Dental Fun Update II: Palate Expander

I had no idea the flurry of traffic that would generate from my post in April about D’s palate expander. So it only made sense to post a progress report, because… what’s a story without an ending? (insert snark here for my long-time readers)

So, D got his palate expander off in May! It was a jubliant event. We celebrated by eating copious amounts of swedish fish. …ok, no we didn’t, and I’ll tell you why.

The last step in this process is fitting the retainer for D’s mouth. After all the hard work of perfecting the palatal arch a retainer is needed until the palate fuses shut.  In all, D had his expander on for 7 months.  In April we went to the orthodontist for those gooey impressions once again for the retainer (which takes the place of the expander). For 10 minutes we were free of the “gear box” while he got the impressions.   Freedom!  …not.

Alas, all good things come to an end. After suitable molds were made, D had his expander glued back on. Then we waited two weeks to finally get rid of it for good.



D returned to Ortho in May for the new appliance (also known as a transpalatal arch- see picture) which is a simple wire with a small rigid part anchored to the same two molars the expander was connected to. D says it’s like having nothing in his mouth at all. Sadly, we still have to avoid the really sticky foods, BUT the benefits of keeping his now-perfect palate alignment will far outweigh the taste of swedish fish.

Truth be told, he actually missed that darn thing once it was out (hard to believe, right?).  It did take a few days to get used to the retainer and having less metal in his mouth. The great thing is practically nothing gets stuck in the retainer unlike the expander.  He brushes his teeth as normal too. However, we did discover that popcorn is a No-Go (still).

So the retainer stays in for the foreseeable future. If you remember from the last post, we have the added fun of watching and waiting on the two broken teeth from his bike accident last fall. We know D will need braces, but he still has a lot of baby teeth to lose. In fact, he’s lost four just in the last two months. Until D has a mouth of permanent teeth, and we can finally see the damage to his broken teeth, we are in a holding pattern.  Now, for some of you, your doctor may suggest another route to braces.  I have learned that there’s varied opinion on when braces are appropriate (some orthodontists split it up into a Phase 1 & 2 process).  In fact, that’s an entirely different discussion.  Always speak with your orthodontist to determine what is the correct path for your child after expansion.

Thank you for your comments and e-mails.  If you have any questions, comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

A Love Note to David at Ten

My son,

I’m not sure how you got here…  from here…


… and here…



How could it already be your 10th birthday?

For your birthday, (shhhhh…. you don’t know yet) I bought you an iPhone and a signed hockey puck from your favorite NHL goalie. It seems like yesterday you were wanting matchbox cars, Sillybandz, and Playmobil.

Now you are more amused by your iPad, your bike, your xBox games… and hockey.  You are just weeks away from the end of your 4th grade year in elementary school, and the beginning of “middle school”.

Did I ever tell you I met your Dad when we were both in 4th grade? I know, only a bazillion times. But it’s true. Crazy, but true.

Someday I will share with you how much of a miracle you are.  You were conceived by a wish, born with the spirit of your Great Grandma and big dreams.  Looking back at the last ten years, I see all of it as a gift I didn’t realize I was unwrapping ever so slowly.

You, my turtle boy, my lovie, my meerkat, my only. I cherish every snuggle now with you, because, soon…. heartbreakingly soon…. you will tire of me and think I am “uncool”.

But just remember who keeps you up-to-date with your technology.. not Dad!…. ME.

You are SPECIAL.

You are LOVED.

You are TEN.

And if Daddy reminds me one more time I will lose you in 8 years to college, I will bat him over the head.


Happy Birthday, my love.  

We have a lot of celebrating to do this weekend!!


NIAW: Join the Movement


Each year, every year…  

…since I don’t know for how long because the years keep flying by.

What else could I say that hasn’t been said already?

Just go read this post, because it’s everything that ever floated around in my brain.  It was magically and beautifully penned by a wonderful blogging sister who has stood on the edge with me and thousands of others.

And it’s still perfection.


Understand infertility: Visit Resolve.

National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) is April 21st through April 27th: Join the Movement.

An Open Book

open bookSometimes I fool myself, thinking the days of infertility are long behind me. But then I am reminded that an open book really never closes until you take action to close the cover.

I never had an end to my book. No epilogue.

Just blank pages.

For the last few years I’ve been wondering what will be written. How it will end.  Hoping the words magically appear. I have grown tired and weary of staring at this book.


Or is it?

I wrote chapters that I’ve ripped up in my head. Hundreds of times. I’ve started new chapters, decided that they just weren’t quite right. I’ve written pages that I know others would enjoy reading, but decided they were not wholly representative of me.

I am ever-changing, and therefore my book is as well. I might as well switch to pencil from pen, or find a font in my computer with disappearing virtual ink.

I just can’t shake the feeling that the conclusion, the perfect chapter, isn’t going to appear.  It will unfold, but not on the timeline I want it to.

And not with the ending I envisioned.

Another day, maybe tomorrow?

Next week?

Next year?

Or maybe, years ahead I will look back and find the path was necessary and clear… and, hopefully, I will be content in knowing that.

This will be the longest book ever written.