Friday, July 5, 2013

It's July.

Normally in July I'd be complaining about how ridiculously hot it is out.

Only, it's not right now.  It has been beautiful here.

This year, I'm focusing on Cleft Awareness.

Did you know that cleft is one of the most common birth defects in the US?  It occurs in roughly 1 in every 600 births.  They have no idea what causes cleft.  It could be environmental, it could be genetic.  They just don't know.

Cleft occurs when, during the formation of the facial structures, the lip, palate or other facial structures do not "meet" to fuse together. 

Miss Sunshine's cleft is commonly associated with a syndrome called Pierre-Robin's.  Miss Sunshine does not have Pierre-Robin.  We have no family history of cleft.  (We have family history of a lot of other medical issues.  But not cleft). I did not take any medications commonly thought to cause cleft during pregnancy.  I took prenatal vitamins, did not consume any "forbidden" foods, was not exposed to radiation, or any other "toxins" during my pregnancy.  We really do not know why she has a cleft.  She just does.

You learn a lot when you have a child with a birth defect.  (I'm not going to get on my soapbox right now.  Maybe later).  Things you never had any concept of before that happens.  I had no idea how common cleft was.  I had no idea there were different kinds of cleft.  In fact, I remember when we were in the delivery room and the nurse announced she had a cleft palate.  I had a C-section, so I was pretty much tied to a table.  I told Daddy Mac to go look at her and see what was wrong.  He came back to my said and told me "I don't see anything different about her.  I don't know what the nurse is talking about.  Her lips are fine."  It wasn't until we were in the recovery room, and I was holding her that I realized what the nurse meant.  It wasn't until she cried for the first time that I saw something was different than with Monster Boy.

But she was still beautiful and perfect to me. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi…My name is Karl Schonborn and I really enjoy reading your blog posts. I was born with a cleft lip and palate and know firsthand about the difficulties many children experience as a result. My childhood was fraught with taunts of “Harelip” and bullying, but with courage, humor, and my family’s love, I overcame the shame, handicaps, and personal losses that might’ve defeated others less resolute. My memoir, Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal, will be released in October. I currently update my own blog and would love if you could check out my postings at It’d be great to connect on twitter (@KarlSchonborn) and Facebook ( I am always looking for new people to follow and connect with through social media! Thanks for your time and for the great posts on your site.