When I was 20 weeks pregnant with Brody, we found out through a routine 20 week ultrasound that he would be born with a cleft lip. At this point, the Doctor's didn't know if the gum and palate were involved and said we would have to wait until I gave birth to see.
Cleft lip's and/or palate's (palate is the roof of the mouth) are NOT caused by alcohol, drugs or smoking - as most people assume. I've had ignorant people actually ask me if I drank or did drugs during my pregnancy. I find them to be very bold to ask a question like that!! Haha
Cleft lips are hereditary or one or both parents carry the gene. The odds of giving birth to a baby with this birth defect is 1/2500 if it is not hereditary. Those were our odds. Cleft lip and/or palate's are the second most common birth defects next to clubbed hands and feet.
The day Chad and I found out our baby boy would be born with this, we educated ourselves about it in every way possible. We had to go for testing and "high-tech" ultrasounds at St. Joseph's Hospital in London and my pregnancy had to be monitored every week until birth.
I was to be induced the first week in October, 2009 but Brody had a better idea. My water broke at home on September 26th and we drove to London (from Sarnia) to deliver and had our healthy baby boy at 1:20am on the 28th. He was 7lbs 2oz and 19 inches long.
Brody was born with a complete unilateral cleft of the lip, gum, primary and secondary palate - 11 mm wide. We use tape on his cheeks and steri-strips to pull his lips closer together for surgery and he has an appliance in his mouth called a Latham that was surgically pinned into the roof of his mouth on November 25th. We tightened a screw that's attached to the Latham 3/4 of a turn every day until completely tightened. By doing that, we pulled the palate closer together so there is less of a space in the palate. Brody's uvula (the little dangly thing in the back of your mouth) is split into two. ALL of this will be "fixed" before one year of age.
Brody goes for surgery to have his lip and nose repaired this month, January 2010, and we're very excited to see the end results :O)
From now on, I'm going to try my best to update everyone on Brody and his surgeries!!