I found out in March 2006 that I was pregnant with my baby girl Lisa-Marie, she was a very happy surprise after moving into my house. I remember finding out and dropping my phone down the toilet at the doctors, I remember the nurse telling me and I broke down in ‘happy’ tears not believing the news. My pregnancy in the beginning was straightforward and I had no issues apart from morning sickness, my 12 weeks scan came and went. Lisa-Marie was growing well and looking healthy, it wasn’t until I had my bloods tested in which resulted me having another scan at 17 weeks due to an abnormality with my blood tests. This was the scan where we found out that something could be wrong with our baby girl, as I laid there the sonographer remained quiet but continued to check measurements, heart beat and growth. She then said to my husband and I that she needed to bring in a consultant as she couldn’t get a clear picture of Lisa-Marie’s face and the part she did see there was something not quite right, Lisa wouldn’t show her face it was like she knew! Anyway the consultant took over and proceeded to take a look, he managed to get a glimpse and told us that he suspected that our baby had a facial cleft and booked us back in for 4d scan to get a clearer picture of Lisa-Marie’s face. Laying on the bed not really knowing much about cleft lip and palate I was a little unsure of what we were going to find, then all of a sudden it was confirmed my baby had a cleft lip she wasn’t going to have those cute rose bud lips and button nose that everyone dreams of when they are expecting a baby. I was consumed by tears rolling down my cheeks for the fear of the unknown and knowing my baby needed surgery. We were referred to The Rosie at Cambridge and this is where the journey really began, sitting in the waiting room waiting to find out the extent of our baby’s cleft my tummy was in knots (not to mention the amount of water I had taken on board before the scan haha) We were called into a room where we met with Sue Burgess a consultant and representative of CLAPA. Also in this room we were also joined by another 5 consultants waiting to take a look using the 4d scanner to find out the extent of our baby’s cleft.
Now technology these days is somewhat so technical they were able to see through the back of Lisa-Marie’s head to see how far her cleft was. It turned out that her right side top lip, gum, hard palate and soft palate had been affected. Again not knowing what to expect Sue took us into a small room where she began to explain about clefts. I was still unaware of what my little girl would look like and this is where she showed us some images of other children, I remember the first was the most beautiful little baby boy he just had a cleft in his lip and I thought well that’s not too bad I can cope with that. Then she showed me a picture of a little girl 5 years old blonde hair and blue eyes you wouldn’t even know that anything was wrong until Sue showed us the baby picture an d this hit me hard as all I could see was the cleft on the left side of her face and through to the gum. I felt sad for my baby and also guilty that I was crying over my baby not having the perfect little lips. Sue continued to explain and told us that Lisa-Marie’s cleft was one of the widest they had seen and that a care plan would be drawn up to correct her cleft.
There is much more to tell and I will post again soon, watch this space as our story continues and my brave little girl fights on through surgery after surgery.