Cleft Lip Repair
In September of 2014 we were struck with, what most would consider, devastating news about our unborn daughter. She was to be born with a cleft lip and palate. This news hit us hard. I as her mother blamed myself, I didn’t eat right in the beginning, I went near to many cleaning products, literally thought everything I did caused this. Then I remembered my youngest sister was born with a hole in the roof of her mouth. No one had ever explained to me this happens and that it had a name. So I did some digging and found out my cousin also had what is called a sub mucous cleft palate. Then for a minute I blamed my genetics. I was so mad at myself. Shortly after finding out about her cleft I joined a support group on Facebook for moms with cleft affected kiddos. I started seeing this “problem” in a completely different light. We even started to refer to it as a “birth gift” instead of “birth defect”.
Further into my pregnancy we came into ReGenesis, upon the recommendation of my amazing OB. We were relieved to find out there was not only a surgeon here familiar with the condition and surgeries required but got the chance to see pictures of his work. The whole office there was so friendly and inviting. The surgeons took the time to answer any questions we had, and trust me there was a TON, while still being sympathetic.
Once our princess arrived, we were at peace with what we would be facing. Her cleft was something we ended up falling in love with. It sounds funny now but we miss her wide smile. Dr. Swelstad and Dr. Hartshorn came to meet her in the hospital the day after she was born. That left a lasting impression on us as her parents. When it came time for lip repair, we were nervous wrecks. The surgeons made sure to keep us updated as best as they could. When you put your 2 ½ month old in the hands of other people for something like this, it is terrifying. At 9 months, we went through another surgery for her palate to be closed. The surgeons again, kept us updated as best as possible.
Fast forward 2 years later, most people can’t even tell she was born with a cleft of any kind. Her scar is so minimal you really have to look close to even see it. At our cleft clinic, Dr. Swelstad almost forgot she had even had a cleft lip because he did such an amazing job. It was nice to see the pride he had in his work. He tried to chalk it up to her healing well, we say it was his technique. Whatever the case, we are so glad we got to and will continue to have her under the care of these surgeons.
Our daughter is 1 in 700 babies born with a cleft of some sort. Thankfully she has the best team possible on this scary surgical journey.
AF – Grand Junction