Friday, July 9, 2010

More pics

The first pic is with her filtrum (the two lines between the nose and lip) stitches still in and the second is with them removed.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Home from Gen's 2nd surgery!

Arrived home yesterday from Gen's lip surgery. (Dr. Mulliken worked on her nose as well.) I can't believe how different she looks. Part of me is sad that her face has changed so dramatically. I wasn't the only one. All the boys said they missed the way Gen looked before and asked why she couldn't have stayed that way. So sweet. Her mouth seems so tiny now. She's still, 3 days later, too swollen to smile. I'll be so glad to see that again. Of course, she's still Gen. Miss spunky and goofy. We went to drop off at Ethan at camp today, and she was acting all silly with one of the counselors. I'll post more pics as she heals. As the swelling goes down her look changes a little each day.

Time sure has flown by since the last time I posted here. The last couple months have been so full: finishing up homeschooling (well, the boys anyway), getting reviews done, putting in our garden, getting ready for the 2 older ones to go to camp, having our 6 month post-placement visit (unbelievable, 6 months already!) setting up speech therapy for Gen, and gearing up for her surgery. Tomorrow I am back off to Boston to have Gen's top stitches removed. It's a day surgery, but even though it's only 15 min. long, she has to be put under and can't eat anything for 8 hours prior. That means I need to be there at 6 am, so we'll be sleeping over tomorrow night and she'll go in Tuesday morning. I'll need to be watching Gen like a hawk for the next couple weeks while her lip heals, and then Paul's off for a week to California for a business conference. A couple more weeks to gear up for school in the fall, and then I'm back in to a full schedule again, which will include speech therapy for Gen. Phew! Life's hectic, but life's good!

Happy Fourth of July everybody!!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Forgot a couple pics...

Gen holding her cousin Gavin (the day before we left for Boston). It was so cute... I was holding Gavin during Aidan's birthday party and Gen, who had been playing, saw me holding him. She started to whine and I thought, "Okay, there's the end of that. She's jealous." To my surprise she held out her arms, not for me, but instead motioned that she wanted to hold Gavin too! So precious! Check out the tongue action though... Is that a little cousin rivalry starting already?

Gen on her way home from the hospital, looking none too impressed that we are stopping already (just a few minutes from the hospital to get some baby food at Shaw's). All the way home she kept lifting her head up to look out the window, as if to say "Are we there yet?"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Well, we arrived home on Wednesday around 4pm. (I thought I'd be able to post again at the hospital, but once Gen became more alert she only wanted Momma. The first few days at home I've been too tired at night to blog.) It's now Saturday and Gen has done wonderfully since then. She's woken up a couple times each night but I think she's mostly just uncomfortable with the arm restraints she has to wear. They call them no-no's and they keep her from putting her fingers in her mouth while she sleeps. Other than that, she's taking the pureed food in stride and not giving too much of a fuss about it. This girl loves to eat, and would eat non-stop if I let her. I was pretty concerned she'd be whining all day for her favorites-crackers, pretzels, and cheerios. No crunchy stuff for several weeks till her palate heals. Every so often she'll sign crackers or cereal, so I have to tell her "No honey. No crackers/cereal till your boo-boo in your mouth heals." I'm pretty positive she understands because she'll stop asking... until the next time she sees her brother or sister walk by with a snack she loves. So hard to keep 4 other children from eating around their sibling.

We have a tentative date for Gen's lip surgery, July 1st. Not sure how long of a stay it will require, but we found out it will be an 8 hour surgery. Wow. That's 3 1/2 hours longer than this one and they did her palate, lip adhesion and ear tubes! I guess I shouldn't be surprised though. Getting all the lip vermilion matched up, muscles attached, etc... must be incredibly delicate work on lips so small. I know Dr. Mulliken is a perfectionist and he will want her lips to look just right. He's been known to do an operation, look at the end result and say "No, I don't like how it turned out. I'm going to do it over again." And he does. FYI, this guy is in his 70's and still going strong! Every one we talked to before Gen's surgery said he was one of the best cleft surgeons in the country. We are so thankful to have him!

Here's some more pics of Gen.

These were taken at the hospital Tuesday before her packing came out. You can see the little wad up her nostril. She also had a gauze pack on her palate that they took out Wednesday morning along with the nose gauze. She's still a little swollen and she has some bruising on her nose and lower right eye, but other than that she looks wonderful. I can't imagine how much prettier her lip will look when it's totally done. (Okay, scratch that... I can!)

Need to get going but thought I'd post some pics from the last 3 months home with Gen. Wow, I can't believe it's already been over 3 months! (I'll post a few more pics when her swelling goes down and her stitches dissolve.)

Snow fun and a muddy bum.

Sleeping on Daddy listening to some music.
Smelling flowers Daddy gave Mommy on Valentine's Day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gen's surgery is done.

Hi Everyone! Gen came out of surgery around 2:30 and is sleeping peacefully right now. It's around 7:45 pm. Sorry we didn’t post sooner but we were having problems getting online here at the hospital. They're giving her morphine and tylenol with codine for the pain. Earlier the morphine had worn off before they were scheduled to give her another dose and she was quite inconsolable until the next dose kicked in. Overall, not too bad so far, but tomorrow is another day... and we still have the night to get through.

Here's a couple pics of Gen pre and post surgery. I'll post more tomorrow. Really tired tonight. Going to get to bed early. Tomorrow may be a long day!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gen's surgery - Finally!

Forgive me for taking so long to post again, but adjusting to life with a new toddler in the house, blogging seemed to be the last thing on my mind. :O)

I wanted to update everyone though and let you know we are going to Boston Children's Hospital this Sunday for Gen's surgery early Monday morning. Yay!! Finally! It seemed like it took forever to get a date set. Now it's just a few days away. We have one of the best doctor's in the country, Dr. Mulliken, doing Gen's operation. She'll be having her palate repaired and her lip tacked together at the top only (called a lip adhesion). They'll be doing a full lip repair about 3 months after that. The reasoning for this is because her cleft is very wide at the front of her gumline and Dr. Mulliken is concerned that if he attempted to a full lip repair along with the palate repair, the lip might come apart because of the high tension.

I've heard other adoptive parents of cleft children say how they actually missed their child's cleft after the surgery because their smile just wasn't the same anymore: big, open, toothy grin. Wow... now I know just what they mean. Gen has such an endearing smile and I'm a little sad knowing her face will never again look exactly the same. If it wasn't for the speech problems, and the social handicap she would endure the rest of her life, I'd have to think twice as to why I would even do surgery at all (no problems eating here!). Most of the time we are out in public I forget she even has a cleft. People are very polite and don't stare. Some are too busy to even notice I think. It's always the children that point and ask... what is wrong with her lip Mommy? It doesn't bother me at all; children are curious and want to understand everything they see. Sometimes I explain to them about her lip, if the parent seems oblivious to their child's query, or doesn't quite know how to answer them. Sometimes I just don't have the time to stop and chat so I continue on. Most everyone though smiles at Gen. She loves people and being out and about! Where ever we go she waves at practically everyone that walks by, and who can resist a cute little toddler waving at you with a great big smile and dimples to boot?

An update on life in general... Gen is doing wonderfully and has already grown some since we've been home, up a clothes size and 1/2 a shoe size as well. She continues to learn new words in ASL and now has quite a little vocabulary: more, eat, please, thank you, Mama, Dada, sleep, hot, cereal, cookie, cracker, apple, water, bear, dog, chicken, lion, giraffe, outside... There's a few more I think but it's late and I digress. She'll also tell me when she's pooped (one sign she learned inadvertently, the sign that crosses all language barriers - the wave in front of the nose, ha ha). It only took a few times of me doing this when I changed her diaper (man, I thought Aidan's BM's were strong! PU!) for her to catch on and think this was the sign for diaper changing! She always tells me right away and if you look at my last post, I think potty training isn't too far into the future. :O)

Well, it is getting really late and we have co-op in the morning. I should be in bed. We'll post from the hospital to let everyone know how Gen is doing. God bless!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hmmm... interesting....

Hey!! I didn't know I could read!!!

So you say this thing is to do WHAT in?