Saturday, September 29, 2007

Back and Better Than Ever

Wow-12 days post-op and she looks this amazing. She is healing great, very glad to have her hands back (and no socks/mittens on them), and back to her old self. It took almost a week and half for her to get back to normal (sleeping, eating, acting), but here she is and she is better than ever.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Getting Bigger and Feeling Better

First, to update you on Adalynn, we finally took the arm restraints off and just put socks/mittens on her hands and she is definitely FEELING BETTER. She seems so much happier. She isn't screaming when she puts her hands to her mouth, mostly because she can't poke herself. She was delighted to suck on her socks and be able to move her arms. She just smiled and laughed. Because she is able to move her arms and get them to her mouth, she knocked most of the glue and scabbing off. It is looking better and better everyday. I can't believe that she had surgery just over a week ago. Her nostril is definitely a lot flatter than the other side, but with the swelling and all, we aren't sure what to expect as a final result. We already know that she will be having many more surgeries, so I am sure the nostril/nose will be operated on again. We saw our pediatrician's wife at the ball field and she had no clue Adalynn even had surgery. She even asked "on what"...I thought it was pretty obvious, but maybe it isn't.

Broderick is the one that is GETTING BIGGER!!!! He had his first baseball game tonight. He was so excited and looked very grown-up in his uniform. His team is the Lugnuts...not that a typical 5 year old even knows what a lugnut is, but Lugnuts it is. He did an awesome job!!! He paid attention the entire game, fielded several balls, and even hit the second ball the coached pitched to him. So much for needing the tee. He does bat left-handed, so that is a little strange since he is predominantly right-handed, but he does so much better doing it that way, so we let him be. It is still fairly warm down here-around 90, so Broderick was very sweaty and red-faced when he finished, but boy did he have fun!!!

Camden is getting a little impatient and just doesn't understand why he can't play. He is too young for soccer and too young for t-ball. He is such an athletic little boy, and in some cases, better than others on the team (and about the same size). He ended up spending most of the time digging in the dirt/red clay and snacking on Starburst, as well as getting into trouble. Adalynn enjoyed the sunshine during the game and just hung out on the blanket with Camden and me. John helped the coach on the field and Broderick was very excited to have his daddy there with him.

Thank you so much for checking in on us. We appreciate all of your care and concern for our family. Please let us know you were here by leaving a comment on this post or a note on the Daily Chat.

on a side note....I forgot to mention that my Aunt Barb and Uncle Gary also came to visit us last week. This was a HUGE surprise. We were so excited to see them. They, too, live in Indiana with the rest of our family. The last time they saw us was Christmas of 2005-and even then, it was a brief visit since Camden busted his head open and we ended up in the ER and then Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. I have included a picture of Camden's head wound, as well as him now-so you can imagine their surprise when they saw how grown-up he was. They didn't get to stay long enough to see Broderick since he was at kindergarten, but we will get to see them again when he head home in November for "Turkey Day". I am certain that they will be shocked at the little man that he has become.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

We have quite a few surprises over the past few days. The biggest being how easy everything has gone with Adalynn's lip repair. She has been such a trooper and the whole ordeal has been a lot easier than we ever expected. This was a very pleasant surprise. She is taking it all in stride and is doing so well. The arm restraints don't bother her at all. The written instructions from the plastic surgeon said 5 days, but when he came to see us in the hospital, he said 7 days. I didn't think we would ever make it that long-but she is doing great with them. We did take them off for a little bit longer than normal today and she put her fingers immediately in her mouth. She must still be a little sore, because she poked herself and started to scream right away. We are going to go ahead and leave then on for a few days longer, even though tomorrow is day #8. She does have the coolest arm restraints ever though...mommy's socks (with the feet cut off) are a perfect fit. And you can't get any cooler than pink fuzzy ones, or stripes with stars.

We are also surprised at how amazing she looks. Her full lip is beautiful and Dr. Burstein really did a fantastic job. We can't wait for all the swelling to go down (which can take up to 3 months) and for the crustiness to go away. She still has a lot of dried blood/glue around her nostril, so it makes it hard to see exactly how good she looks. We do notice her nostril is still a little flat and not exactly like the other side, but that is to be expected. Considering that she had a wide open space in her lip almost all the way to her nose and now that is gone...well, it is amazing to say the least. She is still scheduled to have her palate repair in December and will have a nose/lip scar revision surgery sometime before she starts school.

The next surprise was that my dad and his girlfriend came to visit. They arrived (in a rented convertible) on Friday evening and stayed through Sunday afternoon. I couldn't believe that he was able to make it down. The last time he came to Georgia was when Camden was just a couple of months old. 'Papa Hairface' as the boys call him was very excited to see the new addition to our family and her "new face". The boys were really excited for daddy to take them for a ride in Papa's 'cool car'. He loved "talking" to Adalynn and she let him hear it while he was here. She is such a talkative little lady and is really starting to feel and act more like herself.

Well, thanks for checking in on us. You can see, despite the blurriness of the photo, that the smiles are back! She is so happy! Please keep John's family in your prayers this week, his cousin suddenly passed away on Friday. Also continue to pray for Ryan and his mom as they "kick cancer's a**"!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Before you all come beating down my door, I thought that I'd better get an update on here. Adalynn is doing great. Surgery started almost an hour late and she was a trooper. It is extremely hard to explain to a 3 month old why she can't eat, but Adalynn did great. She spent most of the time before surgery sucking on my finger. My mom was able to come to the hospital and be with us before hand as well as our pastor from Mars Hill. It was so nice to see familiar faces. I was really sick to my stomach the entire time, but I managed. John's parents arrived on Saturday afternoon and we were so glad to have someone at the house to keep the boy's and get them to school and back.

They finally took Adalynn back around 1:05 p.m. My mom and I ran across the street and visited with Ryan and Missy for a little bit. Ryan was getting chemo and it definitely helped the time pass a lot faster. We grabbed lunch and headed back to the surgical pre-op room they had us in. My mom had to leave and get her car checked out, but John and I waited very impatiently for them to tell us she was out. Around 2:45, they said she was in recovery and they were ready to move us to a room upstairs so we could be waiting for her. Much to our surprise, she was already in the room waiting for us. She was so groggy and looked so different. It took a little while for me to accept that it was my baby. She was very swollen and she didn't even open her eyes for several hours. Every once in awhile she would cry out in pain, but then they gave her some morphine and again she was out for awhile longer. I held her in my arms for over 5 hours, not letting anyone else hold her. I didn't give her up until after 8 p.m., when I finally had to pump. She ate from her bottle around 5 p.m. and we were so glad that she was willing to take her bottle.

John's parents came with the boys and both were a little hesitant at first. She was really swollen and has lots of dried blood mixed in with the glue. But, after awhile, they wanted to kiss her. Broderick was most excited about the game station that could be wheeled to our room. The surgeon finally came in and said everything went great. She has 3 layers of stitches, and then it is all glued on top of that. She does have to wear her arm restraints for at least a week as everything heals...no fingers in the mouth!!! We made it through the night, and they took her off the morphine and put her on Tylenol with Codeine. We were discharged from the hospital around 12 p.m. (less than 24 hours after her surgery). We couldn't believe we were going home.

She has been doing really well at home. We have started giving her regular Tylenol instead of Tylenol with Codeine. She hasn't seemed like she is in a lot of pain and we are even getting smiles and coos. My mom went back to Indiana last night, but John's parents will finish the week out with us-making sure that we survive.

It is hard to believe my baby has a new face. I really do miss her wide smile, but I can't believe how beautiful her complete lip is. It is an amazing transformation. The glue, stitches, and dried blood should slowly go away and then we will really be able to get a good look at her "new and improved" look.

Thanks for all of your kind words, cards, and support during all of this. You are amazing group of friends, family, and colleagues. We love you all. Now, we have less than 3 months and it will start all over again.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Born Holey, Repaired by a Saint

Just a really quick note to let you all know that surgery is scheduled on Monday at 12:15 p.m. We have to arrive by 10:15. It is a good and bad thing that it is so late...the best part is that we don't have to wake up super early to leave, but traffic may be more of an issue. The bad part is that Adalynn can't eat for 6 hours prior to surgery. That means she can have breast milk at 6ish. Pedialite at 8ish and then that is it. She is going to be one mad lady. We should only be at the hospital for one day. So we should be home sometime Tuesday afternoon.
We will post pictures as soon as things calm down. Until then, we are going to be spending a lot of time enjoying her first smile, her first face. John has been making fun of me for taking way too many pictures. I have to agree, I have. But I want to remember this face, the one that God first gave her and in 2 days it will be gone. I recently found a t-shirt about cleft lips that said "BORN HOLEY, REPAIRED BY A SAINT" and from what we have heard that is what Dr. Burnstein is. Pray for all of us and the doctors and nurses that will be with Adalynn. Help God guide their hands. Thank you so much for keeping all of us in your prayers and checking in on us. Wish us luck!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Professional Pics

Most of you know that we had a photographer come out to our house several weeks ago to get some pictures of Adalynn's first face as well as the boys. I know, I know, we (well I) take plenty of pictures...but, we had her come anyways. She did a fantastic job. I am really excited about them. Now, we have to narrow our purchase down (especially since I am not working right now). You can see them online by clicking HERE. The session I.D. is Shannon and the password is Frye. These are case sensitive. The photographer was Trina Riggott. Click on her name to go to her website. She is really great. The proofs will only be online for 2 weeks-so be sure to look now!!!
Adalynn has a urology appointment on Thursday and surgery is scheduled for next Monday. We still do not have a time for surgery, but I will let you all know as soon as we find something out (regarding both). It will be at Scottish Rite in Atlanta and we are debating on going the night before so we don't have to leave at so early and/or fight with rush hour traffic in the morning. Her surgery will probably be the first or second one of the day and we have to arrive 2 hours beforehand. That means if her surgery is at 8 a.m., we have to get there by 6 a.m., which means leaving our house around 4:30 a.m....YUCK. John's parents are coming down to stay with us and help out with the boys. My mom is coming and staying in Atlanta to be at the hospital with us. Thanks for continuing to pray for Adalynn.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Appointment Update

On Tuesday, John and I went to Atlanta for Adalynn's pre-op appointment. We were surprised that we didn't get to meet with the surgeon, but his assistant was very informative. They took more pictures of Adalynn and then told us what to expect when they do the surgery. She reassured us that this is the "easy" one. Adalynn will probably not be in too much pain and should be able to use her bottle immediately afterwards. They will cut around her nostril and then across to her Cupid's bow, and then back down to the cleft. Everything will be stitched together with dissolvable stitches, as well be glued on top of that. The tissue on her gums will also be cut and stitched back together in hopes that her bone will begin to grow together and she will not have to have a bone graft when she is older. In December they will do the palate (which will be the hardest on her).
Our main concern right now, is that Adalynn loves to suck on her thumb/hand/fingers. She will have to wear arm boards for about a week as her lip heals in order to keep her hands out of her mouth. She will not like this. She will be able to use her pacifier, so hopefully that will keep her happy for a little while. Adalynn will probably only have to stay one night in the hospital and we should be able to go home the next day. John's parents and my mom are coming down to help us out and we are going to try to keep Broderick and Camden's schedule (school) as normal as possible.

We are still waiting to hear back from the doctor about Adalynn's appointment with a urologist. Hopefully we will know something soon and be able to have a better idea as to what is going on with that before her lip surgery.

As I write this, my little brother is on his way back to our house (he is visiting from Indiana). He came down to visit us and also attempt to visit his daughter. His girlfriend left about a year ago and took his little girl. He was not able to see her tonight (after driving 9 hours to get to our house and 3 more to get to her house). Within a couple of months, she met someone on-line, moved to Georgia from Indiana, got married, and pregnant. She now has a new baby. Please keep him in your prayers as he works through the legal system in order to at least get visitation. Because they were not married, it has been hard, even though his name is on the birth certificate. Also continue to pray for Ryan and his mom Missy as they each fight the nasty disease that cancer is. It makes Adalynn's lip surgery seem like nothing, but pray for her too!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Wish Us Luck!!!!

This is a big week for Adalynn!!! We meet with her plastic surgeon tomorrow for her pre-op appointment. This was scheduled so long ago and I didn't think it would ever get her, but now that it is, I am not sure what to think. We are all really nervous about her surgery in general, but also about her "new face". We wonder about how different she will look and about how much we have grown to love her wide smile...I can't imagine anything different. I hope to have a lot of our questions answered tomorrow as well as gaining a better understanding about how the surgery is actually done.

Please keep us in your prayers as we await to hear from our regular doctor concerning her abnormal results from the VCUG. We plan on mentioning it to the surgeon and calling and talking to the geneticist to see if we need to have any other tests. She seems so perfect in every way, I can't imagine something being majorly wrong. But, if she really does have a fistula, that is a possibility. As of right now, we are not sure what to think , so hopefully this week will bring lots of answers.

Thanks for checking on us! We really appreciate all of your kind words!