Tomorrow morning, at 7:30am, Dr. Fearon will create fingers and toes where there are none. How amazing is that? I continue to be in awe of the power of medicine and what is available to give our daughter an easier life. I’m just now beginning to come to terms with the fact that we will be handing her off once again looking one way and getting her back looking very differently. When she was born ten and a half months ago, I wasn’t sure if I would ever get used to her mitten hands and sock feet, and now I can’t believe this is my last night to lie awake staring at them with pure admiration. I love every single bit of the beautiful hands and feet God gave Callie Anne, but I know her life will be easier with her fingers and toes separated. Knowing that, however, doesn’t make the tears flow any more slowly. I felt the same way exactly one month ago today when I was spending my last night with her sweet little forehead wrinkles. I didn’t think I would ever forget them…and now, I have to look at pictures to remember them clearly. Her beautiful new forehead is all I can picture because her sweet spirit shines so brightly through her crystal blue eyes that nothing else matters. So, I’ve spent the evening taking pictures of her God given hands and feet and trying to tattoo them on my brain.
For those who are like me and like to know the ins and outs of how things work, here are the details of what is about to happen.
Dr. Fearon will separate some fingers on each hand and some toes on each foot during this first stage of the syndactyly release. (sydactyly is the term for the fused fingers and toes) He cannot put skin grafts on both sides of any finger at one time, so he will separate on either side of the middle finger. The surgery itself will take 5 and a half hours, so it will be a very long day. There will be hundreds of tiny little stitches on her new fingers and toes. Her right hand and foot will look like this: (no Spock comments )
Her left hand and foot will look like this:
The skin grafts will be taken from her groin, so there will be some considerable tenderness there for a while. She will be in 4 full casts for 3 weeks. They will be bent at the elbow and knee to help deter her from working her way out of them. After 3 weeks, we will take the casts off and begin changing the gauze dressings 3 times a day. Each change will take 2 adults and will be extremely painful for Callie Anne. I’ll think more about that when the time gets closer because right now it’s just too much. I’ll also be looking for volunteers to come help me change them while David is at work.
This entire process will be repeated in 8 weeks (Dec. 19) and she will have 10 fingers and 10 toes by the time it’s all said and done. It’s going to be an interesting few months, but we will get through it. We’ve already gotten through so much more than I thought we could.
Every surgery, test, and procedure reminds me of what a difficult road she has to walk and also how unbelievably strong she is. It’s a roller coaster of emotions all the time. Our amazing support system is gearing up for a morning of prayer and I know will continue to show their support through prayers and so much more. We are more blessed than we even realize at times. We know that this year has seemed like there’s always a crisis in our lives. We are always needing help, prayers, and special exceptions. We know this and hate it. However, this is our life now. It won’t always be this way, but this first year is just tough. Someone recently voiced their frustration about it “always being something” with us. It hurt, but I get it. It’s true. This isn’t how we would have chosen to spend the first year of our daughter’s life, but it is what we were given and we’ve almost made it! We are so proud of ourselves and so thankful to all of those who have stood by us. We will spend the rest of our lives trying to be the hands and feet of God for others as they have been for us. Our eyes have been opened in so many ways and, rest assured, we will not let these lessons go unlearned. We have been forever changed by the love shown to us.
I will update the Prayers for Callie Anne Facebook group throughout the day tomorrow.
Lots of love,
Jamie, David, & Callie Anne