I am a very emotionally charged person, and so I realise that this has greatly affected how Emily's life has impacted on mine. I don't want to scare anyone who has found out that they are having a cleft baby, on the contrary, Emily has been such a blessing to me. She has taught me so much in the very short time she has been with us, and, I am sure, will continue to do so. I am infinitely aware of the strength and depth of character that these little angels are born with. One tends to associate thought and understanding with speech, and it is hard to fathom that someone who has not yet learnt to speak can think and understand, but, let me tell you, Emily sometimes understands more than I do. She can give me this look that says: 'See, I told you'. It is too precious.
There is also a wide network of help available with families who have children with cleft palates. I was not aware of this until recently. But I also like to be able to work out solutions so probably didn't look as hard as I could've to find them. Should anyone out there need this support, it is available through either the Red Cross Children's Hospital Speech Therapy Department or The Groote Schuur Hospital Speech Therapy Department.
The reason I have come across this resource now is that Emily has been struggling to pick up sufficient weight. We are now dealing with a wonderful Dietician (Katherine Megauw), who is helping us find a solution.
We also discovered in the last month that a cleft can often come hand in hand with other head growth development problems. Our docs gave us a bit of a scare and sent us for a CT scan because they were concerned with the size and shape of Emily's head. I am happy to report that all is perfectly normal, here is a pic of the Beanie's (substantial) noggen:
|You can see how wide her cleft is.|
I wonder sometimes if Emily is going to shout at me when she is older for putting these pics onto the interweb... oh well, too late now...
Here are some more pics:
Going for a weigh in this week, so hold thumbs for a heavy baby!