Wednesday, December 29, 2004

An Encouraging Post...

I was lurking a cleft lip and palate message board on iVillage this evening and came across a very encouraging post. In all my research and message board reading, I've never once heard anyone mention that their child needed a cleft lip adhesion surgery, at least I hadn't read or heard of anyone until I found this post!!

This poster is a mother to twin girls, one in which has a unilateral cleft lip and palate just as Rachel has. And in her post she mentioned that her daughters' cleft lip was so bad that she had to have a lip adhesion surgery! This is exactly what Rachel's surgery in November was. I was so encouraged to read of another child having had this done. There have been times when I wondered if our plastic surgeon knew what he was doing having to do two lip surgeries. LOL.

The other thing that was so encouraging was the time frame of this baby's surgeries. One of the most disappointing things has been Rachel's lip adhesion surgery being unsuccessful, which pushes the all the other surgeries back. We're back to square one in waiting for a surgery date and Rachel will be 4 months old on Friday. Well, this baby didn't even have her lip adhesion surgery until she was 5 months old, her formal lip repair at 8 months, and her cleft palate repaired at 11 months. I can't tell you how encouraging and refreshing this post was for me. I know in my head that everything will work out, and everything is happening in God's perfect timing, but it's just frustrating sometimes.

For me, it is a tremendous source of encouragement and inspiration to read of others who "have been there, done that". All I have in regards to knowing people who's lives have been affected by a cleft of some sort is through the message boards I read and through the web sites of cleft affected children that I visit. While we're fortunate to not know anyone in real life who has dealt with a cleft, it's a lonely journey sometimes, and there are times I just feel so connected to complete strangers simply by reading their web sites and of their struggles and of their victories.

When I say it's a 'lonely journey', in no way do I mean that I feel like I'm alone on this journey, that's not the case at all. We have a tremendous support system in our families and friends. But none of them truly know the hurt, guilt, and sorrow I have as a mother who's child was born with a birth defect. Like I said, no one we know in real life has been down this road and it's comforting when I find people who have traveled this road or are traveling this road.

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