ACPA Family Services

Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

A Story from Overseas

Kerryn Plummer, Sydney, Australia

I have just seen your site and am moved to share the story of my beautiful little girl Lily. She was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. My husband Darren and I didn’t find out about the cleft at either my 11 week or 20 week ultrasound, for which I am grateful. I think I would have spent my pregnancy worrying if we had found out before she was born.

Lily was born naturally and quickly, and when I saw her, all I could say was “Oh, my beautiful girl, my baby.” Then the midwife pointed out her lip, and I saw that she had a cleft. I was too in love with her to register what it meant. Over the next few days, as I came to terms with bottle feeding instead of breastfeeding, and learning to express on the pump, I realized that there were a lot of implications for all three of us, not just for her. However, because Lily is our first baby, we don’t know any other way. I have never breastfed, so I don’t feel disappointed that I can’t now.

The only baby I want is this perfect little girl I have. She is such a happy, placid, smiling baby, and I often think that we were given her on purpose to learn something about dealing with what life throws at us. I have cried more than once about her cleft and what it may mean for her later in her life, but I’m more often found crying over how beautiful she is and how lucky I am to have her at all!

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006