A preview, on request:

Well, since I had (and still have) SOOOOO many San Francisco photos left to post, and since looking at post-surgery photos can be a little painful, I hadn't planned on posting real-time photos again until QQ's face was mostly healed. I was going to wait until next week, and until after her nose-tubes would most likely be removed, since the tubes - to my eye at least - make her face look a bit of a different shape than usual.
But, people have been clambering for photos of Q's "new face". So I decided to go ahead and do a quick post. As soon as I started sorting pictures, of course, I realized that I already had a lot more photos than I had planned at this transitory phase. Hence the length of this post...
For the record, these photos have a bit of a "soft focus" look, and I'm guessing that's because QQ put her fingers on the lens, which is a common occurance. This helps to soften the impact of the actual look of the stitches, glue, swelling and bruising.
Also, I need to tell you that there are many phases to a recovery from facial surgery. For the first 24 to 48 hours, the poor kiddo is pretty wan and off-colour. There is significant swelling and distortion in the face.
But there are also factors in these early days that make the face look better than it will as the healing progresses. For one, the lip and nose are formed exactly as artfully the plastic surgeon intended. You can really see the perfection of the work at this stage. Everything is perfectly symmetrical and matched up. As time goes on, scar tissue will form and distort the work a bit, and the natural assymetricality of the face will reassert itself. As the lip continues to heal, the scar tissue will distort it a bit, and when the nose tubes come out, the nose will slump a bit again, losing its perfect shape. Just keepin' it real.
Also, there is a period of time after the first 24 hours post-surgery where the kiddo begins to feel his or her oats. She feels better, and in response she gets really happy and full of energy. This is not a permanent state. When she realizes that she still doesn't feel normal, and that the discomfort is lasting longer than she'd like, she will get cranky and wan again - and this is always worrisome, but it's a normal part of the process.
This photo is from her first flush of "feeling good", where she realizes she's over the worst of it, and is making hay while the sun shines.
As another day or two passes, she starts to get cranky and moody again. The stitches and tubes are bothering her, the surgical glue contracting and pulling at her skin in uncomfortable ways.
Also...apparently I've been dressing her like a boy again lately. In this picture - is it just me? - she looks like a dead-ringer for the sarcastic Asian guy Miles from Lost. Once that idea entered my head, I saw it every time I looked at her, and it makes me giggle, even when she's cranky.
Wearing her cool new sneakers and the Yellow Submarine T that her daddy got her in San Fran.
You can tell how pretty she's going to be, though, no? I am still missing her "old face" a little, but I know I'll soon get used to the new one, and be just as proud.
She still really loves to be upside-down. You'd think the blood rushing to her head would be uncomfortable at this stage, but apparently not. She begs for it.
Another side note - QQ is a good eater, and when she comes out of surgery, she starts eating right away. The combination of the recovery and the antibiotics, however, mess with her stomach a bit, and in the week following surgery her appetite goes in and out.
Because I'm now officially "a mom", each time her appetite wanes, I worry, I wring my hands, and I stress.
She is, after all, so teeny, here you can see how little fat she has on her body. Only three days out of surgery, even with sporadic eating, she is already looking like a toothpick around the waist, legs and hips. Of course, you can only tell when she's undressed, because her face is always chubby.
She has those cheeks. More soft, cosmetic light thanks to tiny fingerprints on my lens (harumph!)
Left profile...
...and right profile.
Taking the newspaper to daddy. This is her latest daily ritual.
An accidental closeup. You'd have a good view of the nose tubes if the lens weren't so dirty.
Reading the mail while she's fetching it from the mail slot.

Riding her dinosaur, which she can now mount and dismount on her own, thanks to recent growth spurts.
So pretty! Though, again, her nose looks a bit distorted by the tubes at this angle. It's just faintly
"piggish" when pushed up like this. Not that I have anything against pigs, but her "real" nose is more graceful, to my eye.

QQ likes to be measured.
Here, she's asking (in her own version of sign language) to be measured. She really enjoys it, and would prefer if we measured her on a daily basis, instead of once a month or so.
"Have I grown? Have I? You might want to check. Just in case."
Can you see that she's actually standing on tip-toes here to make herself look taller? No, it's not just reflex. She actually understands the concept.
In fact, she has hardly grown at all in the past month, as opposed to the previous two months, during which she grew at a terrifying rate. Secretly, I'm glad that she slowed down a bit.
In the bath. Isn't she lovely?
This is the point at which her surgery site starts to look less lovely, and more...uhm...cruddy.
The surgical glue begins to contract and pucker and peel a bit, and collect dirt and scabs. It becomes more apparent, and her lip starts to look less perfect as the puckering gets worse.
Heading out for a run.
Here, you can see the scabbing and darkening of the surgical site.
Oh, btw, apparently it's officially spring here in Denver. Seems awfully early for Colorado, but there's no doubt about it. The flowering trees are sending out those fuzzy feelers they get just before full bloom, and the crocuses have already come and gone.
Happy about being outside with bare feet.

Uhhhhhm....Ok, so apparently some of the flowering trees have gone straight past the starfish phase and into the bloom.
Is this not simply gorgeous? Early spring....global warming....I'm OK with it. I mean, I'm not OK with it. But can you really object to this level of beauty?
A scabby closeup.
At this moment, at least, she was happy.
Pretty spring feet, in lovely shoes handed down by a generous friend ;)
More errant blossoms amid the detritus of winter.
And yet more perfection.
Someone who takes better care of their crocuses (and, to be fair, whose crocuses are in full shade, as opposed to ours, which are in full sun).
A yellow wall, in the late-day sun of an early spring.


Jan said...

Oh Maia, QQ is just absolutly BEAUTIFUL!! Not that she wasn't before. This child just SHINES through EACH and EVERY stage she has been through!!! She has such expressive eyes!! Just beautiful!!! Love and hugs!!!

Mom to Willow and Two Dogs said...

The outcome looks perfect; she has a cupid's bow, and the alignment is so horizonal. She is a living doll, for sure. Little Willow might need a little more tweaking as she navigates through her surgery forest.

She does have great shoes (I need trendier, spendier friends!) Alas, she inherits the shoe fetish from you.

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Oddly enough, QQ gets her shoe fetish not from me, but from the generous people who have passed on nearly all of her clothes.
My personal fetishes lean to clothing and miniature models of designer chairs.
I have very few (well-worn and grubby) shoes, for a girl. In winter, I rotate Merrell clogs, Uggs for snow days, and my ancient running shoes. In summer, I wear only my Croc thongs.

Mom-2-3 said...

Maia she looks as amazing as the day you brought her home! CANNOT GET OVER HOW LONG SHE IS!!!!!

M@rgriet said...

Scabbing and all: she looks fantastic! Funny to see 'my' growth chart on your wall (oh, how fast you grow - it says). Love the shoes, love the shoes...

Mom-of-Bean said...

Yes, the stickhorse neighs and gallops...it came from the Dollar Store, I think...

Vivian M said...

QQ looks amazing. I think when she is healed you will fall in love all over with her "new" face. She is very beautiful! And I love the pictures, smudges and all.

Maia said...

She looks great! And FF LOVES to be measured, too.

Lost and Found said...

QQ is just as beautiful as the first picture ever seen of her. I can understand why you miss her pre-surgery face as she is/was simply precious. You can see all the character that's within. E has those same red/brown striped pants. I think I'm in love with the pink shoe picture. Those feet are just adorable. Speedy healing!

fricke92 said...

I found your blog through Vivian and have been following QQ's progress. Oh my goodness, she is just beautiful. She was beautiful before but is even more so now. Thanks for sharing your journey, it's been so informative.

Virginia and Doug said...

Her face is stunningly beautiful and full of character, as always.

Gin =)

Yoli said...

She looks stunning. Honestly, she has always been a beautiful child but wow...just wow.

Carrie said...

Maia QQ looks like she is healing so well!