Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Post Operative Pictures, Take Two...
On our previous post, Post Operative Pictures... we showed pictures of Mary's healing from surgery day until five days after. We are now thirteen days post surgery and Mary has now had her external stitches removed this afternoon, and although she did shed a couple tears, we were very proud of her.
I know some will wonder why we would share these pictures. Firstly, to help Mary understand the journey she has been on. One day she will look back and be able to see how strong she was to undergo these procedures to help give her a better opportunity for speech and language development. I was reading online about facial clefts, and there was a figure given that stated 70% of cleft affected individuals have no pictures taken before surgery. I am not sure if that figure encompasses cleft affected children today, or if it in fact refers to a survey taken of now adult age cleft individuals. We strongly feel Mary was beautiful before her surgeries, all anyone had to do was to be around her and they soon realized she lit up the room with her presence. These pictures will help document for her the stages of healing and recovery she has gone through, there is nothing for her to feel ashamed about.
Secondly, when we decided to adopt a child with a cleft, we began doing our research in earnest. We joined an online yahoo group for families who have adopted a child with a cleft. There are many unique features and challenges that our children share with regards to surgery options and language development as their cleft most often was not corrected early in life. From this group we have received fantastic support, and benefited from the knowledge and advice other families have generously shared regarding their child's journey to correct their clefts. We feel it is important to also reciprocate and help other families as well. One of the ways we were able to help prepare Mary for surgery was by showing her pictures of what her lip would look like. We hope other families will be able to do the same.
*Please disregard the quality of some of the photos, this has made me realize we desperately need a new camera, and perhaps some lessons on how to use it and edit the pictures we take ;)
Five days after surgery...