Specialists and The First Few Days
Victoria was born at the IWK in Halifax, NS. She weighed in at 10 lbs 3 oz. she was born with an incomplete bilateral cleft lip with a notch in her gumline but thankfully her palate was fully intact. She also had one club foot and one positional club foot.
What did all that mean for us and our brand new baby? It meant a parade of specialists in our first few days, more information then we could handle at any given point, and wonderfully understanding staff who did their best to help us through.
We had decided to wait until Victoria was born to meet the specialists. We made this choice because we didn’t want to hear best case and worst case scenarios (the internet could tell me that). We wanted to know our case. I know some people didn’t agree with this decision but it wasn’t theirs to make.
We first met with the plastic surgeon who would eventually do Victoria’s lip repair. We were told that it would be done between 4 and 6 months. That seemed forever away. He also told us because the palate was intact and Victoria was able to suck well I shouldn’t have any problems breastfeeding (well, no problems other then ‘normal’ breastfeeding problems). That was a relief since I really wanted to breastfeed. I kind of stopped paying attention after that. Luckily a nurse from his clinic came by a day later to follow up and repeat everything the doctor had told us.
A day or so later we met with a resident from the orthopaedic clinic. I was a little surprised to find out that Victoria had both a club foot and positional club foot. I didn’t know the difference at the time, but I came to learn it meant casts and surgery on her club foot and just observation on her positionally club foot.
After a bombardment of information over the course of four days we were sent home. For us that meant an almost 2 hour car ride. Probably the scariest car ride of my life to date. My new baby girl was in the back seat and I couldn’t sit back there because of motion sickness. It still seemed a little surreal (although that could have been because of the awesome painkillers I was on).
If you are in a situation where you have people spewing lots of medical advice at you try and have another person there with you. My husband stayed with us the whole time so he was there for all the information sessions. It was good because between the 2 of us I think we remembered maybe 80%. Just remember to breath, listen and ask questions (even if you think they may sound stupid).
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