed and dopey here.
As for us, we were just glad to be free of the hospital (as pleasant as it was) and back in the fresh air.
Vintage toys in a local antique store.
The end of the road. By the time we returned home, QQ was passed out on pain meds, face down in the fleece of her stroller. She'll need lots of rest and recuperation right now, but, amazingly, she won't be on meds much longer. It's just astonishing how resilient these kids are. Never ceases to amaze me.