Isla was born at 37 weeks on 1st July 2016 by emergency C-section. At our 20 week scan, Isla was diagnosed with a unilateral left sided complete cleft lip with possible palate involvement. My pregnancy was a worrying time with many unknowns. We were referred to a specialist cleft team at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge and were under the care of the Fetal Medicine Team there as a genetic condition was also suspected.
When Isla was born, she was admitted to NICU with breathing difficulties (unrelated to her cleft). She spent her first four days on high flow oxygen, antibiotics and IV fluids as well as a nasogastric tube for feeding. Her initial assessment by the cleft team, the afternoon after she was born, found her to be very sleepy and feeding was very tiring for her. As the days went by, she made improvements and was discharged home with her NG tube and some oral bottle feeds. By 5 weeks old, she was feeding completely from her specialist bottles.
Isla underwent lip surgery in November 2016, a few days before she turned 5 months and palate repair in March 2017 at 8 months old.
This blog documents some of the things we have experienced during Isla’s first year.