Saturday, January 01, 2005

A Divine Appointment...At Lowes!

We went to Lowe's this afternoon and in our searching the aisles for what we needed, we were approached by a woman asking if our baby had a cleft. Apparently her older son noticed the tape across Rachel's mouth and pointed it out to his mom. When I told her she did, she said her son had had a cleft as well. I instantly went into question mode and one of the first things I asked her was where he's had all his surgeries, she said Loma Linda, I asked her who his surgeon was...This little boy's surgeon is the same surgeon as Rachel!! Well that answer certainly didn't stop me from asking more questions. We must have stood there in the middle of the aisle for 20-25 minutes talking with her and her husband, as Hannah and her little boy sat and organized the nearby Bob the Builder display. LOL.

Damon was born with the very exact cleft as Rachel... involving his lip, his palate, and aveolar ridge (the gum). He just turned 4 years old and has had 5 corrective surgeries thus far- the lip adhesion, formal lip correction, surgery to close his palate, and a couple surgeries to correct his nose formation. He is missing one of his front teeth and is currently going to speech therapy twice a week. As much as I wanted to say "come here little boy and let me look inside your mouth", I sure didn't want to traumatize the poor little guy, especially standing in the middle of Lowes! LOL. But I was just so curious to see what his repaired palate looked like as well as his cleft aveolar ridge with his missing tooth. I can say that the outside repairs looked awesome!

It was so nice to talk to other people who've been patients of Dr Lehocky for the past 4 years. They were so encouraging. They had nothing but positive things to say in regards to his work, his confidence as a plastic surgeon, and what a perfectionist he is.

The mom, her name was Brandon, said that after Damon was born, she had trouble bonding with him as she didn't want to hold him, feed him, etc. Like us, they didn't find out their son was to have a cleft lip and palate until the time of delivery and it was a shock to them as it had been for us. I found comfort in her sharing that with us, as I felt as though I was distant and withdrawn in the days to follow Rachel's birth. I don't feel I had trouble bonding with her, but I admit I had no interest in learning how to feed her with the special bottle, I left her feedings, diaper changes, and such to Steven. I don't know if it was the overwhelming emotional shock of having just given birth to a baby with a birth defect, the heavy medications I had been given during my c-section, the pain and discomfort from just having surgery, or the hormonal roller coaster I was on, or all of it combined. But I definitely could relate to some of the feelings she had expressed.

There were several times standing there and talking to this couple that I teared up and fought back the tears. It was soooo good to meet someone in person who has been down our road, none the less down the road with the very same doctors and surgeons as we are using. This was definitely a divine appointment from the Lord.

1 comment:

Kim said...

So happy to hear you got some encouragement. It's so fabulous to talk with people who have been there, and I have prayed you would be able to find some comfort from others who know your struggles. Praise God! It's also great to hear how pleased you were with the results of the surgeon's "work" on the the little boy. Any news on a surgery date yet?