Born to be Cleft :) -- The Baby Years

I was born in Florida during the early 1970s.  I was expected to arrive at the normal 9 months, but for some reason I felt that I wasn't ready and so I hung around in the womb for about three more weeks.  I just didn't care what everyone else expected, I guess, I just knew I just wasn't ready :).

So I arrived, all 10 lbs., 11 ounces of me.  But I don't think that's why the doctors and nurses were looking at me funny.  My top lip wasn't all there.  And neither was my palate.  What happened to me?

The nurses took me away from my mom right away to try to figure out how they were going to handle me.  How were they going to feed me with part of my lip missing and no roof to my mouth?  What was the best way to hold me?

That's how my family was introduced to the cleft world -- with a bang!

I was my parents first child...Well actually their second.   Their first one was born a couple years before me, but he was a miscarriage being born four months premature.  And my parents never saw him.  I think that because they lost their first child that they weren't so disappointed as other parents are when cleft babies arrive.  I had all my limbs, good heart, good lungs, and no life threatening conditions.  God just decided that I would look different :).

So when I arrived, I was taken away and the doctor returned telling my mom that something bad had happened to me and they were apprehensive with letting mom see me.  Mom told them "Look, you don't understand.  I lost my first child.  It won't bother me to see my daughter."

Mom knew that my life wasn't in danger and so she wasn't to much in shock.  I was returned to my parents and we began working how to take care of me.

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The last time I got around to updating this page was Friday, October 20, 2000

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