February 1, 1998: Lauren is doing wonderfully! She gave me her first smile the other day as I was talking to her. I cannot get her to do it again, so maybe it was gas as the old saying goes! :) Anyway, we see the oral surgeon tomorrow so we are excited about the prospect of getting some answers about her cleft. We also see the pediatrician for a weight check, and I want to talk to him more about her spitting up. The past few days she has been spitting up quite a lot again. I have officially stopped pumping my milk today. I have decided to finish up the breast milk that I have stored and then give Lauren formula. It is too time consuming to pump and frustrating trying to get her to nurse. I know that I am doing the right thing even though sometimes I feel sad about it. I gave her some Similac today to see how she would tolerate it and she did well. She has been sleeping ever since I gave it to her. Potent stuff! :) Anyway, I will give another little update tomorrow when we get back from all her appointments.
February 2, 1998: We saw Dr. Lewis today, and we really liked him a lot. He took a lot of time to explain things to us. Basically after examining her, he said that the cleft is limited solely to her soft palate and he does not think that there is any hard palate involvement at all which is great news. He did however notice that her chin seems recessed, and he will be following that. He said that it is normal for premature babies to have a recessed chin and since she is just now at her due date, he will see her again in 6 weeks and see if there is any improvement. There is nothing that he can do for the chin until she gets much older anyway. It will cause her to have an overbite, and he feels that if it does not improve, she will eventually need some sort of surgery on it. We did not go into much detail with that since it is not an immediate concern and it may not actually be a problem for her.
As far as the cleft palate goes, we will become part of the Cayuga Medical Center Cleft Clinic. In April they will meet again and basically we will go there and be seen by many different specialists such as dentists, her pediatrician, the oral surgeon, a speech pathologist, social workers, etc . . . (the list could go on and on). They will each meet with us and then all meet together to compile what they call a "road map". It will basically be a plan of action for Lauren. Once this is completed, it will be sent to us for review. Dr. Lewis feels that we should be in touch with the Early Intervention program as well as a speech therapist. Because certain sounds are made using the muscles in the soft palate, Lauren will need speech therapy. Sounds such a "Kh", "Gh", "Na", "Ma", among others will be hard for her to pronounce. Dr. Lewis explained that the speech therapists like to start working with the children BEFORE they start speaking (about 3 months of age). I am not sure what they do with them at this early age, but this is what we have been told. The nice thing is that Dr. Lewis will be in contact with the appropriate people and then they in turn will contact us.
This is nice because we do not have to worry about making sure that everyone is involved in her care. He said that she will need the hole in the palate closed a little before her first birthday. He said the operation takes about an hour and is done in the hospital. He will sew shut the muscle layer by layer with stitches that will dissolve. He said that because of her age she will most likely stay overnight after the surgery. All in all, it was a very positive visit. We finally know what to expect and what to look forward to. He feels that she is normal in every other way and that she will do fine with the appropriate early intervention.
On another note, we also saw the pediatrician today and Lauren is growing like a weed!! She is up to 6 pounds and 1 ounce and 19 inches long!! He was supportive with my decision to discontinue pumping and advised me to continue to provide her with the breast milk that I have for about 75% of her feedings and give her formula (Similac, Enfamil, or Good Start are all fine he stated) for the other 25%. He said that as the breast milk runs out to up her formula feedings to make the milk last longer. Everyone in the
office at Dr. Lewis's and Dr. Snedeker's oohed and ahhhed over her and said how beautiful she is. :-)
4 weeks, 4 days
4 weeks, 5 days
Growing Like a Weed!
Robin's birth story
Robin's pregnancy journal
Ryan's birth story ~ Lauren's big brother