Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Follow Up with the Plastic Surgeon

We saw Rachel's plastic surgeon today. And just as we thought, we're back to square one, Rachel's lip adhesion will need to be redone. Dr. Lehocky needs to get with his surgery scheduler to determine whether or not he can work Rachel in sometime in December, if not, her surgery will be in January.

We asked him his opinion of using a NAM (Nasal Aveolar Mold) or another molding device that would help in bringing her palate closer together. They don't use such devices at Loma Linda, but he did recommend using a special medical tape to bring the two sides of her lip together. The purpose being to stretch those muscles and bring them closer together. So he showed us how to apply it and that's the route we'll go in preparing for the next surgery. She looks different just with the tape bringing her lip together!

Other than the appointment news, Rachel continues to eat well. We increased her bottles this week and she's not having any problem in finishing them. She's continuing to sleep well, and it's safe to say she definitely sleeps through the night! She's smiling lots and is making cute little noises and cooing. She's defiantely starting to show her little personality.

Thank you once again for those of you checking this page regularly, and for your thoughts and prayers for Rachel. We sure appreciate them!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A Bump in the Road...

:::sigh::: We've encountered a bump in this road of Rachel's journey. This morning her entire repair split. Rachel's cleft lip is once again wide and her nose is flattening out again. It's not as wide as it was prior to surgery, however, we can see up into her nose and see the incision site.

I know this can be fixed, but it's so discouraging. I'm trying to be strong, but I have to be totally honest and share that today has been a really been a rough day for me. I've tried to keep busy most of the day, but in the still moments of the day, I can hardly stand it. I had accepted this journey that the Lord has given us, but I don't like the bumps we've encountered. I'm not quite sure why the road couldn't have been smooth, but God knows. I know in my heart, and my head, that Rachel's going to be just fine, and the Lord still has His hand on us, it's just been one of those days where I am sad we have this journey to endure.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Only a Season...

Yesterday, at church, a gentleman was asking about how Rachel was doing and how her week had been since surgery. I was sharing with him that the last couple of days she had been fussy and cranky because the antibiotics were really starting to bother her tummy. And he encouraged me by saying "this is only a season". I've been thinking about that statement, and it's so true. This fussy and crankiness is only a season. And as quickly as the seasons come and go, this season of Rachel's recovery will also be gone. And we'll be in a new season of Rachel's journey.

Friday, November 12, 2004

With her Cleft Bear

Isn't she cute?!?!? Gramma and Papa brought Rachel a gift the morning of her surgery, it was a teddy bear with a cleft lip that has stitches. Gramma found it and ordered it through http://www.cleftline.org.

Day 5 After Surgery

Taken 5 days after her inital lip repair. Still needs some work and perfecting, which will take place when she has her final lip repair in February, but the difference in her appearence from this surgery is simply amazing!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Day After Surgery

I know many people must be wondering how our night went last night and how today has gone. Rachel is doing extremely well. She continued to eat her bottles well yesterday following surgery, had some pain medication at 7:00pm, her last bottle at 9:00pm, and slept the night through, in her crib, with her arm restraints on, until the glorious hour of 5:30am!!

Today has been a great day. We're very quickly becoming used to her "new face" and are in complete awe of the changes. It's hard to believe her face looked completely different just yesterday morning! She's been so pleasant and just her normal self, like she hasn't even had surgery! Praise the Lord! Again, we know it's because so many people are praying for our little Rachel. And if you're reading this, THANK YOU! :)

Rachel's New Look

This picture was taken within an hour after surgery. It's not the best picture, but it's a great up close shot of her new nose and lip!

Day Before Surgery

Sporting a happy face!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Surgery Update!

God is so good. That's no suprise, but it just has to be said. We have nothing but wonderful things to share in reguards to Rachel's surgery this morning and we give God all the glory. It's no suprise things went so well with all the people that are praying for Rachel.

Rachel's surgery was the first of two surgeries on her lip. Today's surgery was officially called a Cleft Lip Adhesion. The plastic surgeon basically sewed up her lip, which will allow the muscles to stretch and grow over the next 3 months. It is then when she'll have her second lip surgery, which will be the official repair. However, the outcome of today's surgery was far better then we had anticipated. She looks pretty different and pretty good and it hasn't even been a full day yet.

Rachel has had 3 bottles so far, and each feeding has gone ever so smoothly. She's not showing any signs of problems with eating. It's so different seeing her eat now, before we just kinda stuck the bottle in the hole of her mouth, now she looks like any other baby with a bottle in her mouth. Rachel has to have arm restraints on for the next 2 weeks. This is to keep her hands away from her surgical site and stitches. She can have them off when we are supervising her, but we took them off this evening, and it was her mouth that was the first thing she went for! So we put the restraints back on.

As I had read online from other accounts of mothers who had children with clefts, I was overcome with tears upon seeing Rachel for the first time. She looked so different. I was amazed at what Dr Lehocky had done in the short hour he had her. Looking back at pictures we've taken just over this past weekend, I already miss seeing her wide smile. That was the face I'd come to love. But I'm sure loving this new face already! Today's surgery outcome is simply incredible. And again I say, "God is Good".

Saturday, November 06, 2004

My Prayers for Rachel

"...You have not because you ask not"
James 4:2

I have put together a list of things in which I've been praying for, and will continue to pray for in reguards to Rachel. Some of the things I'm praying for are things that won't happen until later in Rachel's journey. These are just a few, I'm sure I'll come up with more things as time goes by.

So many people have asked what and how they could specifically be praying, so I thought I would share my list here, on Rachel's web site.

* That Rachel's lip would be coming together and that once the plastic surgeon gets going on her lip repair, that he would be able to complete the repair in only one surgery, instead of two.

* Rachel would respond well to her surgeries, with each surgery her eating wouldn't be difficult or too painful.

* All of Rachel's teeth would be present once she starts teething.

* Rachel's speech would not affected and she would not require excessive speech therapy in the years to come.

* Her palate would be coming together now, even before her palate repair (around 12 months of age)

* Her gum would be coming together now, even before her gum repair (around the age of 6 or 7 years old).

* That Rachel would have minimal ear infections during her infancy and childhood. (Children with clefts are prone to increased ear infections).

Thank You to those of you who will take these prayer needs and add them to your prayer lists and for remembering Rachel in your prayers. May God Bless you.