Without further ado, here is Miss Nora, our little warrior, post-lip and palate repair. Angie describes her little one as a warrior, a totally appropriate description for these little ones.
I hesitated to post a photo because it's really hard for this mama to look at the eyes of her daughter and not see the sparkle that is normally there. Through this though I am in further awe of this little one that we get the gift of calling daughter, she is a fighter. And because of her fighting spirit, we were able to come home this afternoon.
So, what will the next couple of weeks bring? Well, in addition to ensuring that Nora's pain is managed and that she is well-loved on (so thankful that she is attached to us and finding comfort in us which is improving my one-handed typing skills), Nora will have to wear the arm restraints ("no-no's") for the next three weeks or so (for sure until her post-op later this month). In addition to not being able to suck her beloved thumb (which is already a source of frustration for her), she cannot drink from a bottle so as to not compromise her palate repair (of course, we went cold turkey with the no bottle thing as I did not want to give up any of those precious times with her before surgery). Nora is allowed to drink from a cup (failed attempt on that tonight) or we can syringe feed her which definitely seems to be the way to go right now. Nora's lip sutures will be removed next week, the rest of the sutures (in her mouth) are dissolvable, and while I haven't gotten a real good look inside her mouth, it does look a bit like a sewing machine went to work in there (thank you for the heads up on that, Angie). We will also have to see the ENT for a follow-up as Nora also had ear vents put in (fluid in the ears is quite common in cleft kiddos). I was only half joking when I asked if they could just go ahead and pierce her ears right away.
So thankful that this major surgery is behind us and thankful for the surgical team Nora had. The surgeon we were referred to is wonderful. And, I must note that one of the Residents assisting him was a young Chinese-American doctor. Warmed my heart as it was obvious he was smitten with Nora and made extra efforts to see her last night and this morning.
Thank you for encouraging us and praying for our sweet girl. We will surely have to take recovery and everything that comes with it one day at a time. And, we are absolutely looking forward to seeing Nora smile again, rearranged lips and all.