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Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

Cody Luckey’s Story

My husband and I have been married for four years. After a miscarriage and almost a year of fertility treatment, I found out on June 3 (my birthday!) that I was pregnant. At my first ultrasound, the doctor saw that there were two babies. Yes, we were having TWINS! We were so excited that our prayers had been answered and that we were being blessed not once but twice.

I had a wonderful pregnancy with very little morning sickness. Because we were having twins, we were considered high risk and therefore had many ultrasounds through the pregnancy. On January 23 (35 weeks), my water broke and we went to the hospital. My twin boys were born one minute apart by c-section.

We knew that with twins the hospital room would be filled with doctors and that the babies would probably be rushed out into a separate room immediately. Cody came first weighing 5lbs 12oz, and Dylan came one minute later weighing 5lbs 8oz.

The doctors took my husband out into the hall before taking him to the babies to tell him the news. Cody had been born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. My husband didn’t know what to think or even what to expect when he saw him. He had never heard of this condition before.

The doctors brought the babies into the operating room so I could see them, and the first thing I saw was Cody’s lip. I didn’t know what had happened. All I remember asking was, “What’s wrong with his lip?” My husband told me that it was a cleft lip and palate and that it was completely fixable. My first thought was, “How is that possible?” After they took the babies to the nursery, my husband went to the waiting room to give our family all the news.

During my first few moments alone with Cody, I didn’t know what to think or do. I wondered how I would explain his cleft to everybody and what their reactions would be toward him. Then I wondered what he would go through the rest of his life. And naturally I wondered what I did wrong! How could one of my babies be fine and the other one have to live with this condition? Of course I also wondered how I was going to handle having two babies! I had all sorts of emotions run through me while everyone kept telling me that “it would be OK.”

During our stay in the hospital, Cody did very well. The nurses introduced him to the Haberman Feeder, and he took to it right from the start. By the time we were discharged, we already had an appointment with a plastic surgeon. But now we had to go home where there would be no nurses around to help, and we were both scared to death. Cody taught us not to be. He is a very happy baby, and his cleft doesn’t seem to bother him.

Cody is now 6 months old and through the first lip repair. He looks marvelous (as he always has!). His smile and dimples light up my life. When I think of the future for Cody, I see a very happy one. He has already made it through so many challenges, and I know he will continue to do well. Plus he is very fortunate to have a brother that will be right there by his side.

I no longer ask “why me?” I simply empower myself with knowledge and take one day at a time.

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006