Ami Self?

April 8th, 2011

I guess I should give a little follow-up on Ami now that she’s nearly two months post-op.  She has been back to normal activity, feeding, sleeping, etc. since six weeks after surgery, which has been about two weeks now.  And she is one happy rambunctious girl, no longer subdued.  Before then, we had stopped with the arm restraints at night, and WOW did that make a difference.  She (and us) have been sleeping so much better at night.  At the six-week mark, we started letting her feed herself, and my was she pleased!  She started asking, “Ami self?” every time we sat down to eat, meaning, ‘may I now feed myself?’  At first I didn’t understand, her “self”, as she doesn’t have a good “s” sound yet, but Miah kept telling me what she was asking.  She still says “Ami self?” whenever we eat or have snack, then she gives a big grin to show her pleasure.  Yet if Miah or anyone else hands her something to eat, she looks at me for approval before putting it in her mouth.

This photo is already a week old, but can you see the new tooth coming through right by the cleft (there are still stitches right next to it)?  No wonder her hands were going in her mouth and she was wanting to chew on everything once the no-no’s came off!  We thought she was done, for now, with 19 teeth, but she’s working on number 20!  It’s very common for kids with clefts to have extra teeth, missing teeth (which we originally supposed was Ami’s case), and teeth erupting in the wrong places.  We’ll monitor this one, and see what the Cleft team and dentist say when we meet with them in a couple months.

In speech Ami is working on B’s and P’s, D’s and T’s.  These sounds are considered “plosives”.  You make them with a force of air.  Prior to her surgery, these were not sounds Ami was capable of because, with an open palate, the air would just escape out her nose.  We are also practicing blowing (bubbles, straw, recorder) so she can learn to use the muscles in her newly formed soft palate to close off her throat so the air will come out her mouth and not escape out her nose that way.  We are so thankful Ami was able to have these surgeries before she developed any compensatory speech habits that would have been hard to break.  She definitely loves to talk!

We had another 4+ mile walk on the riverfront again this week with Aunties Tisha and Nancy.  Miah and Ami had a great time throwing sticks in the water down at the river.  There’s nothing like dirt and water to entertain kids.  Or adults.

Posted in Ami, Cleft surgery, Life, Miah

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