Friday 23 July 2021

Cleft lip and palate photos

It's 13 years since I started this blog after our 20 week scan revealed that Jake would be born with a cleft lip and palate. The blog was a useful outlet for all my worries and concerns and writing it became a therapeutic way of exercising everything going through my head. I did a lot of research but I also mainly wrote from the heart. There were very few blogs back then and a google search for 'cleft lip and palate blog' always saw this blog in number one spot. Now it's nowhere! Mainly because I hardly ever update it AND all my recent photos aren't relevant to expectant mums and dads as Jake's nearly a teenager; they want to know what their baby is going to look like...13 years in the future is an unimageably long time.

So much has happened in 13 years and, honestly, Jake's lip and palate are so little of his life experience or who he is compared to what we thought they would be. He's luckily not experienced bullying, his last operation was 5 years ago and he's a bright, happy and totally 'normal' boy.

I'd love to be able to tell the 32 year old me that none of what I was worrying about would be a problem in the future but life's about going through stuff I suppose and it was a sort of necessary journey.

The next stage will be the teenage years where kids can be cruel and then there's girls; I'm sure he wants a girlfriend and he's a great looking boy but will a scar on his lip hold him back? The fact is I don't know but he'll cope one way or the other...I remember reading that kids born with cleft lips and palates are often more confident in their bodies and appearance than those born without any issue; I suppose they deal with differences early on and because younger kids aren't as nasty as older ones, they get accepted earlier. Also, we're lucky to live in a fairly nice area and whilst I'm sure it goes on, bullying is less of a thing than it used to be as it's much more prioritised these days.

Anyway, here's a few photos of Jake for reference of a (nearly) 13 year old kid born with a cleft lip and palate, including the last one taken with my wonderful dad, my hero, before he sadly left us last October.

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