Last August Kaylee’s pediatrician suspected she might have a cleft palette. We were concerned because she was very behind in her speech. We had an appointment at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in October and the ENT there confirmed a sub-mucous cleft palette. She had quite a bit of hearing loss because of fluid in her ears so we decided to put tubes in her ears and start on speech therapy. The tubes and therapy helped a lot, but we felt like it was still a struggle for her to make certain sounds. She had another appointment with her ENT in February and we decided to do surgery to repair her palette. The earliest we could do it was March 29th so we got it on the calendar.
Jim took the day off work and stayed home with the kids and I took Kaylee to the hospital. The Bailey’s gave her this cute puppy on Monday night and she loved it and didn’t let it out of her sight! We had fun in pre-op watching cartoons, she really misses having the Disney channel and Nick at home.
talking to Daddy on the phone
and playing with stickers
She went back to surgery and I waited in the waiting room. It took just under 3 hours. It is one of the more complicated palette repair surgeries. I got to go back and sit with her in recovery while she woke up and then they moved us to her room. She was pretty out of it Tuesday night. Jim brought the kids up and I ate dinner with them while he stayed with Kaylee. The kids got to say hi to her from the hallway. They were really concerned about her. Grandma and Grandpa DeVaux came and visited her and brought her some balloons and stickers. Tuesday night was a long night, she was pretty uncomfortable so she had morphine for the pain. I didn’t sleep much with nurses coming in to check on her throughout the night. Wednesday all she had to do was drink 5 ounces and we could go home. She was not interested in drinking at all. I think the most we got down her was 3 ounces over a 3 hour period. Jim and I traded off for a few hours so I could go home and shower and get some more clothes, I had only packed for 1 night. Oscar came up to stay with the kids so we wouldn’t have to load them up.
She slept much better on Wednesday night. Thursday morning as soon as she woke up I started her on drinking an ounce every 20 minutes. We got it done and were cleared to go home! She was excited for her wagon ride to leave ACH.
I was most worried about the recovery at home. She is on a “soft foods” diet so her palette doesn’t get damaged. She also had “No-No’s” that she needed to wear on her arms when I’m not around to keep her from putting anything in her mouth. She hated the no-no’s in the hospital and I made a deal with her as long as she keeps her hands and everything out of her mouth she doesn’t have to wear them (she could take them off anyway). She is a smart girl and has done wonderfully with this. She is eating lots of yogurt, pudding, scrambled eggs, pasta and Dora soups. We have one week to go till her check up to make sure everything is ok. I told her I would take to the store after we go to the doctor and let her pick out whatever she wants to eat. When there is something she wants but can’t have, she’ll say, “Matthew can eat it for me.”
Thank you for everyone’s prayers on her behalf and all the help from friends and family. We have already noticed an improvement in her speech. She will still have speech therapy for a few years, but know this surgery has helped talking not be as much of a struggle for her.