Okay, time to get educated. Like I said before, one of the first things I did was to research as much as I could about cleft lips and palates, until I felt like I had a firm grasp on the topic. And good golly miss Molly, how the internet can be a double-edged sword. I found all the “in your face, no sugar coating it” type of stuff. Which was good and bad. I found pictures that would break your heart, and photos of repairs that would blow your mind. It was scary to learn about the most extreme cases not knowing if Ryker would be one of them. All the surgeries, procedures, and problems he MIGHT have. So I decided to follow some sound advice.
Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.
Under promise, over deliver.
And, my personal favorite, Expect everything unexpected.
Meaning, just be prepared to go with it, whatever “it” may be. That was our only choice and I cannot tell you how much peace embracing this idea has brought us.
EVERY SINGLE ONE is different. Each child, each cleft, each Doctor treating each child, and every situation. All different. And just when you think you have a plan, and you have it all under control, it will change. But really, is that so different from parenthood in general, in life in general?
Do your research, absolutely do. But don’t go nuts! And remember to take everything with a grain of salt. No matter how much research you do, you still will serve yourself and your child best by just being flexible. As much as I wanted a perfect step by step plan in the treatment of my child, I have discovered that my sanity survives by only focusing on what’s directly in front of me.
Sometimes, I can focus on months at a time; sometimes all I can see is tomorrow.
If you don’t do this, you will feel like you are playing a game where the rules are ALWAYS changing, because, trust me, they are.Really, instead of “Step by Step Cleft”, I should call this blog “One Step at a Time, Cleft!” Because that’s really is the best way to do it!
So go out there and get educated, kids! The word "cleft" in Google should do the trick!