Tuesday we went for a 5 week post op follow up with our plastic surgeon. He was very happy with how Konnor's lip repair turned out. He said it looks great and that we have done a really good job keeping it clean and moisturized. Drum roll please......the Dr. said that as far as he is concerned Konnor's nose is a nose just like any other child's at this point. Yippppeeee!!!! He said we are free to wipe or suction as needed which is great considering cold/flu season is upon us and he starts daycare in a few weeks. Here is the shameless plug.....we see Dr. K. Patel with the St. Louis Children's Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Institute and we absolutely love not only our surgeon, but the entire staff in that office. They have been so wonderful during this whole process and we are so very, very thankful to them for all of their hard work. Ok, end shameless plug : ) Now we are just doing scar massage a couple times a day using a variation of sunscreen, coconut oil and Mederma. We also use Aquaphor as needed just to moisturize the area.
So on to the bad news : ( When Konnor had his palate repair and setback surgery he popped a few sutures in the very center of his palate. There are 3 layers to the palate and fortunately he only broke thru the first two layers. Because he never broke thru that last layer he never had food coming out of his nose and there was still a really good chance that the area would heal on it's own. Unfortunately, we think that when he fell after his lip repair that he broke open that last layer of his palate : ( We now have fluids/food coming out of his nose on a fairly regular basis and Dr. said at this point it is not going to heal itself and Konnor will require another palate repair next summer to fix this area. Booooooooo!!!!! The Dr. said that this only happens to about 5% of children that have the palate repair, but our little man just happens to be in that 5%. The palate repairs are much more painful than the lip repairs and take longer to heal so we are definitely not looking forward to this next surgery with a then 2 1/2 year old. This one should go better than the last repair though b/c with the first repair he also had the setback surgery and ear tubes placed. The plan is to keep his pain controlled and this should be the last surgery for a long while. We are thinking we probably won't schedule the surgery until August at least so that he can enjoy some of the summer.
On to better news.....Konnor got to meet Santa for the first time last Sunday. He was fairly indifferent and when he sat on his lap just gave him this weird "Who the heck are you?" look. Can't wait to see the pictures (I managed to get the before and after shot, but missed the actual sitting on Santa's lap part).
Konnor is now consistently say MaMa and truly babbling a lot. He was always so quiet that it is wonderful to hear the jibber jabber coming from him. We started speech therapy on Friday and he really liked Miss Brittany. I mean, who wouldn't like an hour of playing right? Seriously though she said that his communication is anywhere from a 9-15 month level. The good news is that the areas that he is farther ahead in are a really big deal and the fact that he is doing a lot of imitation now is great. She said that just while we were there he was already mimicking her and she felt like he would catch up really quickly. She gave us a few homework things to work on and we are going to see her once a week thru February. We will reevaluate at that time, but she said she thinks by then he will be pretty much caught up.
Konnor is now sitting in a booster at the kitchen table. No more highchair!!! He looks like such a big boy. It would have been nice though if someone would have clued this first time Mama into the fact that you really don't want to put the booster on a chair that has a cloth seat. It may never be clean again. We also have a new big boy sippy cup called the Avent 360. For all those cleft parents out there this is the worlds best sippy cup!!! He was previously using the Reflo cups, but they break easily and he couldn't hold them himself (they are soooo not leak proof). Since he has had his lip repair he is now able to use the Avent 360 b/c the fluid is released by pressure from the lip or nose. We have been using them for a couple days and they seem to be as leak proof as any other sippy. He LOVES his new sippy. He is so proud of himself holding it and just keeps picking it up for a drink just b/c he can : ) I don't think he would have been able to use the Avent before his lip repair so I am still grateful for the Reflo cups, but I am so glad he is able to do this himself now. He starts daycare in a few weeks and I was very worried he wouldn't get enough fluids during the day. So now at least one of my five million three hundred fifty thousand concerns for his well being are calmed. He just looks so big sitting in the big boy chair at the table with his big boy cup. He is growing so fast!
Hope everyone is enjoying the Pre-Holiday season
P.S. Sorry no pictures this time. Mark is out of town with our regular computer that has all of our photos on it. I promise lots of pictures next time.