It was an early morning for all of us, since Mike had to work until nearly midnight last night, and we had to be up at 4:30 am to get ready for the hospital. Flynn at least had a good night's sleep, and woke up grinning and giggly and full of warm little baby grasps, which just broke my heart. She was happy in the car all the way to the hospital, thinking we were going on some adventure in the dark of the night, I'm guessing. But you can see by her suspicious face in the prep room that she was beginning to suspect something nefarious afoot.
The dreaded hand-off, performed with admirable swiftness by the nurse who took her into surgery.
Waving goodbye...to a screaming Flynn, who was now certain she was not going to like what was happening.
I got to walk a few blocks to fetch breakfast for all of us, and shake a bit of the stress out of my spine. It was a gorgeous morning - just stunning, crisp and cold and full of golden sunrays, with the Colorado sky as blue as heaven.
The grounds of the hospital are really quite beautiful, and it's a lovely area to walk.
A vintage gas station across the street.
Red berries ready for winter.
Mike and NaiNai Susan in the waiting room. Once she went into surgery, I have to say, I felt much calmer and more sane than I had for the previous few days. I felt good about it. It seemed like my fever of worry had broken.
But I must have had a lot of pent-up stress chemicals in my blood, because the minute they called us into the recovery room, and I saw her all groggy and helpless and hooked up to machines, I burst into tears and just could not stop crying. Fortunately, Mike waited until after I calmed down to take these pictures.
Unlike me, QiuQiu was a champ, and started drinking apple juice about 15 minutes after moving into the recovery room...long before we transferred to her pediatrics ward. The surgeon told us that her cleft palate was exceptionally wide, and was a bear to close, but that she came through the surgery in ideal form (all three hours of it!) We were amazed by how well both her lip (even as wide as it was) and her nose came together with this first surgery. I hadn't expected as much symmetry as we got. I hadn't expected that tiny, dimpled little nose!
Here she is fighting her arm snuggies for the first time. Oh, the horror!
I think her lip looks really beautiful (although yes, I still do desperately miss her wide, wide grin). And remember this is just the "adhesion". This is a very rough closure which will allow the lip to readjust to its new shape. There is no cosmetic surgery done yet. In the end, this scar will be cut away completely and re-shaped for the cosmetic sutures, six months or so from now.
Resting with daddy. That black thread is a stitch through her tongue, in case she were to try to "swallow" it so that it stopped her airway. This stitch was removed before we moved to the overnight room. The blue tube is oxygen which blows in her face. When she falls asleep her breathing becomes very shallow and she doesn't oxygenate very well.
Water for us, juice and a feeding syringe for Flynn. She loves her feeding syringes, oddly enough.
Daddy trying to catch a few winks in recovery.
In the overnight room, looking a little more alert. She goes in and out of alertness, but mostly she is very, very stoned.
This is one of her more alert moments.
With NaiNai, calling relatives.
With Grandpa, stretching her legs.
The city at sunset.
We will be in the hospital overnight, and I expect it will be a rough one for all involved. The surgeon will check in with us again in the morning, and they expect to release her then. She has been doing very, very well. All her vitals are strong and she has been drinking juice, formula and melted popsicles like a champ. So much, in fact, that the nurses had to cut her off around 5pm! At least she's enthusiastic!