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Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

Josh Melton’s Story

JOSH
J IS FOR JOY
O IS FOR OVERWELMED
S IS FOR STRENGHTH
H IS FOR HAPPINESS

This is what we feel about the precious gift that was given to us on August 1st. Where do I start? I have two children ages 16 and 20 years, so when we found out we were going to add another child to our family, needless to say we were all very happy. My daughter had asked me for years to have another baby. In December, I found out I was pregnant and had just moved from another state five hours from my family. My pregnancy wasn’t a pleasant one, I stayed sick the whole nine months, but was still happy to be having a baby. I went to the doctor as I was supposed to, took vitamins and ate what I could keep down. I had my first ultrasound on January 22nd, and they said everything looked fine. They did not find Josh’s cleft lip at that time. We were so happy that it all looked good.

As time went by, we awaited Josh’s arrival. Then, we went to have another ultrasound on March 25th, and they did not see the cleft lip this time either. At that time, they did tell us that he was a bouncing baby boy. His dad was so happy when we left the hospital and was yelling “I’m going to have a son!” My son who is 12 years old is from a previous marriage, but he loves him just as much, but Josh would carry on his family name.

We went to the hospital on several occasions thinking that Josh would be coming into the world (false labor). My definition of “false labor” is total torture (ha ha!). My doctor, bless his heart, could see how tired I was so he decided to induce labor because Josh was measuring pretty bid and he was afraid I would have trouble delivering him. He induced me on August 1st. I had the best doctor in the world!

Now, I will remind you that I didn’t know about Josh’s birth defect. You can only imagine what I felt when he said “Betty, it’s going to be ok, Josh has a cleft lip and palate.” Well, all I could do was grab Gary and cry. I thought I had done something to cause this, but, I knew I had done everything right during my pregnancy. I did not drink or do any kind of drugs – I didn’t even take Tylenol unless I asked my doctor. So, when he held up Josh, it scared me to death. I had never seen a cleft lip so severe. But, I fell in love with him right away, and so did everyone else. We brought him home and had no idea where to turn or what to do. So, I got on my computer and typed in “cleft lip and palate” and found the great people at the Cleft Palate Foundation.

Josh had his first surgery at 3 ½ months old. His surgery was supposed to take four hours, but he came out in two hours and ate six ounces of milk after his surgery. He continued to eat eight ounces the next day. He didn’t lose a pound of weight due to the surgery. He has had the best doctors we could have ever asked for.

THE MELTON FAMILY
DAD: GARY MELTON
MOM: BETTY MELTON
SISTER: CASEY
BROTHER: TJ
GRANNY: HELEN

Josh is the sweetest and most friendly baby you will ever see. He loves everyone he knows, and will spread his beautiful smile at everyone he meets. His doctors and nurses love him to death and one nurse even wants to come and get him and take him out for a day. His granny, bless her sweet heart, thinks that the sun has risen in him and can’t love him enough. My sister and mother drove five hours just to come and see how Granny’s baby was doing, and then turned around and drove the five hours back. The next day, my sisters Judy, Kathy, Debbie and Tammy, and my brother Don said that there is just something special about this baby. Josh is out little angel from heaven. My two older kids are the greatest help a mother could ask for. They argue over who gets to hold Josh or carry him around in the store sometimes. I met a mom who said that at first, she didn’t want to take her baby (who also had a cleft) out in public. I am as proud of my doll baby as any mother could be. Believe me, there is no shame in letting people see my great gift from heaven above.

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2006