You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Anthony's Story - Cleft of Soft Palate
(c) 1996 Wide Smiles
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Anthony was my first born son and was born November 17th 1984. After he was born the doctor laid him on my stomach so I could look at him. At the time there were no apparent marks on his face to lead me to believe there was anything wrong with him. It wasn't until the next day that his pediatrician came in to tell me he had done a complete newborn exam on him and found a cleft in the soft palate in the back of his mouth and his uvula was split in half. It looked like he had two of them. I was devastated! I didn't know what to think. I had a beautiful son that I couldn't wait to be born only to find out that I caused him to have a birth defect. I thought it was something I had done during the pregnancy but was assured that I had done nothing.
I had a very hard time feeding him. I had to feed him from squeeze bottles because he couldn't suck. I couldn't squeeze these bottles right. If I squeezed to hard, the milk came out his nose. If I didn't squeeze hard enough he didn't get anything. It was a very trying time for me being a new mother. If it had not been for MY mother I don't know what I would have done. She was a god send. She had all the patience in the world with him and with me. I had great feelings of guilt all the time because I always left him with my mom because she could feed him better than me. I always felt like I wasn't a good mother because it seemed like I never had him at all.
Anthony was 14 months old when we made the trip to Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio to have the surgery done to fix his mouth. The surgery took about two hours and only four stitches to fix it. I had to take him off the bottle that day because now he wasn't allowed to suck as not to bust the stitches. He was drinking all the liquids they gave him and doing it so well that they let him go home the next day. I am eternally grateful to god that he is healthy and doing fine.
Anthony turns 13 this year and you could never tell to this day that anything was ever wrong. He is my wonderful and beautiful boy and I love him very much.
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