Let me start by saying it feels SO GOOD to be home. I can’t believe how well Matthew is doing since we got back to our house. It’s like he clicked into his old self, and he has energy and he’s not very fussy at all. I suppose I shouldn’t be honest about this, since I have some friends whose own kids have gone through cleft palate repair, and sometimes the recovery can be a little brutal. But at this point in the game, everything is going very well for us.
The hardest thing is that Matthew is supposed to be wearing these mitts to keep his hands covered so he doesn’t put them in his mouth. Most of you know that he’s a thumb sucker—our boy LOVES his thumb, especially as a source of comfort. So keeping the mitts on most of the time is very important. We are allowed to take them off when he’s playing and we’re close by supervising, so much of today I’ve been by Matthew’s side, watching his hands so they stay out of his mouth.
But somehow in the last 24 hours, he’s figured out how to jimmy them off his hands. No matter what I do—no matter how hard I Velcro them or whether I put them inside or outside his sleeves—he gets them off. He just shakes his hands really hard, and eventually they slide right off. Grrr.
So now I’m using safety pins to secure them to his shirt. That makes him even more mad, because try as he might, he can’t shake them free. He stands there shaking and shaking to no avail, poor little guy.
Dear me. I have to say, even though this is a big hassle for us, it’s SO worth it to keep his hands out of his mouth. If for some reason he punctured the top of his mouth, it might mean emergency surgery for us (back at Children’s) or a lot of pain or an open palate for Matthew. In my mind, it’s not worth the risk.
So the battle of the mitts goes on at our house—and although I wouldn’t say I’m a willing knight in the battle, I am doing my mama part to make sure Matthew’s newly intact palate stays safe.
The best news of the day, though, is just that our boy’s sweet disposition has returned. He ran around the house for about an hour today giggling and laughing at himself (mitts and all). It was such a joy to see. He’s taking his regular bottles, tolerating the pain medicine, napping/sleeping well, and being generally cheerful and normal.
We are grateful.
Here are a few shots of Matthew from today. If you know him at all, you can see that the spark has returned to his eyes. We have survived palate repair and are on the other side. Phew!
|Just before leaving the hospital last night.|
|A moment of freedom with his hands!|
|Lots of drools (and check out the shirt--it used to be my dad's!!!)|
|The dreaded MITTS, abandoned for a moment of free-hand play|
|And that's an "almost smile." He's totally happy to play with his hands.|