On the bright side — no taping this week while Clayton adjusts to wearing his NAM. You know how he loves the tape!

A couple of weeks ago the orthodontist took an impression of Clayton’s palate for his NasoAlveolar Molding Device which will help to prepare his face for surgery. Last week we went to pick it up:

The NAM fits Clayton’s palate perfectly. Here’s a good look at Clayton’s alveolar ridge so you can see how it matches up:

When we went in to get the appliance the nurse came knee to knee with me and had me lay Clayton across our laps. She applied some denture adhesive to the NAM, inserted it and then held it in place for a minute while Clayton screamed and gagged. Once it was in I picked him up to calm him but he continued to gag uncontrollably, his stomach lurching. It wasn’t working. So the nurse removed the appliance and shortened it further in the back.

The second time, Clayton’s reaction was only slightly better so they ground the NAM down further. Then they gave my little man a break during which he snacked a little and then passed right out. Poor tiny!

The orthodontist considered sending us home without it but the third time was the charm. They stuck the NAM in Clayton’s mouth and had me pop him in the sling and walk the halls. That did it!

He wears the NAM day and night. Each night we remove the thing, clean it and re-glue it in. We’re getting much better at the process every day (read: he hardly even screams anymore) and we’ve noticed that Clayton actually eats better with it in. His palate is still quite open in the back so he doesn’t get much better suction but I think it helps just having more of a roof to his mouth.

Here’s Clayton with the NAM in:

The edge runs along the outside of his gums and there is a sizable notch cut out on the left there for the kid’s very tight labial frenulum. Here’s a slightly better view:

Tomorrow, we will go in to have a nasal stent attached to the NAM by a wire which will be a whole new adventure but I think the hardest part is behind us. (Maybe?) Wish us luck!