July is Craniofacial and Cleft Palate awareness month. Our fabulous mom today, Brayli, has the sweetest baby girl, Claire, that was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and she is sharing her story with us today.
What are the names and ages of your kids? Warren, Turns 3 at the end of July, Claire, Turns 2 in November, and Wade, my little (soon-to-be) newborn!
Where are you from and how long have you lived in southwest Missouri? I am from Lebanon, Missouri born & raised.
What is your favorite thing to do with friends in SWMO? My favorite thing to do in SWMO with friends is to go and enjoy dinner and catch up, or we will take our babies out on fun playdates!
What advice would you give to other mothers who may have just found out, or also have a child that was born with a cleft palate? Just finding out about your baby having a cleft palate or lip can be SO scary. First things first, find a craniofacial team that you can count on. Just in Missouri there are a few different ones to choose from, we went with Cardinal-Glennon in St. Louis. They are AMAZING.
Secondly, I would highly recommend Dr.Browns Cleft bottles they are life saver. We weren’t introduced to these until a few weeks after birth, using the “squeeze” bottles can be difficult and frustrating for both you & baby.
Remember that your baby and you will make it through this. Have faith and trust your cleft team and your “mom instinct.” They have been through it and will be there for you every step of the way.
How many surgeries has Claire had so far, and will she need to have anymore? Claire has had three surgeries already. Her first surgery was a lip adhesion. The second was a final lip closure along with ear tubes and nasal stents. The third surgery was a palate closure.
Claire has a bilateral cleft lip and palate so she has a more severe case than most. It had affected the way she had to eat, hear, and talk.
She will have to have more when she is older. As of now her next surgery will be when she is about 5 or 6 years old. She will have following “gum” surgeries as her bilateral cleft has made her have empty spaces in her upper gums where some of her teeth should be.
Since having her surgeries we have been told by her speech therapist she talks phenomenally for a child with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. She can eat like a champ, and has the most beautiful little smile ever.
What would you like our readers to know about Craniofacial and Cleft palates that we might not know?Please, please, teach your children that not every child is born without any facial deformities. This can be really tough on children to deal with as they grow up, they have been through countless surgeries, speech therapies, and many more tasks in their life.
If you see a mama out there with a child with a “deformity” don’t be scared to ask her questions, we really don’t mind talking about it, we even enjoy sharing information about it!
One word that describes your parenting style: Two Words: “Old fashion”