Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thanks you guys for being so nice to me. Thanks for understanding our family and our "sick" sense of humor. By the way YES I do know that ponies is the plural of pony. I didn't mark it wrong on the paper because I asked him while I was grading how do you spell ponies and he spelled it properly.  Besides he had spelled it right in a previous question, so I knew he knew it, and I let it slide. I did point it out to him though. That's what we homeschool moms do sometimes because it's not fun to see too many red marks on your page. When you post your photos and stories on the internet sometimes you are taking a risk that everyone is really going to know whether your kids can spell (or you can spell for that matter), whether you grade properly, whether you keep your house clean, buckle your car seats properly,  or whether  your family has sociopathic tendencies......etc.

:) I guess I'm a risk taker that way.

Anyway....I've been working on this post for 3 days but have had so many interruptions. I guess that is what I signed up for when I decided to have seven kids.

I told you we had an appointment with the pediatric dentist/oral surgeon on Monday. It went a little different than I expected.

Zoya turned out to be quite the celebrity in the dental office. Apparently none of the staff, not even either of the dentists, had ever seen an unrepaired cleft palate on a child this old. Zoya ended up showing every tech, receptionist, hygienist, and dentist the roof of her mouth, and several photos and notes were taken. Who knew an open cleft was such a novelty? I didn't.

Everybody was fascinated.

The dentist was so happy. Zoya proved his theory about cleft repair and how if done later, it benefits the craniofacial development.

He feels that, from a craniofacial point of view anyway, it is better to leave the cleft open in childhood so that the jaw and the bones can develop properly. He said that when the cleft is repaired during infancy, which it is 99.99%  of the time, the upper jaw cannot grow and therefore the upper jaw stays smaller than the lower jaw. I couldn't picture this at all and they couldn't provide photos to 'prove' it. But everybody who saw it agreed that her teeth and jaws looked beautiful and "normal" for a child who had not had cleft surgery.

Now he told me to google pictures to see what he was talking about, and honestly I couldn't find any. So if anybody knows what he means and has pictures to prove it, I would love to see it for myself. He is recommending waiting a few more years to do the surgery. He feels that a prosthetic palate (I just made this name up, I really don't know what I'm talking about) would help her be able to learn to eat better and talk, and then once she is fully developed, say, as a teenager, we could have it repaired.

Now, this is just the dentist's opinion. We have not consulted with the speech therapist or the surgeon. Something tells me they would have a different opinion. From what I understand, she would benefit socially and speech wise by repairing it ASAP, but she would benefit appearance wise (normal facial bone development) by waiting. I guess we have to decide which we feel would be more important to her. Like I said I have never actually seen a person with a cleft palate repair to know any different.

I'm open to any thoughts or suggestions about this. Like I said, this was not what I was expecting to hear, especially after so many commenters suggested repairing the cleft ASAP.

Zoya is very proud of her beautiful smile and her cleft. She doesn't hesitate to show it to anybody. So, if you are interested, here are some photos of her beautiful smile.
I never noticed the scar on her chin until I looked closely at this photo. Or is that chocolate?
See how her upper and lower teeth align perfectly? According to the dentist if she had gotten the cleft repair early, the upper jaw would be much narrower and she would have a significant underbite.
How I love this girl. Isn't she beautiful?


Milena said...

She is darling, such a little sweetie!

Shelly said...

She is so adorable! I just want to squeeze her little cheeks! (oh wait i better not, is that abuse??) lol. Sorry some people just amaze me, sometimes it doesn't matter if you have a phD or have written several books you still need common since which some people do not have!!!

Charissa please don't let the rude remarks of others make you think that you are doing wrong, you are one of the most amazing people i know!! I love reading your blogs too :)

Anonymous said...

about the my mom would say your pony, your kid, your life,and none of anyones business what you do at your own home as long as it does not hurt someone on
the outside. and it would be my stick of wood if anyone approached me otherwise. rita from ga

Anonymous said...

Well you got me beat. I don't even give grades at this point. Will do eventually but not now.

Zoya is a sweetie!


Anonymous said...

oh, yes she is!!

Carmencita said...

Mi hija ha venido de Ucrania con paladar abierto y estamos en espera de operar la fisura de su paladar duro o paladar delantero, ella ha tenido su primera operacion el dia 30 de agosto se le practico el alargamiento del velo del paladar (paladar de atras o paladar blando) el cirujano plastico es el que debe de decidir si opera ,nunca un dentista, ellos solo se ocupan de la denticion ,los especialistas son los cirijanos plasticos en fisuras de paladar y labio leporino,siento no saber hablar ingles, si pudieran ponerse en contacto conmigo o con alguien que les traduzca el español en ingles podria hablarles de la operacion que han echo a Olga nuestra niña en España. Ustedes deben de contactar con un especialista en fisura palatina y labio leporino,es cierto que pueden esperar pero cuanto antes se cierre la fisura con los metodos de los cirujanos mejor,a mi hija le van a practicar la siguiente operacion en el mes de abril del 2011 mas o menos, me han explicado lo que van hacer, le sacan tejido de su propia boca y cierran primero el tabique nasal ,despues cierran el cielo de la boca con colgajos de su propia cabidad bucal, de momento hasta que cierren la fisura le hemos echo un paladar artificial(obturador) es de un material parecido al plastico(no es plastico es algo mas seguro) y se coloca en el cielo de la boca actuando a modo de ventosa, con ello lo que se pretende es que empiecen a trabajar los especialistas en el habla o logopedas y tambien mejor calidad de vida a la hora de alimentarse y de poder beber liquidos ,ya que se le salen por la nariz y cada vez que come estorduda constantemente .
Pueden ponerse en contacto conmigo si lo desean mi e-mail es , les enseñaré fotos iguales a las de Zoya con su abertura del paladar y su sonrisa preciosa.
gracias y siento no saber escribir en ingles.

Anonymous said...

And this is with Carmen says:
"My daughter came from Ukraine with a cleft palate and we are expecting to operate the fissure on her hard palate, she has had her first surgery on August, 30th, her soft palate (velum) was lengthened. The plastic surgeon is the one who has to decide if she must have surgery, not the dentist, they just take care of the dentition. The specialist are the plastic surgeons in cleft lip and palate. I'm sorry I can't speak English, If you could contact with me or someone who can traudct for you I could talk you about the surgery our daugher Olga had in Spain.You have to contact a specialist in cleft palate and lip, it's true you can wait but the sooner they close the fissure with surgery the better,my daughter is having her next surgery in April, 2011, they have explained me what they are going to do: they take tissue from her own mouth and close the nasal septum first,then they close her roof of the mouth with tissue from her own buccal cavity. Temporarily, until they close the hole, she's using an artificial palate (obturator) is made of a material similar to plastic (it's not plastic, but something more secure) and is on the roof of the mouth working as a suction pad, and its purpose is to let the speech therapist begin their work and also improve her life quality at eating and drinking, because they go out by her nose and every time she eats she sneezes constantly.
You can contact me if you want to, my e-mail is , I will show you picture of Olga just like Zoya's with the hole on her palate and her precious smile. Thank you, and I'm sorry I can't write in English. Carmen

Cammie Heflin said...

Charissa, I think what they may be talking about is kind of like a retainer that will cover her palate and help with air flow for speech production. I can't for the life of me think of the name of it, NAM maybe? but I will look in my cleft palate book at work tomorrow!

Anonymous said...

I'm a Speech Path and I have worked with several cleft palate kiddos but it isn't my specialty. I would suggest she be examined by a cleft palate team which would include all the specialists. The device would probably help close off the loss of air and help with speech but you won't know how much without trying it. The team approach is nice because everyone works together and you don't have one specialist saying one thing and another saying something else.

I have enjoyed following your blog, your kiddos are precious!

Anonymous said...

Also, google "wide smiles" they have lots of photos and information

Maria and Family said...

she is teeny tiny perfection :)
'OH NO THEY DIDNT make rude comments to you ! Shame. You are a wonderful girlie and a wonderful mama :) We got your back ;)

Deb D. said...

Oh, yes, she is beautiful! A beautiful child with a beautiful, joyful spirit. There is something extra magical or captivating about little Zoya. Really special person. That must be why she fits your family so well. You are really lovely people. And I"m with Maria, "We got your back!" :-)

Deb D. said...

P.S. I love the little freckles on her nose! :-)

debi said...

Oh I just love that little sweety pie. I agree with Deb D, there is something very special about Zoya. She has such a strong happy spirit. That's the way it feels from my desk here anyhow. Something that makes you feel happy along with her when she smiles for the camera. She was always you little girl. Just waiting for you to find her. Bless you all,

Molly said...

I am still cracking up about the target practice comment. To surmise that a child will be a sociopath because of that is slightly absurd. My sister told one of our campers she was leaving for a trip for two weeks and he said "SASHA! I want to push you down the stairs"

Am I worried?


Do I sometimes randomly yell at her "SASHA! I WANT TO PUSH YOU DOWN THE STAIRS?"


(also, Zoya? Precious beyond belief)

heatherbrown said...

WOW! Those pictures are very interesting, I have photographed infants with cleft palates, but never gotten to see really inside!
YES, Zoya is just GORGEOUS! Stunning, charming, blessed little girl!

adoptedthree said...

My daughter was repaired at around 22 months (adopted from Odessa) and is now six. The palate repair will do her speech wonders. She is probably very nasal and it is hard to make the sounds that involve using the palate. I understand what they are talking about because my daughter needs a bone graft later to expand her palate but she looks beautiful and her speech has been amazing since repaired. Feel free to email me if you have questions. Also Shriners in Cincinnati Ohio does my daughters surgeries and they are amazing!