A cleft kid – Loving life and all of its possibilities
Me at 1 Day Old
Me after 1st surgery, April 1987, a little over 8 weeks old.
After my 1st surgery, my mom being awesome as always.
Mom feeding me after 1st surgery
October 1987 after 2nd surgery
Me playing before 3rd surgery in March 1989.
Taken after 3rd surgery – March 1989
After 3rd surgery: If I’m not mistaken this was the surgery where they sewed the middle parts of my lips together, but that didn’t stop me from talking lol. I remember those oh so “lovely” arm restraints. lol
June 1989: In between cleft surgeries, clumsy me, I broke my femur bone. Pictured are my grandparents with me. I was almost 2 1/2 when this happened. I was in traction for 2 weeks.
My sweet Daddy and Me
Dec. 1997-Bone Graft Surgery: This is me after my 4th surgery in December 1997. I promise my smile was a big smile but because of how swollen and numb I was, this is what it looked like in picture form lol. I had bone grafting done during this surgery; the bone was taken from my hip bone.
My sweet sister taking care of me after my 4th surgery.
This was taken in July 2002 after my 5th surgery, where I had rhinoplasty (nose job).
This was another picture after the rhinoplasty/graft surgery. It looks worse than it really was.
5am the morning after jaw surgery in 2008, I was up and ready to walk around, anything to get out of the hospital faster.
1 day after surgery, ready to go 🙂
Headed home after jaw surgery
2 days after jaw surgery
Before jaw surgery
After jaw surgery. Totally worth it.
Head gear after jaw surgery-2008: Unfortunately I had to wear this “lovely” piece of head gear ater jaw surgery. It was probably the worst thing about the surgery but luckily I didn’t have to wear it 24/7. Even though I hated it, I know it was to make the outcome the best it could be.
Dr. Smith and I at my follow up appointment after jaw surgery. There were two surgeries where I didn’t have a cleft team, however for my 2008 and and 2011 surgeries I was on a cleft team and Dr. Kevin Smith was my surgeon. He is AWESOME.
Surgery 7 – June 2011, Palate repair, bone graft (from my chin), and all four wisdom teeth removal
After surgery 7 (8 if you count the broken leg). You just got to love the ice packs…can I at least get a pink or blue one? 😉
You are so beautiful! This is so awesome that you are having this blog. I know it will help many people in all stages of their process. These pictures bring back many memories. My oldest son was born with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate(hard and soft). He is 20 now. His Dr and team were amazing.
Brenda – Thank you for sharing. I really hope to reach many parents who might need a pick me up during the uncertain times of surgeries, or a cleft kid who is feeling down to see the outcome and that it can make a huge difference. Your son is 20, I’ve only met older girls around my age, I don’t know any males born like me. So yes, that you again for sharing.
wow what a journey for you. My son is 5 1/2. Has had his lip/nose repaired, his palate partially repaired, will need the p/e tubes replaced for the 4th time. I know bone graft surgery, jaw surgery and others are down the road for him. He also has ADHD and hand tremors. Will be having an MRI for the tremors so they can rule things out. I am so glad you showed me that all the surgeries are so worth it and that you are a beautiful, courageous and strong young woman today. Thank you again. Cindy Carlin
Cindy – Thank you so much for sharing. You little one sounds like he has a journey ahead of him but it is so great to have supportive, caring parents to stand by. I don’t know what I would have done with out the love and support of my parents. Cleft Parents have a special place in my heart. God Bless You.
Rhinoplasty is getting more and more popular these days because most people specially asians, prefer to have tall and narrow noses. ;;”*;
Enjoy your weekend!
I found your blog thru Pinterest, thank you for sharing your story! My little boy was born with a bilateral cleft palate. He is almost 5 months old and just had his 2nd surgery! It’s so nice to hear about your cleft journey!
I’m glad you found it. I bet your son is just adorable, those cleft smiles are special. Thank you for the reply and view.