On Monday, Olivia had her palate repair surgery. It was a one hour surgery that required her to stay over for one night in the hospital. I stayed with her and we were home by about 3pm on Tuesday.
We knew this one would be harder on her because it is more invasive than the lip, but I don't think you ever really understand that until you see your child hurting and in pain. After it was over, the nurse came out to the waiting room to bring us back to the recovery room. I wasn't prepared for the sight of her. It was the most pitiful little thing I've ever seen. She was being held and rocked by one of the nurses and laying her head on her shoulder. She had her eyes closed and was only whimpering. Her lips were swollen and there was blood all over. She had it coming from her mouth.....her nose....and her ears (the ears and nose dried up pretty quickly, but the mouth bled constantly the rest of the day).
It just made me so sad to see her that way and I got very choked up. I took her and sat on the rocking chair holding her, wiping the blood she kept drooling, and wiping her tears....and my own.
There isn't much I can say to her to help her understand what's going on. I can't explain that we did this because we love her. I can't tell her that the doctors really are nice and good people who are helping her.....even though they had to hold her down while they put her to sleep in the operating room.....and I can't tell her that it won't always hurt this bad.
So I just whispered in her ears the things I knew she would understand.
"I know that's a bad owie..." (she understands owie and points to her lip when we talk about it)
"All done....." (she knows what that means too)
In all these words I wanted her to understand the simplest parts of it......
That I know it hurts....that it's all over now....and that I'm here and it will be okay.
So I just kept repeating those things...over and over. When she'd get real upset and start writhing around, the nurse would add some morphine to her IV. That would help and you could feel her relax again for a while.
At one point, while holding her with Jason right next to us, rubbing her back, I looked at him and asked...
Who does this for all those little orphans getting surgery that don't have a mom and dad?
Who sits in a rocking chair and whispers comfort to them?
Who makes sure that they're getting enough medicine to help with the pain?
I imagine it's not the same for them and they are hurting and scared. That made me sad to think about and I was so glad I could be there for her at that moment.
After about 40 minutes in Recovery, they got us up to her room where we held her for another couple hours before finally trying to lay her in her bed. She was real upset at first, but then I got in right next to her and she calmed down.
She was pretty miserable that whole evening and so, because of that, we opted to have the boys stay home this time instead of coming for a visit. It would have been way too much for her. She just was not herself.
I really didn't see any perk of her until about noon the next day.
During that 24 hour period, I just spent time with her. Reading story books, watching kids videos, wiping her poor mouth...over and over....and trying to get her to eat and drink something. She has to be on a liquid/pureed diet for 2 weeks so we were trying things like applesauce, pudding, and ice cream. I knew she was hungry but she didn't want anything to do with it. Later on Monday evening, she would try a bite, but then it would just make her cringe and cry and she would refuse to try any more.
Lunchtime on Tues. was the first time I really got her eat anything. She finished a whole pudding and some ice cream. Healthy, huh. Who cares though.
They sent us home with some pain meds that we used along with Tylenol and IB pretty consistently for the next 2 days because it was obvious she needed it. You could just tell when something was starting to wear off so I really tried to just get on a schedule with it and stay ahead of her pain.
So, here we are on Friday and she's really doing better. I'd say yesterday was the first day she was more herself.....although she is pretty crabby still, today too. That's understandable though, I'd say.
I'm glad this is done and we won't have to do anything major again for a long time. Thank God all went well and she's going to heal up just fine and be good as new. What a sweetie.
So, just in case you forgot how amazing her transformation has been....this is how far we've come in just a couple months.