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Cleft-Craniofacial Community Stories

“So much joy”

Bethea, Kynslee - pic15

Kynslee was born into this crazy world at 5 pounds and 14 ounces. When she was born, we had no idea of the condition she was born with. Once my mother and husband, who were in the delivery room with me, finally laid eyes on her they both instantly became teary eyed and were telling me everything was going to be just fine.  Not knowing what was going on, I began to cry. Once I finally got to see her I then noticed her lip. I instantly took the blame, thinking “What in the world have I done.” Once they cleaned her up and checked her over they then placed her in my arms. That melted my heart and in that exact moment I felt a whole new feeling of life and meaning to life.

Bethea, Kynslee - pic13Once they told me she had cleft lip and palate and that it was treatable at a local hospital, I started to calm down and began to gather a million and five questions. They then placed her in a transportation unit and rushed her out of the delivery room and into an ambulance where she was then transported exactly 21 miles away from me. I was devastated and a complete wreck!  Once her bed left the delivery room, it was just me and my labor and delivery nurse. In the hour that our friends and family were going down with Kynslee to be with her to watch her leave, my nurse and myself really became friends. She literally saved my life, believe it or not, she did. Once I was all cleaned up and they were getting ready to put me in a recovery room, she informed me that Kynslee would be in good hands and where they were taking her to was a great place and the nurses at this particular hospital love each and every baby there just as they do their own. I felt more than enough peace within my body once she told me that.

Once I got in my recovery room I was placed with a new nurse. The family was outside making arrangements and plans as to what they were going to do: sleep, go to the hospital, go home get clothes, go home take showers, etc. I took matters into my own hands and by 9:32 a.m. I was out of there. The doctor told me to go home and get some rest, but little did she know, I was going the opposite way of the house. Once we arrived at the NICU and I finally got to see her, my heart broke into a million pieces. I wanted to take all the pain away from her. I wanted all those wires to be on me instead of her. Little did I know she wasn’t hurting, she had been eating great (by feeding tube), she had been awake and alert and my parents had already gotten to get their lovin’.

Bethea, Kynslee - pic11Two weeks later, she was taking all feeding on a bottle and they finally discharged us from the NICU. The nurses there were amazing and went above and beyond their calling. We fell in love with every one of them.

After attending many doctors appointments, at a month old they discovered her hips were dislocated. She was in a removable cast for two weeks and then at two months old she was put under with anesthesia and her orthopedic doctor placed a body cast on her. She was in the body cast up until the day before her lip repair at exactly three months old.

Bethea, Kynslee - pic9

Bethea, Kynslee - pic5Her first surgery for her lip went great. At that point is when I realized just how strong this kid was not only going to be, but already was. She really is a fighter and has been since day one. Once her surgery was over and we recovered for a few days, we were finally headed home (five hours away) and on the road to recovery.

A month later we traveled five hours back to the hospital where her lip surgery took place for her follow up appointment. At that appointment, we were told everything looked perfect! She was healing just how the doctor expected and she looked great with eating, drinking, sleeping, etc.  Now her palate surgery was scheduled for June but her doctor wants her lip to grow just a little more so that her recovery for this certain procedure won’t be too hard on her. They say the palate surgery is the worst and we aren’t looking forward to it at all. But, we can’t wait to see her new smile.

Bethea, Kynslee - pic3

Bethea, Kynslee - pic1

I say all that to say this: When we first found out we were pregnant we weren’t ready, she wasn’t something we planned for; physically, mentally, emotionally, and even finically. But, I would not trade one day with her for anything in this world. This little girl has brought SO much joy into not only our lives but our entire family. She has brought some parts of the family closer together than they were before. But most of all, she’s perfect. I’ve always said, “There’s always someone out there who has it worse than you do,” which I tell everyone that when they “feel sorry” for her.

We couldn’t thank our friends and family enough for all the help, love, support and most of all the prayers of these last 8 months of our sweet girl’s life.