Our first appointment with the Children's Facial Center was on April 13th. We were meeting with the plastic surgeon, a speech pathologist, a geneticist and the ENT doctor. We saw the geneticist first. She asked us all kinds of questions. She asked about our family history, if I took prenatal vitamins, if I took any prescription medicines, if I had any major illnesses during pregnancy, stuff like that. It got my wheels turning. I started thinking more about my pregnancy, looking for something, anything to blame it on. There was no family history of clefts, so I thought it had to be something I did. The geneticist said that this happens 1 in 700 children and there's no concrete evidence of what causes it.
Next we saw the speech pathologist. She wanted to see him eat, so I fed him. She was quite impressed. She said he was a "good sucker". We just need to keep using the preemie nipples with a cross cut in them. No special bottles needed! She even got her video camera and recorded his eating because he was doing so well. She mentioned that he will probably need speech therapy later in life to help him with certain sounds, but all in all, he's doing really well.
Next the plastic surgeon came in. She explained how she does the surgery and she showed us her before and after pictures of other children. I must say, she does nice work. She told us he would be able to have his first surgery (for the lip) between 8 and 12 weeks if he's growing and developing properly. He's need to come back in a month to be checked and make sure he is gaining enough weight.
Then the ENT. Aside from their office being overcrowded and waiting over an hour, seeing him wasn't too bad. He checked Jesse's ears and said they already have fluid in them, so he's need ear tubes put in when he gets the lip surgery. I have had ear tubes, so I know it's not bad at all. He said that he may need several sets in his first couple years and if he will need them through most of childhood, he would put perminant ones in so we wouldn't have to keep going back over and over.
We had a sense of relief after we met with everyone on the team, but I must say that I started thinking more about the questions the geneticist asked. I still wanted something to blame the clefts on. I wanted a reason.