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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mary's next surgery date...May 18th

We have been waiting...and waiting...and waiting... to hear when Mary's next surgery date would be. Her surgeons have given the go ahead to try to repair her cleft lip again, everything has healed nicely from the last surgeries. Today the hospital FINALLY called to inform us of her next surgery date - May 18th. 

While we are not looking forward to another surgery per se (ie. pain for Mary, sleepless nights due to nightmares from the anesthetic and trauma, sleeping away from home in the hospital) we want to help Mary speak clearer (there are several consonants she can not say until her lip is attached together: p, b. ) and drink using sippy cup or straw.

We also want to help Mary build her self confidence when out in public. When we are at home we usually don't have her wear the steri strips over her lip. She needed them immediately after her surgery for about six weeks to help hold her nostrils in place to heal fully. Since everything has healed, she doesn't technically need to wear them anymore. We have found however that when we are out shopping or playing that if she is wearing the medical tape, people usually just give her a quick glance and a small smile while going about their business. If she has the tape off, people (usually adults) stare, or ask questions, and continue to stare. If I catch their eyes, they usually look away and appear to be a bit embarrassed for being caught staring.

But Mary also notices their staring, and she often will lean into me if she is in the shopping cart, or press herself into my leg is she is walking. It reminds me of when we were in China and she would do the same thing when people would come right up and look at her face and have conversations about her. I do think she is aware and it bothers her. So depending on where we are going, sometimes we put the tape on before leaving the house.

We think this lip surgery will be important in helping her build her self esteem.  We love her just the way she is, but recognize that this is not the way the world works. Here are a couple of before pictures of our little princess...

The week before her surgeries...

Six weeks after her two surgeries...

Ten weeks after surgery...
 Cheesey grin...
In order to prevent an infection again this time around (the suspected cause for the failed surgeries last time) Mary will be on IV antibiotics in the hospital immediately following her surgery. She will also have a longer stay, likely three days in the hospital instead of just over night like last time. We are happy to know that she will be on IV antibiotics but not looking forward to the extended hospital stay, as hospitals aren't necessarily the best place for toddlers to recover from surgery (ie. sleepless noisy nights, unfamiliar surroundings, disruption to routine). However, it is what the surgeons feel is best, so hopefully the time goes by quickly for Mary.  




  1. She is beautiful. I hope her next surgery goes much better for her.
    We are waiting on LOA to bring home our 28 month old daughter who had a bi-lateral cleft lip and palate. Both were reparied in China, but I am sure the IWK hospital will want to do some revisions.

  2. oh my...those photos pre surgery are ADORABLE!!! They turned out so well...was that your superstore shoot in vernon?

    And the cheesy grin...I love how her eyes all but dissapear...

    Glad to hear you have a date!!!

  3. I love that you took the time to do formal *beautiful* presurgery photos! Mary is beautiful, and we'll be praying for her for the surgery, in only just over a months time! How are you doing?

  4. I agree with the others that she is so beautiful. I really hope that this surgery will go perfectly the first time!

  5. I LOVE her pre-surgery beautfully done...and she looks so very sweet!

    So glad to hear you have an official date for her next surgery...we will definitely be praying for all to go well!

  6. Love the itty bitty piggy tails!!! We'll be thinking of you for her next surgery!! I hope all goes well.

  7. She is a beautiful little girl! I am so excited that you have a second surgery date...we will be praying that is all goes smoothly this time around.

  8. I am happy to hear you have a surgery date. I have a good feeling about this one. She is a sweet darling beautiful little girl. I had a little boy ask me at Jack's school why Jane's face was all messed up. It nauseated me for a moment. I can only imagine what you are going through.Good luck! We are thinking about you.

  9. YEAHHHHHHHH - FINALLY!! So happy for you guys.

  10. Her first pictures are lovely - I don't think I've seen them before!!!

    We were so glad to hear about her surgery date, and we'll be crossing our fingers for success this time. Let us know if there is anything you need! Even on short notice.

  11. I could have sworn I commented on this post already! I must have thought about it but forgot.

    Anyway, I wanted to say your daughter is gorgeous. And I cried last time for all her little soul went through. She will most certainly be in my prayers. I pray that this time things will be easier on her. She is such a little angel. Love her.

    Jill xx