We made it through Friday. Getting up at 4am was brutal, especially since Chloe didn’t sleep well and Sonny finally put her in bed with us around 3:30am. I think Sonny and I each got about 2.5 hours of sleep. But, this post isn’t about us. :)
Getting to the hospital and getting checked in was uneventful. Chloe’s procedure was ‘scheduled’ for 7:30am. They called us back to prep her at 7:45am. There was a slight problem with getting the hearing test ordered and approved – but again they didn’t know how persistent I was. In the end, Chloe had the hearing test.
I was also allowed to put on a gown and hair net so I could take Chloe to the operating room. Everyone at the DMC is very polite – like they are genuinely happy to be there. Well, almost everyone. One nurse or orderly (we’re not sure) stood around doing nothing and being in everyone’s way, and even said “that’s not my job” a few times while in our presence. I just love that phrase. For the sake of this post, I’ll call her “Grouchy”. When I brought Chloe into the operating room, Grouchy told me to lay Chloe on the operating table so they could put the mask on her to knock her out. Chloe wasn’t having any of that. I said it wasn’t going to happen that way and that I was going to hold her until she was out. They complied to my ‘request’. Then Chloe wasn’t going to let Grouchy hold the mask either. In the end I did that too. So I actually held Chloe in my arms while forcing the mask over her little face. She wasn’t pleased with me, but within 4 or 5 breaths she was out. I then laid her in the table, removed the mask from her face and kissed her goodbye. I then made the nice RN promise that they would be gentle with Chloe and take very good care of her. Then I was escorted back to the pre-op area where Sonny and Cassie waited for me. We checked in at the surgical reception area and got a pager so we could go get breakfast. Poor Cassie had been up since 5:15am with nothing to eat or drink. At this point, she kept asking for Chloe, which she pronounces as “Eee”. We has been telling Cassie that the doctors were going to be fixing Chloe’s ears for days. We had been telling Chloe too but she had no idea what we were talking about. So we explained the best we could that Chloe was safe and OK and that the doctor was fixing her ears. We only had to tell Cassie this about 10 – 15 times during the day. But I do think she understood – at least as well as a 2 year old can.
We were back from a quick breakfast in the cafeteria for about 5 minutes when the ENT called to say that Chloe’s tubes were in. He also said that she had fluid in both ears but that everything else looked good. We now have antibiotic drops to put in her ears twice a day for 10 days and we need to go back and see the ENT in 4 weeks.
About 40 minutes later the Dentist came out to see us. They filled not one but two cavities that Chloe had. Both in her upper 1-year molars. They also sealed the 4 molars that she has, cleaned her teeth and took x-rays for her front 4 teeth. It looks like her 4 permanent front teeth are there. The had a hard time getting good x-rays because of the intubation tube in her nose. The dentist also said that Chloe will be needing a lot of dental and mouth work as she gets older and grows. Her palate is repaired but won’t grow with the rest of her mouth. As for her tiny little mouth – it’s because of the restrictions of her palate and lip repair. Once she gets a palate expander (an orthodontic device) during her teenage years that should get better. The craniofacial surgeon will be the one who determines the timeline of all these corrections. We’ll be seeing her once a year. Other that that, Chloe needs to be seen by the dentist in one week to make sure everything looks ok.
Last up, the hearing test was started at 9:30am. Chloe can hear now. Her hearing is good. Not great – but good. To mama and dada that is wonderful news!!!! Chloe doesn’t have very good low-frequency hearing (i.e. deep base tones). This is a normal side effect when tubes are in place. Once the tubes are removed that hearing should come back. Chloe also hears better in her right ear than in her left. I will ask more questions about her hearing when we see the ENT in 4 weeks and when we go for her speech evaluation. As for now – “good hearing” is great news.
About 20 minutes later they called me back to recovery, as Chloe was starting to wake up. They brought me to a tiny room with a recliner and said “wait here”. About 3 minutes later a nurse brought me my very tired, not so with it, baby girl. She curled up in my arms just like she was before we started with the mask in the operating room. I don’t think she knew she had ever left my arms. After a bottle of juice, a visit from a couple of doctors and nurses, and 40 minutes of time, we were cleared to go home. By this point Cassie was sound asleep in the stroller – that is until she heard and saw her sister. We left valet parking at 11:58am.
It’s now Saturday night and Chloe is a different kid. She can hear, she is cruising around the house like the toddler she is. She’s not falling at all and she is climbing with no problems at all. She’s also been very vocal since we got home. She likes the sound of her voice. She’s laughing and smiling more too. And she slept for 8 straight hours last night and took a 3 hour nap today. Life is good. And my baby can hear.
This might sound strange but she looks different now. Not just happier but different. I swear her face has changed shape overnight. Sonny noticed it too. Really. And her eyes sparkle now. And as weird as this sounds, she’s more beautiful looking than she was at 8am Friday morning. Yesterday was the start of a new chapter for us all. And this one will end with butterflies and rainbows.
And one last thing. I promise to post pictures soon. Promise.