So it is literally just 3 weeks and 1 day since Wednesday 25th September, when my husband and I received the initial diagnosis at Worcestershire Royal Hospital that baby Frankie would be born with a cleft lip and possibly palate and at the time the diagnosis was given, our world was turned upside down.
Today I sit here writing this entry feeling very different to how I felt this time 3 weeks ago. I feel calm, relaxed, informed, organised and dare I say, even positive, about the way forward for baby Frankie, and for me and my husband as parents. After researching and reading up as much about cleft lip/palate as possible, absorbing every single bit of information I could about it like a sponge I then started this blog, got in touch with the Cleft Lip And Palate Association, linked up with the CLAPA facebook support group and turned a corner last weekend when I met a lovely lady from the group and her daughter who was also born with a cleft lip/palate. I’ve gone through the five stages of grief and come out of the other side very quickly.
My Mum is always saying to me, “things happen for a purpose”. We never know what that purpose is at the time or why things happen to us the way they do, but sometimes in the fullness of time all becomes clear. For example, when my ex-husband left me I was left with an initial huge sense of shock, but it soon became clear very quickly that his leaving me had a purpose – my husband got in touch with me after 6 years and I have been happier than I ever thought possible ever since he did so and we got together. I also never thought I would be a mother and now I’m six months pregnant, so although I couldn’t see the purpose of my ex-husband leaving at the time, I definitely can now.
Baby Frankie being born with a cleft lip and possibly palate is also for a purpose, but I can’t see that purpose right now or why this has happened to my son. I’ve asked myself the following questions:
- Is it to teach him more tolerance of people, or to be tougher and stronger than I was if he is bullied at school for having a cleft?
- Is it to teach him that it is good to be different and stand out, to not follow the crowd or be a sheep?
- Is it to teach me to be more patient and understanding, and to slow down in the world and smell the roses? I’m not known for my patience, in fact I have a huge lack of it, which is one of my weaknesses.
- Is it so I can put my PR, marketing, fundraising and awareness raising skills to better use by promoting awareness of cleft lip/palate and reassuring parents who have had a diagnosis, instead of organising events and festivals for people who quite frankly don’t appreciate them and who are only out for their own personal gain of promoting themselves as readers and performers? Is it all of these things?
- Is it all of the above, or something else altogether?
I honestly don’t know yet what the purpose of baby Frankie being born with a cleft lip and possibly palate is, but hopefully one day I will find out what purpose God had in mind for me and my son with all this.
I do know this for absolute certain – I love my son more than anything in the world already. I loved him more than anything before I got the diagnosis, and if it is remotely possible I love him even more now. He is a very special and very wanted baby, he will want for nothing and he will have parents and a family who love him more than life itself.
He will have some challenges ahead in his life, and hopefully it will just be to repair his lip when he’s 3 months old, but if not we will deal with it and be with him every step of the way.