Living with Cleft Lip and Palate, Daniel and Jacob

Daniel and Jacob’s Story—Written by their mom, Kristin

Daniel and Jacob holding pictuers of themselves as infants

Kristin’s sons are three years apart, both born with a cleft lip and cleft palate.  Kristin shares her family’s difficulties that they experienced, but also shares how both boys are resilient, strong, and healthy.  Read their story below.

I have a vivid memory of hearing the doctor say to me, “Your son will have a cleft lip and palate.” Time stopped temporarily, and I felt suspended on the exam table. Cleft lip and palate? Me? My baby? As we anxiously awaited the birth of this special son, I played over the scenarios in my mind. Would he eat like other babies, would he look too very different? The wait was agony. When the baby came he looked up at me with his steel blue eyes and cherubic cheeks. Then, he nuzzled me softly, and I knew we would be alright. I would buoy him up and help him thrive, and he would do the same for me.

Three years later, it was like a bad movie stuck in replay, “Your son will be born with a cleft lip and palate.” Wait a minute, I thought, I have already done this. I already paid my medical bills; we completed the surgeries. We have to do this again? Six months later my third son was born like his older brother, with a cleft lip and palate. This baby would suffer more with a more complicated condition. But it didn’t matter, I knew how to do it now, and any difficulties we experienced were swallowed up in our family’s love. Both children are resilient and active. My boys are strong and healthy. We have endured much and are grateful and stronger for it.