We are finally home after our 4 day adventure in Chicago! We left Wednesday and stayed on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The highlight of the trip was eating lots of yummy Italian food! Chloe loved going for walks in the morning and seeing all of the dogs. She even got to pet some horses (on break from the carriage rides)!
Thursday morning we met with her surgeon, Dr. Maddalozzo. We went over her surgery in detail and he examined her. I felt very comfortable with him, as I knew I would, and so did Chad. He lived up to all the good things that I had read about him!
The surgery was scheduled for 2pm on Friday. Since she wasn’t allowed to eat all morning, we did everything we could to keep Chloe busy, like going for a walk, playing at the park, taking a shower (the hotel had no tub) and reading all of her books!
We arrived at the hospital around 12:30pm and was admitted to our pre-surgery room around 1:30pm. Luckily Chloe took a nap in the crib because her surgery was delayed. They finally took her back around 3:45pm. They got done around 6:30pm and she didn’t wake up from anesthesia until 7:30pm! She didn’t cry at all. She was very quiet, taking in her surroundings. She was awake for maybe 20 minutes, drank some water and went back to sleep. We were then released to her room on the 9th floor. Chad went out and got us some dinner and he left around 9pm. I spent the night with Chloe.
Chloe slept all evening but decided to wake up around 1am and play! Yes, I said 1am. So we read some books, ate some cheese crackers and watched her favorite Laurie Berkner Band DVD. She started feeling pain around 3am. We got her some pain medication and she eventually went back to sleep for an hour around 5am. Chad arrived around 8am and we were discharged rather quickly. We were even able to catch an early flight home!
The surgery itself was a success! They removed the defect, which is a fibrous cord that ran straight down from under her chin to her sternum. The surgeon said that since her defect was pretty long, they had to do a double Z plasty closure (vs a linear or single Z plasty closures). Only those born with a Congenital Midline Cervical Cleft have this fibrous cord. It is a result of the neck muscles failing to fuse together during fetal development. If she did not have the surgery, the fibrous cord would not have grown with Chloe, eventually causing her to be unable to move her neck. It would have caused jaw and teeth deformities as well.
The stitches should dissolve on their own. The surgeon does not want us to cover up the wound. We are not to use any lotions or sunscreen on it for 3 weeks. After that, we are to put sunscreen on her neck for about 9 months to prevent hyperpigmentation. They recommended keeping her neck covered while she is in the sun as much as possible. Hopefully it will heal well and become practically invisible, just like her heart surgery scar!
Thanks again everyone for your messages, thoughts and prayers! Below are some pictures of our trip. Warning: The post-surgery pictures are kinda scary!