You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.

This one is about: Facing Surgery with Your Baby - Some Advice


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FACING SURGERY WITH YOUR BABY: Some Advice

by Joanne Green

The day of your baby's surgery is difficult. Oh BOY is it ever hard. But you will find your "autoparent" switch and you will allow it to happen. And you will do it FOR your baby.

You are probably going to cry. Try and be strong in front of the baby. He must have confidence that you are in control. He needs to be able to go relaxed into that deep sleep, and he can only do that if he is confident that he has a strong ally in you.

When they take the baby away, it's always an emotional time. Go ahead, when those doors close between you and  him -- let loose. Let yourself grieve the passing of the face you love. Hurt for your baby's hurt. Feel the anguish of the fates. Then remember that crying expends energy -- energy you will need to take care of him in two hours, when your baby is going to need 100% of you. So dry your tears. Hug his blanket (or his teddy, or whatever you have with you) and go to the hospital cafeteria and choke down some breakfast. You will need the store of energy it will give you.

Find a way to help the time pass. Talk with someone. Take a walk down the halls. Visit the gift shop. Be sure that you are present and available at least 1/2 hour before they even expect that the surgery will be over. If the time runs long, don't worry. Your baby is in good hands. Many surgeries run long, and it only means that you doctor is taking his time to do a good job.

Use your support structure -- family, friends, support group, pastor, whatever. You will be both physically and emotionally drained. Now is not the time to be too proud to accept whatever help you can get. And be good to yourself. Get what sleep you can - eat nutritiously and try and get some exercise. Your baby is going to need you, so you need to be ready for whatever he needs.


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