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Changed Forever

Are you excited!?

That was one of the first things people would ask me when I mentioned that Henry’s surgery was coming up.

How do I answer…am I excited about no more NAM and taping everyday? Yes.

Am I excited that my son will be put through a 7.5 hour surgery, have a “three” week recovery period with no bottle, or anything in his mouth and arm restraints. No.

Am I excited that I will never see my son the way god gave him to me? No.

People often forget that cleft parents are not doing these surgeries just for cosmetic reasons, yes, that’s one reason but these surgeries are crucial to his feeding, breathing and development.

Sometimes we as parents also have to remember it as well.

About a week before Henry’s surgery Bill said to me, I kind of don’t want him to get the surgery. He’s so cute now.

The weeks before the surgery I was doing okay. It wasn’t really hitting me yet and then about a week before, it started sinking in that his little guy will never look the same.

So of course I got in touch with the photographer that shot our wedding www.caitlinnmahardaniels.com and booked an emergency mini session to capture this little man before he was changed forever.

Of course the pictures came out amazing and I am so thankful she squeezed me in.

caitlincollage

The surgery was scheduled for Tuesday April 1st at 7am. The meant we had to be at NYU by 6am.

Thankfully the organization Myface has a studio apartment directly across from the hospital that families of patients can stay there for a low fee. So on Monday night we headed down. (by the way, we forgot our bag of clothes/toiletries and the stroller.We must have had other things on our mind. Good thing my mom was headed down first thing in the morning on the train.)

Walking into the hospital and checking in it started to sink in. We got called back and one of the nurses started confirming everything they were doing. Lip/nose/gum repair. Then our plastic surgeon came in to see us and explain everything again. I think this was when I started tearing. Though I actually didn’t cry until he went back.

surgery Collage

We waited and waited and waited. Finally around 4 ish our surgeon came out and told us everything went great and we could see him in about 20 mins.

When I walked back into recovery it was surreal. There was my little boy,  so different but still him. He looked amazing.

aftersurgerycollage

The plastic surgeon reiterated that the nose was “over corrected” because if he did it perfectly it would widen and drop as he grew. So he needed to over correct to compensate for that. Also the nostrils will take their shape when he gets his nose stents in 3 weeks.

That night was a little hard. Henry didn’t seem to be in pain, but of course he wasn’t himself either. I’m just glad he was able to sleep some which in turn I was able to sleep some…of course daddy got to sleep a lot…

The next morning we were ready to go home.

The last three weeks have been challenging but definitely not as hard as I thought.

I feel like we have seen so many different phases of Henry these last three weeks, swollen, skinny from not eating and now our little chunkster is back.

weekscollage

We are so happy that this hurdle is over with, now it’s nose stents for a few months and then we will be right back in the hospital around his one year for his palate surgery.

I would love to thank everyone for their kind words, support, prayers and encouragement throughout these last 6 months. It has helped in so many ways.

us

Continue reading about our journey….

Heather

Sunday 27th of April 2014

Beautiful family and such an amazing love that carries through for everyone to see. Such a Great piece and Henry will be able to cherish the love from sub great parents forever with these! Thanks for sharing such personal moments.

Shirley Chandler

Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

Henry is so adorable. He look so different. I can't wait to meet him. That young man is going to be a heart breaker. You guys have done a great job. You both have a lot of strength.

Petria Funes

Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

Tara,

It's nice to see Henry doing so well. What a strong little guy! He is adorable either way. :)

Lisa Kunkel

Wednesday 23rd of April 2014

Wow ! Henry has a new smile for everyone to Love. Great Job Mom and dad ! Henry is a real trooper. God Bless :)

Kelly Felipe

Tuesday 22nd of April 2014

We love you both so much!!! Henry is gorgeous and a perfect angel even though I have yet to personally meet him besides watching him flourish in pictures. Life is busy but we will get together now that the warm weather is here. I can't wait to meet this handsome man. I know this may sound weird but I am proud of you both you are so brave and amazing parents!!! Keep it up you are doing a fabulous job!!!!