In the end both Kate and I decided we would stay last night at the hospital, so we were with Munchkin in the Intensive Care Unit. Once the anaesthetic had worn off yesterday afternoon she had moments of grumpiness, but we mainly put this down to her being tired and/or hungry and/or not sure where she was. She slept on and off through the night, more on than off following a dose of painkiller! Once she woke up at about 6.30am, though, she was a lot brighter – back to her normal, cheerful, smiley self.
Having made all the friends she could down in ICU she decided to turn her attention to the main ward, so arranged to be transferred up at about 9.30am. She is in a room with three other people – all teenagers suffering from burns as the result of a gas barbecue explosion incident thing. She doesn’t really like being cooped up in small spaces, as she loves crawling around exploring. Unfortunately this isn’t overly feasible in a small room, so we’re trying to find the balance between giving her space to roam while making sure she doesn’t wreak (too much) havoc!
We’re expecting a few visitors over the next day or two, with Tim, Sarah and Henry, Fernanda, Erica, Paul and Rachel, Jody and Madeline all saying they will pop in! At least we’ll have people we can palm Munchkin off to, for a few minutes, at least!
The surgeon popped in to see Isabel at 6pm-ish last night and said that he was very happy with the way the operation had gone. The surgeon putting her grommets in noticed a slight infection brewing on one side, so she will need to be on antibiotics after she leaves hospital, but the palate operation itself had been “text book”. He didn’t expect any further holes to develop, so the main things we need to focus on are simply helping her to recover, then helping her towards speech over the months / years ahead.
We had a visit from the speech therapist who is part of the team here (they have a dedicated team who specialise in everything that could be needed by babies with cleft palates / lips, from plastic surgeons, to speech therapists, to ENT people, etc. They deal with babies from the moment the cleft is first diagnosed, right through to adulthood.) She explained cleft babies tend to focus on sounds made at the back of the mouth rather than those at the front. We will therefore need to encourage her to be aware of, and use, the front of her mouth including her lips, teeth, jaws, etc. If the rate at which things go in her mouth at the moment is anything to go by, though, we shouldn’t have too many problems there!!
Well, I’d better go, as I’ve left Kate on Munchkin watch, although to be fair the little darling was fast asleep. Isabel, I mean, not Kate!! We’ll continue to keep you posted, especially when we know when we’ll be getting out of here.