We woke up got ourselves into the van to head to the hospital. We picked Piper up from her crib, and brought her blankie and binky with us. She remained asleep even as we walked into the cold to put her in her car seat. We had to be at the hospital by 6:30 AM so we had to leave pretty early. It was the hardest thing leaving our house knowing what Piper was going to be going through in just a short time. The poor thing was sleeping so peacefully and soundly. It broke my heart because there was no way to prepare her for what was coming. I don't even think I was fully prepared but I know I needed to be in full gear to get through and be there for her. We pulled into the hospital and walked in and registered her. They had us go in and get her changed into her hospital gown. She was so happy, playing with some of her toys that I brought with us. She was so happy to see all of the doctors and the nurses too. Her surgeon came in to evaluate her and they wanted her to be evaluated further to make sure she was okay to have the surgery done today because she had been sick with the flu a week ago. The nurse practitioner came in to evaluate her and she gave her the green flag for surgery. The ENT doctor came in to discuss her ear tubes. I have to admit I was not for the ear tubes from the beginning even though I knew that 90% of cleft patients have to get ear tubes placed. She had not had any issues with hearing (that I thought anyway) and she had never had an ear infection so I was wondering why in the world does she need them. I had had them as a child 3 times. I had MANY ear infections and really struggled with them. I still to this day can remember the pain of an ear infection. Due to the amount of times I have had them, I have a build up of scar tissue in my left ear. If I am around loud noises, concerts, or even when my kids really cried my ear crackles like a speaker going bad. It is terrible!! I do not want that for her at all. So when the doctor came in I was asking my million questions. He tried to tell me that the tubes are not the reason for my ear issue however I have been to a reputable doctor in the city who told me that it was. My husband said the look on my face was definitely telling the doctor that I did not believe him. So anyway after discussing some things I told him I was hesitant with the tubes. He was not pushy in any way which I really respected. He said why don't we do this. When she is back in the operating room, I will take a look at her and if she has fluid in her ears we will put the tubes in and if not then we will not do that part of the procedure today. I felt SO MUCH better going into it with that mindset. After we met all of the doctors, the nurse came in and gave her the "giggle juice." She drank it no problem. To me after a bit it didn't seem to do much for her. She still just really wanted mommy and wouldn't even go to her daddy. I was starting to get nervous about the handoff was going to be. The time came and the nurse came in and was ready to take her back. He reached to her and said lets go for a walk. She went right to him. Of course, as soon as she started to walk away I just started crying. I felt so bad. We had been together for such a short time. I just wanted to make sure she would trust me and feel okay afterwards. We went to a waiting room and waited and waited. Finally we got an update. She was doing well. She went to sleep very nicely. She didn't cry or anything. That made me feel a little better. The ENT doctor came out to talk to us. He said he really felt good about our conversation and even shared our discussion with his colleagues. He said he respected my concerns and was happy we went into it like we did. He did say she had fluid in her ears so he did put the ear tubes in. He said he really feels like she will be able to hear so much better and it will not hinder her from being able to learn English and progress with learning. I had a different respect for him. I was thankful he was not pushy and allowed us to go ahead with the surgery like we discussed. The last thing I wanted to do was hinder Piper in any way so I was thankful she had the tubes placed. We had multiple updates from the nurses. The surgery was going well. The surgeon removed the mole from her foot first and then moved on to her palate repair. It took 3 1/2 hours to do her palate repair. The surgeon came out when she was all done and told us that Piper had one of the widest palates that she has ever done. There was a lot of pull. She seemed confident in the surgery. Everything went well. We wait a little longer and then we got to see our precious little girl. When we walked back, a nurse was holding her and giving her oxygen. Nothing could have prepared me for what Piper was going to look like. She was so swollen in her face, really bloody, and she had her no no's on her arms. She looked terrible. She started was really restless with the nurse and she was crying. When I went into the room, the nurse handed her to me. As soon as I held her, she stopped crying and just went to sleep. It was the best feeling ever. She knew her mama was there!!!!! She was in and out of it for awhile. She had so many fluids during the surgery her diaper needed to be changed so after a bit I changed her. She seemed so fragile after the surgery I almost didn't know how to handle her. I managed to change her more in slow motion. We made it! We were in the recovery room for quite some time. I had to keep giving her oxygen because her oxygen levels kept coming down too much and the alarms would go off. When she was sleeping she always knew when the oxygen was coming to her face. She did not want anything near her which I don't blame her at all. She did want to try to drink from her bottle. Daddy mixed up her bottle and really tried but just couldn't do it. She would get upset and frustrated but it just seemed to hard to do. I am sure with time this part will get better. We waited a bit and then got news that we were being transferred to her room where we would be staying. She was being transferred to her own room and it was a large room. I was extremely happy not to be sharing a room with anyone else. I am staying with her the whole time at the hospital. My in-laws have my other girls. I am so thankful for their help!! I know the girls will have fun with them too. Daddy had to go back to work so he could only be with us the day of the surgery. I am a little nervous to stay by myself but we will get through. There are so many great nurses here. They have assured me they would help!! Please pray for her as she heals and pray that she will allow me to comfort her during this time. Pray for my other girls while they are in transition dealing with her recovery. Here are some of the pictures before she was taken into surgery. I am not posting any pictures from afterwards.
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12 hours ago