Surgery day has come and gone.
We checked him in to the pre-op section. He stood on the scale and looked so tiny. All 15.9 kg of him. They gave him the Versed and Les and I watched as he became goofier and goofier. Before I was ready, they came and took him back to the O.R. and that was it.
Then Leslie, my sister and I sat and waited for 4 hours. And I grieved. Now, I know it was silly but during those 4 hours, I could only think that my son's face was being changed. You see he was having his palate revised and improved after his initial palate closure and this palate surgery is aimed at giving Liam optimal speech and I am ALL about that. But he was also getting some work done on his lip scar and his little nose.
This is where some folks may have trouble following my heart. I tend to think that only the parents of cleft affected children can know what I mean, then sometimes I think any Mom will know what my heart was going through. It was this: Even though I know that the cosmetic changes that the Dr. was going to do were agreed upon by Les and I, even though the changes were promised to be minor and essentially needed to prevent issues later on...my son's face, the face that I loved was going to be changed and I was grieving the loss of that little face. And I grieved hard.
And then, as always, when I think a long time on the medical facts of Liam's cleft palate and his cleft lip, my heart and mind settle on his past and I grieve for the facts of his past.
And then they were calling us back to recovery and the first thing I saw was this tiny little lump in that huge bed. And the second thing I saw was his little face and even though he was swollen, and even though he was still sleepy and even though his face was changed...he was still Liam. And he was different, he was just...a bit...well...none of us can really find the right word for it. He's just really, really cute. And I might feel a bit silly for all of that grieving but maybe not.
Maybe that's why I was able to walk in and look at him and think how cute he was right away.
I can tell you the tales of the first pre-op night, but we have all been there in one way or another. Kids are tough man, and by the next morning he was laughing and eating a tiny bit and drinking enough to come home. Today is post-op day 6, he is still a bit whiney, still a bit needy but much better than I had hoped. His incision looks great, he is almost off of his prescription pain meds, he is eating like a champ (soft foods) and he is cuter than ever.