Felix is doing great. He’s almost healed from all the procedures, has a few stitches to be absorbed still and the dermabond on his lip seam is still hanging on by a bit. Life is so much different now from a few weeks ago and before I forget how different I want to write it all down.
What feedings were like pre-surgery:
Step 1. Find pink bag containing supplies for appliance maintenance.
Step 2. Unhook rubber bands holding his appliance in his mouth, using special tweezers on loan from the orthodontist.
Step 3. Position Felix on his right side (he had to be on his right side so I had to do cross cradle for my left and football hold for my right) and help him latch on to eat. As we got closer to surgery, I was able to nurse him on his left side when we were out and about but I tried to avoid it because he would often drool or leak so much milk that the tape on his face would get wet and would fall off much sooner than they would otherwise. But more on that later.
Step 4. Burp (a step I used to skip with Bruno a lot but it became necessary for every feed with Felix since he sucked in a lot of air due to his imperfect seal)
Step 5. Switch sides.
Step 6. Burp again.
Step 7. Reinsert appliance and try very, very hard not to gag him.
Step 8. Re-hook rubber bands.
He cries, I put him in place in whatever position is comfortable, and he latches on and feeds. Switch sides. Burp.
We even can nurse side-lying these days. A position that is so comfortable while recovering from a c-section and one I tried to master before his appliance. It became almost impossible with the tape on his mouth.
So. Appliance maintenance!
Every 2 or three days, the tape that both held the appliance in place and stretched his upper lip into position, needed to be replaced. This required some planning because, ideally, he would get his tape in place at least 20 minutes before a feeding so to allow everything to be good and stuck on there before getting slobbered on. So I usually would try to do it after a feed but I would also like to give him a bath while he’s got the tape off, too. So this meant after a feed, quickly getting a bath ready, wetting his face with the washcloth to remove tape, delicately removing tape so as not to irritate his skin too much, give him a bath, dry and dress him, reapply tape and appliance.
A couple of weeks before surgery, he started teething and drooling like it was his job. The tape was coming off every day.
The tape used for his appliance was also assembled by me. It required 6mm wide Steri Strips, orthodontic rubber bands, scissors and those tweezers. It’s kind of too much to explain right now but it was a little bit of a process. Let’s leave it at that.
Holding my baby, so far, is pretty much the same. I’m nervous to have him snuggled or nestled anywhere that positions his face on my body. Before I was nervous about catching the appliance on my shirt or him banging it into my shoulder. I am still worried about his Dermabond getting mussed and causing more pain for him but as soon as that falls off, it’s going to be snuggle time. Snuggle City. Snugglepalooza. (trademark)
As soon as his scabs and sutures are all gone, I’ll post some new photos. Thanks for everything and thanks for caring about Felix. I wish I could hug all of you. xo