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My name is Lisa and this is the story about how my miracle came to be…

I am passionate about many things – for as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a teacher and I completed my Bachelor of Education (Primary) in 2004 through Southern Cross University. Since then I have worked various jobs but I still love education and all it’s processes – I love it because it’s a life long process, from the day you’re born til the day you die you’re constantly learning in one way or another. I am an avid reader so it made sense to complete a Bachelor of Arts (Librarianship and Corporate Information Management) At first I never really wanted to have children of my own (but that’s another story) until I met the man of my dreams…

My story begins when my fiancée and I started talking about having a child there were many issues there and I won’t go into great detail but where we thought he would have issues it turned out that I am the one who has trouble conceiving – doctors told me I would have to do it via IVF and even then it was likely I couldn’t have children.

We tried for months on end and just when I had given up hope (and started a new job) we miraculously conceived naturally, in fact unbeknownst to me at the time my fiancée and I were having a conversation of where were we going to find the $4000 to do one round of IVF and I was 3 weeks pregnant at the time.

We asked the stenographer at our 22 week ultra sound to check for a cleft (my brother had one as a child and we didn’t know if it was genetic in our family or if it was due to the morning sickness tablet my mother had been prescribed) which they didn’t find but let me just say this so many times were doctors wrong during my pregnancy at one stage they told me my child had high risk of Down Syndrome but they had calculated wrong and one doctor failed to check out the calculations – lucky for me the staff at Mater Mother’s Hospital in Brisbane QLD were a lot more thorough because that ended up being untrue.

Closer to the end of my pregnancy my midwife Lyle Burgoyne again sent me to Mater for an ultra sound as he was worried that my baby wasn’t developing properly inside the womb and they may have to induce me and build the baby up outside the womb, the baby ended up being healthy and developing at a normal rate – however whilst we were there the staff once again at Mater Mother’s Hospital went the extra mile and checked everything heart rate, major organs, brain development – whilst convincing my son to remove his hand out of his mouth – the stenographer caught a quick glance of something and dashed off right away to get a specialist to confirm what she saw. I didn’t have to be a doctor to know that my baby at least had a cleft I could see it in the ultrasound pictures – however the specialist confirmed but even with a 3D ultrasound we did not know the extent of the cleft or whether it was just the lip or the palate as well… all we could do was wait.

During this time I got in contact with CLEFTPALS QLD INC. at least I knew that I had a support network other then my mum and dad. (Who had been through this with the birth of my brother; but back in those days ultrasound was only newish technology so they knew something was wrong with my brother’s head but they weren’t sure what) I felt relieved that there were people out there we could talk to and we could see pictures of surgeries, so we were prepared.

On April 18 2011 – at 7:25am after 72 hours and 25 minutes of labour my son Jack was born – he was born with an upper left unilateral half cleft lip (Which they had to make worse when they operated in order to make him better so he has a full cleft scar) because his palate was intact I was fortunate enough to be able to breastfeed for the first 5 weeks, and then bottle feed – because of the cleft Jack couldn’t get a good grip / suction on the right breast so he spat both breasts after 5 weeks the left side was too big from over use and the right side was too small from under use and I was starting to get serious pains because of the fact that only one side was being used…

Jack had his surgery to repair his lip when he was 5 months old – and he used the special feeding equipment that I purchased through CLEFTPALS QLD INC. for about 2 weeks whilst his lip healed as he was unable to suck on a normal bottle.

Now Jack is a healthy happy little boy who has had no issues with speech or feeding since – his teeth all seem to be growing correctly as well but we do still have to see the local dentist within the next year just to make sure that this is the case.

Jack will have a yearly appointment with the plastic surgeon up at Mater Children’s Hospital in Brisbane QLD until he is 13 years old – to make sure that the scar has not only healed correctly but also to make sure that there is no shrinkage in the skin around the scar – if this is the case they will have to re-operate but so far so good.

Throughout this entire journey doctors told me I could not have children naturally – my son and I proved them all wrong in more ways then one.


Posted by snozzlewort, 29th October 2013


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  • It is great that you had a positive attitude. I am glad you sought support and information before you gave birth to your baby. Doing that would have helped your confidence in caring for him. Hopefully everything will be fine and he won’t have to undergo more surgery or will his teeth be affected

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  • great to read

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  • Love your positive attitude and outlook.

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  • So nice to hear a positive story from a positive mum!

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  • Thank you for sharing with us mums your story, I’m so pleased you have your beautiful boy :)

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  • What a beautiful story

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