I am just coming out of my sleep-deprived stupor. I think both Veronica and I will survive this surgery. Maybe.
I'm not going to lie. The past few days have been really hard. There had been moments where she seemed like her normal self. But, mostly she has been very clingy, whiney, crying, sleepy-but-unable-to-sleep, hungry and sore. Just because she has every reason to be needy, and my empathy for her is near limitless, doesn't mean its easy to be available to her constantly, night and day.
Even with the prescribed pain medication, it is obvious that it often hurts to swallow. Because swallowing hurts, she doesn't want to eat her soft food diet. Because she is still hungry, she isn't sleeping well. Because she isn't getting enough sleep, she has a harder time dealing with the pain and frustrations of the day. Its a tough circular cycle to get off.
Last night, though, I think the pain started to subside. She only woke up 3 times needing her pain medicine and then went back to sleep within a half hour. Today she played as best she could while wearing her arm splints. She was back to wanting to accessorize herself to the hilt with barrettes, bows and headbands at the same time. She is up to double digit shoe changes already today. A girl clearly must rotate among several pairs of hand-me-down shoes throughout the morning.
Veronica has eaten more today than previous days and she is in the midst of an over three hour long nap. She is finally able to be comfortable enough to sleep.
I think we will see a dramatic improvement in the next couple of days.
To answer the same reoccurring questions we have been getting:
1. Yes, she is doing well overall and the surgery was a success.
2. No, she can't say much yet, although we have been hearing her say consonants, which she couldn't do before. Her first intentional word with a consonant since surgery was "NO!" when we were giving her medicine.
3. Yes, we knew it would be a hard recovery.
4. And absolutely yes, she is so worth it and I'd do this all over again in a heartbeat!
Thank you everyone for your kind words, prayers and support through the surgery. Thanks especially to my parents who watched our other children for a few days while we were in the hospital and home the first day helping her recover. Also, thanks for the wonderful community of parents of children affected by clefts for all your wisdom and knowledge.