One mother's story: Cleft lip & palate

One of the hardest things to hear when you are pregnant is that there is something wrong with your baby.

When he finished the ultrasound, he said he’d back in a minute to talk about “some things.” I’ll never forget the way my heart dropped out of my chest at that moment.

For Meera Oliva, learning that her son, Elan, would be born with a cleft lip and palate was devastating.

I could barely speak. All that came out was crying. I tried to pull it together enough to just get out the words “cleft lip.”

On The New York Times’ Motherlode blog, Meera shares her story, from learning about cleft lip and palate to all the surgeries – performed by Children’s John Mulliken, MD – Elan, has had to “cure” his cleft lip.