1 Month Post-Surgery Update

Life is finally returning to a manageable state! Evie still isn’t napping well and is fussy often, but I think this is more a function of her age, than anything surgery-related at this point. In the last week or so I began sleep training, because I decided enough time had passed since the surgery and she is now developmentally old enough for it. I’m sure those of you without kids are thinking: “what? you have to train a baby to sleep??” Yep, those little stinkers don’t come pre-trained to do anything…except maybe how to drive their parents mad 🙂 Essentially, sleep training is allowing her to “cry it out,” and helping her learn how to self-soothe and get to sleep on her own (and back to sleep when she stirs), without my help. I’ll be honest, sleep training is probably my least favorite part of parenting (that I’ve come across thus far). Listening to a baby cry is the worst kind of torture for me…I would take Caleb’s shenanigans any day over listening to her cry, no contest. However, I do think the cry-it-out method is the best tactic (especially with two kids…is anything else even practical)?? I hate doing it, but I know it’s best for her (and us) in the long run.

So all in all, things are much better than they were. I’m glad Evie won’t remember any of this nightmare, because I think Sean and I will always have lingering PTSD from the experience!! (Speaking of nightmares, I actually had one last night about the whole ordeal)! Thankfully, the worst is behind us, and life is “normalizing.” I will still write a post about the day of her surgery, but the following is a hodgepodge of final thoughts about the experience, that I haven’t yet expressed:

I wish the operation was performed earlier in her life – closer to when she was 10-weeks-old, which is a standard age for lip repair. Or at the very least, sooner (it was originally scheduled for two weeks prior, when she was 14 weeks). I think the surgery wouldn’t have upset her so much when she was less cognitively developed, aware of her surroundings, and mobile (i.e. hadn’t begun rolling yet).

Sean and I have been speculating that Evie’s strong emotional reaction to her surgery may be an indicator of what her personality will be like. I’m wondering if she will be a sensitive girl, who appreciates routine and predictability, and has difficulty adjusting and adapting to new situations. Or perhaps she will struggle with anxiety – which would not be surprising – because the apple never falls far from the tree 🙂 I guess we will have to wait and see if our inklings are correct!

If we could rewind time and do it all over again, we would have administered her medication very differently. She was on the Tylenol w/codeine for 5 days, and we should have only given it for a day or two at most, and then switched to alternating between Ibuprofen and regular Tylenol. In the ER, we were instructed to take her off the Tylenol w/codeine completely (without substituting regular Tylenol), but the Ibuprofen alone was clearly not enough to manage her pain, which is why we put her back on the Tyco. In retrospect, though, I think regular Tylenol and Ibuprofen would have been sufficient. This way, we could have avoided the whole constipation debacle, and she wouldn’t have been so zombified for as long as she was.

Finally, we want to thank our family and friends who prayed, helped with Caleb, and brought meals, coffee, treats, and care packages. The first 3 weeks post-surgery easily ranks in the top five most difficult experiences in my life, and you were a lifeline for us. I really don’t think we could have survived without you, and we are SO grateful for your love and support. We hope we can bless you in return in the future when you find yourselves in a season of need.Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

Photos taken this morning:

Looks even better than a week-and-a-half ago!
Her lip looks even better than it did a week-and-a-half ago!
I finally rubbed off the stubborn stitch under her nose last night, but there's still a couple on her lip
I finally rubbed off the stubborn stitch at the base of her nose last night, but there’s still a couple on her lip


Cute girl :)
Cute girl 🙂
As usual, big brother had to crash the photo shoot :)
As usual, big brother had to crash the photo shoot 🙂
But Evie got him back by pulling his hair. And so the sibling rivalry begins!
…But she got him back by pulling his hair. And so the sibling rivalry begins!
We started the silicone gel strips today to assist with healing, which we'll apply for a few months.
We started the silicone gel strips today to assist with healing, which we’ll apply for a few months (that is, if we can figure out how to get them to stay on…why do we keep getting instructed to do impossible tasks!?!)
This is Evie's "I'm going to get you back for all this torture when I'm 13" face, haha!
This is Evie’s “I’m going to get you back for all this torture when I’m 13” face, haha!

Previous posts:

Evie’s Surgery Day Recap
First Day Post-Surgery Update
Second Day Post-Surgery Update
Third Day Post-Surgery Update
Fourth Day Post-Surgery Update
Fifth Day Post-Surgery Update
Days 6-10 Post-Surgery Update
3 Week Post-Surgery Update
1 Month Post-Surgery Update


Out of Cleft Field: Evie’s Cleft Adventures

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Melissa Felker

I blog to share my life, entertain, inspire, inform, encourage, challenge (both myself and others), and of course, for personal therapy - haha! I love to write about meaningful experiences and a wide range of topics I find interesting. I particularly enjoy sharing life in a raw and barely censored fashion because I highly value authenticity.

3 thoughts on “1 Month Post-Surgery Update”

  1. Yay! Praise The Lord she is doing better and you all are recouping. She is a beauty! Can’t wait to meet her:) miss you all!

  2. I used to put one pillow under my head, and another on top of my head, so I could catch some sleep. You finally just get to the point where you let them cry if they want to. Glad things have turned for the better. Merry Christmas!

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