I found out my son, Mason, would have a cleft when I was 23 weeks pregnant. We didn’t care, he was our rainbow baby and perfect in every way.

When he was born, he had trouble eating and he stopped breathing three times. We ended up at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh for 11 days. He was such a strong baby. I never knew how strong a baby could be until then. We got through it, thanks to his dedicated team, and were sent home. He began to thrive.

He learned things so quickly and his little attitude was just too cute for words. We went through our first surgery (lip,nose, and gum repair) at the end of April. Again it was a scary time, but he was so strong. It’s hard to believe he even had a cleft now when you look at him. He’s still the same goofy baby as before.

We have our next surgery in November to repair his palate. While I’m incredibly anxious, I know we’ll make it through again. I just want to say thank you to his incredible cleft-craniofacial team, and his amazing ENTS/Speech therapists. They’ve been with us before he was even born, and they’ve made things so easy and comforting for us. I don’t know what we would have done without them!