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James was born on December 29, 2004

James was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate.  James' pictures are presented to you by his father and mother,

James and Anna.



This is a picture of James when he was about 1 minute old. 

He had just gotten the drops put in his eyes and a cap for his little head!


James' cleft went undetected in all the previous ultrasounds, so it was quite a surprise to his mom and dad when he was born.  Neither parent had any cleft history in their families.  Nevertheless, they were so happy to have a healthy, beautiful, plump baby boy to hold and hug in their arms.  This was their first baby.


What a cute fuzzy head!  James' cleft went through the lip,

alveolar ridge and palate (soft and hard). 

It did not however go all the way through the base of his nostril.


This picture was taken at about 1.5 months.  James could open his mouth so wide!!!  If you look closely, you can see the back of his mouth and cleft of the soft palate.


This is the favorite "Wide Smile" picture.  

James could grin so big you could tell he was smiling even when looking at the back of his head! 


At 2 months, James went in for surgery where he had his lip brought together, a bit of rhinoplasty on the nostril on his cleft side, his tongue tie clipped, the placement of a prosthetic hard palate, and ear tubes- all done in about 3 hours.  Whew!  What a day!  James' mom and dad were able to get him to drink some milk later on that evening and then the hospital let them go home after one night.




This picture was taken just 2 weeks after the surgery.


This picture was taken about 2.5 months after James' first operation. 

His nasal stents were removed about 1.5 weeks after the operation due to a concern of infection in the nostril. 

Because of this, he wasn't able to get the nostril support that the plastic surgeon had hoped for, post surgery, and so

the nostril on his cleft side is a bit smaller, and more sloped  than the other.  Also, after the surgery, the surgeon notified 

his mom and dad that his nasal septum (separates nostrils inside of the nose) was very crooked, and he may need nose

surgery to correct it when he gets to be a teenager.




Now at 5.5 months, James has started to eat some solids.  He enjoys carrots a lot, even if they often come out of his nose. 

It is quite an adventure with solids- not only does it alter the color of his diaper mess, but since he still doesn't have a soft palate,

he'll blow all sorts of colors out of his nose, depending on what solid he's most recently eaten. 

In terms of diet, James was given pumped breast milk from his  mom for the first 3 months.  Then, put onto formula.  Due to

constant drainage from one of his ears, he was changed to Soy formula and the drainage stopped completely!  He was exclusively on

 soy milk until 5 months of age- which was when we began experimenting with solids.




Here's a picture of little James all bright-eyed with his mom.  His scar gets less noticeable each day.  

His father and mother currently are massaging it with vitamin E three times a day.  James' next surgery

will be the soft palate reconstruction and will occur when he is 7.5 months old.  2 weeks after surgery James

and his parents will be moving to Nanjing, China to live there for 10 months.  What adventures lie ahead!!!


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