A Parent’s Perspective on her Child with a Cleft Palate

Born with: Cleft Palate

Yaireth's stages of growth and treatments since birth

Yaireth’s stages of growth and treatments since birth

“Hi, my name is Cecilia and I am the mother of a baby girl born with a cleft of the soft palate. When Yaireth was born, not only was she a preemie, but gave us a Birthday “surprise” – she was born with a cleft palate. Everything was so sudden and new to my husband and I. We had no idea what a cleft palate was and what was going to happen to our daughter. I was so nervous to start this journey, but I know God had chosen us for a reason. Little by little, we learned the feeding process with the Pigeon bottle, how to put her to sleep since they can not sleep flat, etc. We got the hang of it quicky, thanks to the help of our wonderful cleft team at UT Physicians.

Yari had palate surgery at 11 months of age. The 3 1/2 hours of waiting for her during surgery were the longest hours of my life! Thank God she was under the great care of Dr. Teichgraeber and he did an awesome job. Recovery was hard at first and no one wants to see their baby in pain, but we managed to get through it. Only after recovery, one of our greatest feelings was when my Yari was able to finally drink out of a straw!

At 18 months of age she started speech and has done very well in learning how to talk more. She is struggling right now with speech pronunciation of “P’s” and “B/s”, which lead us to have a palatal motion study done. Usually motion studies are done at an older age, but my Yari was able to do it at just 2yrs old! We learned that her palate is short, which most likely will result in another surgery.

I have to say, I am no longer afraid of what is to come thanks to this wonderful cleft team, especially Leanne, who has responded to all of my emails when I have a question or something concerning me. I never thought such a little human would teach us so many lessons at such a young age, and being a cleft parent is not an easy journey but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Thank you Dr.T, Leanne, Dr.Greives, and wonderful UT Physicians cleft team for all of your support.”