Thursday, June 30, 2011


A confusing and difficult problem or question.

Or a word that describes my current state of mind when having to think about Ella's next step down this "path" of facial reconstruction. As most of you know, we had Ella's cleft lip repaired when she was 4 months old and her palate repaired at 10 months old.

I choose to say path surrounded by quotes because I would say this process has been anything but. From the time we found out Ella would be born with a cleft it has been our responsibility to prepare and educate ourselves, with very little guidance.

At my job I am expected to be the expert and provide my clients with a plan that will garner the most successful outcome. I guess I thought that since surgeons have to go through many more years of schooling than myself, that their job expectations would be the same. He would tell us what was best for Ella, lay out the risks and rewards and we would move forward with his recommendations - yet, here we are in the drivers seat.

Don't get me wrong, we love our surgeon and think he has done an amazing job on Ella's repair.
[BEFORE                                    |                                    AFTER]

However at this point he will not tell us that Ella needs a surgery and has said that as her parents it's our decision. To willingly put your child under the knife, especially after seeing them suffer in the past, is a very hard thing to ask a parent to do. I understand that everything surrounding her well-being is our decision, but it would be nice to know what others would do in our situation.

As her parents, we think she looks fantastic and barely see her lip (which I have talked about in the past)- however, I am not dumb and know that others see it very clearly. Her speech continues to get better every day, so how do we know when the time is right?

Do we wait and hope the kids don't pick on her? What if she looks back and is mad that we didn't do something sooner? Do we do it now/sometime soon and maybe need to go back in again, causing more unnecessary surgeries? Why can't people/surgeons make these decisions for me? Right or wrong - at least I could blame someone else for the outcome! 

I think the moral of the story is ….no matter what, parenting is HARD. When I first found out I was pregnant a very dear friend of mine said, "Congratulations - now you can f#ck 'em up in your own special way."

In times like these, i have to tell myself that no matter what decisions we make and how hard we try to make Ella's life perfect - she may hate us anyways, so we'll do our best and cross our fingers!