Tuesday, May 12, 2009

7 years old today

newbornweigh.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
There were days, way back in the beginning, that I never thought we'd get to where we are today.
I never thought it would be hard to remember how it felt way back when, when Rowan was born and the doctor told me that he had a cleft and then put this little stranger on my belly.
I couldn't imagine that the hours of pumping and then squeezing the milk into his little mouth would disappear into that foggy haze of the past.
I couldn't picture him learning to walk, to run, to ride a bike...
I never imagined him on a soccer team.
I certainly never dreamed of his mohawk.

I remember the threat of surgery looming over our heads, and then it was happening, and then it was done, and then it was just something that happened a long time ago...

And here we are.
This is Rowan.
rowanis7.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers

He loves dogs, riding his bike, and computers.
He's better at Mariokart that I am.
He can read. He's very good at writing. He draws well.
He makes this high-pitched noise that could make your ears bleed.
He sings to his baby sister.
He wants to be a vet when he grows up.

Honestly, how did we get from that baby to this boy? Where did it all go?
I can remember life before him, but I can't imagine it. I have to stop and think, "wait... that was before Rowan was born." How did I even exist before this boy came into my life?
I'm a completely different person today than I was 7 years ago.
7 years ago I was afraid and ashamed of feeling the way I did. I was looking for someone to blame and someone to make it all better *rightthisminute*.
This life is incredible. This world is magical. God is wonderful and mysterious and loves us more than we can possibly imagine. He chose us, chose me!, as Rowan's family. I couldn't have known it then, but I know it now - how very important that is.
Some people sparkle. Rowan is one of them. Aren't we lucky?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

That's some set of chompers!

As a pre-orthodontic anything comparison - here is what Rowan's mouth looks like at age 7, before any orthodontic work has been done.
preorthoteeth.jpg picture by sweetteasoakers
On the left is his complete cleft, and his incomplete cleft was on the right. (This is as you are looking at the picture. It's really the other way around in so far as his own personal right and left.)
The complete side has a tooth way up in the cleft. The incomplete side has the perfect tooth, turned sideways. He has lost the 4 teeth on the bottom, and none on the top.
Those are his own fingers holding his cheeks open by the way. He thought getting this picture was pretty funny.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Ready for phase 2...

I just got off the phone with the orthodontics dept of the team. We're set to come in on June 11, to get his panorex and preliminary evaluation.
Rowan is going to have to have a palate expander put in. He has a crossbite, which is completely normal in a kid who had a cleft palate. He's going to have to have that fixed, and get his bone graft, some time in the next few years.
She said that he'll have x-rays and his evaluation on June 11, and then depending on how things look is when they'll start the ball rolling. We'll have another visit a few weeks later where they take a complete history (even though they have all his old records, she said they have to do it again at this new phase) and take the molds of his mouth. They'll figure out a treatment plan, and we'll be presented with options as to what we're looking at.
She said if all goes as it usually does, we're looking at getting his braces in August.

All of this is very foreign to me. I never had any of this done. John had braces, and had to wear head gear at night for some of that, so he's going to be better about knowing what Rowan's going through than I am. This is all for the good stuff though. Rowan's got a good foundation so far with his teeth, and all we can do is wait and see what they say.

I'm taking deep breaths. I'm going to be excited for him instead of fearful. At least I had to get molds of my teeth made recently for that nightguard, so I can show him those and how cool it will be to have that kind of thing done with his teeth.

All I can think is, "Here we go!" This 4 years of no surgery, no therapy, no nothing is about to come to an end. I forget what it's like to have monthly appointments. But here we go.
Here we go.