Monday, April 8, 2013

New Definition of Perfection.

A friend of a friend, that's how I met Krista. She is the big hearted mama behind ----- ----. I am so glad I got to take pictures for her event as a service to her and our community. If you want to know what I am talking about you will have to wonder until Wednesday's post where you will find out what she was moved to do for kids with Cleft lips and/or palates. Go ahead, throw something at me if it makes you feel better, but I'm still gonna leave you wondering :)
"Hi my name is Krista Sullivan. I am a pediatric nurse of 14 years, a wife of 10 years
and most honorably a mom of two healthy kids, a 6 years old son and a 5 year old
daughter. My son Cody was born with a cleft lip and palate and I would like to share our
journey in having a child born with an abnormality. Well that's at least the term used
when Cody’s cleft was detected at our 20 week ultrasound. I will never forget that day, it
started as a day full of excitement and joy, a boy or a girl that's really all I was thinking
about. Then came the bombshell, the ultrasound tech turned to my husband and I and
informed us that our child had a cleft lip and probably cleft palate. Tears immediately
formed and streamed down my face as the nurse in me not only visualized the faces of
every severe cleft child I had cared for in the past but also the syndromes that are often
associated with cleft lips and/or palates. My husband on the other hand took the news
very well and was overjoyed to know that his first child was a boy who had a healthy heart and vital organs and that as he grew older he had the ability to grow a mustache.

My expectations were to have perfection and at that moment I felt that I was being  handed less than perfect. It is now hard to hear myself say that or even to know that I had those thoughts. All I can say is that unless you have been told something less than what you expected you go through a mourning process and that is all I can explain it as. Through talking with other mom’s faced with the unexpected news of their precious infant having a cleft, they to experienced those similar feelings. Feelings like doubt, anger, frustration, fear and even devastation. I now look back and feel like I was able to mourn, grow and move forward in those early stages of grief after finding out that Cody
was going to be born with a cleft. It is through that experience during my pregnancy that completely transformed my perspective on the meaning of true perfection. I know now that my eyes were opened to a new found ideal of true perfection when I held Cody for the first time cleft and all. All those feelings of uncertainty disappeared and now I was able to focus on being a mom and providing Cody with the care he needed to grow and start the journey ahead of us that consisted of coping, adapting, delicate feedings,
preparing for surgeries and Dr. visits to follow his hearing, speech and dental concerns.
Cody had his first surgery at 5 months old which consisted of repairing his lip. A short 7
days later he went back into the operating room to have his sutures removed. He had
his third procedure at 10 months old which consisted of repairing his palate and placing
ear tubes which is a common need for cleft kids. This was the most invasive and painful
of his operations and to make matters worse he could not put anything in his mouth for
7 days to ensure that the palate could heal. This included his bottle, pacifier, hands and
toys. He had to wear elbow restraints and he was fed strictly with a device called a zip n
squeeze or through a syringe. Cody was then 18 months old when he had his first lip
revision then a second lip revision at 3 years of age. Through all of this Cody was such
a trooper and is now a very normal, active and energetic 6 year old full of love, kindness
and laughter. At a early age he is able to accomplish more than most adults can - that is
to look past an imperfection and see beauty at first glance. He is not defined by his cleft
but has grown to know that it is a part of who he is. Today, Cody attends Stapleton
Elementary, is a awesome soccer player, a wonderful big brother and a amazing son."

 Thank You Krista for sharing this :)


  1. Good gracious, I shouldn't have read this with all my pregnancy hormones in full swing, I'M BAWLING! So, so sweet and amazing. Kids are incredible, thank goodness we have them to teach us (c: Can't wait to see what she's up to!


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