Kylan, the baby of our babies. He was our one pregnancy that went smooth. With my other two pregnancies we had a lot of hospital visits and was even kept over for observations several times. My OBGYN was expecting that I’d have another premature baby being that I did have two. Because of our family history of Cleft lip and my previous high-risk pregnancies I was also cared by a Perinatologist (a physician that works in conjunction with a patient’s obstetrician when pregnancy complications develop and can provide care for both the mom and unborn baby.) At my 11 weeks and 5-day ultrasound with my Perinatologist we found out that Kylan will be born with a bilateral cleft lip as well. We could see the cleft early since we got to see him in 4D and… we sort of had an idea of what to expect with our family history. Once again, my heart had sunken. Some might think it is silly being that I already had a son with a cleft and it is to be expected. But I was wanting for a better outcome and…. I was kind of hoping for a girl. There were also some juvenile thoughts going on in my head like “people will think my family is a freak of nature” or they will judge me. I was thinking maybe I am not meant to have children and some might tell me that. The sad thing though I felt like I let down Max. I was too embarrassed to tell him. I felt as if I could not do anything right as a mom, even as a woman. I have had complicated pregnancies; my boys were both premature and with the moment experiences we had with our two boys after they were born. I thought maybe I did not deserve to bring life into this world. I was at one of my lowest points in that moment. I broke down telling the news to my family and I expressed all that I had felt. They were very supportive and tried cheering me up by giving me some encouraging words. Max was wonderful, he had told me “maybe God felt that Kaison needed a companion more than we all needed that little girl.” that’s exactly why I love that man! His words just melted my heart and once again proved why he is my husband today. I told them all to just give me a day to cry my eyeballs out and I will be good and back to normal the next day. I just needed to get it out of my system and after all I was pregnant and very hormonal. I woke up the next day feeling refreshed and ready to take on our new challenge. The months went by so quickly. Since we did not know if Kylan would have a cleft Palate I called Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children’s Cleft Craniofacial Center to speak with a nurse to see how to prepare for the delivery of our son. She had advised that it would be best for us to fly over to O’ahu so that I could be delivered at Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children. After all they are equipped to care for a cleft palate unlike our hospital on the Big Island. If we were to deliver on the Big Island and Kylan has cleft palate the hospital will then have Kylan and Max transported to O’ahu and I would have to follow later. That wouldn’t be a very good delivery. Max and I flew over to O’ahu a few weeks earlier to wait for our little guys arrival. Kylan was born at 40 weeks old! I’ve been told many times that I’d have another preemie and bam! I just proved that statistics are wrong sometimes. Our boy weighed 9 pounds and 15 ounces (just an ounce away from making 10 pounds). He is also our biggest baby ever. We just been breaking records with this guy. Kylan is now 20 months old and he is a handful! He did struggle with passing his hearing tests since birth (it is to be expected with a cleft palate) so he had ear tubes placed in both of his ears. Since then he has passed his hearing tests. So far Kylan has completed his lip and palate repair. We are now seeing his specialists every 6 months so that is a good sign. He is also being followed by Easter Seals and he has a Public Health Nurse as well. They are all such wonderful people. When Kylan was first born we was receiving services for Occupational therapy and Physical therapy. He is now only receiving Speech. He has shown so much improvements and so far, we have no concerns. I must admit though this time around seemed to be a little harder. I breastfed Kylan till he was 6 months (longest ever for me out of the 3 boys). As much as I did not want to through in the towel I found myself being overwhelmed. I kind of missed having the “G-Tube overnight feed” these times…. Babies with cleft palate need to use a special bottle that works with their palate. I was told that it would be difficult for Kylan to latch to my breast. Surprisingly he did well on breast. But not as good as we’d like. He still had to work harder than any other baby with a normal palate. So, I’d have to pump, then place the breastmilk in the bottle or go and freeze. I tried making a schedule with his sleep where I’d wake 30 mins. Before his next feed to pump. Of course, babies choose their own time to eat, he would always wake up in the middle of my pumping or before I am to pump. I even tried pumping after feeding him, but then he’d decide to play or he wants all mommy’s attention. I’d find myself deciding if I should sleep, pump, shower, or eat. We all know that we need to be well rested, hydrated and be eating to produce milk. I eventually threw in the towel considering I was also traveling back and forth island to island every 2 weeks. I do encourage other mothers to try breast feeding. It is super beneficial for your baby. Other moms probably had it easier, their baby probably was more chill than my little guy. So far Kylan has been speaking and showing a lot of effort with pronouncing different sounds. Our speech therapist is wonderful. I encourage parents to take advantage of resources to help with your little ones. These people are not there to judge or tell you that you are doing wrong. They are there to help show us ways to teach our little ones. And it takes consistancy to help your baby to grow. I will keep you folks updated with Kylans continue growth.