What is Cleft lip and palate:
If you are like my husband and most people who are not familiar with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate you may have many questions such as “what is a cleft” and “how did it occur.” Like most birth defects it’s just a flip of a coin. You just never know. I am not a doctor but I am familiar with Cleft after all it does pretty much run in MY family. For my mom, my two sons and I, we had a gene mutation in our IRF6 gene causing us to have “Van Der Woude Syndrome” We will get into to that more later.
So what’s a Cleft Lip?
To put it simple it is a slit or an opening of the upper lip. Some who are born with a Cleft Lip may be born with a Cleft Palate.
What’s a Cleft Palate?
It is an opening of the roof of the mouth. Some Clefts can be born with both lip and palate, or with just a cleft lip or vice versa.
It can be scary to hear the doctors telling you your baby has a cleft. Even though we are familiar with cleft, we experienced the same emotions (more than once). It can never be easy to hear no matter how many times you go through it. As parents we always want our babies to be at their healthiest. I understand things can be overwhelming when you have no idea or experience with cleft. Just keep in mind there is a light at the end of that tunnel and I gotta be honest it will be a little bit of a struggle.
You and your family will have a bunch of emotional roller coasters throughout your journey.
Just take a deep breath, cry it out, talk to someone and don’t worry it won’t be crazy for long. You will be able to look back and say, “Hey I did that! We over came that obstacle.” On another note nowadays cleft is more familiar than before.
Through our 3 generations I have seen more people become accepting to it and kids here where we live are more kinder. My son’s school has a great speech program, he is fortunate enough to have fellow peers with cleft. Wish I had that back in the day. I am happy though it’s 2017 and the world is changing quite a bit. If you are wondering of what you will be facing with a cleft here is a link to a post I have written “What to expect with a Cleft.”
Keep smiling & have a blessed day!