Monday, May 18, 2015

Still numb after all these years...

Hello lovelies! 

My surgery was on October 16th, 2012. It has been 2 years and 7 months. I don't think about the drama of surgery often (it's been replaced by child birth!), though I still can't help but admire my bite every time I am in front of a mirror. To those who are going through this, I know you can relate! Having had an ugly bite for most of your life sticks with you! 

The status of my face: 
- Still wearing my retainers every night. Though my bite is not perfect, it still thrills me every time I smile. 
- My left jaw/TMJ joint is a little clicky. Nothing painful, but it happens every-so-often for me to notice. 
- My range of motion is fantastic. I don't notice anything out of the ordinary. 
- Numbness... check:( Description from my last blog post still holds true: The gums of my upper front 6 teeth are still numb, as is part of my upper lip - where the lip meets my gums. It really doesn't bother me. I only notice when I brush my teeth or when I'm writing blog posts;)

Oil Pulling & Frankincense
To this last point I am going to attempt something for the next 30 days to see if it works. Oil Pulling! Here's a good blog about it. I'm going to use coconut oil & Frankincense essential oil (from DoTerra). I started getting into essential oils recently (some are amazing, some don't help), but Frankincense is known as liquid gold and is one of the most healing oils around (learn more here). This may hippy dippy California mumbo jumbo, but I'm going to try it!  I will check back in to let you know my progress. 

Oh, here's an update on my little family: 

Charlie just turned 1! He is such a sweet boy. His feet are doing great, he only has to wear his leg braces at night. He's walking, babbling and loves his brother and doggies. 

My buddy 

Best friends
Big Boy!


Sunday, August 10, 2014


Hi All,

Just a quick update. Can't believe it will be my 2 year surgery anniversary in Oct. Everything is pretty good. No pain, no movement. The only lingering thing is some numbness of the upper jaw. The gums of my upper front 6 teeth are still numb, as is part of my upper lip - where the lip meets my gums. It really doesn't bother me. I only notice when I brush my teeth or when I'm writing blog posts;)

Everything is great with mommyhood. Charlie will be 3 months old on Aug 16. His treatment for his club feet is progressing. We are now past the cast phase and into braces. He's gotten used to them, so no biggie;)

Here are some pix!

This is a progression from 1 week old to 6 weeks old. We took these pictures between cast changes. Each Friday the doctor moved his feet a little bit toward the correct position and apply a new cast. After the 6th cast, Charlie had a "tenotomy" which is the severing of the Achilles tendon. Then was in a cast for 3 straight weeks, while his tendon healed. After that time, they removed the cast and put him in a brace!
He wears it 24/7 (except during bath time) for the next 3 months.
Then he'll go down to just nighttime and naps.
I've already decided that I will dress him up as Shaun White for Halloween. 


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hello Baby!

Hi Everyone!

I am happy to announce the arrival of Charles Haig! (We call him Charlie and Haig was my grandfather's name - it's Armenian).

I went into labor 8 days after my due date and he was born a relatively quick 8.5 hours after my first contraction. He was born at home with no complications. He's now a week old and I love being a mommy:)

One thing we didn't expect is that he was born with clubbed feet. Basically, his feet are shaped and formed perfectly, they just sit on his ankles at an angle. We have our first appointment with a specialist tomorrow, where they will start the first of a series of full leg casts. They will slowly, over the next two months, twist his feet to proper alignment. All the research shows that this is fully treatable. In two months his treatment should be complete! 

We are all so happy and are in love with our new little peanut.  

I'm exhausted here, but still able to smile, knowing that I'm so close!

Thomas waited in the living room with his grandparents until Charlie
was born. He didn't want to see "any blood or gross stuff."

Notice his little feet are bent in :(

A few hours after being born. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Braceface: 37 Weeks Pregnant!

Hello everyone! (If anyone is still reading this blog)

I think in my last post I mentioned that I think of surgery everyday... well, shortly after I wrote that post, things began to change. Basically, pregnancy kicked in and that's where my mind has been!

I have found that the mental prep for braces/jaw surgery and pregnancy/birth is weirdly similar. Both having dragged out prep-time, waiting for 'the date" and followed by an amazing outcome. Well, my "date" is very close. I'm due May 7th and can really go at any time now that I'm 37 weeks. There may have been something with my experience at the hospital, insurance and doctors with jaw surgery (even though everyone was wonderful), because we've decided to go with a midwife at home (apparently I AM a California hippie!). I've had a super easy pregnancy, no nausea or any other complications. We are having a boy and Jeff, Thomas and I are BEYOND excited. I've asked my ortho how soon we can bring the baby in for an appointment;)

Here are some pics!

These are from this weekend... I am ready!!!

Jeff and I went to Maui for a Honeymoon/Babymoon. I was around 26 weeks. I was definitely the most pregnant tourist on the island. There is NOTHING more liberating that hanging your belly out of a bikini;)

Thanks everyone for support. Please feel free to link up on FB or send me an email welbyway at gmail. 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Braceface: One Year Later!

Hi Everyone!

My "One Year Later" post is a bit late! I am not going to tell you that my surgery is not on my mind anymore, that I've moved on and don't really think about it. I think about it EVERY TIME I LOOK IN A MIRROR. I am still in awe when I look at my smile. After so many years with a funky bite I can't believe I'm "one of those people" with great teeth.

I didn't post the week of my one year anniversary because it was a very busy one! I celebrated my surgery anniversary (Oct 16) with a check up at my orthodontist. Everything looked pretty good! The back of my bite has opened a little bit and I was given some rubber tubing to "chew" on as an exercise... hopefully that will close everything up.

Jeff and I celebrated our 2 year dating anniversary (Oct 17) at a doctors appointment by listening to our baby's heartbeat! (Much better than our 1 year anniversary, which was in the hospital post-surgery!) We are so excited!!! In true Italian fashion, I got pregnant a couple weeks after our wedding. The last two years has transformed my life in every single way possible. I am very very very grateful.

I wanted to put this all in one post, but needed to wait a bit until I was a little further along. I am about 3.5 months now - due May 7th. Prepping for delivery feels weirdly similar to prepping for surgery!

As for the state of my jaw: There is still some numbness in my inside upper lip at the incision site... Also, my upper outer gum line is still numb. It's definitely weird when brushing, but it's something I don't notice throughout the day. My range of motion is where it was pre-surgery. I can open wide and shift my jaw side to side without pain.

Check out this before shot! It was taken in 2007 when I 
was first given the bombshell news "you need surgery".   
It took me 4.5 years to pull the trigger on braces and surgery! 

 And now the AFTER!! It really blows my mind.  
(Even my messy bun looks better)

Hope you all are FANTASTIC! I will keep updating every so often. There's just not much jaw related news. Please jot down my email address: welbyway -at- gmail and keep in touch or write to connect on FB.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Braceface: The Wedding!

Hello everyone!!! It's been a hectic 9 weeks, which culminated in an amazing celebration this past weekend. Jeff and I had our hand in almost every aspect of the wedding and tried to make it as personal and intimate as possible with 85 guests (we have big families!!!).

We got married at his brother and sister-in-law's house, wrote the ceremony, had his brother marry us, I created all the decorations and we put together our own iPod music mix to be played through a borrowed sound system. The only thing that wasn't homemade was the dinner, which was ordered in from a restaurant.

It was absolutely magical!!!

First, the teeth.... I ended up getting two veneers on my two upper central incisors. They turned out really nice;) It was pretty painless. Just 2 x hour long appointments set a week apart. My teeth were finally ready the Wednesday before the wedding.

And now on to more fun stuff!!!

We had an amazing photographer, who has shared a handful of images with us. This is my favorite of the two of us. 

Table numbers & dinner menu. 

Creating my pennant flag garlands. I sewed 300 yards!

My faux black board signs. They turned out great!
Our families busted their butts to get everything ready! I never thought I'd
enlist my dad to arrange flowers with me! I am very proud of my bouquet!

This was my absolute favorite project. I ordered plain wooden peg dolls
and created this cake topper of the three of us.

And of course, this is the best picture from the day. Thomas was our Best Man. 
His speech and song (bruno mars "count on me") left everyone in tears!

Jeff's brother, now known as the "Reverend" Mikey and my new niece Katie! 
My new sister-in-law and hostess with the mostest.
Enjoying a bottle at the end of the night;)
This is after everyone went home. We didn't want the night to end and didn't want to turn the beautiful lights off. 

These mason jars were party favors we had etched with our initials and date. We used as table assignments
and glasses for the guests to use throughout the night!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

BOOM - Braces Off!!! (Day 267 - 8 months, 3 weeks, 3 days)

I am no longer a Braceface.

My days of being carded at restaurants are over, but so are the days of ripped up lips and food stuck in my grill!

Yee haw!!!

The process: It literally took 2 minutes for my ortho to pop off all of my brackets.
Then about 25 minutes to grind down all the cement - which was the most uncomfortable of the two.

Seeing my teeth for the first time in the mirror was bizarre. They looked so big! The only drag, is that I have one tooth that is darker than the rest. I went to the dentist following my ortho appointment for some major help. After xrays, he was able to determine that my dark tooth has root resporption (say what?). There was a horizontal crack in the root at one point, and it has now broken all the way through. So, basically, my dark tooth has a really short root.

Bracefree! Instagram filters do wonders for a random dark tooth:)

I also did Bright Smile at the appointment, to see if it would help. It got my other teeth sparkling white, but my one tooth is still darker. Sadly, I will have to get a veneer.

A note on Bright Smile... After applying bleaching solution on your teeth, they shine a light at them for 3, 20 minute sessions. Some people have sensitivity and get whats called "zingers". It literally feels like a drill is being put to your teeth.  I had done something similar years ago and it was terribly painful. This time around I used Sensodine for the few weeks leading up to it, took advil right before and I didn't go all three rounds. I lasted two full rounds - when I felt my first zinger at the end of the second round I stopped.

So, in the next two weeks, I will have a veneer put on my front tooth...c'est la vie...

My discolored tooth post whitening. Looks worse with flash. 
Last Braceface photo!!